Mary Craven Adams is a litigator and an entertainment lawyer. She has more than 25 years of experience in federal and state court and focuses her practice in the areas of complex civil litigation (with a focus in employment litigation and representing public officials), and entertainment law. Certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Committee as a Superior Court mediator, she also has a deep appreciation of the potential benefits of alternative dispute resolution and is recognized for her proven ability to structure creative solutions to difficult problems. 

Her past litigation experience runs the gamut from pharmaceutical litigation to shareholder disputes, employee defections, litigation involving non-compete agreements, trade secrets, business valuation, complex medical malpractice defense, and business torts.

Representative Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Lead trial counsel representing multiple employers in the defense of discrimination and retaliation claims, with a solid history of multiple wins at the federal district court level affirmed by the Fourth Circuit.
  • Lead trial counsel in successfully defending an employer in a whistleblower action on an issue of first impression, affirmed by the NC Court of Appeals.
  • Lead trial counsel in multiple cases involving non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.
  • Lead counsel in shareholder litigation involving a closely held furniture manufacturer.

Professional & Civic Engagement

  • North Carolina Bar Association, Sport and Entertainment Law Section, Council member, 2023 - Present 
  • Piedmont Triad Film Commission, Board Member, Executive Committee, 2015 – Present
  • Junior League of Winston-Salem, Inc., Sustainer, 2004 – Present
  • River Run Film Festival (Board Member 2016-2017; Executive Committe Vice President 2018-2020; Board Chair, 2020 – 2022)
  • N.C. State Bar, Board of Specialization, 2014 – 2020 
  • Insight: Winston-Salem, Class of 2020
  • Leadership Winston Salem, Class of 2013
  • Domestic Violence Advocacy Center, Volunteer, 2001 – 2012 
  • Forsyth County Bar Association and 21st Judicial District, President, 2011 – 2012; Vice President/President Elect, 2010 – 2011; Treasurer, 2009 – 2010  
  • Family Forum, Editor, 2004 – 2005 
  • North Carolina Bar Association Family Forum, Assistant Editor, 2003 – 2004 
  • SCAN/Exchange United Way, Board and Executive Committee Member, 1998 – 2004 
  • 21st Judicial District Ethics and Grievance Committee, Member 1999 – 2002  
  • Wake Forest Clinical Program, Supervising Attorney, Adjunct, Spring 2000
  • National Black Theatre Festival, Volunteer in Placements
  • NCLANC, Lawyer on the Line, Volunteer

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Family Law, Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law, Litigation – Health Care, 2010 – Present 
  • Super Lawyers Honoree, North Carolina, North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thompson Reuters) (2012-2024)