Morningstar Law Group – Raleigh Law Firm – Durham NC Attorneys

Chris is a recognized leader among business litigation lawyers in North Carolina.  Over his more than 30 years of practice, Chris has built a reputation on creative problem solving and zealous advocacy for his clients.

His varied expertise includes litigating internal disputes among corporate shareholders and LLC members, real estate and banking issues, failed transactions of all shapes and sizes, intellectual property disputes, and Uniform Commercial Code and other commercial law matters. Chris’s ability to achieve successful results in a wide variety of contexts has earned him recognition as one of Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite in business litigation and as one of the Best Lawyers in America. Since 2012, the peer-selected North Carolina Super Lawyers has recognized Chris as one of the Top 100 lawyers in North Carolina.

Chris began his career at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, now known as Womble Bond Dickinson.  After 18 years, Chris co-founded Graebe Hanna & Sullivan, a business litigation boutique, where he practiced until joining Morningstar Law Group with his son Will in 2022.

Chris believes that the justice system must work for everyone, and that pro bono representation of clients who cannot afford counsel is part of the duty of every lawyer. He routinely represents disadvantaged clients in housing and consumer cases without charging a fee. In 2008, Chris received the North Carolina Bar Association’s highest honor for an individual attorney’s pro bono service, the William L. Thorp Pro Bono Award.

Chris is a certified Superior Court mediator who served on the Local Civil Rules Committee of both the North Carolina Business Court and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  Outside the office, Chris enjoys all types of cycling and is proud to be an avid member of the Raleigh Gyros Cycling Club and a two-time Ironman Triathlon finisher.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Success emerges from a combination of the quality of our decisions and the quantity of luck we receive. It is equally important to acknowledge the luck and to control the decisions.


  • Best Lawyers: Lawyer of the Year – Bet-the-Company Litigation (2021)
  • Best Lawyers: Commercial Litigation (2009-2024), Bet-the-Company Litigation (2010-2024)
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite: Business Litigation (2022), Litigation (2024)
  • Super Lawyers (2007-2024)
  • Super Lawyers: Top 100 Lawyer North Carolina (2022)
  • N.C. Bar Association: William L. Thorp Pro Bono Award (2008)

Representative Experience

  • Handled dozens of internal disputes among shareholders and LLC members
  • Represented numerous individual and business clients in disputes with banks
  • Litigated business tort and contract claims in the context of failed transactions
  • Represented clients in Lanham Act and other trademark litigation
  • Handled adversary proceedings in North Carolina’s bankruptcy courts
  • Served as mediator and arbitrator in business disputes of all kinds


  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D. (1990) with high honors
    Research Editor, NC Law Review (1988-90)
  • Duke Divinity School, M.Div. (1986) summa cum laude
  • Wabash College, A. (1983) summa cum laude
    Phi Beta Kappa


  • All North Carolina state courts
  • All North Carolina federal courts and bankruptcy courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia


  • Certified Superior Court Mediator
  • Trustee of the North Carolina Bar Association Health Benefits Trust
  • Former Member, Local Civil Rules Committee, N.C. Business Court
  • Former Member, Local Civil Rules Committee, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Former Co-Chair, Board of Directors, North Carolina Justice Center