2005-01

Article Title Issue

Alumni may mingle at homegoing game

Paul Norman likes Elizabeth City and loves his alma mater, Elizabeth City State University. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be president of its National Alumni Association. But if he has his way, the school will take the home out of its homecoming football game, effective this fall. He blames greedy local businesses. They say he’s imagining things.
2005-01

Bulls ayes

Here's how our stock pickers hope to beef up their portfolios in '05.
2005-01

Cities get a kick out of soccer tournaments

Does your city need to fill hotel rooms, pack restaurants and attract shoppers? Hold a soccer tournament. Nearly every major city across North Carolina plays host to one, and some are adding millions of dollars to their economies.
2005-01

Decks are stacked for boat builders

Boat builders and related manufacturers employ more than 20,000 in North Carolina. Consumers here spent about $446.8 million on boats and boating products in 2003, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
2005-01

Firm returns from the grave a profit

Imagine Perry Mason confronting a wife who has bumped off her husband for the insurance money. “He was worth more to you dead than alive, wasn’t he?” Durham’s Volumetrics Medical Imaging Inc. is like that. It was buried in February 2001, but thanks to a lawsuit, it’s worth more than ever.
2005-01

For whom Bell tolls

In a conference room at his company’s headquarters, a gray-haired man whose 59-year-old physique is beginning to assume the contours of a pear fishes in his pocket for a crumpled Burger King receipt. He points with pride to the senior-citizen discount on his lunch. “I was glad to get that 47 cents.”
2005-01

Former Burlington CFO thinks Red Hat fits him

Charles Peters traded old-line for high-tech. But the transition from chief financial officer of Burlington Industries — now part of Greensboro-based International Textile Group — to CFO of Raleigh-based Red Hat Inc. isn’t his biggest challenge.
2005-01

Fruit of the loam

In 1524, explorer Giovanni da Verrazano wrote in his log that the grapes he found growing along the Cape Fear River “without doubt would yield excellent wines.” A Tar Heel wine industry flourished from Colonial times, and from 1840 until the state voted itself dry in 1909, North Carolina led the nation in wine production.
2005-01

Harris sinks more than money in Saks project

Most Charlotteans who live around Quail Hollow Country Club know their Saks from a hole in the ground. In a tale with twists befitting a store that once hoped to sell them $2,000 Louis Vuitton handbags, they thought they were getting the former. They got the latter instead.
2005-01

High schools need to get down to business

Braggarts across North Carolina are trumpeting rising test scores as proof of how great the state’s public schools are. It ain’t bragging if you can do it, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dizzy Dean opined. But is the state really doing it?
2005-01

Legal Elite - Antitrust

In 1999, other tobacco companies sued New York-based Philip Morris USA for antitrust violations, claiming its cigarette marketing squelched competition. At stake were hundreds of millions of dollars — and the way tobacco companies do retail merchandising, according to Joe Murillo, Philip Morris’ vice president and associate general counsel.
2005-01

Legal Elite - Bankruptcy

Occasionally someone will stop Dick Hutson on the street, grab his hand and shake it — and maybe get a little emotional. Going through bankruptcy will do that to you. “They’ll say, ‘I want to thank you for the Chapter 13 program. It saved my marriage or my job,’ or ‘It really helped me through a bad time.’ To me, that’s the most satisfying part.”
2005-01

Legal Elite - Business Law

The first thing you notice is the name — J. Norfleet Pruden III. It evokes thoughts of Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. And though Pruden moves among the most complicated nuances of business law instead of defending human rights, his peers say he manages it with Finch’s gentlemanly nature and knack for putting all sides at ease.
2005-01

Legal Elite - Construction

Growing up outside Chicago, Jeffrey Davis was scolded plenty of times by his parents for quarreling with his younger sisters. His argumentative nature, they told him, would serve him well in a career as a lawyer. While he grew up to be a lawyer, that personality trait is exactly the one that Davis admits he has had to keep in check. The combative little boy has grown up to be a leader among professional negotiators in solving problems where everyone leaves with some sense of victory.
2005-01

Legal Elite - Corporate

As a fourth-year associate at a Buffalo, N.Y., law firm, Doug Edwards represented a bank in a series of Chapter 12 bankruptcy hearings involving dairy farms. He had to inspect the value of the farms’ collateral — in this case, cows. “We had court in the morning and then met out at the farm to look at the state of the cows and equipment. I had boots on but stepped mid-thigh into a hole filled with a combination of mud and cow manure. I had to get rid of my suit because I couldn’t get the cow-manure stains out.”
2005-01

Legal Elite - Criminal

More than three years have passed, but James Wyatt remembers the case clearly. He had been appointed to defend Samuel Mahatha, charged with shooting and killing a sheriff’s deputy outside a grocery store in Charlotte in 1998. The jury found Wyatt’s client guilty after 25 minutes of deliberation. That’s because he was guilty. The only issue in the case, Wyatt says, was whether Mahatha would get the death penalty.
2005-01

Legal Elite - Employment

About 20 years ago, Mike Okun was arguing a labor-law case in federal court in Raleigh. One day, he brought a colleague from his firm’s Greensboro office. He still recalls how deferential the judge became when Jonathan Harkavy walked in. “The federal judge went out of his way to say, ‘We want to hear what Mr. Harkavy has to say.’ There are lots of lawyers on both sides of cases but not many who command this sort of universal respect that he does.”
2005-01

Legal Elite - Environmental

Outside George House’s big office window, 20 floors above downtown Greensboro, a gray mist heralds a dying storm’s approach. Inside, Hurricane George already has taken his toll. Papers cover his desk. Brown folders cover a nearby table. He has to walk between boxes of documents to get to his desk chair. “It’s a hazardous dump — that’s what my friends say.”
2005-01

Legal Elite - Litigation

Do not watch Law and Order with Gary Parsons. He will pick apart the hit show’s courtroom procedures, criticize the cross-examinations and point out things real lawyers would never get away with. “People think as a trial lawyer you walk into a courtroom with a thin briefcase, flip it up and talk off the top of your head. That is not the way it works.”
2005-01

Legal Elite - Patents

Belmont Textile Machinery was at one end of the spectrum. When Jeff Rhyne, president of the Mount Holly company, discovered that French competitor Superba had developed a machine nearly identical to his to dye carpet yarn, more than company pride was at stake. “Innovation is our lifeline. We have to always be on the offensive and use patents to keep our edge.”
2005-01