Dan is a life-long Raleigh resident. Since 1994, he has been representing diverse clients, including large corporations, banks and farm credit institutions, closely-held businesses, local governments, and individuals in all types of commercial disputes in state and federal court, and through alternative dispute resolution. In that time, Dan spent eight years working in-house with a large international construction materials company as a staff attorney in their legal department. He also spent time seconded to a mortgage subsidiary of a large commercial bank with a national presence.
This experience lends to his ability to understand clients’ business needs and advocate for them as both a litigator and from a management perspective.
Dan focuses his practice on complex commercial disputes, representing banks and financial institutions in all types of litigation, including lender liability claims. He devotes a portion of his practice to serving as a mediator and providing professional liability defense for lawyers and architects. Dan enjoys his representation of commercial landlords on all aspects of their operations.
Areas of Focus
Savage v. Zelent, 243 N.C. App. 535, 777 S.E.2d 801 (2015), disc rev. denied, 782 S.E.2d 898 (N.C. 2016) – We represented Mr. Savage in having a Scottish judgment recognized and enforced in North Carolina. Mr. Savage obtained a judgment for $225,025.37 (£148,516.75) in Inverness Sheriff Court in Scotland under the Family Law (Scotland) Act of 2006. Ms. Zelent had filed suit in Scotland, alleging she sustained economic disadvantage as a result of her relationship with Mr. Savage. The Scottish court ruled against her and awarded a judgment in favor of Mr. Savage for the fees and expenses he incurred in defending the suit. After Ms. Zelent moved to North Carolina, Mr. Savage sought to domesticate the judgment in North Carolina. The trial court ruled in favor of Mr. Savage, holding that the Scottish judgment should be recognized and enforced in North Carolina under the North Carolina Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act. Ms. Zelent appealed to the Court of Appeals in a case of first impression in North Carolina. Following oral argument, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court decision in a 3-0 published decision. Ms. Zelent filed a petition for discretionary review with the North Carolina Supreme Court, which was denied.
Pete Fortner, PLLC v. Koonce, Wooten & Haywood, LLP, 713 S.E. 2nd 793 (2011) – We successfully represented an accounting firm in a suit by a competitor for claims including tortious interference with contract and unfair trade practices. The trial court initially dismissed three claims and later granted summary judgment on the tortious interference and unfair trade claims. The North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the trial court.
North Carolina Department of Transportation v. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (2005) – Obtained verdict in excess of $3 million for landowner in highway condemnation action.
P.R. Chunk, Inc. v. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (2004) – Co-counsel for Martin Marietta in patent royalty dispute where plaintiff initially sought $496,000,000. Jury awarded plaintiff $0. Trial verdict affirmed by Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. P.R. Chunk, Inc. v. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 5812 (4th Cir. 2006).Visit our Litigation page ▶
+CERTIFICATIONS & SPECIALIZATIONS
NC Dispute Resolution Commission Certified Mediator – Superior Court
Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 1994
University of North Carolina, B.A. in Public Policy Analysis, 1989
Recognized in Business North Carolina’s Power List of the state’s most influential business leaders in 2021-2023.
Recognized in Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite” (Litigation), 2009 – 2010, 2014 and 2018
AV Rated, Martindale Hubbell®
Ranked among Super Lawyers magazine’s North Carolina “Super Lawyers” (Business Litigation), 2010-2019
Recognized as “2010 Law Impact Leader” by Business Leader magazine
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® (Commercial Litigation), 2014-2023
Panelist, SCG Legal Annual Meeting—Law Firm Leaders Panel, September 2022
Panelist, Raleigh Chamber Women’s Leadership Conference—Retaining Female Leadership, May 2021
Presenter, Raleigh Chamber Emerging Leaders Forum, February 2021
Panelist, Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society (ALAS) New General Counsel Conference, October 2020
Panelist, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys Winter Workshop—Business Case for Diversity, January 2020
+Professional & Community Activities
Raleigh Chamber Board of Directors 2018-present; General Counsel 2019-2020; Treasurer 2020-2021; Chair-Elect 2021-2022; Chair 2022-2023
National Association of CEOs, Member 2017-present
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Vestry 2016-2019; Junior Warden 2019
The Green Chair Project, Board of Directors 2020-present
Note in the Pocket, Board of Directors 2013-2018
St. Timothy’s School, Board of Trustees 2012-present
Campbell Law School Mentorship Program 2021-present
Artspace, Board of Directors, 2009 – 2015; Chair 2012-2013
Raleigh Chamber Leadership Raleigh Graduate, Class of 2006
North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
North Carolina Bar Association