Having a case heard in the North Carolina Business Court is not as complicated as some might think. In January 2018, a judge published an Order and Opinion that clarified the requirements for designation.
At issue, the plaintiff sued his business partners for allegedly receiving excessive payouts from the company they owned together and excluding the plaintiff from decisions about their business. That case was designated as a "mandatory complex business" case and assigned to a business court judge. However, the plaintiff challenged that designation arguing that it should be handled by a superior court judge because there was nothing complex about his case. Chief Judge James Gale disagreed, writing that cases can be assigned to his court as long as it "involves material issues related to …disputes involving the law governing corporations."
North Carolina Lawyers Weekly covered the Barclift v. Martin case in a recent article and reached out to business attorney Caroline McLean regarding the latest ruling. Here's what she had to say about Gale's order:
"It clarifies that as long as you meet one of those requirements in the stature, designation is appropriate."