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Meiselman v. Meiselman

Supreme Court of North Carolina
309 N.C. 279, 307 S.E.2d 551 (N.C. 1983)


Facts

H.B. Meiselman owned several corporations. H.B. passed ownership of these corporations to his sons, Michael Meiselman (plaintiff) and Ira Meiselman (defendant). On religious grounds, H.B. objected to Michael's conduct and gave the majority of the corporate shares to Ira. Both Michael and Ira worked for family-owned close corporations. Ira was also the sole owner of a company he hired to manage the family corporations, diverting profits from those corporations to the management company. This reduced Michael's profits. Michael sued Ira for breach of fiduciary duty and sought two equitable remedies. Ira then terminated Michael's corporate employment and benefits. Trial evidence suggested the brothers' relationship was acrimonious and that Ira permitted Michael a minimal voice in family corporate affairs. The trial judge denied equitable relief, finding Michael failed to show that Ira egregiously abused or took unfair advantage of him. Michael appealed to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial judge, granting one of the remedies Michael sought and remanding the case for a new hearing on the other remedy. The court of appeals judgment was not unanimous, so Ira and the family corporations were automatically entitled to appeal to the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Frye, J.)

Concurrence (Martin, J.)

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