Lexis-Nexis v. Travishan Corp., No. COA01-1247.

Docket NºNo. COA01-1247.
Citation573 S.E.2d 547, 155 NC App. 205
Case DateDecember 31, 2002
CourtCourt of Appeal of North Carolina (US)

573 S.E.2d 547
155 NC App.
205

LEXIS-NEXIS, Division of Reed Elsevier, Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
TRAVISHAN CORPORATION, Defendant

No. COA01-1247.

Court of Appeals of North Carolina.

December 31, 2002.


Smith, Debnam, Narron, Wyche, Story & Myers, by Gerald H. Groon, Jr., and Matthew E. Roehm, Raleigh, for plaintiff cross-appellant.

Florence Amelia Smith, CEO, President, Chairman of the Board of Travishan Corporation, Price, UT, for defendant cross-appellee.

CAMPBELL, Judge.

Plaintiff appeals from an order entered 5 June 2000 by Judge Craig Croom ("Judge

573 S.E.2d 548
Croom") in Wake County District Court permitting defendant, TRaviSHan Corporation, to be represented pro se by its CEO, President, Chairman of the Board and sole shareholder, Ms. Florence Amelia Smith ("Ms. Smith"). Defendant appeals from an order entered 11 May 2001 by Judge Donald W. Stephens in Wake County Superior Court dismissing defendant's counterclaim

Plaintiff filed a complaint against defendant on 13 October 1998 for breach of contract seeking damages in the amount of $2,922.26 plus interest. Ms. Smith filed an answer and counterclaim on behalf of defendant on 7 April 1999. Plaintiff filed a reply denying the allegations in the counterclaim on 7 June 1999. Thereafter, plaintiff filed an amended complaint and defendant filed an amended answer.

Plaintiff filed a motion to strike defendant's answer and counterclaim asserting that Ms. Smith's pro se representation of defendant violated N.C. Gen.Stat. § 84-5, which provides that a corporation may not practice law in North Carolina. Defendant answered this assertion with a motion to permit the appearance of Ms. Smith on behalf of defendant, citing the constitutions of both United States and North Carolina. Pursuant to Canon 3(A)(4) of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which provides that a judge may obtain the advice of a disinterested expert on the law applicable to a proceeding before him," Judge Croom sought advice from the North Carolina State Bar. A deputy counsel, assigned to answer inquiries regarding the unauthorized practice of law, advised Judge Croom that, in the State Bar's opinion, Ms. Smith's appearance on behalf of defendant would not constitute unauthorized practice of law because an owner and officer of a corporation may represent her company to the same extent as an individual pro se party. Thereupon, Judge Croom issued an order denying plaintiff's motion to strike and permitting Ms. Smith's representation of defendant.

Plaintiff filed a reply to defendant's amended answer and counterclaim that included a request for a written statement of monetary relief and a motion to transfer to Superior Court. The motion to transfer to Superior Court was permitted on 5 September 2000. Plaintiff then filed a motion to dismiss defendant's counterclaim, which was granted on 14 February 2001, nunc pro tunc 15 December 2000. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its claim on 1 March 2001. Defendant filed multiple motions for rehearing. Judge Stephens entered, on 11 May 2001, an order reaffirming the prior dismissal.

Defendant appealed from the Superior Court order dismissing her counterclaim, and plaintiff cross-appealed the District Court order permitting Ms. Smith to represent defendant.

Appellate "[r]eview is limited to questions so presented in the several briefs. Questions raised by assignments of error in appeals from trial tribunals but not then presented and discussed in a party's brief, are deemed abandoned." N.C. R.App. P. 28(a) (2001). The Court may, however, in its discretion,...

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49 practice notes
  • Capital Associated Indus., Inc. v. Stein, No. 17-2218
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • April 19, 2019
    ...540, 544 (1936) ; State v. Williams , 186 N.C.App. 233, 650 S.E.2d 607, 611 (2007) ; Lexis-Nexis v. Travishan Corp. , 155 N.C.App. 205, 573 S.E.2d 547, 549 (2002) ; Duke Power Co. v. Daniels , 86 N.C.App. 469, 358 S.E.2d 87, 89 (N.C. Ct. App. 1987) ; N.C. State Bar v. Lienguard, Inc. , No. ......
  • Morgan v. Turn-Pro Maintenance Services, LLC, 18 CVS 1905
    • United States
    • North Carolina Superior Courts of Law and Equity of North Carolina
    • January 15, 2020
    ...under well-established North Carolina law. See, e.g., LexisNexis, Div. of Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Travishan Corp., 155 N.C.App. 205, 209, 573 S.E.2d 547, 549 (2002) (holding "a corporation must be represented by a duly admitted and licensed attorney-at-law and cannot proceed pro se"); see al......
  • Willow Bend Homeowners v. Robinson, No. COA07-1290.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeal of North Carolina (US)
    • September 2, 2008
    ...by a licensed attorney and cannot represent itself in a legal proceeding. See Lexis-Nexis v. Travishan Corp., 155 N.C.App. 205, 207-09, 573 S.E.2d 547, 549 (2002). If a homeowners' association were unable to employ an attorney to defend against outside claims, the association and its member......
  • Bodie Island Beach Club Ass'n Inc. v. Wray, No. COA10–1569.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeal of North Carolina (US)
    • September 6, 2011
    ...of the law, specifically the trial court's incomplete understanding and reliance on Lexis–Nexis v. Travishan Corp., 155 N.C.App. 205, 573 S.E.2d 547 (2002). SRS asserts that the trial court erred by concluding that “where a corporation attempts to appear through a non-attorney, the corporat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
49 cases
  • Capital Associated Indus., Inc. v. Stein, No. 17-2218
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • April 19, 2019
    ...540, 544 (1936) ; State v. Williams , 186 N.C.App. 233, 650 S.E.2d 607, 611 (2007) ; Lexis-Nexis v. Travishan Corp. , 155 N.C.App. 205, 573 S.E.2d 547, 549 (2002) ; Duke Power Co. v. Daniels , 86 N.C.App. 469, 358 S.E.2d 87, 89 (N.C. Ct. App. 1987) ; N.C. State Bar v. Lienguard, Inc. , No. ......
  • Morgan v. Turn-Pro Maintenance Services, LLC, 18 CVS 1905
    • United States
    • North Carolina Superior Courts of Law and Equity of North Carolina
    • January 15, 2020
    ...under well-established North Carolina law. See, e.g., LexisNexis, Div. of Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Travishan Corp., 155 N.C.App. 205, 209, 573 S.E.2d 547, 549 (2002) (holding "a corporation must be represented by a duly admitted and licensed attorney-at-law and cannot proceed pro se"); see al......
  • Willow Bend Homeowners v. Robinson, No. COA07-1290.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeal of North Carolina (US)
    • September 2, 2008
    ...by a licensed attorney and cannot represent itself in a legal proceeding. See Lexis-Nexis v. Travishan Corp., 155 N.C.App. 205, 207-09, 573 S.E.2d 547, 549 (2002). If a homeowners' association were unable to employ an attorney to defend against outside claims, the association and its member......
  • Bodie Island Beach Club Ass'n Inc. v. Wray, No. COA10–1569.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeal of North Carolina (US)
    • September 6, 2011
    ...of the law, specifically the trial court's incomplete understanding and reliance on Lexis–Nexis v. Travishan Corp., 155 N.C.App. 205, 573 S.E.2d 547 (2002). SRS asserts that the trial court erred by concluding that “where a corporation attempts to appear through a non-attorney, the corporat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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