Disciplined in Sophisticated Defense and Insurance Litigation

T. Nicholas Goanos is a Partner at Butler and joined the law firm in 2012. Nicholas presently works in the Charlotte office, having relocated from Chicago, Illinois. While practicing in Chicago, Nicholas focused on large, commercial First-Party Property Coverage and Bad Faith disputes, including those involving windstorm, fire, theft, and water damage. He successfully obtained issue and case dispositive rulings in State and Federal Courts—both within and outside Illinois—on matters involving fire damage, special flood hazard areas, and premises liability.

In addition, Nicholas has successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in State and Federal Courts in numerous non-coverage matters, including those involving trade secrets, breaches of fiduciary duty, municipal law, and employment disputes.

Nicholas received his Doctor of Jurisprudence, with honors, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2006. Prior to this, he received his Bachelor's of Science, with honors, in 2001 from Presbyterian College, before interning for former Senator and Presidential candidate Ernest F. Hollings and earning an International Rotary Club Ambassadorial Scholarship. Through this Scholarship, Nicholas obtained his Master of Business Administration from the University of Indianapolis in Athens, Greece in 2003. He is also fluent in Greek.


  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina


  • Presbyterian College
    Bachelor of Science
  • University of Indianapolis at Athens, Greece
    Master of Business Administration
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
    Doctor of Jurisprudence


  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Property & Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB)
  • Southern Loss Association (SLA)
January 12, 2018 PUBLICATIONCoverage Even When An Insured Does Not Own the Property?

Insurable interest is a legal concept which requires an insured to have

a financial or other interest in the claimed, damaged property before being entitled to coverage. Although this concept is easy to grasp, it can be troublesome in application, such as when an insured does not own the claimed property. Below are two case studies-one from Georgia and one from North Carolina-which show how an insurable interest may arise and how these States treat this concept. Also below are several suggestions a party may utilize when assessing the presence (or absence) of an insurable interest.

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February 28, 2013 PUBLICATIONNavigating The Southern Bad-Faith Buffet: Extra-Contractual Liability In The Absence Of Breach Of Contract

In the Southeast, catastrophic natural disasters have become all too common, and the physical and financial consequences are borne by the entire region. Five of the top ten costliest hurricanes to hit the United States have impacted North Carolina, and with approximately $159.6 billion in insured coastal assets, North Carolina continues to have significant loss exposure.

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Blog Posts


In the last 60 days, COVID-19 has affected us all. Federal and state governments have issued quarantine orders. Schools have been closed. And many businesses have been adversely affected. Although North Carolina’s Federal Courts have not (yet) issued any COVID-19 related rulings, they have, in the last 60 days, issued several new coverage decisions. One of those has significantly curtailed the ability of any appraisal to proceed...

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October 10, 2018 BLOG POSTRecent Federal Court Decision May Alter the Reservation of Rights Landscape in South Carolina

Only 15 months ago, in Harleysville Group Insurance v. Heritage Communities, Inc., the South Carolina Supreme Court fundamentally changed the reservation of rights landscape in South Carolina. Since Harleysville, two questions have remained: When must an insurer issue a reservation of rights letter to avoid waiving its rights, and what level of explanation is sufficient to avoid waiver?

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September 10, 2018 BLOG POSTHurricane Florence is aiming for the Carolinas

Once Hurricane Florence passes through the region, insurance professionals can expect a deluge of claims activity. While both North Carolina and South Carolina have felt the effects of recent Hurricanes Irene and Matthew, for example, many insurance professionals have limited familiarity with the particularized coverage issues which may arise in both states. Navigating the laws of both states, which can be both parallel and disparate, is going to be important in Florence’s aftermath.    

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September 12, 2017 BLOG POSTHandling Assignment of Benefit ("AOB") Claims in the Wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey

The classic example of an AOB claim is the following: an insured suffers property damage and hires a repair contractor to repair that damage.  The repair contractor requires the insured to execute a written document, usually entitled “Assignment of Insurance Benefits”, which says something to the effect of “for and in consideration of the contractor’s agreement to protect the property from further damage and/or make repairs, the insured assigns his/her/its insurance benefits to the contractor.”  The contractor thereafter makes a claim directly to the insurer using the AOB.

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August 08, 2017 BLOG POSTHoly Harleysville! – The Rules Governing RORs, Intervention, and More in South Carolina Have Just Changed

For insurers, litigating third party coverage disputes in South Carolina has always proved formidable.  Insurers can be liable for “bad faith” even if there is no coverage; they may be required to pay an insured’s attorney’s fees if the insurer commences a coverage action against its insured and loses ; and extra-contractual claims may proceed simultaneously with a breach of contract claim.

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January 11, 2017 BLOG POSTWhat Is An Offer of Judgment And Can It Really Lower the Cost of or Shorten Litigation?

Insurance coverage litigation today is often time consuming and expensive.  Many cases include claims for “bad faith” damages, and some cases seek punitive damages.  To support their allegations, litigants will usually seek a wide-array of documents and testimony.  Accordingly, litigating such matters can also become expensive. 

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April 14, 2016 BLOG POSTIn North Carolina, Impleading the Claimant Isn't Always Necessary in a Third Party Coverage Action

Once B&G provided notice of the lawsuits, Scottsdale defended B&G, while separately commencing a declaratory judgment action. In the Declaratory Judgment Action, Scottsdale argued that its commercial liability insurance policy (“Policy”) with B&G did not obligate Scottsdale to defend or indemnify B&G.

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May 22, 2018 EVENTButler Attorney, Nick Goanos will be presenting at the IAT Insurance Conference

Attorney Nick Goanos will be presenting at the IAT Insurance Conference for CLM on the topic "Assessing and Addressing Insurance Fraud in the Claims Environment.”

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Nicholas Goanos from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig presented in Greensboro, NC at the NCADA Seminar on the topic of "Top 5 Questions to Have Answered Before Filing a Federal MSJ".

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August 10, 2017 EVENTSLA 25th Annual Property Seminar - Top 10 Issues in Coverage & Subrogation

Nicholas Goanos and Zachary Jett from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig presented in Alpharetta, GA at the Southern Loss Association’s 25th Annual Property Seminar on the topic of "Top 10 Issues in Coverage & Subrogation".

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Nicholas Goanos and Zachary Jett from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig presented in Charlotte, NC at ZAP Consulting’s 3rd Annual Claim Conference on the topic of "Homeowner's Claims: Identifying Subrogation Potential and Addressing Coverage Issues," on March 9, 2017. 

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