Charles Coble handles complex business litigation and appeals across a range of courts and jurisdictions. He has represented businesses and individuals in a wide variety of matters at the trial and appellate levels, including bet-the-company litigation, franchise disputes, intellectual property matters, and class actions.
Charles has handled numerous complex business litigation cases in federal court and the North Carolina Business Court. His experience includes cases involving significant contract disputes, allegation of fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices, complex agreements between large companies and governments (including the multi-billion-dollar Master Settlement Agreement between 52 US States and territories and tobacco company signatories), franchise issues and the ownership and licensing of copyrights and trademarks. He has also advised clients on internal investigations on a range of issues, including investigations for public companies.
Charles has practiced in every level of courtroom, from North Carolina’s small claims and district courts to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is certified by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Board Certified Specialist in appellate practice, a certification that requires significant experience briefing and arguing matters on appeal, a robust peer review, and successfully passing a written exam. He is one of fewer than 40 attorneys in North Carolina to have obtained this certification. Charles has been involved in over 25 appeals, arguing cases in the Fourth Circuit, North Carolina Supreme Court, and North Carolina Court of Appeals, and he brings that extensive experience of the appellate court system and its rules and procedures to bear for the Firm's clients.
He is proficient in German.
Representative Cases with Published or Reported Decisions
- News and Observer et al. v. Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. Represented local and national newspapers in federal case concerning placement of newsracks in airport terminal buildings. District Court entered judgment in favor of newspapers, along with an award of attorneys’ fees, both of which were affirmed by U.S. Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit. Published decisions at 597 F.3d 570 (4th Cir. 2010) and 588 F. Supp. 2d. 653 (E.D.N.C. 2008).
- Beaufort County Board of Education v. Beaufort County Board of Commissioners. Represented local television station in challenge to gag order entered by trial court in high profile trial. On appeal, North Carolina Court of Appeals struck gag order as unconstitutional and admonished trial judge. Published decision at 184 N.C. App. 110 (2007).
- Corr Services, Inc. v. Davidson County. Represented small business in lawsuit against county over services contract. North Carolina Business Court entered summary judgment in favor of small business. Reported decision at 2004 NCBC 6, 2004 WL 2413420 (N.C. Super. Ct. Sept. 30, 2004).
- SEANC v. N.C. Department of Treasury. Represented broadcast and press associations as amici curiae in public records dispute. Was allowed argument time before North Carolina Supreme Court, which reversed decision of North Carolina Court of Appeals as urged by amici curiae. Published decision at 364 N.C. 205 (2010).
- Dutcher v. Eastburn. Represented publisher and author in libel case removed to federal court. District Court entered order dismissing case for lack of personal jurisdiction. Reported decision at 39 Media Law Reporter 1605, 2011 WL 1134666 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 26, 2011).
- Kirkman v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. Represented defendant in putative class action pending in federal court. District Court denied class certification and entered summary judgment for defendant. Published decision at 220 F.R.D. 49 (M.D.N.C. 2004) and reported decision at 2006 WL 544303 (M.D.N.C. Mar. 6, 2003).