Moore & Van Allen Law Firm, Attorneys

North Carolina Business Court Litigation

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Moore & Van Allen’s North Carolina Business Court team has appeared regularly in the Business Court since its inception in 1996.  We have litigated many of the Court’s high-profile and seminal cases including shareholder and M&A litigation, a constitutional case of national interest, and a variety of intellectual property matters. 

The Forum for Complex Business Litigation in North Carolina

The North Carolina Business Court was created to provide a forum for complex business disputes.  Modeled in part on the Delaware Court of Chancery, the North Carolina Business Court has become an invaluable resource for dispute resolution in the State and has created a body of business law to guide companies conducting business in North Carolina.  Today there are several categories of business disputes that may be designated “complex business cases” and assigned to the Business Court.  Our team has experience litigating each of these types of cases, which include disputes involving:

  • Governance of corporations, LLCs, and partnerships;
  • Contracts between businesses when the amount in controversy is at least $1,000,000;
  • Securities;
  • Antitrust law;
  • Trademarks and intellectual property;
  • Software, information technology, data security, and biotechnology;
  • Trade secrets; and
  • Certain areas of state tax law.

Helping Clients Succeed in the North Carolina Business Court

Our team is adept at helping our clients capitalize on all of the advantages of the North Carolina Business Court over other forums. 

Greater Predictability and Consistency.  A primary advantage of litigating in the Business Court is greater predictability and consistency of results.  Motions are decided by thoroughly reasoned opinions, and twenty years of opinions have created an established body of business law.  Our familiarity with North Carolina business law and precedent in the Business Court allows us to better advise our clients and achieve more favorable outcomes on their behalf.

One Qualified Judge Assigned for the Duration of Each Case.  There are currently four dedicated Business Court judges across the state.  The judges all have significant prior experience with business law and hear only complex business disputes.  Unlike traditional North Carolina state courts, where a single case is handled by a pool of judges who rotate from one hearing to the next, one Business Court judge presides over each case from start to finish.  As in federal court, each Business Court judge has full-time law clerks to assist in consideration of motions and issuance of opinions.

Dispositive Motions Are Carefully Considered.  Each motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment is carefully considered on the merits.  This consideration of dispositive motions often allows cases to be resolved at an earlier stage, which can save our clients time and money.  Our team has extensive experience briefing, arguing and winning dispositive motions before the Business Court.

Direct Appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court.  Appeal from final orders of the Business Court is directly to the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  Bypassing appellate review by the Court of Appeals can save time and resources.  Moreover, our team has experience handling matters before the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Special Procedural Rules.  The North Carolina Business Court has its own procedural rules tailored to complex business litigation.  The rules can be difficult to navigate for attorneys without experience practicing in the Business Court, so our experience practicing in the Business Court is a valuable asset. The Business Court recently revamped its rules, and members of our team were among the attorneys that participated in that process.

Electronic Filing and Advanced Courtroom Technology.  The Business Court’s electronic filing system allows more efficient filing.  In addition, the advanced technology available in most Business Court courtrooms enables our team to employ advanced presentation tools for hearings and trials.

Representative Engagements Include:

  • Successfully represented certain independent directors of Reynolds American against shareholder challenging elements of the $27.4 billion acquisition of Lorillard and the sale of assets to Imperial Tobacco.

  • Successfully represented Bank of America in shareholder derivative litigation challenging aspects of its acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

  • Successfully represented Swisher Hygiene and its directors in shareholder litigation attacking the sale of its assets to Ecolab.

  • Successfully represented The Fresh Market and its directors in shareholder litigation challenging The Fresh Market’s agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Apollo Global Management for $1.36 billion.

  • Received court approval of favorable shareholder class-action settlement negotiated on behalf of corporation and directors relating to Pike Electric’s “go-private” merger.

  • Obtained $4 million jury verdict and eventual control of limited liability company for minority member following month-long trial involving breach of fiduciary duties and governance of North Carolina limited liability company.

  • Represented a trust claiming that a North Carolina revenue statute is unconstitutional. The Business Court found that the statute, which purported to tax all the income of out of state trusts having beneficiaries in North Carolina, violated the due process and commerce clauses of the United States Constitution as well as the North Carolina constitution. The case was one of first impression in the United States.

  • Successfully moved for dismissal of tort and unfair trade practices claims asserted against market data and software company.