There were three decisions yesterday from the Court of Appeals worth a quick mention for the business litigator (and the baseball fan).
First, Fischer Investment Capital, Inc. v. Catawba Development Corp. is a piercing the corporate veil case. And not only that, a reverse piercing the corporate veil case. In a reverse piercing case, instead of a court disregarding the corporate entity to reach the assets of an individual owner, the court reaches the assets of the entity to satisfy an obligation of the individual owner. In a first impression holding, Judge Ervin rejected the argument that reverse piercing is limited to personal jurisdiction situations, and held that it also "is a recognized legal theory in North Carolina for substantive . . . purposes."
Second, in Telerent Leasing Corp. v. Boaziz, the Court allowed a recovery of attorneys fees that were more than 15% of the amount recovered by the Plaintiff, which the Defendant argued were in excess of the amount permitted by G.S. Sec. 6-21.2. The Court held this to be justified because the Plaintiff had expended attorneys’ fees pursuing recovery through "multiple actions" and in "multiple venues." Those included fees incurred in a related out of state bankruptcy proceeding.
Finally, the case involving baseball is Reese v. Mecklenburg County. The Court held that the leasing of land by Mecklenburg County to the Charlotte Knights baseball team where the team would build a baseball stadium was a proper public purpose. That was true even though the team would own the stadium during the term of the lease.