Nick Valaoras is a partner in the firm’s Charlotte office where he has been practicing since 1993.  His practice focuses on workers’ compensation defense representing employers and insurance carriers.  He is also a Board Certified mediator in workers’ compensation cases.  Nick is a problem solver who enjoys helping his clients identify which cases to defend and which to resolve.  He is a strong advocate of mediation as a way to resolve and settle claims and his years of experience as a mediator have made him an effective negotiator.

Risk Management & Workers’ Compensation Practice

Nick has represented employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers in evidentiary and appellate hearings before the North Carolina Industrial Commission, North Carolina Court of Appeals and North Carolina Supreme Court since 1993.  Nick has experience in handling traumatic injury by accident cases, occupational disease, repetitive motion disorders, asbestosis, and permanent-total disability claims.  He is active with the Workers’ Compensation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and served as Section Council Member from 2010 – 2013 and serves on the Cranfill Sumner LLP COVID-19 Response Team.

After growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Nick has called North Carolina home since attending both college and law school at Wake Forest University.  A devoted husband and father, Nick also enjoys serving and teaching in his church, hiking, and following politics and military history in his free time.


Nick is a frequent speaker at seminars and regularly presents webinars before workers’ compensation insurance carriers, employers and rehabilitation professionals on various topics such as Medicare legislation, return to work procedures, occupational diseases, burdens of proof, disability and case law updates. His recent speaking engagements and presentations include:

  • 2024 – “Workers’ Compensation Case Law Update” – Cranfill Sumner Legal Summit
  • 2023 – “Fundamental Elements of an Estate Plan, Part 2 – The Will” – Cranfill Conversations
  • 2023 – “Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives” – Cranfill Conversations
  • 2023 – “The Intoxication Defense” – Cranfill Conversations
  • 2022 – “Powers of Attorney and Guardianship” – Cranfill Conversations
  • 2022 – “Powers of Attorney and Guardianship – A Primer” – Cranfill Sumner Legal Summit
  • 2022 – “Worker’s Compensation Appellate Law ‘Moot Court'” – Cranfill Sumner Legal Summit
  • 2022 – “The Long and Winding Road” – Webinar
  • 2021 – “Life Isn’t Fair, but Average Weekly Wage Has to Be” – Webinar
  • 2021 – “2021 Workers’ Compensation Case Law Update” – Webinar
  • 2021 – “Ethical Considerations for Rehab Professionals in North Carolina” – Webinar
  • 2020 –  “North Carolina Claim Handling – Pre-Litigation and Litigation Issues for Lost Time Claims” – Webinar
  • 2020 –  “Navigating Ethical Issues” – Webinar
  • 2020 – “Triple Threat – The Characteristics of Injury by Accident, Specific Traumatic Incidents, and Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition Claims in North Carolina” – Webinar
  • 2020 – “The Injuries You Can’t See – Medical-Legal Issues for PTSD/Psychological Claims” – Webinar
  • 2019 – “What Should I Do Now? Mediation Issues and Dilemmas for Parties, Attorneys, and Mediators to Consider” – Webinar
  • 2019 – Presented at the Carolinas AGC HR and Safety Conference, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” and “Settlement Strategies, Clinchers, Resignations, Release Opportunities”
  • 2019 – “2019 Case Law Update: Examination of Recent Workers’ Compensation Cases, Rules, and Procedures” – Seminar

Articles and Publications


Most Recent Posts


Our Top 10 Resources of 2023

Throughout the year, Cranfill Sumner LLP’s attorneys work diligently to bring the most up-to-date information on North Carolina legal updates… Read More


Cranfill Sumner Hosts Mediation Webinar

Nick Valaoras hosted the Cranfill Sumner LLP webinar “Mediation in COVID and Post-COVID Era” on May 19. The webinar featured a discussion from panelists and mediators Collins Barwick and Amy Berry.… Read More


Cranfill Sumner Charlotte Volunteers at Men’s Shelter

Last week, members of the Charlotte office of Cranfill Sumner LLP recently served 300+ lunches at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness in the Charlotte Metro region.  The organization operates two shelters in Charlotte including more than 400 beds and also provides counseling and training to help occupants find employment and housing.… Read More


4ALL Statewide Service Day

paper people chain

Attorneys from the offices of Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) participated in the North Carolina Bar Association’s 11th Annual 4ALL Statewide Service Day on Friday, March 2.… Read More


Attorneys Speak at CLM Education Event

People watching a presentation

Nick Valaoras and Lee Poole, attorneys in the Charlotte office of Cranfill Sumner LLP, will be featured speakers at the 2015 Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Western North Carolina Chapter Educational and Networking Event. The event is scheduled for today at the Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge in Charlotte. Nick and Lee will be speaking on defense and settlement strategies for workers’ compensation and civil liability cases involving chronic pain management issues.… Read More