Pat Flanagan currently serves as the Chair of the firm’s Municipalities & Public Entities Practice Group and Vice-Chair of the Employment Practice Group. Before joining Cranfill Sumner, Pat served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. He is a member of all United States District Courts in North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Litigating cases for almost 30 years, Pat focuses his practice on municipal law, civil rights and government liability defense, and the defense of employers, both public and private.  He also defends various types of premises liability claims and claims against homeowners associations, community management groups and non-profit organizations.

Pat has successfully defended public and private entities and individuals in numerous jury trials including wrongful termination; civil rights such as First Amendment, Fourth Amendment and excessive force; wrongful death; contract; defamation; breach of fiduciary duty; negligence; and premises liability. He follows through with his clients, in conjunction with the firm’s Appellate Group, when cases are appealed to the North Carolina and Federal Appellate Courts, and serves on the NCBA Appellate Practice Section.  In addition, he has handled innumerable administrative cases in the EEOC, NCDOL, USDOJ, ESC and NCOAH.

Pat regularly meets with Managers, Councils, and Boards as a trusted legal advisor.  Because he has significant depth and breadth of experience in his areas of expertise, including extensive jury trial experience, Pat sees the big legal picture quickly and provides his clients with actionable strategies to obtain the best outcome for them under the circumstances of each individual case.

Pat began his career with Cranfill Sumner in our Raleigh office and moved to the Charlotte office in 2002.  While he enjoyed working in Raleigh and down east, he and his family love life closer to the mountains. He can be found every day walking with his wife of 30 years Leslie and their dogs, or playing sports, running, skiing, and watching their favorite sports teams (especially the Carolina Hurricanes) with his three now grown (almost) children, Houghton, Laney, and Eliza.

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.

  • As lead counsel, successfully argued and obtained favorable reversals of Appellate decisions in two matters before the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Articles, Presentations, and Publications

  • “Litigation, Insurance & Immunities,” N.C. Municipal Attorneys Winter Conference, 2012
  • “Handling the Police Liability Claim,” National Business Institute, 2011
  • “Unemployment Compensation Update,” The Employers Association, 2011
  • Various public risk and training seminars, 2009 – 2011
  • “Free Speech Issues in the Workplace,” N.C. Municipal Attorneys, 2004
  • “Interplay between Workers’ Compensation, ADA, and FMLA,” N.C. Association of Educators, 2002
  • “Police Liability in North Carolina,” Lorman Seminar, 2002
  • “REDA Claims and Due Process Issues,” N.C. League of Municipalities Conference, 2001


Most Recent Posts

  News

Pat Flanagan Presents at Labor and Employment Law Seminar

On Oct. 30, Pat Flanagan spoke at the 36th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor & Employment Law Program, which was presented by the North Carolina Bar Association. The day-long webcast featured attorneys discussing a wide range of topics about labor and employment law.… Read More

  News

Paul Gessner Joins Cranfill Sumner Raleigh Office

Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) today announced that Paul Gessner has joined the firm’s Raleigh office as Of Counsel. Gessner will join the Municipalities and Public Entities Practice Group and the Employment Law Practice Group.… Read More

  News

Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Volunteer for Legal Aid Eviction Project

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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

  News

Pat Flanagan Joins NCADA Board of Directors

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Pat Flanagan, an attorney at Cranfill Sumner LLP, has been elected to the board of directors for the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA). Pat’s term begins in June 2020 and continues for three years.… Read More

  News

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