Mack Sperling

Mack Sperling

Brooks Pierce

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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

You Aren't Entitled to "Original" Corporate Records When Making A Shareholder Inspection Request

When is the last time that you needed an "original" document for a trial? Maybe never. The Rules of Evidence permit the admissibility of "duplicates."...more

10/1/2014 - Evidence Inspections Shareholders

Business Court Resolves A Trio Of Discovery Issues

Three interesting discovery issues were resolved last week by Judge Bledsoe's Order in Gay v. Peoples Bank. First, can you obtain in discovery in a class action the fee arrangement between the plaintiff and his lawyers? ...more

9/23/2014 - Attorney's Fees Class Action Depositions Discovery Fee Agreements Protective Orders Witnesses Young Lawyers

Trade Secrets Claims Can Be Tough To Succeed On In The Business Court

If you want to pursue a trade secrets claim in the Business Court, you've got to disclose the details of your trade secret. The Opinion last week in Unimin Corp. v. Gallo, 2014 NCBC 43 illustrates that point in detail. ...more

9/17/2014 - Business Court Division Former Employee Public Disclosure Restrictive Covenants Trade Secrets

The Delaware Court Of Chancery Can See Forever On A Clear Day (Even To North Carolina)

I don't usually write about decisions from the Delaware Court of Chancery because it's rare for that Court to even mention North Carolina. But a decision by that Court this week -- in City of Providence v. First Citizens...more

9/15/2014 - Breach of Duty Bylaws Fiduciary Duty Forum Forum Selection Clause

Receiver Appointed To Oversee Sell-Off Of Corporation's Intellectual Property

When I wrote last week about Americana Development, Inc. v. Ebius Trading & Distributing Co., the Business Court had entered a TRO against the Defendants prohibiting them from disposing of the intellectual property of...more

9/11/2014 - Patent Transfers Patents Receivership Restraining Orders

You Win Some, You Lose Some: How Should A Request For Attorneys' Fees Be Ruled Upon?

Let's say that you've tried a case, you have lost on a few of your claims, but you won a couple of claims and have gotten a judgment for damages against the defendant for $25,000. You've billed your client $1,162,895 for...more

9/9/2014 - Attorney's Fees

Who Bears The Burden Of Proving Waiver Of Attorney-Client Privilege?

This week, in an Opinion in Safety Test & Equipment Co. v. American Safety Utility Corp., 2014 NCBC 40, Judge Gale made a significant ruling on which party bears the burden of proof in showing a waiver of the attorney-client...more

9/5/2014 - Attorney-Client Privilege Burden of Proof Waivers

When Winding Up A Corporation Don't Do This

I don't know any lawyers who specialize in winding up corporations, but if any of you are out there, you should read this post. It is important to remember, when winding up a corporation, that "principals and directors...more

9/3/2014 - Board of Directors Breach of Duty Fiduciary Duty Insolvency

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

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