Joseph P. McGuire

Joe’s expertise ranges from contracts and intra-corporate conflict to torts, trade secrets, insurance and municipal matters. He focuses on contract disputes, municipal liability, shareholder rights, governance of limited liability companies, unfair and deceptive trade practices, insurance coverage, business fraud and property disputes. Joe helps his clients with business disputes that may be resolved through negotiation, mediation or litigation. He has more than 40 years of experience in the state and federal courts at both trial and appellate levels. The Joseph P. McGuire First Year Seminar on Critical Thinking at UNC-Chapel Hill is named for him.


  • Dismissal of claims for breach of employment contract and fraud.
  • Invalidation of an executive’s covenant not to compete.
  • Dismissal of claims for fraud and negligence by a prospective borrower.
  • Injunction prohibiting an associate’s interference with corporate operations.
  • Dismissal of defamation claims by a former employee.
  • Enforcement of a contract for the purchase of a commercial building.
  • Jury award exceeding $1,200,000 for the collapse of a building.
  • Injunction prohibiting wrongful sale of oil and gas interests.
  • Demolition of a residence built in violation of municipal requirements.


  • Draughon v. Smith, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20293 (E.D.N.C. 2021) (at-will employment agreement).
  • Taube v. Hooper, 2020 N.C. App. 201, 840 S.E.2d 313 (2020) (defamation).
  • Fortner v. Hornbuckle, 2017 N.C. App. LEXIS 721, 803 S.E.2d 869 (2017) (exclusion of evidence and jury instructions).
  • Fortner v. Hornbuckle, 235 N.C. App. 247, 761 S.E.2d 683 (2014) (decedent’s deeds as completed gifts).
  • Cebula v. Givens Estates, Inc., 763 S.E.2d 338, 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 766 (2014) (services agreement for retirement community).
  • Timber Integrated Investments, LLC v. Welch, 763 S.E.2d 17, 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 736 (2014) (enforcement of a settlement agreement).
  • Rutherford Plantation, LLC v. The Challenge Golf Group of the Carolinas, LLC, 367 N.C. 197, 753 S.E.2d 152 (2014) (application of the anti-deficiency statute).
  • Williams v. Humphreys, 2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 513, 744 S.E.2d 496 (2013) (physician’s negligence during surgery).
  • McClure v. County of Jackson, 185 N.C.App. 462,648 S.E.2d 546 (2007)(county’s liability for unlawful removal of chair of local airport authority).
  • Smith v. Jackson County Board of Education, 168 N.C.App. 452, 608 S.E.2d 399 (2005)(school board’s liability for coach’s misconduct with student).
  • VisionAir, Inc. v. James, 167 N.C.App. 504, 606 S.E.2d 359 (2004)(injunctive relief for misappropriation of computer trade secrets).
  • Layman v. Alexander, 343 F.Supp.2d 483 (W.D.N.C. 2004)(sheriff’s liability for detention officers’ indifference to arrestee’s medical needs).
  • Doyle v. Asheville Orthopedic Associates, 148 N.C.App. 173, 557 S.E.2d 577 (2001), rev. denied, 355 N.C. 348, 562 S.E.2d 278 (2002)(employer liability for constructive discharge of physician employee).
  • Millar v. Reliastar Life Ins. Co., 157 F.Supp.2d 645 (W.D.N.C. 2000)(arbitrability of insurance dispute).
  • Prentiss v. Allstate Ins. Co., 7 F.Supp.2d 514 (W.D.N.C. 1999)(constitutionality of provision of state driver incentive plan).
  • D’Alessandro v. Westall, 972 F.Supp. 965 (W.D.N.C. 1997)(municipal liability for high speed police pursuit).
  • Toms v. Lawyers Mutual Liab. Ins. Co., 104 N.C.App. 88, 408 S.E.2d 206 (1991), cert. denied, 330 N.C. 618, 412 S.E.2d 95 (1992)(insurer duty to defend under professional liability policy).
  • Mountain Federal Land Bank v. First Union National Bank, 98 N.C.App. 195, 390 S.E.2d 679, cert. denied, 327 N.C. 141, 394 S.E.2d 178 (1990)(enforceability of bank’s standby letter of credit).
  • Leasing Service Corp. v. Crane, 804 F.2d 828 (4th Cir. 1986)(well drilling company’s liabilities under equipment lease).
  • Stines v. Willyng, Inc., 81 N.C.App. 98, 344 S.E.2d 546 (1986)(enforceability of park easement described in developer’s plat).
  • Land-of-Sky Regional Council v. County of Henderson, 78 N.C.App. 86, 336 S.E.2d 653 (1985)(county’s liability for share of regional council’s budget).
  • Roberson v. Trupoint Bank, 2021 N.C. App. LEXIS 734 (2021) (claims by prospective borrower)




Joe’s community involvement includes participation with:

  • Lenoir-Rhyne University, Trustee
  • Blue Ridge Public Radio, Board Member
  • Leadership Asheville Forum, Board Member
  • Givens Estates, Board Vice Chair
  • Central United Methodist Church, Administrative Board Member, Teacher and Usher
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association, former Board Member
  • Harry C. Martin American Inn of Court, Former President


UNC-Chapel Hill (Morehead Scholar) (B.A., 1972)
Harvard Law School (Moot Court Finalist) (J.D., 1975)


North Carolina State Bar (1975)
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (1976)


Centennial Award from N.C. State Bar and Buncombe County Bar
Citizen Lawyer Award from N.C. State Bar
Distinguished Leadership Award from National Association of Community Leadership
Circle of Excellence Award from Leadership Asheville Forum
Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite (2016 – 2022)
Best Lawyers® in America, Commercial Litigation (2014 – 2022)
Best Lawyers® in America “Lawyer of the Year 2019” for Litigation – Real Estate in Asheville
North Carolina Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation (2006, 2010 – 2022)
North Carolina Super Lawyers®, Top 100 in N.C.
Martindale-Hubble Rated AV Preeminent Attorney

Get Smart Legal Today.