Archive for May 2013

Private Prisons are… (not so) GRRRR-EAT

Private Prisons have been touted as a solution to bloated bureaucracies, run-away unions, mis-management, and corruption. The problem is that private prisons are not really private, but they are prisons. Because “private” prisons get their money through government contracts, the incentive structure is confused, sometimes criminally so. When private contractors lobby government for public dollars,…

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NTSB Recommends Lowering BAC in Driving While Impaired Laws

The big news in DWI law this week comes from Washington, DC where the National Traffic Safety Board voted to recommend that the 50 states and the District of Columbia lower the per se limit from .08 to .05 Blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration. If adopted by North Carolina, the result would likely be that…

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The Year of Landmark Rulings: Brady v. Maryland

If you ask a criminal defense lawyer what the most important cases are, she’s liable to include Brady v. Maryland if only because every time she files a discovery request on the government it includes a reference to Brady’s requirement that the government turn over any exculpatory information in its files to the defense. We’re…

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Changes in Wake County DWI Courtrooms

Wake County continues to have the largest number of DWI arrests of any county in the State. In short, DWI enforcement in Raleigh is up. And, apparently, general traffic citations are somewhat down in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. In order to address the backlog of DWI cases, the court system has recently made changes…

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Waiting for Justice

In a civil case, court appearances can be handled almost exclusively by the attorneys. Whether you’re a defendant being sued, or a plaintiff doing the suing, the attorneys – with the consent of the parties – can make virtually all appearances without the actual parties being present. (Of course, attorneys need to get consent from…

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Prosecutorial Control of the Calendar Undone in South Carolina

North Carolina and South Carolina are the only two states where prosecutors control the calendar. In almost all other states, a neutral party – a trial court administrator or the judges – control the calendar in consultation with both the state and the defense to decide when a case is brought to court for motions,…

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