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Tag Archives: Attorneys

Corporate – Merger – Civil Practice – Pleadings Amendment – Relation Back – Real Party in Interest – Intellectual Property – Patent Application – Tort/Negligence – Attorneys – Legal Malpractice (access required)

Revolutionary Concepts, Inc. v. Clements Walker PLLC Although an inventor had assigned his patent rights to a Nevada corporation, a North Carolina corporation hired the defendant-law firm to apply for the patents. The Nevada corporation filed this action to assert its rights as assignee. Subsequently, the two corporations merged, with the Nevada corporation being the surviving entity. The Nevada corporation did not file a professional negligence action within the statute of limitations, and an amendment to its pleadings now would not relate back to the filing of this action.

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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.

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Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Civil Practice – Collateral Estoppel – Statute of Limitations (access required)

Royster v. McNamara In a prior fraud case against the current plaintiff — Kevin Royster — and other employees in a family business, the family’s motion for a new trial was denied, and this court affirmed the denial. However, in the fraud case, both the jury instructions and the new trial motion applied to the family as a group and not to Mr. Royster individually. There was evidence that Mr. Royster had no dealings with the fraud plaintiff. Mr. Royster’s legal malpractice claim against the family’s attorney in the fraud case is not barred by collateral estoppel.

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Labor & Employment – Tort/Negligence – Wrongful Discharge – Race Discrimination Claim – Attorneys – Mortgage Securitization Work – Performance — Conversion (access required)

Springs v. Mayer Brown, LLP Despite significant evidence that plaintiff was performing poorly as an associate at the defendant-law firm, not long before a partner fired her, the same partner filed an affidavit with the New York State Court, Appellate Division, regarding plaintiff’s performance and suitability as a “waive-in” candidate for admission to the New York Bar. In that affidavit, the partner averred that he supervised plaintiff and that her duties were “satisfactorily” performed. This is some evidence that the law firm’s proffered reason for firing plaintiff - poor job performance - was a pretext for discrimination.

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Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Civil Practice – Election of Remedies – Settled Claims (access required)

Danius v. Rodgers Even though the plaintiff-clients allege that the defendant-attorney’s negligence caused them to settle their claims against third parties for less than those claims would have otherwise been worth, the clients’ settlement of those claims constitutes an election of remedies and bars their claims against the attorney. We affirm summary judgment for defendants.

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Attorneys – Public Admonition – Multiple Misrepresentations – Criminal Appeal (access required)

In re Liotti A New York lawyer with 33 years’ experience and an “AV rating,” who acted as court-appointed counsel in successfully appealing his client’s sentence for wire fraud and identity theft, has received a public admonition from the 4th Circuit for multiple misrepresentations in his representation of his client on appeal, including an assertion that the trial judge suppressed a letter from an informant.

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Attorneys – Discipline – Censure – Lack of Diligence – Evidence – Unlisted Witness (access required)

North Carolina State Bar v. Hunter The defendant-attorney failed to serve process on a contractor and consultant, failed to have the summonses extended, and failed to answer the contractor and consultant’s complaint; moreover, she failed to file an answer on behalf of the same client in a separate matter. Defendant did not diligently represent her client. We affirm the State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission’s censure of defendant.

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Attorneys – Suspension – Reinstatement Motion – Administrative – Regulatory Procedure – Civil Practice – Collateral Attack (access required)

In re Petition for Reinstatement of McGee There is an administrative procedure for having a suspended law license reinstated; it is set out in 27 N.C.A.C. § 01B.0125(b). Petitioner cannot avoid this procedure by simply moving to amend the records of the State Bar to say that his law license had been reinstated and to strike portions of the Bar’s record reflecting otherwise. We affirm the Disciplinary Hearing Commission’s denial of petitioner’s motion to amend the Bar’s records.

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Civil Practice – Attorneys – Corporate – Failure to Retain Counsel – Scheduling Violations (access required)

Inspirational Network, Inc. v. TMH Telemedia Services Ltd. In federal court, corporations can only litigate through counsel. The corporate defendant dismissed defense counsel the month before trial, and the court allowed counsel to withdraw; at the same time, the court ordered defendant to retain replacement counsel by Nov. 1, 2011, so defendant would be ready for trial as scheduled on Nov. 14, 2011. Defendant failed to retain replacement counsel and failed to comply with the scheduling order.

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