An attack on your reputation is personal. That’s why the attorneys in our Professional Liability Practice Group believe in aggressive representation with a personal touch, working hand-in-hand with you to defend your professional reputation and restore your good name. We consider our client-professional a member of the defense team, and we will keep you involved in defense and resolution strategy throughout our representation.

What We Do

We represent professionals facing disciplinary actions before licensing boards as well as those facing malpractice and errors and omissions (E&O) claims and lawsuits in the following fields:

  • Law
  • Accounting
  • Construction
  • Real Estate
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Land Surveying
  • Insurance
  • Appraisal
  • Directors & Officers
  • Miscellaneous professional liability including Federal Debt Collection Practices Act defense, Homeowners Association litigation and Employment Practices Liability (see our Employment Law practice group page here).  

Our dedication to our clients includes counseling our professional clients on their ethical obligations and – if a mistake is made – assisting those clients in determining if the error can be corrected or the damage lessened and a claim or lawsuit avoided.

Cranfill Sumner LLP is also an active member of PLAN (Professional Liability Attorneys Network), which is a national organization of law firms with significant Professional Lines and Financial Lines insurance practices.

Our Experience

Led by seasoned trial lawyers, co-chairs Ryan Bolick and Melody Jolly, our team of veteran attorneys brings experience, instinct and vision to your case. When you come to Cranfill Sumner LLP to fight for your professional livelihood, you get:

  • Substantial experience counseling professionals in claims repair, subpoena assistance and pre-suit mitigation.
  • Counsel with vast experience in representing clients in Superior Court and before NC state licensing boards in connection with grievance and disciplinary proceedings.
  • Decades of experience in the field, allowing us to find resolution through mediation, arbitration, summary judgment, outright dismissal, or favorable settlement whenever possible.
  • Extensive litigation skills—i.e., we’re ready to go further and do what’s necessary to effectively defend your case.
  • A commitment to a results-oriented, cost-effective strategy.

Contact A Professional Liability Attorney

The Professional Liability Practice Group spans all of North Carolina from our offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington. To contact an attorney, call Ryan Bolick in our Charlotte office, Richard Boyette in our Raleigh office, or Melody Jolly in our Wilmington office.

For Healthcare Professionals:

For information on our representation of physicians and other healthcare professionals facing claims of negligence or substandard care, please visit our Medical Malpractice Practice Group.

Most Recent Posts


Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Present PLAN Webinar

Ryan Bolick and Melody Jolly presented the Nov. 8 webinar “The Best Legal Malpractice Defense is a Good Offense: Strategies for Success in the ‘Case Within a Case,’ an Often-overlooked Prerequisite to Legal Malpractice Liability.”… Read More


Stephanie Romano Joins Cranfill Sumner LLP

Cranfill Sumner LLP today announced that Stephanie Romano has joined the firm’s Wilmington office as an associate attorney. She focuses her practice in professional liability, community association law, and personal injury.… Read More


Melody Jolly Honored with 2022 Leaders in the Law Award

Melody Jolly was recently honored as a member of the North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law Class of 2022.  North Carolina Lawyers Weekly presents this peer-nominated award annually to honor legal professionals licensed and practicing law in the state of North Carolina who have gone above and beyond in their profession and their community. These honorees represent the most influential individuals within the state’s legal community.… 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


Laura Dean and Melody Jolly Serve as Leaders at the 2020 DRI Professional Liability Seminar

DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Laura Dean helped spearhead the planning and implementation of the 2020 Virtual DRI Professional Liability Seminar, which was held on Dec. 2, 2020. Originally slated as an in-person event in New York City, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a change in plans. The 2020 Virtual Professional Liability Program featured prominent attorneys and industry leaders from across the county. Laura served as Vice-Chair of the Program and will serve as the Program Chair in 2021. … Read More


Ashley Coghill Joins Cranfill Sumner Wilmington Office

Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) today announced that Ashley Coghill has joined the firm’s Wilmington office as an associate attorney. Coghill focuses her civil litigation practice on Professional Liability, Admiralty & Maritime, and Construction Law.… 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


Laura Dean to Serve as Program Vice-Chair of DRI Committee

DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Laura Dean has been selected to serve as the DRI Professional Liability Committee’s Program Vice-Chair. In this role, she will work with the Program Chair and other steering committee members to plan and host the Committee’s annual December seminar in New York City. The seminar is attended by respected colleagues, clients and other Professional Liability professionals.   … Read More


Melody Jolly Highlighted in For the Defense

DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Melody Jolly, an attorney at Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner), was highlighted in the April edition of For the Defense, a publication of DRI. The April edition featured articles from several substantive law committees, including the Professional Liability Committee, for which Melody currently serves as Chair. Melody’s article, “From the Chair: Attorney and Counselor at Law,” discusses how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted her role as an attorney and underscores the DRI Professional Liability Committee’s commitment to the well-being of its members, clients and the industry as a whole.… Read More


Ryan Bolick Featured in For the Defense

DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Ryan Bolick, a Partner at Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner), was featured in the April edition of For the Defense. Ryan’s article, “Considerations for Pre-Suit Resolution of Professional Liability Claims,” examines creative ways to handle professional liability claims while avoiding lawsuits and protecting a client’s reputation.  Ryan presented this topic along with Roseanne DeBellis of Great American Insurance Company and Mark Scruggs of NC Lawyers Mutual, at the DRI Professional Liability Conference in NYC in December 2019. … Read More


Melody Jolly Presents at Risk Management CLE Series

Melody Jolly | Professional Liability Attorney Wilmington NC

Melody Jolly was a featured speaker at recent risk management CLE events held by Lawyers Mutual. Melody, along with Claire Modlin – VP of Claims at Lawyers Mutual, discussed best practices for client engagement and disengagement in a segment entitled, “This Case is Killing Me!”… Read More


Ryan Bolick Presents at Risk Management CLE Series

Ryan Bolick served as a featured speaker in a CLE event sponsored by Lawyers’ Mutual. Ryan 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


Melody Jolly Appointed Chair of the DRI Professional Liability Committee


Melody Jolly, a Partner in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner), has been appointed the Chair of the DRI Professional Liability Committee for 2019-2020. She previously served two terms as the Committee’s Vice Chair and has served in an active leadership role with the Committee since 2009. She also frequently presents on professional liability topics at DRI and other seminars.… Read More


Melody Jolly and Patrick Mincey Recognized by Benchmark 40 & Under 2019 Hot List

Close up of star awards

Melody Jolly and Patrick Mincey, attorneys in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner LLP, were recently recognized among the Benchmark 40 & Under 2019 Hot List. The list recognizes law firm partners in the United States and Canada who are accomplished in their practice areas. Benchmark compiles the list based on several phases of research, including a review of candidates’ recent case work, peer review, and client feedback on their performance.… 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


Josh Hiller Joins Cranfill Sumner Raleigh Office

Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) today announced that Josh Hiller has joined its Raleigh office in an Of Counsel role. He will focus his practice in the area of Business Disputes & Litigation and Professional Liability, Defense.… Read More


Melody Jolly to Present at DRI Professional Liability Conference

DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Melody Jolly, Co-Chair of the Professional Liability Practice Group at Cranfill Sumner LLP, will present at the 2018 Professional Liability Seminar offered by DRI. Melody’s presentation is entitled “When Iron Rod Found Conflicts with Iron Rod Set: Liability of Land Surveyors” and will occur on Nov. 29.… Read More


Melody Jolly to Speak at International DRI Seminar

Keyboard with an "information" button instead of "enter" button

On June 14, Melody Jolly will speak at the DRI Hot Topics in International Dispute Resolution seminar. Melody will serve on a panel discussion entitled “Even Homer Nods: What to Look out for in Professional Indemnity Claims.”… Read More


Melody Jolly Selected to Join IADC

Melody Jolly, a partner based in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner), has been selected to join the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC).… Read More


Rebecca Knudson Joins Cranfill Sumner Wilmington Office

Rebecca Knudsen

Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) announced today that Rebecca Knudson has joined the firm’s Wilmington office as an Of Counsel Attorney. Knudson will focus her practice on construction law, civil litigation, business law, professional liability, and community association law. … Read More


Melody Jolly to Speak at DRI Annual Meeting

DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Melody Jolly will present at the Lawyers’ Professionalism and Ethics Committee and Professional Liability Committee joint-CLE during the DRI Annual Meeting in Boston. Melody, an attorney in Cranfill Sumner LLP’s Wilmington office, will participate in the panel discussion entitled, “I Made a Mistake! What Now? Don’t Make It Worse!” on Oct. 21. Melody is also the Annual Meeting Chair for the Professional Liability Committee.… Read More


Ryan Bolick Appointed to Lake Norman SHRM Board

Conference room

Ryan Bolick, Vice Chair of the Professional Liability Practice Group at Cranfill Sumner LLP, was recently appointed to serve on the board of directors of the Lake Norman Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).… Read More


Richard Boyette Selected As Lawyer of the Year For 2015 Leaders in the Law List

Richard Boyette | Raleigh Attorney Cranfill Sumner

Richard Boyette, an attorney in the Raleigh office of Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner), has been selected as the 2015 Lawyer of the Year byNorth Carolina Lawyers Weekly, in connection with its Leaders in the Law program, co-sponsored by Elon University School of Law, which honors legal professionals who excel in their profession and community involvement.… Read More


Richard Boyette Appointed to New Law and Justice Commission

Richard Boyette | Raleigh Attorney Cranfill Sumner

Richard Boyette, Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution, Products Liability and Professional Liability Practice Groups at Cranfill Sumner LLP, has been appointed to the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ). Richard was appointed by Chief Justice Mark Martin, who is convening the commission.… Read More


Ryan Bolick Appointed to MCB Grievance Committee

Wooden gavel from the court and old law books reflected on white background

Ryan Bolick, Vice-Chair of the Professional Liability Practice Group at Cranfill Sumner LLP, was recently appointed to serve on the Grievance & Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the Mecklenburg County Bar.… Read More


Bolick Obtains Pretrial Dismissal for Attorney Facing Malpractice Claim

Case Results for NC Law

Ryan Bolick obtained a pretrial voluntary dismissal from Plaintiff Title Insurance Company for claims of legal malpractice against client attorney. Mr. Bolick discovered that the co-Defendant borrower had attempted to commit fraud by providing a loan number to her closing attorney that did not correspond to the property she was refinancing.… Read More