Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Opinion Digests / Attorneys (page 16)

Attorneys

Attorneys – Fees – Contract – Conflict of Interest – Incompetent – Civil Practice – Collateral Estoppel (access required)

Keyes v. Johnson In a guardianship proceeding, the clerk of court found a conflict of interest and removed the plaintiff-attorney as counsel for defendant’s ward and the ward’s wife. Since the attorney did not appeal that order, she was collaterally estopped from seeking fees pursuant to her contract with the ward and his wife.

Read More »

Attorneys – First Impression — Civil Practice – Discovery – Deposition – Opposing Counsel – Insufficient Showing – Subpoena Duces Tecum – Privilege (access required)

Blue Ridge Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, Inc. v. First Colony Healthcare, LLC Where defendants have failed to show that (1) there are no other means to obtain the information they seek, (2) the information possessed by plaintiffs’ counsel is relevant and non-privileged, and (3) the information is critical to the issues at stake in this litigation, defendants are not entitled to depose plaintiffs’ counsel.

Read More »

Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice Claim – Case Within a Case – Snowy Road Fishtail – Arbitration — Civil Practice – Service of Process (access required)

Tarrant v. Hudson (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-16-0847, 22 pp.) (Martha A. Geer, J.) Appealed from Wake County Superior Court. (Abraham Penn Jones & Paul G. Gessner, JJ.) N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Even though the defendant-attorneys failed to file a personal injury action on behalf of plaintiff before the statute of limitations expired, and even though plaintiff later obtained a default judgment against the driver and owner of the other car involved in his accident, since plaintiff only showed that the other car fishtailed and spun out on an icy, snowy road, plaintiff failed to prove that the other driver was negligent. Therefore, he failed to prove the “case within a case” necessary to show the attorneys committed legal malpractice when they missed the filing deadline.

Read More »

Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Standard of Care – Bankruptcy – Damages (access required)

Miller v. Orcutt The standard of care for a bankruptcy attorney is the same in the Western District of North Carolina as it is in the Eastern District of North Carolina; therefore, the plaintiff-clients could present the testimony of a bankruptcy attorney from the Western District to establish the standard of care in a legal malpractice case against a bankruptcy attorney in the Eastern District.

Read More »

Attorneys – Fees – Constitutional – Due Process Violations – Schools & School Boards – Alternative Schools (access required)

Rone v. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education The trial court lacked authority to award attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 when the case at issue was an action or proceeding brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 but did not involve one of the civil rights listed in that section.

Read More »

Attorneys – Consumer Protection – Solicitation – FOIA – S.C. DMV – Car Buyers – Potential Class Action — Driver Privacy – Litigation Exception (access required)

Maracich v. Spears Lawyers who used FOIA requests to the South Carolina DMV to find plaintiff car buyers for a potential class action against car dealers for collection of unlawful fees did not violate a federal privacy statute that protects drivers’ personal information; the 4th Circuit upholds summary judgment for the lawyers who satisfied the “litigation” exception to the driver privacy statute.

Read More »

Attorneys – Discipline – Disbarment – Constitutional – Due Process – Complaint Allegations – Different Evidence – Real Property – Closing Document (access required)

North Carolina State Bar v. Barrett The complaint alleged a single false representation by the defendant-attorney in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct: the entry of a $7,400 loan from the seller to the buyer as a “down payment” on a HUD-1 statement, which defendant contended was approved by the lender’s loan officer Paul Johnson. However, at the hearing, the State Bar presented evidence of different alleged acts of fraud and additional alleged misrepresentations: that defendant had produced and submitted to the lender a different HUD-1 statement, which contained different financial information and included a forged signature purporting to be the seller’s. The failure to give defendant notice of the misconduct with which she was charged violated her right to due process.

Read More »

Attorneys – Fees – S.C. Statute – Frivolous Lawsuits – Arbitration – Securities – Labor & Employment (access required)

Wachovia Securities LLC v. Brand A securities firm that lost its FINRA arbitration proceeding against former employees who left to work for a competitor winds up paying over $1 million in attorney’s fees under a South Carolina statute that penalizes frivolous lawsuits; the 4th Circuit affirms the district court order refusing to vacate the arbitration award in favor of the former employees and upholding the award of $15,080 in treble damages and $1.1 million in attorney’s fees under the South Carolina Frivolous Civil Proceedings Act.

Read More »