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The trial and appellate lawyers of Ellis & Winters have handled complex business cases in North Carolina and across the United States. The firm has represented more than 30 members of the Fortune 500.

The firm stresses qualities that today’s businesses demand: innovation, clear writing, efficiency, and responsiveness.

The firm has deep experience in litigation over allegedly unfair or deceptive trade practices. In the 2015 edition of Benchmark Litigation, a referee says that a partner in Ellis & Winters “know[s] more about deceptive trade practices than anyone I’ve ever seen. I witnessed him at work on one of these cases and it was an eye-opener.”

To give two examples of the firm’s experience in this field:

  • The firm represented the defendant in Bumpers v. Community Bank of Northern Virginia, 747 S.E.2d 220 (N.C. 2013). Clarifying the law under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff pursues a section 75-1.1 claim based on an alleged misrepresentation, she must prove that she actually and reasonably relied on the statements at issue. The court also held that in most circumstances, a plaintiff cannot state a claim under section 75-1.1 by alleging that the price she paid was “excessive.”
  • The firm, with co-counsel, represented the defendants in Torrence v. Nationwide Budget Finance, 753 S.E.2d 802 (N.C. Ct. App. 2014), pet. for disc. rev. denied, No. 86P14, 2014 WL 2803001 (N.C. June 11, 2014). In Torrence, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs, who alleged that the defendants’ lending practices violated N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1, must submit their claims to binding bilateral arbitration. Applying recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court reversed a trial court’s decision that an arbitration clause in the plaintiffs’ loan contracts was unconscionable.

The firm also serves the courts and the bar through scholarship on unfair and deceptive trade practices. Blog founder Matt Sawchak, now the Solicitor General of North Carolina, has written or co-authored two North Carolina Law Review articles in this area. In addition, Ellis & Winters lawyers often speak to lawyers, judges, and professors on unfair and deceptive trade practices and other business torts.

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