Janelle is both pragmatic and a people person.  She enjoys solving complex problems for employers, municipalities, private entities, and homeowners associations, as well as those going through divorce and custody issues.  Janelle’s patience, even temperament and common sense approach help her clients come up with creative case-specific solutions to overcome the complex problems and conflicts.

She works to understand her client’s goals, honestly access their situations, and then use practical solutions to best serve their interests. Janelle’s litigation experience coupled with her client-focused practice enables her to skillfully guide her clients through trial in federal and state court, as well as various administrative agencies, when necessary.

Janelle also provides advice and counseling on all aspects of the of the hiring, employment, and separation process, including development and implementation of employment practices and procedures, and investigations for employers who have received complaints of harassment and discrimination.

In the family law context, Janelle uses her extensive litigation experience and compassion to advise and advocate for her clients in the tumultuous domestic litigation process, but she continues to believe that the best resolution to a domestic relations matter is a well negotiated settlement that allows the parties to craft their own resolution which best serves their interest which they know best. Janelle also has experience drafting and negotiating prenuptial agreements in an effort to avoid the expense and hassle of separating property and determining support if a relationship comes to an untimely end.

Janelle has obtained favorable results for clients in arbitrations, mediations and in federal and state court, including the NC Business Court, and she has also been retained to provide ongoing advice to ensure compliance with state and federal law in regard to various personnel matters since 2006.

Prior to joining the firm, Janelle was an associate at Bowman Green Hampton & Kelly, PLLC in Chesapeake, Virginia and  she also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Norman A. Thomas and the Honorable Chuck D. Griffith on the Norfolk, Virginia Circuit Court.

Janelle is also Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee, and the firm’s community service initiatives in Charlotte.  She is also active in the Mecklenburg County Bar, and is former Co-President of the John S. Leary Association of Black Attorneys, and a current member of the Board of Directors for the John S. Leary Bar Association Scholarship Foundation. She has also served in various leadership positions with the Junior League of Charlotte since 2009.

Representative Matters

Cases or matters referenced do not represent the lawyer’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results.

  • Obtained order granting summary judgment in favor of employer against employee alleging racial discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII, section 1981, 1981a, and the North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent supervision.
  • Obtained dismissal in favor of attorney in a lawsuit alleging attorney malpractice in the handling and settlement of a personal injury matter.
  • Defended municipalities and other government entities in cases involving claims of civil rights violations and negligence.
  • Obtained dismissal in favor of estate in lawsuit alleging liability under theory of agency for negligent actions taken by heirs at law in regard to personal property of the decedent after the death of the decedent resulting in the wrongful death of a minor.
  • Obtained defense verdict for a nursing home against a plaintiff alleging negligent care resulted in Stage IV decubitus ulcers and sepsis.

Articles, Presentations, and Publications

  • “Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Texting and Blogs, The Litigation Debut!” – DRI Governmental Liability, Volume 1, Issue 6, January 2010
  • “Personal Injury Trials,” Getting the Most Out of Your Evidence, 2009
  • ”Employment Law and Social Media”, 2015
  • ”Employment Law 101”, 2015
  • “Issues and Considerations for Handling Presuit Premises Liability”, 2016

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Janelle Lyons Named One of Charlotte’s 40 Under 40 

Star award against gradient background

Janelle Lyons, a partner in the Charlotte office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, was recently named to the Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list. Janelle will be recognized at the upcoming 40 Under 40 Awards dinner at the McGlohon Theater on March 1.… Read More