Moore & Van Allen Law Firm, Attorneys
Practice Areas
  • B.A., University of Virginia, 2005
  • J.D., College of William & Mary, 2008, Order of Barristers
  • North Carolina, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, 2010
  • Virginia, 2010
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia, 2018
100 North Tryon Street
Suite 4700
Charlotte, NC 28202-4003

M. Cabell Clay

News & Events
Professional Affiliations

Cabell Clay brings to her wide-ranging clients counseling and litigation experience in both employment matters and commercial disputes.  

Cabell appreciates that every business is unique and believes that understanding her clients’ business model, culture, and needs is crucial to successful attorney-client partnerships. Whether it involves high stakes litigation defense or review of employment practices and policies, Cabell works with clients to develop advice and strategies that align closely with their long-term goals and interests.

Cabell routinely advises clients on a variety of employment matters, including employment agreements, drafting of restrictive covenants, trade secret protections, employee discipline and terminations, severance agreements, employment handbooks and policies, ADA accommodation requests, FMLA compliance, discrimination and harassment issues, and wage & hour compliance and audits.

She also handles wide-ranging employment and commercial litigation, including trade secret misappropriation litigation, DOL investigations, restrictive covenants disputes, management representation in Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and wage & hour litigation, as well as proceedings before the EEOC and corresponding state and local agencies.  Additionally, Cabell has substantial experience in handling class action defense, internal investigations, contract claims, securities and mortgage fraud defense, unfair trade practices claims, and civil appeals.

In addition to her extensive civil trial experience, Cabell spent six months on special assignment as an Assistant District Attorney in the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, where she honed her trial skills by successfully prosecuting misdemeanors in both District and Superior Courts.

In addition to her commitment to her clients, Cabell is a dedicated public servant. Over the last five years, she has contributed over 2,500 hours to pro bono efforts, community service, and bar leadership.  Cabell assists victims of domestic violence in obtaining domestic violence protective orders, represents the best interests of children caught in the middle of high conflict custody disputes, and provides housing rights advice through Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Lawyer on the Line program. Cabell is also active on behalf of Charlotte’s youth.  Along with serving as a member of the Junior League of Charlotte and a volunteer judge for the Assistance League of Charlotte’s Teen Court, Cabell is a member of the Steering Committee for Chameleon’s Journey, a grief camp for children run by Hospice and Palliative Care Greater Charlotte Region.  Cabell also serves on the Board of Directors for the Council for Children’s Rights, a non-profit in Charlotte that stands up for the rights of every child to be healthy, safe, and well-educated.  Cabell is a respected leader within the Mecklenburg County Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Facilitator, Protecting Client Information During Litigation, Trial Network’s Litigation Management Supercourse, April 2019
  • Moderator, Effecting Change Behind the Scenes: Insight into the role of a Hill Staffer, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference, May 2019
  • Moderator, 2019 Spring Professionalism for New Attorneys (PNA) course, North Carolina Bar Association, May 2019
  • Moderator, Appointed: Opportunities to Shape Government and the Judiciary Through Local and State Appointments, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, October 2018
  • Presenter, Fitting Public Service into a Private Practice, William & Mary School of Law Commencement Ceremony, May 2018
  • Presenter, 6th Annual Leadership Conference, William & Mary School of Law, September 2017
  • Co-Author, A New Litigator’s Guide: Top 5 Tips for Court Prep, Law360, July 9, 2014
  • Presenter, USAO’s Engage–Teen Dating Violence Summit, February 2014
  • Co-Author, Civil Litigators’ Insights from the District Attorney’s Office, North Carolina Lawyer, November 2013
  • Panelist, Professionalism for New Admittees, Mecklenburg County Bar Young Lawyers Division, September 2013
  • Presenter, 50B Order Mock Consent Negotiation CLE, February 2013
  • Presenter, Domestic Violence Mock Trial CLE, February 2012

Of Note

  • Named 2019 American Bar Association (ABA) On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyer
  • Rising Star in Business Litigation, North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2014-2019
  • Young Gun, Business North Carolina Legal Elite, 2019
  • Council for Children’s Rights, Board of Directors, 2014–present
    • President, Board of Directors, July 2018–present
    • President-Elect, Board of Directors, July 2017–June 2018
    • Chair, Fund Development Committee, July 2016–June 2017
  • University of Virginia Jefferson Scholar Selection Committee, 2019
  • Hospice & Palliative Care Greater Charlotte Region (HPCCR), Steering Committee for Chameleon’s Journey, August 2014–present
  • Pro Bono Volunteer, North Carolina Legal Aid Lawyer on the Line, 2014–present
  • Member, Junior League of Charlotte, Fall 2009–present
  • Assistance League of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County Teen Court, Volunteer Judge, Fall 2013–present
  • Named to the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, 2018
  • Woman of the Year, Women Lawyers of Charlotte, December 2018
  • Star of the Year, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, August 2018
  • Taylor Reveley III Citizen Lawyer Award, William & Mary School of Law, May 2018
  • Outstanding Collaborative Project Pro Bono Award, Mecklenburg County Bar, 2018
  • Younger Lawyer Pro Bono Award, North Carolina Bar Association, 2017
  • Charles F. Blanchard Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year, North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, 2016
  • Sally & Bill Van Allen Public Service Award, June 2014
  • Friend of the Association Award, North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks, April 2014
  • Safe Alliance, Commitment to Justice Award, 2012–2014
  • Co-President, UVAClub of Charlotte, 2011–2014
  • Board Member, Young Affiliates of the Mint 2011–2014
  • Member, William & Mary Greater Charlotte Alumni Board, 2009–2014


Professional Affiliations

  • Mecklenburg County Bar
    • Board of Directors, 2012–2015
    • Member, Community Service Committee, Young Lawyers Division, 2009–2015
  • North Carolina Bar Association & Foundation
    • Chair-Elect, Young Lawyers Division, July 2018–Present
    • Member, North Carolina Bar Foundation Endowment Committee, July 2018–Present
    • Secretary, Young Lawyers Division, July 2017–June 2018
    • Younger Lawyer Pro Bono Award, 2017
    • Administrative Division Director, Young Lawyers Division, July 2016–June 2017
    • Charles F. Blanchard Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year, Young Lawyers Division, 2016
    • Volunteer Coordinator of Disaster Legal Services for Victims of Hurricane Matthew, Young Lawyers Division, October 2016–May 2017
    • Chair, How-To Practice Law Task Force, Young Lawyers Division, July 2015–June 2016
    • Chair, Legal Feeding Frenzy, Young Lawyers Division, July 2012–June 2014
  • American Bar Association
    • Civic Engagement Director, Young Lawyers Division, January 2018–present
    • Star of the Year, Young Lawyers Division, August 2018
    • Administrative Director, August 2017–July 2018
    • National Conferences Team, Young Lawyers Divisions, August 2016–July 2017
    • District 9 (NC) Representative, Young Lawyers Division, August 2014–July 2016
  • American Bar Foundation
    • Life Fellow, 2018
  • Women Lawyers of Charlotte
    • Member
    • Woman of the Year, 2018
  • The Virginia Bar Association
    • Member
  • International Association of Young Lawyers
    • Member