Mack Sperling

Mack Sperling

Brooks Pierce

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NC Business Court: Motions To Amend And The Statute Of Limitations

Maybe you have the same nightmare that I do. You have moved to amend your Complaint to add a new defendant. The statute of limitations is about to run, but your motion to amend was made before the end of the limitations...more

5/28/2015 - Amended Complaints Motion to Amend Relation Back Doctrine Rules of Civil Procedure Statute of Limitations

NC Business Court Gives Full Faith And Credit To LegalZoom's California Class Action Settlement

There are probably some of you who lie awake at night wondering whether Leagalzoom's offering of do it yourself lawyering products will be found to be the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) in North Carolina....more

5/19/2015 - Full Faith and Credit LegalZoom Putative Class Actions Unauthorized Practice of Law

Two Claims You May Not Want To Make In North Carolina

I said yesterday that there was too much in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2015 NCBC 47 for just one post, so here are the rest of the key points from the case. They involve two claims you might not want to bother to make in...more

5/18/2015 - Fiduciary Duty Former Employee Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine Trade Secrets

Trade Secret Plaintiff Avoids Dismissal, Gets Discovery

One of the most interesting Business Court decisions of last year was Judge Bledsoe's opinion in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2014 NCBC 50, in which he held that the Plaintiff, which was suing for misappropriation of trade...more

5/15/2015 - Discovery Honeywell International Judgment on the Pleadings Misappropriation Trade Secrets

Interpreting The Right To Specific Performance In A Shareholder Buy-Sell Agreement

I've never thought very hard about the remedy of specific performance. That means ordering a party to a contract to perform its contractual obligations. But the ability of the Court to order specific performance was...more

5/8/2015 - Buy-Sell Agreements Closely Held Businesses Shareholders Specific Performance Stocks

Can You Sue Only One Conspirator After Dismissing Its Co-Conspirators?

Can you sue an alleged conspirator without suing the other parties to the alleged conspiracy? That was one of the questions addressed by Judge Gale in the decision last week in Loftin v. QA Investments LLC, 2015 NCBC 41....more

5/6/2015 - Conspiracies Fiduciary Duty Motion to Dismiss Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

An Interesting Trade Secrets Case From The Business Court

If you were unsure whether customer information held by your client -- like customer contact information, sales reports, prices and terms books, sales memos, sales training manuals, commission reports, and vendor information...more

5/1/2015 - Business Court Division Confidential Information Conversion Customer Lists Employer Liability Issues Former Employee Non-Disclosure Agreement Tortious Interference Trade Secrets

NC Business Court: What Part Of Disqualification Do You Not Understand?

You will all recall the Business Court's disqualification of a law firm from representing its longtime client, in Kingsdown Inc. v. Hinshaw, 2015 NCBC 27. Now there is a second chapter to the disqualification, which came in...more

4/27/2015 - Disqualification Law Firm Partners

Business Court Denies TRO In The Midst of A Proxy Fight

The Defendant in Allcorn v. Bradley Creek Boatominium, Inc. sought an injunction against the Plaintiffs in the midst of a proxy fight as to their allegedly defamatory statements in connection with the election of the...more

4/23/2015 - Board of Directors Corporate Governance Defamation Proxy Contests Restraining Orders Shareholders

Some Stats On The Business Court

When the North Carolina Legislature "modernized" the Business Court last year, it added a provision to the General Statutes mandating that the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts prepare a report, twice a...more

4/16/2015 - Annual Reports Business Court Division Reporting Requirements

NC Business Court On A Barely Ever Referenced Rule Of Civil Procedure And A Host Of Employment-Related Claims

There are undoubtedly many of the Rules of Civil Procedure that you remember by number. Certainly Rules 12, 56, and 65. But Rule 10(b)? What does that even say?...more

4/1/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Counterclaims Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Pleadings Rules of Civil Procedure

Dead Partner And Disqualification

The Business Court on Wednesday disqualified a law firm from representing its longtime corporate client in a lawsuit against the corporation's former CEO and Chairman of its Board of Directors....more

3/27/2015 - Board of Directors C-Suite Executives Disqualification Law Firm Partners Rules of Professional Conduct

If You Are Proceeding Pro Se In The Business Court It Is Best Not To Be Defiant

It's probably never a good idea to proceed without a lawyer in any Court, but if you are a non-lawyer and insist on proceeding pro se in the Business Court, don't be defiant and obnoxious.  You will not like the result....more

3/24/2015 - Business Litigation Pro Se Litigants

There Is A Difference Between "Inducing" Something and "Causing" Something

If you asked me to list my favorite torts, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage would be near the bottom of the list. But that tort was front and center in Judge McGuire's Opinion in KRG New Hill...more

3/5/2015 - Breach of Contract Counterclaims Inducements Joint Venture Real Estate Development Tortious Interference

Stop Asking The Business Court To Overrule An Order Of Another Business Court Judge

I don't know why lawyers keep trying to get Business Court Judges to overrule decisions by one of their predecessors. It is just not going to happen, as illustrated (yet again) by Judge Bledsoe's decision in County of...more

3/3/2015 - Business Court Business Litigation Judges

A Valuable Point From The NC Business Court On Subpoenas Without Depositions

Can you send a subpoena duces tecum -- which translated from Latin is "a writ commanding a person to produce in court certain designated documents or evidence " -- without coupling it with a deposition?...more

2/25/2015 - Depositions Discovery Document Requests Electronically Stored Information Subpoenas

The Business Court Rules Again On Claims Under The North Carolina Securities Act

Last week's decision in Atkinson v. Lackey, 2015 NCBC 13 doesn't tell you everything you wanted to know about the North Carolina Securities Act (the "NCSA"), but it comes pretty close. The lawsuit was brought by three...more

2/12/2015 - Business Court Fiduciary Duty Issuers Securities Securities Fraud Securities Litigation

An Answer To A Million Dollar Question About Designating Cases To The NC Business Court

This past Friday, I went to a seminar put on by the Antitrust and Complex Business Disputes Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association in an almost successful effort to finish getting my required CLE hours for 2014. ...more

2/11/2015 - Business Court Business Litigation Consent Contract Disputes

Is It Worth It For Plaintiffs' Counsel To Gamble On Merger Class Actions in North Carolina?

I hadn't written anything yet about the multiple shareholder actions challenging the merger of PokerTek -- a developer and distributor of electronic table (gambling) games -- with Multimedia Games -- another developer and...more

1/30/2015 - Class Action Derivative Suit Disclosure Material Disclosures Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

Reading Before Signing Is Advisable

It's pretty basic that your clients should read the agreements that they sign before they sign them. Or you should at least explain to your client the key provisions in what they are going to sign, if they are not going to...more

1/16/2015 - Arbitration Business Litigation Memorandum of Understanding Operating Agreements

Do You Have To Be The Owner Of A Trade Secret To Sue For Misappropriation?

Can an exclusive licensee of a trade secret sue for its misappropriation? Maybe, even though North Carolina's version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Protection Act reserves the right to sue to an "owner." N.C. Gen. Stat....more

1/7/2015 - IP License Misappropriation Popular Standing Trade Secrets Uniform Trade Secrets Acts

Is Your Client's Customer Information A Trade Secret? Maybe, If You Plead It Specifically Enough.

I have remarked before how hard the Business Court has been on Plaintiffs making trade secrets claims. You can look here and here for example of these prior posts. The Court has often dismissed trade secrets claims on a...more

12/15/2014 - Business Court Division Customer Lists Trade Secrets

A "Proper" Party Isn't Necessarily A "Necessary" Party

What is the difference between a "proper" party and a "necessary" party"? Judge McGuire spelled out the difference early this week in Cape Hatteras Electric Membership Corp. v. Stevenson, 2014 NCBC 62....more

12/11/2014 - Consent Real Party in Interest Rules of Civil Procedure

Don't Try To Get A Retired Business Court Judge's Orders Changed Or Overruled By A Successor Business Court Judge

When there is a change in the Business Court Judge handling your case, there is probably a natural reaction to try to get the new Judge to revisit rulings by the previous Judge which were unfavorable to your client. That...more

12/4/2014 - Business Court Division Judges Successors Trial Court Orders

The NC Business Court Rules On Recovering Attorneys' Fees In A Derivative Action Against An LLC

In this week's opinion in Ekren v. K&E Real Estate Investments, 2014 NCBC 56, Judge Bledsoe outlined how a derivative action plaintiff can recover attorneys' fees....more

11/17/2014 - Attorney's Fees Derivative Suit Limited Liability Companies Real Estate Holding Companies

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