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Ernest L. Conner Jr.

Criminal defense Attorney at Greenville, NC

Not yet reviewed
  • Licensed for 36 years
    State NC
    Acquired 1987
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Ernest

Learn Ernest’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    Twenty-four years experience representing persons charged with crimes from Capital Murder to Driving While Impaired, including Appeals and Post-Conviction proceedings. Devoted to fighting for the rights of those charged with crime; aggressively defending defending every client's rights under the constitution. Have had particular success in defending persons charged with first degree murder winning "Not Guilty" verdicts, and freeing an innocent man from Death Row.

    37 years, 1,000 cases

  2. Appeals
    Sample cases: State v. Harris, 449 S.E.2d 462, (1994) (Murder conviction and sentence of life imprisonment upheld)State v. Burr, 472 S.E.2d 337 (1996) (Staying execution and remanding case to Superior Court. Burr v. Branker, US. District Court, Middle District, NC May 6, 2009 order recommending vacating death sentence and granting defendant new trial. Henderson v. Henderson, 121 N.C.App. 752, 468 S.E.2d 454, N.C.App., (1996) (upholding trial court placement of children's custody with father)

    37 years, 15 cases

  3. Personal injury
    Twenty-Two years experience handlng major personal injury from wrongful death lawsuits to lawsuits involving automobile and motorcycle injuries. Over 30 years experience riding motorcyles.

    37 years, 20 cases

Married for more than 30 years, and the father of two daughters, I served in the Army for seven years before receiving my undergraduate degree from the East Carolina University, with honors, and my J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987.

In the US Army, I was honored to receive the 1978 Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award for United States Army Support Command Hawaii. At East Carolina University, I received the University Outstanding Senior Award in 1984. I was also the 2007 recipient of the J. Kirk Osborn Award for excellence in service and mentoring through encouragement and example on behalf of indigent men and women charged with crimes. I am a board member of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and Chair the Fair Trial Initiative. I formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Pitt County Family Violence Center; and Chaired the Criminal Justice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. I was honored the receive the Pitt County Legal Secretaries’ Boss of the Year award in 1993; the Outstanding Project Chair, for the University City Kiwanis in 1992; and the Pamlico Sound Legal Services Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award in 1991.

I have more than twenty-four years of experience representing persons charged with crimes ranging from simple traffic offenses to DWI, Fraud, Breaking and Entering, Burglary, Kidnapping, Felonious Assaults, Murder and Death Penalty Trials, Appeals and Post-Conviction proceedings. I have extensive experience in the District and Superior Courts of North Carolina. I am admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. My daughter is an attorney in Boston. You can follow her on Twitter at: @ConnerLawTweets. My nephew is also an attorney, working in my firm. You can follow him on Twitter at: @marcus_conner. 

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Graham, Nuckolls & Brown, PLLC
321 Evans Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 7384
Greenville, NC, 27858

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AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Graham, Nuckolls & Brown, PLLC
  • 2009 - Present
  • Partner
  • Dixon, Doub & Conner
  • 1987 - 2007
  • Staff Sergeant
  • US Army
  • 1974 - 1981


  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Juris Doctor
  • 1987
  • East Carolina University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts with High Honors
  • 1984

Sample of Legal Cases

  • State v. Levon Junior Jones
  • Charges dismissed upon retrial
  • State v. Reade Seligmann
  • All charges dismissed
  • State v. Leslie A. Lincoln
  • Not Guilty on all counts.
View all legal cases


  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
  • Board Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • Fair Trial Initiative
  • Chair
  • 2007 - Present
  • Center for Death Penalty Litigation
  • Board Member
  • 2006 - Present
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Chair, Criminal Justice Section
  • 1997 - 1998
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Member
  • 1983 - 1987
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Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2019
  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • American Jurisprudence Award in Constitutional Law
  • American Jurisprudence
  • 1986
  • Outstanding Senior University Award
  • East Carolina University Alumni Association
  • 1984
  • Outstanding Senior
  • East Carolina University Political Sciene Department
  • 1984
  • Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
  • US Army
  • 1981
  • Non-commissioned Officer of the Year
  • US Army Support Command Hawaii
  • 1979
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • US Army
  • 1979
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • US Army
  • 1978
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Speaking Engagements

  • 2010 Spring Public Defenders' Conference
  • Confrontation of Lab Reports
  • 2010
  • Criminal Masters in Advocacy
  • Leslie Lincoln's Ordeal
  • 2008
  • Crimes Against Children
  • Cross Examination of Experts
  • 2008
  • Capital College
  • Jury Voir Dire
  • 2008
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (5)
Endorse Ernest
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Buddy is an excellent attorney. Experienced, knowledgeable, and also a decent person."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 06
Relationship: Family member
"I'm happy to endorse Buddy Conner as my role model, mentor and dad. He has taught me so much: to empathize with people and see the goodness in them; to listen with an open mind; that the practice of law is not a 9-5 job; that hard work, integrity and respect wins cases. He works for his clients every day. He is the attorney I strive to be, and a model to the profession."
Unknown Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney Conner is the type of lawyer every client wants, and all other lawyers strive to be like. It is no coincidence that Attorney Conner has the utmost respect and admiration of clients, defense attorneys, district attorneys, clerks, and judges alike. His skill and hard work is surpassed only by his modesty and compassion. Throughout his years as a trial attorney, Attorney Conner has proven himself to be an ardent defender of his client’s rights, and a man with a passion for justice. Each and every day he is a living example of what all attorneys should be."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Co-worker
"Buddy has taught me more about advocating for your clients, in the time I have come to know and work with him, than I have learned from the entire sum of law school professors, fellow practitioners and legal education speakers with whom I have come in contact. Simply put, he is the best of the best in my book and I hope to continue to model his passion for excellence, borrow his ideas and call him my mentor and friend."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have never met anyone who enjoys their job as much as Ernest “Buddy” Conner. His passion for the legal profession is infectious upon everyone he comes in contact with. I am one of the lucky ones who gets the privilege of working with him on a daily basis, gaining some sort of knowledge or advice from each conversation. I am proud to endorse his work and even more proud to call him a mentor and friend."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 18
Relationship: Co-worker
"As a colleague and nephew of Buddy Conner, it is an honor to write an endorsement regarding his service and dedication to the legal profession. You will not find a harder working attorney who knows more about the criminal justices system in North Carolina as Buddy. With over 24 years of experience he has handled everything from first degree capital murder case to traffic infractions and everything in between. His devotion to his family and his friends is only matched by that of his devotion to the practice of law."
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Criminal defense
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General practice