Archive | Litigation

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In case you missed it: Quick facts on enforcing your civil judgment

Many clients are surprised to learn that obtaining a judgment is not the end of the story in litigation. Even lawyers fall into the trap of celebrating a large verdict or favorable judgment before a judgment is actually collected.  The often disappointing reality, particularly in commercial litigation, is that a judgment is sometimes only the […]

Landscaping - Breach of K case update

Case Law Update: Breach of Contract

It is surprising how often clients seek advice for breach of contract claims but cannot articulate the scope of their agreement with the breaching party.  The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that highlights just how problematic this can be. In Rider v. Hodges, two parties entered into an informal agreement for […]

Money - FDCPA

Creditors: Don’t forget that debtors have rights.

Federal law creates a minefield for individuals and businesses attempting to collect debts.  The primary source that regulates creditor conduct is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal statute that purports to protect consumers by forbidding abusive debt collection practices.  When construed in tandem with a creditor’s right to pursue collection of valid […]

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Two Statutory Construction Principles at Issue in N.C. Court of Appeals’ Decision

  On April 6, 2018, the North Carolina Supreme Court, by unanimous decision written by Chief Justice Martin, reversed the N.C. Court of Appeals. (See addendum below for summary of Supreme Court opinion.) In City of Asheville v. Frost, (COA16-577, filed May 2, 2017), the North Carolina Court of Appeals wrestles with an ambiguous law […]

Car crash

The Impact of Drunk Driving in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

DWI Cases – Unique Cases  Personal injury and wrongful death cases that involve drunk driving (driving while impaired) are a unique subcategory of personal injury/wrongful death cases.  Drunk drivers do not enjoy certain protections under the civil laws that law-abiding citizens enjoy.  For example, in the typical tort case, the victim may only recover compensatory […]

Counselor at law signage

Understanding the Attorney-Client Privilege

According to the conventional wisdom, any statement made to an attorney is protected from all forms of disclosure.  However, this is not the case.  The so-called attorney-client privilege applies in a fairly narrow set of circumstances.  Knowing what the attorney-client privilege does and does not encompass is critical to success in litigation, as the decision […]

Animated doctor and patient

Case Law Update: Negligence Claims in the Medical Context

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that draws a notable distinction between medical malpractice claims and traditional negligence actions.  The distinction is noteworthy in part because of the heightened pleading standards required for medical malpractice actions.  Rule 9(j) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure requires that medical malpractice claims […]

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Domestication de-mystified: Four Steps for executing on your foreign judgment in North Carolina

In January, we discussed the judgment execution process.  In light of positive feedback, we wanted to follow that post by addressing a related, and equally intimidating process: domesticating a foreign judgment.  That is, if you are an out-of-state judgment creditor with a judgment against a North Carolina resident or corporation, how do you enforce your […]

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Can a Prevailing Party Recover Its Attorneys’ Fees?

Clients are naturally curious as to whether they can recoup their attorneys’ fees if they prevail in litigation.  The short (and disappointing) answer is: typically not.  Under the antiquated (and arguably more logical) “English Rule,” the losing party was forced to pay both its own attorneys’ fees and the prevailing party’s.  Unfortunately for successful litigants, […]