Charles Coble represents clients in a wide range of complex commercial litigation. He has handled numerous complex business litigation cases in federal court and the North Carolina Business Court. His experience includes cases involving significant contract disputes, allegation of fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices, complex agreements between large companies and governments (including the multi-billion dollar Master Settlement Agreement between 52 US States and territories and tobacco company signatories), franchise issues and the ownership and licensing of copyrights and trademarks.
Charles is also certified as a Specialist in Appellate Practice by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He is one of 34 attorneys in North Carolina to have obtained this certification. Charles has been involved in over 25 appeals, arguing cases in the Fourth Circuit, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and he brings that extensive experience of the appellate court system and its rules and procedures to bear for each of his clients.
He is proficient in German.
Representative Cases with Published or Reported Decisions
- News and Observer et al. v. Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. Represented local and national newspapers in federal case concerning placement of newsracks in airport terminal buildings. District Court entered judgment in favor of newspapers, along with an award of attorneys’ fees, both of which were affirmed by U.S. Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit. Published decisions at 597 F.3d 570 (4th Cir. 2010) and 588 F. Supp. 2d. 653 (E.D.N.C. 2008).
- Beaufort County Board of Education v. Beaufort County Board of Commissioners. Represented local television station in challenge to gag order entered by trial court in high profile trial. On appeal, North Carolina Court of Appeals struck gag order as unconstitutional and admonished trial judge. Published decision at 184 N.C. App. 110 (2007).
- Corr Services, Inc. v. Davidson County. Represented small business in lawsuit against county over services contract. North Carolina Business Court entered summary judgment in favor of small business. Reported decision at 2004 NCBC 6, 2004 WL 2413420 (N.C. Super. Ct. Sept. 30, 2004).
- SEANC v. N.C. Department of Treasury. Represented broadcast and press associations as amici curiae in public records dispute. Was allowed argument time before North Carolina Supreme Court, which reversed decision of North Carolina Court of Appeals as urged by amici curiae. Published decision at 364 N.C. 205 (2010).
- Dutcher v. Eastburn. Represented publisher and author in libel case removed to federal court. District Court entered order dismissing case for lack of personal jurisdiction. Reported decision at 39 Media Law Reporter 1605, 2011 WL 1134666 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 26, 2011).
- Kirkman v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. Represented defendant in putative class action pending in federal court. District Court denied class certification and entered summary judgment for defendant. Published decision at 220 F.R.D. 49 (M.D.N.C. 2004) and reported decision at 2006 WL 544303 (M.D.N.C. Mar. 6, 2003).
Honors & Awards
- Recognized as a member of North Carolina's "Legal Elite" in the Young Guns category by Business North Carolina magazine, 2011-12, and in Appellate Law, 2020
- Recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Administrative Law and Business Litigation, 2010-12, Business Litigation, 2014-2019
Professional & Community Activities
- Chairman, Raleigh Board of Adjustment
- Vice-Chairman, Raleigh Board of Adjustment, July 2009 - March 2012
- Member, Raleigh Board of Adjustment, 2007-2015
- Community Member, Wake County Board of Education Audit Committee
- Member, North Carolina Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Wake County Bar Association
- Section Council, Appellate Practice of the North Carolina Bar Association
Articles, Publications & Speeches
- Co-author, Survey of North Carolina Privacy Law and Related Claims Against the Media, Media Law Resource Center 50-State Survey, Media Privacy and Related Law, 2015
- "Online Speech and the First Amendment: Internet Defamation and other Digital Torts," University of North Carolina Festival of Legal Learning, February 2013
- "AIA Continuing Education Seminar, Risk Management," American Institute of Architects, Triangle Section, October 2012
- "Full-Disclosure" Workshops on N.C. Public Records Act and FOIA, organized by Carolina Public Press at Western Carolina University and UNC-Asheville, March 2012
- Panelist, "Newsgathering Law: How to Stay Out of Trouble When You're Gathering Information for a Story," Online Media Legal Network, September 2010
- Panelist, "How Much Do You Really Make? Applying the New Rules on Disclosure of Public Officials' Compensation," Sunshine Center of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition, March 2009
- "A Legal Primer for Architects: Liability Risks and Contract Issues," AIA Triangle Seminar at the NC State School of Design, August 2008
- "Newsroom Seminar," WRAL-TV, July 2006
- "What You Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meetings," Research Triangle Park, March 2006
- Panelist, "Open Meetings in North Carolina," University of North Carolina Festival of Legal Learning, February 2006
- "Libel: Revisiting the Not-So-Obvious," Virginia Press Association, January 2006