AN ACT TO MODERNIZE THE BUSINESS COURT BY MAKING TECHNICAL, CLARIFYING, AND ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES TO THE PROCEDURES FOR COMPLEX BUSINESS CASES, TO STREAMLINE THE PROCESS OF CORPORATE REORGANIZATION UTILIZING HOLDING COMPANIES, AND TO ESTABLISH A BUSINESS COURT MODERNIZATION SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.
Conference report makes the following changes to the 5th edition.
Amends GS 7A-45.3 to exempt an order effecting a settlement agreement or a jury verdict in a complex business case from having to be issued by the presiding Business Court Judge.
Amends GS 7A-45.4 to remove disputes involving unfair competition law from the list of actions which any party may designate as a mandatory complex business case. Deletes the exception to designating disputes that involve enforcing a noncompetition or nonsolicitation covenant against an individual employee as a mandatory complex business case.Deletes requirement that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court upon receiving a Notice of Designation, via email, from the party designating an action as a mandatory complex business case assign the action to a specific Business Court Judge. Allows a party who opposes the designation of an action as a mandatory complex business case to appeal in accordance with GS 7A-27(a) but deletes the option of appealing the designation under the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure applicable to civil cases. Makes clarifying changes to subsection (g) of GS 7A-45.4 to provide that if an action required to be designated as a mandatory complex business case under subsection (b) of this section is not designated as such, then the Superior Court, where the action has been filed, must enter an order on its own motion to stay the action until it has been designated as a mandatory complex business case by the party required to make that designation in accordance with subsection (b) of this section. Rewrites subsection (h), which provides that nothing in GS 7A-45.4 is intended to allow personal injury actions under tort law to be designated as mandatory complex business cases, to additionally provide that nothing in this section is intended to confer, enlarge, or diminish the subject matter jurisdiction of any court.
Amends GS 7A-305 to to clarify that if a case is designated as a mandatory complex business case under GS 7A-45.4, the party filing the designation must pay an additional $1,100 when the case is assigned to a Business Court Judge. Provides that if a case is designated as a mandatory complex business case under Rule 2.1 and Rule 2.2 of the General Rules of Practice for the Superior and District Courts,the plaintiff must pay an additional $1,100 when the case is assigned to a Business Court Judge. States that the payments go to the support of the General Court of Justice.
Deletes proposed GS 55-7-50, which provided that exclusive forum or venue provisions in acorporation'sbylaws or articles of incorporation for litigation relating to theinternal affairs of the corporation were valid and enforceable.
Amends GS 1A-1, Rule 8(a)(2), to require that in all actions involving a material issue related to any of the subjects listed in subdivisions (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (8) of GS 7A-45.4(a), the pleading must state whether or not relief is demanded for damages incurred or to be incurred in an amount equal to or exceeding $5 million. Effective when the section becomes law and applies to all actions begun on or after thatdate.
Alsodeletesprovisions of Section 8 of this act, which established an 18-member WorkingGroup on Judicial Efficiency and Business Court Modernization. Instead, rewrites Section 8 to create a Subcommittee on Business Court Modernization (Subcommittee) within the Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee (Committee).
Requires that the Subcommittee have a minimum of six members, with an equal number of Senate and House members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate (President Pro Tem) and the Speaker of the House (Speaker) from among their respective chambers' membership on the Committee. Directs the Speaker and the President Pro Tem to each select one member to serve as co-chairs of the Subcommittee. Provides that the Subcommittee may study the implementation of this act, its efforts to modernize complex business cases, and legislative improvement to the operations and management of the General Court of Justice. Addresses the organization and functions of the Subcommittee, including access to clerical services and covering the expenses of the Subcommittee. Provides that the Subcommittee may submit an interim report on the results of its study, including any proposed legislation, to the Committee at any time. Requires the Subcommittee to submit its final report on its results, including any proposed legislation, to the Committee before the convening of the 2015 General Assembly. Directs the Committee to submit a final report of its findings and recommendations to the 2015 General Assembly by filing the report with the President Pro Tem, the Speaker, and the Legislative Library. Requires that the Subcommittee terminate either upon the convening of the 2015 General Assembly or the filing of its final report with the Committee, whichever comes first.
Except as otherwise indicated, the effective dates for the provisions of this act remain the same.
Makes conforming changes to the title of this act to reflect the amended content.
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