• Blog Post

    RULE 38: NO SUBSTITUTION FOR GOOD JUDGMENT

    The recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision in Weishaupt-Smith v. Town of Banner Elk represents North Carolina’s first appellate ruling interpreting Rule 38(b) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure, which provides the second of three (3) categories in which substitution of a party to a dispute on appeal is permitted.  Although this rule was adopted in 1975, courts remained silent on its interpretation until Weishaupt-Smith.   Rule 38 Substitution of Parties   Rule 38 provides three specific categories under which a party to a dispute on appeal or while appeal is pending may be substituted.  The first, Rule 38(a), permits substitution when a party dies but the…

  • Blog Post

    LAMARRE V. MARTINEZ: A (QUIET) DISCUSSION OF ACTIONS TO QUIET TITLE

    The recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision in LaMarre v. Martinez addresses an action to quiet title between parties to a real property transaction.  Specifically, the court provides guidance for determining the applicable statute of limitations.   Actions to Quiet Title   In North Carolina, an action to quiet title may be brought to determine the validity of adverse claims by multiple persons to an estate or an interest in real property.  The court’s role in such actions is to determine the rightful owner to a particular piece of real property.  Disputes over rightful ownership to real property often arise in the context of interfamilial transfers or transfers that…

  • Blog Post

    JOHN SINGLETON CONSERVATORSHIP AND ESTATE

    John Singleton entered Hollywood in a truly historic fashion.  Not only was he the first African American to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for his debut film Boyz N the Hood, but he did so at the age of 24, making him the youngest ever nominee for the category.  Sadly, Singleton’s career was cut short when he died last week at age 51 following a stroke.   Before his death, Singleton’s daughter, Cleopatra, disputed the characterization of Singleton’s medical condition by Singleton’s mother and business manager, Shelia Ward.  Ward claimed Singleton was in a coma, petitioning the court in Los Angeles to be named temporary conservator for…

  • Blog Post

    INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN CLEYS

    What are your responsibilities at Lindley Law?   I am the newest attorney with the firm, and collaborate with Satie Munn and Trey Lindley on all of our cases.  I have also had the pleasure of taking over a few cases of my own.  I enjoy the breadth of practice areas our firm encompasses, as each new case and new client presents its own unique challenges.  I draft pleadings and other documents in all manner of civil disputes, assist clients with transactional needs, and appear in special proceedings before clerks of court and magistrates. I am also the author of our blog posts, tapping into my prior professional experience in…

  • Blog Post

    TOM PETTY’S WIDOW, DAUGHTERS “WON’T BACK DOWN” IN TRUST DISPUTE

    Famed rock singer, Tom Petty, passed away in 2017.  Nearly two years later his widow, Dana York Petty, and his daughters from a previous marriage, Adria and Annakim Petty, remain embroiled in a legal dispute over the musician’s estate.  In the petition filed with the probate court in Los Angeles, California, Dana asserts her authority as the sole trustee of Petty’s trust.  This issue does not appear to be in dispute; however, Petty’s daughters contend they have full authority to manage Petty’s catalogue of music recordings.   Despite Petty’s efforts to avoid such a dispute by creating a trust with directives for managing its assets, Petty’s widow and daughters disagree…

  • Blog Post

    ENFORCING COVENANTS NOT TO COMPETE AGAINST DOCTORS: PUBLIC POLICY CONSIDERATIONS

    The North Carolina Court of Appeals decision in Aesthetic Facial & Ocular Plastic Surgery Ctr., P.A. v. Zaldivar highlights the unique impact of public policy considerations when determining the enforceability of a non-compete agreement against a medical doctor.  To what extent are such agreements enforceable?  At what point does the concern for the health of the general public outweigh the interest in enforcing the specific terms of an employment contract?   Elements to Determine the Enforceability of Non-Compete Agreements   A non-compete agreement restricts a former employee’s ability to work for a competitor of, or otherwise compete with, the employer.  They are frequently contained in employment contracts.  North Carolina recognizes…

  • Blog Post

    NO MORE COURT TIME FOR JORDAN “JUMPMAN” COPYRIGHT DISPUTE

    Is there a better time than March Madness to talk about basketball?   The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a claim by photographer Jacobus Rentmeester that sports apparel company Nike infringed a copyright owned by Rentmeester.  The Plaintiff created this photograph – Michael Jordan airborne dunking a basketball – for a Life magazine article covering athletes who would soon feature in the 1984 Olympic Games.  Jordan, then a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina, would go on to play for the United States Men’s Basketball Team in the Olympics that summer. Nike later utilized a similar photograph of Jordan to create its…

  • Blog Post

    EMI DOESN’T LOVE KANYE LIKE KANYE LOVES KANYE

    Recording artist Kanye West and music publisher EMI are currently embroiled in dueling lawsuits with each other regarding an alleged breach of West’s co-publishing contract with EMI.  West, who filed a complaint against EMI in court in California, asserts that California law should govern the terms of the contract.  He also asserts that the contract amounts to a contract for personal services that began in 2003, thus violating a California statute that limits personal services contracts to seven years or less.  Conversely, EMI filed a complaint in New York, asserting that New York law governs due to the choice of law provision in the contract.  EMI also asserts that West’s…

  • Blog Post

    IN THE MARKET FOR TRADE SECRETS

    In early March, retail grocery store company Aldi, Inc. filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina against two former employees who joined rival company Lidl US.  The two former employees, Bruna Maraccini and Colleen Savory, are named as Defendants in the complaint.  Both were involved in the company’s real estate strategy and acquisition efforts, and are alleged to have misappropriated trade secrets of their former company for the benefit of their new company.  The complaint also alleges that Ms. Maraccini, who was a director of real estate for North Carolina and Virginia while at Aldi, violated confidentiality, non-compete, and non-solicitation agreements by accepting a similar position with…

  • Blog Post

    Trustworthy Pets

    Are you a cat person or a dog person?  The truth is many of us love animals.  In fact, approximately 68 percent of American households own at least one pet. In some of those households, care for a pet is part of the estate plan.  Consider, for example, millionaire head of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, who is believed to have left a significant portion of his $195 million fortune to his cat, Choupette.  Talk about the cat’s meow! Trust for the Care of an Animal North Carolina recognizes trusts created to care for an animal.  Conversely, because North Carolina considers pets property, a pet cannot directly inherit money left to it…