News & Announcements

Brooks Pierce partner Ed Turlington spoke at a joint meeting of the Boards of Directors of the NC Technology Association and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) on September 16 in Raleigh. The meeting was part of CED’s Tech Venture Conference 2014, which was attended by 700 information technology leaders and entrepreneurs from throughout the Southeast.

National Law Journal

On September 8, 2014, the National Law Journal published an article written by Brooks Pierce attorneys Darrell A. Fruth and Andrew Rodenbough addressing new weapons to combat so-called “patent trolls.”  The article identifies new strategies that savvy companies across the country are adopting to respond to patent demand letters and patent infringement lawsuits.

At its September meeting at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, the War Memorial Commission unanimously elected Brooks Pierce Partner Reid Phillips as its new chairman. 

A September 2, 2014,  Inside Counsel article by Amanda Ciccatelli featured the perspective of intellectual property attorney Darrell A. Fruth on recent developments in state and federal patent law and what they mean for businesses in North Carolina.

Chris McClure, a government relations and policy advisor in the Raleigh office of Brooks Pierce, was recently ranked in the top 4 percent of the Most Influential Lobbyists registered in the North Carolina General Assembly’s 2013 legislative session. The state has 742 registered lobbyists.

Brooks Pierce partner Ed Turlington spoke at the NC Digital Government Summit on August 28 in Raleigh. The Summit was attended by over 250 information technology leaders from state and local government in North Carolina. Turlington’s presentation was entitled “10 Things That IT Leaders Should Know about the 2014 Legislative Session.”

In the August 22nd print edition of the Triangle Business Journal, reporter Lauren K. Ohnesorge includes comments from Raleigh attorney Stephen Hartzell for insight regarding the current status of drones in North Carolina.

The North Carolina General Assembly has completed its 2014 session. During this “short session,” Legislators focused primarily on adjusting the second year of the State budget enacted last year, but also considered a number of other important issues. 

In the August 20th Triangle Business Journal TechFlash Blog, reporter Lauren K. Ohnesorge calls on Raleigh attorney Stephen Hartzell for insight regarding the current status of drones in North Carolina.

The 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© recognized 46 Brooks Pierce attorneys as industry leaders. Nine of the 46 attorneys were also named Best Lawyers® 2015 "Lawyers of the Year" in Greensboro for their respective practice areas. This honor is awarded to one attorney per practice area in each metropolitan area.

Kearns Davis, a partner in the Greensboro office of Brooks Pierce, was recently named to the Greensboro Police Foundation board of directors.

Brooks Pierce attorney Stephen Hartzell is closely following the developments in law related to unmanned aerial vehicles- more popularly known as drones.  Stephen has been quoted in an article called “Keeping an eye out:  New NC law regulates drone use” written by Amanda Lehmert of the News & Record.

Mary’s House, a Greensboro nonprofit that provides housing and support services for homeless mothers recovering from substance abuse and their children, has received a critical financial boost as part of an agreement to end a years-long legal battle with the state of North Carolina over the right of Mary’s House to receive federal funds. The disputed funds are a part of the former federal Emergency Shelters Grant Program, which provided money to states specifically to help support individuals and families coping with homelessness. The program is administered in North Carolina by the state Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS).

Mark J. Prak, a partner in the law firm Brooks Pierce, was inducted into the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) Hall of Fame at a dinner held as a part of the NCAB 2014 Annual Convention on June 23rdat the Washington Duke Inn and Conference Center in Durham, North Carolina.

Insider Trading, Investigations, SEC Litigation

You don’t see this every day. On Friday, the SEC filed a subpoena enforcement action seeking production of documents from the House Ways and Means Committee and documents and testimony from one of its staff members, Brian Sutter. This is fascinating to me for so many reasons. The almost certainly unhappy respondents in this case haven’t yet responded in writing, so the factual details in this blog come from the SEC’s supporting brief. They may not be true.

Seven Brooks Pierce practice areas and 15 of the firm’s attorneys are ranked among the best in North Carolina in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. The listing of the leading lawyers and law firms in the country is published annually by Chambers and Partners.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized Brooks Pierce partner George House for his role in the cleanup and redevelopment of the Landia Chemical Company Superfund Site in Lakeland, Florida.

Kearns Davis, a partner with Brooks Pierce, was recently appointed to the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission.

Jeff Oleynik, a partner in the Greensboro office of Brooks Pierce, serves as the current president of the Law Firm Alliance and recently led the semi-annual meeting held at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

James T. Williams, Jr., a partner in the Greensboro office of Brooks Pierce, recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Greensboro Bar Association.

Five new members have recently joined the board of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, a national organization advocating for the responsible sourcing, manufacturing, marketing and sale of residential furnishings.

On March 6, 2014, Brooks Pierce attorney Darrell Fruth presented a guest lecture to students in Duke Law School’s Start-up Ventures Clinic.

Four Brooks Pierce attorneys (Jill Wilson, Bob King, Julia Ambrose, and Jennifer Van Zant) recently scored two precedent-setting victories in ongoing litigation involving charter school funding. These cases are expected to help further clarify the roles and responsibilities of local school boards when it comes to financing charter schools (private schools which receive public funding).   

Here’s one of the questions I get from some individual clients when they receive subpoenas from the SEC: Could I get arrested over this? Well, no. First things first – The SEC has civil authority, not criminal authority. Unless the Justice Department or some state criminal authority gets involved, you’re not going to be arrested. But Anthony Coronati may make me modify this answer.

Thomas Varnum, an attorney in the Wilmington office of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP has recently joined the Board of Trustees for Cucalorus.

Here are two things about insider trading law: First, it’s hard to know exactly what the parameters are. The United States doesn’t have a specific statute prohibiting it. It grows out of the general anti-fraud provisions of the Exchange Act and the Securities Act, but the SEC and the courts over the years have outlined what insider trading is and how far one can go in that sphere. Second, it’s not impossible to know what the parameters are. Clues are out there in the form of court cases and, for settled matters, complaints filed by the SEC in federal courts.

One such complaint was filed last Thursday in the Northern District of Georgia. In the litigation release for that complaint, we learn that on November 13 and 14, 2012, Hao He bought $162,000 of short-term put options in Sina Corporation. On November 15, Sina announced it had beaten analyst forecasts for third quarter earnings, but also announced unexpected negative guidance for the fourth quarter of 2012. As a result of this negative guidance, Sina’s stock price declined approximately 8.5%, opening at $48.60 compared to the previous day’s close of $53.10. The next day, He sold all of his put options for $331,530, generating illicit profits of $169,819. Okay, fine. But why was this illegal?

Business North Carolina magazine publishes annually the “Legal Elite,” lawyers throughout the state who are rated best in their fields. In 2014, 24 Brooks Pierce attorneys were named to the list.

Brooks Pierce is pleased to announce that 39 lawyers, representing 46% of the firm’s attorneys, were recently recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers.

The inaugural Wade H. Hargrove Communications Law and Policy Colloquium recently presented by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School and School of Mass Communications was televised nationally by cable and satellite on C-SPAN.

Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP is pleased to announce that four attorneys have recently been selected to become the newest partners of the firm. These exemplary lawyers are Anna Pond McLamb, D.J. O’Brien, Charn Reid and Adam Tarleton.

North Carolina has rewritten its Limited Liability Company Act. New Chapter 57D replaced old Chapter 57C effective January 1, 2014. Brooks Pierce partner Mark Davidson summarizes the more important changes in this client alert.

On November 25, 2013, the NC State Bar Board of Legal Specialization certified Brooks Pierce Partner David Sar as a “Specialist” in Trademark Law. North Carolina’s Trademark specialty is the first such specialty in the United States, and David was selected in the first, or inaugural, class of trademark specialists.  

Brook Pierce attorney Alex Elkan provides insight into environmental law changes impacting the use and development of contaminated properties.

TIMCO Aviation Services, Inc. headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, recently announced the company's pending sale to Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. (HAECO). The $388.8 million transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to satisfaction of the conditions in the stock purchase agreement.

On October 24, 2013, Brooks Pierce attorneys Darrell Fruth and David Smyth participated in office hours at AU @Main in Durham with students in Duke Law School’s Start-up Ventures Clinic. 

Brooks Pierce attorney Stephen Hartzell gave a presentation regarding legislative and regulatory developments of importance and interest to Ohio broadcasters at the 2013 Radio Executive Forum hosted by the Ohio Association of Broadcasters. The Association represents the interests of more than 300 radio and television broadcasters at the federal and state level.

Brooks Pierce Attorney Ed Winslow will serve as a moderator of a panel consisting of senior representatives of the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks, at the North Carolina Bankers Association Management Team to be held October 20-22, 2013 at the Pinehurst Resort.

Brooks Pierce attorney Charles Marshall moderated a panel on the intersection of election, lobbying, and ethics laws at the North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association’s annual meeting on October 16, 2013. The Association is North Carolina’s statewide professional group for lobbyists representing clients before North Carolina state government.  

Brooks Pierce attorney, George House recently received Downtown Greensboro’s Ed Kitchen Leadership Award. The Kitchen Award is given annually to a local individual who through their leadership, vision and dedication, has been a champion for the revitalization of Downtown Greensboro.

Brooks Pierce Attorney Ed Winslow served as a principal speaker for the Dan K. Moore Program in Ethics presented by the UNC School of Law on October 4, 2013. This year’s program was entitled The Changing Model of Legal Service Delivery in the “New Normal.”

Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP is pleased to announce that Marc Bishop has been appointed to serve on the Elon Law Advisory Board. The advisory board includes prominent judges, attorneys and business leaders who advise the university about the law school's development.

On October 3rd, 2013, Brooks Pierce attorneys Darrell Fruth and David Smyth presented a joint lecture on intellectual property and securities law issues to students in Duke Law School’s Start-up Ventures Clinic.

Brooks Pierce partner Coe W. Ramsey teaches Entertainment Law as an Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Law. Coe’s class is a survey of the law relevant to the representation of entertainers and producers of entertainment, with an emphasis on the music, television, and film industries.