Ellis & Winters LLP

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

Treble-Damage Awards as Penalties

Plaintiffs who prove violations of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 are automatically entitled to treble damages under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-16. The automatic trebling of damages for 75-1.1 claims often leads to substantial verdicts and…more
| Civil Procedure, Insurance

Contracts and Unfair Trade Practices, Redux

A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court underscores the challenges faced by a party who tries to convert a breach of contract into a violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. A breach of contract alone, even if…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts

Debt Collection and Unfair Trade Practices

Today we return to the vexing relationship between N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 and the North Carolina Debt Collection Practices Act. The Debt Collection Act says that its “specific and general provisions . . . shall exclusively…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Finance & Banking, Real Estate - Residential

The Appellate Rules Trump Statutory Jurisdiction in State v. Biddix

The jurisdiction of the North Carolina Court of Appeals is determined by statute. See N.C. Const. art. IV, § 12(2). But the practice and procedure of appellate jurisdiction is determined by the North Carolina Rules of Appellate…more
| Conflict of Laws, Criminal Law

Can Resolving a Legal Claim Be an Unfair Trade Practice?

A recent federal decision considers how N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 applies when a plaintiff attacks the resolution of a legal claim. The decision might create a new categorical limit on direct-unfairness claims under section…more
| Civil Procedure, Insurance

A Guaranteed Defense: An Overview of the North Carolina Supreme Court’s Decision in High Point Bank & Trust Co. v. Highmark Properties, LLC

Until recently, a common question that arose during foreclosure deficiency actions was whether a guarantor on a loan could raise the anti-deficiency defense set forth in section N.C.G.S. § 45–21.36. This past fall, the North…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Real Estate - Residential

Consumer Fraud, Unfair Trade Practices, and Internet Purchases

If you buy a product through a website, and then the product doesn’t live up to its promises, can you sue the manufacturer for violating N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? A recent decision by the federal court in Boston highlights…more
| Business Torts, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Consumer Protection

The Employment Exemption and Its Temporal Scope

Generally, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 does not apply to employer-employee disputes. Most courts have held that these disputes fail the “in or affecting commerce” test under the statute. In a recent decision, however, the U.S…more
| Business Torts, Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

Specific and Manageable Ideas for Enhancing Legal Briefs

Writing is central to what we do, and I enjoy thinking about what makes writing effective. In this article, I raise several specific ideas for how to enhance legal writing. The ideas revolve around the notion of what I call…more
| Law Practice Products & Services
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4131 Parklake Avenue
Suite 400
Raleigh, NC 27612, United States

  • 919 865 7000
  • 919 865 7010

Areas of Practice
  • Administrative Law
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Other U.S. Locations
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25-50 Attorneys

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