Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home (page 7)

Author Archives: Paul Tharp, Staff Writer

$15M verdict against killer means closure for family, recovery from potential book deal (access required)

That murder victim Jimmy Lee Blevins' family will never recover any of the $14.96 million judgment entered earlier this month in a wrongful-death action against his killer isn't a foregone conclusion, according to the family's attorney. "I've heard about a few chapters of a book and rumors of a movie deal in the works," Crumpler attorney David Jolly (pictured) told Lawyers Weekly. The killer, Freddie Hammer, is only two murders short of Charles Manson, he said. "He's a cold-blooded psychopath," Jolly said. "He never showed any remorse to the Blevins family."

Read More »

Legislator moves ahead of curve on ‘fracking’ in NC (access required)

State Rep. Mitch Gillespie described his bill to raise bonding permit fees on companies that want to drill for oil in North Carolina as "a one-issue place-holder bill." While that bill, H. 242, is in the House's Standing Committee on the Environment, the Burke County Republican said he will publish a proposed committee substitute addressing the broader issues posed by the process of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

Read More »

Insurers needed actual notice to trigger duty to defend claim (access required)

North Carolina has joined a majority of jurisdictions that require a policyholder to provide actual notice to an insurer of a claim before a duty to defend arises. Winston-Salem attorney Garth Gersten (pictured) described the March 15 ruling by the Court of Appeals as "important both for insurance companies and policyholders because it emphasizes that policyholders need to provide notice of claims as soon as possible to their carriers. Notice is not a luxury; it is sound risk management."

Read More »

‘Fracking’ poses risks, opportunities for industry, public, lawyers (access required)

The 21st century is going to be defined by water, says Yadkin Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks. That is why he is against hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. Right now the law is on Naujoks' side. But perhaps not for long. Winston-Salem attorney Nathan Atkinson, who represents energy companies throughout the Appalachian region, told Lawyers Weekly that "All the major players are looking at North Carolina for natural gas exploration, given estimates on deposits from some geologists in the area."

Read More »

Sanctions upheld in two cases with false abuse claims (access required)

The Court of Appeals tackled the issue of unsubstantiated claims of sexual abuse in the context of child-custody cases in two March 1 opinions - and upheld sanctions in both disputes. In one case, Lamm v. Lamm, the court sanctioned Pamela R. Lamm after she filed an emergency motion alleging that her son would be "exposed to a substantial risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse" if an immediate order curtailing Kenneth R. Lamm's visitation was not issued. Manteo attorney W. Mark Spence, who represented Mr. Lamm, said the timing of the motion contributed to the court's finding that it had been brought for an improper purpose.

Read More »

Johnston County ROD first to offer 100% e-filing capability (access required)

The electronic-filing train has left the station and is coming to a register of deeds near you, says Raleigh attorney Richard Bowlin. Bowlin operates Electronic Document Logistics, a company he started several years ago that has created software that allows for the electronic creation of documents and solutions for electronic recording of documents in North Carolina counties. EDL is one of several companies that have contracted with county registrars and private entities to provide electronic recording capabilities.

Read More »

State files answer for Mecklenburg D.A. in fired prosecutor’s suit (access required)

The N.C. Department of Justice filed an answer last week on Peter S. Gilchrist's behalf in a suit brought against the former Mecklenburg County district attorney in December by Sean P. Smith (pictured), an assistant D.A. Gilchrist fired last year. In his answer, Gilchrist denied that he "acted outside the scope of his official duties" or is subject to any personal liability. He denied violating Smith's rights. Smith, who is now a district court judge, alleged that Gilchrist violated his state and federal constitutional rights when Gilchrist fired him last July after the former assistant prosecutor gave an interview on Charlotte's FOX affiliate that Smith said angered Gilchrist.

Read More »

Swain County HOA wins $2.4M verdict in defective roads dispute (access required)

A western North Carolina homeowners association has been awarded $2.4 million in compensatory damages in a dispute over defective roads - a verdict that may be the largest ever in Swain County, an attorney associated with the case said. Jurors returned the verdict on Feb. 17 after a two-week trial. The Alarka Creek Properties Homeowners Association sued Cane Creek Development Corporation of Bryson City and Charlotte-based W.K. Dickson & Co., alleging breach of express and implied warranties, breach of contract, negligence, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Read More »