2006-01

Article Title Issue

2006 Legal Elite

After weighing their opinions, lawyers elected these as the state's best in 12 business-related specialties.Each year, Business North Carolina sets out to answer a simple question: Who are the best business lawyers in the state? No one knows the answer to that better than Tar Heel lawyers themselves. So the magazine mailed 17,336 ballots last spring — one to every lawyer licensed by the State Bar and living in North Carolina.

2006-01

Athwart torts

Why the case politicians and special-interest groups make that lawsuits are crippling the economy doesn’t stand up.
2006-01

Counties stray from straight and narrow

Sometimes it’s best to take a hard-line approach. That’s what Alamance and Guilford counties haven’t done in administering the boundary between them set in 1771. It looks straight on most maps.
2006-01

Furniture factory didn't know what it was missing

Johnny Cash once had a hit about a Detroit autoworker who for decades smuggled parts out of the plant in his lunchbox until he had enough to build his own Cadillac. That guy had nothing on eight former employees at Bassett Furniture Industries’ Mount Airy factory. They’re accused of taking thousands of pieces of finished furniture from their plant.
2006-01

Hot Stocks - A panel of pros compete in predicting whose picks will produce the most profit in the year to come.

A panel of pros compete in predicting whose picks will produce the most profit in the year to come.
2006-01

Lawyer gathered evidence against Iraqi war criminals

Think you’ve had a bad day at work? Well, your problems — late-paying customers, a crashed network, whatever — pale in comparison with dodging hostile fire and wearing a flak vest to meetings.
2006-01

Lawyers, guns and money

This Mover and Shaker of the Year, unlike last year’s, isn’t a lawyer even though he’s featured in an issue of the magazine riddled with them. But he did once work for one so deft that his parry of an adversary’s legal lunge still leaves minds agoggle. Who could ever forget: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

2006-01

Legal Elite - Antitrust

Whenever he can get away, Everett Bowman grabs a canoe and paddle. He spends many weekends slashing through the white waters of the Ocoee, French Broad or Nantahala rivers. The scenery is lovely, the outdoor air invigorating, but what really excites him is working the currents. “If you line up the right way on a riffle or wave, you can ferry yourself across the river with a minimum of strokes, maybe one or two,” he says. The best part is “when you can use the water to help you do what you want to do.”
2006-01

Legal Elite - Bankruptcy

Ask Rick Rayburn to talk about his legal career and he redirects the conversation to a discussion of the 2006 U.S. House of Representatives race. When he walks into his office and the receptionist asks about his weekend, he deftly turns the conversation back to her new puppy, whose name he remembers.
2006-01

Legal Elite - Business Law

Carolina Power & Light had avoided major acquisitions until it decided in 1999 to merge with St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Florida Progress. It was a complex, $5.3 billion deal. CP&L needed a sharp lawyer to get due diligence done right — and quickly — so it turned to William Flynn.

2006-01

Legal Elite - Construction

As a young lawyer, John Shaw imagined himself a swashbuckling courtroom litigator handling high-profile criminal cases. The trouble was, he didn’t like his clients, and he didn’t like losing. He settled into a civil practice focusing on construction law, a specialty that keeps him so far out of the limelight that, unless you know the building industry, you might never hear about him. In fact, his goal now is to avoid the courtroom altogether.
2006-01

Legal Elite - Corporate

Stephen Coss is the top lawyer in an automotive empire where he could buy practically any car at a discount. So what does he drive? A light-blue 2002 Toyota Camry.
2006-01

Legal Elite - Criminal

After David Freedman finished law school, he did what he’d been dreaming of since age 12. He hung a shingle on an office in Winston-Salem as a criminal-defense lawyer. The first month, business was lean, so he spent more time at the YMCA than at the office. “I’d go to the office and check the answering service, and if there were no calls, I’d go back to the Y and play more basketball.” Now a partner at White and Crumpler in Winston-Salem, his phone rings plenty.
2006-01

Legal Elite - Employment

Being a lawyer wasn’t Patricia Holland’s first choice. She wanted to nab criminals the way characters on The FBI television show did. As a kid, the Raleigh native plastered the walls of rooms with the latest circulars of bad guys on the G-men’s most-wanted list. “My poor parents put up with my obsession.”
2006-01

Legal Elite - Environmental

Should you meet or get a phone call from Bill Dannelly, be warned: He might sing “Good morning to you/Good morning to you” to the tune of Happy Birthday. “It’s amazing how you can start a good conversation with somebody,” he says, “by greeting them with a little song.”
2006-01

Legal Elite - Litigation

Alleghany County cheered in 1993 when Sparta landed a Bristol Compressors plant and the jobs that came with it. The plant, which made air-conditioner compressors, opened two years later. But in 2002, battered by global competition, the Bristol, Va.-based company shuttered it.
2006-01

Legal Elite - Patents

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet;/So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,/Retain that dear perfection which he owes/Without that title.

He had been bitten by the acting bug in 1968, when he was 6 years old and growing up in Waco, Texas, where his father was a political-science professor at Baylor University. But by age 27, “I really just wanted to settle down and have a more stable life.” He decided to become a lawyer. “I thought I was going to be a labor attorney. I only took one course on trademarks.”
2006-01

Legal Elite - Real Estate

When Brent Torstrick negotiates leases for longtime client and mall developer Faison Enterprises, he doesn’t just offer legal advice. “His brain is an archive of past real-estate deals,” says Jensie Teague, senior managing director of Carolinas retail development for Faison. “Often if people say we can’t do something, Brent will say, ‘Well, you did it here before.’ It advances the negotiation so far so fast that he earns his fees within the first 15 minutes.”
2006-01

Legal Elite - Tax

Betty Quick tries to avoid conflict. After all, she grew up in the middle of it. She was born in Izmir, Turkey, after World War II and at age 15 moved to Athens, Greece, where she finished high school. “Tensions between Turkey and Greece were very high,” she says. “I can still recall when they would cut off flights from one country to the other — usually because of some dispute concerning Cyprus.” That often meant her father, a North Carolina native who worked in both countries as a buyer for Reynolds Tobacco, would be stranded in one country or the other. “Father would then have to fly to Yugoslavia to get back to Turkey.”
2006-01

Loan arranger faces down masked men

Self-Help Helps Itself. That was the headline on a study published by the Washington, D.C.-based Capital Research Center. It accuses Durham-based Self-Help Credit Union and its CEO, Martin Eakes, of making insider loans and understating credit risks.
2006-01