AVOIDING CORPORATE DEADLOCK

Corporations, limited liability companies and other entities have become a standard resource or mechanism to help individuals shield themselves from personal liability when going into business, holding investments, or otherwise entering into a variety of undertakings.  The ever increasing use of such structures, however, can sometimes lead to other, unanticipated problems, particularly when the shareholders or directors of an entity cannot agree on matters impacting the entity.  In a worst case scenario, disagreements can escalate and eventually lead to complete gridlock, negating many of the advantages and corporate opportunities that once existed. In order to avoid such gridlock and protect … Continue reading

The Doctrine of Necessaries – The True Meaning of “In Sickness and in Health”

On your wedding day, you and your spouse promised to care for each other “in sickness and in health.” Like most newlyweds, you probably didn’t truly understand what those words would mean. North Carolina recognizes the Doctrine of Necessaries, which provides that a spouse is liable for the other’s necessary expenses incurred during their marriage. This legal responsibility exists even when the spouse did not sign as a guarantor or request that their spouse receive the services. What constitutes a “necessary”? A “necessary” is something which is essential to one spouse’s health and comfort. Most often, this doctrine is applied … Continue reading

So You Have A Judgment…Now What?

Congratulations on successfully winning your case and obtaining a money judgment against the opposing party! But a money judgment alone is just a piece of paper and won’t necessarily result in money in your pocket, so what now? Most likely, the defendant/judgment debtor isn’t going to show up at your house with a check to satisfy the debt. How do you transform that piece of paper into actual money? If you have obtained a judgment in either District or Superior Court, your ability to do anything is often limited for thirty (30) days after the judgment is entered. One step … Continue reading

You’re Ready to File A Lawsuit … But Where Do You Begin?

Once you have decided you want or need to file a lawsuit, one of the most important decisions you must make is where to file your case.  This decision will have a significant impact on the type of relief you may be able to obtain (including how much money you may recover), who hears your case, the type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) required, and how quickly your case is likely to be resolved. In North Carolina, most civil cases are handled in one of three courts: Small Claims (a special part of District Court), District Court and Superior Court.  … Continue reading

Criminals Need Not Apply

Employers today face a wide variety of concerns when hiring new employees.  Can the business afford the costs associated with additional personnel?  What job functions must the new employee satisfy?  What skillsets are required?  How is the newly hired individual going to interact with its customers and, just as importantly, its other employees? More and more often, employers are turning to pre-employment criminal background checks as a means of answering or managing the perceived risk associated with at least some of these questions.  Seem reasonable?  Perhaps, but such checks can also open the door to even greater problems and potential … Continue reading

Residential Evictions: Taking Back Your Leased Property . . .The Right Way [UPDATED]

[This blog replaces a previous post from September 2013, due to several changes to the North Carolina summary ejectment statutes effective October 1, 2013.]         You are a landlord and you enter into a residential lease agreement with a seemingly good tenant. Everything is going along fine until . . . the tenant stops paying rent, or the tenant fails to leave when the term of the lease expires, or the tenant breaches the lease agreement in some other way.  How do you get your property back and get the tenant out?  Can you simply change the locks?  NO! North Carolina has a very … Continue reading

Facebook: For Friendly Eyes Only?

Just how private is your Facebook account? Is limiting your privacy settings enough to keep your Facebook status updates, messages, pictures and other activity from the eyes of an opposing party in a civil or criminal case? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is likely “No.” When you activated your Facebook account, you may have adjusted your privacy settings to limit access to your content to only specific “friends.”  You may or may not have read the company’s disclosures regarding the content and use of your account information. Facebook takes the position that it is covered by … Continue reading

Employer Restrictions on Social Media Postings

Rare is the business entity that is completely detached from one form or another of social media. Indeed, a significant portion of businesses today directly utilize the benefits offered by social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. And even when a business does not itself engage in social media postings or tweets, you can rest assured that its employees do and will! So how can a business ensure that the messages posted on its social media platforms, as well as those posted about it by its employees on theirs, help promote the image it desires rather than hurt? How … Continue reading