Richard T. Boyette is Of Counsel at the Raleigh office of Cranfill Sumner.  He has enjoyed a broad civil litigation practice throughout his career. Currently, Richard’s litigation practice focuses on defense of lawyers and other professionals, and product liability defense.

As outside general counsel to a commercial general contractor/developer, Richard provides representation in a range of issues that have included employment, construction and contract disputes, as well as  transactions involving such matters as entity formation, land acquisition and construction, and permanent financing.

Richard has been an active mediator since the early 1990s and today is a well-respected mediator. He has mediated over 1,600 disputes in a broad range of subject matters, including personal injury and wrongful death, contract, construction defect, employment relations, medical and other professional liability, product liability, medical device liability, insurance coverage, condemnation, intellectual property and stockbroker/customer disputes.

Richard has been active for many years in DRI, the Voice of the Defense Bar, which is the 22,000+ member national defense trial bar organization. He served as its president in 2004-2005.   At his urging, DRI established the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence, a charitable foundation having as its mission the education of state court judges.  In 2010, Richard received DRI’s Louis B. Potter Professional Service Award.  He also served as president of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys in 1990-91, and was the inaugural recipient of that organization’s Robert J. Elster Award for Professional Excellence in 2004.

Richard has been accorded the top AV® ranking by Martindale-Hubbell, a prestigious rating organization of the legal profession. In addition, he is regularly listed among the top lawyers in North Carolina by Best Lawyers in America® and NC Super Lawyers®.

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.


  • Successful “claims repair” avoiding malpractice action against attorney due to clerical error in designation of county in summons commencing personal injury action.
  • Obtained dismissal of invasion of privacy and trespass claims against attorneys arising from actions of private investigator hired by attorneys’ client.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of owner of land adjacent to railroad crossing in case alleging that client obstructed views of motorist who was struck by train at crossing.
  • Successful defense of big box retailer against charges of defamation, false imprisonment and malicious prosecutions arising from arrest of suspected looter for trespassing following destruction of store by tornado.
  • Defended insurer in case which established in North Carolina that sexual harassment is not an occurrence under the comprehensive general liability policy.
  • Obtained summary judgment for commercial real estate lawyer sued for malpractice in connection with representation of hotel developers.
  • Obtained dismissal of closing attorney from six related lawsuits arising from coastal real estate development.


  • Mediated efforts of developer to address concerns of neighborhood over planned commercial development.
  • Mediated series of mold claims arising from townhouse development.
  • Mediated multi-party $28 million estate dispute.
  • Mediated tax shelter investment fraud dispute.
  • Mediated series of territorial dispute between municipal power agencies and rural electric co-ops.

Articles, Presentations, and Publications

  • Trainer of other attorney mediators and a speaker at seminars on mediation and negotiation
  • Presentation to North Carolina Bar Association Construction Law Section on CGL coverage
  • Luncheon speaker on professionalism at joint professionalism seminar sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Presentation to American Legislative Exchange Council on Judicial Selection
  • Panelist for presentation entitled “Embracing ADR – Opportunities for Defense Lawyers” at the 2006 DRI annual meeting in San Francisco
  • Panelist for presentation entitled “Mediation, Arbitration, Litigation – Oh My!  What the Wizard Would Have Said About Implementing And Executing An Effective Plan For Conflict Resolution” at the 2011 IADC Corporate Counsel College in Chicago.
  • Panelist for presentation entitled “Buyer’s Remorse: The Plight of the Real Estate Professional” at the 2011 DRI Professional Liability Seminar in New York.
  • Mediation and negotiation presentation to staff attorneys of Legal Services of North Carolina, January, 2012.

For mediation inquiries, please contact Diane Manner.

Most Recent Posts


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


Richard Boyette Participates in Lawyers Mutual CLE Panel

Richard Boyette served as a featured speaker in a CLE event sponsored by Lawyers’ Mutual. Richard presented on a panel presentation entitled “This Case is Killing Me,” addressing the stresses of representing difficult clients and how to prevent those cases from evolving into a legal malpractice claim.… Read More


Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Assist in Bar Exam Interview Sessions

Several Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) attorneys assisted with interviews for the February 2019 bar exam session for the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners. Cranfill Sumner is committed to giving back to the legal community and is proud to support the NC State Bar admissions process.… Read More