Ronnie Long v. City of Concord, et al., Case No. 5:21-CV-201-D (Eastern District of North Carolina): Civil rights lawsuit against those responsible for 44-year wrongful incarceration. Case settled for a total of $25 million – $3 million from State Bureau of Investigation defendants and $22 million from City of Concord/Concord Police Department defendants. City of Concord issued a formal, public apology for the “wrongs that caused tremendous harm to Mr. Long, his family, friends, and our community.”


Settlement represents the largest wrongful incarceration settlement in North Carolina history and ranks among the highest wrongful conviction settlements ever nationally.

Long v. City of Concord, et al., 623 F.Supp.3d 647 (Eastern District of North Carolina, August 23, 2022): Motion to dismiss filed by NC State Bureau of Investigation (“SBI”) defendants denied. Complaint properly stated claims against SBI officials in wrongful incarceration lawsuit based on concealment of exculpatory evidence and denial of access to courts for purposes of establishing innocence and wrongful conviction. Claims against SBI defendants subsequently settled for $3 million. Primary claims against other defendants were resolved in January 2024 for an additional $22 million and issuance of a formal, public apology.

Favorable court ruling helps pave the way for largest wrongful incarceration settlement in North Carolina history.

Ronnie Long v. Hooks, et al., 972 F.3d 442 (4th Cir. 2020) (en banc): Case in which police withheld multiple items of exculpatory evidence and denied Ronnie Long a fair trial, resulting in his wrongful conviction. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that law enforcement officers violated Mr. Long’s constitutional rights. Following the Fourth Circuit’s ruling, Mr. Long’s convictions were vacated, and he was granted a Pardon of Innocence.  
Assisted Duke University School of Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic with exoneration effort as pro bono counsel. Ronnie Long’s convictions were vacated, bringing his 44-year wrongful incarceration to an end.

Dwayne Dail v. City of Goldsboro, 2012 WL 12915292 (Eastern District of North Carolina, Sept. 25, 2012): The Goldsboro Police Department misplaced evidence that would later be used to exonerate Dwayne Dail and to convict the actual perpetrator. Police officials obstructed justice and denied Mr. Dail his right of access to the courts in falsely representing that all evidence had been destroyed. Their negligence and misconduct unnecessarily extended Mr. Dail’s wrongful incarceration. Motion for summary judgment filed by the municipal defendant and those responsible for evidence maintenance and safekeeping denied.


Part of a team that represented Dwayne Dail in his post-exoneration civil suit. After extensive discovery and preparations for trial, the case was resolved for $7.5 million.

Greg Taylor v. Deaver, et al., 2012 WL 12905868 (Eastern District of North Carolina, Sept. 28, 2012): NC State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) agents fabricated evidence in the form of misleading SBI lab reports used to falsely argue that blood was found on Greg Taylor’s vehicle. District Court ruled that legal claims based on fabrication of evidence and withholding of exculpatory evidence were properly alleged. SBI defendants’ motion to dismiss denied.  
Part of a team that successfully represented Greg Taylor in his post-exoneration civil suit seeking damages for his 17-year wrongful incarceration. The case was settled for $4.625 million, the limits of available insurance coverage.

Richardson v. Bank of America, N.A., 657 S.E.2d 353 (NC 2008), petition for disc. rev. dismissed, leaving undisturbed, Richardson, 643 S.E.2d 410 (NC 2007): Low-income borrowers were sold unlawful credit insurance which substantially and unfairly increased their mortgage loan costs. Summary judgment ruling in favor of the borrowers affirmed, establishing that subprime lender committed unfair trade practices and breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing as a matter of law.


Served as class counsel and formulated the liability and damages theories and arguments which led to favorable rulings for the class. The case settled for $38.75 million and provided significant damage awards for low-income borrowers throughout North Carolina.

Estate of Harbin v. State of NC, IC TA 22283 (NC Indus. Comm’n Nov. 5, 2013): Individual in need of substance abuse treatment given a lethal overdose of methadone at a state treatment facility.


Trial verdict in favor of decedent’s family for $628,000. Verdict affirmed on appeal. Medical malpractice claim against treating physician resolved confidentially in separate proceeding for an additional sum.

McNeil v. Wyeth, 462 F.3d 364 (5th Cir. 2006): Product liability suit involving inadequate warnings of permanent drug side effects. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that summary judgment was improperly granted in favor of drug manufacturer.


Handled appellate legal briefing and argument before the Fifth Circuit. The suit was settled at mediation for $1.1 million following the unanimous appellate ruling by the Fifth Circuit.

Fannie Tillman, et al. v. Commercial Credit Loans, Inc., 655 S.E.2d 362 (NC 2008): Subprime borrowers were subjected to unfair lending practices and improperly sold costly and unnecessary credit insurance products. Trial court rulings in favor of plaintiff class affirmed by North Carolina Supreme Court. The case represented the first instance in which an arbitration clause was deemed unenforceable due to unconscionability by any North Carolina appellate court.  
Served as class counsel and part of a team that litigated claims on behalf of low-income mortgage borrowers for eight years in state and federal court. Following the landmark ruling by the North Carolina Supreme Court, the case was resolved for $42.5 million, with significant damages awarded to thousands of subprime borrowers.

Olson Law, PLLC | Chris Olson (he/him/his) | 2020 Progress Court, Suite 100-154 | Raleigh, North Carolina 27608