Mack Sperling

Mack Sperling

Brooks Pierce

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The Motion You Probably Shouldn't Bother To Make In The Business Court (Or In Any Other Court)

I think I might have made a Motion for a More Definite Statement. If I did that, I did it only once, and I can't remember the result. Asking for a more definite statement is a rarely used litigation maneuver, allowed by...more

8/27/2014 - Rule 12 Motions Rules of Civil Procedure

Mark Your Calendar For October 1st For Changes To The Business Court

If you litigate cases in the NC Business Court, mark your calendar for October 1st. That's when the General Assembly's "modernization" of the Business Court is due to become effective. The bill containing these changes was...more

8/15/2014 - Business Court Division Rules of Civil Procedure

Can You Get A Ruling From A Superior Court Judge After Your Case Is Designated To The Business Court?

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that once a case is in the Business Court, it is in there forever, even if the issues that justified it being there in the first place are subsequently resolved. But when...more

8/13/2014 - Business Court Division Court Appearances Jurisdiction

An Important Tip On Appealing A Decision From The NC Business Court

The Business Court is electronic. Paper copies of documents are not filed with the Business Court. So when you e-file a Notice of Appeal, is that sufficient for purposes of Rule 3 of the NC Rules of Appellate Procedure?...more

7/21/2014 - Business Court Division E-Filing Notice of Appeal Rules of Civil Procedure

Pro Se Defendant Wins Trial On Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims In Business Court

When I was a young pup preparing to go to court against the uncommon adversary who was proceeding without a lawyer, I would joke that "I hope I don't lose." Luckily, I never did....more

7/9/2014 - Breach of Duty Fiduciary Duty Pro Se Litigants

Business Court Refuses To Admit University Of Maryland's Lawyers On A Pro Hac Basis

The lawsuit filed by the Atlantic Coast Conference against the University of Maryland continues to percolate in the North Carolina Business Court. But the University will have to proceed without its chosen attorneys, as the...more

7/7/2014 - Business Court Division Pro Hac Vice Universities

Welcome Judge Bledsoe To The NC Business Court

Charlotte attorney Louis A. Bledsoe, III has been appointed by Governor Pat McCrory as a Special Superior Court Judge, and NC Supreme Court Justice Sarah Parker has designated him as a Special Superior Court for Complex...more

7/3/2014 - Business Court Division Judges Judicial Appointments

Complying With The Rules Is Important In The Business Court

There's an ominous sounding sentence in a Business Court decision this week: A party practicing before the North Carolina Business Court should take the deadlines imposed by its orders and the rules of practice very...more

6/20/2014 - Deadlines Rules of Civil Procedure Summary Judgment

It Depends On The Meaning Of The Word "With"

The contractual interpretation issue before the Business Court in Schultheis v. Hatteras Capital Investment Management, LLC, 2014 NCBC 23, turned on the meaning of the word "with." Well, actually on the phrase "entering into...more

6/18/2014 - Contract Drafting Contract Interpretation Operating Agreements

Collateral Estoppel Sinks LLC Members' Claim

It might seem uncontroversial that the members of a limited liability company cannot follow with a personal lawsuit for injuries after their LLC litigates, and loses, claims based on the same issues. But it took the Business...more

6/11/2014 - Arbitration Collateral Estoppel Condominiums Construction Contracts Construction Disputes LLC Personal Liability

General Assembly May "Modernize" The NC Business Court

A bill was introduced this week in the NC General Assembly that would be entitled "An Act to Modernize the Business Court By Making Technical, Clarifying, And Administrative Changes To The Procedures For Complex Business...more

6/2/2014 - Complex Litigation Rules of Civil Procedure

Corporate Shield Holds Up Against Creditor

There's no expression when speaking of football players to recognize a performance that hits three exceptional marks (like a hat trick in hockey or a triple double in basketball or the triple crown in baseball). Maybe there...more

5/15/2014 - Board of Directors Creditors Directors Officers Personal Liability

Business Court Dismisses Derivative Action Against Duke Energy

You might remember the derivative action filed against the board of directors of Duke Energy Corporation stemming from its 2012 merger with Progress Energy. It received a lot of publicity. The merger was concluded long ago,...more

5/5/2014 - Derivative Suit Duke Energy Krieger Mergers Severance Pay

Despite What You Think, the Business Court Isn't Always Open

Everybody knows that you have thirty days to file a Notice of Appeal in a civil case. Rule 3(c)(1) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure says that: "a party must file and serve a notice of appeal: within thirty...more

5/1/2014 - E-Filing Filing Deadlines Notice of Appeal

A Million Dollars In Fees For Class Counsel in Wachovia/Wells Fargo Merger Lawsuit

When I first looked at Judge Murphy's (unpublished) Order in Ehrenhaus v. Baker earlier this month awarding attorneys' fees to the class action attorneys who sued Wachovia and Wells Fargo over their merger in 2008, I was...more

4/10/2014 - Attorney's Fees Business Litigation Class Action Corporate Counsel Mergers Settlement Wachovia Wells Fargo

Business Court Makes North Carolina Safe For Construction Lawyers

Construction lawyers in North Carolina can breathe a sigh of relief. On Friday of last week, the Business Court ruled that the service of on-line service provider Lienguard in preparing claims of lien constitutes the...more

4/8/2014 - Construction Contracts Construction Disputes

Real Estate Agents Need To Be Careful About Disclosing Dual Agency

Dual agency is a big deal to real estate agents. It lets them represent both a buyer and a seller in a transaction. Dual agency was the focal point of the Business Court's opinion last week in BDM Investments v. Lenhil,...more

4/8/2014 - Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Real Estate Market

NC Business Court Stays Arbitration Pending Ruling On Piercing The Veil Claim

The Order in Cold Springs Ventures, LLC v. Gilead Sciences, Inc., 2014 NCBC 10 is a procedural conundrum wrapped up in arbitration issues. The Plaintiffs in the Business Court are the respondents in a separate arbitration...more

4/1/2014 - Arbitration Corporate Veil Professional Liability

Maybe We Are Getting Closer To A Decision in North Carolina On Whether LegalZoom Is Engaged In The Unauthorized Practice Of Law

Legalzoom may be a step closer to overcoming the NC State Bar's assertion that its online legal document service constitutes the unauthorized practice of law (UPL), following yesterday's ruling in LegalZoom, Inc. v. North...more

3/27/2014 - LegalZoom Unauthorized Practice of Law

NC Business Court Puts Teeth In Protective Order

I've never thought much about the consequences of the violation of a Protective Order. In fact, before last week's Business Court ruling in Out of the Box Developers, LLC v. Logicbit Corp., 2014 NCBC 7, no North Carolina...more

3/26/2014 - Protective Orders

NC Court Of Appeals: Foreclosures and Immutability

Can a law passed by a Legislature be called "immutable?" (that means it's ageless, not ever subject to change). The Court of Appeals used that word this week in Heaton-Sides v. State Employees Credit Union to describe...more

3/21/2014 - Foreclosure Mortgages Statutory Interpretation

Collecting On Judgments Against A Member's LLC Interest

A lawyer has limited remedies to collect on a judgment from a defendant who is unwilling to pay. If the defendant holds stock in a corporation, you can execute on the shares, take possession of them, and sell them. N.C. Gen....more

3/12/2014 - Charging Orders LLC Personal Liability

The "Bright Star" Fades: The NC Business Court On Letters Of Credit

I've resolved this year to blog about every numbered decision of the Business Court, as opposed to past years, where my lack of enthusiasm about the more boring decisions has left me writing about less than 100% of the...more

3/6/2014 - Foreign Banks Municipalities

What Happens To A Covenant Not To Compete Upon The Sale Of A Business?

Be careful with covenants not to compete when you buy or sell a business. That's the lesson from Amerigas Propane, LP v. Coffey, 2014 NCBC 4, decided this week by Judge Jolly....more

2/17/2014 - Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants Sale of Assets Sales

The Business Court Takes A Narrow View Of When Claims Are "In Or Affecting Commerce" Under Chapter 75 Of The General Statutes

Chapter 75 claims have rarely fared well in the Business Court, though there is not much doubt about why they are included in almost every Complaint in the Court. The prospect of treble damages (per G.S. ยง75-16) and...more

2/3/2014 - Common Stock Preferred Shares Shareholder Litigation Shareholders

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