Ernest C. Pearson: Lawyer with Nexsen Pruet, LLC

Ernest C. Pearson

Member
Raleigh,  NC  U.S.A.
Phone919.755.1800

Peer Rating
 5.0/5.0
AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Public Policy & Governmental Affairs
  • Economic Development
  • Financial Services
  • Alternative Energy Law
  • Corporate
  • International
  • Real Estate
 
University Clemson University; North Carolina State University, B.A., with honors, 1972
 
Law SchoolUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D., 1975
 
Admitted1975, North Carolina; Federal District Court for Eastern District of NC; 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. Supreme Court
 
Biography

Ernest C. Pearson practices in the Financial Service and Economic Development Group, focusing on areas that include corporate law, international law, public finance, commercial real estate, and economic development. He also co-chairs the firm's Public Policy and Government Affairs group for North Carolina.

From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Pearson served as Assistant Secretary of Economic Development for the North Carolina Department of Commerce. In this position, he managed programs dealing with business and industry recruitment, international trade development, finance packages supporting new and expanded facilities, travel and tourism promotion, and small business development.

In each of his four years with the department, the agency was recognized as the top state recruitment program in the country. During that period, North Carolina led the nation in recruiting large industries three times and twice led in recruiting international companies and R&D facilities.

After leaving government, Mr. Pearson joined Sanford Holshouser LLP, where he focused his practice on legal matters dealing with economic development and site selection, including public finance, incentives, nonprofit organizations, and public-private partnerships. He is especially well suited to work with companies considering new business locations, expansions, restructuring financing, and international business dealings.

He was a founder of Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting, an economic development group which has handled numerous economic development consulting assignments and industrial siting projects in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Minnesota.

Mr. Pearson began his legal career in 1975 when he served as Director of Special Projects in the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Following service from 1977 to 1981 as a Judge Advocate in the United States Army, he returned to civilian life as a general practice attorney. In 1987, he accepted an appointment as chairman of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, serving as the chief judicial officer and manager of the agency that adjudicates workers compensation claims and tort claims against the state.

He is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and has served on various public and private sector boards. These include:

· President and member of the Board of Directors for the North Carolina State University School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Foundation

· Advisory Board for the Fuqua School of Business Center for International Education and Research

· Member of Town Board of Commissioners for Holly Springs, N.C.

· Board of Directors of the N. C. Economic Developers Association (two terms)

· Board of Directors of Triangle Growth Strategies, Inc.

· Vice Chairman of the Wake County Economic Development Commission

· Board of Directors Chairman of Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries - North Carolina, Inc.

· Founding Member of Board of Directors of Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries - National, Inc.

Career Highlights

· Listed in Best Lawyers® for Economic Development Law - In 2014, he is one of two NC attorneys to be listed and one of 28 nationally

· North Carolina Department of Transportation - Director of Special Projects (1975-1977)

· North Carolina Industrial Commission - Chairman (1987-1989)

· North Carolina Department of Commerce - Assistant Secretary of Economic Development (1989-1993)

· Recipient of Order of the Long Leaf Pine

· Founder of The Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group

· Recipient of U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal

· President - Board of Directors for the North Carolina State University School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Foundation

· Advisory Board - Fuquay School of Business Center for International Education and Research

· Member of Town Board of Commissioners for Holly Springs, N.C.

· Board - N. C. Economic Developers Association (two terms)

· Board - Triangle Growth Strategies, Inc.

· Vice Chairman - Wake County Economic Development Commission

· Recipient of NC Economic Developers Association's President's Award for representation of Association before the NC Supreme Court in Maready v. Forsythe County, landmark lawsuit over recruitment incentives

· Selected by Southern Business & Development magazine in Spring of 2008 issue as one of the top thirteen economic development lawyers in eighteen southern states

· Only firm listed for both North and South Carolina in Southern Business & Development magazine's 2009 "Trade Allies Directory"

News

77 Nexsen Pruet Attorneys Named to the 2014 Edition of Best Lawyers in America®
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce that 77 attorneys have been named to Best Lawyers in America for 2014.

Nexsen Pruet Attorneys Named to the 2013 Edition of Best Lawyers in America®
Nexsen Pruet attorneys have been named to the Best Lawyers in America® list for 2013.

Economic Development Magazine Lists Nexsen Pruet in "Trade Allies" Directory
Economic development magazine Southern Business & Development has published its "2nd Annual Trade Allies Directory" which lists "The South's Best Economic Development Law Firms."

62 Attorneys Named to the 2012 Edition of Best Lawyers®
Nexsen Pruet is proud to announce that 62 of its attorneys have been named to the 2012 edition of Best Lawyers®.

Former Governor and Assistant Commerce Secretary To Lead Public Policy & Government Affairs Practice
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce the expansion of its Public Policy & Government Affairs Practice into North Carolina. The practice will be led by former Governor James E. Holshouser, Jr. and Ernest Pearson.

"Nexsen Pruet signs lease with Highwoods, looks to hire"
The Triangle Business Journal reports on Nexsen Pruet's upcoming move in Raleigh.

Ernie Pearson Elected to Board of the North Carolina Economic Developers Association
Pearson is the managing member of the firm's Raleigh office.

Nexsen Pruet Elects Three New Members
Nexsen Pruet announced today that Tushar Chikhliker, Suzi Grigg and Ernie Pearson have been elected Members (partners) of the firm.

"Multi-County Economic Partnership Dream Comes to Fruition at Triangle North"
Southern Business and Development's 2010 Small Town South Editionfeatures an article written by Nexsen Pruet attorney Ernie Pearson entitled "Multi-County Economic Partnership Dream Comes to Fruition at Triangle North."

Nexsen Pruet: Only Law Firm Listed for North and South Carolina in "Trade Allies" Directory
The new edition of Southern Business & Development magazine features the "1st Annual Trade Allies Directory." Nexsen Pruet is the only law firm listed in both North and South Carolina.

"Global Manufacturer to Expand in Eden, Relocate Headquarters to Cary"
North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue has announced that Nexsen Pruet client Loparex LLC will expand its manufacturing operation in Eden and relocate its U.S. headquarters from a Chicago suburb to Cary.

"Altman Weil: Law firm mergers jump 33%"
The Triangle Business Journal reports that the "marriage of Cary's Sanford Holshouser and Columbia, S.C.-based Nexsen Pruet" is one of many deals that has led to a significant jump in law firm mergers during the first quarter of 2009.

"Tar Heel law firm joining S.C. firm"
The January 5th, 2009 edition of the Raleigh News and Observer reports on Nexsen Pruet's new North Carolina office in an article called "Tar Heel law firm joining S.C. firm."

Nexsen Pruet Opens Raleigh Office; Ernie Pearson & Former Governor Holshouser Join Firm
Nexsen Pruet today announced the opening of a Raleigh office that will include Ernie Pearson, former Assistant Secretary of Economic Development for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and former Governor Jim Holshouser.

Publications

Newsletter: Exchange Notice to be Delivered to All Employees by October 1, 2013
As part of the ongoing compliance efforts related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), employers who are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must provide notice to their employees of the existence of health insurance exchange marketplaces no later than October 1, 2013.

Obesity as a Disability Under the ADA: Is it More Likely Now Than Before?
In July, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a new policy that officially labels obesity as a disease, "requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention."

Two Supreme Court Rulings Improve Employer's Ability to Defend Against Harassment, Retaliation Claims
On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two critical decisions regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which improve an employer's ability to defend against employee claims of harassment and retaliation.

Seminar Materials - Legislative Update
These presentations and materials are from the Nexsen Pruet Economic Development Seminar held on June 21, 2013, "Legislative Update".

Employment Law Update: Background Becomes Battleground
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed federal lawsuits against Dollar General and a BMW manufacturing plant in South Carolina based on the EEOC's revised guidance concerning use of criminal background checks.

Employers Beware: NLRB Continues to Target Policies and Agreements
The National Labor Relations Board continues its pursuit of employee handbooks and employment contracts in a series of recent decisions examining the lawfulness of confidentiality and alternative dispute resolution policies and agreements.

To Pay or Not to Pay? The Test for the Unpaid Intern
As the end of another academic year approaches, college students across the country are seeking summer employment opportunities.

FMLA's Twentieth Birthday
On February 5, 2013, the Family and Medical Leave Act turned 20 years old. Coinciding with this milestone, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a new final rule, which codifies further additions and revisions to the FMLA. This newsletter highlights some of the changes.

New I-9 Form Shows More Changes May be in Store for Employers
On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new two-page version of Form I-9, together with six pages of instructions. This article explains some of the notable features of the revised Form I-9.

Update: Noncompete Agreements in SC are Worth More Than the Paper They're Written On
In light of the restrictive nature with which South Carolina courts have historically viewed noncompetition agreements, many people assume they are not enforceable and, in essence, "not worth the paper they're written on." However, in January of this year, the South Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a physician's noncompetition agreement and expanded the scope of enforceable noncompetition agreements in this state.

Employment Law Update: U.S. Supreme Court Set to Define "Supervisor" for Purposes of Title VII
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case that could have a significant impact on employer liability. Specifically, as the result of an appeal in Vance v. Ball State University, et al, 646 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2011), the Court is poised to decide who qualifies as a "supervisor" for purposes of liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Employment Law Update - Employers Beware: NLRB Challenges Established HR Practices
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a number of recent opinions questioning and, in some instances, invalidating common employer practices and policies on the grounds of protecting employee rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The impact of these decisions on handbook disclaimers and investigative procedures is addressed below.

Employment Law Update - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Upcoming Deadlines Require Employer Action
After months of anticipation and seemingly endless public debate, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision upholding the key individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). While the significance of the decision cannot be overestimated, the real import is its practical effect on employers.

New Rule Makes "Reasonable Factors Other Than Age" Defense More Difficult for Employers
On March 29, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a final rule making it more difficult for employers to establish a "reasonable factor other than age" defense for disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Recent Guidelines for Employers of Active Duty & Veteran Service Members
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued timely and relevant guidance for employers addressing protections afforded veterans under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Keep Your Ears Peeled: Employment Law Update on the FLSA's "Anti-retaliation" Provision
In this issue we describe and discuss a recent federal appeals court decision concluding that internal complaints about pay may be protected by the FLSA's anti-retaliation provision.

Employment Law Update: Romance in the Workplace: You, Me and our Employer?
As Valentine's Day approaches, here are some interesting facts for employers to consider.

Recent Ruling that Class Action Waivers are Illegal Shows NLRB Remains Active
On January 3, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a class action waiver in a mandatory employment arbitration agreement is illegal.

I-9 Compliance: Avoiding Traps of New Federal Security Features
A redesigned federal document is leading to confusion as businesses try to comply with the I-9 requirement.

Employment Law Update - January 2012
As employers plan for 2012, the inherent risk posed by departing employees presents an opportunity to reevaluate measures used to protect confidential information and trade secrets from the high cost of misappropriation.

NLRB Delays Requirement for Employers to Post Pro-Union Notice
On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued regulations requiring virtually all employers to post a large notice to employees informing them of rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), particularly their right to unionize. Employers must post the notice beginning April 30th, 2012.

Employment Law Update - December 2011
The EEOC is processing a record number of charges and collecting record settlement amounts. It is pursuing an aggressive systemic enforcement program and focusing on hiring issues. In this edition we discuss what the EEOC is doing and some of the implications for employers.

2011 Employment and Labor Law - Final Exam Answer Key
Last week's final exam generated tremendous response from Nexsen Pruet clients and friends. Congratulations to our winners.

2011 Employment and Labor Law - Final Exam
It's time to test your knowledge of the current state of employment and labor law.

Pro-Union NLRB Presents Challenges to Employers: Employment Law Update - October 2011
Recent pro-union decisions and proposed rules by the NLRB pose challenges for employers.

Wrongful Discharge Claims Limit Employment At-Will Doctrine in North and South Carolina: Employment Law Update - September 2011 Supplemental
Employment in North and South Carolina is at-will, which generally means an employer can terminate an employee at any time without notice. However, both states have long-recognized exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine, including provisions that an employee cannot be discharged for reasons that contravene the "public policy" of the state.

Employment Law Update - August 2011 Supplemental
This edition is about a United States Supreme Court decision that illustrates the importance of using clear wording when drafting employee invention assignment agreements.

Immigration and State Unemployment Tax Act Seminar
Nexsen Pruet and the SC Manufacturers Association hosted an Immigration and State Unemployment Tax Act Seminar.

Employment Law Update - August 2011
South Carolina and North Carolina have passed state immigration laws mandating employment verification and imposing penalties for failure to comply.

Employment Law Update - July 2011
Employers are increasingly disciplining workers over misuse of social media. At issue in so-called "Facebook Firing" cases is whether terminating employees for making disparaging online posts, and having policies prohibiting such posts, violates federal labor law.

"Creating Economic Opportunity"
Nexsen Pruet attorney Ernie Pearson co-authored an article entitled "Creating Economic Opportunity" for the Spring 2011 edition of the Economic Development Journal.

Employment Law Update - June 2011
This edition analyzes the EEOC's new final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.

International Law Update
Appeals court says international contract requires litigation in England.

How the Dell Incentives Worked
Dell Inc. shut down production at its Forsyth County, N.C. facility.... An unexpected increase in orders kept the facility open for ten months longer than the computer company expected in October of 2009 when it announced that the Winston-Salem plant would close. Following the announcement, a debate emerged over the value of economic development incentives.

Public Policy and Government Affairs Expansion
The Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice Group was recently expanded to build upon our diverse and unique knowledge of government and how it works - and how it can work for you.

Environmental Disqualifying Event
Nexsen Pruet attorneys Jim Bryan and Ernie Pearson write about a new term environmental lawyers need to know - "environmental disqualifying event."

Multi-County Economic Partnership Dream Comes to Fruition at Triangle North
Southern Business and Development's 2010 Small Town South Edition features an article written by Nexsen Pruet attorney Ernie Pearson entitled "Multi-County Economic Partnership Dream Comes to Fruition at Triangle North."

Trade Allies Directory
The new edition of Southern Business & Development magazine features the "1st Annual Trade Allies Directory." Nexsen Pruet is the only law firm listed in both North and South Carolina. What's more, Sanford Holshouser, the firm Nexsen Pruet joined forces with in January, also made the list in North Carolina.

Employment Law Update - May 2009
This edition explains why many employers are seeking privileged legal compliance reviews of their compensation practices and documentation in the aftermath of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

A brief video update on immigration compliance developments is available by clicking here. Then, click on the video entitled "Immigration."

Legal Authority for Local Government Incentives
The following memorandum of law was prepared for a County in North Carolina which requested a memorandum outlining in some detail the legal and constitutional authority for local governments to provide incentives to recruit industrial facilities. The name of the County has been deleted for confidentiality purposes.

Legal Authority for Multijurisdictional Industrial Park Projects
The following memorandum was prepared at the request of the County Attorneys, whose clients were in the early stages of considering a multijurisdictional industrial park project. The names of the counties and the project have been deleted for confidentiality purposes.

Building Inspections of Industrial Machinery - Building Code Council Order
North Carolina is apparently unique among states, with which it regularly competes in economic development projects, by requiring that industrial machinery be subject to building code inspections.

Economic Development Financing Tools
This paper gives an overview of relevant considerations and possible financing structures for a local economic development program to finance the acquisition and development of an industrial/business park on its own, or in conjunction with other local governments through a multi-jurisdictional industrial park arrangement.

Local Government Incentives in North Carolina
This report gives an overview of the history of local government incentives in North Carolina.

Building Inspections of Industrial Machinery - Trial Brief
North Carolina is apparently unique among states, with which it regularly competes in economic development projects, by requiring that industrial machinery be subject to building code inspections.

Events

Plug in the Future

Employment Law Quarterly Breakfast Briefing

The Legalities of Doing Business in China: Live Seminar

 
ISLN904533949
 

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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Entrepreneurial Growth and Recruitment Strategy: An Economic Development Formula for Success
Ernest C. Pearson, July 23, 2014
Historically, most local economic development efforts, or regional efforts among a group of counties, have focused on business recruitment. These efforts have generally been focused on large business recruitment projects. This has often been referred to as the “buffalo hunt.” In...


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Office Information

Ernest C. Pearson

4141 Parklake Avenue, Suite 200
RaleighNC 27612




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