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Attorneys

May 13, 2015

Attorneys — Discipline – Activated Suspension – Violation of Conditions – Trust Account

North Carolina State Bar v. Gilbert (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-16-0428, 17 pp.) (Richard Dietz, J.) Appealed from the Disciplinary Hearing Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Even though, during the stay of his suspension, the defendant-attorney did not maintain a trust account, since the conditions of the stay required him to submit semi-annual reports by a […]

Apr 30, 2015

Attorneys — Discipline – Suspension – Trust Account Reconciliation – Flat Expense Fees

North Carolina State Bar v. Batchelor (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-16-0387, 14 pp.) (Sanford Steelman Jr., J.) Appealed from the Disciplinary Hearing Commission. N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Even though defendant believed he was properly reconciling his trust account, since he did not keep a ledger book and did not conduct a three-way reconciliation, his deviation from […]

Apr 6, 2015

Attorneys — Disqualification – Corporate & Personal Representation – Potential Conflict of Interest – Appearance of Impropriety

Kingsdown, Inc. v. Hinshaw (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-15-0295, 20 pp.) (Louis Bledsoe III, J.) 2015 NCBC 27 Holding: A law firm is disqualified from representing its long-time corporate client in the corporation’s lawsuit against its CEO because lawyers from the firm not only represented the CEO in private matters, but also allegedly advised him to […]

Mar 3, 2015

Attorneys — Discipline – Suspension – Trust Account – Mismanagement

North Carolina State Bar v. Adams (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-07-0204, 19 pp.) (Donna Stroud, J.) Appealed from the State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission. N.C. App. Holding: Since (1) “intent of the defendant to commit acts where the harm or potential harm is foreseeable” is a factor that the State Bar’s Disciplinary Hearing Commission considers in […]

Dec 23, 2014

Criminal Practice — Indirect Criminal Contempt – Insufficient Findings – Probable Cause – Attorneys – Ex Parte Order

State v. Phillips (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-06-1191, 1 p.) (Per Curiam) Appealed from Stanly County Superior Court (Theodore S. Royster Jr., J.) On discretionary review from the Court of Appeals. N.C. S. Ct. Holding: On discretionary review from a Court of Appeals decision that an indirect criminal contempt order was fatally deficient because it did […]

Sep 26, 2012

Bankruptcy – Attorneys – Fees – Avoidable Preference – Unpaid Prior Fee

In re Graves When the law firm that represents the debtor required him to pay an outstanding fee of $1,400 from a prior case before the firm would agree to represent the debtor in this bankruptcy case, that $1,400 payment constituted an avoidable preference.

Sep 11, 2012

Attorneys – RICO — Tort/Negligence – Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage – Civil Practice — Prior Litigation – Collateral Attack

Cullen v. Emanuel & Dunn, PLLC Plaintiffs lost a prior lawsuit and are now suing the lawyers who represented the winning side. Plaintiffs have not shown that an attorney’s acceptance of a retainer to represent a defendant in a fraud action, without more, is enough to make the attorney liable under North Carolina's Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Sep 10, 2012

Attorneys – RICO — Tort/Negligence – Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage – Civil Practice — Prior Litigation – Collateral Attack

Cullen v. Emanuel & Dunn, PLLC Plaintiffs lost a prior lawsuit and are now suing the lawyers who represented the winning side. Plaintiffs have not shown that an attorney’s acceptance of a retainer to represent a defendant in a fraud action, without more, is enough to make the attorney liable under North Carolina's Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Sep 10, 2012

Attorneys – Contract – Fee-Splitting – Material Terms

Dunn v. Dart The parties, who served as counsel for some of the plaintiffs in a class action, never entered into a written fee-splitting agreement. Even in their email exchanges, the parties never reached agreement on the material terms of such a contract.

Aug 30, 2012

Attorneys – Unauthorized Practice of Law – Civil Practice – Declaratory Judgment Action – Prepaid Legal Services Plan – Registration

LegalZoom.com, Inc. v. North Carolina State Bar One of plaintiff’s claims seeks a declaration as to what statutory powers the State Bar has when there has been no final court determination with regard to an alleged unauthorized practice of law. The complaint adequately states a claim for a declaratory judgment as to the scope of the State Bar’s powers. The State Bar’s motion to dism[...]

Aug 22, 2012

Attorneys – Civil Practice – Discovery – Deposition – Corporate Counsel – Intellectual Property — Patent

Buyer’s Direct Inc. v. Belk, Inc. Documents produced in discovery show that defendants’ in-house counsel has direct personal knowledge of non-privileged facts relating to another lawsuit in which defendants were accused of infringing on their suppliers’ designs and manufacturing products based on such designs under their own private label. Plaintiff seeks to depose defendants’ in-[...]

Aug 22, 2012

Attorneys – Fees – Contract – Conflict of Interest – Incompetent – Civil Practice – Collateral Estoppel

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.

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