Seasoned North Carolina Attorneys Who Go To Battle For You

A Legacy Of Success

Spence, Carter & Reed, PA is general practice law firm centered in Smithfield North Carolina that has become more specialized as the firm withdrew from criminal felony, juvenile law and bankruptcy when the increased development in Johnston County demanded more of the firm’s attention.  Now the firm centers its practice areas in local government law and litigation, business law and litigation, commercial and residential transactions, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, estate litigation and special proceedings, domestic law and public housing as listed under Practice Areas.

The firm began in the fall of 1975 when Robert A. Spence, Jr., currently the senior partner, agreed to return to his hometown to a general practice with his father Robert A. Spence, Sr.  His father moved from the area shortly thereafter and Robert Jr. chose to stay where he grew up and have a general practice.  Other attorneys and judges helped him learn the steps.  He learned litigation from criminal defense appointments, mental health and incompetency proceeding appointments and selection by the local District Attorney to prosecuted the docket in District Court per diem until he hired more staff a year later.

Upon his father’s return, the firm attracted a volume of civil litigation, probate litigation, caveats, and personal injury defense until by the early mid 1990’s the Chief Superior Court judge was openly complaining to the firm about the volume of jury trials which went to verdict, stating that from his computer he determined that the firm had recently tried more jury trials to a finish than the next seven law firms combined in Johnston, Lee, and Harnett Counties and it had to stop! Simultaneously, the transaction practice of the firm grew in real estate closings, business formation and management, estate and probate management and planning, and domestic litigation and settlement. The firms appeared in arbitrations and served as Arbitrators with the AAA.

Robert A. Spence, Sr. retired in the mid 1990’s after over 20 years of practice with his son.  In late 1997 in anticipation of more growth in parts of the county, Robert Spence, Jr. obtained a board certification in residential real property.  The firm steered away from the high volume of personal injury defense that was demanding specialization to more broadly representing multiple local governments, redevelopment commissions, housing authorities, quiet title actions, foreclosures, real property litigation, civil litigation, and litigation before the Clerk in special proceedings, probate and estate proceedings, and partition litigation.  In the last decade the firm practiced mainly as Spence and Berkau, P.A. but renamed to Spence, Carter & Reed, PA, recognizing the current three attorneys at the firm upon Berkau’s retirement in 2017.

Over the years Robert A. Spence, Sr. and Jr. have each served as Presidents of the Johnston County Bar Association and the Eleventh Judicial District Bar.  The Eleventh Judicial Bar composed of Johnston, Harnett and Lee Counties, elected Robert A. Spence, Sr. in the 1980s as their sole representative to the governing State Bar managing grievances and bar rules for the maximum term of nine years. In the late 1990’s the Eleventh Judicial District Bar elected and re-elected Robert A. Spence, Jr . as their sole representative to the State Bar for the maximum of three successive terms of three years.

Robert A. Spence, Sr. and Robert Spence, Jr. have served as legal council for multiple communities including that of the capital seat of Johnston County since the early 1980’s.  They have also appeared in front of multiple planning boards or other local governments representing clients on development and property issues before other local governments primarily in Johnston or adjoining counties.  They have each served as head of local civic groups such as Kiwanis and Rotary, chairman of the board of their local Methodist church and on the board of other entities including North Carolina Farmworkers Legal Services and North Carolina Legal Aid.

Experienced Attorneys Providing A Range Of Legal Services

The seasoned legal team at Spence, Carter & Reed, PA offers services in a wide range of practice areas including:

    • Development Law
      • Zoning
      • Annexation
      • Eminent Domain
    • Local Government Law
      • Management
      • Nuisance Litigation and Enforcement
    • Commercial and Residential Real Estate Transactions and Litigation
      • Homeowner Association Litigation and Management
      • Evictions
      • Purchase/Sell of Property
      • Partitions
    • Business Law
      • Entity Formation
    • Civil Litigation
      • Business Litigation
      • General civil disputes
      • Debt Collection
      • Personal injury
      • Unfair trade
    • Probate Practice and Litigation
      • Wills
      • Estates
      • Trusts
      • Incompetency
      • Partitions
    • Domestic Litigation
      • Divorce
      • Custody
      • Alimony
      • Child Support
      • Equitable Distribution
      • Public Housing Evictions, Management and Litigation

To learn more about the backgrounds and legal accomplishments of our attorneys, click on the links below:

Work With A Trusted Team

To address your legal concerns with serious, experienced counsel, contact Spence, Carter & Reed, PA, today. We will use our deep knowledge of the law to evaluate your situation and help you understand your options. To schedule a consultation, call us at 919-934-1149, or complete our online form.