Douglas is a litigator focused on two areas of practice: estate, trust and guardianship litigation and eminent domain matters. His ability and desire to work towards win/win solutions for his clients has enabled him to reach successful outcomes in both areas.
ESTATE, TRUST AND GUARDIANSHIP LITIGATION
In Douglas’ estate, trust, and guardianship cases, he has extensive experience involving disputes that arise both while relatives are making estate choices, and after loved ones have passed away. The understanding that estate matters are often highly personal and emotional for clients is never far from his mind. It is his goal to remain sensitive to these issues while being an aggressive advocate for those he represents.
Douglas has handled a variety of matters including will contests, IRA beneficiary designation changes, and pension plan, beneficiary changes, gifts made during life, and disputed deeds to property.
ESTATE, TRUST AND GUARDIANSHIP LITIGATION EXPERIENCE:
- Recovered over $100,000 in funds from an IRA for a surviving spouse when a beneficiary designation was changed at the end of her husband’s life.
- Recovered real estate property for a client after his father executed a deed to a third party while he was suffering from memory issues.
- Successfully defended a client (who was her father’s caretaker) in a case initiated by her siblings after she inherited the bulk of her father’s estate following his death.
- Successfully petitioned for a client to be appointed guardian of his elderly mother after discovering his sibling was removing funds from the mother’s accounts.
- Successfully defended against an attack on a will written by an elderly person which favored a long-time close friend/caregiver over an estranged child.
In Douglas’ eminent domain and condemnation practice, he has extensive experience involving property takings, road widenings and other eminent domain projects that can affect a commercial structure, site access, traffic flow, parking and ultimately business success.
EMINENT DOMAIN EXPERIENCE:
Douglas handles all types of eminent domain projects, which often involve multiple and varied issues. He has been able to successfully advocate for redesign of projects, including in one situation keeping an access point open which the state Department of Transportation was going to close, which in turn allowed the store to remain open. He has also handled personal property and sign relocation issues. And most importantly, he is a strong advocate in obtaining maximum compensation for his clients, considering all damages to the site.
SPEAKING AND PUBLICATIONS
Douglas recently presented a continuing education program to other North Carolina attorneys entitled “Probate Disputes and Litigation.” In addition, he authored the materials for a lecture given at the North Carolina Bar Association’s Annual Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Program in 2013 entitled “How to Navigate a Fiduciary Litigation Case.” He has also written several articles including “Fighting Wal-Mart: The Future of Combined Reporting in North Carolina” which was published in State Tax Notes, a publication of Tax Analysts; and he co-authored “State HHS v. Thompkins: No Time Limit on Medicaid Claims?” which was published in The Will and the Way.
EDUCATION AND MEMBERSHIPS
Douglas is a native of Apex, North Carolina and received his B.A. in 2007 from Davidson College where he was recognized with the Thomas D. Sparrow award for intercollegiate athletic and campus leadership. In 2010, he received his J.D. from the George Washington University. He is active in promoting charitable activities in the community and serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Chapter of the ALS Association and was the past President of the Board for the Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum in downtown Raleigh.
Business North Carolina Legal Elite (2020)