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News Story

Let’s tax all the lawyers (access required)

The idea of taxing professional services has been floating around in North Carolina for decades, but it appears that the proposal is gaining serious traction as legislators scramble for ways to ease the state’s budget deficit. All that talk about tax reform is growing louder ahead of the upcoming legislative session in January, though at this point it’s just that – talk. No one is certain what a professional services tax rate might look like or even what types of services it would affect.

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Court takes away what Congress gives (access required)

US Army benefits divorce

North Carolina courts have employed a little creative accounting to ensure that the understanding embodied in one couple’s divorce agreement is honored, even after federal law provided the ex-husband with what initially looked like an escape hatch. When Charles and Thi Den Hillard got divorced, their 1994 agreement to divvy up their property said that Charles would get their house, and Thi Den would get one-half of his retirement benefits from the U.S. Army and the National Guard for the time that they were married.

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Company settles suit to avoid disclosure of policies (access required)

The employers of a van driver who caused a head-on collision agreed to a $1 million settlement with an injured driver in part because they were eager to keep corporate policies regarding use of electronic devices while driving out of the public record. William W. Plyler, the plaintiff’s attorney, said the counsel for the corporate defendant contacted him shortly after service of the complaint and discovery order.

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Former UNC President Bill Friday dies at 92

CHAPEL HILL (AP) — His first name was William, but few ever called him by it, preferring to use the title that was given to him in 1956 and that he earned for a lifetime — President Friday. William "Bill" Friday, the man who personified higher education in the state even after he stepped down after 30 years as president of the University of North Carolina system, died at his home in Chapel Hill early Friday.

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Court states the obvious: Get it in writing (access required)


Long before their quibble over a fee split required the attention of the Court of Appeals, Donny Dunn and Hank Dart had worked well together. After the 2003 explosion at the West Pharmaceutical Plant in Kinston, the two joined forces to represent plaintiffs in the ensuing class action, splitting the fees as agreed in a pre-arranged agreement.

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Mishandled art costs Charlotte gallery $80K (access required)


Ben Long, the painter known for his frescoes in churches and building lobbies, including the three-panel piece inside the Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, thought he had a friend in Knox Bridges. The two met while working at Montreat College more than a decade ago, where Long had been painting a fresco and Bridges was raising funds for the school.

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