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Matt Sawchak Publishes Business Litigation Article in North Carolina Law Review

Ellis Winters

Ellis & Winters


Matthew W. Sawchak

Ellis & Winters partner Matthew W. Sawchak has published an article, Defining Unfairness in “Unfair Trade Practices,” in the most recent issue of North Carolina Law Review.

The article analyzes one of the most important and vexing issues in North Carolina business litigation: what conduct is “unfair” under the state’s “unfair trade practices” law. That statute is a key factor in business litigation in North Carolina because a violation of the statute generates automatic treble damages and a possible claim for attorney fees.

In the article, Sawchak and his co-author, Kip Nelson, argue that North Carolina courts should define “unfairness” by consulting the current standards under section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Under these standards, courts would recognize an “unfairness” claim only for injuries that plaintiffs could not reasonably avoid. This analysis would make the law in this area more balanced and predictable.

Click here to download the full PDF (507 KB).

Sawchak focuses his practice on business litigation, antitrust, and appeals. Business North Carolina magazine has profiled him twice as the top antitrust lawyer in North Carolina. Sawchak is also profiled as a Litigation Star in the current editions of Benchmark Litigation and Benchmark Appellate. He appears in North Carolina Super LawyersChambers USA, and Best Lawyers in America. He is a State Bar-certified specialist in appellate practice.

Sawchak graduated with honors from Harvard University, where he was a National Merit Scholar. He earned his J.D. and LL.M. with honors from Duke Law School in 1989. He was the editor-in-chief of the Duke Law Journal.

Sawchak served as a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas when Justice Thomas served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before his judicial clerkship, he clerked in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States.

October 29, 2012
Posted in  Articles