Ellis & Winters LLP

Choice of Law in Unfair-Trade-Practices Cases

Can a contractual choice of law disable N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? Yes, according to a recent decision from a federal court in New York. In Canon U.S.A., Inc. v. Cavin’s Business Solutions, Inc., a business filed a 75-1.1…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts

Preemption by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet: The Exemption for “Pervasive and Intricate Regulation” by Another Field of Law

Courts often opine on the relationship between N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 and other bodies of law. In a recent case, a federal court announced a rare holding of that type: a holding that another body of law regulates an area so…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Labor & Employment Law

Bridging The Gap Between Outside And Inside Counsel

The gap between the perspectives of many in-house and outside attorneys identified by the IADC’s 2016 Inside/Outside Counsel Relationship Survey merits the attention of all in-house and outside attorneys. While the Siemens…more
| Business Organizations, Law Firm Marketing

Can Forcing a Company into Bankruptcy be an Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practice?

Can a bankruptcy trustee prove a violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 based on business strategies that forced a debtor into bankruptcy? The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina recently…more
| Bankruptcy, Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Finance & Banking

Legal Bills, Clear Writing, and Establishing Trust (Part 2 of 2)

This column is the second in a two-part series about an overlooked area of “legal writing”: the writing that appears in legal bills. In the first part, I theorized that clearly written legal bills can establish deep,…more
| Law Practice Products & Services

Practical Guidance for Framing an Unfair-Trade-Practices Claim

A recent decision from a North Carolina federal court underscores the importance of how a plaintiff frames an alleged violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. In Hongda Chemical USA, LLC v. Shangyu Sunfit Chemical Co., Judge…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts

Legal Bills, Clear Writing, and Establishing Trust (Part 1 of 2)

This column is the first in a two-part series about a type of “legal writing” that often goes overlooked—even though most private-practice lawyers do it every day. I’m referring to the writing that appears in the legal bills…more
| Law Practice Products & Services

Crash into Me? Not If You Want to Sue Me for Unfair Trade Practices

Does N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 allow a lawsuit by a remote user of a product—a user who had no involvement in buying the product? A federal court in North Carolina recently answered no. An unusual fact pattern for a 75-1.1…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Government Contracting

Breaches Of Covenants Not To Compete As Unfair And Deceptive Practices? The North Carolina Business Court Weighs In

When does a breach of a covenant not to compete violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? Is tortious interference a per se violation of section 75-1.1? Departing-employee cases often raise both questions, but the answer to each…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law

High Prices = Unfair Trade Practices?

Does N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 ever support liability simply because the price of a good or service is too high? To our surprise, a recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure

Can a Third Party Sue an Insurer for Unfair Trade Practices?

Can a third party use N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 to sue an insurer based on an insured’s misdeeds? A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court answers with a qualified “no.” North Carolina law has usually barred…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure

Bankruptcy Court Rejects Unfair-Practices Claim Against Insurer Accused of Aiding and Abetting Conversion of Trust Funds

A recent decision reminds us that North Carolina’s bankruptcy courts often rule on claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. In re NC & VA Warranty Co. was an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy of a warranty company. The…more
| Bankruptcy, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts

A Quirky Exemption: “Internal” Business Disputes

A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court highlights an important—and counterintuitive—limit on the scope of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. Section 75-1.1 says expressly that it applies to practices “in or affecting…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure

Can Failing Antitrust Claims Be Repackaged as Unfair Methods of Competition? The North Carolina Business Court Answers No

Although courts sometimes describe N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 as an outgrowth of antitrust law, most 75-1.1 claims do not arise from antitrust fact patterns. SiteLink Software, LLC v. Red Nova Labs, Inc. is an exception. That…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Business Organizations, Civil Procedure

With Bank Fees, the Unfairness or Deception Is in the Details

Bank and financing fees are a prime target for alleged violations of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. Indeed, one of the seminal cases on section 75-1.1 concerns fees charged in a refinance transaction. Of course, the fact that a…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Finance & Banking
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