Cynthia O’Neal, Requiescat in pace

Always a Smile

On the Loss of Cynthia O’Neal

By: Gregory L. Shelton
Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes, PA

We go about our day in a kind of race. Deadlines to meet, calls to return, letters to write, arguments to prepare.

And so it was yesterday, when I received an email from Jacquelyn Terrell of the North Carolina Bar Association advising the membership of the Construction Law Section that Cynthia O’Neal had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

As reality slowly settles in, and the rest of the world fades into the background, memories and images sharpen. For those who worked with her or knew her, I’m sure they picture in their mind’s eye Cynthia smiling and radiating positive energy. Cynthia was always a joy to be around.

I first met Cynthia while serving with her on the Council of the North Carolina Bar Association Construction Law Section. Cynthia was in private practice at that time. Cynthia began her legal career as a law clerk to North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Sarah Parker. She then entered private practice representing clients in construction law, securities law, and business matters. In 2009, Cynthia was appointed to serve as general counsel to North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton.

Over the course of her all too short career, Cynthia was a star. She received the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship and the Triangle Business Journal “40 Under 40” Leadership Award. She was also recognized as a “Rising Star” by the North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine.

On behalf of the North Carolina Construction Law Section, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Cynthia’s family. We will miss her too.



About Gregory L. Shelton

Gregory L. Shelton is licensed to practice in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. He is a South Carolina circuit court mediator and North Carolina superior court mediator. Greg is the Managing Editor of the North Carolina Construction Law Deskbook, the definitive treatise on construction law in the state. He is also Florida board certified as a construction law specialist. He practices at Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes, P.A. Phone: (704) 377-2500 Fax: (704) 716-0905 Email:
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