Poyner Spruill Welcomes Education Law Practice Group

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Deborah Sperati

t: 252.972.7095

Deborah practices in the areas of creditors' rights, civil and commercial litigation, and bankruptcy. She is also a sommelier and craft-brewery owner who works with others in the industry to better equip their business for success.

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Deborah frequently represents creditors in workouts, foreclosures, collections, bankruptcies, and lender liability matters. Her practice also includes representation of businesses and individual clients in a wide variety of civil litigation matters before state and federal Courts, including contract disputes, fiduciary duty claims, property disputes, and fraud claims. Deborah also leads the firm’s brewery, winery, and distillery practice, representing businesses in obtaining proper licensing and permitting by federal, state, and local authorities.

Areas of Focus

+Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy

  • Representation of banks and other lending institutions in defending lender liability claims, managing workouts, and pursuing collection, foreclosure, and claim and delivery actions
  • Representation of secured and unsecured creditors in both commercial and consumer bankruptcy cases
Visit our Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy page   ▶

+Brewery, Winery, & Distillery Law

  • Brewery and Winery Licensing and Certification by federal, state and local authorities
Visit our Brewery, Winery, & Distillery Law page   ▶


  • Civil and commercial litigation involving contract disputes, unfair and deceptive trade practices, fraud, real property disputes and trade secrets claims
Visit our Litigation page   ▶



University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1999

University of North Carolina, B.A., 1996, cum laude

+Notable Accomplishments

Recipient of the 2017 Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Rising Star Award (as Co-Owner of Koi Pond Brewing Company)

Recipient of the 2015 Norma Turnage Humanitarian Award, Frederick E. Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross

Recipient of North Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s  2014 Women of Justice Award

Recipient of North Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s  2014 Leaders in the Law Award

Leadership North Carolina, Class XVII

Winner of the Woody Brown Award for Volunteerism from the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce

Ranked among Super Lawyers magazine’s North Carolina “Rising Stars” (Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights) 2013-2014

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law) 2021, 2023-2024; (Commercial Litigation) 2023-2024; (Litigation-Bankruptcy) 2024

+Professional & Community Activities

USLAW – Primary Contact Partner, Chairman of the Banking & Financial Practice Group

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellows Program, 2014, and Active LCLD Alumni

Koi Pond Brewing Company – Co-Owner and Founder

Board of Directors President, Rocky Mount Area Community Fund, Futrell-Mauldin Community Fund

Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Harrison Family YMCA, 2007 – 2010

Chairman of We Build People Campaign, Harrison Family YMCA, 2008

Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Clubs of Nash/Edgecombe Counties 2004 – 2008

Chairman, Tar River Food & Wine Festival

Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce, 2005 – 2008

Past President, Young Professionals Network of Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Founding Member, Woman Givers of Nash-Rocky Mount, 2008 – present

Executive Committee, PAWS for a Cause Fundraiser for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2008

Board of Directors, Tar River Civic Club and Tar River Charitable Foundation

Founding Member, Women’s Network of Eastern North Carolina

Team Captain, Relay for Life, 2002 – 2012

North Carolina Bar Association – Young Lawyers Division, Past Judicial District Representative For District 7; Bankruptcy and Litigation Sections

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