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School principal can’t be sued for fire extinguisher horseplay (access required)

fire extinguisher

Usually when someone at a middle school gets in trouble for messing around with a fire extinguisher, you expect it to be one of the students. But a secretary at a middle school in Lenoir will not be able to sue the principal of her school for injuries she suffered when the principal was “joking and horse playing around” with a fire extinguisher that subsequently went off. She claims that the discharge aggravated her rare medical condition, but the North Carolina Supreme Court has held that she will have to file her claim through workers’ comp because she couldn’t prove the principal’s behavior was “willful, wanton and reckless.”

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Think you know the law about bad brake lights? Think again (access required)

brake light

The case of two inept drug smugglers has taken another surprising and far-reaching turn in the North Carolina courts. First, the Court of Appeals ruled that pretty much everyone has misunderstood the law about how many working brake lights a car needs. Now, in the same case, the Supreme Court has ruled that a traffic stop sparked by a bad brake light may be justifiable if the police officer made a “reasonable mistake” about what the law actually says.

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Gallivan, White & Boyd blog “Abnormal Use” makes the American Bar Association Journal’s Blawg Hall of Fame (access required)

BLOG keyboard

If you’ve ever spent more time than you should reading posts on the Abnormal Use blog by the lawyers at Gallivan, White & Boyd, you’re in good company. The American Bar Association Journal recently named abormaluse.com to its inaugural Blawg Hall of Fame, with the authors citing it as one of 10 law blogs they “can’t imagine not making our favorites each year.”

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Fatal flaw in teacher law? (access required)


Teachers and other school employees in North Carolina now have a layer of legal protection that is afforded to no other state employee in the nation – they can seek criminal charges against students who harass them on the Internet.

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