Michael J. Parrish

Litigation Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
252.672.5411 Fax 252.672.5477
Email mjp@wardandsmith.com
Post Office Box 867, New Bern, NC 28563-0867

Michael is a civil litigator with a diverse practice before various federal and state courts, including bankruptcy courts and the North Carolina Business Court. He has significant experience at all stages of litigation in cases involving a broad range of commercial, organizational and business, contract, landlordtenant, collections, trusts and estates, tax, and bankruptcy issues. Michael also frequently handles appellate matters in those areas. He finds creative strategies to assist his clients in pursuing their goals through the court system and through alternative means for dispute resolution.

Education

  • J.D., magna cum laude, Wake Forest School of Law, 2008.  Wake Forest Law Review.  Order of the Coif, Moot Court, Honor Council, Recipient—James B. Taylor, Jr. Scholarship.
  • B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004

Representative Experience

  • Represented landlord before North Carolina Supreme Court resulting in landmark decision in housing law
  • Represented plaintiff in commercial lease dispute with landlord involving accelerated rent damages in excess of $20 million
  • Obtained dismissal of complaint filed against client by bankruptcy trustee seeking to recoup in excess of $5 million from client
  • Obtained favorable trial verdict in favor of plaintiff and against insurance company on claims of payment under flood policy and unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Represented various public housing authorities and other landlords in all stages of eviction matters involving drug-related criminal activity, failure to pay rent, and other lease violations
  • Obtained judgment in favor of lender in case involving impact of forged instruments on lender's interest in real estate collateral
  • Recovered more than $10 million in tax refunds owed to failed banks for the benefit of Federal deposit insurance agency
  • Obtained judgment that lender client's collateral rights in valuable equipment were superior to competing lenders

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "Under 40 Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2017, 2018
  • "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2013-2018
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2015-2016

    Super Lawyers Logo

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Chi Psi Fraternity (Alpha Sigma) (Alumni Advisory Board)
  • Eastern North Carolina Inn of Court
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Habitat for Humanity of Craven County (board member)
  • New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Craven Alumnus, Class of 2011; member, Young Professionals Group)
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Committee: Citizen Lawyer
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Section: Litigation

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2008
  • 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

About Me

"In All Things Excellence"

This motto was written above the doorway to the dining hall in my fraternity house.  I now have it printed above the telephone in my office, and do my best to live up to it.

I admire the trust my clients place in me and my partners to handle significant matters affecting their business interests and lives.  The best thing about Ward and Smith is our commitment to teamwork.  This commitment means that my partners often call on me to assist with interesting matters, and they are always available to share their unique and diverse legal expertise with me.

One surprising thing people don't know about me is that when I am not working, I'm usually squeezing in a few holes of golf, working hard to entertain two young children, looking for fun new recipes to try, or working in my yard.

My family and I chose to live in New Bern because it has a small-town feel, a great downtown, access to two rivers, and is just a short trip to the beach.

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.

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.