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    FEDERAL JUDGE IN CHARLOTTE RULES IN FAVOR OF BANK OF AMERICA IN TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT LAWSUIT

    Last Friday, United States District Judge Robert Conrad in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina ruled in favor of Charlotte’s own Bank of America in a lawsuit brought by a Kentucky man pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  The plaintiff brought the suit in May 2020, claiming Bank of America called him approximately 300 times in 2019 in an attempt to collect a debt, despite the plaintiff revoking his consent. The TCPA, enacted in 1991, “restricts the making of telemarketing calls and the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages.”  Specifically, “entities making telephone solicitations [must] institute procedures…

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    FORMER YEEZY EMPLOYEE SUES KANYE WEST FOR UNPAID WAGES AND MISCLASSIFICATION OF WORKERS

    Earlier this month, fashion designer and former Yeezy employee, Taliah Leslie, filed a lawsuit against Kanye West alleging West violated California labor law by, among other things, failing to pay her for required, off-the-clock work.  Leslie further alleges West misclassified workers as independent contractors to skirt wage and benefits requirements, despite those workers having the duties of full-time employees.  Leslie also contends West failed to pay her for required out-of-town travel, compensate for overtime hours, and provide off-duty meal breaks for workers as required by California labor laws.  Moreover, Leslie accuses West of failing to maintain payroll records documenting the hours workers logged and the wages West paid them.  Leslie…

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    Federal Court Vacates CDC Eviction Moratorium, but it Remains in Effect in North Carolina

    On May 5, 2021, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the national moratorium on evictions previously issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The judge granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs—three rental companies—reasoning that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority to respond to public health emergencies pursuant to the Public Health Service Act.  However, despite this ruling, North Carolina’s moratorium on evictions remains in effect, as Governor Roy Cooper previously issued his own executive order extending the moratorium on evictions in North Carolina through June 30, 2021.  Whether Governor Cooper will continue to extend the mortarium on…

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    TONY HSIEH’S FRIEND FILES MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BREACH OF CONTRACT LAWSUIT AGAINST THE FORMER ZAPPOS CEO’S ESTATE

    Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of the online apparel retail company Zappos, was killed in a house fire in November 2020.  Since his untimely death, Hsieh’s estate has been hit with multiple claims, including $93 million in creditor claims filed by his longtime friend and assistant Jennifer “Mimi” Pham, consisting primarily of a large claim for anticipated profits from a streaming service venture of Hsieh’s.  Most recently, another longtime friend of Hsieh’s (and his financial manager), Tony Lee, sued the Hsieh estate in Las Vegas for breach of a $7.5 million contract. In his lawsuit, Lee alleges, pursuant to the contract, Hsieh agreed to pay Lee $1.5 million per year…

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    Introducing Odyssey: North Carolina Courts’ New E-Filing System

    On April 21, 2021, The Supreme Court of North Carolina adopted amendments to its General Rules of Practice for the Superior and District Courts related to the Judicial Branch’s ongoing eCourts initiative.  The amendments, which will become effective May 10, 2021, pave the way for the implementation of Odyssey, a statewide electronic-filing and case-management system, to begin this summer.  While the entire implementation process is expected to take approximately five years, Mecklenburg County, as an “early adopter,” is expected to begin rollout later this year.   Currently, North Carolina still operates under a paper filing system; parties must print their documents and physically file them with the Court in hard-copy…

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    “THE MARATHON CONTINUES” BUT THE LITIGATION DOESN’T: NIPSEY HUSSLE’S ESTATE SETTLES FIVE-MONTH LEGAL BATTLE WITH CRIPS LLC OVER TRADEMARK

    American rapper Nipsey Hussle was tragically murdered on March 31, 2019, outside of his clothing store, Marathon Clothing, in Los Angeles.  The word “Marathon” was used in several areas of Hussle’s professional career, including a record titled “The Marathon Continues,” released in November 2011.  While Hussle owned several trademarks for various “Marathon” terms and phrases during his life, he never obtained a trademark for “The Marathon Continues.”  Soon after Hussle’s untimely death, Crips LLC—an entity related to the California-based gang—swooped in and applied to register the trademark.  Less than two weeks later, Hussle’s brother Samiel Asghedom also applied to register the trademark on behalf of Hussle’s estate, acting in his…

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    COURT ORDERS PUBLIC RELEASE OF OFFICER NAMES IN VANESSA BRYANT INVASION OF PRIVACY LAWSUIT—WOULD HER CLAIM BE SUCCESSFUL IN NORTH CAROLINA?

    On September 17, 2020, Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, filed a lawsuit in federal district court in California against Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Sheriff, alleging multiple causes of action including invasion of privacy, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  The lawsuit arises out of circumstances surrounding the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and their daughter, Gianna.  Specifically, Vanessa’s claims relate to the actions of multiple deputies, who captured and distributed graphic photos from the crash scene of the deceased victims.  “[O]ne deputy took between 25 and 100 photos on his personal cell phone—including some focused solely on the victims’ remains.”  Sheriff Alex Villanueva…

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    MARIAH CAREY’S BROTHER, MORGAN, SUES HER FOR DEFAMATION AND INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

    Morgan Carey is suing his younger sister and famous singer, Mariah Carey, for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress related to stories recounted in her recently released memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey.  The lawsuit focuses on several passages from her book, of which one reads: “It took twelve cops to pull my brother and father apart. The big bodies of men, all entangled like a swirling hurricane, crashed loudly into the living room. I was a little girl with very few memories of a big brother who protected me. More often, I felt I had to protect myself from him, and sometimes I would find myself protecting my…

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    HOW DO MENTALLY INCOMPETENT PERSONS PURSUE/DEFEND LAWSUITS?

    Elder abuse often includes financial crimes that are, most frequently, crimes of opportunity because the senior has diminished mental capacity.  What is an elder to do if she finds herself the victim of fraud, particularly if she does not have the wherewithal to protect herself? Or the converse, can an incompetent person be sued? Some states prohibit an incompetent person from being a named party, particularly a Defendant.  However, North Carolina is in the majority of states which allow individuals deemed incompetent to be names as a party to a lawsuit, and outlines a process for doing so. Pursuant to Rule 17 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure,…

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    LARRY KING LEAVES THREE SENTENCE, HANDWRITTEN WILL FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIS FIVE CHILDREN

    Legendary journalist and radio host Larry King passed away on January 23, 2021 at the age of 87 after his hospitalization in December for COVID-19.  According to his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick King, he ultimately succumbed to a sepsis infection after surviving the coronavirus. King wrote his will on October 17, 2019, two months after filing for divorce against Southwick King and it reads as follows: This is my Last Will & Testament. It should replace all previous writings. In the event of my death, any day after the above date I want 100% of my funds to be divided equally among my children Andy, Chaia, Larry Jr., Chance &…