Colleen Byers facilitates difficult conversations to help families, businesses and individuals solve legal problems. Colleen's practice includes guardianship, trust, estate and fiduciary disputes, business and employment matters, collaborative divorce, and alternative dispute resolution.
Colleen began practicing law in 2008 with Bell, Davis & Pitt shortly after moving to Winston-Salem. She has experience handling a wide range of disputes. Colleen regularly represents individuals, families, small businesses, corporations, and non-profit organizations in contract, employment, corporate, professional negligence, estate, trust, guardianship, and fiduciary disputes. Colleen has experience negotiating the resolution of the following types of matters outside of court:
- Collaborative divorce and family law
- Business divorce
- Dissolution of family-owned business
- Trust, estate and fiduciary disputes
Colleen also has experience with:
- Fiduciary litigation arising out of disputes involving trusts, estates or abuses of powers of attorney
- Representing individuals in incompetency and guardianship proceedings
- Contested estate proceedings and special proceedings before the Clerk of Court
- Will caveats
- Contested elective share claims
- Cases involving trade secrets, confidentiality, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements
- Employment contract review
- Professional malpractice avoidance and defense
She has represented parties in cases pending in federal and state courts of North Carolina, including the North Carolina Business Court. After about a decade in practice, Colleen became trained in the Civil Collaborative Law process in order to assist her clients with crafting resolutions of their disputes in an empowering and respectful way. Colleen actively advocates for the adoption of collaborative law in North Carolina. She recently served as a featured guest on a Business North Carolina podcast about the recently passed Uniform Collaborative Law Act.
When she is not representing one of the parties, Colleen is privileged to serve as a neutral facilitator where she provides a space for parties to resolve their conflicts through mediation as a Superior Court Mediator, certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission. Colleen is also certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission in the Clerk Mediation Program, which allows her to mediate estate, guardianship and other matters pending before the Clerk of Court.
Colleen has a passion for serving her community and advancing the profession. She has served on the advisory board of the Chamber of Commerce’s Winston < 40 and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Colleen has proudly served as president of the board of directors of the Forsyth Humane Society and president of the Forsyth County Women Attorneys Association.
Colleen regularly speaks at Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars about the connection between mindfulness and effective lawyering. She was also recently interviewed on The Human Lawyer podcast on the topic.
Colleen enjoys yoga, running, hiking and spending time with her husband, Sean, and their daughters. Colleen is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) and enjoys sharing the benefits of yoga with others. Colleen gratefully counts her blessings each day.
Your excellent interviewing skills on your podcast proffered to us in the audience an excellent view of exemplary talents of Colleen Byers. Her deftness at modifying angry language from your hypothetical question into more palliative communication represents a remarkable and inspiring talent.
Ms. Byers served successively as a mediator in one of my most difficult cases: a Will Caveat and a border dispute involving multiple relatives (sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews – approximately 13 in number). Over the course of a full day at the Surry County Courthouse, Ms. Byers brilliantly managed to transform an explosion of turbulent growl of emotions into a viable solution amidst a swirl of smiles. Her actions were a Wonder to watch.
David B. Hough, Attorney at Law
Creighton University B.A., summa cum laude, 2005
Creighton University M.B.A., 2008
Creighton University J.D., cum laude, 2008
Bar & Court Admittance
2008, North Carolina
United States District Court for the Western, Eastern and Middle District of North Carolina
Professional & Community Activities
Global Collaborative Law Council
North Carolina Civil Collaborative Law Association (NCCCLA)
BarCARES, Board of Directors
North Carolina Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Committee
Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for the Children's Law Center
Forsyth County Bar Association
Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County, Advisory Council
Chamber of Commerce Winston < 40, Advisory Board
North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Young Lawyer's Division, Chair
Forsyth County Women Attorneys Association, President
Forsyth Humane Society Board of Directors, Chair
Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court
Speaking & Writing
Featured guest on Business North Carolina podcast about collaborative law (Sept. 2020)
Featured guest on The Human Lawyer Podcast (January 2020)
"Breathe: Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First" CLE Presentation, Children's Law Center (January 2020)
“Trending Now: Gray Divorce Issues … You’ve Been Married How Long and Now You Want a Divorce?” Co-Presenter, CLE Presentation at Complex Emerging Issues in Family Law (Family Law Intensive), North Carolina Bar Association (November 2019 and January 2020)
"Practical Techniques for Being the Calm within the Storm,” CLE Presentation, North Carolina Bar Association and North Carolina Civil Collaborative Law Association (June 2019 and January 2020)
"Negotiation Skills and Effective Advocacy in Mediation and Arbitration," Co-Presenter, CLE Presentation, Forsyth County Bar Association (July 2019)
“Thrive: Creating Well-being Amidst the Challenges of Lawyering and Life,” Co-Presenter, CLE Presentation, Wake County Bar Association (Feb. 2019)
“Hindsight is Always 50/50: Common mistakes and pitfalls across various practice areas,” CLE Presentation, Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company (Feb. 2018)
Guardianship in North Carolina of Elderly Family Members, Whitepaper (July 2017)
“Wrestling the E-Discovery Alligator,” Co-Presenter, CLE Presentation, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (Aug. 2016)
2020 Lawyer of the Year, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly
North Carolina Lawyers Weekly's Leaders in the Law (2020)
Best Lawyers in America® (2020)
Business North Carolina magazine Legal Elite, Young Guns (2016, 2017, 2018)
North Carolina Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2016, 2017, 2018)
Chamber of Commerce Winston < 40 Leadership Award (2017)