Archive for June 2012

Free Speech and the Criminal Law

Most commenters today were fixated on the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (referred to by its critics as Obamacare). But in a less publicized decision, the Supreme Court decided, by a 6 to 3 vote, that a federal law making it a crime to lie about one’s military record was an unconstitutional…

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The Anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas

Today is the 9th anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas, a landmark civil rights case striking down state laws. Justice Kennedy wrote: Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private places. In our tradition the State is not omnipresent in the home. And there are other spheres of our lives…

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Change to North Carolina Domestic Violence Law

Each year the North Carolina General Assembly makes changes to North Carolina criminal law. You should be sure that the Raleigh criminal lawyer you hire is aware of recent changes – including the North Carolina Justice Reinvestment Act – which can dramatically affect the handling of criminal cases in Wake County. (Last year’s changes, for…

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Daylite 4: Huge Improvement, Excellent Interface

Since starting my private Raleigh criminal law practice in 2009, I’ve tested a number of different customer-relationship-management systems. I’ve tried RocketMatters, and Clio. I’ve also used a combination of Google products – Google Calendar, GMail, Google Voice, and Google Contacts – to maintain contact and client information. I’m fanatical about keeping accurate records – to…

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Mandatory Reporting of North Carolina Sex Offenses

One of the questions I sometimes am asked is under what circumstances one must report sex abuse to authorities. This question has become much more common in light of the recent conviction of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky on more than forty counts of sexual assault of minors. The scandal has made the…

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The Dangers of Prison Contracting or “Privatization”

The New York Times has published a series of very disturbing reports on the privatization of prisons, with a particular focus on New Jersey where a company with close ties to Governor Chris Christie – Christie was a lobbyist for Community Education – has resulted in an abnormally large number of escapees. That’s because violent…

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Treatment Options – Avoiding Narconon

For people who have substance abuse issues or who are addicted to alcohol or narcotics, in-patient treatment programs can be effective ways of dealing with not only the addictive nature of the controlled substances, but also the underlying issues that may have given rise to the addictive behavior. In a criminal setting, evidence that someone…

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Bail Bonding and Pre-Trial Release Programs under Assault

In an incredibly silly move, the North Carolina General Assembly is threatening to cut pre-trial release programs, which save the taxpayer about $70/day and have a 90 percent success rate. These programs save counties money, they save defendants money. But bail bondsmen and their allies in the legislature are happy to keep more people locked…

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Should you go to law school?

I love practicing the law, defending clients, taking cases to trial, and negotiating excellent outcomes for my clients. But law school did not prepare me for the practice of law. In fact, ask any lawyer: few will tell you that law school did much of anything to prepare them for the practice of law. Still,…

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