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Richard Forrest Kern

Family Attorney at Wilmington, NC

5.0   4 reviews
  • Licensed for 14 years
    State NC
    Acquired 2009
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Richard

Learn Richard’s areas of practice.

I graduated from Albany Law School in upstate New York in 2008 with a juris doctorate degree. I earned my B.A. in Political Science from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2005 and, in 2003, earned an A.A. in Political Science from Cape Fear Community College. Prior to becoming an attorney, I worked as a professional musician, an audio engineer, and in the movie industry as a prop-maker.

While in law school, I interned in the chambers of the Honorable John M. Tyson at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, worked at the Government Law Center in Albany, New York (New York's preeminent legal and policy research center and the oldest government law center in the United States according to their Web site) under the direction of Professor Patricia E. Salkin, Associate Dean and full-time Director of the Government Law Center, and also interned at Rice Law, PLLC.

I was born in a small upstate New York town known as Warrensburg (James Fenimore Cooper wrote The Last of the Mohicans there) in 1975 but I consider myself a North Carolinian and love living and working in North Carolina. I am the oldest of four siblings. My parents—who are still together after over 39 years—and my siblings have all lived in Wilmington since my father moved the family here from Rockford, Illinois, in 1985.

Photos and videos


Rice Law, PLLC
401 Chestnut St.
Wilmington, NC, 28401

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5.0 / 5.0
  4 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by anonymous | June 2, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great job!
Richard helped me with a property line dispute. He did a great job and got me the relief I was seeking. He talked with me about the case every time I called. He thoroughly explained his answers to my question in a way that I could understand. I have already hired him for another matter.
Posted by Katherine | October 31, 2014
stressful divorce handled perfectly
What started as a very stressful time in my life was quickly solved by Mr. Kern. He handled everything for me and made it virtually painless.
Posted by Andy | August 22, 2014
Excellent legal counsel in Wilmington, NC
Mr. Kern helped me through a very adversarial divorce proceeding that included several properties and custody. He explained all options to me and answered all of my questions about every situation. He gave me his best counsel and then let me choose the course to follow. He was very patient with my anger when things were not going well and always helped guide me back to the big picture. I would recommend Mr. Kern to anyone in need of excellent legal counsel.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | October 19, 2013
Very Pleased
Mr. Kern is a very pleasant and knowledgable gentleman. I hired him to help me with a debt collection matter. I could not have been more pleased with the results. I would definitely go back to him if I needed legal advise and/ or help and I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone who needed his expertise.


  • Hourly Rates $ 200-250 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 7.9 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Board Member (Alternate)
  • New Hanover County Board of Zoning Adjustment
  • 2018 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Rice Law, PLLC
  • 2017 - Present
  • Partner
  • Richard Kern Law, PC
  • 2014 - 2017
  • Partner
  • Rice Law, PLLC
  • 2009 - 2014
  • Researcher/Writer
  • Government Law Center
  • 2007 - 2008
  • Extern/Intern
  • Chambers of John M. Tyson, NC COA
  • 2006 - 2006
  • Prop-Maker
  • Various Production
  • 1998 - 2000
  • Audio Engineer
  • Self Employed
  • 1997 - 2005
  • Bass Player
  • Professional Musician
  • 1993 - 1997
View all work experience


  • Albany Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctorate
  • 2008
  • University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2005
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • A.A.
  • 2003

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Wellons v White v Wellons, 2013 WL 4441654
  • Reversed on Contempt
  • Nix v Nix (COA 11-743)
  • Reversed and remanded trial court.
  • Harris v. Harris
  • Reversed and remanded trial court.


  • Federalist Society
  • Member
  • 2017 - Present
  • New Hanover County Bar Association
  • 2009 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • State/Local Gov't Law Sec. Prize - Land Use
  • American Bar Association
  • 2008


  • Rice Law, PLLC, blog
  • Cohabitation Rights
  • 2011
  • Rice Law, PLLC, Blog
  • Child Support Based on Income Shares
  • 2011
  • Rice Law, PLLC, Blog
  • The Adoption Tax Credit and you
  • 2010
  • Rice Law, PLLC, Blog
  • Custody and Religion: To what lengths may a Court in North Carolina consider religion in determining the custody arrangement that is in the child’s best interest
  • 2010
  • Rice Law, PLLC, Blog
  • Spousal spying: Watch out if you are watching your spouse
  • 2010
  • Rice Law, PLLC, Blog
  • Surrogacy Law in North Carolina
  • 2010
  • Rice Law, PLLC, blog
  • Divorce from Bed and Board: Not just a legal separation
  • 2010
  • Rice Law, PLLC, Blog
  • The intersection of Family Law and Immigration Law: Alien love and marriage
  • 2009
  • New York Zoning Law and Practice Report Newsletter
  • Incentive Zoning Provides Opportunities for Community
  • 2007
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Domestic Violence
  • 2011
  • Classroom Presentation
  • Social Work in the North Carolina Justice System
  • 2009

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (9)
Endorse Richard
Family Attorney | May 01
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Richard has a great sense of humor and keen knowledge of the law. He is a wonderful writer which serves his clients in numerous ways. Richard understands the law, actively and aggressively pursues his clients' cases, and works tirelessly for their benefit."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Aug 05
Relationship: Co-worker
"Richard Forrest Kern is an top-notch attorney on all fronts, from his research skills and trial preparation to his charismatic presence in the courtroom. Richard's years of experience have culminated in a focused and professional attorney that I highly recommend to all potential clients."
Family Attorney | Oct 16
Relationship: Co-worker
"Richard Forrest Kern is an excellent and caring lawyer who represents all his clients with a zeal that is hard to find among lawyers today."
Family Attorney | Oct 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Richard. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Family Attorney | Feb 28
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"Integrity, Personalized Attention and Hard Charging Court Approach -- Richard approaches each case with great care to ensure each client receives his full attention. He is an excellent researcher and often brings a new approach to a issue that others do not recognize and which ultimately helps the client. He has handled numerous matters in district court, some in superior court and two at the NC Court of Appeals where he used to clerk for one of the Judges."
View more endorsements