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It is no secret that we have entered a very tough credit environment. Even though the Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates to try to stimulate the economy and encourage banks to make loans, it is a difficult environment. Banks also are tightening the terms of existing relationships.

The law firm of Wall Esleeck Babcock LLP will host a visit to Winston‐Salem by Sweden’s Ambassador to the United States, Jonas Hafström, in early May. Ambassador Hafström is scheduled to be in the Triad May 1‐2 and will attend a number of business development and private functions, most of them in Winston‐Salem.

When James Wall, Robert Esleeck and John Babcock began their law careers more than 20 years ago, they saw themselves as businessmen as well as lawyers. Trials and briefs aside, each played some part in managing their firms and operating the business.

Jim Wall, a partner at the law firm of Wall Esleeck Babcock LLP in Winston‐Salem, recently spoke to the Winston‐Salem Medical Managers Meeting. Wall’s topic was “Eight Ways to Make Sure the Medical Board Visits Your Practice.”

John Babcock, a partner at the law firm of Wall Esleeck Babcock LLP in Winston‐Salem, has been named one of North Carolina’s 2008 “Super Lawyers” by his peers. Super Lawyers is an annual listing of outstanding attorneys who have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Three attorneys – John W. Babcock, Robert E. Esleeck and James D. Wall – of the law firm of Wall Esleeck Babcock LLP, have been included in The Best Lawyers in America 2008. Published since 1983, The Best Lawyers in America is widely regarded as the preeminent referral guide to the legal profession in the United States.

In a recent case decided by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Carolina Pride Carwash v. Kendrick, a covenant not to compete was invalidated for having an overbroad geographic restriction. While the case did not involve a health care provider, it is instructive on how courts in our state view covenants against competition, which are prevalent in physician employment agreements.

What started as a little more than a trickle about a year ago with suits filed by uninsured plaintiffs against non-profit hospitals has matured into a steady flow of actions nationwide. While the suits allege multiple causes of action, the core of the actions is based on theories of liability resulting from the hospitals’ status as a non-profit entity under the Internal Revenue Code. 26 U.S.C § 501(c)(3) (2003).


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