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Email went too far by bringing up opponent’s daughter (access required)

The lawyer-to-opposing-counsel email was 146 words, and the South Carolina Supreme Court deemed it uncivil because of two that normally would be thought most benign: "daughter" and "child." But the email was blunt, sharply worded. The sender stated he had information that the other attorney's daughter had been detained for buying "cocaine and heroine." He wrote that a child's drug use was "far worse than the allegations your client is making."

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False testimony (access required)

Beneath the surface of what appeared to be a routine driving-while-impaired case in Mecklenburg District Court lay what defense attorneys say is an ugly flaw in the justice system. In an April 15 hearing in front of Judge Sean P. Smith, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Barry D. Grimes testified that he had administered two field sobriety tests, and the driver flunked both. But that wasn't true.

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Former NC justice says high court is ducking constitutional issues (access required)

A former justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court is publicly questioning whether the court has all but shut down as a main appellate route on constitutional issues. From the fall of 2004 through the spring of 2010, the seven justices dismissed 480 of 482 notices of appeal of right to the top court based upon issues involving a substantial constitutional question, according to an analysis by Bob Orr (pictured), who served as a justice from January 1995 through July 2004. Orr also was a recent unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate.

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Dental Board’s suit against FTC dismissed (access required)

A lawsuit the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners brought in February against the Federal Trade Commission in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina has been dismissed. Chief United States District Court Judge Louise Flanagan dismissed the case on May 3, ruling that the Board's lawsuit sought "to subvert the established administrative review process set forth in 15 U.S.C. § 45, which vests the circuit courts with exclusive jurisdiction to hear the sort of challenges made [in the lawsuit]."

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Rise of ADR means fewer trials, fewer experienced trial lawyers (access required)

For litigants and lawyers, the benefits of formalized alternative dispute resolution in North Carolina trial courts seem to be that rare issue upon which most attorneys agree. But those benefits come at a cost: ADR may be depriving young attorneys of courtroom experience. Charlotte attorney and mediator Wayne Huckel told Lawyers Weekly that more and more attorneys are starting to trust the mediation process to get cases resolved.

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Charlotte police officer convicted, sentenced for fabricating DWI evidence (access required)

A Mecklenburg County District Court judge Monday morning convicted a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer of criminal contempt after hearing from the officer and his attorney. The officer, Barry Grimes, told Judge Sean P. Smith (pictured) that on April 15 in District Court, he had mistakenly testified that a driver he had stopped failed two field-sobriety tests.

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Smith Moore opens new SC office, takes on established lawyers (access required)

Two weeks after North Carolina giant Womble Carlyle announced its acquisition of a Charleston, S.C., firm, the regional law firm of Smith Moore Leatherwood also has opened an office in the port city. The move expands the firm's footprint in the Southeast and positions it for growth in an area of economic vitality, Smith Moore Leatherwood chairman Rob Marcus (pictured) told Lawyers Weekly. "Charleston is becoming a very vibrant business market," Marcus said. "We've been excited to see Charleston grow and we wanted to be part of that growth."

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Nexsen Pruet expands in NC with addition of Lake and litigation trio (access required)

Former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. (pictured) and a trio of veteran lawyers have joined the Raleigh office of Nexsen Pruet, according to the South Carolina-based law firm. The move is part of a push into North Carolina that began in 1994, according to its chairman, John Sowards. "Our growth strategy is focused almost exclusively on expanding our practice in existing markets, with a very strong emphasis on expanding our presence in North Carolina," Sowards told Lawyers Weekly.

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