Gary Parsons is a litigator's litigator: he tries cases. He has participated in more than 80 trials, over 125 appeals, and has represented clients in courtrooms in at least 70 of North Carolina's 100 counties.
Gary began his career as a law clerk for Associate Justice J. William Copeland of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Since that time, he has participated in over 125 appeals. He has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He has also represented clients before the United States Supreme Court.
Gary’s appellate practice has included cases involving financial regulation, lawyer professional liability, professional licensing, insurance regulation, municipal liability and civil rights actions. He has frequently been retained to assist other lawyers and firms in appellate matters and to advise on appellate procedure. Gary served on the Appellate Rules Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association for fourteen years.
Gary has defended lawyers across the state against malpractice claims for over three decades. He has also represented lawyers in grievance proceedings before the North Carolina State Bar.
Gary has decades of experience representing businesses and governments of all sizes in a variety of disputes.
Gary Parsons handles trials and appeals in state and federal courts throughout North Carolina and adjoining states.
He represents businesses ranging in size from Fortune 100 to regional and local companies, as well as local governments. He has represented clients in the energy, pharmaceutical, automotive, internet information, healthcare, communications and insurance industries. He has litigated business disputes, intellectual property, antitrust, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, mass tort, lawyer malpractice, civil rights, and insurance coverage and bad faith claims. He also has significant experience in litigating regulatory disputes and professional disciplinary hearings before state administrative agencies.
Gary has argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He also appears regularly before all three U.S. District Courts in North Carolina and the North Carolina Business Court.
A summary of Gary’s representative experience includes:
Lawyer Malpractice Litigation:
- Defending an attorney against legal malpractice claims arising out of membership transfers in multiple limited liability companies. While motion for summary judgment was pending, plaintiff took a voluntary dismissal with prejudice in exchange for our client’s agreement not to pursue court costs.
- Defending an attorney in a legal malpractice case arising out of a plea agreement reached on federal felony charges. Case was dismissed. Plaintiff did not appeal.
- Representing an estate planning attorney in a legal malpractice case filed by the client’s heirs while the client was still living. Motion to dismiss granted and affirmed on appeal. Plaintiffs' motions for relief from judgment were denied on remand.
- Defending a lawyer and the lawyer’s firm against federal RICO, Fair Debt Collection Practices, fraud, constructive trust, unjust enrichment and conversion claims. Motion to dismiss all claims granted. Motion for sanctions against plaintiffs’ counsel granted and affirmed on appeal.
- Defending a lawyer against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud while serving as guardian of an aged ward. Summary judgment granted for lawyer and affirmed on appeal.
- Defending a law firm against claims by liquidator of insolvent insurer of negligence, fraud, constructive fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Motion to dismiss granted, and affirmed on appeal.
Complex Business Litigation:
- Representing two confidential informants for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a lawsuit brought by a national tobacco cooperative alleging widespread fraudulent practices. Defendants’ motion to substitute the government for our clients was granted on appeal. Summary judgment in favor of our clients on all remaining claims against them was granted on remand.
- Representing a manufacturer of industrial battery components against patent infringement claims and in asserting antitrust claims before U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
- Representing an international internet information provider against a trademark infringement claim in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
- Defending an automobile manufacturer in proceeding challenging issuance of dealer’s license directly to manufacturer. Agency dismissed proceeding during discovery, leaving license in place and declining to prosecute further.
- Representing a pharmaceutical company in dispute with co-founder regarding co-founder’s sabotage of initial public offering.
- Defending a financial institution in claims alleging massive fraud by former agent in embezzling millions of dollars from the clients. Over 120 claims settled on terms favorable to client.
- Defending a city police department against excessive force claims arising out of standoff with armed subject that ultimately led to shooting of subject – summary judgment granted in trial court, affirmed on appeal.
- Defending county commissioners against claim by hospital administrator based on contract entered into by hospital trustees. Summary judgement granted for commissioners based on revocation of contract by commissioners. Affirmed by N.C. Court of Appeals and N.C. Supreme Court
- Serving as part of a team as national counsel for pharmaceutical company in product liability claims involving antibiotic side effects – appeared in matters in North Carolina and several other states.
- Defending a manufacturer as regional counsel for North Carolina in series of actions in multi-district litigation arising out of recall of antibiotic. All cases settled under confidential settlements.
Law Clerk to Associate Justice J. William Copeland, North Carolina Supreme Court, 1977-1978
Honors & Recognitions
Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Litigation: General Commercial (North Carolina) (2011-2023)
Chosen as the 2021 recipient of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy
Recognized in the "Legal Elite" Hall of Fame by Business North Carolina magazine for Litigation
Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers for Business Litigation (2006-2023); Top 100 lawyers in North Carolina (2006-2019, 2023 editions), Top 25 Lawyers in Raleigh (2014-2015, 2018-2019)
Recognized in Super Lawyers Business Edition for Business Litigation (2015)
Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (2003-2024)
Recognized as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation in Insurance, Product Liability and Recall, Securities, and Environmental (2015-2023); Business Litigation (2015-2017)
American Board of Trial Advocates: Advocate (2009 - present)
Litigation Counsel of America: Fellow (2010-present)
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1977
North Carolina State University, B.S., 1974
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina
- RecognitionBrooks Pierce Receives Top Honors from Chambers USA: Nine Practice Areas, 24 Attorneys Ranked Among the BestChambers USA, 06.01.2023
- RecognitionThirty-Two Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina's 2023 "Legal Elite" and "Hall of Fame"01.03.2023
- RecognitionBrooks Pierce Receives Top Honors from Chambers USA: Nine Practice Areas, 20 Attorneys Ranked Among the BestChambers USA, 06.01.2022
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.13.2022
- RecognitionThirty Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s 2022 “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”Business North Carolina, 01.03.2022
- RecognitionBenchmark Litigation, 10.07.2021
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.19.2021
- RecognitionChambers USA, 05.20.2021
- Media MentionNorth Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 03.25.2021
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.14.2021
- RecognitionTwenty-Six Brooks Pierce Attorneys Named to Business North Carolina’s 2021 “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”Business North Carolina Legal Elite, 01.03.2021
- RecognitionBenchmark Litigation, 11.09.2020
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.20.2020
- Media MentionBrooks Pierce Partner Publishes Article in North Carolina and South Carolina Lawyers Weekly on Life in the CourtroomNorth Carolina and South Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 07.09.2020
- RecognitionChambers USA, 05.01.2020
- Speaking Engagements02.04.2020
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.22.2020
- RecognitionBenchmark Litigation, 10.15.2019
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2019
- RecognitionChambers USA, 04.29.2019
- Press Release01.29.2019
- RecognitionBenchmark Litigation, 11.01.2018
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2018
- RecognitionChambers USA, 05.03.2018
- RecognitionTwenty-five Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s 2018 “Legal Elite” and "Hall of Fame"Business North Carolina, 01.02.2018
- RecognitionBenchmark Litigation, 11.03.2017
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2017
- Press ReleaseChambers USA, 05.26.2017
- RecognitionBenchmark Litigation, 02.17.2017
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.20.2017
- Press Release01.12.2017
- RecognitionNineteen Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”Business North Carolina, 01.03.2017
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2016
- Media Mention03.01.2016
- RecognitionNineteen Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s 2016 “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”01.07.2016
- RecognitionBenchmark Litigation, 11.09.2015
- RecognitionSuper Lawyers Business Edition, 11.05.2015
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.17.2015
- Press Release07.16.2015
- Speaking Engagements02.03.2021
- Speaking Engagements04.12.2018
- Speaking Engagements08.12.2015
- COVID-19 Response Resource Center: Timely Counsel for your Business, 03.26.2020
Professional & Civic
Professional & Civic Activities
North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, President, (2003-2004), Board of Directors (1998-2001), Judicial Committee (2011-2013)
North Carolina Bar Association, Professionalism Committee (2004-2006), Appellate Rules Committee (1982-1995)
Wake County Bar Association, Board of Directors (1989-1990)
Defense Research Institute (1985-present)
American Bar Association (1977-present)
My career has been about taking problems that people and businesses bring to me and solving them in cost-effective ways. Sometimes, this has been done with a phone call or a letter. Other times, it required trials and appeals.
Much like surgeons, litigators frequently see the client only after more conservative measures did not yield a cure. Like good surgeons, we need the confidence and skill to take the case to our operating theatre - the courtroom - and the judgment to know when a solution can be achieved with less cost and risk.
I enjoy trying lawsuits and arguing appeals more than any of my hobbies - primarily because I'm a better lawyer than a golfer. I enjoy seeing people freed from the disputes they face, especially when we can end their risk and uncertainty earlier at lower cost.