The North Carolina Legislature created clear categories of mandatory jurisdiction when it expanded the jurisdiction of the Business Court in 2006 (see this post).
The statute provides that a party can oppose a designation to the Court, but those challenges are rarely successful, as demonstrated by the cases at the end of this post. But this month, the Court threw out two cases that met the requirements for its mandatory jurisdiction.
In the first case, Goldstein v. Countrywide Homes, Inc. decided on April 1, 2008, the Court ejected a securities fraud case, smack within the scope of its mandatory jurisdiction. The reason the Court gave was that there were already two cases pending in Wake County making similar claims. One of those cases had already received a Rule 2.1 designation as an exceptional case. The Court found that it would be more efficient if discovery in the cases was coordinated, and that inconsistent rulings would be avoided, and recommended that the case receive a 2.1 designation.
In the second case, Ikerd v. Greenwood, decided on April 8, 2008, the Defendant failed to file its Notice of Designation to the Business Court within the thirty days of its receipt of either the Complaint or the Amended Complaint, as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. §7A-45.4. The Court denied designation of the case as a mandatory complex business case due to the untimely filing, noting that the case could still be designated as a 2.1 case.
It is far more often that the Court overrules an objection to a mandatory designation, like in these cases, all of which are unpublished decisions denying a party’s objection:
- Bueche v. Noel (claims for receivership, securities law violations, piercing the corporate veil, and unfair and deceptive practices).
- Delhaize America, Inc. v. Hinton (complex corporate tax matters which might have implications for other companies).
- Cox v. Mitchell (issues which would have industry wide application, with the potential to establish case law which might prove useful to consumers of and businesses selling financial products).
- Stratton v. RBC Centura Banks (securities).
- Warren v. Eli Research (“potential issues of corporate governance and the duties of corporate officers and directors involved which are broader than a simple employment contract.”).
- Cooper v. Imergent and Burgess v. American Express Company, Inc. (internet and e-commerce).