Melissa is a litigation partner with over 20 years of experience, whose practice is focused on construction law and business disputes. She primarily represents architects and engineers, advising them on contract proposals to limit risks, defending them when litigation does arise, and assisting them in the collection of their accounts receivables. Her cases have included construction administration and management claims, plan defect claims, testing failure claims, and delay claims, and she has represented them in State and Federal courts as well as in binding arbitration. Her practice includes the defense of all sizes of claims, from private commercial buildings to large, multi-million dollar public projects.

In addition to construction cases, Melissa handles commercial litigation, business torts, contract negotiation, medical negligence claims, product defect liability, premise liability, title insurance litigation, and director and officer liability.

Since 2009, Melissa has written and edited Construction Law in North Carolina (, which is dedicated exclusively to the design professional community. The blog is critically-acclaimed at the national level, and has been awarded the “Best Construction Blog” prize by Design and Construction Report.  

Visit Melissa’s construction blog at

Experience Highlights
Confidential Arbitration. Arbitrator found in favor of plaintiff-contractor (client) in private binding arbitration involving unpaid fees with counterclaim for alleged construction defects totaling over $800,000. 

After two week jury trial, awarded complete defense verdict ($0.00 award) in favor of architect-client in construction litigation lawsuit involving allegations of architect’s professional negligence. 

Confidential Arbitration. Arbitrator awarded complete defense verdict ($0.0 awarded) in favor of engineer-client after lengthy binding private arbitration.

Successful defense of a homeowner’s association in connection with a lawsuit filed by a homeowner alleging the homeowner’s association had wrongfully suspended plaintiff’s status as a member in good standing.  North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment with respect to all of plaintiff’s claims except one, which was remanded to the trial court for trial on nominal damages only. Zumkehr v. Hidden Lakes Property Owners Association, Inc., 158 N.C. App. 747, 582 S.E.2d 82 (2003), rev. denied by, 357 N.C. 511, 588 S.E.2d 474 (2003).

Assisted in successful representation of mentally disabled client on Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) appeal of judicial order establishing client’s right to certain Medicaid benefits. (McCrann v. DHHS, 209 N.C. App. 241, 704 S.E. 2d 899 (2011)).

Publications & Presentations
Ms. Brumback is a well respected author and presenter in the construction industry. Dozens of her articles relating to legal issues for design professionals, and risk avoidance for construction projects have been published, and she routinely lectures to multiple national, regional, and local construction-related industries on legal matters, including the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Defect Claims Managers Association (CDCMA) and the Construction Super Conference.  Her speech topics have included:

 7 Critical Mistakes that Engineers & Architects Make During Project Negotiation & Execution that Sabotage their Projects and Invite Litigation
Public Construction Contracting:  the new EJCDC Contract Forms
The New ISO Additional Insured Forms
Best Practices for Minimizing Risk in Construction Contracts Resolving Problems & Disputes on Construction Projects
Multi-Party Construction Cases: Joinder of Subcontractors & Design Professionals in Binding Arbitration Agreements
Scope of Services Under AIA, EJCDC, and ConsensusDocs Contract Forms
Best Business Practices to Ensure You Get Paid

Previous Legal Experience
Stuart Law Firm, PLLC, Raleigh,NC,  Associate
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Raleigh NC, Legal Intern
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton L.L.P., Raleigh NC, Law Clerk
NC Justice & Community Development Center, Raleigh NC, Law Clerk