Jenna Fruechtenicht Butler

Litigation Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
910.794.4829 Fax 910.794.4877
Post Office Box 7068, Wilmington, NC 28406-7068

Jenna's practice experience encompasses various areas of complex civil litigation in both the federal and state courts.  She advises clients and litigates cases involving all forms of commercial disputes, including contract breaches, business disputes, fraud, and securities litigation. Her practice also involves various forms of trusts and estates litigation, including will caveats and other estate litigation, trusts disputes and modifications, and other fiduciary duty litigation. 

Prior to joining the firm, Jenna practiced in Atlanta, Georgia, and from 1995 to 1996, served as a law clerk to the Honorable Malcolm J. Howard, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina.


  • J.D., cum laude, Wake Forest School of Law, 1995. Moot Court Board, Notes and Comments Editor, Wake Forest Law Review.
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Wake Forest University, 1992

Representative Experience

  • Successful representation of a national company in a nine-year multi-million dollar non-compete case
  • Successful representation of a trustee against attempts to undo a multi-million dollar trust
  • Successful representation of clients defrauded of financial investments by a family member
  • Successful representation of an employee against allegations of trade secret misappropriation

Honors and Distinctions*

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers®, 2010-2024
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Antitrust, 2023
  • "Super Lawyer," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2006-2011
  • "Super Lawyer," North Carolina Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women, 2008-2009

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Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Fifth Judicial District Bar Association (past president)
  • Judicial Conference of the Fourth Circuit (member)
  • National Charity League
  • New Hanover County Bar Association (past president)
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Law (past section council chair); Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law; Litigation
  • North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (Local Civil Rules Committee member)

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 1996
  • Georgia, 1996
  • All state courts in Georgia
  • All state courts in North Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia
  • United States Supreme Court

About Me

I am the fourth generation of lawyers in my family.  My great grandfather started the Fruechtenicht Law Office in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1904 and my grandfather and father followed in his footsteps.  I highly admired both my grandfather and father and grew up watching them practice their profession with intelligence, diligence, and compassion.  I worked with my father the summer before my senior year of college and saw how many people he helped on a daily basis.  He also let me go to the courthouse and sit in on trials and hearings, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  That summer led me to apply to law school and to pursue the practice in which I am now engaged.  

* 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
  • 2024 Chambers USA

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