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About me

Melissa is a construction law partner at Ragsdale Liggett PLLC in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she practices in the litigation department.  She concentrates her practice on representing engineers and architects in all of their legal needs, including contract drafting, contract negotiation, and contract disputes.  When necessary, she represents design professionals in state courts, federal courts, and binding arbitration, handling construction administration and management claims, plan defects, testing failure claims, and delay claims. Her practice includes the defense of all sizes of claims, from residential homeowner cases to private commercial construction to multi-prime public construction projects. 


Melissa maintains an award-winning blog on legal issues relating to construction at


In addition to construction cases, Melissa handles commercial litigation, business disputes, and director and officer liability. Melissa also heads the creditor’s rights/collections practice group at Ragsdale Liggett.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 75%
    18 years
  2. Construction: 20%
    18 years
  3. Debt Collection: 3%
    18 years
  4. Contracts: 2%
    18 years



Hourly ($275/hour), Fixed (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

4 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Curtis A Sluder

    I endorse this lawyer. Melissa is and always has been a very astute, conscientious, courteous, yet aggressive attorney when the situation calls for it. I highly recommend her.


    Curtis Sluder Speeding and traffic ticket Attorney
    Relationship: Friend

  • Christopher Garrett Hill

    Melissa is a very knowledgeable attorney in the field of construction in North Carolina. She is good about sharing this knowledge with others and has helped me out in the past.


    Christopher Hill Construction and development Attorney
    Relationship: Friend

Contact info

Ragsdale Liggett PLLC

2840 Plaza Place, Suite 400
Raleigh, NC, 27612


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Rising Star, Construction LitigationSuper Lawyers2011
AV Preeminent RatingMartindale Hubbell2010
BV Distinguished RatingMartindale Hubbell2009
Triangle Impact Law LeaderTriangle Business Leader Magazine2008
Certified ToastmasterToastmasters2007
40 Under 40Triangle Business Journal2006
"All Star" Team AwardNorth Carolina Jaycees2004
North Central Region Membership AwardNorth Carolina Jaycees2003
Gressman-Pollitt Appellate Advocacy AwardUNC School of Law1998
Phi Beta KappaUniversity of North Carolina1994
Golden Key National Honor SocietyUniversity of North Carolina1993
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerRagsdale Liggett PLLC2001 - Present
General CounselNorth Carolina Jaycees2007 - 2008
Associate AttorneyStuart Law Firm PLLC1998 - 2001
Legal InternU.S. Attorneys Office, Civil Division1998 - 1998
Summer AssociateWyrick Robbins Yates Ponton1997 - 1997
Legislative AssociateNC Justice and Community Development Center1996 - 1996
Association namePosition nameDuration
10th Judicial District Bar AssociationVice-Chair, Member--Grievance Committee2009 - Present
RL Mace Universal Design InstitutePresident; Vice-President; Board of Directors2008 - Present
Defense Research InstituteMember2002 - Present
North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA)Member2002 - Present
Chapel Hill JayceesFounder, various Board of Directors positions, Member2002 - Present
North Carolina Association of Women AttorneysMember; Wake County Chapter Member1998 - Present
North Carolina Bar AssociationMember; Litigation Section Member; Construction Section Member1998 - Present
Wake County Bar AssociationMember1998 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember; Litigation Section Member; Construction Section Member1998 - Present
North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyer's DivisionCo-Editor, The Advocate newsletter2008 - 2010
ABA Young Lawyer's DivisionAssociate/ Assistant Editor, The YLD Affiliate2006 - 2008
North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys (Wake County chapter)Secretary2001 - 2002
North Carolina Association of Women AttorneysCareer Support Chairperson2000 - 2001
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Michael Jonathan McCrann, Jr. et al. v. NC Dept. of Health and Human Serv.Judgment for Client Upheld
Zumkehr v. Hidden Lakes Property Owners Assoc. Inc.Affirmation of Summary Judgment for Client
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of North Carolina School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1998
University of Manchester, EnglandLawVisiting Scholar1997
University of North Carolina, Chapel HillEnglishB.A., with Honors and Highest Distinction1994
Corning Community CollegeLiberal StudiesA.A., with Honors1992
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Construction Contract Drafting Strategies webinarConstruction Contract Drafting Strategies2011
North Carolina Construction LawMaking Changes and Resolving Disputes During the Construction Process2010
Managing the Construction ClaimInvestigating and Handling Construction Defect Claims2007
NC Construction LawUnderstanding Contracts, Managing Contract Changes During Construction, and Termination of Construction Contracts2006