Meet Our Professionals

Michael J. Crook

Associate
Raleigh | 919.835.4522
Fax | 919.834.4564
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Michael Crook focuses his practice on real estate litigation. He represents governmental, business, and professional clients in all phases of state and federal litigation, from pre-dispute resolution through appeal.

Michael’s practice includes a particular focus on eminent domain and condemnation litigation. He regularly represents municipalities, government agencies, transportation authorities, utilities, and other condemnors in a variety of settings, ranging from small takings to large, high-profile projects. Michael also represents commercial landowners in condemnation proceedings brought by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. His experience representing both condemnors and landowners gives him a well-rounded perspective, which he uses to help clients identify potential sticking points and reach resolutions.

Outside of the context of eminent domain, Michael advises developers in land use disputes and represents landlords and tenants in commercial lease disputes. Additionally, Michael is panel counsel for one of the country's largest title insurance companies and prosecutes title curative actions across North Carolina on behalf of its insureds.

In addition to real estate, Michael litigates a range of claims, including torts, breaches of contract, collection matters, and other business disputes.

Michael volunteers his time by representing abused and neglected juveniles before North Carolina's appellate courts through the Guardian ad Litem program and by representing low-income individuals through Legal Aid of North Carolina. He recently served on the board of the Friends of the City of Raleigh (COR) Museum. When not practicing law, Michael enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and cheering on the Tar Heels.

Representative Experience

Eminent Domain

  • Acquired easements and rights-of-way for client in connection with a multi-mile right-of-way project across numerous counties.
  • Advised utility about right-of-way acquisition in a high-profile, multibillion-dollar project.
  • Represented local public utility in connection with acquisition of easements in dense commercial areas.
  • Represented transportation authority in acquisition of approximately 23 areas for a maintenance facility.

Real Estate Litigation

  • Secured dismissal of homeowners association from lawsuit against developer concerning access to common areas.
  • Obtained summary judgment for landowners seeking to redevelop a golf course and defended the order on appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
  • Enforced and upheld utility’s easement rights by obtaining declaratory relief and defended ruling on appeal before the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully argued dispositive motions on legal and equitable issues on behalf of a secured lender in connection with real estate litigation.

General Litigation

  • Obtained defense verdict for a large broker-dealer in a FINRA arbitration involving claims of defamation and retaliation valued at more than $9 million.
  • Resolved pre-suit tort claims for a Fortune 500 company.
  • Reached favorable settlement of claims of defamation and tortious interference for a client in the financial services industry.
  • Resolved customer complaints through a broker-dealer's early dispute resolution program.
  • Defended contractors and design professionals in construction litigation, including scheduling disputes, delay/disruption claims, design defects, and construction defects.

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Honors & Awards

  • North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, 2018

Memberships

  • International Right of Way Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Museum of Art Contemporaries
  • Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum, Board of Directors, 2016-2019