Brian Elston Law is Proud to Sponsor Asheville Tennis Association’s “Free Tennis Kit” Project

Brian Elston Law is Proud to Sponsor Asheville Tennis Association’s “Free Tennis Kit” Project
ata tennis program


Brian Elston Law is working with the Asheville Tennis Association to provide free tennis kits to support children and their family that may not have access to tennis gear.

The tennis kits consist of a 10-foot movable net, four rackets, and three tennis balls. In addition to using the kits for these free clinics, the ATA also plans to give 75 of them away to families in under-served areas who have limited-to-no access to courts.

Recently, ATA President Jeff Joyce spoke to WLOS about the program:

“These under-served populations in the housing projects and other low-income areas don’t have that same advantage. Therefore, we’re taking it to them, which is what we should be doing.”

Source: WLOS ABC 13 News

The kits were donated by the Brian Elston Law, and the ATA has been communicating with various non-profits and community organizations to identify families to receive them. The clinic at the Grant Center was the seventh of the summer so far.

If you’re looking for more information about this or other Asheville Tennis Association projects, please visit their website or email them at [email protected]

Check out the official flyer here »

The article and video is hosted at WLOS ABC 13 News. You can find the link here.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We are there for you.

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You Are Essential Business

You Are Essential Business

You are “Essential Business.”



Today, Buncombe County Government issued a “Stay Home – Stay Safe” order. A copy of the order can be found here.

The order provides that “Exceptional Businesses” may remain open, and the order defines those businesses. All business may maintain “minimum basic operations.”

Brian Elston Law was designed to be there for our clients, no matter the circumstances. As the founder of the firm, I am grateful to share that we are still available even during times of crisis. Our firm has systems set up where operations can continue, and that our primary goal of being there for clients is being met.

“At their best, lawyers assure the availability of legal services to all, regardless of ability to pay, and as leaders of their communities, states, and nation, lawyers use their education and experience to improve society.”

-Preamble to the NC Rules of Professional Conduct”

We will get through this time together, and we are here to do our part.

If you have a pending legal matter, and need assistance give us a call. Examples of pending legal matters that we handle are:

  • Should I apply for unemployment if I am receiving workers’ comp benefits?
  • How will this crisis affect my workers’ comp. benefits?
  • How will COVID-19 affect my motor vehicle accident claim?
  • What happens if I do not receive my workers’ comp check?
  • Can I still count lost wages in my personal injury claim during this time?
  • and others…..

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We are there for you.

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Rent Abatement during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Rent Abatement during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Rent Abatement during the Coronavirus Pandemic



Of the many fears associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic, one of the biggest is the direct and indirect economic disruption associated with the Pandemic. Put another way, the legitimate fear of losing your job or having your hours reduced to the point of not making enough money to pay your mortgage, rent, bills and feed your kids. For many folks in Western North Carolina right now, this fear is quickly becoming a scary reality.

The good news is that that some financial help is on the way. As this blog is being written, the United States Congress is still debating the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Provisions of the CARES Act include providing financial payments to citizens and low interest loans and grants to small business if they keep workers employed. In the wake of the Pandemic, North Carolina has eased unemployment benefit restrictions. However, even with these promised financial tools, many people are still worried about how they are going to pay their monthly mortgage payments or rent.

A. Mortgage Hardship Forbearance.

Just last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency advised lenders to offer forbearance options for individuals impacted by the coronavirus and who are in jeopardy of falling behind on their mortgage payments. A “mortgage forbearance” is a situation where a lender temporarily reduces or suspends mortgage payments for a period of time (generally no greater than six months) while the borrower’s financial stabilizes. While the interest on the mortgage still accrues, payments stop. Most of the major mortgage lenders have provided information on their websites addressing forbearance and hardship options for individuals impacted by the Pandemic. Here is a link to a recent web article posted by Forbes magazine listing major financial institutions and what they are doing to help assist their customers. Even if your financial institution is not listed, visit its website or call to learn what options might be available.

The most important thing is don’t put your head in the sand and just unilaterally stop making your mortgage payment. BE PROACTIVE. Contact your financial institution immediately and ask about what forbearance or hardship options are available and if you qualify. Being ahead of the curve and requesting a mortgage forbearance is a significantly better position that having your mortgage go into foreclosure and then trying to work-out a solution with your lender.

B. Rent Abatement.

If you currently have a residential lease agreement, it is certainly worth discussing with your landlord about rent abatement. Rent abatement is just like a mortgage forbearance, a temporary reduction or suspension of rental payments for a specified period. In North Carolina, a landlord is not required to voluntarily provide rent abatement in most situations. However, if you or your spouse have lost a job or had hours significantly cut as a result of the Pandemic, it is certainly worth exploring this option with your landlord. Keep in mind, if you have been a good tenant in the past, your landlord should have an incentive to work with you. It is much easier and cheaper to keep a good tenant than having to search for a new one – particularly now.

While you can’t force your landlord to agree to a rent abatement, try to convince your landlord using reasonable positions:

A. Do Your Homework! Anecdotal stories carry far less weight than hard numbers. Before you discuss this topic with your landlord, know your numbers. How has the Pandemic impacted your immediate household budget? Using conservative estimates, how might the Pandemic impact your household budget for the next 3-6 months if the current situation remains the same.

B. Lease Extension. Depending on how your lease is structured, you could agree to extend the term of the lease for each month of rent abatement. For example, if your landlord agrees to a three-month rent abatement period (i.e., no payment of rent for three-months), then you could agree to extending your lease by adding three extra months to the end of your lease.

C. Compromise. Something is better than nothing. If your landlord will not agree to a full rent abatement, then try a partial rental abatement – 50% or 25%. If your landlord will not agree to three-months (which seems reasonable in light of what medical professionals are forecasting with the Pandemic), then try two or one-month.

D. Get it in Writing. Make sure to have a written agreement which properly amends your current lease.

It is hard not feeling overwhelmed and scared watching the news. It is only natural given everything that is going on and it is easy to be reactive rather than proactive. Hang in there! Now, more than ever, Brian Elston Law is here to help you and your families through these uncharted waters. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need to talk to someone about your situation. We are all in this situation together, and together, we will do our best to get out of it.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Public Health and Safety

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Public Health and Safety

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Public Health and Safety

Important Announcement


We would like to take a moment during this Coronavirus public health emergency to reiterate that the well-being of our clients and potential clients is, and has always been, the focus of Brian Elston Law. As a private, client-centric personal injury firm, we regularly make ourselves available through phone calls, in-person meetings, emails, and even text messages. Due to our specialized size, we can be there for each of our clients.

Our clients can trust that we are here for them, even amidst the recent Covid-19 concerns. We do not anticipate any disruption in service. We will be, however, taking extra precautions for in-person meetings. As our office is private with already limited foot traffic, we believe that we can still offer in person meetings with extra precautions in place.

We will be doing our part as members of the community by limiting social interactions to an as-needed basis. We will continue our “in-person by appointment” only policy. Prior to scheduling the appointment, we will verify that the in-person meeting is necessary, the individual is well enough to attend and has not been exposed to any illnesses, the rooms and door knobs are wiped down, hands are sanitize and that a “warm hello” will take the place of a handshake. For potential clients, we will do what we have always done: carefully review their matter prior to scheduling p an in person meeting. We’ve always protected our clients, and we will continue to do so in this challenging time.

For more information on what to do to protect yourself, the CDC’s guidance can be found here. Symptoms for COVID-19 are found here. For information on our private setting, see here.

Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Get To Know Chad Ray Donnahoo

Get To Know Chad Ray Donnahoo


Chad Ray Donnahoo

Attorney and Shareholder, Brian Elston Law

Chad Ray Donnahoo grew up in Western North Carolina and graduated from Mountain Heritage High School in Burnsville. He attend UNC Chapel Hill and initially thought about becomming a history professor. After graduating with a B.A. in History, Chad attended graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill and got a M.A.T. in secondary social studies education. His favorite class was education law. Following a short stint as a public school teacher, Chad returned to Chapel Hill and graduated with his J.D.


  • B.A., 2002, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2003, M.A.T., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2007, J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bar Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Western District and Middle District
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • All North Carolina courts
  • Cherokee Tribal Court
Chad Ray Donnahoo
Rated by Super Lawyers

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10.0Chad Ray Donnahoo




“Fairness. Justice. Honesty. These early values are my guideposts, still.”
– Chad Donnahoo

Law School Experience

During law school, Chad was a legal clerk for the United States House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary and spent much of his time doing work on the Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security subcommittee. After law school, Chad returned to the mountains – his home.

Asheville Attorney

Beginning in 2007, Chad worked at two law firms in Asheville mainly representing public schools, community colleges and local governmental entities. Chad was a noted attorney in his field and in 2018-19, was the Chair for the Education Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. In April 2019, Chad got the rare chance to team-up with his best friend, Brian Elston and changed his practice area to workers compensation and personal injury. Since April 2019, Chad has been an attorney and shareholder at Brian Elston Law.


Commitment to Law in Western North Carolina

Having spent his entire life here, Chad brings with him an unwavering commitment to the people of Western North Carolina and making sure that his clients are treated fairly and equitably under the law.

Whether you were recently hurt in an automobile accident or you’re suffering from a workplace injury and need an attorney at your side to help navigate the choppy waters, contact Chad Ray Donnahoo at Brian Elston Law.


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Asheville, NC 28801


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Brian Elston Law is a personal injury law office in Asheville, NC, dedicated to fighting for people who need it most. Our practice areas include personal injury, workers compensation, wrongful death, employment law, civil litigation and more.

At Brian Elston Law our success comes from our willingness to serve individuals and families all across North Carolina with our high-quality personal injury and workers' compensation advocacy. We know how difficult it is to suffer a personal injury and / or workplace injury and how hard this must be for you and your family. Our team of attorney’s are here to help you make the process as easy and stress free as possible. To learn more about what our firm can do for you, just give us a call or a text. If you would like to learn more about how our firm can assist with your case, we encourage you to contact us immediately. We are proud to offer 100% free, confidential consultations.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

The verdicts and settlements listed on this site are intended to be representative of cases handled by Brian Elston Law. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims.