January 2014

Employer Liability for negligent acts of Defendant-Employees (Agency Principle)

In April of 2013 a jury trial was held in Guilford County concerning a wrongful death case against BB&T Insurance Services. The personal injury suit was brought by the mother and ex-wife of the BB&T Insurance employee, Stuart Thomas, for the wrongful death of the passenger due to the employee-driver’s negligence. The personal injury claim was that Mr. Thomas was talking on a mobile phone conducting the employer's business at the time the vehicle he was driving ran into the back of a tractor trailer, killing the himself and his passenger/daughter.

Partition Sales in North Carolina

Own real property with another person?   Both sides cannot agree to sell the property or divide the property? Then a partition action is the right legal process.   If the property can't be divided such that both sides will benefit almost equally, then the court can order the property be sold pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 46 (NCGS 46-22)   Call Kirk Sanders 336-724-4707 to assist in your NC partition matters. I've been involved in partitions that involved over 180 owners.   Here is the statute:   § 46-22. Sale in lieu of partition.   

Judgment Creditors can petition for sale of real property where debtor is a co-tenant

Can a judgment creditor sell land that is owned by judgment debtor and another party?

Answer: yes

Caveat/Exception: if the co-owner is a spouse and the property is held as tenants by the entirety (meaning the deed is titled as [Judgment Debtor] “and spouse” [X]). If it’s tenants by the entirety and the judgment is only against one spouse, then you can’t do a partition.

The Judgment creditor’s next step is to file a petition for partition sale.

Trademark Ruling: SWAP not descriptive or confusingly similar to SWATCH watches

In Swatch AG’s challenge to defendant Beehive Wholesale’s trademark application for its “SWAP” watch bands with interchangeable faces, the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal of Swatch’s claims for federal, state and common law trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition.

The court found that SWAP was not a descriptive mark for Beehive’s interchangeable watches and noted that individuals, even retail professionals familiar with the products, had to exercise some imagination to connect “SWAP” with the function of Beehive’s watches.

Expungements: New NC law prohibits employers, educational institutions and agencies of State and local governments from asking about expunged matters

A new law regarding inquiries into expunged records went in effect on December 1, 2013. Under this law, you are not required to include any information that has been expunged when asked about past crimes by a prospective employer or an educational institution.

An example of a (potential) personal injury claim with punitive damages claim also

An example of a (potential) personal injury claim with punitive damages claim also.

Per information reported by BRANDON SHULLEETA of the Richmond Times-Dispatch the following is discussed pertaining to potential wrongful death case.

Negligent Lane Shifting Example (NC personal injury)

Friday morning, January 17, 2014, the Winston-Salem Police Department responded to US 421 North bound on a report of a traffic collision involving personal injury and a WSFC school bus.

The police department investigation revealed that a Toyota passenger car, operated by Vannois Tally Jefferson IV, was attempting to merge from the right lane into the left Lane.

Jefferson did not observe the Dodge Neon driven by Brittany Sadonna Jones, traveling in the left lane as he made his move. Jefferson was issued a traffic citation for unsafe movement.

Constitutional Law case: California’s ban on LGBT conversion therapy to minors upheld

California Senate Bill 1172 bans state-licensed mental health providers from engaging in “sexual orientation change efforts” (i.e., conversion therapy to change sexual orientation) with patients under 18 years of age. The constitutionality of the Bill was challenged in Pickup v. Brown and Welch v. Brown, in which the plaintiffs claimed that Bill violated the First Amendment because it prohibited therapists from expressing their viewpoints on same-sex relationships.

Patent holder bears burden of proving infringement in licensee declaratory judgment action for non-infringement

In Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC, the Supreme Court held that "when a licensee seeks a declaratory judgment against a patentee to establish that there is no infringement, the burden of proving infringement remains with the patentee."