Tom Segars helps individuals and entities litigate significant and complicated business disputes. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of business cases that range from fraud claims to embezzlement investigations to corporate governance conflicts to intellectual property disputes. He also represents clients in civil rights litigation, construction disputes, and insurance coverage matters.
A significant portion of Mr. Segars’s cases arise from the departure and subsequent competition of key employees, officers, business partners, and/or sellers of businesses. Mr. Segars has litigated many so-called “departing employee” cases that involve bids for emergency injunctive relief, expedited forensic discovery, covenants not to compete or solicit, tortious interference claims, fiduciary duty claims, and unfair and deceptive trade practice claims. From that experience, Mr. Segars has become familiar with the law and strategic considerations that frequently come into play in this context.
Mr. Segars recognizes that litigation is often a useful means to an end, but rarely a core business strategy for his clients. With that in mind, he believes that litigators must not lose sight of their clients' broader business goals and needs. He counsels clients in developing and maintaining litigation strategies that are consistent with their overall business objectives. When presented with opportunities to accomplish those objectives before trial—or even before litigation—Mr. Segars helps his clients evaluate and pursue those opportunities in order to save substantial legal expenses while reaching favorable business outcomes.
When resort to the legal process is necessary, however, Mr. Segars has the experience to help clients navigate all stages of litigation, including trial. Mr. Segars has had primary responsibility for conducting pleading, discovery, and pre-trial motion practice in more than one hundred federal and state court matters. He has several weeks of arbitration, jury trial, and bench trial experience. Mr. Segars has also handled appeals in state and federal courts—both in cases in which he was involved at the trial court level and in initial engagements on appeal.
Mr. Segars graduated from Wake Forest University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1997) and the University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D., with High Honors, Order of the Coif, 2000). During 2001 and 2002, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jane R. Roth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Awards and Honors
- North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, Business Litigation, General Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation (2010-2018)
- The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2013-2019), Litigation-Intellectual Property (2018-2019)
- Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, Litigation (2013)
- Peer review rating of AV® in Martindale-Hubbell
- Damage Control or Control Damages? How Corporate Counsel Can Take Care of the Brand and Legal Arguments in a Crisis, Corporate Counsel Section of the North Carolina Bar Association Annual Meeting and Continuing Legal Education Program entitled Taking Care of Business: How Good Lawyers Become Great Business Partners, Cary, NC, January 25, 2019
- The Inside Job: Cybersecurity, Trade Secret Protection, and Departing Employee Data Theft; Association of Corporate Counsel-Research Triangle Area Chapter, Cary, NC, May 16, 2018
- Warn and Be Forewarned: The Importance of Clear Upjohn Warnings (and the Potentially Catastrophic Consequences of Not Providing Them), Association of Corporate Counsel-Research Triangle Area Chapter, Cary, NC, November 9, 2016
- Ethical Issues Arising in Antitrust and Other Corporate Criminal Investigations, Antitrust & Trade Regulation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association Annual Meeting and Continuing Legal Education Program entitled Current Issues in Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Competition Law, Cary, NC, February 9, 2012
- Pitfalls of Oral Argument: Appellate Advocacy Gone Wrong, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Continuing Legal Education Program in Appellate Practice for Young Lawyers, Durham, NC, November 18, 2011 (with Stephen Feldman and Paul Sun)
- The State of Standing Requirements in North Carolina—an Update, North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law Third Annual Continuing Legal Education Course entitled From Lobbying & Election Reforms to Corruption Scandals: Piecing Together Constitutional Restraints, Raleigh, NC, January 18, 2007
Prior Legal Experience
- Associate, Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, 2000-2001 & 2002-2003
- Research Assistant to Professors Marion G. Crain and Thomas L. Hazen, University of North Carolina School of Law, 1998-2000
- Clerkship, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Hon. Jane R. Roth, 2001-2002