W. Daniel Martin, III

Retired Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
Post Office Box 7068, Wilmington, NC 28406-7068

After a distinguished legal career, Dan retired from the firm's law practice in the winter of 2022.

Dan's practice experience encompasses the entire range of real estate development, commercial real estate, community association, financing, and general business transactions.  He regularly works with, and provides legal services to, commercial lending institutions, developers, individuals, and other entities regarding the acquisition, financing, refinancing, purchase, and sale of commercial properties, including retail business properties, and the development of unimproved real estate. 

Dan has published various articles regarding real estate and related business issues and served on the North Carolina Bar Association committee which drafted the North Carolina Planned Community Act.  He also regularly participates as a speaker and panelist for continuing legal education programs sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association, the Community Associations Institute, and other private and civic groups. 

Don currently serves on the board of directors of Wilmington Industrial Development, Inc., also known as The Wilmington Committee of 100.


  • J.D., The University of North Carolina School of Law, 1973
  • B.A., North Carolina State University, 1969

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Community Associations Institute
  • North Carolina Bar Association - Division: Senior Lawyers
  • North Carolina Bar Association - Section: Real Property

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 1973
  • All state courts in North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

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

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