• 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

    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…

  • Blog Post

    BREAKING THE (NEWS ABOUT) MOLD

    Mold is a very serious issue.  It can cause significant health effects or damage to personal property.  As part of the obligation to provide and maintain habitable premises, North Carolina requires landlords to respond to complaints of mold in a reasonable period of time depending on the severity of the condition.  However, North Carolina takes a markedly different approach to the disclosure of the presence of mold by the landlord to the tenant. No Affirmative Disclosure Obligation Although a landlord may face potential liability, including rent abatement, for failing to respond in a reasonable period of time to complaints of mold, neither federal nor North Carolina statutes create an affirmative…

  • Blog Post

    Aunt Bee Trust Fund

    Many remember the fictional town of Mayberry, the setting for The Andy Griffith Show.  Less commonly known, however, is that Mayberry is modeled after Mt. Airy, a small North Carolina town near the Virginia boarder.  Frances Bavier, the actress who portrayed Aunt Bee Taylor in the hit television show, recently passed away, and spent the last years of her life in Siler City, another small North Carolina town. Perhaps owing to a soft spot she felt for police officers due to her time on The Andy Griffith Show, Ms. Bavier established a trust with $100,000 in principal to ensure that every member of the Siler City police would enjoy a…

  • Blog Post

    OPPOSING COUNSEL, WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?

    The North Carolina Bar released Proposed 2019 Formal Ethics Opinion 3 in January, addressing questions relating to intimate relationships between opposing counsel.  The question presented is whether it is permissible for a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney to engage in a romantic relationship while serving as opposing counsel in multiple cases, and whether the attorneys are obligated to disclose this relationship.  Due to concerns regarding actual or potential conflicts of interest, the Bar opines that it is permissible only under certain limited circumstances. The North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct North Carolina attorneys are governed by the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct.  As a basis for the proposed…

  • Firm News

    Congratulations to Satie Munn for Being Selected to the Bar Leadership Institute Class of 2019

    Lindley Law is pleased to announce Satie Munn was selected as a member of the Mecklenburg County Bar Leadership Institute Class of 2019. The focus of the Bar Leadership Institute is to identify leaders for the Mecklenburg County Bar and provide opportunities for participating attorneys to continue to develop leadership skills and take on leadership roles within the Bar and the greater Charlotte community. The Bar Leadership Institute Committee selects class members based on the following criteria: Commitment and motivation to serve in positions of leadership; A record of public service and service for charitable organizations; A minimum of three years practicing; and The willingness to engage meaningfully in the…

  • Blog Post

    Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence

    In 2015 and 2016, media magnate Sumner Redstone amended his trust, which was challenged by former companion Manuela Herzer.  A California court recently ruled that Mr. Redstone possessed the required mental capacity to amend his estate plan. In North Carolina, whether an individual is a billionaire business mogul or anyone else, the requirements for testamentary capacity, or the required mental capacity to create a will or a trust, is the same. Testamentary Capacity To have testamentary capacity a person must be “of sound mind, and 18 years of age or over[.]”  In practice, this means that the person creating the will, otherwise known as the testator, must be able to…

  • Blog Post

    Can North Carolina Employers Compel Drug Testing and DNA Testing?

    In December 2018, a Phoenix, Arizona woman, who spent the last fourteen (14) years in a coma, gave birth to a healthy baby.  A police investigation concluded that, while in her comatose state, she had been raped multiple times.  The staff at the healthcare facility where she was a patient stated that no one knew she was pregnant until she went into labor.  In response to a search warrant issued to the employer, the employer requested that all male employees provide a DNA sample to determine whether the individual who impregnated the woman was a staff member.   Without question, the facts of this investigation are shocking.  However, it does…