Donalt J. Eglinton

Retired Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
Post Office Box 867, New Bern, NC 28563-0867

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

Don's practice focuses primarily in the area of commercial litigation.  This includes, among other matters, disputes involving patent, trademark, and copyright infringement; trade secrets; covenants not to compete; franchise and license agreements; construction; organizational and business matters; and the purchase, sale, and warranty of goods.  He has represented parties in some of the most complex and contested trademark and copyright actions filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. 

Don also has represented parties in patent infringement actions filed in North Carolina, Texas, and California, and he has represented parties in cancellation proceedings before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. 

He is a speaker for the North Carolina Bar Foundation.


  • J.D., Wake Forest School of Law, 1982. Research Editor, Wake Forest Law Review.
  • M.A., Central Michigan University, 1980
  • B.E.D., magna cum laude, Texas A&M University, 1974

Representative Experience

  • Representation of a financial institution in a dispute involving architectural copyright infringement
  • Representation of a winery in a dispute involving claims of copyright infringement, conversion, and unfair trade practices
  • Representation of alcoholic beverage distributor regarding trademark infringement, unfair competition, and unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Representation of financial institution in a dispute involving patent infringement of a business methods patent
  • Representation of a corporation in a dispute involving trademark infringement and unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Representation of individuals in a Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Representation of a financial institution in an income tax challenge involving Market Discount Income
  • Representation of a transportation company regarding corporate governance and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Representation of a physician and inventor regarding breach of contract to pay royalties on medical device
  • Representation of a sign company in a dispute involving copyright infringement and unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Representation of a community college in a construction dispute involving asbestos abatement
  • Representation of a technology company regarding trademark infringement, unfair competition, and unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Representation of a medical device company in a dispute involving patent infringement on a medical device (Multi-District Litigation)
  • Representation of a hotel chain regarding trademark infringement, unfair competition, and unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Representation of an engineering company in a dispute involving patent royalties for mechanical devices
  • Representation of a financial institution in a commercial dispute involving breach of contract and an indemnification provision

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "The Best Lawyers in America," Best Lawyers®, 2009-2023
  • "Super Lawyer," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2011-2022
  • "Top 100: North Carolina Super Lawyer," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2021
  • "Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers®, 2014
  • Ironlawyer Award, 2013
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2012-2014
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America

        LCA Fellows   

Super Lawyers Logo                Best Lawyers Logo

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association — Sections: Business Law; Intellectual Property Law; Litigation; Tort Trial and Insurance Practice
  • American Institute of Architects
  • BarCares of North Carolina, Inc. (former board member)
  • Barrister, Order of Juris
  • Carolina Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Association, Inc.
  • Diversity Law Institute, Member
  • Eastern North Carolina Inn of Court
  • Federal Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Antitrust and Complex 
  • Business Disputes Law; Construction Law; Intellectual Property Law; 
  • Litigation
  • North Carolina State Bar (Board of Law Examiners, Select Drafting Committee; Bar Candidate Committee, Third Judicial District)
  • Trial Law Institute, Member

Admitted to Practice

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

About Me

I am provided each day with opportunity to represent clients who are confronted with important, challenging and interesting issues.  I take seriously the responsibility that comes along with the confidence placed in me by these clients.  I approach their issues with client-focus, commitment, integrity and professionalism.  Among the most rewarding parts of the privilege I have to represent clients for 35 years is the relationship I have developed with clients whose trust has been earned and tempered by time and experience.

* 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 2023

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