High Point's largest law firm creates a group that will specialize in the furniture industry's legal needs.
High Point's largest law firm has formed a division in-house to specialize in furniture industry law - a move that partners believe may be the first of its kind in the country.
Ten of the 19 attorneys in Wyatt, Early, Harris, Wheeler & Hauser's firm have been assigned to the Furniture Practice Group.That group was formed in response to furniture manufacturers' legal worries ranging from design protection and contract disputes to compliance with Occupation Safety and Health Administration regulations.
By devoting half of the firm's attorneys to furniture and combining their skills, managing partner Frank Wyatt hopes they can offer more advice to furniture manufacturers, designers and suppliers.
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``We live in the Furniture Capital of the World, here in High Point - it's a unique setting,' Wyatt said. ``I haven't heard of a Furniture Practice Group anywhere else. We think it's the only one in the country.'
The furniture group will specialize in the increasingly complex challenges facing the furniture industry: new government regulations, shifting international trade agreements, environmental protection and tight financing.
``Washington is continually bringing down new regulations, with flammability of products being one example,' Wyatt said. ``It's a full-time job to keep up with this and stay out of trouble.'
Wyatt's 62-year-old firm is located in the old Guilford County Courthouse building on Main Street - near the city's largest furniture showrooms. Wyatt and his law partners started discussing the idea of creating a furniture group about a year ago.