With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees. — Dedication to the unsung craftsmen who built the grand cathedrals of Europe

Alan Duncan gives of himself to clients, to our profession, and to our community. He is a great counselor and advocate to his clients. He served on the Guilford County Board of Education for 18 years (16 as Chair).  He is presently serving as Vice-Chair of the North Carolina Board of Education, and on several other education-related boards and task forces.  He is a Past President of the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. Alan serves with tremendous dedication and effect. But he would be unlikely to discuss his many achievements. Among things that Alan holds dear is the requirement to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly. Alan walks with great humility and never calls attention to himself. He builds great things, even when no one sees.

With 40 years of litigation experience, Alan has done everything in a courtroom. He has represented both businesses and individuals in complex and meaningful matters in most every subject matter. He has argued dozens of times in federal and state appellate court.  Regardless of the type of case or the type of client, from the largest business to a pro bono matter, Alan always remembers that each case, regardless of size, is the most important to that client.

Respected as one of the best lawyers in North Carolina, Alan has achieved significant distinctions in his profession and his community. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is recognized as one of the “Top 10” lawyers by North Carolina Super Lawyers. The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.) lists Alan in eight categories, including Bet-the-Company litigation. He was awarded in 2008 the J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellency, the highest honor given to a member by the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. In 2011, the Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association awarded to Alan the Advocate’s Award, which is its highest honor. In 2012 and in recognition of his leadership and commitment to community, Alan received the “Unsung Hero” award from the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation. He has received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award for community service twice—once when graduating from Davidson College in 1976 and again from Guilford College in 2005. He was part of the inaugural group recognized by the North Carolina Bar Association with its Citizen Lawyer Award in 2007.  He was awarded the Lake Family Award for service to the profession and community by the North Carolina Bar Association.


Education & Academic Honors

Education
  • A.B., cum laude, Davidson College, 1976
  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1979
Academic Honors
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Executive Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review

Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1979
  • United States District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, 1979
  • United States District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 1980
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 1980
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1983
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1998
  • United States Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, 1989
  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2018
  • United States Supreme Court, 1984

Professional Memberships & Leadership

  • Past President, North Carolina Bar Association
  • Past Member, Board of Governors, North Carolina Bar Association
  • Past President, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • Past Chair, Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association House of Delegates
  • American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section
  • American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section
  • American Bar Association Forum on Air & Space Law
  • American Bar Association Franchise Law Section
  • American Bar Association Litigation Section
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Greensboro Bar Association

Achievements

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • NCBA Lake Family Award for Service, 2015
  • NCBA Litigation Section Advocate Award, 2011
  • The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys’ J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence, 2008
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.), Commercial Litigation, First Amendment Law, Personal Injury Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Medical Malpractice Law, Litigation-Intellectual Property (2012), Litigation-Municipal (2012), Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants (2012)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Listed Business Litigation, and as one of the “Top 100” attorneys in North Carolina (2006-2014), and “Top 10” for North Carolina (2018).
  • Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, Business Law (2003), Litigation (2002-2004, 2006-2008, 2010, 2013-2018), Antitrust Law (2011-2013), Intellectual Property Law (2011)
  • Recognized by Chambers and Partners, USA, as one of North Carolina Leaders, Litigation, 2006-2009, General Commercial Litigation, 2010-2012, 2014-2018
  • Selected by his peers as Greensboro Best Lawyers Personal Injury Litigation Lawyer of the Year (Copyright 2009 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.)
  • Selected by his peers as Greensboro Best Lawyers Medical Malpractice Law Lawyer of the Year (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.)
  • NCBA Centennial Award for Service, 2009
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s top (“AV”) Peer Review Rating *
  • *CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure’s standards and policies.

Civic & Community Service

  • Chairman, Guilford County Board of Education (2002-2018), Member (2000-2002)
  • Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Davidson College, 1976
  • Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Guilford College, 2005
  • NCBA Citizen Lawyer Award, 2007
  • The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation “Unsung Hero” 2012
  • Vice-Chair, North Carolina State Board of Education, Member for Piedmont Triad Region (District 5)
  • Member, North Carolina Task Force for Safer Schools
  • Member, North Carolina Governor’s Commission on Access to a Sound, Basic Education
  • Board of Visitors, Davidson College

Presentations & Publications

  • Need for Diversity in the Legal Profession, North Carolina Chapter of the Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, CLE Speaker, March 2018.
  • Sex, Lies & Backup Tapes: A Discussion of Ethics from an Out-of-the-Box Practice, Greensboro Bar Association, CLE Speaker, January 2015
  • Ethics on Trial, Greensboro Bar Association CLE, February 2014
  • The John Edwards Trial, North Carolina Bar Association CLE, May 2013
  • Ethics in Pre-Trial Procedure, North Carolina Bar Association CLE, February 2013 Guilford County
  • The John Edwards Trial and More, Charlotte Bar Association, January 2013
  • Inside the John Edwards Trial, Greensboro Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys CLE, November 2012
  • Alan also speaks regularly to community groups and professional groups in his roles with the Board of Education and the North Carolina Bar Association