Maurer v. Slickedit, Inc., 2005 NCBC 1 (N.C. Super. Ct. May 15, 2005)(Tennille)

Plaintiff, a significant (42.5%) minority shareholder of the corporate defendant, filed a derivative action against the corporate defendant. The Court characterized the case as "a domestic case disguised as a derivative action." The Court looked to the law of Virginia, the place of the incorporation of the company, to determine the appropriate prerequisites.

The claims by plaintiff against the directors of the company were for breach of fiduciary duty, and they were therefore derivative claims belonging to the corporation. It ruled that the plaintiff had failed to make a demand, and her derivative claims were dismissed.

The Court also dismissed plaintiff's unfair and deceptive practices claims concerning the termination of her employment with the company, holding that these claims related to the internal corporate affairs of the company as opposed to being "in commerce," as required by the unfair and deceptive practices statute.

Although Virginia does not recognize Meiselman-type claims, the Court that if it did that plaintiff would not have stated a claim for termination of her employment due to her execution of a written agreement providing that she could be terminated at any time. The Court also dismissed the conspiracy claim against the defendants, holding that they were entitled to intracorporate immunity because "alleging that a corporation is conspiring with its agents, officers or employees is accusing a corporation of conspiring with itself.” Although there is an exception of the officers were acting on behalf of an "indpendent personal stake," that is a narrow exception which is not triggered by an officer's interest in the corporation's profitability.

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