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A haunted case (access required)


Like many, Academy Award-winning filmmaker and former detective Errol Morris has been riveted by the Jeffrey MacDonald investigation and trial – which he describes as an “utter and complete mess.” His new book, A Wilderness of Error, published last week, is the culmination of his own digging through evidence and interviewing witnesses.

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Accept the plastic, but forget the fee? (access required)


In the wake of a proposed settlement between credit card-issuers Visa and MasterCard and merchants that would allow vendors to pass along “swipe fees” to their customers, lawyers who accept “plastic” are grappling with the issue of whether such up-charges are a good practice. Still, many legal practice management consultants frown on the idea of passing swipe fees to clients.

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Friends in high places (access required)

North Carolina state treasurer Janet Cowell hopes to salvage something out of her office’s spectacularly bad bet on Facebook stock: She wants to be the lead plaintiff among all other Facebook investors who say the company misled them about its financial health just before the company’s initial public offering in May.

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Breaking the Bar barriers (access required)

The American Bar Association has updated its model rules of professional conduct in an attempt to keep pace with technology and make life easier for lawyers who chase work across state lines. But it remains to be seen whether the Carolinas will adopt the changes.

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No address? That’s a problem — or not (access required)


An obscure N.C. Rule of Professional Conduct says attorneys and law firms have to include their office address on advertising, but what does a virtual lawyer do? And what about those pens and key chains and such that lawyers like to hand out to clients? Turns out that the N.C. State Bar doesn’t have any clear answers.

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Shadow jury a useful tool in the right case (access required)


During a recent med-mal trial in Pennsylvania against two doctors and a hospital over an injury at birth, 12 people with similar attributes to the 12 jurors filed in and out of the observation area of the courtroom every time the actual jurors took a break during a recess, lunch break or sidebar conference.

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Harassment by paper (access required)


Most people are dismayed to find themselves named as a defendant in a lawsuit. The district court judges of Guilford County are getting used to it. Most recently, two judges were served August 2 with a suit alleging “grand theft auto” filed by a woman who had been pulled over for a traffic stop. It’s all part of a campaign of harassment by so-called “sovereign citizens.”

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