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Commentary

Scribner’s Error: The legal and moral implications of finding car keys

Right there in the middle of the trail - a set of car keys. I came upon them fast while riding my bike through a particularly flat stretch Wake County wilderness. Even what passes for hilly in the eastern piedmont gets me winded. The derelict keys had clearly been separated from their owner recently because not much early autumn dust lay on them, and the owner surely hadn't gotten very far in the vehicle they belonged to.

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Guest Commentary: Student-lawyers help legal community meet pro bono needs

The effects of a troubled economy, including foreclosures, joblessness and residential evictions, heighten demand for legal assistance but also render more clients unable to pay for those services. Nonprofit legal organizations, like Legal Aid of North Carolina, and attorneys offering pro bono services struggle to provide assistance to all those in need. This increased demand for pro bono legal services renders a longstanding opportunity for law students particularly valuable.

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Coach’s Corner: Does Rule 1.17 save the sole/small firm practitioner? Part I

When the American Bar Association in 2002 modified Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.17 to permit the sale of part of a practice, it was called the savior of sole and small-firm practitioners. The modification gave lawyers another way to reap the financial value of what they have built up over the years by their own hard work and creativity, converting the goodwill represented by their practices into a liquid asset.

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Practical Litigator: Employer negligence? Make sure the order spells it out

We all know that minor settlements need to be approved by a judge. But try and find the statute or case law requiring this exercise. Speaking objections cannot be made during depositions. But other than a handful of local rules that prohibit the use of speaking objections, try to find binding North Carolina case law or statutory authority that establishes such a rule. And so it is with the issue of employer negligence when plaintiffs move to reduce or strike a workers' compensation lien. Whenever lawyers discuss third-party workplace cases the first question in the conversation typically relates to the amount of the subrogation lien.

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Guest Commentary: Pitching an expedient white lie can create lasting skepticism

Anyone who has heard the tale of George Washington and his cherry tree knows well the damage dishonest acts inflict on credibility. As Roger Clemens may someday attest (or not), damage to credibility may not be the only risk in forsaking the truth. Instead, brazenly believing you can deceive an adversary may create a long-lasting detractor whose antipathy outweighs any lost credibility.

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Trial & Error: A kid’s review of John Grisham’s new legal thriller for kids

My seventh-grade daughter was hooked from the moment she opened the bright yellow cover of Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, reminding me of myself when I devoured the adventures of Nancy Drew at her age. This week, I'm turning over my column to my daughter. Here is a 12-year-old's review of Grisham's new book, complete with her thoughts on the judicial system and what it takes to be a lawyer.

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