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Trade Secrets Cases in the NC Business Court: You Show Me Yours Before I'll Show You Mine

There's a new roadblock for plaintiffs in the Business Court suing over trade secrets. It was imposed last week by Judge Bledsoe in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard , 2014 NCBC 50 , and it bars the plaintiff from proceeding with discovery until the trade secrets allegedly being misused by the defendant...

Business Court (In Judge McGuire's First Opinion) Outlines the "Indispensable Requirements" for The Formation of a Partnership

Well, newest Business Court Judge Gregory McGuire has gotten off to a running start with his first opinion, issued only about a week after his appointment to the Business Court by Governor McCrory. The case is La Familia Cosmovision, Inc. v. The Inspiration Networks , 2014 NCBC 51 [ an enhanced version...

Eighty Five Thousand Reasons Not to Represent an LLC Without the Approval of a Majority of the Members (and one Other Thing)

Be sure that an LLC member has the authority to hire you before accepting the representation of the LLC in a suit by or against another LLC member. That authorization generally requires a majority of the interest of the members, at least under the default provisions of the LLC Act, which apply in the...

The NC Business Court Rules on Recovering Attorneys' Fees in a Derivative Action Against an LLC

In this week's opinion in Ekren v. K&E Real Estate Investments , 2014 NCBC 56 , Judge Bledsoe outlined how a derivative action plaintiff can recover attorneys' fees [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ]. What Constitutes A 'Substantial Benefit"...

Don't Try To Get A Retired Business Court Judge's Orders Changed Or Overruled By A Successor Business Court Judge

When there is a change in the Business Court Judge handling your case, there is probably a natural reaction to try to get the new Judge to revisit rulings by the previous Judge which were unfavorable to your client. That effort is most likely to come to naught, as illustrated by Judge Bledsoe's decision...

A "Proper" Party Isn't Necessarily A "Necessary" Party

What is the difference between a "proper" party and a "necessary" party"? Judge McGuire spelled out the difference early this week in Cape Hatteras Electric Membership Corp. v. Stevenson , 2014 NCBC 62 [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers...

NC Law Students Use Spring Break to Assist Refugee Moms, Kids in Texas Immigration Lockup

"Several Elon University School of Law students are traveling to the San Antonio area to Karnes Detention Center, which houses women and children fleeing violence in their home countries. They have come seeking asylum in the United States, and have limited access to legal representation, which mostly...

The Business Court Rules Again on Claims Under the North Carolina Securities Act

Last week's decision in Atkinson v. Lackey , 2015 NCBC 13 doesn't tell you everything you wanted to know about the North Carolina Securities Act (the "NCSA"), but it comes pretty close [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The lawsuit was...

Ford, Accident Victim Reach Settlement After North Carolina Jury Deadlocks (Watch The Closing Argument Videos)

NASHVILLE, N.C. — (Mealey’s) Ford Motor Co. reached a confidential settlement March 30 after a North Carolina state court jury failed to reach a verdict in a suit alleging that the automaker’s failure to include a three-point seat belt for center rear passengers in its 1999 model year...

North Carolina Business Court Denies TRO in the Midst of a Proxy Fight

The Defendant in Allcorn v. Bradley Creek Boatominium, Inc. sought an injunction against the Plaintiffs in the midst of a proxy fight as to their allegedly defamatory statements in connection with the election of the Defendant's board of directors. In an (unpublished) Order yesterday, Judge McGuire...

North Carolina Business Court: What Part Of Disqualification Do You Not Understand?

You will all recall the Business Court's disqualification of a law firm from representing its longtime client, in Kingsdown Inc. v. Hinshaw , 2015 NCBC 27 [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ]. Now there is a second chapter to the disqualification, which came...

An Interesting Trade Secrets Case from the North Carolina Business Court

If you were unsure whether customer information held by your client -- like customer contact information, sales reports, prices and terms books, sales memos, sales training manuals, commission reports, and vendor information -- can be considered a "trade secret", the Business Court's opinion...

North Carolina: No In-State Contract of Employment Where Driver Required to Undergo Three Days of Orientation and Tests in Mississippi Prior to Final Hire

A truck driver’s contract of employment was not made in North Carolina where he was required to complete a three-day orientation, a road test, a drug test, and a physical exam in Mississippi—a hiring procedure that extended well beyond mostly administrative paperwork. That the driver was...

Interpreting the Right to Specific Performance in a Shareholder Buy-Sell Agreement

I've never thought very hard about the remedy of specific performance. That means ordering a party to a contract to perform its contractual obligations. But the ability of the Court to order specific performance was front and center in the North Carolina Business Court's decision Wednesday...

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. It says: (c) Security . The court may issue a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order only...

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? I don't think one has been granted. But earlier this week, Judge...

North Carolina Appellate Court Affirms Teenager’s Cyberbullying Conviction

The Court of Appeals of North Carolina was petitioned to determine whether a high school student had been properly convicted of cyber-bullying a classmate in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-458.1 . The court upheld the conviction, finding that the defendant failed to show that the cyber-bullying...

License Check In North Carolina Violates 4th Amendment Due To Lack Of Suspected Criminal Activity

According to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in State v. Leak, 2015 N.C. App. LEXIS 445 (N.C. Ct. App. June 2, 2015) , an officer violated a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when a driver’s license check was conducted without reasonable suspicion. The decision suggested that evidence...

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 Biotech Co ., 2015 NCBC 71 [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance...

Did It Need to Be in Writing?

Surratt v. Brown , 2015 NCBC 72 , decided last week by the Business Court, involved an oral partnership to open and operate tattoo parlors throughout North Carolina [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ]. Plaintiff and Defendant entered into an partnership...

NC Business Court Awards Rule 11 Sanctions For Baseless Fiduciary Duty Claim

It is probably a good idea for a corporation to avoid making fiduciary duty claims against its employees (unless they are also officers and directors). Clients (or their lawyers) who insist on making such claims are liable to be assessed with the attorneys' fees of the persons they sue, at least...

A Happy Dance For Plaintiffs Who Moot a Motion to Dismiss by Moving to Amend Their Complaint

Maybe you've been in this situation before. You've moved to dismiss a complaint, have fully briefed your motion, and the defendant dances in on the day of the hearing on your motion and amends his complaint. And the defendant doesn't even bother to make a motion to amend his complaint! ...

NC Court of Appeals Affirms Business Court Award of $1 Million in Fees to Class Counsel

It seems like forever ago that the then venerable North Carolina institution, Wachovia Bank, failed and was acquired by Wells Fargo. (This was actually seven years ago). But just last week came what might be the final closure in the battle by the lawyers representing the class which challenged that acquisition...

Congressional Pressure Brings Stay of Deportation for North Carolina Teen

Anne Blythe, News & Observer, Mar. 20, 2016 - "The planned deportation of Wildin Guillen Acosta, a Riverside High School student, was put on hold Sunday to give attorneys a brief window to appeal an immigration judge’s decision from late Friday. Acosta, a 19-year-old native of Honduras...

Congressional Pressure Brings Stay of Deportation for North Carolina Teen - Updated

Anne Blythe, News & Observer, Mar. 20, 2016 - "The planned deportation of Wildin Guillen Acosta, a Riverside High School student, was put on hold Sunday to give attorneys a brief window to appeal an immigration judge’s decision from late Friday. Acosta, a 19-year-old native of Honduras...