Shepard O’Connell focuses her practice on complex civil litigation and white collar defense and investigations. A fluent Spanish speaker, Shepard draws on her experience litigating international disputes to serve corporate and individual clients from diverse backgrounds in federal and state courts.
Shepard represents individuals and businesses in high-stakes business matters, particularly in federal court and the North Carolina Business Court. Shepard’s broad experience includes litigating shareholder disputes, contract disputes, unfair business practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, and trademark infringement. Shepard also has experience litigating various tort claims arising under state law, including claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and fraud. The following are representative of the types of matters Shepard has handled:
- The defense of a closely-held corporation in a shareholder dispute involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty and minority shareholder oppression.
- The representation of a multinational health information technology company in a multimillion dollar contract dispute.
- The defense of an insurance company against class action claims for unfair trade practices and false advertising.
- The representation of a manufacturer in the specialty gifts industry in a trademark infringement dispute.
- The defense of an international professional services firm involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
Shepard represents individuals and companies who are under criminal or regulatory scrutiny concerning their business practices. She assists companies involved in sensitive internal investigations with issues raised by federal and state regulators and internal whistleblowers.
Shepard represents individuals and corporate clients involved in cross-border disputes. She has experience representing investors and sovereign states in international commercial arbitration proceedings as well as investment treaty disputes. Her cross-border matters have involved a broad range of industries, including utilities, renewable energy, construction and development, and banking and financial services. Shepard is fluent in Spanish.
Shepard counsels businesses of all sizes in data collection and privacy issues, helping clients evaluate how safely they collect, use, and store data. She drafts privacy policies and terms and conditions documents, ensuring their compliance with all state and federal regulations, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and HIPAA.
Member, CJA Training Panel, Eastern District of North Carolina
Member, Women's White Collar Defense Association
Regional Selection Committee Member, Morehead-Cain Foundation
Teaching Assistant (Litigation Practice in International Arbitration), Georgetown University Law Center, Fall 2015
Co-presenter (with Shana Fulton), "White-Collar Criminal Law 101: What Every Civil Litigator Needs to Know," North Carolina Bar Association Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Law Section Continuing Legal Education, Feb. 4, 2021
"Enforcing Arbitration Awards in North Carolina," Practical Law, 2016 (co-written by Arty Bolick)
In addition to being a lawyer, Shepard is an outdoor enthusiast, tennis player, and fledgling gardener. She lives in Durham with her husband, Brendon, and their two sons.