Colleen Shea is a Partner in the Wilmington, North Carolina office of Cranfill Sumner.  She has been litigating tough and emotional cases for over 25+ years.  In addition to matters for her own clients, due to her extensive experience, Colleen is requested by peers within her firm and by outside firms to undertake the co-chair seat on cases and trials for their clients.

When the firm opened the Wilmington office, Colleen transferred her practice from the Raleigh office to the coast where she has been instrumental in the internal training of Associates and growth of the office, from two attorneys to over fifteen additional litigators. Colleen is a member of the firm’s Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability and Professional Liability Practice Groups.  She focuses on the defense of catastrophic injury cases, healthcare and dental providers sued for malpractice, and mental health specialists accused of malpractice, including boundary violations and sexual exploitation.  Colleen also advises physicians, therapists, nurses, and dentists on charges before various state agencies.  She has extensive trial experience throughout the various counties in North Carolina and has successfully obtained defense verdicts, dismissals and favorable settlements in tough cases including wrongful death, severe burns, permanent brain damage, and inappropriate sexual relationships with patients.

Colleen has been recognized by her peers and is listed in the publication The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 – 2023 editions for Litigation – Healthcare, Medical Malpractice Law, and Personal Injury Litigation– Defendants. In 2019, she was selected by her peers for inclusion into the American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation only organization founded in 1958 which is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In addition to pro bono work within the field of law, Colleen also enjoys serving her community.  She is a past Board Member of the Cape Fear Rescue Mission; past President and Board Member of the Wrightsville Beach Elementary Foundation; a former volunteer Geography Bee Teacher in which she taught 4th and 5th grade students U.S. geography over a span of 10 weeks; and a former middle school volunteer who organized student criminal and civil mock trials. Colleen is dedicated to supporting members and veterans of the U.S. military through local and national efforts. She is also passionate about rescuing dogs and currently has two additional canine members in the household – two too many according to her husband.  When she is not working, Colleen enjoys hiking, traveling, and drinking red wine – but not necessarily in that order.

Most Recent Posts


Colleen Shea Elected to NC ASHRM Board of Directors


Colleen Shea has been elected to the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Chapter of the American Society for Health Care Risk Management (NC ASHRM). She will serve as a Member-At-Large and as chairperson of the chapter’s Public Relations & Marketing Committee for 2023-2024.… Read More


Cranfill Sumner Attorneys and Paralegals Volunteer for Mock Trial Competition

Traditional Scale

Attorneys and paralegals from the Charlotte and Wilmington offices of Cranfill Sumner LLP volunteered for regional Mock Trial competitions in their local areas on Feb. 5. They served as judges and jurors during the mock proceedings, which allowed high school students to participate in mock trial competitions and learn about the judicial process. … Read More


CSH Law Attorneys and Staff Participate in Mock Trial Competition


On Feb. 5 and Feb. 6, Cranfill Sumner LLP (CSH Law) attorneys and staff members volunteered at the 29th annual NCAJ High School Mock Trial Competition which was held virtually.  The attorneys and staff who participated were Deedee Gasch, Melanie Huffines, Levi Huston, Colleen Shea, and Emily Enojado.… Read More


Colleen Shea Featured in WILMA Magazine

"N-E-W-S" spelled out on blocks

Colleen Shea, a Partner at Cranfill Sumner, was recently featured in WILMA magazine. “Law & Community” discusses Colleen’s career as a medical malpractice attorney at Cranfill Sumner.… Read More


Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Volunteer for Legal Aid Eviction Project

paper people chain

In May 2020, Legal Aid of North Carolina launched an effort to help North Carolinians who were struggling to pay rent and were facing eviction. Legal Aid paired available emergency financial support with a search for volunteer attorneys from across the state who could help negotiate past and future payments with landlords.… Read More


Colleen Shea Presents ASHRM Webinar

stethoscope on open book

Colleen Shea was the featured presenter for the “The Dreaded Written Discovery Requests from Plaintiff” webinar on July 23. The webinar was presented by Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Society for Health Care Risk Management (ASHRM).… Read More


Martin and Shea Join American Board of Trial Advocates

John D. Martin and Colleen Shea have been invited to join the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a prestigious national association comprised of experienced trial lawyers and judges. Martin and Shea are Partners who are based in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner LLP.… Read More


Colleen Shea Volunteers at FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Event

Jar of pennies with "Community Give Back" Printed on the side

On Nov. 9, Wilmington Partner Colleen Shea served as a volunteer at a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center for New Hanover County in Wilmington.  Colleen was one of several volunteer attorneys who offered brief advice and counsel regarding landlord/tenant law, consumer law and insurance law.   Wilmington and surrounding towns and counties sustained significant damage from Hurricane Florence and were declared federal disaster areas.  … Read More


Colleen Shea and Rebecca Knudson Featured in WILMA Magazine

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Colleen Shea and Rebecca Knudson are listed in the August 2017 edition of WILMA Magazine. The August Spotlight column lists the Wilmington attorneys featured in the 2017 Women in the Law by Best Lawyers Business Edition and includes a quote from Colleen about her experience as a female attorney.… Read More


Martin and Shea Successfully Defend Regional Hospital

Case Results for NC Law

John Martin and Colleen Shea obtained summary judgment of a regional hospital in a case involving two separate visits to the Emergency Department at the hospital and patient admission to the hospital prior to her transfer to a tertiary care facility. … Read More


Martin and Shea Receive Defense Verdict in Wrongful Death Case

Case Results for NC Law

John D. Martin and Colleen N. Shea won a defense verdict for a Psychiatrist and Physician’s Assistant in a wrongful death case involving over $700,000 in medical expenses. The case involved allegations of improperly prescribing a drug with a Black Box Warning at over twice the FDA recommended dose.… Read More