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Author Archives: David Donovan

Blogger’s comment wasn’t libel, then it was (access required)

In politics, it’s known as the non-apology apology. Political strategist Ed Rapp offered one in the wake of an accusation he posted on his blog about Brunswick County Superior Court Judge Ola M. Lewis. But it didn’t help: The Court of Appeals ruled that while Rapp couldn’t be sued for his initial mistake, he committed libel per se when he stuck to his accusation in the apology, even knowing he was wrong.

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Elon, national fraternity not liable in frat-party incident (access required)

Photo by Heath Oldham / Shutterstock.com

John Mynhardt and three friends made a tragic decision when they dropped into an off-campus fraternity house party near Elon University in the wee hours of a Friday night in 2007. While there, Mynhardt got into a dispute with one of the fraternity members, and two men started physically forcing him toward the exit. He claims one of them pushed him to the floor, after which he found he could no longer move his limbs. The two men then dragged a paralyzed Mynhardt by his legs out of the house, compounding the injuries. The paralysis was permanent.

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Student loans and blithe self-confidence prop up law school enrollments

law-books

The atmosphere in law school admissions offices these days is downright dreadful. Applications to law school are down 15 percent from this time last year, according to the Law School Admission Council, and down by a third from eight years ago. The projected number of law school applicants for fall of 2012 would be the lowest since 1996, when there were 21 fewer law schools nationally and 16 percent fewer seats to fill.

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More schools, fewer students (access required)

library

The laws of supply and demand may apply to legal education after all. Eight years ago, over 100,000 students applied to law school nationally, but this year, in the face of relentlessly downbeat news about the employment prospects for lawyers, applications have cratered. Only about 67,000 applicants are expected — but the number of accredited law schools is higher than ever.

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Who will sue if amendment passes? (access required)

gavel

Opponents of Amendment One are being cagey about what plans, if any, they might have to challenge the law in the courts if it passes May 8. Multiple organizations declined to discuss the matter, saying that they were focused on a strategy of defeating the amendment at the polls.

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NFL star wins key ruling in endorsement suit (access required)

Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball against the New England Patriots in a 2011 game. AP Photo/Tom Hauck

Controversial “tweets” caused North Carolina clothing company Hanesbrands last year to terminate its agreement with Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall to endorse its Champion brand of athletic wear. Mendenhall is now suing Hanesbrands for breach of contract, and won a key ruling last week in federal court allowing the lawsuit to proceed.

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Law professors debate the amendment’s effects (access required)

law-books

You could call it a battle of dueling academics. The stand-off started with a report produced by family law professors at the UNC School of Law, which argued that Amendment One was vaguely worded and that it could cause major, unexpected ramifications for several areas of family law beyond same-sex marriage. That led to a rebuttal by three family law professors from Campbell School of Law, who argued that the report was poorly reasoned because judges could easily figure out the intent of the amendment and apply it narrowly to same-sex marriage.

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