North Carolina

  • April 15, 2024

    4th Circ. Won't Let Borrower Pin Feds' Flub On Pa. Agency

    The Fourth Circuit refused Monday to revive a lawsuit brought by a borrower alleging that a state student-loan-servicing agency's misrepresentations thwarted a loan forgiveness opportunity, with a panel reasoning that the organization was immune from the lawsuit.

  • April 15, 2024

    Oil Co. Warns NC Justices Of 'Unfair' Results In Taking Case

    An oil company and two other former plaintiffs from a settled state government land-taking proposed class action have warned the North Carolina Supreme Court that if the justices affirm an intermediate appellate ruling in a similar case, they would be reinforcing "unfair, unequal, disparate and divergent" treatment of property owners.

  • April 15, 2024

    4th Circ. Upholds W.Va.'s Win In Coal Mine Cleanup Suit

    The Fourth Circuit on Monday affirmed a West Virginia federal court's order ending developers' allegations that the state's environmental regulators' reclamation efforts at an old coal mining site constituted illegal dumping, finding the lower court correctly concluded the efforts are exempt from regulations prohibiting open dumps.

  • April 15, 2024

    4th Circ. Affirms Timberland Boots' Trade Dress Bid Denial

    The Fourth Circuit decided Monday that a Virginia federal judge correctly denied trade dress registration for Timberland's Icon Boot, saying in a published opinion the lower court did not err in concluding the design elements the company wanted to register were ineligible because they had not acquired distinctive meaning in consumers' minds.

  • April 15, 2024

    Justices Won't Review ERISA Suit Over Heart Transplant

    The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the Fourth Circuit's decision only partially reviving a suit brought by the mother of a deceased airline worker whose employer refused to cover his heart transplant surgery until after his death.

  • April 12, 2024

    Republicans Warn CFPB Against Pursuing Arbitration Rule 2.0

    Two Republican lawmakers are cautioning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against heeding calls for another rulemaking to restrict arbitration provisions in consumer financial contracts, warning that such an effort would be a "significant abuse" of the agency's authority.

  • April 12, 2024

    Software Co. Hit With Patent Suit Over Data Tracker

    A software developer has accused a rival of infringing patents that allow businesses to track a website user's browsing data without using third-party cookies, costing the developer profits.

  • April 12, 2024

    Atrium Stakes Claim To Trust Of Prominent NC Textile Family

    Atrium Health is looking to sack trustees currently standing in the way of the hospital system inheriting a substantial sum of money from one of North Carolina's most prominent families, saying the trustees have refused to pay its distributions and are hiding information.

  • April 12, 2024

    NC Auto Parts Co. Settling Feds' Emissions-Cheating Claims

    The U.S. government and a North Carolina auto parts seller are close to settling a lawsuit alleging the company sold equipment to overwrite vehicle emissions controls, according to a joint motion to stay the litigation so the two sides can finalize a deal.

  • April 12, 2024

    Mogul Aims To Trace Part Of Alleged $35M Hack Payout To Atty

    An airline mogul has doubled down on a bid to access the bank records of a North Carolina attorney and ex-FBI agent, saying those records will help "follow the money" to prove a large-scale hacking conspiracy against him that he claims involves a $35 million payout.

  • April 12, 2024

    Chubb Unit Must Contribute To Fatal Crash Deal, Lowe's Says

    A Chubb unit wrongly refused to contribute its $10 million policy limits to a settlement in a Texas state court suit over a crash involving a Lowe's employee that killed an infant and seriously injured the child's parents, the home improvement giant has told a North Carolina federal court.

  • April 11, 2024

    State Rules Can't 'Obliterate' Federal Rights, Justices Told

    The U.S. Supreme Court must clarify that states are categorically prohibited from requiring plaintiffs to exhaust local administrative remedies before pursuing claims that state officials violated federal rights, several Alabamans told the court Thursday, warning that state prerequisites obliterate federal rights.

  • April 11, 2024

    Pool Co. Gets Rival's Assets Frozen After False Ads Verdict

    A North Carolina federal judge on Thursday temporarily froze the assets of a Chinese manufacturer of pool products and its American subsidiary after they were hit with a multimillion-dollar verdict for false advertising and unfair business practices, citing a concern they may move assets to try and duck payment.

  • April 11, 2024

    Insurer Drops Suit After Evidence Clears Stihl In Fire Case

    Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. agreed Wednesday to drop a lawsuit in North Carolina federal court seeking to hold Stihl Inc. liable for fire damages at a policyholder's home after evidence showed a hedge-trimmer battery didn't cause the fire.

  • April 11, 2024

    Software Co., NC Officials Want Out Of Digital Courts Row

    Software company Tyler Technologies, North Carolina court administrators and two sheriffs have asked a federal court to release them from a proposed class action alleging the state's new digital filing system has led to unlawful arrests and detentions.

  • April 11, 2024

    NC Justices Hint Holtzman Vogel Immune In Defamation Case

    The North Carolina Supreme Court's Republican majority seems poised to reverse a Court of Appeals decision forcing Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak PLLC to face voters' defamation claims, with one justice lamenting that revoking the law firm's privilege defense could upend decades of case law in the Tar Heel State.

  • April 10, 2024

    No Retrial Over NC Farm Worker's $2.5M Severed Foot Verdict

    A North Carolina farm failed in its bid for a new trial following a $2.5 million verdict against it, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, as a worker who lost his foot to a grain silo auger had enough evidence to support the award.

  • April 10, 2024

    Emissions Rules' Foes May Be Forced To Yield To Automakers

    Potential challengers of vehicle emissions rules were shown they're not necessarily in the drivers' seat on the issue when the D.C. Circuit upheld California's authority to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and run a zero-emission vehicles program while citing the auto industry's peace with the regulations.

  • April 10, 2024

    4th Circ. Sides With CMS' Definition Of 'Line-Extension Drug'

    The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in a rule challenge by Vanda Pharmaceuticals, which took issue with the agency's criteria for what constitutes a line-extension drug.

  • April 10, 2024

    Novant Wants Fired Exec's Atty Fees Cut After Trip To 4th Circ.

    An attorney representing a former Novant Health executive should receive about $140,000 after prevailing on claims that his client was fired for being white amid a diversity push, the healthcare network said, urging a North Carolina federal judge to reduce the ex-executive's request for about $152,000 in attorney fees.

  • April 10, 2024

    Honeywell Sues Insurer For $8.75M Performance Bond

    A company that issued a $8.75 million performance bond is refusing to honor its deal with Honeywell International Inc. after a subcontractor declared bankruptcy and didn't finish its work at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania, Honeywell claims in a suit filed Tuesday in Pennsylvania federal court.

  • April 10, 2024

    Beer Biz Investors Beg NC Justices To Clear Legal Haze

    Former shareholders looking to revive their fraud suit against the CEO of a beverage company and his wife asked the North Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday to tie up an unsettled area of fiduciary law, saying a lower court's disparate jurisprudence "cries out" for clarity.

  • April 10, 2024

    NC Justices Doubt Homeowner's Attic Fall Suit Can Go To Jury

    The North Carolina Supreme Court appeared likely Wednesday to rule against a homeowner who fell through an attic hole left by a builder, with the justices suggesting her actions may have played a part in her injury.

  • April 10, 2024

    Settlements Prompt SC Cheer Abuse Case Dismissal

    Four suits levying sexual abuse allegations against competitive cheerleading's power brokers have been tossed from South Carolina federal court as a series of settlements have shifted the focus of the litigation from corporate giants to individual gyms and coaches.

  • April 10, 2024

    Feds Cleared To Use Undercover Recording In Atty's Tax Trial

    Federal prosecutors trying an attorney next week on charges he orchestrated a tax fraud scheme that spanned seven states will be allowed to play for the jury an audio recording made by an undercover agent, a North Carolina federal judge ruled.

Expert Analysis

  • Stay Interviews Are Key To Retaining Legal Talent

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    Even as the economy shifts and layoffs continue, law firms still want to retain their top attorneys, and so-called stay interviews — informal conversations with employees to identify potential issues before they lead to turnover — can be a crucial tool for improving retention and morale, say Tina Cohen Nicol and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Is Imperative This Election Year

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    As the next election nears, the judges involved in the upcoming trials against former President Donald Trump increasingly face political pressures and threats of violence — revealing the urgent need to safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law, says Benes Aldana at the National Judicial College.

  • Series

    Riding My Peloton Bike Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Using the Peloton platform for cycling, running, rowing and more taught me that fostering a mind-body connection will not only benefit you physically and emotionally, but also inspire stamina, focus, discipline and empathy in your legal career, says Christopher Ward at Polsinelli.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • Infringement Policy Lessons From 4th Circ. Sony Music Ruling

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    The Fourth Circuit's recent decision in Sony Music v. Cox Communications, which in part held that the internet service provider was liable for contributing to music copyright infringement, highlights the importance of reasonable policies to terminate repeat infringers, and provides guidance for litigating claims of secondary liability, say Benjamin Marks and Alexandra Blankman at Weil.

  • What Recent Study Shows About AI's Promise For Legal Tasks

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    Amid both skepticism and excitement about the promise of generative artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the first randomized controlled trial studying its impact on basic lawyering tasks shows mixed but promising results, and underscores the need for attorneys to proactively engage with AI, says Daniel Schwarcz at University of Minnesota Law School.

  • Business Litigators Have A Source Of Untapped Fulfillment

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    As increasing numbers of attorneys struggle with stress and mental health issues, business litigators can find protection against burnout by remembering their important role in society — because fulfillment in one’s work isn’t just reserved for public interest lawyers, say Bennett Rawicki and Peter Bigelow at Hilgers Graben.

  • Series

    Skiing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    A lifetime of skiing has helped me develop important professional skills, and taught me that embracing challenges with a spirit of adventure can allow lawyers to push boundaries, expand their capabilities and ultimately excel in their careers, says Andrea Przybysz at Tucker Ellis.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Forget Everything You Know About IRAC

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    The mode of legal reasoning most students learn in law school, often called “Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion,” or IRAC, erroneously frames analysis as a separate, discrete step, resulting in disorganized briefs and untold obfuscation — but the fix is pretty simple, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • How Firms Can Ensure Associate Gender Parity Lasts

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    Among associates, women now outnumber men for the first time, but progress toward gender equality at the top of the legal profession remains glacially slow, and firms must implement time-tested solutions to ensure associates’ gender parity lasts throughout their careers, say Kelly Culhane and Nicole Joseph at Culhane Meadows.

  • Regulatory Trends Offer 4 Lessons For Debt Relief Providers

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    A string of enforcement actions, including a New York lawsuit filed last month by seven states and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, underscore the regulatory scrutiny that debt relief and credit repair companies face and offer important lessons on telemarketing and deceptive practices compliance, say attorneys at Sheppard Mullin.

  • 7 Common Myths About Lateral Partner Moves

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    As lateral recruiting remains a key factor for law firm growth, partners considering a lateral move should be aware of a few commonly held myths — some of which contain a kernel of truth, and some of which are flat out wrong, says Dave Maurer at Major Lindsey.

  • Series

    Cheering In The NFL Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Balancing my time between a BigLaw career and my role as an NFL cheerleader has taught me that pursuing your passions outside of work is not a distraction, but rather an opportunity to harness important skills that can positively affect how you approach work and view success in your career, says Rachel Schuster at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Using Arbitration And Class Waivers As Privacy Suit Tools

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    Amid a surge in data breach class actions over the last few years, several federal court decisions indicate that arbitration clauses and class action waiver provisions can be possible alternatives to public court battles and potentially reduce the costs of privacy litigation, say Mark Olthoff and Courtney Klaus at Polsinelli.

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