North Carolina

Review

Dispute resolution
Smith Anderson

Smith Anderson is a Raleigh-based business and litigation law firm known for its team of trial-tested lawyers. Recipient of Benchmark’s 2020 North Carolina Firm of the Year, the firm is active in a range of matters from large multi-party, multi-jurisdiction litigation for companies of all sizes to matters for small private businesses and pro-bono clients.
         Trial lawyer Christopher Smith is a business and appellate lawyer who serves as co-chair of the business litigation team along with Mitchell. He is lead counsel representing Farm Bureau and a consortium of state agricultural interests as intervenors in defense of the Right to Farm legislation enacted by the state after crippling damages and punitive damages verdicts were rendered against a number of hog farms in nuisance lawsuits brought in federal court by anti-agriculture interest groups. Michael Mitchell also co-chairs the business litigation team. Mitchell is active in complex matters before numerous North Carolina courts, and frequently handles cases designated as “exceptional” by the Chief Justice. He represented Vidant Medical Center and Pitt County in a contract and governance dispute filed against them by the UNC Board of Governors and East Carolina University in a case that garnered significant media attention due to the unprecedented nature of the State’s university system and a constituent university to sue a teaching hospital and the county that governs that teaching hospital. The firm’s settlement negotiations helped leverage $215 million for a new medical school at East Carolina University, which paves the way for Vidant and East Carolina University to better provide for the healthcare needs of the state. Jackson Moore is a member of the trial team representing Amplify Education in a challenge of the state’s decision to award a new contract to a competitor. State legislators have called for an investigation in the procurement while the bid protest proceeds. A decision on the protest is expected soon from the state Department of Information Technology, who has stayed the contract pending its decision. Moore specializes in government contracting and business dispute resolution, including litigation, mediation, and arbitration. Fellow partner Don Tucker holds more than three decades of complex commercial litigation experience. He serves as North Carolina counsel to Reynolds American in a shareholder appraisal action arising out of the merger of Reynolds American and British American Tobacco Company. The case, involving a group of defendants who dissented the merger and who alleged that the fair value of RAI’s common stock at the time of the merger was significantly higher than the value of the merger consideration, was tried in a two-week bench trial in June 2019 before the Chief Judge of the North Carolina Business Court. This is the first trial of a shareholder appraisal action involving a public company in North Carolina and is expected to establish important new judicial precedents in the appraisal area. Distinguished trial lawyer Kirk Warner heads the products liability, mass tort and catastrophic loss, asbestos and toxic torts, and pharmaceutical and medical device litigation practice groups. Warner serves as lead counsel to Bell Partners in an ongoing putative class action matter that alleges the client improperly collected summary ejectment fees from delinquent tenants. After a statute clarification, the class action was removed to federal court and a motion to dismiss was filed and joined by the other property owner defendants. The court granted the motion to dismiss and the matter is now on appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Veteran trial lawyer Carl Patterson represents David Colburn in a lawsuit against Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company and most of its directors for terminating his retirement benefits over a year after he retired, based on allegations of misconduct while he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. Patterson also represents individuals, organizations, financial institutions, issuers and purchasers of securities, officers, directors, lenders, professional advisors, and buyers and sellers.