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One firm’s example can be a blueprint for handling change (access required)

Building plans heads together

Having spent almost a half century working in and with law firms, I feel I have had a front row seat in watching the evolution of the law office practice. The last 10 years have forced lawyers to see that there is the practice of law and then there is the business of the practice of law. To sustain a profitable law firm, you had to change or be left behind. You have to embrace the fact that the law firm is a profitable business and adopt best business practices to make it succeed.

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Commission reprimands judge for overstepping authority (access required)

gavel

An unprecedented case of judicial hubris has led to an unprecedented sanction. Dare County Superior Court Judge Jerry Tillett accepted a public reprimand earlier this month from the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission over his conduct toward the county’s district attorney and a police chief. In addition, the commission’s corrective actions stripped Tillett of any jurisdiction over any proceeding to remove the district attorney or police chief, or involving any grievances brought by town police’s officers—the first time the commission’s corrective action has ever stripped a judge of jurisdiction to hear a case.

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Doughnut-run wreck creates knotty workers’ comp problem (access required)

donuts

James Yingling has had an astonishing run of bad luck over the years. But he finally caught a break when the North Carolina Court of Appeals said his employer had received sufficient notice of his car accident for him to collect workers’ comp. But in doing so, the court had to square two prior cases that seemed to pull in opposite directions.

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Lumberton’s license tax hike ruled unconstitutional (access required)

video poker

Lumberton’s privilege tax on sweepstakes parlors turned out to be too big not to fail. In a ruling on four consolidated cases earlier this month, the Supreme Court decided the City of Lumberton’s privilege license tax on cyber-gaming outlets violated the Just and Equitable Tax Clause of the state constitution. But the court shied away from creating clear guidelines for how cities should avoid trampling the constitution when levying such a tax.

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Sex, lies, videotape … and a foot fetish (access required)

videotape

The sordid divorce case of Rowan County couple Curtis and Alice Buck makes “The War of the Roses” look like G-rated child’s play. Their story features criminal allegations, a hidden video camera, pornography, foot fetishism and was recently capped off with a six-figure damages award.

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Dangerous practices (access required)

hoodlum

South Carolina litigator James R. Snell Jr. is something of a security expert. He keeps guns in his law office, has a concealed carry permit and follows a laundry list of safety protocols at work. He’ll never meet with clients alone, keeps doors locked and has a habit of scanning the parking lot before he leaves for the evening.

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