Business & Commercial

Business and Commercial

While at Smith Moore, Drew Brown and James Faucher were on the team of lawyers that represented the Atlantic Coast Conference in a lawsuit pending in Connecticut concerning the 2005 conference realignment which ultimately resulted in Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College departing the Big East to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. Brown travelled to Connecticut along with with other attorneys at Smith Moore to defend the ACC’s interests. The ACC was ultimately dismissed from the lawsuit on personal jurisdiction grounds. The opinion is available to review as University of Connecticut, et.al. v. University of Miami, et.al., 2003 WL 22390940, 35 Conn. L. Rptr. 465, (October 10, 2003).

In December, 2012, Drew Brown’s client Alert Construction was sued by Craft-Bilt Manufacturing Company for over a million dollars in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Craft-Built sought injunctive relief at a hearing in February, 2013. The court denied the motion following Brown’s argument in Philadelphia. Alert Construction is contractually prohibited from saying what happened next.

The Greensboro Law Center defended a client who was sued for over a million dollars by Winston-Salem’s first community bank. Heated litigation ensued throughout 2013 with allegations of fraud against the bank. On the eve of trial in October, 2013, the bank decided to walk away entirely from its lawsuit dismissing the case.

Drew Brown took a case to trial in Alamance County on behalf of R.T. Hudgins, a businessman whose real estate partner had taken the full profits on a land deal without giving Hudgins his share. The Defendant was well-known Alamance County businessman G.W. Wagoner, who was represented by a large, well-respected Greensboro law firm. The jury awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages and another $250,000 in punitive damages, the largest known verdict at that time in that county in many years. Wagoner appealed the verdict. The NC Court of Appeals sided with Brown’s client and upheld the verdict in the published opinion Hudgins v. Wagoner, 694 S.E.2d 436 (2010), which has now been cited in courtrooms across North Carolina. The North Carolina Supreme Court likewise allowed the verdict to stand on March 10, 2011. The defendant still refused to pay and in June, 2011, Brown obtained $600,000 (the amount of the Judgment plus an additional $100,000 in interest) from a bank letter of credit previously posted by Mr. Wagoner. Due to interest accruing over the years, over $50,000 remained unpaid and Wagoner attempted to hide his assets. Brown filed suit in 2012 for fraudulent transfers of assets against Wagoner and several of his entities. On October 12, 2012, six years after the initial lawsuit was filed, Wagoner paid more than the amount owed to settle the matter.

Drew Brown represented Iranian immigrants Hossein and Hassan Ahmadi in a two week adversary proceeding before the Honorable Catherine Carruthers in federal bankruptcy court in the Middle District of North Carolina. The trial took place in October 2008. Judge Carruthers issued a 222 page opinion awarding Ahmadi $544,099.28 which included interest. A costs motion was subsequently granted in part as well. The highest offer made to Ahmadis’ previous attorney before Brown’s involvement in the case was $20,000. The matter arose out a fleet of used automobiles belonging to Mr. Ahmadi which were damaged by employees of Brokers, Inc. It is one of the only known reported cases in the United States where a bankruptcy court awarded punitive damages against a bankrupt debtor. Brokers, Inc. chose not to appeal and the amount awarded along with interest was paid in full. 

Drew Brown took a business case to trial the week of November 16, 2009 in Guilford County Superior Court. Brown’s clients were former WNBA player Kacy Carlton and former Florida Gator basketball player Jermaine Carlton. The Carlton’s had been sued by Greensboro basketball coach Stan Kowaleski who alleged that the Carlton’s owed him over $50,000 in past due rent. The Carltons counterclaimed alleging theories of unjust enrichment, fraud, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. The case was a vicious one and lasted three days. At the conclusion of the evidence and before the case was submitted to the jury, Kowaleski agreed to dismiss his case in exchange for the Carlton’s dismissal of their counterclaims. Kowaleski’s assets were later frozen and he was jailed by the SEC in a fraud matter.

In April 2011, James Faucher and Drew Brown took a commercial dispute to trial in Guilford County. The case arose out of the sale of a restaurant property where Faucher and Brown’s clients had formerly operated a restaurant. The owner the of the real property sold the building without notice to the client, and all of the client’s restaurant equipment was given to the new building owner, or thrown away. The case went to trial on claims of conversion and unfair and deceptive trade practices. The Court returned a verdict in favor the client in the amount of $66,000 plus interest. The case was settled for more than the verdict pending appeal of the unfair and deceptive trade practices claim.

Drew Brown filed two separate lawsuits on behalf of two Korean families against entities which own dozens of dry cleaning establishments throughout North Carolina. The lawsuits both alleged that the owners of the business failed to honor their obligations with regard to the Korean families whom they had recruited through Korean newspapers in New York to work in the stores. There were allegations of both fraud and unfair & deceptive trade practices in both lawsuits. The named defendants chose to settle with Brown’s clients on confidential terms. Following the settlements and dismissals of the lawsuits, the entities that Brown sued chose to hire Benson & Brown as their own attorneys in other matters.

Drew Brown defended a case on behalf of a former employee of a well-known downtown Greensboro development company. The plaintiff sued Brown’s client seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. The case was called for trial the week of April 28, 2008. The trial dragged into a second week. No money was awarded by the court. The plaintiff recovered nothing.

Drew Brown represented a Miami corporation against a former employee which allegedly converted the company’s assets to his own prior to his termination from the company. Brown obtained a default judgment in the amount of $423,374.16. The default, however, was opposed by counsel for the defendant at the hearing. The money has not yet been recovered.

Drew Brown was retained by the United Parcel Service (UPS) to defend its interest in an action filed in 2008 in Guilford County Superior Court. The case settled confidentially at mediation.

The Greensboro Law Center was hired to represent a Nigerian gentleman in the North Carolina Court of Appeals in a dispute concerning the interaction between a prior settlement agreement and the title to a piece of real estate in Guilford County. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s Summary Judgment ruling in favor of our client. The other side has now petitioned the North Carolina Supreme Court for discretionary review of the appellate decision. 

The Greensboro Law Center was hired to represent a local restaurant owner who had been sued in Federal Court by a west coast corporation in a dispute over broadcasting rights to a sporting event. Prior to Sigmon’s involvement, the Clerk of Court made Entry of Default against his client. Although Judgment by Default had not yet occurred, the Entry of Default was potentially disastrous as the applicable statutes provided for six-figure statutory damages. Sigmon successfully moved the Court to set aside the Entry of Default against his client, and the case settled confidentially shortly thereafter.

Drew Brown represented Verizon/MCI Communication Services, Inc. in a contract dispute with the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority over construction of the Randleman dam. Brown brought suit on behalf of Verizon in Guilford County Superior Court in 2008. The case settled at mediation with Verizon receiving $91,000.

These results are illustrative only, and do not represent all of the cases that the law firm has  handled. These results should not be considered as any sort of guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of any other legal matter. Every case is different and must be evaluated separately. The law firm  makes no representation that it can obtain in other cases the same or similar results.. This information is not intended to establish, and consequently does not establish, an attorney-client relationship. E-mailing a request for information does not create an attorney-client relationship