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NC Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Explain Arbitration Agreements in Contracts

The Supreme Court of North Carolina recently issued an opinion that could have a substantial impact on the enforceability of arbitration agreements when a fiduciary relationship exists, particularly in the context of consumer...more

U.S. Supreme Court Describes “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

In a contract governed by federal law, does “The End” really mean “The End”? Some federal courts have said “no,” but the U.S. Supreme Court has just said “yes.” Most contract cases in federal court involve the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Describes “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

In a contract governed by federal law, does “The End” really mean “The End”? Some federal courts have said “no,” but the U.S. Supreme Court has just said “yes.” ...more

“Frivolous” Merger Litigation Settlement Rejected by the Court

In an opinion that could help remedy the problem of baseless merger litigation, a court applying North Carolina law recently refused to approve a class action settlement because the underlying lawsuit was without merit. ...more

The Fraudulent Joinder Doctrine...It’s Not Just For Fraud Or Joinder

In Weidman v. ExxonMobil Corporation, et al., No. 13-2007 (4th Cir., January 8, 2015), the Fourth Circuit confirmed that the “fraudulent joinder” doctrine requires neither an allegation of fraud nor a situation involving a...more

Documents Speak Louder Than Words in Securities Fraud Suit

The Eastern District of North Carolina recently granted summary judgment for the defendant in a securities fraud action, holding that the plaintiff had failed to prove either scienter or reliance where alleged verbal...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies the Limits of Twombly/lqbal

Rejecting the "punctiliously stated 'theory of pleading'" applied by the district court and the Fifth Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court in Johnson v. City of Shelby, Mississippi, ___ S.Ct. ___, 2014 WL 5798626 (2014), held that...more

Anti-Patent Troll Legislation Moves Forward in North Carolina

Just over a week into the new session of the North Carolina General Assembly, legislation aimed at the abusive assertion of patent infringement claims by “patent trolls” may be gaining traction, with a bill apparently headed...more

Federal Court Report - Fourth Circuit Clarifies Pleading Standards and (Again) Rejects Affidavits that Contradict a Party’s...

In Stevenson v. City of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, No. 12-2047 (4th Cir. Feb. 21, 2014), the Fourth Circuit spent some time cleaning up a rather messy case involving the alleged use of excessive force by members of a police...more

U.S. Supreme Court Relaxes Standard For Prevailing Parties To Recover Attorneys’ Fees In Patent Infringement Litigation

On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions that make it easier for prevailing parties to recover their attorneys’ fees in patent infringement cases. In Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness,...more

Federal Court Report - Fourth Circuit Denies Appeal When There are Genuine Issues of Fact on Defendants’ Immunity Defense

In an unpublished opinion, the Fourth Circuit considered the defendants’ appeal from the denial of their motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. Cooper v. Lippa No. 13-2055 (4th Cir. April 4, 2014). The Court...more

Federal Court Report - Sometimes it’s Just Better to Leave “Well-Enough” Alone

In Sisk v. Abbott Laboratories, — F.R.D. –, No. 1:11-cv-159 (W.D.N.C. Feb. 10, 2014) (J., Reidinger), after prevailing in part on its motion for summary judgment, the defendant asked the court for the Western District to...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Upholds Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Agreements

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has recently enforced arbitration clauses in short-term “payday” loan contracts, requiring the borrowers to bring their claims in arbitration rather than in court. In doing so, the Court...more

U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes Airline Immunity for TSA Reports of Suspicious Behavior

In Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper (Jan. 27, 2014), the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that airlines are entitled to civil immunity for reporting suspicious behavior to the TSA, provided their reports are not “materially...more

Is North Carolina a Daubert State? Drum Roll Please...

Yes! North Carolina is now officially a Daubert state, according to a recent decision of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In State v. McGrady, COA13-330, 2014 WL 211962 (N.C. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2014), the Court of Appeals...more

Members of Nonprofit Corporations Can Bring Derivative Actions – But They May Have to Pay a Price

A recent decision by the North Carolina Court of Appeals serves as a reminder to North Carolina nonprofit corporations that their members can bring derivative actions on behalf of the nonprofit. But, if such actions are...more

Supreme Court Limits Reach of General Jurisdiction for Corporations

The Supreme Court’s decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman (Jan. 14, 2014), dealing with the topic of “general jurisdiction,” significantly limits a plaintiff’s options as to where to bring a lawsuit. ...more

Fourth Circuit Clarifies the Role of the District Court in a Trademark Civil Action Following a Proceeding Before the Trademark...

On January 7, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified that a district court must take a fresh look at all of the evidence – including evidence previously submitted to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) –...more

Federal Court Report - Fourth Circuit Applies “Nerve Center” Test for Diversity Jurisdiction

On January 7, 2014, the Fourth Circuit applied the “nerve center” test for determining a corporation’s principal place of business for diversity jurisdiction. The Supreme Court recently adopted the nerve center test in Hertz...more

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