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PROFESSIONALS OTHER CONTENT
     

Litigation

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Litigators

McNair litigators are accomplished legal tacticians with strong track records of success. Our litigators work aggressively and efficiently to satisfy our clients’ needs with a quick turnaround and forward-thinking approach. This serves our clients well in trial, as well as in arbitrations, mediations and all other manners of alternative dispute resolution.

We are a practice of solution-oriented litigators, with all of the credentials you would expect from a top trial firm. Amongst the team are a former Senior Superior Court Judge, a Fellow of the American Bar Association, a past South Carolina Assistant Attorney General and several attorneys ranked in The Best Lawyers in America. But our strongest credential is our commitment to the client in providing the best possible outcome. We view matters through the lens of our clients’ business objectives, drawing on the experience of our Firm across all major industry sectors. We focus on both the economics and efficiency of the result.

Our litigators have both the experience and resources to meet the complex litigation needs of large national and multinational corporations, as well as those of small to mid-sized companies and individuals, from pre-litigation negotiation through appeal. We recognize that today's litigation-prone business environment is a major cost challenge for our clients. That’s why getting results is our primary consideration. Whether it’s through litigation, arbitration, mediation or settlement, we pursue legal solutions that meet your business objectives.

Innovative negotiators, our litigation attorneys are skilled at devising distinctive approaches toward resolving clients' matters as early as possible. If careful pretrial preparation cannot resolve the dispute, we are advocates in court. Our litigators use the latest trial management and presentation techniques available but never as a substitute for the hard work, clear head and commitment needed to resolve disputes successfully.

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Litigation can be a necessary part of the bankruptcy process, and our lawyers are accomplished at representing clients in all the points of contention that come before the bankruptcy courts. We act on your behalf in fraudulent conveyances and preferences, valuation disputes, claim objections and disputes over violation of the preference period and automatic stay.

We have also handled cases where developing the litigation strategy was essential to preserving business interests. Although we are comfortable wearing the trial lawyer’s hat, we realize that the real goal in bankruptcy is not a courtroom victory—it’s getting paid if you’re a creditor, or staying in business if you’re a debtor. We take pride in knowing when to urge our clients to continue the fight, and when to settle advantageously and cost-effectively.

Example of our Services
One bankruptcy dispute involved a controversy over the validity of a ground lease. Our client, a multinational hospitality company, leased land for a resort development from one of the country’s largest pension trusts. The trust sought to void the lease by declaring bankruptcy – even though no debt and no creditors were involved – and arguing that, because our client allegedly had not properly recorded the lease, the lease should be set aside.

McNair argued that this was improper and unfair because it used the equitable power of the bankruptcy code as a sword rather than a shield, and because no creditors would benefit from the action. In the end, the court denied the debtor’s attempts to reject our client’s ground lease.

We handle a wide range of commercial disputes, including those that involve contracts, insurance coverage, partnership controversies, professional malpractice and violations of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). No matter what your commercial dispute resolution need is, you get a personal commitment that puts an experienced McNair partner in the courtroom. Your commercial dispute will receive the same kind of commitment and attention, no matter what the stakes or points at issue.

Example of our Services
McNair is outside general counsel to a chemical manufacturer in a wide range of commercial disputes. In one complex trade secrets matter, we effectively represented our client’s interests in North Carolina and in Belgium against its European distributor.

Because of their complexity, even the best-planned construction projects can require dispute resolution upon completion. McNair lawyers work to avoid or resolve issues that can lead to litigation, and frequently apply our substantial experience in the mediation and arbitration of disputes involving claims over cost, design error and project management. We add value to the litigation process by involving colleagues with experience in governmental relations, environmental and insurance law, intellectual property and labor relations – so you aren’t put at a disadvantage by a narrow focus only on immediate issues.

Example of our Services
McNair defended a manufacturer of soil anchors used to secure mobile homes in a class action lawsuit that was heard by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Not only did we win summary judgment for our client, we also subsequently secured partial coverage for some damages and attorneys’ fees from the client’s insurer.

Estate and trust controversies are always highly sensitive and often complex. We represent you at trial and in negotiation, often using our knowledge of effective tax and business planning to craft the best solutions. We have resolved a variety of will and trust contests (including contested bequests and charitable pledge disputes), up to and including at the state supreme court level. When necessary, we will work to resolve tax disputes with state and federal tax authorities.

Example of our Services
A will is the centerpiece of an estate plan, and if the terms of a will are contested, McNair lawyers will effectively defend them in court. In one instance, we argued and won a case before the North Carolina Supreme Court in which multiple family member plaintiffs challenged the language of the will. We presented to the Court what we held to be the proper interpretation of language that defined how much each beneficiary would receive, and the Court agreed – thus ensuring that our client received the intended benefit.

Any health care provider could face allegations of fraud and abuse under federal and state laws regulating kickbacks and physician self-referral, as well as Medicare and Medicaid billing and reimbursement rules. We give you informed guidance on how to structure litigation defenses to deal with government actions. If you face False Claims Act controversies, you can confidently turn to us knowing that we have represented providers in administrative proceedings and trials.

McNair also defends health care providers and provider organizations against claims alleging malpractice, wrongful death and patient abuse. We represent hospitals and large hospital systems, long-term care providers, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, physician organizations and other health care providers in trial and appellate proceedings arising out of allegations of medical negligence. We understand that the elements of a negligence lawsuit—duty of care, breach of duty, injury—aim at the heart of a health care professional’s skill, commitment and reputation.

Example of our Services
McNair has tried dozens of such cases to verdict, defending not only providers but also medical device companies that face product liability litigation over such critical care tools as needles and syringes. Our malpractice and liability lawyers know the standard of care requirements that courts expect, and are skilled at identifying expert witnesses who effectively support our clients’ defense.

No matter what the court or forum, McNair has the capabilities to protect your intellectual assets from infringers and to assert your competitive rights when other companies have not followed effective protection strategies. We have represented IP clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board, and the Patent Office Board of Appeals.

Our definition of winning in IP litigation is to achieve your business objectives, whether the issue involves patent, trademark or copyright infringement, trade secrets misappropriation, cybersquatting and domain name rights, or software development contracts.

Example of our Services
For more than 50 years, competing companies had made replacement parts for the military aircraft produced by a global aerospace client. We reviewed the competitive issues and concluded that our client’s unique parts numbering system could be trademarked, thus requiring other parts manufacturers to use the parts numbers and pay royalties to our client. It took 18 months of complex litigation and mediation among all the parties, but we secured a consent agreement that required all parts manufacturers to use the numbering system, creating a significant new income stream for our client.

Labor and employment litigation often involves time pressure. Issues like sexual harassment and workplace violence demand immediate attention, and we provide it. Any protected class of your employees – by age, race, gender, disability, religion – could bring suit under the discrimination statutes, and we have successfully litigated and resolved all types of discrimination matters.

We have also represented many employers in complaint investigations by such state and federal agencies as the United States Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Employers increasingly face lawsuits claiming back pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime pay exemptions, and we work to make sure your employees are properly classified while mounting a defense against any claims.

Our lawyers handle time-sensitive injunctions and restraining orders that often involve partnership agreements or non-compete agreements, and we have defended the interests of employers on all sides of such controversies. There are also plenty of other workplace controversies that our lawyers help resolve. Your company might face tort allegations involving everything from workplace defamation to infliction of emotional distress. In these and many other controversies, we’ll defend you in administrative forums and in state or federal court.

Example of our Services
Our client’s business partner ,who had responsibility for day-to-day operations of the business, tried to buy out our client's 51% ownership interest for substantially less than its actual value. She refused to acquiesce, and sought McNair’s help. We brought suit on her behalf, alleging breach of duty and loyalty against the other partner. The judgment that we won in favor of our client was the first ever secured on these grounds in South Carolina, and it resulted in a damages award four times larger than the revenues of the business.

McNair’s trial lawyers have represented clients in arbitration and mediation, and are advocates on your behalf in presentations to arbitrators and in negotiations with the help of a mediator. Within our practice are lawyers whom are certified arbitrators and mediators and have appeared in proceedings of the American Arbitration Association and the International Chamber of Commerce. In addition to formal proceedings, we have also conducted mediations at every stage of litigation – before, during and after trial, and on appeal. Disputes in which we pursue ADR involve professional malpractice, personal injury, commercial claims, construction disputes and securities claims, among many other controversies.

Example of our Services
Our client was being sued along with other companies as a principally responsible party for a Superfund site, and we entered into a three-day mediation to resolve the issue. Our client originally offered to pay a seven-figure contribution to the cleanup costs. As the result of our negotiation the client received a settlement that was almost as large, used it to pay cleanup costs – and got to keep its share of the property.

We defend a variety of product liability matters. If your company is faced with damage claims alleging injury from design or manufacturing defects, failure to warn, product misuse and hazardous exposure, look to us to develop the best defense on scientific, technical and legal grounds. Our lawyers understand the complex business and legal issues presented by these cases, and will defend you against appeals by plaintiffs’ lawyers, and their reliance on emotion and bad science.

Example of our Services
In a case that was a cover story in South Carolina Lawyer’s Weekly, McNair successfully appealed a multi-million dollar products liability verdict brought against a small manufacturer of airplane parts in the crash of a crop dusting plane. McNair was hired after the adverse verdict and secured a reversal of the verdict by employing a never-before used application of the court’s rules. McNair then obtained dismissal of the claim by demonstrating that our client’s products were not responsible for the crash.

We understand all the professional liability issues that face health care professionals, accountants, lawyers, broker/dealers, architects, engineers, insurance agents and bankers including insurance liability and ethics concerns. If we can resolve the dispute you face through arbitration or mediation, we’ll compose a settlement that’s advantageous to you. If it’s necessary to go to court, we are defenders of architects and engineers (in delay claims, malpractice allegations, design disputes and wrongful death claims), lawyers (allegations from malpractice to criminal tax fraud), physicians and health care professionals (malpractice) and securities broker/dealers (allegations of churning, inappropriate risk and fraud).

Many clients seek our help when faced with an audit by the Internal Revenue Service or state or local tax authorities. You will get a defense in audit disputes and administrative hearings before the IRS and other taxing authorities, thanks to an approach that combines a willingness to litigate with the skill to work out a negotiated settlement.

Our state tax practice in South Carolina handles audits, appeals and criminal tax investigations. If litigation is necessary, particularly in U.S. Tax Court or other federal courts, the focus shifts to resolving the most significant issues. You get the benefit of our thorough familiarity with the procedures of the IRS and other authorities to reduce penalties, advise on IRS demands for documents and challenge administrative summonses.

Example of our Services
McNair successfully represented a major food retailer in precedent-setting tax litigation involving ERISA provisions. A decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the gross misconduct exemption to offering COBRA benefits coverage by defining the 15-day plan administrator and 30-day employee time requirements. The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the case; therefore the Fourth Circuit decision remained in place.