Mack Sperling

Mack Sperling

Brooks Pierce

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When I first looked at Judge Murphy's (unpublished) Order in Ehrenhaus v. Baker earlier this month awarding attorneys' fees to the class action attorneys who sued Wachovia and Wells Fargo over their merger in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

Never Give Up? Never Surrender? Probably Bad Advice In The Business Court

Section 6-21.5 of the North Carolina General Statutes is the closest thing the State has to "loser pays." It allows for the award of attorneys' fees to a prevailing party "if the court finds that there was a complete absence...more

1/24/2014 - Attorney's Fees Breach of Duty Fiduciary Duty

Don't Rely On Your Expert's Speculation To Save You From Summary Judgment

Just because an expert says something is so doesn't mean that it is. That's the lesson of Judge Gale's ruling last week in Carter v. Clements Walker. He rejected the evidentiary value of an expert's report stating that...more

1/15/2014 - Expert Testimony Expert Witness Genuine Issue of Material Fact Patents Summary Judgment

North Carolina COA Refuses To Award Attorneys' Fees Based On "New York Rates"

There's enough of interest in the North Carolina Court of Appeals' decision this week in GE Betz, Inc. v. Conrad for five posts. It's got a couple of good rulings on covenants not to compete, a few points about trade secrets...more

12/5/2013 - Attorney's Fees Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants

Business Court Says "Rule Of Reason" Analysis Appropriate To Antitrust Claim By Chiropractors Against Their Independent Practice...

I can think of only three reasons why you might want to know about the Business Court's decision in Sykes v. Health Network Solutions, 2013 NCBC 53: - You are a chiropractor or you live with one. - You are...more

12/3/2013 - Antitrust Litigation Healthcare Healthcare Professionals Rule-of-Reason Analysis

A Prevailing Party Can't Recover The $1,000 Fee For Designating A Case To The Business Court As A "Cost"

If you think like me, you were thinking that the $1,000 fee for designating a case to the Business Court would be recoverable as an item of costs if you were successful in the case. ...more

11/25/2013 - Fees Recovery Laws

North Carolina Court of Appeals Says: We Don't Fear The Turtle

You've no doubt heard about the University of Maryland's withdrawal from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the University's unwillingness to pay the $50 million withdrawal fee required by the Constitution of the...more

11/22/2013 - Breach of Contract Governmental Immunity Governmental Liability Liquidated Damages

The NC Supreme Court Speaks On Fiduciary Duty And Piercing The Corporate Veil

The best lines in Green v. Freeman, decided last week by the NC Supreme Court, are that "[t]he doctrine of piercing the corporate veil is not a theory of liability. Rather, it provides an avenue to pursue legal claims against...more

11/14/2013 - Breach of Duty Corporate Veil Fiduciary Duty

You Can't Appeal That! Or Can You?

You may remember the case of Out of the Box Developers, LLC v. Logicbit Corp. It has spawned a couple of interesting discovery decisions. One was on subpoenas to third parties, another involved nearly $40,000 in sanctions for...more

11/5/2013 - Appeals Attorney's Fees Discovery Interlocutory Appeals Sanctions Subpoenas Third-Party

What Withdrawing Partners Can Expect

If you are a partner in a limited liability partnership, or if you have clients who are, you'll want to read Judge Gale's opinion in Chesson v. Rives, 2013 NCBC 49, decided last week. It provides guidance on the rights of...more

11/4/2013 - LLPs Partnerships Uniform Partnership Act Withdrawal

Who Doesn't Like Reading About A Ruling On A Motion To Compel?

I probably enjoy reading a ruling on a motion to compel a whole lot more than the judge does in writing it. So of course I enjoyed reading Judge Murphy's Order on a Motion to Compel yesterday in County of Catawba v. Frye...more

11/1/2013 - Attorney-Client Privilege Discovery Document Productions Motion to Compel Regular Course of Business Subsidiaries

Don't Sue A North Carolina Board Of Directors Over A Merger Without Reading This Case

Last week's Order in Gusinsky v. Flanders Corp., 2013 NCBC 46, should be required reading for lawyers thinking of suing the directors of a corporation in North Carolina over a merger transaction. It provides guidance on the...more

10/4/2013 - Board of Directors Derivative Suit Disclosure Requirements Fiduciary Duty Pleadings Professional Liability Shareholders

50% Shareholder Didn't Owe Fiduciary Duty To His 50% Co-Shareholder

This week's decision from the Business Court in Maurer v. Maurer, 2013 NCBC 44 is a continuation of the litigation between Jill Maurer and the company owned by her and her husband, which was the subject of three Business...more

8/28/2013 - Board of Directors Derivative Suit Divorce Fiduciary Duty Shareholders

"Common Interest" Privilege Considered By The NC Business Court

How much of an ownership interest does a parent have to have in a subsidiary for the attorney-client privilege to extend to communications between the susidiary and the lawyer for the parent company?...more

8/28/2013 - Attorney-Client Privilege Common-Interest Privilege Corporate Counsel Parent Corporation Subsidiaries

Business Court Awards $38,000 In Fees For Opposing Party's Failure To Comply With Discovery Order

Have you ever billed a client nearly $65,000 for pursuing a motion to compel? Maybe you routinely handle mega-cases and you aren't goggled by the size of that kind of fee But that was the amount of the fee sought last month,...more

8/26/2013 - Discrimination Evidence Fees

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