Our People

  • David W. McDonald

    Attorney, Founding Partner

    David W. McDonald received his B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1976, together with joint J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980. Mr. McDonald began his legal career in Washington, D.C. where he was a partner in the law firm of Burch Wilhelm & McDonald. The practice in Washington, D.C. included complex business litigation, international trade, and employment law. Mr. McDonald returned to North Carolina in 1985 to raise his family and to practice law. Mr. McDonald is a founding partner in McDonald Wright LLP. Mr. McDonald’s practice in Greensboro extends to general representation of businesses and individuals; litigation in broad areas including business disputes, employment, discrimination, civil rights, defamation, condemnation and constitutional law; administrative practice; and appellate advocacy. Mr. McDonald practices in the trial, administrative and appellate courts of North Carolina as well as the United States District Courts for all Districts of North Carolina and in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Mr. McDonald is active in public service in the community. He has served on the Board of Directors (Executive Committee) of the Greensboro Youth Soccer Association; the Board of Directors (formerly Chair) of the Music Academy of North Carolina; the Board of Directors of the Musical Arts Guild (Chair 2016-17); and the Board of Directors of Music For A Great Space. Mr. McDonald sings with Bel Canto Company and the Chancel Choir of First Presbyterian Church Greensboro.

    Mr. McDonald is admitted to practice in the courts of North Carolina, the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Mr. McDonald is a member of The North Carolina State Bar and the North Carolina Bar Association.

  • John H. Wright

    Attorney, Founding Partner

    John Wright’s law practice is primarily bringing claims on behalf of people who have been subject to personal injury in some way by the acts of another. This includes motor vehicle accidents, products liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death and personal injury that result from another’s negligence or purposeful harm. John also advises clients on business formation, business disputes, buying and selling of businesses and avoiding liability.

    John has a background in business consulting, which gives him a particular passion for business law. Additionally, he was the head coach for the University of Oregon Men’s lacrosse team and later coached for a number of years at Grimsley High School. He served in the United State Peace Corps for two and a half years in the Republic of Georgia as an English teacher. He volunteers his time for legal pro-bono work, including tax preparation for low income citizens and volunteering for various pro-bono projects put on by the North Carolina Bar Association

    John was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, and attended Grimsley High School. He went to college at the University of Oregon and went to law school at Rutgers University School of Law. While in law school he served as the editor for the Women’s Rights Law Review.

    Outside of the practice of law, John spends a lot of his time devoted to music. He is a member of the Bel Canto choir in Greensboro and The Greensboro Choral Society, and with the New Garden Friends Meeting choir.

  • R. Thompson Wright


    Tom Wright is a trial lawyer. His practice focuses on a wide area of litigation matters, including environmental litigation, employment law, insurance defense, personal injury, real estate and construction litigation, and estates and trust litigation. He represents clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and before federal and state administrative agencies. Mr. Wright advises clients in corporate, environmental, and real estate matters and handles transactional matters for a variety of individuals and corporations. He also has a substantial practice in commercial real estate, and in probate and estate planning. Mr. Wright graduated from Haverford College with an A.B. in Political Science. In 1975, he received his J.D. with honors from the Law School of the University of North Carolina, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. Mr. Wright is a member of the American Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association and Greensboro Bar Association. He serves on numerous non-profit boards of civic, service and arts organizations, including Friends Homes, Inc., the Choral Society of Greensboro, Bel Canto Company, Greensboro Opera, the New Garden Cemetery Association, Inc., the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Haverford College, Friends Fiduciary, Inc., and the Rotary Club. Mr. Wright joined the firm in 2022.

  • Amber Engel

    Executive Assistant

    Amber Engel has been with the firm since August of 2021. She is responsible for a broad range of administrative functions as well as technical and legal support. When not working, Amber is a very active performer and music director in the local theatre community. She lives in Oak Ridge with her husband Jeremy and their three beautiful children.

  • Rachel Cornwell

    Executive Assistant

    Born in Greensboro, Rachel spent most of her formative years in Longwood, Florida, close to the crystalline swamps of Wekiva Springs. She is North Carolinian through and through, residing in sunny Chapel Hill and Carrboro for some years, but Greensboro is home. Much of her professional background consists of management, from search engine optimization campaign management, content team management, and entertainment management. Rachel, her husband, and daughter like hiking (swamps still preferred), baking, and antiquing in their spare time.

  • Marion DelFavero

    Executive Assistant

    Born and educated in England, Marion came to the United States in 1970 and became a citizen in 1975. She has lived in California, Connecticut, Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota and finally North Carolina. Marion has been a legal assistant for over twenty years, being involved in patent, domestic and other branches of law and has worked for Tom Wright for over six years. She has two adult daughters and four grandchildren and they, knitting and antiquing are favorite pastimes.