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Heath v. Craighill, Rendleman, Ingle & Blythe, P.A.

North Carolina Court of Appeals
388 S.E.2d 178 (1990)


Facts

Francis Clarkson and other attorneys at Craighill, Rendleman, Ingle & Blythe, P.A. (defendant) performed various legal services for Lee Heath (plaintiff). Clarkson made a series of recommendations of investments in various oil deals to Heath, promising at least a two-to-one return. Heath made the investments in exchange for promissory notes from Clarkson representing Clarkson’s promised rate of return. For example, Heath’s first investment was for $25,000, and Clarkson gave him a promissory note for $50,000. Around the same time, Clarkson resigned from Craighill. After the promissory notes became due, Clarkson wrote personal checks to Heath to cover the amounts. The checks bounced. Heath brought suit against Craighill, seeking to impose liability for his loss on Clarkson’s former law firm. Craighill’s charter did not provide for the firm’s handling of investments of its clients; the charter was limited to the provision of legal services. The jury returned a verdict for Heath. The trial court granted Craighill’s judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Heath appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Cozart, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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