Thomas Maher

Thomas Maher is an experienced criminal litigation lawyer, who has handled complex appeals, trials and post-conviction cases in state and federal court.

Thomas began practicing as a criminal defense attorney in North Carolina after spending two years clerking for a federal appellate judge. Thomas has appeared in state and federal court on charges that range from DWI to capital murder, handling trials, appeals and post-conviction cases. He served as co-counsel in the high-profile defense of Michael Peterson, featured in the documentary The Staircase. In addition to many years as a litigator, Thomas also served as Executive Director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, and as Executive Director for the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, the agency that supports public defense in North Carolina. Thomas received the Friend of the Court award, which is the highest award from the North Carolina court system. He teaches trial practice skills to law students at Duke University School of Law and teaches lawyers through the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and is AV rated in Martindale-Hubbell.

  • Federal and state appeals and post-conviction
  • White collar and other complex cases
  • Criminal and civil fraud cases
  • Federal and state serious drug cases
  • Murder charges
  • Grand jury and other investigations


Northwestern University, BA in American Culture. 1979

University of North Carolina School of Law, JD, with high honors. 1982