Christopher R. Clifton

North Carolina

Grace, Tisdale & Clifton, P.A.
200 West 1st Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
United States

Tel: 888-441-8522


Christopher (Chris) R. Clifton is a leading criminal defense attorney and a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law with much of his practice dedicated to the appeals of serious felonies. He regularly appears in state and federal courts, and has argued numerous successful appeals before the N.C. Supreme Court, the N.C. Court of Appeals, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has handled federal cases in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, and New York.

In 2010, Chris was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court to pursue a petition for writ of certiorari in “United States of America v. Sandako Meshawn Brandon,” and received a favorable ruling in which the defendant was granted a new sentencing hearing and subsequently released. More recently, Chris worked with Michael Grace on the appeal for Ernie Pitt, who was charged with defrauding the Housing Authority (U.S. vs. Ernest Pitt), and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction.

Prior to joining the Winston-Salem law practice of Michael A. Grace in 1997, Chris served as Assistant District Attorney from 1995-1997 in Salisbury, N.C., trying numerous cases in both District and Superior court. He received his certification from the North Carolina State Bar as a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law in 2005.

With his extensive experience as a prosecutor and high level of courtroom work and detailed federal appeals, he has focused much of his practice on appellate and post-conviction representation. He has been admitted to practice in all N.C. appellate courts; the Fourth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals; and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Chris received his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1995 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Spanish Language and Literature from North Carolina State University in 1992.

In 2011, Chris was appointed as a member of the North Carolina Sentencing and Advisory Commission, an independent body that serves the N.C. General Assembly in an advisory capacity to recommend changes in sentencing guidelines. In addition, he was recently appointed treasurer of the Federal Bar Association and a member of the Fee Dispute Committee for the N.C. State Bar.

Chris has served two terms as the chair of the Criminal Justice Committee for the N.C. Bar Association and has previously served as chair of the Federal Bar Association. He is also an active member of the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Forsyth County Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers Association, The Forsyth County Bar Association and the Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court.

He regularly writes articles and lectures at CLEs on criminal sentencing, gaming law and other state and federal topics, and he has been selected as one of Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite” every year since 2008, and as one of the “N.C. Super Lawyers” since 2009. He is a member of the Winston-Salem Rotary and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and is active in the Carolinas Golf Association.

  • Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    • J. D. – 1995
  • North Carolina State University
    • B.A. – 1992
    • Major: Political Science
    • Minor: Spanish Language
    • Minor: Literature
  • North Carolina, 1995
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
At Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A., we are leaders in successfully handling appeals in state and federal courts. We are experienced in identifying and raising all issues that may be grounds for appeal and successfully arguing such issues before the proper tribunals.

If you have been convicted of a crime, there is always a chance that a skilled appellate lawyer can help you get a verdict reversed through an appeal or other post-conviction relief. By choosing our firm to represent you, you can be assured that the utmost attention will be applied to every detail of your case.

Our firm has attorneys who are admitted to practice in:

  • North Carolina state appellate courts
  • The 4th, 8th and 11th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals
  • The U.S. Supreme Court.

The firm has represented clients in more than 80 appeals in both federal and state courts. We are uniquely prepared to handle any appeal. We are committed to appealing unjust or wrongful convictions and sentences of any state or federal crime.

Our firm provides skillful representation in criminal appeals and post-conviction issues.

When facing criminal charges, you want an attorney who understands what’s at stake and will aggressively fight to protect your rights and best interests. Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A. is made up of highly experienced and skilled criminal defense attorneys— many of whom spent many years as criminal prosecutors. Located in Winston-Salem, our team works with clients throughout North Carolina. Our attorneys have extensive criminal defense experience in state and federal court, and have tried thousands of cases over the years. We know what it takes to thoroughly investigate and present a compelling defense.

Having a former criminal prosecutor in your corner offers you a significant advantage when planning your defense. Discerning the strengths and weaknesses of the other side is critical to a successful criminal defense. We take the time to carefully evaluate a case and help our clients decide on the best course of action. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor, felony, DUI, white collar crime, or are seeking an appeal for a previous conviction, our attorneys have the knowledge and skill necessary to guide you towards the best possible outcome.