Chris S. Edwards

North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice
Ward and Smith, P.A.
910.794.4867 Fax 910.794.4877
Post Office Box 7068, Wilmington, NC 28406-7068

Chris is an appellate attorney who focuses his practice on complex legal issues in both federal and state courts of appeals. A North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice, Chris has handled both civil and criminal appeals raising a wide variety of legal issues.  To take a few examples, he has handled appeals in constitutional litigation, child custody litigation, employment litigation, equitable distribution litigation, estate litigation, municipal litigation, patent litigation, personal injury litigation, tax litigation, trade secrets litigation, and unfair competition litigation. All told, since joining the firm in 2018, Chris has presented more than a dozen oral arguments in state and federal courts, and he has been the primary author of more than 30 appellate briefs. 

As an appellate attorney, Chris also works with trial counsel before a final judgment has been entered. In this capacity, he drafts and argues significant motions, consults on legal strategy, and works to set the case up for a successful appeal. 

Before joining Ward and Smith, Chris was a law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge G. Steven Agee of the Fourth Circuit and U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan of the Eastern District of North Carolina. Outside of the firm, Chris is an active member of the appellate bar, administering the N.C. Bar Association’s Appellate Pro Bono Program and serving on its Appellate Rules Committee.


  • J.D., magna cum laude, Wake Forest University School of Law, 2014; Order of the Coif; Wake Forest Law Review
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Wake Forest University, 2011

Representative Experience

Honors and Distinctions*

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch, Best Lawyers®, 2020-2024
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Appellate, 2023
  • "40 & Under List," Benchmark Litigation, 2022, 2023
  • "Legal Elite," Young Guns, Business North Carolina, 2022
  • Leadership Wilmington, Class of 2020
  • Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout
  • NC Attorney Pro Bono Honor Society Inductee, NC Pro Bono Resource Center, 2021, 2020
  • North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice

Legal EliteOnes to Watch badge

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Fourth Circuit's Criminal Justice Act Appellate Panel
  • North Carolina Bar Association—Appellate Section, Pro Bono Committee Chair; Young Lawyers Division, Executive Council; Appellate Rules Committee; Antitrust and Complex Business Disputes, YLD Liaison
  • North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program
  • Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2014
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina, 2018
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2017
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2021

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions:;; and

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.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2021
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234

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