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About me

During my years of private practice as an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, many clients have asked how I became an adoption attorney who also represents corporations and associations. I began work as a litigation attorney with a law firm in Charlotte that focused on family law. During that time, I worked on adoptions but also handled lawsuits for business clients. I enjoyed my work as an adoption attorney and cultivated adoption practice while continuing to represent business clients (some of whom have remained my clients for over 30 years).

Because of my litigation background, I have served as adoption counsel in many contested adoptions and termination of parental rights actions. These cases can be very difficult because of the emotional burdens that the parties experience. My experience as a trial attorney assists me in assessing risk in adoptive placements and advising adoptive parents or an adoption agency about legal risks before birth or adoption placement.

My litigation and transactional background also helps me advise corporate clients more effectively. 

I have been married to my wife, Mary Beth, since 1982. We have three adult children. My son, Thomas, practices law with me. I grew up in Asheville, NC and have a deep love for the mountains. I enjoy hiking, camping and soccer, and have worked in outreach to refugee youth and their families in inner city Charlotte for over 20 years.



Practice areas


  1. Adoption: 55%
    30 years, 1 thousand cases
  2. Foreclosure: 15%
    28 years, 750 cases
  3. Business: 15%
    32 years, 300 cases
  4. Family: 10%
    30 years, 100 cases
  5. Wills: 5%
    32 years, 1.5 thousand cases

Attorney endorsements

5 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Timothy G. Sellers

    I have known David for many years. He is a capable and highly ethical professional to whom I refer people from time to time. I endorse him heartily.


    Timothy Sellers Real estate Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Mark D. Gott

    David is what I think of when I hear the phrase "attorney and counselor at law." As an attorney, David is one of the most reputable attorneys in Mecklenburg County. He is very experienced and very knowledgeable in the law. However, David is much more than that. He is a true counselor, and someone I have gone to for personal counsel. I give him my highest personal recommendation.


    Mark Gott Guardianship Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

Contact info

Thurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin, PA

301 S. McDowell Street, Suite 608
Cameron Brown Bldg.,
Charlotte, NC, 28204-2641


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Legal Elite (Family Law)Business North Carolina2010
Service AwardMecklenburg County Commissioners1998
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Senior PartnerThurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin, PA2000 - Present
Managing PartnerBush, Thurman & Wilson, PA1988 - 1999
AssociateCasstevens, Hanner, Gunter & Gordon, PA1983 - 1988
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Academy of Adoption AttorneysFellow1994 - Present
North Carolina State BarMember1983 - Present
Christian Legal SocietyMember1983 - Present
Mecklenburg County BarMember1983 - Present
North Carolina Bar AssociationMember1983 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
In Re Adoption of SDWNC Supreme Court upheld order obtained in the adoption.
In Re JCTermination grounds found.
In Re LDBOrder reversed. Termination completed.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of North Carolina School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1983
University of North Carolina, Chapel HillClassicsBA - Bachelor of Arts1980
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Adoption Law 101Adoption2013
Introduction to Adoption LawAdoption2012
Adoption LawPrivate and Relative Adoption2010
Legal Issues in AdoptionAdoption2006
Adoption ClinicAdoption2006
Adoption Law in North CarolinaAdoption2002
Adoption Law in North CarolinaAdoption2000
Adoption Law in North CarolinaAdoption1999