Quantcast
Home / Top Legal News (page 222) /

Top Legal News

State files answer for Mecklenburg D.A. in fired prosecutor’s suit (access required)

The N.C. Department of Justice filed an answer last week on Peter S. Gilchrist's behalf in a suit brought against the former Mecklenburg County district attorney in December by Sean P. Smith (pictured), an assistant D.A. Gilchrist fired last year. In his answer, Gilchrist denied that he "acted outside the scope of his official duties" or is subject to any personal liability. He denied violating Smith's rights. Smith, who is now a district court judge, alleged that Gilchrist violated his state and federal constitutional rights when Gilchrist fired him last July after the former assistant prosecutor gave an interview on Charlotte's FOX affiliate that Smith said angered Gilchrist.

Read More »

Lawsuit claims competitor copied firm’s site, slogan (access required)

The website for Raleigh's Kurtz & Blum is sleek and well-designed, complete with photos of the attorneys, easily navigable links and a slogan at the top designed to instill client confidence: "We're in your corner." In a lawsuit, Kurtz & Blum claims that The Wright Law Firm of Charlotte, and its principal, Roderick M. Wright Jr., copied its website design right down to the "We're in your corner." The suit asks for damages including Wright's profits that were the result of what it calls his wrongful actions, as well as treble damages under G.S. § 80-12.

Read More »

From print to pixels, legal ethics struggle with new media (access required)

Not only does nearly every lawyer practicing have his own website, but potential clients are much more likely to plug "DWI lawyer" into a search engine than to look in the Yellow Pages. And as legal marketing has morphed into new arenas with ever-changing technology, there's some concern that regulatory agencies and state bars have not kept up. Ryan Blackledge (pictured), who serves on the N.C. Bar Association's Technology Advisory Committee, said that any new ethics rules need to reflect a true understanding of the various media.

Read More »

Want more referrals? Say ‘thanks’ for the ones you’ve gotten (access required)

The importance of giving thanks to colleagues for client referrals isn't lost on Raleigh lawyer Mark Sullivan (pictured). His family law practice draws about 60 percent of its client base from attorney referrals. That's why he turned the etiquette of saying "thank you" into a deliberately structured part of his business plan about 20 years ago. But it took time to figure out what strategy was best.

Read More »

Stam pushes good-faith exception to exclusionary rule (access required)

The effort to adopt the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule has been given a jolt by House Majority Leader Paul Stam (pictured). Stam, R-Wake, introduced a bill to adopt the exception, and it passed the House last week in an 81-36 vote and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee I. "The practical result [if the bill passes] is that in an unknown number of cases, murderers, rapists and drug dealers won't get off on a technicality. They will have to pay for their crimes," Stam said.

Read More »

NCBA section takes on ‘arduous task’ of updating lien laws (access required)

With so many diverse and competing interests, it's been difficult to get a consensus on how to do something everyone agrees must be done: Change the state's lien laws. Nan E. Hannah (pictured), head of the N.C. Bar Association's Construction Law Section, said recent bankruptcy decisions, economic factors, concerns in the title industry and other issues led the section to "take a really hard look at the lien law" this year.

Read More »

Med-mal bill would cap damages, increase threshold for ER claims (access required)

The state's legal landscape for medical-malpractice lawsuits would undergo a seismic shift and North Carolina would join 28 other states with caps on damages if a bill introduced last week becomes law. The bill, S. 33, is now being debated in the Senate's Judiciary I Committee. At a packed hearing before the committee Thursday, it attracted the attention not only of attorneys and doctors, but also such diverse entities as the AARP and the N.C. Chamber of Commerce. The bill would limit noneconomic damages in medical-malpractice cases to $250,000. It would also require a showing of gross negligence by clear and convincing evidence if the claim involved emergency care, and allow separate trials for liability and damages if either party asks for it.

Read More »

Bill would give appellate court appointees time to exhale (access required)

They're not calling it "Cressie's Law," but a bill introduced in the state House last week with bipartisan support is designed to prevent a Court of Appeals race from turning into a 13-way scramble as it did when Judge Cressie Thigpen (pictured) ran to retain his seat last fall. The bill, H. 99, would amend the N.C. Constitution so that appellate judges will "have adequate time to fulfill their judicial duties before running for election," as the title of the bill says.

Read More »

In-house counsel hate surprises but love communication

Building rapport and maintaining constant communication are the keys to sustaining a healthy business relationship between in-house and outside counsel, panelists said at Lawyers Weekly's Business and Law Breakfast Wednesday. About 40 people gathered at the Marriott City Center hotel in downtown Raleigh as panelists Jay Campbell, executive director of the N.C. Board of Pharmacy; Ken Hammer, general counsel and vice president of corporate governance at DataFlux Corp.; and Jeff Miller, vice president, general counsel and secretary of Highwoods Properties discussed the most effective ways for outside firms to attract in-house business.

Read More »

Repeat DWI offenders may face enhanced penalties (access required)

A bill that Shelby attorney and state Rep. Tim Moore is sponsoring would enhance penalties for certain DWI offenders, but some attorneys say the bill ties the hands of judges and won't cut down on drunk driving in the state. Moore, R-Cleveland, was joined by Michelle Armstrong (pictured) at a press conference to unveil the bill on Feb. 8. Armstrong's 17-year-old daughter, Laura Fortenberry, was killed July 25 when a vehicle driven by Howard Clay Pasour allegedly crossed the centerline and struck Fortenberry's car head-on in Gaston County.

Read More »