Margo K. Carnahan Banner

“I want to put my talents to work to help those in crisis and those who may be encountering the legal system for the first time. It is my goal to help ease our clients’ stress and make their interactions with an attorney a positive experience.”

- Margo K. Carnahan


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Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina

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11+ years of experience as an insurance defense attorney

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UNC-Chapel Hill Moot Court Executive Board Member and National Moot Court Competition semi-finalist, 2008

Attorney Margo K. Carnahan

After 11+ years as an insurance defense attorney, Margo K. Carnahan joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin to fight for the rights of plaintiffs. What drove her to make this change in focus? Empathy. She saw accident victims in need, and she decided that it was time to use her considerable skills and experience to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Growing Up and Discovering a Passion for Law

Margo grew up in the rural community located between Bunn and Louisburg in North Carolina, and she recalls a life of outdoor adventures and small-town comforts. In high school, Margo joined a mock trial team, and the seed of wanting to be a lawyer was planted. She attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and joined the UNC-Chapel Hill Mock Trial Team.

After graduation, Margo set off westward towards Boulder, Colorado to explore more of the world. After battling a very un-North Carolina-like winter in Boulder, she moved to a warmer climate in Austin, Texas to work as a paralegal for two years, an experience which confirmed her desire for a career in law.

A Personal Touch Matters

Law school was on the horizon, and Margo learned something important about herself in the application process. The Dean of Students at Florida State University College of Law called Margo and personally congratulated her on her acceptance. She had other acceptances, but that personal touch mattered to Margo, and it helped set the tone for how she would interact with others throughout her personal and professional life. It also helped her make her law school decision, and she moved to Tallahassee to obtain her law degree.

“I have become a better advocate for my clients due to my understanding of how illness or injury not only affects the individual, but the family as a whole.”

During her first year of law school, Margo received the devastating news that her father was diagnosed with cancer. Two months later, it was discovered that her mother also had cancer. Margo moved back to her hometown after graduation to help care for her parents and navigate their illnesses. She credits this time with building up her resilience, compassion, and empathy – all traits that she relies on when working with clients.

From Defense Attorney to Plaintiffs’ Attorney

Margo has always been a strong advocate for her clients, the majority of whom have been defendants in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. However, when she started her career at a small general practice law firm in her hometown of Louisburg, she served as the first point of contact for plaintiff clients seeking legal assistance, an experience she often reflected upon during her career. She also gained trial experience serving as a court-appointed defense attorney in District and Superior Court criminal cases.

“I am well-versed in the inner workings and mindset of the insurance company, and I know what they are looking for when handling claims.”

In 2010, she moved to Raleigh and began her career as a defense attorney for insurance carriers and self-insured clients. She handled high-volume and deadline-driven defense work on a wide variety of liability and workers’ compensation claims. However, Margo eventually became disillusioned with the work when, time after time, she saw truly injured victims treated with skepticism as insurance companies sought to pay out as little as possible.

“It hurt to see people in need settle for anything they could get, just because they were desperate. When I decided to make the switch from defense work to plaintiffs’ work, I only wanted to work for one firm – James Scott Farrin.”

Throughout the years, Margo interacted with James Scott Farrin attorneys and was always impressed with their professionalism, positivity, and commitment to their clients. So when her disenchantment with defense work peaked, she knew where to look. And it was the only place she looked.

“I know that deciding to obtain legal counsel and talking to a lawyer can be daunting. I want to help make the experience as simple and stress-free as possible.”

Margo has empathy for people struggling with health issues and a passion for helping victims understand the legal system. As one of the first attorneys who interacts with many of the victims who contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, she is conscious of how important it is to provide a personal touch. Firm Partner Chelsea Ragan notes, “Margo cares about hearing clients’ stories and wants to try to make sure they obtain justice.”

A North Carolinian at Heart

Margo lives with her husband and two young daughters in Cary and enjoys the simple things in life, including taking long walks and reading books together. She looks forward to exploring the outdoors with her daughters, as she did growing up in Louisburg, when they become older. Margo is known in her neighborhood for crafting, sewing, and designing hand-made Halloween costumes, always using her artistic talents to generate fond or funny memories for her family and friends. She’s a North Carolinian at heart and feels that she is right where she needs to be.

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Licensed In

  • North Carolina

Practice Area


  • “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch” list4 for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Workers Compensation Law – Claimants by Best Lawyers in America, 2024


  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina

Law School

Florida State University College of Law
Tallahassee, FL
2009, J.D.

  • Moot Court; National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare and Adoption Law, Semi-Finalist, 2008


University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC
2003, B.A. English and Studio Art

five star review badge Former Automobile Accident Client, Online Google Review
I love the staff at James Scott Farrin.
I love the staff at James Scott Farrin. They are organized, nice, [and] friendly, and they seem to be very family-oriented. I've just recently referred another client to them because I know they will take care of her. 1
five star review badge Former Car Crash Client, Online Google Review
The workers at JSF are AMAZING!
The workers at JSF are AMAZING! They keep you updated on everything going on with your case, and they answer any questions that you might have. They are very friendly and open people to work with. I will be recommending people to them in the future. 1

For legal reasons and client confidentiality, reviews have been slightly edited to remove identifying information and correct typos.