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
Post Office Box 33009, Raleigh, NC 27636-3009

Chris dedicates his practice to appeals in state and federal courts. Both clients and attorneys outside the Firm frequently rely on Chris to protect their interests when a case is appealed. 

Successful appeals don’t just happen—they require careful planning. Chris adds value to cases by providing appellate counseling to trial attorneys, helping to preserve and frame potential issues for appeal. By collaborating with trial counsel, Chris helps enhance the chances of a favorable outcome. 

Appellate lawyers are generalists. Chris has handled both civil and criminal appeals in a host of different substantive areas.  Whether it’s constitutional, patent, or utilities law, Chris has a rich history of managing complex appellate cases. His experience is not just broad, but also deep, especially in navigating the appellate procedure. From staying enforcement of judgments to litigating jurisdictional challenges, Chris’s grasp on the procedural elements is as strong as his strategic insight. 

Chris is familiar with North Carolina’s state and federal courts. Before joining Ward and Smith, Chris was a law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge G. Steven Agee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Since joining the firm, Chris has been certified as an appellate specialist, demonstrating his dedication to his craft. He is also 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*

  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Appellate, 2023-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch, Best Lawyers®, 2020-2024
  • "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, CLE Committee Chair; Appellate Section, Pro Bono Committee Chair; Appellate Rules Committee; Antitrust and Complex Business Disputes, YLD Liaison
  • North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program

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 2024
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234

Subscribe to Ward and Smith