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Stephen W. Petersen

Stephen W. Petersen


T (919) 755-8834
F (919) 838-3125

Steve Petersen is partner at the firm with civil and criminal litigation experience.  Mr. Petersen has tried cases in both federal and state courts, has argued cases in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court, and has represented numerous professionals before their licensing boards.  In doing so, Mr. Petersen has obtained Martindale-Hubbell's top "AV" Peer Review Rating and has been included in North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine and Business North Carolina's Legal Elite.

Mr. Petersen's commercial litigation experience includes cases involving price fixing, class actions, real estate transactions, and the defense of professionals and their firms in malpractice matters.  In addition, he represents professionals before their licensing boards, and he serves as chair of the firm's White Collar Litigation Group.  Clients include companies and individuals involved in civil business litigation, government regulatory matters, false claims act cases, internal investigations, grand jury investigations, professional licensure disciplinary proceedings, and criminal matters.  His clients are frequently involved in simultaneous criminal, civil, and regulatory investigations.

Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.), Commercial Litigation (2015-2018); Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2018)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Listed Business Litigation (2012), Criminal Defense: White Collar (2013, 2016-2018)
  • Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, Litigation (2010, 2011-2012, 2017), Criminal Law (2011-2012, 2014)
  • Martindale-Hubbell's top ("AV") Peer Review Rating *

* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.


Representative Work

  • Defended WakeMed Hospitals in the settlement of criminal and civil investigations by the U.S. Government.  No. 5:12-CR-398-BO
  • Defended the former in-house counsel for Blackwater in a case that required a top secret security clearance.    No. 2:10-CR-00008-FL [DE 350]
  • Defended a former Vice President of a major polyester staple producer in a price fixing civil class action case.  In Re:  Polyester Staple Antitrust Litigation,  MDL 3:03-CV-01516-RLV.
  • Defended two corporate officers of Advance Auto Parts in a federal breach of contract matter related to a real estate transaction.
  • Defended two attorneys in a State Bar proceeding regarding allegations of criminal activity by the attorneys during real estate closings. North Carolina State Bar 12 DHC 6.
  • Assisted with the representation of a real estate developer in the trial of a civil case regarding non-disclosure of environmental contamination in a commercial real property sale contract.  State Properties, LLC v. Ray, 155 N.C. App. 65, 574 S.EA.2d 180 (2002).
  • Petitioned for discretionary review and argued before the North Carolina Supreme Court.  In Re Baby Girl Anderson, 360 N.C. 271, 624 S.E.2d 626 (2006) (allowing termination of parental rights for nonpayment of child support.)
  • Assisted with representation of plaintiffs in a civil arbitration against ALLTEL and then protected the decision of portions of the arbitrators' ruling during an appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  WMS, Inc. v. Weaver, 183 N.C. App. 295, 644 S.E. 2d 567 (2007).
  • Served as a member of an arbitration panel in a construction contract dispute.
  • Defended an individual in a federal trial regarding allegations of money laundering and bank reporting violations.  The case was tried to verdict.
  • Represented a minority shareholder in a trial regarding ownership interests in a closely held business dispute.
  • Represented multiple clients who have been targets or subjects of grand jury investigations related to public corruption cases, healthcare investigations, and allegations of banking and tax fraud charges.
  • Defended a medical practice in Georgia regarding Medicare billing procedures.
  • Represented government contractor in a billing investigation.
  • Represented numerous clients before the following North Carolina licensing boards:  Dental Board, Medical Board; State Bar; Contractors' Board; Accountants' Board; Engineers' Board; Pharmacy Board, and Nursing Board.
  • Developing compliance programs and voluntary disclosure decisions for corporate clients.

* Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future legal representation.



  • North Carolina State University, B.S., high honors
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, D.D.S., 1982
  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1996
  • Guilford College, A.B., 1974
  • North Carolina, 1996
  • United States District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
  • United States District Court, Western District of North Carolina
  • American Bar Association
  • N.C. Bar Association – Litigation Section; Criminal Justice Section, Section Council Member; Antitrust Section; Business Law Section, Past Chair of the Legislative Committee
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Past Member, 10th Judicial District, Grievance Committee
  • Eastern District Liaison Committee
  • CJA Panel Attorney, Eastern District Federal Public Defenders Office

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