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Doug Tate focuses his practice on Creditor’s Rights. He regularly and successfully assists clients with a wide range of debt collection matters. His practice encompasses the full gamut of collections, from advising clients on the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and whether to pursue a debt, to debt collection litigation and bankruptcy. A partner at McGuire, Wood & Bissette, Doug is a frequent speaker on debt collection and landlord-tenant law, a form of debt collection. Doug also practices in the area of Animal Law, a niche practice area in which he combines his knowledge and experience in animal-related matters with his personal interest in animal compassion.
Doug assists clients in matters including:
- General business litigation and negotiation
- Landlord-Tenant Law:
- Creditor-side Bankruptcy
- Debt Collection
- Animal Law
- Business Litigation:
- Doug successfully represented a small toy manufacturer against one of its market representatives. The market reps sued the manufacturer for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair and deceptive trade practices and civil conspiracy. The market reps made a demand of $500,000 after they obtained a TRO and reduced their demand to $90,000 after losing the preliminary injunction hearing. The matter was settled just before trial for $5,000.
- Also, Doug successfully defended a claim by a drug distributor in a preference action so that the manufacturer could keep its claim of about $100,000.
- Bankruptcy: Represented a 93-year-old woman in a bankruptcy court proceeding against her granddaughter and her husband. Certain Tennessee real property purchased with the proceeds of a loan obtained against North Carolina property (which had been purchased by the granddaughter and husband with the 93-year-old’s funds) was excluded from the bankruptcy under a resulting trust theory. As a result, the 93-year-old woman received the proceeds of the sale of the Tennessee property, about $75,000.
- Debt Collection: While assisting a small retailer with a routine debt collection matter, Doug helped discover an embezzlement of over $250,000 from the small retailer by a former employee. The firm supplied the Black Mountain Police Department and the Buncombe County District Attorney’s office with all of the information necessary to convict the former employee and recover approximately $175,000 of the stolen money. The former employee attempted to discharge the debt in bankruptcy court. Doug brought an adversary proceeding against the employee and the debt was not held nondischargeable.
- Landlord-Tenant: Doug has also successfully litigated claims arising out of landlord tenant disputes wherein the court found the landlord’s conduct to be malicious and willful and therefore nondischargeable.
- Animal Law:
- In 2007, Doug litigated the seminal case that gave horse farmers the right to declare present-use agricultural classifications for prior tax years. The North Carolina Property Tax Commission ruled that the county board had improperly withdrawn the property from the present-use status and inappropriately rolled back the billings for prior years.
- Doug also represents dog owners whose dogs have been accused of being vicious and dangerous and fought to keep the dogs under reasonable and humane restrictions and require that the owners get training in order to save the dogs from euthanasia.
In The Community:
Doug serves on the boards of OnTrack Financial, Asheville Humane Society and the N.C. Horse Council. He is the former President of the 28th Judicial District Bar, a former member of Pisgah Legal Services Board of Directors and Executive Committee, a former Hope for Horses board member and has served on the United Way Campaign Cabinet for the legal division. He is also a volunteer judge for Buncombe County Teen Court, a diversion program for first time offenders.
Douglas J. Tate828.254.8800
48 Patton Avenue
PO Box 3180
Asheville, North Carolina 28802-3180
BarAdmitted to Bar 1989 (NC)
4th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court, Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of North Carolina
EducationEmory University (J.D., 1988)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (A.B., 1985)