D.J. O’Brien’s practice is constantly evolving to advise and represent employers and individuals in commercial litigation, employment law, and regulatory enforcement actions. He has deep experience in all levels of federal and state appellate and trial courts in North Carolina, including the N.C. Business Court.

My Practices

  • D.J. represents businesses in a variety of employment-related litigation cases, including class and collective actions and discrimination and wage-and-hour claims, before state and federal agencies and courts. He has worked with companies in a broad variety of industries, including technology companies and franchises.

  • As part of his criminal and civil litigation practice, D.J. regularly represents individuals and corporations from a variety of industries, including the health care, construction, defense, transportation, and technology sectors, in claims asserted under the False Claims Act.

    Recently, D.J.’s experience has included matters involving medical research grant fraud, including representing a whistleblower in a lawsuit against Duke University, who alleged that university researchers were committing grant fraud by relying on falsified experiment results. The case settled in 2019 for what is believed to be the largest recovery for research grant fraud in the history of the False Claims Act.

  • D.J. represents businesses and individuals in a range of sophisticated business disputes, including litigation involving the False Claims Act, securities, real estate, and shareholder disputes. He has deep experience litigating class and collective actions in state and federal court. 

  • D.J. represents executives and companies who are under criminal or regulatory scrutiny concerning their business practices. He has extensive experience conducting sensitive internal investigations for companies, big and small, in an array of practice areas, including banking, health care, and securities.



Law Clerk to The Honorable James C. Dever, III, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2006-07

Honors & Recognitions

Recognized as a "Labor and Employment Star" by Benchmark Litigation (2020-2023)

Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Employment Law - Management (2019-2024)

Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) for Business Litigation (2024) and as a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation (2012) 

North Carolina Bar Association Leadership Academy, Inaugural Class (2011)


Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 2006; Editor-in-Chief, Wake Forest Law Review, 2005-06

Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1998


North Carolina

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th and 11th Circuits

U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina



Professional & Civic

Professional & Civic Activities

Local Civil Rules Committee, United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (2019-present)

Member, Greensboro Criminal Justice Advisory Commission (2016-2023)

President (2023-24) and Member, Board of Directors (2015-2018), Greensboro Rotary Club 

Member, Board of Trustees, AbolitionNC (2017-2023)

Chairman (2022-present) and Member (2015-present), Our Lady of Grace Church Finance Council 

President, Federal Bar Association, Middle District of North Carolina Chapter (2019-2020)

Youth Soccer Coach (2012-present)

Member, Board of Directors, HandyCapable Network, Inc. (2013-2016)

Member, Labor & Employment Law Section, North Carolina Bar Association

Member, Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court (2003-06, 2008-10)

Leadership Greensboro, Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce, 2017 Graduate

  • 10
    10 years coaching youth soccer
  • 3
    3 trips to Ireland
  • 2
    2 Brittany bird dogs at home
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