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. Representative clients include The City of Asheville and Buncombe County. The Joseph P. McGuire First Year Seminar on Critical Thinking at UNC-Chapel Hill is named for him.

Client Successes

  • Received a jury award and compensation exceeding $1,200,000 for the collapse of a building
  • Granted an injunction against the wrongful sale of oil and gas interests
  • Granted an injunction against a partner’s interference with company operations
  • Gained judicial invalidation of a covenant not to compete with a former employer
  • Gained dismissal of claims for adverse possession of mountaintop tract
  • Granted dismissal of claims of fraud against a senior care center
  • Negotiated the settlement of wrongful death claims in mediation

Appellate Decisions

  • Taube v. Hooper, 2020 N.C. App. LEXIS 201 (2020) (defamation by municipal officials).
  • 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).

Community Service

Joe’s community involvement includes participation with:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association, former Board Member
  • 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
  • Harry C. Martin American Inn of Court, Former President


North Carolina State Bar (1975)

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


UNC-Chapel Hill (Morehead Scholar) (B.A., 1972)

Harvard Law School (Moot Court Finalist) (J.D., 1975)


The Centennial Award given jointly from the N.C. State Bar and 28th Judicial District 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

Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2014 - 2020)

Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year 2019" for Litigation - Real Estate in Asheville

North Carolina Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation

North Carolina Super Lawyers®, Top 100 in N.C.

Martindale-Hubble Rated AV Preeminent Attorney