Founding Partner & CEO
Patrick Roberts is a highly rated, award-winning attorney, whose experience includes successfully handling complex criminal matters ranging from federal drug trafficking and serious sex crimes to 1st Degree Murder.
Attorney Kevin Marcilliat comes from a family of lawyers and has been defending people in North Carolina since law school, where – still just a student – he won his first not-guilty verdicts.
Miranda J. Mills
Attorney Miranda J. Mills, “destined” for a career in criminal law from the start, has collected numerous not-guilty verdicts and dismissals in serious cases ranging from statutory rape to assault with a deadly weapon.
Rebecca R. Chappell
Senior Trial Counsel
Rebecca Chappell was raised in Winnsboro, SC. She attended and graduated from Winnsboro High School. She attended and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Bennett College in Greensboro, NC.
Attorney Danielle Feller joined Roberts Law Group after having become the first recipient of the firm’s Bar Exam Scholarship, presented to future lawyers who show promise in criminal law. Even from her first year of law school, Ms. Feller knew she would defend people.
Phylicia M. Powers
Senior Trial Counsel
Attorney Phylicia M. Powers’ passion for advocacy and litigation was cultivated when she competed in law school trial competitions. As an experienced attorney she has successfully defended both juveniles and adults in complex misdemeanor and felony matters.
Attorney William Luse has been practicing criminal defense for nearly 20 years. Located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he defends clients charged with various crimes.
Attorney Michelle Nunes represents clients who face a wide range of state and federal criminal charges, including traffic offenses, misdemeanor assault and drug offenses, felony sex offenses, and felony drug trafficking offenses.
Darren S. Haley
Attorney Darren Haley defends individuals charged with crimes in South Carolina. For almost 25 years, he has passionately pursued justice for the accused.
Our Support Staff
Lead Paralegal & Office Manager
Sabina Jang is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal and has been with Roberts Law Group since 2008. Ms. Jang has lived in Wake County since 1996. Ms. Jang’s educational background includes a B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University.
Emily Cabrera joined Roberts Law Group as a paralegal to the Charlotte office in 2020. Ms. Cabrera is originally from Washington, D.C. but has lived in Charlotte for over 15 years. She obtained her Bachelors in Criminal Justice from ECPI University in 2017. Ms. Cabrera is bilingual in Spanish and English and has been a licensed Notary in Mecklenburg County since 2018.
Michelle Oropeza joined Roberts Law Group as the receptionist in the Raleigh office in 2021. Michelle is a native to Raleigh, NC. She is currently working on her Associates in Criminal Justice at Wake Tech and soon to transfer to NCCU for her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Ms. Oropeza always had a passion for law and plans on making it her career.
Cailin E. Goodman
Cailin joined Roberts Law Group in early 2020 as a Paralegal for the Wilmington office. She moved to Wilmington in 2014 to attend UNCW and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. After traveling overseas for a while and working as a legal assistant at a large corporate firm, she landed her dream job at Roberts Law Group assisting Attorney Kevin Marcilliat. Cailin has been a licensed Notary in New Hanover County since 2020. She is passionate about helping people get through tough situations and truly enjoys doing the work that it takes to ensure every client receives the best possible outcome in their case. In her free time, she enjoys spending time on the beach with her dog and cycling the Cross-City Trail.
North Carolina Misdemeanor and Felony Defense
In the years since attorney Patrick Roberts founded the Roberts Law Group, PLLC, we have successfully defended hundreds of clients charged with serious misdemeanor and felony crimes in North Carolina. Our firm has extensive experience in state and federal courts throughout North Carolina.
Attorney Patrick Roberts is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National College for DUI Defense, Inc., and the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section. He has been consistently recognized by his peers in the legal community for his efforts. Learn more about Mr. Roberts and his team by clicking on the profile links below:
In-depth Q&A with Patrick Roberts
- Why did you become a lawyer?
- What would you tell your younger self that you know now as an experienced lawyer?
- How do you stay at the top of your game?
- What is the Trial Lawyers College?
- What is the National Criminal Defense College?
- What does it say about you that you’ve done both the Trial Lawyers College and the National Criminal Defense College?
I have a degree in chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. In my junior year, a working engineer came in and gave a presentation about how to use your engineering degree, and mentioned patent law. So I went to law school (Duke Law). After graduation, my first job was doing civil litigation defense work for a large firm in California. It was OK. Then I did plaintiffs’ work for a few years. Finally, I took a job as a prosecutor, because by that time my interest in criminal law had grown. Criminal law is much more interesting and challenging. I wanted to be in court more than I would ever have an opportunity to do in civil practice – I wanted to be in court every day. Criminal law gave that to me, and now I am always in court as a criminal defense attorney, always trying a case, in court at least three days a week minimum. It has gotten to where trying cases comes naturally. I’ve been in court thousands of times, tried hundreds of cases, jury and bench trials – I’d say I am pretty confident about my craft at this point. Why did I become a lawyer? Because I like the challenge and the problem solving of law practice, where I am constantly working on unique, different, always-changing challenges. Even if we’re dealing with the same law or the same statute, it’s never the same facts. The variables are constantly changing. So it’s exciting to have these moving parts always in play. Plus, at the end of the day, what I do has meaning. It directly affects peoples’ lives. Success in this job means changing lives by what I do every day. And I am doing the work I am best suited for – problem solving.
This is the biggest thing: treat people with respect. That’s all people, not just the client or the judge or the prosecutor. That’s everybody. You just never know who might have an impact on the case. Plus, it’s simply the right thing to do. Many young attorneys, fresh out of law school, perhaps a few years of practice behind them, think they’ve ascended to the throne. They think that everybody should treat them differently-bow, curtsy, kowtow, whatever you want to say-but, as a result, that leads to arrogance. A young lawyer really doesn’t know too much, but if he or she is overly confident and cocky, it can come to the client’s detriment, as well as to the young lawyer’s reputation. Here’s what I would be sure to tell my younger self: there’s nothing special about you just because you’ve gone to law school and passed the bar exam. Your job is to help and serve people. Period. It goes back to treating people with respect. It also goes back to developing your craft and skills, being detail oriented and fully preparing for the case. Don’t make assumptions. Instead, make preparation the key, the core, of your practice. Be as infinitely prepared as you can, don’t assume anything, don’t take any fact or detail for granted. Because it could be that one fact or detail that ultimately wins the case for your client. Arrogance can cause young lawyers to take things at face value, rather than probe a bit more and find some nugget, something that can be used on behalf of the client that may be the game changer. Don’t be so wrapped up in the title of “counsel” or “esquire” that you miss the point of preparation. Two things-treating all people with respect and diligent preparation-these are what earn the respect of judges and colleagues. These are what tend to get you better results.
There’s getting there in the first place. Staying there is a matter of putting in the effort day in and day out. But getting there takes the same kind of effort. For me, that was graduating from both the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College and the National Criminal Defense College – that was on top of law school.
This is a selective school. Something like only 55 spots per year are granted to lawyers across the country – mostly personal injury and criminal defense lawyers – and the program has graduated roughly 1,000 or so lawyers total since the famous lawyer Gerry Spence started the place around 20 years ago. Like I said, it’s a select club, and I’m very fortunate to have gone through it.
What do you learn there?
The Trial Lawyers College is only for lawyers who represent individual people, like criminal defense lawyers. The people there, the teachers and graduates, are some of the best trial lawyers in the world. You work 10-hour days on trial practice and trial skills with the goal of becoming a better trial lawyer, storyteller, and communicator on behalf of your clients.
What is that like?
This is in a remote part of Wyoming. You have to step away from your law practice for nearly a month – it’s a three week program – so you have to have commitment to bettering yourself as a lawyer. There’s no cell phone service. There’s no TV, no Internet. It’s in the middle of nowhere. You get up early and for three weeks it’s intense, nonstop work, working on learning how to be a better trial lawyer. The Trial Lawyers College is, I believe, only for those lawyers who are most committed to mastering their craft and becoming the best trial lawyers they can be. That’s why I did it.
What is Gerry Spence like?
He’s there for the entire three week course. He participates. You learn from him. He does the morning training sessions, the breakout sessions, is very involved. The man is awe-inspiring – Gerry Spence is every bit as good a lawyer as any fictional character you’ve seen on TV or read about in books except he’s real and they’re not. Some folks walk away idolizing Spence and the techniques you learn at the Ranch, but all I can say about that is the techniques are unique and found nowhere else. The goal is to help you better understand the emotions of trial, because most of the decisions are driven by emotion, whether you want to admit that or not.
It’s like a finishing school for the best criminal defense lawyers in the country. Just like the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, your classmates are many of the best lawyers, the famous lawyers you’ve heard of (at least in legal circles). These lawyers are doing incredible things in courtrooms across the country. They’re all graduates of this program. Many are past or current presidents of national and state criminal defense lawyers organizations.
Why did you go?
I went because I wanted to be among the best and learn from the best. So I could get to the point where people recognize me as having risen to the same level – the “best” in the world – or to be among the best in my home state of North Carolina. At the end of the day, really, my goal is to master my craft. There really aren’t many better ways to learn how to be as good as you can possibly be. The National Criminal Defense College is one of them.
What do you learn at the National Criminal Defense College?
The lawyers here are at the top of their field, come from around the country, do both state and federal work, and they teach an intense two-week session with all-out 8-hour days. The goal is mastery of criminal defense practice. It covers the whole gamut of topics – all aspects of trial, specifically how to prepare for trial: Jury selection. Opening arguments, cross-examination of witnesses, witness preparation. We study all these things and work to master them. Like the Trial Lawyers College, there are a very small number of graduates (roughly 5,000 total) in the entire country.
What does it say about you that you’ve done both the Trial Lawyers College and the National Criminal Defense College?
If you take the total number of graduates from both schools, it’s a very small number when you compare that to the total number of lawyers who do criminal defense in the country. This puts me in rare company. I’ll let that speak for itself.
Disclaimer: The listed cases are illustrative of the types of cases handled and do not represent the entire record of cases handled by the firm. The outcome of a particular case is based upon a variety of factors and cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or law firm’s past results. The penalties listed for each case are the maximum amount of time the client was facing, based upon the structured sentencing guidelines and taking into consideration each client’s criminal record at that time. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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