Mack Sperling

Mack Sperling

Brooks Pierce

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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

Eighty Five Thousand Reasons Not To Represent An LLC Without The Approval Of A Majority Of The Members (and one Other Thing)

Be sure that an LLC member has the authority to hire you before accepting the representation of the LLC in a suit by or against another LLC member. That authorization generally requires a majority of the interest of the...more

11/11/2014 - Fee Agreements LLC Operating Agreements

An Important Message From The Business Court On The Proper Filing Of A Notice Of Designation

Thursday, the Business Court entered an important Order, titled "Order Regarding Notice of Designation and Assignment," in Southern Fastening Systems, Inc. v. Grabber Construction Products, Inc., 2014 NCBC 55....more

11/10/2014 - Business Court Division E-Filing Notice Requirements

Two Things You Should Know If You Are Appealing A Preliminary Injunction On A Covenant Not To Compete

If you are representing a client who has been subjected to an injunction enjoining him from violating a covenant not to compete, and you want to appeal, there are two things you ought to know. One is good for you, the other...more

11/5/2014 - Appeals Non-Compete Agreements Preliminary Injunctions Restrictive Covenants

A Few Things To Avoid When Filing A Brief In The Middle District Of North Carolina

United States District Court Judge Catherine Eagles of the Middle District of North Carolina delivered an admonition last week to all of the lawyers with cases in her Court....more

10/31/2014 - Appellate Briefs Legal Writing

Business Court (In Judge McGuire's First Opinion) Outlines The "Indispensable Requirements" For The Formation Of A Partnership

Well, newest Business Court Judge Gregory McGuire has gotten off to a running start with his first opinion, issued only about a week after his appointment to the Business Court by Governor McCrory. The case is La Familia...more

10/24/2014 - Business Formation Choice of Entity Partnerships Small Business Small Business Formation

Trade Secrets Cases In The NC Business Court: You Show Me Yours Before I'll Show You Mine

There's a new roadblock for plaintiffs in the Business Court suing over trade secrets. It was imposed last week by Judge Bledsoe in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2014 NCBC 50, and it bars the plaintiff from proceeding with...more

10/23/2014 - Honeywell International Misappropriation Trade Secrets

The Interrogatory That Does Not Warrant An Objection Based On Privilege

There was enough worth talking about in Judge Bledsoe's opinion in National Financial Partners Corp. v. Ray, 2014 NCBC 49, which I posted about yesterday, to warrant a second post....more

10/17/2014 - Attorney-Client Privilege Interrogatories Work Product Privilege

Don't Throw The Kitchen Sink Of Defenses Into Your Answer

Say you are filing an Answer to a Complaint. NC Rule of Civil Procedure 8(c) lists a host of affirmative defenses you might raise. They are: accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk,...more

10/16/2014 - Affirmative Defenses Litigation Strategies Pleadings

One Superior Court Judge Overruling Another?

You are all familiar with the old adage that "one Superior Court Judge cannot overrule another Superior Court Judge." But apparently there is at least a little bend in that rule, as illustrated by Judge Bledsoe's opinion...more

10/15/2014 - Depositions Interlocutory Orders Judges

Shake Up At The NC Business Court

Yesterday, Governor Pat McCrory announced that he has appointed Raleigh lawyer Greg McGuire as a Special Superior Court Judge for a term beginning October 13, 2014. The Governor's plan is to designate Judge McGuire as a...more

10/10/2014 - Business Court Division Judicial Appointments

Don't Let Yourself Get Ehrenhaused When Appealing From The NC Business Court

It's probably not too soon to verbify the Business Court's opinion in Ehrenhaus v. Baker, 2014 NCBC 30, decided a few months ago. If you missed that decision, know that you have to file your Notice of Appeal from a Business...more

10/9/2014 - Business Court Division Filing Requirements Notice of Appeal

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