Construction is a tough business that is adversarial by nature. Contractors, owners, subcontractors, suppliers, and designers are all competing for the same dollars. While regulations are ever increasing, construction and development remain as businesses where the players make most of the rules and the decisions. There is no room for error and even less for problems and disputes that cost money. There is a great deal of room for preventative review to avoid construction and real estate disputes and I have a good deal of experience in fixing issues before they evolve into problems. Sometimes problems arise regardless of the best planning. As a contractor for over twenty years, I understand not only the legal aspects of a dispute, but also the issues and events that led to it and creative ways to fix it as inexpensively as possible.

Click here to learn about my contractor check up package.

Why should I choose Dave Ervin as my construction attorney?

Because I have been where you are and I get it.

Prior to becoming an attorney, I had a career in construction and real estate development that spanned over twenty-five years. I owned and operated a regional construction and development firm that maintained over fifty employees. My company designed, developed, and built in excess of $100M of construction projects including houses and subdivisions, retail and office condominium complexes, industrial facilities and aircraft hangers, medical office complexes, schools, and motorcycle dealerships. I am intimately familiar with all phases of acquisition, engineering, design, sitework, construction, leasing and sales. Specific areas of my law practice include:

  • Site Acquisition/Negotiation
  • Planning and Zoning
  • Civil Design and Engineering
  • Building Design and Engineering
  • Construction Claims, Including:
    • Delay and Damage Claims
    • Payment Disputes/Lien Claims
    • Construction Defect Claims
    • Contract Drafting and Litigation
  • Condominiums and Associations
  • Warranty Issues
  • Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices

In addition to legal services, I also provide construction and real estate professionals with business consulting services including overhead analysis, cash flow analysis, job cost analysis and diagnosis, HR issues, policy manuals, and contract/subcontract review.

I've been involved, both as an attorney and as a contractor/developer in negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. I understand that the typical legal process may not be the best option to solving disputes from a cost or time perspective. Any hour you spend working with legal issues is an hour you aren't making money in your business. I can help you fix the issues you have and also help you to plan to avoid the ones that haven't happened yet.

Click here to learn about my contractor check Up package.

I'm an owner of a current/future construction project. How can you help me?

Again, I've been where you are and I get it.

Most contractors are good folks who conduct business honestly and fairly. But some contractors are unscrupulous and will prey on those who are not as knowledgeable. As a contractor, I always believed it was my obligation to be a partner with the project owner and to protect his interests. Unfortunately, this is not always the case with your contractor. I know the games that some contractors play and how to set up a deal at the outset to better protect the interests of the owner. Better yet, I can help avoid hiring the wrong contractor to start with. From large commercial projects to home additions, I can help the owner with:

  • Bid evaluation and contractor vetting
  • Payment disputes/lien issues
  • Defective work and other contract breaches
  • Licensing and insurance issues
  • Jobsite injuries, damages, and other claims
  • Working with lenders and financing
  • Handling change orders
  • Delays and the resulting claims
  • Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices

Your contractor holds most of the cards in your project through their superior knowledge and experience. I can help level the playing field and give you the tools to help keep your project on time and budget.

I am contemplating developing a parcel of land. How can you help me?

At the risk of sounding redundant, I've been where you are and I get it.

Development is a dynamic business with a great deal of potential risk and reward. The key to successful development is to minimize as much risk as you can without sacrificing your profit opportunities. From zoning and planning to financing to construction logistics, a development project has many moving parts, any one of which can turn a project into a disaster if not handled properly. As a development attorney, I can help a project owner navigate the regulatory agencies, designers, contractors, and lenders that all play a part in the development process. Avoiding surprises; zoning issues, change orders, unforeseen construction conditions, and rate hikes is imperative to a successful project. This is true whether you are building a retail complex, an office building, or even a single family home. I can come along side an owner for part or all of the development process to help with effective planning, administration, and dispute resolution. I have developed and built hundreds of thousands of square feet of space, often learning the hard way. Let my experience help save your project money and time.


In what areas do you work?

I am based in Wilmington, but construction law is fairly portable. I work with contractors, owners, and developers anywhere in the state of North Carolina.

For more information on construction and real estate, check out our Resources page.

Click here to learn about my contractor check Up package.

Schedule a Consultation

The first step in resolving your issue is to become informed. I look forward to meeting with you to listen to your concerns and to help you plan the best way to deal with whatever you are facing. Click below to schedule an initial consultation now.


“I was very happy with the way Dave handled my case. He went above and beyond what I expected and I was very pleased with the time and interest he took in not only my case, but also in me. I would highly recommend him to anybody in need of a good attorney.”

- S.H.

“I can not imagine a man more perfectly suited to a career that requires high standards of conduct, a heart for helping people, and an extraordinary work ethic.”

- F.S.

“Dave Ervin conducted himself with the highest degree of integrity and honesty throughout all of the numerous occasions I had to work with him.”

- S.P.