T. Richard Kane 

Vanderbilt University, JD, 1980

Boston University, MA, 1978

Duke University, LLM, 1986

Duke University, BA, 1970

Professional and Community Activities

N.C. Reporter, ABA Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility
Advisory Member, Ethics Committee, North Carolina State Bar, 2002 - 2009
Member, Disciplinary Hearing Commission, 2003-2009
North Carolina Bar Association, Administrative Law Section (Council Member, 2000-06; Chair 2009); Environmental Law Section (Council Member), 
Litigation Section
Member, Carolinas Air Pollution Control Association, 1993 - present
Board of Directors, North Carolina Association of Launderers and Cleaners, 2005 - present
Board of Directors, Charlotte Civic Orchestra 2001 - 2006

Jurisdictions Licensed
301 S. College Street, Suite 2300, Charlotte, NC 28202t: 704.342.5303|
f: 704.342.5264|
301 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1900, Raleigh, NC 27601t: 919.783.1035|
P.O. Box 1801, Raleigh, NC 27602-1801f: 919.783.1075|

Somewhat unusually, Rick Kane concentrates his practice in two areas of the law that have almost nothing in common with each other.

In his environmental law and toxic tort practice, Rick has privately advised clients, negotiated on their behalf, and defended their interests in hundreds of matters involving regulation under the Clean Air Act; the Clean Water Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Responsibility, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Toxic Substances Control Act, the National Environmental Policy Act; and their North Carolina counterpart statutes.  His representations have ranged in scope from the air pollution permitting for a substantial expansion of a major national airport to the defense of numerous small businesses against claims of improper hazardous waste disposal.  He successfully negotiated the resolution of US EPA’s claims against a local dry-cleaner as part of the nationally publicized Camp LeJeune contaminated drinking water matter, and obtained a dismissal of a subsequent civil action brought by private parties against his client in that matter.  He successfully defended the first North Carolina lawsuit that alleged the infliction of severe adverse health effects through the inhalation of endotoxins associated with poultry production.

In his “lawyer law” practice, Rick principally defends attorneys against claims of legal malpractice.  However, in proceedings before the North Carolina State Bar, he also regularly represents North Carolina lawyers against allegations of ethical violations, as well as lawyers from other jurisdictions against claims of unauthorized practice in North Carolina.  He handles, in addition, disputes concerning law firm break-ups and professional negligence insurance coverage. 

Representative Experience

Coastal Property Ventures, LLC, et al. v. R.A. North Development, Inc., et al. (Mecklenburg County Superior Court 2012) - Dismissal of all claims against two closing attorneys in case alleging manipulation of lot prices in high-end coastal residential developments.

Vaca v. Attorney A (Union County Superior Court, 2011)
– Judgment on the pleadings in favor of the defendant worker’s compensation lawyer alleged to have negligently allowed an unfaithful guardian to deplete her client’s award.

In re: Attorney B (Grievance Committee of the North Carolina State Bar, 2011) -  dismissal of grievance against respondent lawyer accused of making a knowingly false statement in a federal court filing.

Piraino Brothers, LLC v. Atlantic Financial Group, Inc., 365 N.C. 357 (2011)
Zero-liability trial and appellate results in defense of attorney and law firm accused of breach of trust agreement, conversion, civil conspiracy, and aiding and abetting client fraud in multi-million dollar real estate transaction.


KB Home Charlotte v. Knotts-Providence LLC et al. (Union County Superior Court 2011) - Dismissal of all claims against closing attorney in suit arising from conveyance of prospective residential subdivision.

Laws v. Priority Trustee Services of North Carolina, LLC, 610 F. Supp. 528 (WDNC 2009); No. 09-1432 (4th Cir. 2010)  - Dismissal of action, and successful appellate defense of dismissal, in a purported $11 million class action against multi-state firm retained to perform foreclosure sales.

read all representative experience

Prior Legal Experience

Before joining Poyner Spruill, Rick served as a Special Deputy Attorney General in the North Carolina Department of Justice, principally advising and representing in litigation the North Carolina Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Authority.  Prior to that public service, Rick served both as a line officer and as a Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps.  His experiences in the latter capacity included the prosecution of three capital murder cases, the defense of numerous sensitive cases involving allegations against senior commissioned and noncommissioned officers, the pioneering of the then-new field of military operational law, and service as Assistant Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (for operational law) and as Deputy Legal and Legislative Counsel to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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