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Michelle Liguori is a trial and appellate litigator who has seen the world inside and outside the courthouse. Michelle grew up in suburban New York, received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, and has since lived in six states and three countries, including a stint as a Fulbright Fellow in Egypt during the height of the Arab Spring.

True to this diverse background, Michelle maintains a broad litigation practice here at Ellis & Winters. She has litigated numerous commercial disputes involving claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, theft of trade secrets, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and corporate information rights. Michelle’s practice also involves estate disputes, product-liability defense, and consumer-protection litigation.

Michelle brings to bear significant experience handling sophisticated matters, with a rich background in appellate practice. Prior to joining Ellis & Winters, Michelle spent three years helping federal judges decide appeals as a staff attorney and law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Later, she worked for the Solicitor General’s Office at the North Carolina Department of Justice, handling civil and criminal appeals in the state and federal appellate courts. In addition to her civil practice, Michelle serves as appointed appellate counsel for criminal defendants as a member of the North Carolina Office of the Appellate Defender’s Criminal Appellate Roster.

Michelle also serves the next generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor at Duke Law School, where she teaches scholarly writing and U.S. Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing for International Students.


Legal Assistant

Jotionette Jones

Direct: 919-865-7028

E-mail: jotionette.jones@elliswinters.com

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2012
    • Honors: cum laude
  • B.A., Amherst College, 2006

Court Admissions

  • North Carolina
  • New York
  • Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Middle District of North Carolina
  • Western District of North Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • North Carolina Bar Association, Appellate Section
    • Wake County Bar Association, Bar Candidate Interview Committee
      • Federal Bar Association
  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J. Braxton Craven, Jr. Memorial Moot Court Competition, Judge (2018, 2019)

Experience

  • Helped obtain preliminary injunction prohibiting member’s unilateral withdrawal from LLC in violation of the LLC’s operating agreement
  • Argued issue of first impression in North Carolina Business Court related to enforcement of LLC member’s information rights
  • Wrote certiorari reply brief in the United States Supreme Court
  • Wrote winning Fourth Circuit brief defending against section 1983 claims and constitutional challenges to a state occupational licensing statute

Prior Work Experience

  • Fellow, Office of the Solicitor General, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh NC
  • Staff Attorney/Law Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Miami, FL, Hon. Stanley Marcus
  • Staff Attorney, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Atlanta, GA
  • Successfully defended stalking convictions, at oral argument in the North Carolina Court of Appeals, against First Amendment challenges

Presentations/Publications

Awards/Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America, “Ones to Watch,” Appellate Practice (2021)