Brooks Pierce

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

There's A Difference Between "Confidential And Proprietary Information" And A Trade Secret

I can't remember the last time that the Business Court granted a motion opposing the designation of a case as a mandatory complex business case. And since the Business Court Modernization Act went into effect in October 2014? …more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Intellectual Property

Something That You Might Not Have Known About Injunctions

I had always thought that you need to post a bond in order to obtain an injunction, both in federal and state court. It turns out that I was wrong. The federal rule seems to require a bond…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies

Business Court: High To Low Posting of ATM Debit Card Transactions Properly Disclosed By Bank

The meaning of the word "item" was the definitive factor in the Business Court's decision last week in Gay v. People's Bank, 2015 NCBC 59. The case was an attempted class action involving claims against the Bank for…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking

NC Business Court Says That Bank Didn't Owe A Fiduciary Duty To Its Customer, But Recognizes New Cause Of Action: Breach Of A Duty To Negotiate In Good Faith

Were you thinking that the Business Court might, one day, find that a bank owed a fiduciary duty to its customer? That seemed like it might happen eventually, as the NC Supreme Court seemed to hold out that possibility last…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Business Torts

When A Motion To Strike Can Be Proper

After a defendant succeeded on a Motion for a More Definite Statement, a plaintiff added more detail to the claims that had been dismissed. The defendant responded to the beefed up allegations with a Motion to Strike…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts

Business Court Refuses To Unwind Mediated Settlement Agreement

The Defendants in last week's decision in DeCristoforo v. Givens, 2015 NCBC 53 were hellbent on getting out from under a settlement they had agreed to at mediation. They offered a host of challenges to the validity of their…more
| Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts

Two Cases: Mixed Success In Getting Fees Awarded In The NC Business Court

There's nothing better than winning a case or a motion in Court and to then follow that up with an award of attorneys' fees. On that subject, two rulings in the Business Court last week addressed the award of attorneys' fees. …more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Intellectual Property, Securities Law

NC Business Court: Motions To Amend And The Statute Of Limitations

Maybe you have the same nightmare that I do. You have moved to amend your Complaint to add a new defendant. The statute of limitations is about to run, but your motion to amend was made before the end of the limitations…more
| Civil Procedure

Why Did BHP Billiton Settle an FCPA Case Including 7+ Year-Old Conduct?

Remember the Water Cube from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing? BHP Billiton has probably had reason to think about it recently. On Wednesday it settled an FCPA case with the SEC arising out of the company’s sponsoring the…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, International Law & Trade, Securities Law

NC Business Court Gives Full Faith And Credit To LegalZoom's California Class Action Settlement

There are probably some of you who lie awake at night wondering whether Leagalzoom's offering of do it yourself lawyering products will be found to be the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) in North Carolina…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law

Two Claims You May Not Want To Make In North Carolina

I said yesterday that there was too much in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2015 NCBC 47 for just one post, so here are the rest of the key points from the case. They involve two claims you might not want to bother to make in…more
| Business Organizations, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Intellectual Property

Trade Secret Plaintiff Avoids Dismissal, Gets Discovery

One of the most interesting Business Court decisions of last year was Judge Bledsoe's opinion in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2014 NCBC 50, in which he held that the Plaintiff, which was suing for misappropriation of trade…more
| Civil Procedure, Business Torts, Intellectual Property
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