Pick a random case from the North Carolina Business Court’s online docket. The complaint and any counterclaims probably allege a violation of North Carolina’s “unfair and deceptive trade practices” statute, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1.
Why is section 75-1.1 so important? First, the statute’s broad wording—“unfair and deceptive”—creates uncertainty for courts, lawyers, and, most importantly, clients. Second, winning a section 75-1.1 claim generates a big reward: treble damages, plus the chance to win attorneys’ fees.
It is no wonder, then, that almost every business dispute or consumer dispute in North Carolina includes a section 75-1.1 claim. Over 2000 reported decisions interpret section 75-1.1. To counsel clients, lawyers need to understand those decisions and assess how the courts might apply section 75-1.1 in future cases.
This blog gives the law under section 75-1.1 the focused discussion that it deserves. The blog has three key goals when it comes to section 75-1.1:
- To update readers on developments in the law under section 75-1.1;
- To spot unresolved issues under the statute and analyze how those issues might be resolved; and
- To promote dialogue about section 75-1.1, its role, and its future.
In addition to its focus on the law under section 75-1.1, this blog also features posts on other areas of law that either help contextualize the statute or arise adjacent to claims brought under the statute. These areas include the consumer protection and unfair competition statutes of other states, developing privacy and data security laws, other laws applicable to intellectual property disputes, and the laws implicated by fact patterns common to consumer protection or unfair competition disputes.