Shepard O'Connell, Brooks Pierce Photo

Shepard D. O'Connell



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.

My Practices

  • 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.

  • 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 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.


Complex Civil Litigation

  • 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.


Honors & Recognitions

Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© "Ones to Watch" for Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2021)

Member, North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society (2018, 2019, 2020)


University of California at Berkeley School of Law, J.D., 2014

University of Chile, M.A., 2011, with distinction

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 2008, with highest honors; Morehead-Cain Scholar; Phi Beta Kappa



District of Columbia

North Carolina

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



Speaking Engagements

Professional & Civic

Professional & Civic Activities

Member, CJA Training Panel, Eastern District of North Carolina

Member, Women's White Collar Defense Association

Member, North Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Regional Selection Committee Member, Morehead-Cain Foundation

Teaching Assistant (Litigation Practice in International Arbitration), Georgetown University Law Center, Fall 2015

About Me

I love my job because I love people. I value authenticity, connection, and relationships. The practice of law allows me to form meaningful connections with my colleagues and clients, and that is what brings me fulfillment at work.

In addition to being a lawyer, I am a mom of two, a gardener, and a poet. I spend most of my non-work time hanging out with my partner and our kids. I love the outdoors and would camp every weekend if I could. I love digging in the dirt and watching things grow. I love reading, writing, and listening to podcasts. There is so much to learn and only so many hours in a day!

  • 15
    At any given time, the approximate number of books I am in the middle of reading
  • 3
    3 times I've watched the Downtown Abbey series all the way through
  • 2
    2 incredible and inspiring kids
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