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Tag Archives: discovery

Tort/Negligence – Fifth Amendment – Civil Action – Discovery – Contributory Negligence (access required)

Lovendahl v. Wicker. A defendant in a civil case can assert his Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions in a deposition, but not without consequence to his civil case. Where defendant refused to answer questions at his deposition . . .

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Discovery waives mandatory arbitration clause, court holds (access required)

A nursing home waived its right to compel arbitration after it used interrogatories to seek information from the plaintiff in a negligence suit, the Court of Appeals has ruled in an unpublished decision. "If you send discovery that is not necessarily going to be available in arbitration, you cannot then turn around and seek to compel arbitration," said the plaintiff's lawyer, Sam McGee (pictured). "The defense tried to distinguish [this case] from other cases by arguing that ‘this was only one little set of interrogatories.' But there is no magic number of interrogatories."

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Partnership – At Will – Dissolution – Civil Practice – Discovery – Protective Order – Continued Profits – Personal Relationship (access required)

Coremin v. McNamara. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-15-1038, 13 pp.) (Ben F. Tennille, Ch.J.) N.C. Bus. Ct. Holding: Where the parties’ partnership was at will, either partner could end the partnership, regardless of motive, without breaching the partnership agreement. Hence, plaintiff ...

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Civil Practice – Discovery – Settlement Agreement – Confidentiality – Insurance – Underlying Lawsuit (access required)

Oakridge Associates, LLC v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co. A protective order can safeguard the confidentiality of a settlement agreement entered into by the plaintiff-insured in the underlying lawsuit; the insured asserts that the defendant-insurer should have defended and indemnified the insured in the underlying suit; hence, the settlement agreement is likely to be relevant. The insurer's motion to compel production of the settlement agreement is granted.

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Criminal Practice – Confessions – Voluntariness – Plain Error – Discovery – Bad Faith (access required)

State v. Greene. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-16-0909, 35 pp.) (Robert C. Hunter, J.). Appealed from Cabarrus County Superior Court (W. Robert Bell, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Holdings: (1) Considering the totality of the circumstances surrounding the defendant’s confessions, the statements ...

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Plaintiff gets new trial after discovery sanction struck down (access required)

A Wake County auto tort plaintiff will get a new trial after the Court of Appeals held that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering production of documents and simultaneously sanctioning him for failing to comply with its order. The trial court sanctioned the plaintiff by excluding two medical bills totaling $3,455 from evidence. Noting that the jury considered $8,705 of medical bills before awarding $12,000, the Court of Appeals posited that "the jury intended to cover all medical bills stemming from the accident plus an additional amount for pain and suffering."

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Discovery abuse is one of the biggest problems in civil litigation (access required)

H. Gerald Beaver is a senior partner with Beaver, Holt, Sternlicht and Courie in Fayetteville. A native of Albemarle, Beaver received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1973. He spent two years as a public defender for the 12th Judicial District before entering private practice in 1975.

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Double-murder trial brings discovery statute into focus (access required)

A homicide investigator's handwritten notes have become the focus of what some attorneys are calling the biggest murder trial in Charlotte in a decade. The case, State v. Montgomery, involves the killing of two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers in 2007. Attorney Bill Powers of Charlotte-based Powers McCartan said if police officers and prosecutors don't turn over their entire file, except for work product, they may be subject to sanctions. Powers is not involved in Montgomery.

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