Steve Robertson and Mandy Castle successfully defended the American Language Academy in a California lawsuit alleging breach of contract and fraud. The suit started in California state court. Believing the matter would progress at a faster pace in federal court, and with the help of local counsel, the Freisleben Law Group of Costa Mesa, a removal petition was filed.
The petition was granted and the suit continued in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California based on diversity of citizenship and amount in controversy. A motion to dismiss was filed in lieu of an answer. Plaintiffs met the motion with an amended complaint, a vastly reduced monetary demand and a voluntary dismissal of its fraud claims.
Robertson and Castle brought a second motion to dismiss which was granted and the case was concluded in just 6 months. According to Yuni Nguyen, CFO and co-founder of the American Language Academy, “we felt like the suit had no basis and did not understand why we should even have to defend against it. We are very happy that we had the legal expertise of Steve, Mandy, Alan Freisleben and the entire Higgins Benjamin team working for us. They averted a potential disaster quickly and affordably.”
Nguyen went on to say “we are in a growing business and negotiating with potential partners all around the world every day. Some deals pan out and some do not. We are pleased to have Higgins Benjamin on our team for the unfortunate situation where a misguided potential partner brings a frivolous suit.”
The information provided above represents the result of one particular case. The outcome of any other case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results.


Higgins Benjamin member Jennifer Ledford was selected as a 2014 Rising Star in North Carolina Super Lawyers in the area of Bankruptcy: Consumer. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Rising Stars are lawyers 40 years of age or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are named to the Rising Stars list.


Steve Robertson was recently certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a specialist in Family Law. Steve is a partner with a practice concentrated in the areas of property distribution, child custody and support, alimony, and adoption. He received his BA degree in General Studies with a Business Minor, with Honors from Villanova University, and his JD degree from the Temple University School of Law.

Steve is a member of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Guilford County Inn of Court, the President of the Triad Collaborative Family Law Group, an association of Triad attorneys dedicated to helping people divorce with dignity, and a regular presenter at the Guilford Family Life Council Parenting Under Two Roofs program. The North Carolina State Bar, an agency of the State of North Carolina, certifies lawyers as specialists in designated practice areas as a service to the public. The program assists members of the public in the selection of legal counsel by identifying lawyers who have demonstrated special knowledge, skill, and proficiency in certain areas of law. The program also gives lawyers a credible way of making their expertise known to the public and other lawyers.

To be certified as a specialist in a practice area, a lawyer must:
– Be an active member in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar for at least five years,
– Devote at least 25% of his or her practice to the specialty during the past five years (substantial involvement),
– Attend continuing legal education (CLE) seminars in the specialty,
– Be favorably evaluated by other lawyers and judges (peer review), and
– Pass a written examination in the specialty practice area.


Higgins Benjamin partner Jonathan Wall was elected Chair of the Employment Law Section of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) for 2013-2014. Jon also spoke on Noncompetition Agreements at the North Carolina Bar Association’s Fundamentals of Employment Law CLE program, and he presented the North Carolina Employment Law Update at the NCAJ Annual Convention. Jon focuses his practice on employment law and mediation.


Peter D. Isakoff joins Higgins Benjamin as an associate attorney after working as Law Clerk to The Honorable Judge Robert N. Hunter, Jr. in the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Peter completed his undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Arts, with distinction) in Spanish and Political Philosophy, and Law at the University of Virginia in May 2009. In addition to his work as Judge Hunter’s law clerk, Peter worked as an intern at Alion Science and Technology in McLean, Virginia, and at Legal Aid of North Carolina in Durham, North Carolina. Peter will focus his practice on real estate, homeowner’s association matters, and commercial litigation.