M. Charles Cloninger

P: 828.348.6019
F: 828.348.6077

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.

82 Patton Avenue, Suite 300
Asheville, NC 28801
Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 2020
Asheville, NC 28802-2020

Professional Experience

Mr. Cloninger's practice primarily focuses on a wide range of construction law matters.  He represents general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, architects, engineers, developers, and owners.  Mr. Cloninger drafts and negotiates contracts, helps clients deal with problems during the course of construction, and handles a variety of construction related litigation.  He regularly represents clients in state and federal courts and arbitration.

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 1982
  • All state and federal courts in North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2009


  • J.D., The University of North Carolina School of Law, 1982
  • A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1979

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association — Forum: Construction Industry
  • American Bar Association — Section: Litigation
  • Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Asheville Alumnus, Class V)
  • Asheville City Council (1995-2001; vice mayor 1999-2001)
  • Asheville Downtown Association (member, board of directors 1988-1994; chairman 1993-1994)
  • Asheville Home Builders Association (member, board of directors 2007-2013)
  • Asheville Humane Society (member, board of directors 2005-2009; chairman 2008-2009)
  • Asheville Parks and Greenways Foundation (founder and chairman 2000-2003)
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Western North Carolina (member, board of directors 2009-present; chairman 2011-2012; Big Brother 2008-2011)
  • Grove Arcade Public Market Foundation (vice chairman 1994-2002)
  • Junior Achievement of Western North Carolina (board member 2004-2008)
  • Leadership North Carolina Alumnus, Class I
  • Mountain Sports Festival (chairman 2002-2004)
  • National Parks Conservation Association (Southeast Regional Council, 2008-present; National Advisory Council, 2010-present)
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Construction; Litigation
  • North Carolina Construction Law Council (three time member)
  • North Carolina National Parks, Parkways and Forests Council (1993-2011; chairman 2000 and 2001)
  • Quality Forward (member, board of directors 1994-1996)
  • Riverlink (member, board of directors 1993-1997)
  • WCQS Public Radio (member, board of directors 2007-present; Chair 2013-present)

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; www.businessnc.com/legalelite; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.

Practice Groups

Practice Concentrations

  • Civil Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Construction Litigation