LIT SOFTWARE Spotlights Attorney Ian Richardson

In a detailed profile by LIT SOFTWARE, Attorney Ian Richardson of Vann Attorneys, PLLC discusses the impactful role technology plays in his legal strategy. Having tried numerous multi-week child-sex abuse cases to verdict on behalf of children who have been abused, Ian has integrated the LIT SUITE tools into his workflow, significantly improving the management and presentation of case materials. Ian’s transition from traditional presentation methods to digital solutions like TrialPad, DocReviewPad, and TranscriptPad has streamlined his preparation and increased efficiency in trials and depositions. These tools help him handle everything from document review to evidence presentation, demonstrating their value in modern legal practices. Learn more about how Ian Richardson leverages technology to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the courtroom.

I Received a Subpoena to Testify – Why do I have to Attend?

We often get calls both from people we have subpoenaed to appear at trial and from clients who receive subpoenas wondering why they are getting dragged into someone else’s fight. It is a reasonable question. Why would anyone want to go to court and waste an entire day parking, finding the courtroom, and testifying when they are nothing but a witness. Almost always we will get asked “can’t I just sign an affidavit about what I know?” That is a good thought, but the rules of procedure and the rules of evidence say “No.”

Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

We often must advise people as to whether they actually need an attorney. Not surprisingly the answer is that it depends. Often, we get calls from prospective litigants, in other words, people who are thinking about filing suit. Other times we get calls after a lawsuit has been filed. There is a similar but distinct analysis depending on which side of the “V” you find yourself on.

What Interest Rate Can I Charge in a Promissory Note? 

What Interest Rate Can I Charge in a Promissory Note?By Ian RichardsonAttorney at LawA question regarding what interest rate can be charged in North Carolina will almost certainly result in the classic lawyer answer of “it depends.” It depends on what type of loan is being made, the amount of the loan, how interest is compounded, the purpose of the …

Enforcing Binding Arbitration Clauses

People frequently sign contracts which contain arbitration clauses. Arbitration is a process where a third party (or a panel of third parties) hear the evidence in a case and decide the outcome. This process is usually binding. Often these third-party arbitrators are attorneys in private practice who assist in the resolution of disputes. There are many reasons arbitration clauses appear in contracts. Conventional wisdom dictates that arbitration is less expensive and faster than litigation in State or Federal Court. Often that is the case, sometimes it is not. In fact, sometimes the cost of arbitration is prohibitive in pursuing a customer for non-payment. Thus, businesses should think about their circumstances when deciding whether arbitration of all disputes with customers is appropriate, or whether only certain types of disputes are to be resolved by arbitration. Often, arbitrators award less in damages than a jury might award. Thus, those who tend to face lawsuits in the personal injury context often attempt to contract for disputes to be resolved through binding arbitration.

“Time Being of the Essence” – Is it Really All that Essential?

Often, we see contracts, especially contracts for the sale of real property, which contain the words “time being of the essence” after a date or time. We tell people that these words are very important, because typically they are, as confirmed by the recent unpublished decision from the North Carolina Court of Appeals Strohm v. Morgan.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act Is Now Law – You May Have A Claim

For decades (from 1953 through 1987) members of the US Military, their families, and employees of Camp Lejeune were exposed to contaminated water. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act has been signed into law, and now makes it possible to bring claims for injuries and death caused by the contaminated water. Whether you have a claim is a complicated question, and you should speak with an attorney to determine how to proceed.

How Can An Attorney Help After You have Been Injured in a Car Accident?

Being in a car crash is a difficult and frustrating experience under the best of circumstances. Even if you were not injured in the wreck, you will likely be without your car for a significant period of time while it is being repaired. If you were injured in the wreck, you have to focus on healing from your injuries while also likely navigating through a stack of confusing, and at times very expensive, medical bills. An attorney cannot take away the frustration or pain you are experiencing. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can help make sure you are treated fairly by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and work to maximize the compensation to you for your pain, suffering, and frustration.

The Allegations Aren’t True – Can’t You Just Get the Lawsuit Dismissed?

Two things that are nearly universally true in litigation are 1) the Defendant is never happy to be sued; and 2) there are almost always two sides to every story. As a result of these truths, we often get questions from clients asking if we can get the lawsuit dismissed because what was alleged in the lawsuit just isn’t true.

Not So Fast: Alleging Unfair & Deceptive Trade Practices Claims in Investor Disputes

A recent North Carolina Supreme Court decision clarifies when an Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices claim is available in investor disputes. The key upshot from the Court’s decision in Nobel v. Foxmoor Group, LLC is, “if an alleged unfair or deceptive action remains confined within a single business, the Act is inapplicable.”

I Trusted Them… Doesn’t That Mean They Are My Fiduciary?

A look at when a fiduciary duty likely arises amongst shareholders. The term “fiduciary” is a legal term which is often thrown around by non-lawyers. People tend to have a general understanding of what a fiduciary is; however, the term is often improperly used and even more often too broadly applied.

Disagreements Between Business Owners

Often we are contacted by people who are owners of businesses when they are having a dispute with another owner. People reach out to us in order to attempt to better understand their options to either force a change in their co-owner’s conduct, or end the business relationship. If ever there is a time when we are forced to give the classic lawyer answer of “it depends,” it is in these types of disputes.

Practical Tips for What To Do If You Have Been Sued

We have never had anyone come into our office who was happy about getting served with a lawsuit. Often, we spend a lot of time in the initial meeting listening to why the other side is wrong. The other side may very well be wrong. However, once you have been sued you must deal with the lawsuit until the court agrees with you that the other side is wrong.

Renewed Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Claims Set to Expire December 31, 2021

In 2019 Governor Cooper signed SB 199 into law which did a number of great things for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. SB 199 extends the statute of limitations for filing suit to 10 years after the survivor’s eighteenth birthday. Additionally, SB 199 renewed the statute of limitations for instances of abuse for children who were sexually abused but never brought a claim under the previous statute of limitations. The language of SB 199 states, “Effective from January 1, 2020, until December 31, 2021, this section revives any civil action for child sexual abuse otherwise time-barred under G.S. 1-52 as it existed immediately before the enactment of this act.”

Can You Be Sued in North Carolina if You Live Somewhere Else?

According to a recent opinion of the North Carolina Supreme Court, reversing a unanimous panel at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, a phone call to someone in North Carolina, when you were unaware that person was in North Carolina, and had no reason to know they were in North Carolina, is not sufficient to subject you to the jurisdiction of North Carolina Courts.

Statutes of Limitations on Promissory Notes in North Carolina

A dispute that often arises in litigation seeking to recover money pursuant to a promissory note is whether the statute of limitations has expired. The reason that disputes tend to arise in this area is that it is somewhat of a complex analysis which is impacted by multiple factors. The North Carolina Court of Appeals just addressed an issue of first impression with regard to the statute of limitations as applied to promissory notes. This issue is: whether the statute of limitations on a promissory note begins to run on the date the note is signed or the date appearing on the face of the note?

Who Must Sign a Mediated Settlement Agreement in light of SB 255?

In 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and in a time when most, if not all, mediations were being conducted remotely, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion which from a practitioner’s standpoint, complicated matters. This is opinion is Mitchell v. Boswell. The upshot of Boswell was that the parties to a dispute needed to be the signatories as opposed to, in Boswell, their attorneys.

How North Carolina’s Legal Interest Rate Can Impact Settlement Discussions

In North Carolina the legal rate of interest on a judgment is 8% per year. Parties are also permitted to contract for a rate of interest in excess of the legal rate. At the time of this writing, the effective prime interest rate is 3.25%. As a result of this disparity between the legal interest rate in North Carolina (which was established when prime interest rates were in excess of 10%) and the current prevailing interest rates, there are currently calls for the legislature to revise the legal interest rate in North Carolina. To be clear, this has not happened.