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About me

Trying to describe family law attorney Janet L. Gemmell in words is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. She is constantly on the go with cell phone in hand, but her fierce attention to detail and organization keeps her focused on the tasks at hand. Handling complex divorce cases is her passion and the focus of her practice. She works on child custody issues, relocation matters, equitable distribution (or in other words division) of property, and alimony and spousal support representing both Husbands and Wives in divorce proceedings.

In an area of the law that can involve raw emotions and intense conflict, Janet maintains a high level of professionalism and an unwavering focus on the best interests of her clients. She is driven to help her clients see the light at the end of the tunnel and create new relationships out of broken dreams.

After speaking with Janet, it is clear why clients throughout North Carolina seek her out for guidance and why opposing counsel refer to her as a “lioness.” She is highly intuitive, intelligent, hard-working, and tenacious with a capital “T.” At the same time, she conveys a genuine sense of compassion, empathy, enthusiasm, and whenever possible, humor.

At home, Janet enjoys her family–her husband, a four-dog posse, and her teenage step-daughter, an accomplished equestrian. Horse competitions happily fill her weekends, but she still loves travel and adventure, like the time she learned to surf in Hawaii, or the time she was stung by a sting ray and learned the best way to treat it was with scalding hot water. Janet once found excitement in Jamaica by jumping off a three-story cliff into the ocean. She probably smiled her infectious smile through it all.

Focusing on Positive Outcomes, Not Billable Hours

Keeping with Janet’s own style and her belief that all individuals going through the challenges of divorce should have access to quality, effective representation without unduly burdensome costs, Cape Fear Family Law adopted a different approach to fees. Rather than bill clients by the hour, Janet decided her firm would charge clients a flat rate.  This different style of charging fees allows the attorneys to focus on doing the best possible job and obtaining positive outcomes for the firm’s clients rather than focusing on billable hours. Other attorneys in the market have since jumped on the bandwagon to charge flat fees.

A Family Law Specialist 

After graduating cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a B.A. in just under three years and earning her law degree from the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University, Janet began her professional law career with the Law Offices of Timothy C. Morris.  Next she practiced with large scale tobacco litigation with the firm of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Winston-Salem. She then joined the prestigious Rosen Law Firm the day before 9/11 in 2001. In 2007, Janet opened her own practice, Cape Fear Family Law, which continues to grow with hand-selected attorneys, paralegals, and assistants. In addition to being admitted to practice in North Carolina, she recently passed the bar exam in Florida.

Janet is one of only three Board Certified Family Law Specialists in the Tri-County area, which means she is certified by the State Bar for her special knowledge, skill and proficiency in family law. A lifelong learner, Janet likes to share her knowledge and insights at Continuing Legal Education conferences, free seminars for residents and in local schools.

Always in a hurry to get things done, Janet graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in three years.

Somehow Janet managed to find time during those three years to participate in the North Carolina Student Legislature.  When one of her bills was passed in the real North Carolina Legislature, however, there was nothing “student” about it!

Janet was selected in 1999 as one of a three person team to represent Campbell University School of Law at the National Christian Legal Society Conference.How would you like an internship where you watch the soldiers of the 82nd Airborne jump out of planes at Fort Bragg?  Janet did exactly this.  She also interned in a highly selective program in the United States District Attorney’s Office.  How’s that for diverse?

Janet went the the prestigious Rosen Law Firm from Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Winston-Salem, and started to immediately contribute articles on divorce law to local publications, as well as the Rosen Law Firm website. In addition to relocating to her husband’s hometown of Wilmington (where she also gets to enjoy the beach and replay fond memories from college at UNCW), Janet continues to remember her time with the Rosen Law Firm and enjoys the great atmosphere their firm provides.


Practice areas


  1. Family: 100%


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Contact info

Cape Fear Family Law

3807 Peachtree Ave Ste 102
Wilmington, NC, 28403-6724


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Campbell UniversityN/ADoctor of Law (J.D.)1999
University of North Carolina, WilmingtonN/ABachelor of Arts (B.A.)1996
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Advanced Custody and Support IssuesAlienation and Abuse Allegations in Custody Proceedings2016
Legal Ethics and Substance Abuse Prevention in North CarolinaSubstance Abuse and Mental Health in the Legal Practice2015
Legal Ethics and Substance Abuse Prevention in North CarolinaLegal Malpractice Risks and Prevention, and Grievance Procedure/Defense2015
Handling Divorce Cases from Start to FinishExploring Custody, Visitation and Support Issues2014
Advanced Family LawNavigating Complex Asset Cases2014