Gary H. Groon, Jr.


Gerald “Gary” Groon, Jr. is no stranger to moving. Six moves to four states and one U.S. territory before high school was just the beginning. By the time Gary arrived at Smith Debnam in 1990, he had moved 15 times, lived in eight states and, on two occasions, Guam – once, as a child, on the Naval base at the southern end of the island and later, as an adult, on the Air Force base at the northern end.

Enlisting at the age of 17, Gary served four years in the United States Air Force. He was assigned to the 351st Missile Security Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri and the 43rd Security Police Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. As one of the defenders of our nation’s nuclear arsenal, Gary is proud (and relieved) to state that no nuclear weapon was ever lost on his watch.

The moving stopped for Gary once he arrived at Smith Debnam. For almost three decades, Gary has concentrated his practice in the areas of debt collection and civil litigation. Even though Gary is settled in Raleigh, he retains traits developed as a result of his nomadic younger years – the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and the determination to make the best of a difficult situation. 

Gary’s successes as a trial lawyer have earned him membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, The Top Trial Lawyers in America® – a group of trial lawyers who have achieved a verdict in the amount of one million dollars or more.

As an appellate lawyer in the case of Lexis Nexis v. Travishan, Gary convinced the North Carolina Court of Appeals to adopt the general rule that a corporation involved in litigation pending in District or Superior Court must be represented by an attorney.

Gary speaks several times each year at seminars on collection law and enforcement of judgments. He has been a featured speaker at educational programs sponsored by Lorman Education Services, National Business Institute, and Heritage Professional Education.

Smith Debnam promotes equality and values the unique contributions of each individual. Married to a Vietnamese immigrant, Gary’s family belongs to Our Lady of La Vang, a Vietnamese Catholic Parish. Gary is very proud of the accomplishments of his wife, her extended family, and the Vietnamese community in Raleigh.

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • J.D., Campbell University, 1990; Articles Editor, The Campbell University Law Review, 1989-1990; Member, National Moot Court Team, 1987-1988
  • B.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1985
Professional Affiliations Awards & Recognitions
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
  • Lorman Distinguished Faculty Member, 2012
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