If you need to seek damages or are involved in any form of a civil dispute that might proceed to court, you need skilled litigation attorneys who are experienced in the courtroom and skilled at arguing your case before a judge or jury. The reality of a litigation is serious preparation, followed by tenacious litigation as necessary. You need attorneys who knows the process and will be on your side. At Woodruff & Fortner we are experienced Smithfield litigation attorneys that will fight for your objectives each step of the way.

We handle a broad range of civil litigation issues for clients throughout the Johnston County area with straightforward litigation. Our leading litigation attorneys handle a variety of lawsuit filings and related issues, including:

  • Employment Disputes
  • Partnership or Shareholder disputes
  • Breach of contract
  • Intellectual Property
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Failure to account to shareholders and estates
  • Real estate transactions and severance actions
  • Probate and will contests
  • Divorce & Family Law Litigation


Business Litigation

When a dispute arises over the terms or execution of a business agreement, the matter can end up in civil court.  In some cases, substantial amounts of money are involved, and the energy and focus needed to address the matter can interfere with the operation of the company itself.

At Woodruff & Fortner our business litigation attorneys are experienced with the legal strategies that have helped many clients who have found themselves in similar situations:


Breach of Contract

If you are in business, it is safe to say that you have entered into some type of contract with another party, whether it be with clients, other businesses, suppliers, landlords, tenants, etc. Even though both parties sign the contract and purportedly agree to expectations and obligations, contracts are often breached. Breach of a contract usually causes financial losses and additional harm to companies, such as loss of a client’s trust or damage to reputation. If one party breaches a contract and a solution cannot be found, a legal claim may need to be filed to obtain the relief needed to rectify the situation. Such relief can potentially involve ordering the party to perform their duties under the contract and/or financial relief. Alternatively, if you are accused of breaching a contract, you will have to defend against these claims or potentially face costly liability.

Partnership or Shareholder Disputes –

Conflicts do not often arise between other businesses, but within a business itself. Disputes between owners can drain business resources and should be handled as effectively and efficiently as possible. The law sets out specific claims and defenses when it comes to conflicts involving allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty, self-dealing, and mismanagement of the company. There are also often complex contracts involved including operating or shareholder agreements.

Intellectual Property Conflicts

Trademarks, copyrights, patents, or trade secrets, are Intellectual property protections that provide a legal course of action if another party misappropriates your business’s intellectual property. Your business may be entitled to a court order preventing the offending party from using your intellectual property on top of recovery of monetary losses that resulted from the misappropriation.

Employment Disputes

Having employees is essential to most companies, though it also increases the potential for conflicts and disputes.  Employee disputes can include issues such as allegations of discrimination or harassment, wage and hour violations, and wrongful termination. Any business should effectively defend against any claims because such allegations as these can often result in legally-imposed penalties in addition to any liability your company faces.  However, if you believe that an employee or former employee has violated an employment contract, non-disclosure agreement, or agreement to refrain from using your trade secrets, you may bring an action against him or her to enforce the contract or seek damages.

Arbitration & Mediation


Woodruff & Fortner are here to represent you in court and will work closely with to prepare for trial.  Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant, hiring qualified business litigation attorneys like Woodruff & Fortner is crucial to achieve a successful outcome in your case.


Real Estate Litigation

Real estate sales or purchases can be some of the largest financial transactions many individuals will conduct. Commercial real estate development projects can be even riskier.


If a conflict does arise over some property, legal expenses can add up quickly. However, the attorneys at Woodruff & Fortner are here will you along the way to help you resolve and dispute quickly and efficiently.

At Woodruff & Fortner, our attorneys use their experience and knowledge of handling lawsuits involving a wide range of real estate disputes such as:

  • Title dispute issues impacting buyers, sellers or lenders
  • Boundary issues, including right of way or easements
  • Litigation related to homeowner associations
  • Industrial or commercial lease disputes
  • Breach of contract claims for a purchase/sale agreement
  • Adverse possession actions
  • Fraud, misrepresentation or nondisclosure disputes during a real estate transaction

Real estate law can be complex and may involve the actions and contractual responsibilities of numerous individuals including: lenders, mortgage companies, buyers, sellers, realtors, title companies and others.

No matter how complex nature of your case may be, the litigation attorneys will fight for a positive result on your behalf.


Divorce & Family Law Litigation

At Woodruff & Fortner, we understand the stress of issues involving divorce, adoption, or other domestic disputes. Any family law matter should try to resolve their differences through mediation, and going to trial should be a last resort.  However, in some cases issues cannot be settled out of court and having a strong litigation attorney on your side is a necessity.

Here are some reasons why divorces end up in litigation:

  • The couple cannot agree on child custody, child support or property division.
  • There is a history of domestic violence in the marriage, and the safety of the children is at stake.
  • One party is asking for far more — or willing to share far too little — of the marital estate than what is fair or equitable.
  • One party may be creating an unfair advantage for themselves by hiding assets or shutting off the other person's access to mutually held funds.

Having a strong litigation attorney at your side in these tough case shows that you will not be intimidated into agreements that are unfair or do not provide you with a positive future.

We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to represent you through the challenges of litigation. We will make it our mission to make the litigation process as painless as possible with providing honest legal counsel, prompt and regular communication, reasonable rates, and aggressive representation in court.


Probate Litigation

Losing a family member is painful enough, but in some cases surviving relatives can make it more difficult by not agreeing on the deceased person's final wishes. No matter how legally airtight things appear in a will or probate situation, disputes may arise from family members or financial instititions. A family member can come forward and claim to be a rightful beneficiary. An estate holder can die without leaving an updated will-leaving the probate judge to make unfavorable decisions. Trustees of family estates may fail in their fiduciary responsibility to gather assets or distribute them according to the terms of the trust.

At Woodfruff & Fortner we will help you distinguish between the types of legal action you'll need to take:

Will Contests:

  • Was the will executed under influence?
  • Was the Will not executed or signed properly
  • Did the person have the appropriate mental capacity to execute the will?

Fiduciary Litigation:

  • Did the corporate trustee cover financial bases upon the death of the estate holder?
  • Challenges to the estate administrator's execution of their fiduciary responsibilities
  • Tax apportionment disagreements
  • Disputes over jointly owned properties

Our Johnston County probate attorneys offer their many years of experience and knowledge of understanding probate case law at a depth not commonly found among estate planning law firms. If litigation is necessary, we will utilize our knowledge and experience to zealously safeguard your rights and interests efficiently and affordably

We are a Smithfield NC based law firm that offer services to meet your needs, focusing on your legal concerns so that you can devote your energy into making your business a success. In addition to our work at the trial court level, we also handle appellate work on your behalf, working tirelessly to get you the best possible results.

Reach out to us, Woodruff & Fortner (919) 934-4000