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Discovery waives mandatory arbitration clause, court holds (access required)

A nursing home waived its right to compel arbitration after it used interrogatories to seek information from the plaintiff in a negligence suit, the Court of Appeals has ruled in an unpublished decision. "If you send discovery that is not necessarily going to be available in arbitration, you cannot then turn around and seek to compel arbitration," said the plaintiff's lawyer, Sam McGee (pictured). "The defense tried to distinguish [this case] from other cases by arguing that ‘this was only one little set of interrogatories.' But there is no magic number of interrogatories."

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Class action challenges LPS’ grip on foreclosures (access required)

Ever heard of LPS? Many attorneys haven't. But LPS - Lender Processing Services, Inc. - and like business entities exercise more day-to-day control over the conduct of bankruptcy, default and foreclosure cases in North Carolina and beyond than actual "clients." At least that is what several recent lawsuits allege. Shelby-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense attorney O. Max Gardner III (pictured) said LPS and other providers are "very concerned about network lawyers discussing anything with outside entities."

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Ethics Committee nixes lawyer’s Web marketing strategy (access required)

Internet marketing is nothing new, but a few attorneys in North Carolina are trying a tactic that has caught the attention of the N.C. State Bar. It works like this: A lawyer purchases a keyword or a phrase though Google's AdWords service so that when a consumer types in that keyword or phrase, the attorney's ad pops up on the screen along with the search engine results. Attorney J. Mark Wilson (pictured) believes the marketing tactic could lead to possible trademark infringement cases.

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Reversal sends suit over $2.3 million fee back to Union County (access required)

Charlotte attorney James B. Gatehouse of Rayburn Cooper & Durham said he always hopes for an amicable result in litigation, especially in complicated construction matters. That said, "I anticipate that this one will be tried," Gatehouse said of Signature Development, LLC v. Sandler Commercial at Union, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-07-1057, 33 pp.).

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Writer’s block? Some in NC’s legal community say Supreme Court issues too few opinions (access required)

Pull N.C Reports Volume 363 - the most recently published volume - from the shelf and you'll be holding a book that covers just over a year's worth of output from the state's Supreme Court justices but contains only about three dozen written opinions. Is something wrong with this picture? Some members of the bar and academic experts on the judiciary think so. As the court's productivity in terms of opinion-writing has decreased during the last decade, some members of the bar are growing concerned that North Carolina's legal landscape is lacking crucial guidance.

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Allegations leveled against driving school (access required)

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into alleged improprieties at the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that offers defensive driving courses in 54 counties in the state. The investigation in Mecklenburg County was confirmed by an attorney who represents a former employee of the driving school who was terminated in September. The employee's name is Cathey Byrd.

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ABA ponders ‘Truth in Law School Education’ (access required)

Law schools need to be more transparent about the costs and employment data they give to applicants, and it's time to make that happen. So says American Bar Association President Steve Zack (pictured), who recently told a group of educators that the ABA is considering whether to increase the types of information that schools are required to disclose to consumers.

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