Tag: contracts
  • “It’s Always Best to Start at the Beginning”: Determining Contract Terms Where Breach is Alleged

    It is not uncommon for me to answer calls from judicial officials grappling with breach of contract cases where the official believes there has likely been a breach, but they are unsure which specific term has been breached. Breach of contract cases can be intimidating because they often involve large volumes of conflicting evidence. The judicial official must decide what evidence to exclude, what evidence to admit, and how much weight to give admitted evidence. In cases involving oral contracts, determining the parties’ agreement becomes even more difficult, putting a stronger emphasis on assessing the credibility of witness testimony. However, a lot of the angst over breach of contracts cases can be alleviated by developing a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to analyzing the evidence, in much the same way that judicial officials evaluate evidence to determine if a crime has been committed and that the person arrested committed it.

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  • Choice of Law and Forum Selection in Business Contracts – New Law in North Carolina

    Contracts often include agreements stating how litigation will be handled in the event the parties have a dispute.  These agreements sometimes include “choice of law” and “forum selection” provisions.  In a choice of law provision, the parties specify that the contract will be interpreted according to the law of a particular state.  In a forum selection clause, the parties specify the State—and sometimes the specific county—in which disputes will be filed.

    These provisions generally are valid in North Carolina, but our courts have declined to enforce them in some specific circumstances.  This summer the General Assembly created a new Chapter 1G that attempts to remove these limits when parties choose North Carolina as the forum state and North Carolina law as the applicable law.  The new legislation only affects provisions included in business contracts.  It defines a “business contract” as “a contract or undertaking, contingent or otherwise, entered into primarily for business or commercial purposes,” and it explicitly excludes “employment contracts” and “consumer contracts.” See 1G-2(1), -5(1).  Chapter 1G became effective June 26, 2017 and it applies to business contracts entered into before, on, or after that date.  These are the main effects of Chapter 1G: Continue Reading

  • Debt Buyers & North Carolina’s Consumer Economic Protection Act

    Last month John Oliver made headlines across the country when his TV show, Last Week Tonight, did an episode focusing on common practices by debt buyers.  To illustrate how easy it is to buy consumer debt, Oliver formed a debt-buying company (“CARP”) after complying with legal requirements in Mississippi: paying $50 to the State and appointing himself Chairman of the Board. The new company set up a very basic website and was quickly offered an opportunity to buy $3 million of consumer medical debt for $60,000, along with the names, addresses, and social security numbers of almost 9,000 alleged debtors.  At the end of the episode Oliver— in his role as CARP Chairman– forgave the debt by pushing a giant red button. You can watch the excitement, and perhaps learn something about debt-buying, by going to .

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