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Michael A. Grace


Recognized as one of the preeminent criminal defense lawyers in North Carolina, Michael (Mike) A. Grace opened his own law practice in 1981 and has been engaged in private practice and criminal defense in Winston-Salem for more than 30 years. He has been admitted to practice in federal courts throughout the United States.

Mike is the only defense attorney to win a verdict of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity in a capital criminal defense case during the 20th century (State vs. Michael Hayes, 1989). He has successfully tried six additional capital murder cases and has had multiple verdicts overturned in federal appeals court. In U.S. vs. Frank McClean, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Mr. McLean’s judgment of conviction and ordered the case be remanded to the District Court and that a judgment of acquittal be entered. More recently, Mike argued in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for Ernie Pitt (U.S. vs. Ernest Pitt), and the court vacated the conviction.

Mike has also earned a reputation as a top civil litigator. He won a multi-million dollar settlement in a lawsuit over the boating accident death of R.J. Reynolds executive T. Wayne Robertson. Mike was lead counsel in a “closed head” injury trial where a Forsyth County jury awarded nearly a million dollar verdict. He has tried and settled numerous cases totaling millions of dollars in awards to his clients.

Mike and the firm Grace, Tisdale & Clifton are one of two local firms who represent local law enforcement through the Police Benevolent Association.


200 West First Street
Winston-Salem , North Carolina , 27101
United States

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