GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - A federal judge will have to decide whether two elite North Carolina universities had a cozy agreement not to compete by hiring away medical talent from the hospital and education enterprises each have built.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles is expected to hear arguments Thursday in Greensboro on a radiology professor's allegation that Duke University and the University of North Carolina conspired to depress earnings for all skilled medical workers in their communities over several years.

Eagles is considering whether the anti-trust lawsuit Dr. Danielle Seaman filed after she was thwarted from hopping from Duke to UNC should gain class-action status.

The judge also will consider allowing UNC out of the lawsuit in return for turning over documents that could be used against Duke, its neighbor just 10 miles away.