Brooks Pierce

Be Very Careful If You Are Instructing Your Clients Not To Answer Questions At A Deposition

In an (unpublished) Order last week in Griggs v. Bittersweet Farms, LLC, Judge McGuire ruled that Plaintiffs' counsel's instruction to his client not to answer certain deposition questions was improper. He granted a Motion to…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts

An IP Lawyer Answers the Common Question: "Should I patent this?"

We are often asked “should I get a patent on this?” While there is no simple answer, it helps to understand the patent process, compare it to other ways for protecting inventions, and then weigh the relevant pros and cons. …more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Employer Alert: Proposed Regs Allow More Employees To Be Eligible for Overtime

On July 6, 2015, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed new regulations that would significantly raise the salary requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and computer professional employees (“white collar…more
| Labor & Employment Law

The SEC's Investment Management Division Has Some Things to Tell You about Cybersecurity

Lots of agencies and organizations want to boss you around about cybersecurity. In April, the SEC and the Justice Department published more directions on the issue. We’ll cover the very brief guidance issued by the SEC’s…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology, Securities Law

The SEC’s Investment Management Division Has Some Things to Tell You about Cybersecurity

Lots of agencies and organizations want to boss you around about cybersecurity. In April, the SEC and the Justice Department published more directions on the issue. We’ll cover the very brief guidance issued by the SEC’s…more
| Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology, Securities Law

You Can Settle Your Insider Trading Case with a Negligence-based Charge

This is almost certainly not true anymore. But it was true once! Maybe only once. Back in October 1991, the SEC sued Shared Medical Systems, a Pennsylvania health care information services company and three of its officers…more
| Securities Law

The Meaning Of "Successors," "Members," And "Designees" In A Release

The words "successors," "members," and "designees," as used in a Release were at issue in Judge Bledsoe's Opinion last week in TaiDoc Technology Corp. v. OK Biotec Co., 2015 NCBC 71. Plaintiff TaiDoc had settled a related…more
| Business Organizations, Commercial Law & Contracts

If You Reach A Settlement At Mediation, And Say The Settlement Will Be The Subject Of A Forthcoming Formal Agreement, Do You Have A Binding Deal?

You have most likely walked out of a mediated settlement conference at which the shorthand version of the settlement put to paper by the lawyers and the mediator stated that there would be a later, more detailed agreement. And…more
| Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Commercial Law & Contracts

When You Wish Upon A (Lode)Star: NC Business Court Cuts Fees Requested By Attorneys For Class Plaintiffs

The Business Court last week knocked down a fee request of Plaintiffs' class action counsel to $500,000, from the $660,000 requested, in an Order in Nakatsukasa v. Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2015 NCBC 68. The…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Mergers & Acquisitions, Science, Computers, & Technology

Texas Supreme Court Applies Absolute Privilege to Statements in FCPA Investigations

You may remember the 2013 Texas Court of Appeals case involving Shell Oil Company and Robert Writt. We covered it here, and it left FCPA internal investigations based in Texas in an awkward spot. To recap very briefly, in 2007…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, International Law & Trade

Don't Overplay Your Hand In The Business Court

When you last heard about London Leasing LLC v. Arcus, the Business Court had entered a default in March 2015 against two of the Defendants for what I called their "defiant and obnoxious conduct." It then seemed like the…more
| Civil Procedure

Vivek Ranadivé and Wisconsin IA Both Big into Cherrypicking, According to Sources

Here’s a thing I think I know about billionaires: They’ve made piles and piles of money doing something someone somewhere surely advised them not to do because it was a dumb idea. Then later, actually dumb ideas come along and…more
| Administrative Law, Finance & Banking, Business Torts, Securities Law

Do Investment Advisers Automatically Have Fiduciary Duties to Their Clients?

I always thought they did. But on Friday I read this sentence: “An investment advisor-client relationship is not a de jure fiduciary relationship.” It sort of jumped out at me, because for a long time I’ve assumed that an…more
| Civil Procedure, Finance & Banking, Business Torts, Securities Law

FIN4 May Have Embarked on a Risky Hacking/Insider Trading Strategy

I haven’t yet turned to a life of crime, so far be it from me to criticize actual criminals’ profit-maximizing strategies. It’s easy for me to nitpick, but I’m not the one strapping on my mask and trying to earn a (dis)honest…more
| Health, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology

Tom Brady Better Off as a Famous Quarterback than a Registered Representative

And this is true for any number of reasons! There’s the money, the supermodel wife, the buddy trips to the Kentucky Derby . . . . All pretty obvious. But there’s another reason, too. As an NFL quarterback, Brady works under…more
| Administrative Law, Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking
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