Janelle is both pragmatic and a people person. She enjoys solving complex problems for employers, municipalities, private entities, homeowner’s associations, specialized professionals, as well as those going through divorce and custody issues. Janelle’s patience, even temperament, and common-sense approach make her very effective at helping her clients come up with creative case-specific solutions to overcome complex problems and conflicts that they might face.
She works to understand her client’s goals, honestly assesses their situations, and then develops practical solutions to best meet their goals. Janelle’s litigation experience, coupled with her client-focused practice, enables her to skillfully guide her clients through trials in federal and state court, as well as various administrative agencies, when necessary.
Community Association Law
Janelle regularly represents community associations with a wide range of legal issues to include, neighborhood disputes, covenant and restriction violations, governance and covenant interpretation disputes, collection of dues and assessments, governing document amendments, parity issues among different classes of members, and voting rights issues.
Janelle provides advice and counseling on all aspects of the hiring, employment, and separation process. This includes the development and implementation of employment practices and procedures, as well as sensitive workplace investigations for employers who have received complaints of harassment and discrimination.
Retail and Hospitality
Retail and hospitality clients face a broad range of legal issues including premises liability claims, negligent security claims, and employment law issues, which Janelle is well versed to handle because of her broad experience in all of these subject matters and the cross-knowledge she brings as a result of her varied practice areas of expertise.
Janelle regularly provides general advice and representation to a wide variety of professionals, including lawyers, real estate agents and brokers, and healthcare providers, when claims are made in connection with the rendering of professional services before a professional board, regulatory agency, or the court.
Janelle has served as a municipal attorney for a local municipality for over ten years. She has a wide array of experience assisting local governments and their agencies in the areas of Section 1983, public official immunity, personnel matters, handbook updates, grievances, police law, zoning and land use matters, ordinance amendments and additions, public school education claims, and general and premises liability claims.
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. 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 that best serves their interests. Janelle also has experience drafting and negotiating prenuptial agreements with the goal of avoiding the expense and hassle of separating property and determining support if a relationship comes to an untimely end. Janelle is one of few practicing attorneys in the Charlotte, North Carolina area who maintains a diverse practice in the area of civil litigation in Superior Court and the Federal Court and also practices in the area of family law.
Her varied experience allows her to bring a unique perspective to her role as a certified Superior Court mediator. She facilitates settlements and assists parties in resolving conflicts amicably without incurring the significant time and expense that may often be associated with protracted litigation.
Janelle has obtained favorable results for clients in arbitrations, mediations, and in federal and state court, including the NC Business Court. She has also been retained to provide ongoing advice to ensure compliance with state and federal law in regard to various personnel matters.
Prior to joining Cranfill Sumner LLP, Janelle was an associate at Bowman Green Hampton & Kelly, PLLC in Chesapeake, Virginia. 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 the Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and oversees the firm’s community service initiatives in Charlotte. She is active in the Mecklenburg County Bar, is the former Co-President of the John S. Leary Association of Black Attorneys, and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the John S. Leary Bar Association Scholarship Foundation. Since 2009, she has served in various leadership positions with the Junior League of Charlotte. Janelle was named as a Charlotte Business Journal 2017 40 Under 40 Honoree. The 40 Under 40 List recognizes outstanding young professionals who excel in their careers and in their community involvement.
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
- “Employment Law Roundtable”, Cranfill Sumner LLP webinar, 2022
- “Legal Compliance Issues in the Post-COVID Work World”, Professional Liability Attorney Network webinar, 2021
- “Workplace Behavioral Issues: Appropriately Handling Thorny Situations”, National Business Institute conference, 2018
- “Issues and Considerations for Handling Presuit Premises Liability”, 2016
- ”Employment Law and Social Media”, 2015
- ”Employment Law 101”, 2015
- “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
Most Recent Posts
Cranfill Sumner Hosts Employment Law Webinar
On April 21, Cranfill Sumner LLP hosted the Employment Law Roundtable webinar featuring presentations from Janelle Lyons, Q. Shanté Martin, and Marshall Wall.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner LLP Presents Diversity Award to Janelle Lyons
Cranfill Sumner LLP presented its 2021 Distinguished Leader in Diversity and Inclusion Award to Janelle Lyons. Lyons is a Partner based in the firm’s Charlotte office.… Read More
CSH Law Attorneys Present at PLAN Webinar
Janelle Lyons and Virginia Wooten presented at the recent “Legal Compliance Issues in the Post-COVID Work World” webinar. It was held Aug. 26 and was presented by the Professional Liability Attorney Network (PLAN).… Read More
Janelle Lyons to Present at NBI Human Resources Seminar
Janelle Lyons, an attorney in the Charlotte office of Cranfill Sumner LLP, will present at the “Human Resource Law from A to Z” conference sponsored by the National Business Institute. It is a comprehensive seminar designed to give human resources professionals a thorough understanding of all hot-button issues.… Read More
Janelle Lyons Appointed to Novant Health SPR Board of Trustees
Janelle Lyons, a Partner based in the Cranfill Sumner LLP Charlotte office, has been appointed to serve on the Novant Health Greater Charlotte Market Boards of Trustees which serve as the governing bodies for Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center and Novant Health Matthews Medical Center.… Read More
20 Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Named to 2018 N.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Star Lists
Today Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) proudly announced that 20 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2018 North Carolina Rising Stars lists.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Listed Among 2018 Legal Elite
Seven Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) attorneys were recognized by Business North Carolina magazine as part of the magazine’s Legal Elite program.… Read More
Janelle Lyons Receives Superior Court Mediator Certification by the NC Dispute Resolution Commission
Janelle Lyons, an attorney in the Charlotte office of Cranfill Sumner LLP, recently received her certification as a Superior Court Mediator with the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission. Janelle received the certification following completion of a Mediator Certification training course.… Read More
Janelle Lyons Named One of Charlotte’s 40 Under 40
Janelle Lyons, a partner in the Charlotte office of Cranfill Sumner 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
17 Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Named to 2017 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List
Today Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) proudly announced that 17 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2017 North Carolina Rising Stars lists.… Read More
New Overtime Rules are Less Than a Month Away – Are You Ready?
Unless you have had your head in the sand, you know that the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) is changing… Read More
17 Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Named to 2016 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists
Cranfill Sumner LLP (CSH) is proud to announce that 16 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2016 North Carolina Rising Stars lists.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Discuss Importance of Networking with Law Students
On April 7, Janelle Lyons and Mica Nguyen Worthy participated in a panel discussion regarding the importance of networking as a… Read More
20 Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Named to 2015 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists
Cranfill Sumner announced that 20 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2015 North Carolina Super Lawyers and North Carolina Rising Stars lists.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner Announces Four New Partners
Cranfill Sumner named four new partners: Bradley P. Kline and M. Janelle Lyons of Charlotte, J. Greer Vanderberry, Jr. of Raleigh and Melody J. Jolly of Wilmington.… Read More
Janelle Lyons Joins MCB Leadership Institute
Janelle Lyons admitted into the 2015 class of the Mecklenburg County Bar | Mecklenburg Bar Foundation Leadership Institute (BLI) | Cranfill Sumner… Read More
21 Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Named to 2014 North Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List
Cranfill Sumner announced that 21 of its attorneys are selected for inclusion in the 2014 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2014 North Carolina Rising Stars lists.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner Gives Back for the Holidays
In the spirit of the season, each Cranfill Sumner office participated in a holiday service project with local organizations in their respective communities.… Read More
Bolick and Lyons Successfully Defend Municipality and Board of Elections
Ryan Bolick and Janelle Lyons obtained dismissal of all plaintiff’s claims for discrimination against a municipality and its Board of Elections in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of N.C.… Read More