C&R Blog


When Does a Commercial Lender Have a Fiduciary Relationship to Its Borrower?

By Kenneth M. Greene

The North Carolina Court of Appeals is not required to publish an opinion in each of its decisions.  The appellate rules state that the reasons for that are to minimize the cost of publication and of providing storage space for published reports (each of which seems like an anachronism in an electronic era where everything is stored in the cloud).  If the panel that hears the case determines that the appeal involves no new legal principles and the opinion, if published, would have no precedent ...
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U.S. Supreme Court Decides Important Case regarding Creditor Rights to IRAs

If your friend inherits an individual retirement account from her mother and later files for bankruptcy protection, is the IRA exempt from payment of creditor claims in her bankruptcy proceeding?  As is often the case, the answer is "it depends." In the case of Clark v. Rameker (decided on June 12, 2014), the U.S. Supreme Court settled an issue that had been debated for a long time. Heidi Heffron-Clark was named as the sole beneficiary of her deceased mother's IRA having a date of death balanc ...
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Applicants for Government Development Incentive Loans and Grants Beware: Privacy v. Public Information

Many of us who follow the local newspapers are familiar with articles that make reference to news reporters and others submitting requests for public documents under Sunshine Laws or Freedom of Information Laws. Usually those requests are in connection with rather salacious stories being aired in the forum of public opinion. As an attorney, I frequently have pause for concern related to my clients who wish to apply for incentive loans or grants that are intended to encourage development of real ...
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Does the Issuance of IRS Form 1099-C by a Lender to its Borrower Discharge the Debt?

Does the issuance of an IRS Form 1099-C by a lender to its borrower constitute a cancellation of the claim and a discharge of the liability of the borrower?  In other words, once a lender issues an IRS Form 1099-C to its borrower, for whatever the reason, may it thereafter seek to collect the debt? The Internal Revenue Code requires that a lender that discharges the debt of any person must file a return containing certain information about the borrower and the discharged debt.[1]  Treasury ...
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A Few Pointers on the Preparation of Estate Planning Deeds

by Elizabeth J. Zook

In the last few weeks I have been called upon to draft a number of estate planning deeds at the behest of my firm's rather excellent Estate Planning Department (similar to my opinion of my own children, I'm only slightly biased on this point), and it occurred to me that there should be a place to go for a thoughtful discussion of the considerations in putting together estate planning deeds.  I'm not sure this is that thoughtful place, many of the writings out there are decidedly excellent, but ...
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Be Careful! Employer Policies/Personnel Actions on Use of Social Media Can Constitute an Unfair Labor Practice

Who would think that disciplining an employee for a derogatory social media post about working conditions (or having a social media policy banning such posts) could cause trouble for the employer?  The National Labor Relations Board, that’s who – and they will even cause trouble even for employers with no unions! Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. §157, applies to all employers, regardless of any union activity, and protects employees who are engaged in job related ...
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Post-Bankruptcy Enforcement of Lien Rights Follow-Up 2

As I had posted on February 24 and March 20 of 2012, Bankruptcy Judge Doud of the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled that he would not follow the lead of two other Eastern District bankruptcy judges and held that a post-petition filing by a subcontractor of a claim of lien on funds owing to his contractor is a permitted exception to the automatic stay pursuant to section 362(b)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code. On appeal to the District Court, just recently District Court Judge Terrence Boyle aff ...
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