Jonathan D. Sasser - Ellis & Winters LLP

Jonathan D. Sasser

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006
Phone: 919-865-7002

Jon Sasser grew up on a Union County farm, and learned to practice law on Park Avenue. He represents businesses, often Fortune 500 companies, in complex corporate disputes. He was honored in 2015 as North Carolina’s foremost business litigator by Business North CarolinaMagazine. Since 2013, he has been voted by his peers as one of Super Lawyers’ top three attorneys in North Carolina. 

In recent months, he has cross-examined Verizon’s founding CEO in a $1.8 billion federal trial, convinced a state judge to declare a statute unconstitutional, won a treble damages jury verdict, and successfully argued to cancel a lis pendens on a $50 million commercial property.

While trying multi-week jury trials and arguing numerous appeals in federal and state court, he has obtained for his clients a $57 million verdict for corporate espionage (North Carolina's largest verdict of 2008), injunctions under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a leading decision under the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act, a ruling overturning the election of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff, a North Carolina precedent restricting who may sue for contamination, a $275,000 settlement for a 64-year-old woman banished from public property for alleged "dirty dancing," a $2.5 million jury verdict in a single-family drinking water case, a reversal of a death sentence, a $500,000 contempt citation against a New York Times bureau chief, and a federal decision allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed in a courtroom.

His clients have included Fortune 500 companies in the industries of chemicals, petroleum, banking, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, securities, and media/entertainment; a former NFL head coach, Death Row inmates; high school journalists; public officials, hip hop musicians; the ACLU; and the Police Benevolent Association. Accounts of his cases have been published inThe New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Times of LondonThe ABA JournalThe American LawyerThe National Law JournalThe University of Georgia Law ReviewThe Hofstra Law ReviewThe Loyola (Los Angeles) Law ReviewColumbia Journalism Review, and the George Will column. His first federal court cross-examination (July 1986) is reprinted in Margaret Edds’ book An Expendable Man (New York University Press 2003).

He has summited the Grand Teton, Mt. Whitney, and Mt. Baker, and completed Ironman Florida, Ironman Arizona, and the Boston Marathon. A five-time member of Team USA, in age-group competitions he has placed fifth in the nation (aquathlon), seventh in the nation (1650-yard freestyle), first in the State Powerade Games (1500-meter and 3000-meter runs), and 17th in the World Triathlon Championships (aquathlon).

Awards and Honors

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business ®, "Leader in the Field" for General Litigation (2011-present)
  • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina Litigation Star (2012-present)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, Litigation, (2006-present)
    • "Top 10" Lawyers in North Carolina (2011-present)
    • "Top 3" Lawyers in North Carolina (2013-present)
  • Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, Litigation (2006-2015)
    • Top Vote Recipient for Litigation in 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation - Securities (2006-present) 
    • Raleigh "Lawyer of the Year" for Bet-the-Company Litigation (2016)
    • Raleigh "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation - Securities (2012)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Tour de Cure (American Diabetes Association), Co-Chair, 2008
  • North Carolina School of Science & Math Foundation, Chair, 2003-2004
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Constitutional Law Section, Chair, 2002-2003
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Member, Civil Rules Subcommittee, 2012-2013

Prior Legal Experience

  • Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, 1986-2003
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, 1982-1986


  • North Carolina, 1981
  • New York, 1983
  • United States District Courts
    • Northern District of Texas, 1982
    • Southern District of New York, 1983
    • Eastern District of New York, 1983
    • Eastern District of North Carolina, 1986
    • Middle District of North Carolina, 1987
    • Western District of North Carolina, 2000
  • United States Supreme Court, 1988
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • Fourth Circuit, 1987
    • Ninth Circuit, 2006

University of North CarolinaBA 1978University of North Carolina School of LawJ.D. 1981

Client Comments

"I have utilized Mr. Sasser's services for many years with good success. I find his skills to be exceptional. What I appreciate most of all is his ability to digest and understand our strategy, and his ability to manage the case within our desired level of investment. Mr. Sasser is able to convey complex issues succinctly and in a manner that is easily understood and compelling. I have found that counsel from larger metropolitan areas tend to underestimate his firm's capabilities, most often to their detriment."

"Jon is a very smart and capable attorney. In order to rise to this level, that is something that is expected. In his representation of me, Jon also demonstrated some very important additional qualities. In a matter that was complex and required navigating a very difficult path, Jon and his associate Tom Segars came up with a creative approach that allowed us to make it down that difficult path. Throughout the entire process, not only did Jon provide very sound advice, he listened to my views, and I always felt comfortable with where we were going. When time is of the essence, and stress levels are high, having that level of comfort is rare and very important. It was a pleasure to work with him."

-Brian Lee
Home Freedom Capital Corp.

Office Location

4131 Parklake Avenue, Suite 400
P.O. Box 33550
Raleigh, NC 27636
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Intellectual Property of the Raleigh Metro Area2016 Lawyer of the Year in Bet-the-Company Litigation of the Raleigh Metro Area2012 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Securities of the Raleigh Metro Area
Jonathan D. Sasser has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!Jonathan D. Sasser has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Jonathan D. Sasser has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation
Commercial Litigation (Business Disputes, Commercial Disputes, Complex Litigation, Election, Fraud, Trade Secrets)
Litigation - Intellectual Property
Litigation - Securities

Other Information

Gender: Male