Donna Ambler Rice, Esq.
Donna Ambler Rice, Esq.

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Donna Ambler Rice

Bio

Donna Ambler Rice received her B.A. degree magna cum laude from Montclair State College in May, 1985 and her Juris Doctorate degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law in May, 2088.  She is the past Chairperson of the Children's Issue Committee of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, the past Chairperson of the Orange County Family Lawyer's Association, the past Secretary/Treasurer and the past President of the Judicial District 18 Bar Association and the former Chairperson of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyer's Family Law Section.  She is currently a member of the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association and its Family Law Section, the Judicial District 18 Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates of Justice, the Academy of Family Mediators, and the Triangle Collaborative Family Law Association.

Donna Ambler Rice has also successfully advocated for her clients before the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of North Carolina in the following cases:

  • In the Matter of the Adoption of P.E.P., 407 S.E.2d 505, 329 N.C. 692 (N.C., 1991) - The Supreme Court held that violations by adoptive parents and their attorney of statute prohibiting any fee or compensation for placing or arranging adoption of child, together with numerous other irregularities in adoption case, invalidated adoption proceeding; and
  • Petersen v. Rogers, 445 S.E.2d 901, 337 N.C. 397 (N.C., 1994) - The Supreme Court held that (1) natural parents' constitutionally protected paramount right to custody, care and control of their child outweighed interests of a married couple seeking to adopt the child, and (2) a married couple seeking to adopt the child had no right to visitation or to file action requesting visitation period.

Donna Ambler Rice has a true passion for being a family law attorney and describes her career as follows:  

"For me, being a family law attorney is not just a job; it is who I am.  I think about cases in the middle of the night.  I am often jumping out of the shower to jot down a note about a client's case.  The reward for me is seeing people become their best selves.  It's a long road, but I enjoy helping people rebuild their lives; helping them find a place of stability and health.  Whether it's mediation, litigation, or some combination, we are as creative as possible - working for our clients' best interest and to guide them a place of wholeness."

Education

  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, Virginia
    • Juris Doctorate - 05/1988
  • Montclair State College, Upr Montclair, New Jersey
    • B.A. - 05/1985
    • Honors: magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1988

Honors

  • BV Distinguished Attorney, 4.4, Martindale Hubble
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers

Representative Cases

  • Matter of Adoption of P.E.P., 407 S.E.2d 505, 1991, N.C., 1991150647
  • Petersen v. Rogers, 445 S.E.2d 901, 337 N.C. 397, 1994, N.C.
  • Dollar v. Tapp, 404 S.E.2d 482, 1991, N.C.App., 1991101950
  • Ramirez-Barker v. Barker, 418 S.E.2d 675, 107 N.C. App. 71, 1992, N.C. Ct. App.
  • MacLagan v. Klein, 473 S.E.2d 778, 123 N.C. App. 557, 1996, N.C. Ct. App.
  • Lauterbach v. Weiner, 620 S.E.2d 317, 174 N.C. App. 201, 2005, N.C. Ct. App.

Professional Associations

  • Orange County Bar Association, President, 1991
  • Orange County Bar Association, Secretary/Treasurer, 1990 to 1991
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Member, 1988
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Family Law Section, Children Issues Committee, Past Chairperson
  • Orange County Family Lawyers' Association, Past Chairperson
  • Judicial District 18 Bar Association, Past Secretary/Treasurer
  • North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyer’s, Family Law Section, Former Chairperson
  • North Carolina State Bar, Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
  • Judicial District 18 Bar Association, Member
  • Orange County Bar Association, Member
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Member
  • Academy of Family Mediators, Member
  • Triangle Collaborative Family Law Association, Member