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Daniel E. Peterson

Partner
Charlotte | 704.335.9874
Fax | 704.334.4706

Daniel Peterson focuses on local government counsel, professional negligence, and insurance disputes. He is a former assistant city attorney who has extensive litigation experience across the State of North Carolina, including at the appellate level.

Daniel chairs Parker Poe's Government & Municipalities Industry Team in North Carolina. He is also a member of the firm’s Appellate Practice Team. He has experience at the trial and appellate levels of federal and state courts, including the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Daniel has helped cities and towns throughout the state, advising them on achieving their public policy objectives and defending them in litigation, including class actions. He has experience analyzing potential constitutional issues, tailoring policy recommendations, and resolving disputes. He has advised on a range of discrete local government issues, including involving economic development, public participation ordinances, and policing litigation, policies, and wrongful convictions.

Daniel also defends professionals and businesses against claims of negligence, wrongful death, and personal and property damage. He has defended professionals and businesses in the energy, insurance, and real estate industries.

In addition, Daniel litigates disputes over policy coverage determinations on behalf of insurance companies. He has advised and defended international and domestic insurers in various coverage issues.

Prior to joining Parker Poe, Daniel served as an assistant city attorney in the Charlotte City Attorney's Office. He served as sole or lead defense attorney for the city on nearly 80 lawsuits in federal and state courts, on a variety of municipal issues, including appearances before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Representative Experience

  • Won a significant ruling on appeal that provided an important clarification of law for municipalities across the state. The North Carolina Supreme Court unanimously agreed that a town's ordinances can grant permission to file litigation without a town council's resolution.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a municipality in a challenge to an approved rezoning petition for a proposed mixed-use development. Successfully argued in the North Carolina Court of Appeals that the plaintiff lacked standing to file suit and that the appeal should be dismissed.
  • Obtained summary judgment on all federal constitutional and state tort claims asserted against a municipality and police chief in a case involving an alleged unlawful search and seizure during an encounter with plaintiffs. 
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a municipality on all claims brought by a former employee, including gender discrimination under Title VII, age discrimination under the ADEA, retaliation under both Title VII and the ADEA, and § 1983 violation of 14th Amendment rights. 
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a municipality on all claims brought in a wrongful death action alleging that the police department’s policies and procedures were constitutionally inadequate as it related to use of force and, specifically, electronic control devices.
  • Obtained judgment on behalf of a detective in an alleged wrongful conviction action claiming that the detective participated in a conspiracy to violate the plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Successfully argued in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the resulting appeal taken by the plaintiff should be dismissed. 
  • Obtained complete defense verdict on behalf of a police officer accused of using excessive force on the plaintiff in the course of an investigation into child abuse, summary judgment in favor of the supervising sergeant accused of condoning and failing to supervise the officer, and a pre-discovery dismissal in favor of the municipality alleged of failing to train the officer.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a police officer and a municipality in an action alleging that the officer used excessive force securing the perimeter in a drug raid.

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Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America in Municipal Litigation, 2024
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law, 2020
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2019-2024
  • North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, 2019, 2020
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Leadership Institute, Class of 2015

Memberships

  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Government Practice Group, Chair, 2020-2021, Vice Chair, 2019-2020
  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Litigation Section, Chair, 2014-2015, Vice-Chair, 2013-2014
  • Rotary Club of Charlotte
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute