Robinson Bradshaw Secures Favorable Ruling in Matter of First Impression



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Dec. 6, 2018

Judge Michael Robinson of the North Carolina Business Court recently ruled on a matter of first impression in a case involving Robinson Bradshaw.

The case, Wheeler v. Wheeler, involves a father and son who were two of three shareholders at Yale Carolinas Inc. The son, Christopher Wheeler, sued the company and his father, Joseph Wheeler, for claims of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, unfair or deceptive trade practices, and judicial dissolution of the company. YCI, Joseph Wheeler and YCI president Scott Moe – represented by Robinson Bradshaw – countersued with allegations of breach of contract, fraud, and civil remedy for larceny and embezzlement, among others.

Judge Michael Robinson ruled that Christopher Wheeler, while a former officer and director of YCI, is "not entitled to the advancement of his legal fees and costs pursuant to the company's bylaws where he failed to demonstrate that irreparable harm would result without advancement," as written in a North Carolina Lawyers Weekly article about the decision. Robinson noted that Christopher Wheeler failed to address a two-part burden to receive advanced fees; while the bylaw contract was found to be valid for some of the claims, he did not prove he would suffer irreparable harm without the financial advancement.

John R. Wester, D. Blaine Sanders and Lucas A. Anderson represent the defendants. Wester spoke to NCLW about the case, saying Robinson’s decision "offers a fine road map for future cases evaluating advancement."

The article, "Biz Court Denies Officer Advance on Legal Fees" is available here. A subscription is required to view the article in full.

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