M. Riana Smith



direct: 919 817 1589

911 Paverstone Drive, Suite F
Raleigh, NC 27615

919 278 7453|Fax: 855 876 8893

Riana focuses her practice in the areas of Business Law, Commercial Litigation, and Construction Law. Riana often acts as general counsel for her clients, assisting them with a wide-range of issues related to their business needs, including corporate formation and planning, employment matters, contract drafting and negotiations, business disputes, collections, non-compete agreements, mergers and acquisitions, dissolution, and succession planning.

In her construction law practice, Riana handles all aspects related to the construction industry, including but not limited to all phases of construction, contract negotiations, construction defects, lien and bond law claims, immigration compliance, employment law, and litigation.

Riana works with her clients to reach creative and amicable solutions to try and avoid litigation and minimize costs. When litigation arises or becomes unavoidable, however, she is experienced in representing her clients in state and federal court, as well as in alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as arbitration and mediation.

Riana is a member of many association trade groups and is a frequent speaker at meetings and conferences.

Riana has also received the following recognition:

  • Named one of Business North Carolina’s Legal Elitein the field of Construction for 2012; 2014-2017
  • Named one of Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite– Best Women Lawyers in the State for 2014
  • Selected by North Carolina Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star for 2011-2013 and Super Lawyer for 2014-2017
  • Selected by Super Lawyers for their annual Business Edition list as a top business attorney
  • For more information about Super Lawyer and Legal Elite honors and methodology, please visit superlawyers.com or www.businessnc.com


Areas of Practice
Corporate Law
Civil Litigation
Construction Law
Debtor Collections
Employment Law
Immigration Compliance

Bar Admissions
North Carolina
United States District Court – Eastern District of North Carolina
Middle District of North Carolina

Campbell University School of Law, 2003, J.D.
Appalachian State University, 2000, B.A.

Graduated Magna Cum Laude

Past Employment Positions:
Safran Law Office, Associate (2006-2013)
NC Court of Appeals, Law Clerk to Judge Sanford L. Steelman Jr. (2004-2006)

Professional Activities:
Admitted North Carolina State Bar, 2003
North Carolina Bar Association:
Construction Law Section Chair (2016-2017)
Construction Law Section Vice-Chair (2015-2016) Committee Member (2009-2012); Officer (2012-2013); Committee Co-Chair (2014-2015)

Co-Author, “Employment Issues in Construction Law” Chapter of North Carolina Construction Law Deskbook, (5th & 6th Edition, 2013; 2017)
Author, Surviving the Construction Battlefield, Understanding the Statute of Limitations and Repose, (2010)
Author, Change Is A-Coming: E-Verify and the Revised I-9 Form, (2009)
Author, Retainage Reform Finally Comes to North Carolina, (2007)
Author, Proposed Changes to Laws on Public Construction Projects that Effect Your Rights to Payment, (2007)

Back to Attorneys