Hyler & Lopez, PA (828) 254-1070
Attorneys at Law
Attorneys at Law
Attorney Bios


George Hyler with the former Dean of Wake Forest Law School, Blake Morant

George B. Hyler, Jr.

Admitted:  1973, North Carolina; 1974, U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina
Law School:  Wake Forest University, J.D.
College:  North Carolina State University, B.A.
Past Firms:  Riddle, Shackleford & Hyler; Alley, Hyler, Killian, Kirsten, Smathers & Davis

Mr. Hyler received his Undergraduate degree from NC State University in 1970.  He earned his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University in 1973, where he was on Law Review.  As the senior partner at Hyler & Lopez, PA, Mr. Hyler has litigated at all levels of Criminal Law from general traffic practice all the way to handling multiple-death murder trials.  He has been involved in several multi-million dollar cases, some of which were settled and some of which were tried to to verdict.  Mr. Hyler has appeared in all areas of domestic law as well, including Custody and Equitable Distribution.



Robert J. Lopez

Admitted:  1986, North Carolina
Law School:  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D.
College:  University of Florida, B.S.

Mr Lopez received his Undergraduate degree from the University of Florida.  He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Mr. Lopez specializes in Personal Injury, Worker's Compensation, Social Security Disability and Civil Law.  He is also experienced in Criminal and Domestic Relations law.


Stephen P. Agan

Admitted:  2000, Texas; 2006, North Carolina
Law School:  University of Houston Law School, J.D.
College:  University of Texas at Austin, B.A.
Past Firms:  O'Quinn, Laminack & Pirtle

Mr. Agan received his Undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, with a B.A. in English in 1995.  He earned his Juris Doctorate from The University of Houston Law School in 1999, where he received a Distinguished Service Award from the law school faculty.  For over fifteen years, Mr. Agan has litigated matters of Civil Law.  He has experience in prosecuting class-action lawsuits for wage-and-hour violations in state and federal courts.  Mr. Agan specializes in Personal Injury and Civil matters, including Premises Liability, Insurance Bad Faith, Property Matters, Contract Disputes, Fraud and Shareholder Issues.

Recent Experience:

In November 2011, George Hyler and Steve Agan obtained a jury verdict in favor of their client in Buncombe County Superior Court, in the matter of Huff v. Stevens, Case No. 10 CVS 4742, resulting in the establishment of the client's legal title to a one-third interest in a 68-acre tract of farmland worth approximately $1.2 million.  The jury deliberated for only fifteen minutes before reaching its unanimous verdict.

In August 2012, Steve Agan obtained an important ruling from the North Carolina Court of Appeals in the case of Wilcox v. City of Asheville, et al., 730 S.E.2d 226, 2012 N.C. App. LEXIS 946 (2012), which preserved a client's right to a jury trial to seek compensation for her serious injuries and clarified the common law of North Carolina prohibiting extremely reckless conduct by police officers causing injury to innocent persons.  A news article about the Court's ruling allowing the case case to proceed appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times on 08/08/2012.

In June 2013, Steve Agan obtained a decision from the North Carolina Supreme Court in the case of Duncan v. Duncan, 742 S.E.2d 799, 2013 N.C. LEXIS 495 (2013), which reversed a Court of Appeals decision dismissing a client's appeal and ruled that all trial court judgments that dispose of all substantive claims in a case and leave nothing but collateral matters to be decided, such as costs and attorney fees, are final and immediately appealable.

After the Duncan v. Duncan decision, the North Carolina Legislature enacted the following statute in 2013 to further clarify the law in this area:
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-19.1.  Maintenance of certain appeals allowed.

The U.S. Supreme Court -- in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, writing for a unanimous court -- reached a similar conclusion in Ray Haluch Gravel Co. v. Central Pension Fund, 134 S. Ct. 773, 187 L. Ed. 2d 669 (Jan. 15, 2014).  The Court held that a judgment of a federal district court that disposes of all claims in an action but leaves a party's claim for attorney's fees unresolved is nonetheless a "final decision" under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and must be appealed within 30 days under Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, regardless of "[w]hether the claim for attorney's fees is based on a statute, a contract [between the parties], or both."

In 2013-2014, Steve Agan obtained confidential settlements on behalf of five Asheville-area restaurant workers (the "Shogun Five") who, it was alleged, were paid less than the minimum wage required under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act and were not paid overtime for their work in excess of 40 hours per week.

A series of articles about the plight of the workers and the support they received from community members who rallied to support them during the lawsuit were published in the Asheville Citizen-Times:

Asheville Citizen-Times, 12/01/2011 - Buncombe immigration raid one of the largest ever
Asheville Citizen-Times, 11/30/2012 - Former restaurant workers file lawsuit
Asheville Citizen-Times, 05/18/2013 - Restaurant taken to court
Asheville Citizen-Times, 08/20/2013 - Rally supports workers' lawsuit over pay, hours
Asheville Citizen-Times, 08/22/2013 - Shogun, ex-workers settle

In September 2014, Steve Agan and George Hyler worked with co-counsel to obtain a decision from the North Carolina Court of Appeals in the case of Sandhill Amusements, Inc. and Gift Surplus, LLC v. Sheriff of Onslow County, et al., 762 S.E.2d 666, 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 982 (Sept. 5, 2014), holding that sovereign immunity is no bar to an action for injunctive and declaratory relief against a county sheriff, when the sheriff threatens to enforce criminal statutes against the plaintiffs and their customers without just cause and such threat of enforcement affects the plaintiffs' important property rights.  The Court held: "Without such redress, Plaintiffs have no viable option for protecting their property interests during this litigation."

Several news articles about video sweepstakes litigation involving the Hyler & Lopez law firm have been published:

Asheville Citizen-Times, 09/27/2013 - Video sweeps are back in WNC
Asheville Citizen-Times, 11/07/2013 - Video sweeps expansion eyed
Asheville Citizen-Times, 06/09/2016 - Confusion, legal wrangling abound with video gaming

In 2013-2014, Mr. Agan worked with EEOC attorneys the case of EEOC v. Angel Medical Center, Inc., No. 2:13-CV-00034 (U.S. Dist. Court, W.D.N.C.), to achieve a favorable settlement on behalf of a nurse whose rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) were allegedly violated by a hospital that, it was alleged, failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation and wrongfully terminated her employment while she underwent chemotherapy to treat, and defeat, cancer.

The EEOC issued and published a press release about the settlement:

In 2016, Mr. Agan obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of a client who was seriously injured during an arrest by two police officers, after filing a civil action in 2015 in federal court: Miller v. City of Morganton, et al., Case No. 1:15-cv-85 (U.S. Dist. Ct., W.D.N.C.).  While no liability was admitted by the defendants in the confidential settlement agreement, the complaint alleged that the client's federal right to be free from the excessive use of force during his arrest was violated and was a proximate cause of his injuries.

The cases mentioned on this website are illustrative of the matters handled by the Attorneys at Hyler & Lopez, P.A.  Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case.  Not all results are provided here, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  Also, the information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.  We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and e-mail.  Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.


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