Articles Posted in Professional Malpractice & Ethics

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CommScope Credit Union (Plaintiff), a state-chartered credit union, hired Butler & Burke, LLP (Defendant), a certified public accounting firm, to conduct annual independent audits of its financial statements. Plaintiff later filed a complaint alleging breach of contract, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and professional malpractice. Defendant pleaded seven affirmative defenses, including contributory negligence and in pari delicto. The trial court subsequently granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss and for judgment on the pleadings. The court of appeals reversed, concluding (1) the specific allegations in Plaintiff’s complaint were sufficient to state a claim for breach of fiduciary duty, and (2) Defendant’s affirmative defenses would not entitle Defendant to dismissal at this stage. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) Plaintiff’s allegations did not establish that Defendant owed it a fiduciary duty in fact, and therefore, the trial court correctly dismissed Plaintiff’s breach of fiduciary duty claim; and (2) the members of the Court are equally divided on whether the facts alleged in the complaint established the defenses of contributory negligence and in pari delicto, and therefore, the court of appeals’ decision on this issue is left undisturbed. View "CommScope Credit Union v. Butler & Burke, LLP" on Justia Law

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The suit arose from Plaintiff's visit to the dentist for a routine tooth extraction, which Plaintiff alleged resulted in a broken jaw. The trial court granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment for Plaintiff's failure to comply with N.C. R. Civ. P. 9(j) in proffering her only expert witness. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the expert witness could have been reasonably expected to qualify under N.C. R. Evid. 702 as required by Rule 9(j). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff's proffered expert witness could have been "reasonably expected to qualify as an expert witness" under Rule 702, and therefore, Plaintiff satisfied the preliminary requirements of Rule 9(j). Remanded. View "Moore v. Proper" on Justia Law