Few people understand government and the courts the way Ripley Rand does. Prior to joining Womble Bond Dickinson, Ripley served for six years as one of the President’s United States Attorneys in North Carolina. In this role, Ripley supervised hundreds of investigations and prosecutions and coordinated with multiple law enforcement agencies on national and international matters, including terrorism cases, white collar criminal investigations, federal criminal defense, and violent crime intervention. Ripley also served for eight years as a state Superior Court Judge, presiding over thousands of criminal and civil cases throughout North Carolina. He was specially assigned to oversee complex civil cases by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and handled hundreds of matters involving business disputes.

With more than twenty years of combined prosecutorial and judicial experience, Ripley has a deep background in handling investigative and enforcement matters, crisis management issues, and devising successful strategies in dealing with law enforcement agencies such as DOJ, FBI, SEC, EPA, and others.

Since joining Womble Bond Dickinson, Ripley has represented a broad array of companies and individuals in criminal, civil, and regulatory matters involving complex fraud, antitrust, trade practice, federal criminal defense, and consumer protection actions. As one of the few lawyers with combined United States Attorney and judicial experience, Ripley offers unique insights into the way government agencies approach investigations and regulatory issues. He helps clients design response strategies that put them in the best possible position to obtain favorable outcomes or avoid litigation altogether.

Presentations and Publications

  • Rarely Pure and Never Simple: The Changing Legal Landscape of Search Warrants, North Carolina Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Annual Program (January 20, 2023)
  • DOJ Signals Expanded Use of Independent Monitors for Corporate Criminal Enforcement: Corporate Compliance Insights (June 8, 2022)
  • Year One of the Trump DOJ – A Statistical Overview: Association of Corporate Counsel Compliance and Ethics Network (2019)
  • Accentuate the Positive: Wake County Bar Flyer Focus On Professionalism (2018)
  • Forewarned is Forearmed: How To Be Prepared For When The Government Shows Up, North Carolina Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section Annual Meeting (2018)
  • Trump DOJ Asks 115 New Compliance Questions - You Might Have to Answer Them: Association of Corporate Counsel Compliance and Ethics Committee (2017)
  • Article Series on Trump’s United States Attorney Nominees (2017)
  • Bioterrorism, Communicable Disease, and the Courts: North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges (2003)
  • Practicing Health Law Before the Agencies and Courts: North Carolina Society of Health Care Attorneys Meeting (2005)
  • The New Criminal Discovery Rules: North Carolina Bar Association CLE and Conference of Superior Court Judges Education Sessions (2005-2006)
  • Guilty Pleas and Other Related Proceedings with Mentally Ill Defendants - Best Practices: North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges (2008)
  • Character and Habit Evidence: North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges and North Carolina Judicial College Advanced Evidence Seminar (2009); Various State Prosecutorial and Defense Counsel CLE Sessions (2009)
  • 404(b) Evidence: North Carolina Judicial College Advanced Evidence Seminar (2015)
  • Ethics and Professionalism: A View from the Courtroom: UNC Law's Festival of Legal Learning (2008-2016, 2018)
  • Domestic Violence Law in North Carolina: UNC Law's Festival of Legal Learning (2001)

Professional Activities

Current Member:

  • Member, National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA)
  • Member, American Society of Legal Writers
  • Wake County Bar Association (Board of Directors: 2006-2007; Professionalism Committee: 2002-present)
  • Criminal Justice Section Council, North Carolina Bar Association

Former Member:

  • North Carolina Bar Association Litigation Section Council
  • North Carolina Bar Association Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section Council
  • Education Committee, North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges
  • Wake County Justice Center Building Steering Committee
  • University of North Carolina Board of Visitors
  • University of North Carolina Law Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • Summit House of North Carolina Board of Directors
  • Wake County Criminal Justice Partnership Program Advisory Board
  • Wake County Drug Treatment Court Local Management Committee
  • North Carolina State Judicial Council Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Honors and Awards

  • Chambers USA Ranked Lawyer, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, North Carolina, 2022 – Present 
  • Recognized by North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society for pro bono work (2021)
  • Wake County Bar Association President's Award of Excellence (2008)
  • William T. Joyner Award for Most Outstanding Published Work, North Carolina Law Review (1995)
  • American Jurisprudence Award for Legal Research and Writing (1993)


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.

  • Managed multistate agency-specific response to federal and state investigations into national financial services business
  • Managed internal investigation and coordination with law enforcement on multimillion-dollar embezzlement from technology company
  • Represented national telecommunications company in contract dispute related to technical project services
  • Served as counsel to companies and individuals before a wide range of federal and state law enforcement agencies, including FBI, DOJ, SEC, DEA, EPA, and North Carolina SBI
  • As United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, personally prosecuted dozens of cases and was one of a handful of President Obama’s appointees to argue multiple cases in the federal courts of appeal
  • Presided over more than 150 criminal and civil jury trials in more than half of North Carolina’s 100 counties during his service as a judge, and tried hundreds of violent crime, fraud, and other cases as a North Carolina prosecutor.