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Contract

Contract – Unfair Trade Practices Claim – Commercial – Promissory Note – Banks & Banking (access required)

SunTrust Bank v. Bryant/Sutphin Properties, LLC Although defendants contended that the plaintiff-bank committed unfair practices separate from the parties’ contracts, in alleging these “separate” acts, defendants were really claiming that the bank acted outside of its authority under the contract; this is a breach of contract. Since the jury found that the bank had not breached the parties’ contracts, the trial court should not have concluded that the bank violated G.S. § 75-1.1.

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Contract – Yacht Club – Membership vs. Boat Slip Purchase – Unfair Trade Practices Claim (access required)

White v. Bald Head Island Yacht Club Plaintiff signed the defendant-yacht club’s application for membership, which states, “I understand that membership at Bald Head Island Yacht Club will be a membership in a private club and that acceptance for membership is subject to my being approved for membership and payment of the required purchase price and dues.”

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Contract – Banks & Banking — Promissory Note – SBA Loan – Re-Amortization – Automatic or Upon Request (access required)

Valu-Lodge of Greenville, Inc. v. Branch Banking & Trust Co. Once plaintiffs’ Small Business Administration loan proceeds were applied to their debt to the defendant-bank, plaintiffs were entitled to ask for a re-amortization of their bank loan; however, plaintiffs failed to show that the bank should have automatically re-amortized the loan absent a request from plaintiffs.

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Contract – Pledge Agreement – Civil Practice – Preliminary Injunction – Motion to Dismiss (access required)

Kreich, Inc. v. Tarheel Publishing Co. A jury could find that plaintiff’s acceptance of late payments and its pattern of renegotiating the parties’ payment schedule constituted an implied waiver of plaintiff’s right to timely payment. Therefore, defendant Tarheel Publishing may not have breached the parties’ contract by making a late payment on the payment due on Jan. 1, 2012. As a result, plaintiff has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits.

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Contract – Real Property – Golf Course — Lease & Option to Purchase – Modification – Lack of Consideration (access required)

NRC Golf Course, LLC v. JMR Golf, LLC Eight months after entering into a lease and option to purchase a golf course, the parties modified the price term of the purchase option. Since there was no consideration for this modification (from $2,500,000 to “fair market value”), it was unenforceable.

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Contract – Corporate – Family Business – Tort/Negligence – Breach of Fiduciary Duty & Fraud (access required)

Land v. Land Plaintiffs presented evidence of a written document prepared by defendants Eddie and Nancy Land that was shown to plaintiff Alan Land. The document purported to contain the terms of joint ownership of the defendant-corporation between Eddie and Alan. Plaintiffs also presented evidence that Alan behaved as an owner, making “free and open use” of some corporate assets. Plaintiff Cleo Land also testified that Eddie promised to make Alan a partner in the business and that this promise was the basis pursuant to which Cleo (Eddie and Alan’s father) transferred assets to the corporation. Plaintiffs presented sufficient evidence of the existence and terms of the contract to go to the jury on their breach of contract claim.

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Contract – Arbitration – Deposition — Waiver of Right to Compel Arbitration – Operating Agreement (access required)

HCW Retirement & Fnancial Services, LLC v. HCW Employee Benefit Services, LLC Several key claims in a thorny dispute were covered by an arbitration clause, contrary to the trial court’s ruling. However, the defendants waived their right to arbitration by deposing plaintiff at length and in detail about the claims in dispute in advance of arbitration.

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