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Author Archives: Sharon McCloskey

Bank’s suit against pair of attorneys moved to S.C.  (access required)

A lawsuit filed in federal court in Raleigh by RBC Bank against two attorneys and Chicago Title Insurance Company, stemming from a massive mortgage fraud scheme in Myrtle Beach, has been transferred to federal court in South Carolina. In January, RBC sued South Carolina attorneys Robert A. Hedesh and Robert H. Gwin for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with their roles as closing attorneys for real estate purchases in the Myrtle Beach area. RBC was the lender in these deals. On the same day it filed suit in North Carolina, RBC also filed a multi-defendant civil racketeering lawsuit in South Carolina federal court, alleging that several individuals and entities had schemed to defraud the bank through transactions involving some of the same Myrtle Beach-area properties. The defendants in that action included real estate agents, developers, mortgage brokers, appraisers and others, including two RBC employees, who allegedly devised a scheme to induce the bank to fund purchases at inflated prices and then filtered the loan proceeds along to several people involved in the enterprise.

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New law allows firms to agree in advance on who pays (access required)

Win or lose, you pay. That’s been the regrettable truth for litigants here and elsewhere under the American rule of fee-shifting. Generally, unless your case arises under a statute that expressly provides for the recovery of attorneys’ fees, you’re on the hook. But some relief is in sight with the recent enactment of G.S. §6-21.6 which, as of October 1, allows businesses to agree to pay each others’ attorneys’ fees in any litigation arising from a contract between them. The new law does not adopt a trigger for the recovery of fees – such as automatically allowing the prevailing party to collect fees. Rather, it allows the court, or arbitrator, to award fees in those cases in which the contract at issue meets certain statutory requirements.

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Manufacturer sidesteps million-dollar claim, wins countersuit (access required)

Sometimes intransigence gets you nothing, or so A.B. Mauri Foods, the maker of Fleischman’s Yeast and other baking products, may have learned recently in an arbitration held in Charlotte. In 2007, the company purchased an industrial rotary dryer from Cary-based Aeroglide Corp. for $428,850. Fleischman’s needed the dryer for its production of CalPro, a calcium propionate-based preservative used to increase the shelf life of baking goods. Production of CalPro crystals involves the drying of a sticky substance to a specified moisture content...

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Dykema hopes that in turmoil there is opportunity (access required)

On a day in August when Bank of America stock was dropping to its lowest price in two years, Dykema Gossett announced its expansion into the Charlotte legal market. The 400-lawyer firm, based in Michigan, had lured away one of North Carolina’s own — Womble Carlyle regulatory guru Donald Lampe — to open an office in the state and grow its financial services practice. “Don is one of the best known financial service lawyers in the nation,” Dykema chairman and CEO Rex E. Schlaybaugh Jr. announced in a press release. “His leadership will be instrumental as we grow beyond our already strong consumer financial services litigation base.”

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NLRB eyes Carolina office as it decides where to cut (access required)

Labor lawyers and a pair of North Carolina congressmen are pressuring the National Labor Relations Board to look elsewhere as it goes about the business of studying which regional offices can be closed. The NLRB is conducting a review of its Region 11 office in Winston-Salem, which serves North Carolina, South Carolina and parts of Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Under pressure to cut costs, and facing a changing employment landscape, the board is considering downsizing the office and consolidating it with another region. That has area labor and employment attorneys scratching their heads.

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