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Author Archives: Sharon McCloskey

Wrong claim on wrongful computer use (access required)


Authorized access to a computer for an alleged unlawful purpose does not give rise to liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held on July 26, joining the Ninth Circuit in a growing split among the circuits and a possible showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court next term.

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The strong-arm of the law (access required)


Adult video companies use the legal system to bully payments out of computer owners, but the days of easy money may be ending. Critics say the porn purveyors make more money from defendants than they’d ever make on their movies. Attorneys believe the companies are gaming the system. One federal judge called the scheme a “shakedown,” while another referred to it as “extortion.”

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Why they jumped (access required)

Together they had more than 150 years of experience practicing law in the Triangle, partners at big-name firms who’d seemingly grabbed the brass ring. So when they bolted – six from K&L Gates and four from Womble Carlyle — to form Morningstar Law Group, it was big news.

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Insurer now faces trial (access required)

Robert E. Hoskins

Get Met. It pays. So thought Debbie McCravy of Charleston when she took out $10,000 in life insurance coverage on her teenage daughter through her Bank of America employee benefit plan. For years she paid the premiums to Metropolitan Life, until her daughter Leslie was murdered in 2007. She was 25. That’s when McCravy discovered that Met doesn’t always pay.

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Two missing seats net $575K verdict for buyer of plane (access required)

When NASCAR’s Braun Racing went looking in 2008 for a plane to shuttle pit crews and their families from race to race, it wanted 30 seats. But it fell for a 27-seat 1994 Dornier 328-100 turboprop. When the seller, Concord-based Spitfire Aviation Parts, said that it could add two seats, Braun plunked down $3.625 million for the soon-to-be 29-seater. Only then did the parties learn that installing the seats would cost upwards of $100,000. And when Spitfire balked, Braun sued.

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Furniture dealer wins $537K counterclaim (access required)

In 2010, St. Louis-based HDM Furniture Industries filed suit in Burke County Superior Court against Utah furniture retailer Hamilton Park for $35,000 in unpaid invoices. It was an unlikely — and as it would turn out, unfriendly — forum for a minor dispute in Utah, as HDM soon found itself not only fighting the retailer’s claims of wrongful termination, but doing so before a jury well-acquainted with the woes of the furniture industry.

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Court puts a limit on ‘public duty’ defense (access required)

It’s been nearly ten years since Mickela Nicholson and her three passengers died in an accident in Johnston County. Since then, the Department of Transportation has vigorously fought recovery by the victims’ estates, asserting the public duty doctrine as a defense to their negligence claims.

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NC-based Glaxo honored for its fee-control strategies (access required)


The Association of Corporate Counsel recently named Research Triangle-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline a 2012 Value Champion, one of five law departments and seven law firm-law department collaborations recognized for their use of innovative management and technology strategies to control legal expenses.

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