State court lets a 2014 civil judgement against Greg Brannon stand

The February 2014 political earthquake that hit US Senate candidate Greg Brannon is still emitting aftershocks more than gregbrannontwo years later:

A state Court of Appeals panel on Tuesday let stand a jury decision finding congressional candidate Greg Brannon liable for making false and misleading statements while urging two people to invest in a now-defunct technology company.

A majority on the three-judge panel refused Brannon’s request of a new trial. He was directed in early 2014 to pay the two investors in the company, called Neogence Enterprises, more than $250,000 and another $132,000 in attorney fees and court costs arising from the civil case.

Since that trial, the Cary obstetrician and tea-party favored candidate has finished second in two Republican U.S. Senate primaries, including one three weeks ago won by Sen. Richard Burr. He quickly shifted to the 2nd Congressional District race, in which he’s competing against both Reps. George Holding and Renee Ellmers.

A third judge on the panel said Brannon deserves a new trial in part because Brannon’s co-defendant in the lawsuit, the company’s ex-CEO, was absolved of wronging by the same Wake County jury for providing similar information to at least one of the investors who sued.

The 2-1 decision means the state Supreme Court must take up any appeal, which Brannon said in a release he expects to ultimately prevail. The matter is unlikely to be resolved before the June 7 congressional primary.[…]

Here’s more about the decision by the appeals court: judge

[…] Brannon’s attorneys said their client was only repeating what the company’s chief sales officer had told them about a meeting. His lawyers also said the trial judge should have told jurors about a state law allowing company directors like Brannon to avoid liability if relying on the information of a company employee.

Judge Bob Hunter, writing for the majority, disagreed. He said Brannon waived that defense option, and even if he retained it, he was not soliciting investments based on a collective message approved by the company’s board.

“Brannon acted individually and touted securities based upon inside information,” Hunter wrote. Court of Appeals Judge Linda McGee agreed with Hunter.

In a mostly dissenting opinion, Judge John Tyson said jurors should have been instructed on the director liability law and wrote that it was unreasonable to require every communication a director has with a third party be approved by the board. Tyson also said the opposite jury verdicts for Brannon and Rice involving Piazza’s allegations were inconsistent.

“To deem Brannon’s statements to Piazza as ‘securities fraud,’ while acquitting Rice … is extreme, legally unsound, and patently illogical,” Tyson wrote. […] 

Of course, Brannon had a little something to say about the decision:

[…] Brannon, in a statement released by his political consultant, said the majority ruling “means our Court of Appeals judges are legally unsound and illogical, or politically motivated.” He said it also “puts the financial futures of everyone who sits on a board of directors in peril.”lawyerup

Attorney Steve Epstein, representing the two investors, wrote in an email it was incredible of Brannon to suggest there was a “political witch hunt against him.” Epstein said his clients were pleased with the majority’s decision and “will not end their quest for justice until Dr. Brannon finally pays back the money he wrongfully secured from them nearly six years ago.” Their awards, if upheld, are growing by 8 percent annually, by the trial’s order.[…] 

It sounds like this story is not close to being OVER.  (Lawyers gotta get paid. *CHA-CHING.*)

6 thoughts on “State court lets a 2014 civil judgement against Greg Brannon stand

  1. Interesting decision. I think of the case as simple fraud. The elements of Fraud is whether a person knowingly made a false statement to induce someone to invest. I would expect the jury received an instruction on fraud and decided the case accordingly. the dissent seems to think the jury didn’t understand the elements of the claim. It will be an interesting case for the Supreme Court, but that isn’t going to help Brannon in his Congressional campaign. Brannon mischaracterizes the vote to defund the Dept of homeland Security as an amnesty issue. Ellmers and Paul Ryan’s voted to protect us by funding the DHS. Brannon’s claim in his Senate campaign against Burr that the vote to fund DHS was amnesty vote is patently false. I’m inclined to believe Brannon was too loose with the facts in this securities case, and so was the jury.

    1. Your seem to get your misinformation either from the liberal media or from the cowardly liberal Obama Republicans. It is your own spin on this legislation, not the statements of Brannon, that are ”patently false”.

      The problem is refusal to use the power of the purse to stop Obama’s dictatorial decrees / executive orders. It is the scared little girls with their panties in a twist, the Obama Republicans – John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Renee Ellmers, Mitch McConnell, et al – who cower in a corner instead of fighting Obama who are ”loose with the facts”.

      Originally, conservatives demanded the logical step of refusing to fund the discretionary functions of the government to force Obama to his knees on the amnesty executive order. Boehner and Ryan backtracked on that to fund everything but DHS for the same purpose, but then, like the despicable surrender monkeys that they are, they caved on that one, too.

      The Obama Republicans – Boehner, Ryan, McConnell, and their lesser figures like Ellmers – sold us down the river. They threw away the only powerful lever we had to stop Obama’s lawlessness.

      Brannon was absolutely correct on what he had to say on this subject. It is the Obama Republicans who sold us out.

  2. Brannon, in a statement released by his political consultant, said the majority ruling “means our Court of Appeals judges are legally unsound and illogical, or politically motivated.”
    Wow, for someone running for office and seeking further appeal, not a wise statement. Just wondering is this brilliant political consultant Reilly O’Neill?

  3. Now will Brannon just go away. We don’t need people like him running for office. He is a fraud and has committed fraud.

    1. Brannon is the victim of legal malpractice. The co-defendants who took the stand and told their story were not held liable. Brannon’s attorney let him fail to take the stand, and the jury’s questions to the judge showed that was the likely reason they treated Brannon differently. The judge’s answer to the jury’s question also was not proper, and showed a political bias. Brannon’s attorney either failed to research the judge’s political background to discover that he was a Democrat contributor in the US Senate race or negligently failed to demand that this politically biased judge recuse himself from this case.

      There was talk online of an ethics complaint against the judge, but I wonder if that ever happened. Of course, Judicial Standards, itself, has a long history of partisan bias.

      That said, the image of this thing now makes Brannon damaged goods, which is too bad since he would be light years better than Burr or Tillis in the Senate.

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