Sunday, April 21, 2024

Legal Elite – Intellectual Property 2014


Larry L. Coats

Coats & Bennett PLLC, Cary

I was raised on a tobacco farm. From an early age through the 10th grade, I worked it, growing and harvesting tobacco and tending livestock. My uncle operated a grocery store in the country, and during the latter part of high school, I worked for him during summers and after school. I pumped gas, waited on customers, stocked the shelves and swept the floor. The store included a butcher shop, and I became handy at cutting meat and making sausage.

Vita: Born Jan. 29, 1945, in Johnston County; bachelor’s degree from N.C. State University and law degree from UNC Chapel Hill; wife and one child.

Memorable case: Harry Dallas was a pump mechanic from Elizabethtown. While repairing a Warren Rupp pump, he conceived an improvement for it. Harry disclosed it at the request of the company, but Rupp rejected it. Later, however, the company realized its value and incorporated it in its pumps. My partner, David Bennett, and I tried the case. It was my second jury trial and David’s first. The jury returned a verdict of $1 million. On appeal, the 4th Circuit Court sustained liability but reversed on damages. David and I refocused the evidence of damages and, prior to retrial, the case was settled. It’s memorable for two reasons: The outcome was good for Mr. Dallas, and it also taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of having a credible damage theory and the evidence to support it.

Passion: Austin-Healeys.

Heroes: Fred Manley, my ag teacher in high school, had a huge impact on my life. He not only convinced me that I could attend college but that the means for doing so would be available. Then there is my mother. My father died in an automobile accident when I was 8. Under difficult circumstances, she was able to raise me and my two siblings.

Don’t ask him to: Keep my office neat.

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WINNER – Larry L. Coats, Coats & Bennett PLLC, Cary
Keith Agisim, Bank of America Corp., Charlotte
Corby C. Anderson,
Nexsen Pruet LLC, Charlotte
Julia C. Archer,
Enns & Archer LLP, Winston-Salem
Stephen S. Ashley Jr.,
Ashley Law Firm PC, Charlotte
David D. Beatty,
Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec PA, Raleigh
Zachary R. Bishop,
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh
Charles W. Calkins,
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Winston-Salem
Pamela S. Chestek,
Chestek Legal, Raleigh
Jeffrey W. Childers,
Ward and Smith PA, Raleigh
Jennifer L. Collins,
Morningstar Law Group, Morrisville
Richard A. Coughlin,
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro
Arthur J. DeBaugh,
Bell, Davis & Pitt PA, Winston-Salem
John M. Fuscoe,
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh
Steven Gardner,
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Winston-Salem
Kimberly B. Gatling,
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro
Joseph W. Grier III,
Grier Furr & Crisp PA, Charlotte
Arlene D. Hanks,
Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Morrisville
David A. Harlow,
Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh
Jack B. Hicks,
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Greensboro
Shawna C. Lemon,
Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec PA, Raleigh
James L. Lester,
MacCord Mason PLLC, Greensboro
Richard T. Matthews,
Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec PA, Raleigh
Justin R. Nifong,
NK Patent Law PLLC, Raleigh
John C. Nipp,
Additon, Higgins, Pendleton & Ashe PA, Charlotte
John Owen,
Coats & Bennett PLLC, Cary
Paul Pedigo,
Pedigo Law Firm PLLC, Charlotte
Julie H. Richardson,
Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec PA, Raleigh
Edward W. Rilee,
MacCord Mason PLLC, Greensboro
David Sar,
Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro
Jason M. Sneed,
Sneed PLLC, Davidson
Michael A. Springs,
Bank of America Corp., Charlotte
Maury M. Tepper III,
Tepper & Eyster PLLC, Raleigh
Steven N. Terranova,
Withrow & Terranova PLLC, Cary
Christopher M. Thomas,
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Raleigh
Michael Tobin,
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte
Robert C. Van Arnam,
Williams Mullen, Raleigh
Randall M. Whitmeyer,
Whitmeyer Tuffin PLLC, Raleigh
J. Mark Wilson,
Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte

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