Chuck Lifford: A Success Story

The following is an article featuring one of our alumni:

(Photo Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette) Chuck Lifford retired from the Gastonia Police Department after 30 years and now works with Bogle and Anthony as an attorney.

His first year as an attorney marks a second career for Chuck Lifford. The retired assistant Gastonia police chief is the new kid in the practice with attorneys Gus Anthony and Ed Bogle.

Lifford credits the defense attorneys with taking him in and teaching him the ropes. He said he can’t think of a better way to spend retirement.

“I want to enjoy every day and be able to make a difference,” he said.

Lifford joined the Gastonia Police Department right out of college. He worked his way up to captain during his tenure. Switching from a beat cop to an administrator came with new challenges that Lifford said he began to enjoy. As retirement approached, Lifford started considering law school. He heard during a Rotary meeting about night school for prospective attorneys and decided to go for it.

Lifford retired from the police department in 2012 and finished his degree the next year. He interned at the Gaston County District Attorney’s Office and passed the bar exam earlier this year. Lifford’s decision to go into private practice comes with a little razzing from former co-workers.

“A lot of the officers I worked with before tease me about going to the dark side,” he said.

Lifford said a police officer, prosecutor and defense attorney are all charged with the same task — following the Constitution and uncovering the truth.

Read more at: http://www.gastongazette.com/spotlight/from-the-cop-car-to-the-courtroom-1.368028?page=0

According to Professor Jason Huber, Associate Professor at Charlotte School of Law:

I taught Chuck in Civil Procedure.  From the first class to the last, he demonstrated a sharp intellect, a passion for the rule of law, and a keen ethical compass.  The combination of these traits and is unparalleled work ethic make him not only a great lawyer, but person as well.  It was a pleasure to have him in class and I am happy he found his second calling as a lawyer.

We at CSL are proud of Chuck and wish him the best as he develops his law career!

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — September 29, 2014

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Online Court Archive PACER Says It Will Restore Access to Missing Records

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (or AO) has a plan to restore online access to documents that were controversially removed in August from PACER, the online system for accessing public court records, a spokesperson said.

Why Libraries [Still] Matter

In a world suffused with so much transient information as to inspire epistemic paralysis, we acutely need libraries’ power, independence, and ethos: institutions conceived to fight on behalf of their patrons, which is to say for the public and for the preservation and intelligibility of the public record.

Younger Americans and Public Libraries

Younger Americans—those ages 16-29—especially fascinate researchers and organizations because of their advanced technology habits, their racial and ethnic diversity, their looser relationships to institutions such as political parties and organized religion, and the ways in which their social attitudes differ from their elders.  This report pulls together several years of research into the role of libraries in the lives of Americans and their communities with a special focus on Millennials, a key stakeholder group affecting the future of communities, libraries, book publishers and media makers of all kinds, as well as the tone of the broader culture.

Why Do People Who Love Libraries Love Libraries?

Why do people who love libraries love libraries? This has been on my mind a lot lately. Whenever I find a patron who is passionate about their library I try to decode those tangible and intangible qualities that made the experience so powerful for them.

Is Apple Picking a Fight with the U.S. Government?

Most of the coverage of iOS 8 focuses on visible features that users can interact with. But there’s one major change in iOS 8 that most users probably won’t notice unless they find themselves in a great deal of trouble. Specifically, Apple has radically improved the way that data on those devices is encrypted. Once users set a passcode, Apple will no longer be able to unlock your device—even if ordered to do so by a court.  While privacy advocates have praised Apple’s move, it has drawn fire from some notable legal scholars.

What Do I Wear to Court?  Courtroom Appearance and Decorum Standards

Periodically, we hear about news stories in which an attorney, a party in a legal case, or even a courtroom spectator, find themselves in hot water for not meeting certain courtroom attendance standards.  Apart from avoiding the wrath of judges, appearance can also apparently have an an effect on the outcome of a trial.  In fact, not only do attorneys strive to meet appearance standards, but also try to help their clients and witnesses to meet them as well.  These stories often lead to questions about how someone knows what can be considered “proper” courtroom attire, and whether there is any legal basis for such appearance standards.  Unfortunately, the answer to the latter question is not a simple one.

9 Steps for Engaging Your Top 20 Clients on Twitter

Social media is an excellent way for you to nurture relationships with your largest clients. But if you are like 99% of lawyers, you don’t do it.  Some of you have unfounded fears that engaging clients via social media could be unethical, some of you don’t know how to do it, and some of you lack the ambition to try.  Here are nine steps to engaging your top twenty clients via Twitter…

A Lolitigation Lament: Nabokov on Censorship and Solidarity

Vladimir Nabokov was a man of strong opinions — whether about the necessary qualities of a great storyteller or the nature of inspiration or the attributes of a good reader — but nowhere more so than when it came to defending his greatest work against censorship.

The Heartbreaking Cruelty of Comparing Yourself to Others

We all do it: we look at what others are doing and wish we were doing that too.  Or, alternatively, we scoff at what they’re doing and judge them, and see ourselves as better.  One makes us feel bad, the other makes us feel superior.  Neither makes us happy.

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here’s Where Net Neutrality Stands

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 millioncomments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzedthe first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

What Were the Best Legal Novels of 2013? [podcast]

This month, we wanted to give our readers a look at some of the legal novels which either came out in 2013, or were honored with awards in 2013.

Charlotte’s Thomas Polk Saved the Liberty Bell, 1777

On September 24, 1777, Mecklenburg County resident Thomas Polk arrived safely in Allenton, Pa., after escorting the Liberty Bell there from Philadelphia.

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It’s Banned Books Week: September 21 – 27

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Each year many organizations focus on Banned Books Week, and for good reason.  Banned and challenged books inhibit our freedom to read and promote censorship, both of which are intimately linked to our freedom of speech.  The American Library Association actively promotes recognition of Banned Books Week and encourages everyone to get involved.  Check out their site here.

Want to check out banned and challenged books from years past?  You can see those lists here.  Note that the Dave Pilkey series, Captain Underpants, has earned the top spot on the list for the past three years now.  Listen to Dave Pilkey’s public service message here and stick around to hear John Monforte read Maurice Sendak’s Into the Night Kitchen (another book on the banned/challenged list) while you are there.

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The focus of Banned Books Week this year is on graphic novels and comics.  NPR also featured Banned Books Week on it’s broadcast todayBone, by Jeff Smith, made the number ten spot on this year’s list.

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And your quiz of the day:  Which Banned Book are You?

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Stop by the Library to check out our displays of banned comics and graphic novels, as well as the DVDs we have of movies made from banned and challenged books.  Fight for your right to read – pick up a banned book today – it could set you free!

~ Julie Morris ~

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ALR Student’s Corner: Thorp’s North Carolina Trial Practice Forms

It’s your first day on the job as a licensed Attorney.  You spent three, grueling years in law school, worked hard, and passed the bar exam.  A client walks into your office needing assistance with obtaining emergency custody of her child.  You know you need to file an ex parte motion.  You break out your handy dandy Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, ready to get to work.  As someone who did well in Family Law, you feel competent enough to take on this case.  Nonetheless, you quickly enter panic mode after realizing that you know the law, but not how to draft the motion.  Your boss won’t return to the office for several hours, and time is of the essence.  Where do you turn for assistance?  Thorp’s North Carolina Trial Practice Forms (7th ed. 2013) of course!

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The trial practice forms in this resource follow the same structure as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Where multiple subsections of rules apply, the forms are listed under each relevant subsection of those rules.  Rules are divided into five basic areas:  Pleadings and Motions, Parties, Discovery, Trials, and Judgment.  The appropriate form in Thorp’s can be located via the general index or the table of contents which organizes the forms according to the following topics in civil procedure:

  • Commencement of action
  • Process
  • Service and filing of pleadings
  • Pleading special matters
  • Defenses and objections
  • Counterclaim and cross-claim
  • Third-party practice
  • Amended and supplemental pleadings
  • Parties
  • Joinder
  • Interpleader
  • Class actions
  • Intervention
  • Substitution of parties
  • Depositions
  • Discovery

The text of the rules is included immediately before the forms and provides the “law behind the forms.”  Thorp’s also includes practice notes, as well as, expert insight into the forms, rules from a practitioner’s standpoint, and research references to additional materials.  Keep in mind that, while Thorp’s is an excellent source for trial practice forms and is updated by annual supplements between editions, it is not a one-stop-shop, meaning that additional, independent research is necessary to understand the applicable statutes, update the notes of decisions, and locate any additional treatises on North Carolina civil practice and procedure.

How do you go about accessing this resource you ask?  Well, there are many ways.  First, used copies are available from Amazon for about $75.00, and new copies with an accompanying CD-ROM, from Thomson Reuters for $493.00 (updates cost an additional $28.00 per month). Or, the electronic version of the form book is available on WestlawNext.  To locate, type the title in the universal search box and, once “Thorp’s North Carolina Trial Practice Forms” populates in the suggestion box below, select the form book (note: make certain to check the “Show Suggestions” box beforehand).  Finally, don’t forget the free print option:  Thorp’s is located in the “Reference: Carolinas” section at the Charlotte School of Law library; the call number (KFN7930.A65 T48) is accessible via the library catalog with the following search string: “trial practice forms.”

I found Thorp’s to be extremely beneficial.  However, I do think it might be more helpful were it to include more indices – such as one organized by cause of action.  For instance, in the cause of action for an Absolute Divorce, the following forms are necessary:  Civil Action Cover Sheet, Civil Summons, Complaint, Verification, Motion Cover Sheet, Motion for Summary Judgment, Certificate of Absolute Divorce Form, and a Judgment of Divorce Form.  Although Thorp’s includes the aforementioned documents, a new Attorney might find a checklist that includes these items more helpful.

Thorp’s North Carolina Trial Practice Forms is an invaluable resource – it shows practitioners and law students the appropriate format and content pieces (i.e. terms of art, clauses, other specific language) of a multitude of legal documents.  Although practice materials and form books such as Thorp’s are necessary for the actual practice of law, they are not substitutes for thorough research of the applicable statutes and common law.

~ Brooke McIntosh, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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The U.S. Supreme Court Has Been Asked By 32 States to Settle the Issues Surrounding Gay Marriage

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Thirty-two states that either allow gay marriage or have banned it have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to settle these issues once and for all. The Associated Press reported that the following states have asked the Supreme Court to address the gay marriage laws that differ from state-to-state: Fifteen states that allow gay marriage, led by Massachusetts, filed a brief asking the justices to take up three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn bans. And 17 other states, led by Colorado, that have banned the practice asked the court to hear cases from Utah and Oklahoma to clear up a “morass” of lawsuits, but didn’t urge the court to rule one way or another.

Lyle Denniston, a reporter for SCOTUSblog, posted on September 10, 2014 that same-sex marriage cases were set for an early review by the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, the Court has set September 29 for a private conference to discuss same-sex marriage and to review the seven petitions it has received on gay marriage.

Listed below are the seven petitions the Court has received and from which states they came:

  1. Herbert v. Kitchen (Utah) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Utah-same-sex-marriage-petition-8-5-14.pdf
  2. Smith v. Bishop (Oklahoma) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Oklahoma-Smith-petition-8-6-14.pdf
  3. Rainey v. Bostic (Virginia) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Virginia-ssame-sex-marriage-pet.-8-8-14.pdf
  4. Schaefer v. Bostic (Virginia) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Virginia-Schaefer-petition-8-22-14.pdf
  5. McQuigg v. Bostic (Virginia) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/McQuigg-petition-8-29-14.pdf
  6. Bogan v. Baskin (Indianna)http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/14-277-baskincert.pdf and
  7. Walker v. Wolf (Wisconsin) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/14-278-pet.pdf

Will the U.S. Supreme Court Review Any of America’s Gay Marriages Laws?

Sometime after September 29, 2024, I will write a follow-up blog detailing which, if any, of the above listed petitions were granted Cert by the U.S. Supreme Court.

~Jane Fraytet~

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — September 22, 2014

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University of Michigan Introduces New Napping Rooms in Libraries

Napping is now an acceptable activity in libraries – at least, for students attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  The university launched a pilot program for napping stations to be installed into their libraries for the fall 2014 semester. According to Time, the rooms will be “first-come, first-serve [places] with a 30-minute time limit on snoozing.” Students can take a quick nap to refuel in between classes or before or after studying.’

Try Before You Buy: Can Testing Potential Hired Work for Solo and Small Firms?

We’ve all been there. After months of sitting on the fence about bringing an assistant or paralegal or associate on board to help dig you out from under, you place an ad or ask around to colleagues for recommendations. You’re encouraged when you identify a job candidate who looks great on paper or comes highly recommended, and even more excited when he or she turns out to be the real deal in person. Yet, four or five weeks after you make the hire, you have buyers’ remorse. Turns out, your new hire can’t write to save her life or is disorganized or passive. And you wonder if the situation could have been avoided?  A recent New York Times Trial Hire Guide suggests yes – through test period hiring.

Putting Student Debt in Some Much Needed Perspective

The rising total of student debt — now over $1 trillion — has been a hot topic in the news over the past several years. One worry is that with poor job prospects many students won’t be able to pay off their debts. Another is that aging baby boomers are entering their retirement years with student debt still hanging around their necks.  For new graduates with big debts, concerns have been voiced that they cannot get started in life – by launching a new business or buying their first home. And still others fear student debt may be the next mortgage crisis, possibly triggering another recession.  A recent Brookings study by Beth Akers and Matt Chingos, updating a similar report the authors released earlier this year, injects some sorely needed facts about student debt that should quiet some of these fears by putting the concerns in a larger perspective.

Blamestorming: How Do You Cope with Failure and Frustration?

Years ago cynics invented the new concept of blame-storming. This is where a group of people get together to attribute blame after a (usually serious) “cock-up” at work or college. They might pretend the meeting is to attempt to learn the lessons that caused the problem. But no: it’s really to unload guilt and find a scape-goat-able culprit.

How to Get Motivated After a Vacation

How do I get motivated after a vacation, or any kind of long break? It doesn’t come naturally.  Here’s what I’ve been learning.

7 Best Pieces of Professorial Advice from Law School

Given half the chance, your average law student will drone on and on about the law without ever saying anything helpful.  Given less than half a chance, the average law professor will drone on and on about the law and only accidentally say something useful.  I’ve been keeping track of these accidentally useful truths since I started law school and thought I’d use them to skate by when I didn’t really have a good idea for a column this week share a few of my favorites.

Is New Taxi Service for Women Illegal?

A livery car service that aims to connect female customers with taxis driven by women in pink pashmina scarves has delayed its New York launch until it can line up more drivers.  Customers who want a driver from SheTaxis will use an app to call for a car, report the New York Times and Reuters. The company was founded by Stella Mateo, who says it will serve women who want female drivers because of safety or religious reasons.

NCSU Libraries Spur Innovation through Alt-Textbook Grants

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries has a reputation for innovative practices. This fall, as part of a $10,000 grant program funded by the NC State University Foundation, NCSU Libraries has invited faculty members to develop alternative course materials. The Alt-Textbook Project is a competitive grant for faculty members to develop free or low-cost alternates to traditional textbooks using open source material. All current faculty members who will be teaching in the spring or fall 2015 semesters are eligible to apply.

Five Milestones for Measuring the ROI on Law Blogs

Lawyers and law firms need to measure their return on blogging. Too much time and money time is put into blogging to blog on a lark.  The ROI, or blog success, is not measured by traffic to your blog or increased traffic to your law firm website from your blog.  Blog ROI should be measured by five milestones. Look at the milestones at six months, a year, and again at two years. Business development success online is a marathon, not a sprint.

With Minecraft, Microsoft Buys a Doorway to Millions of Players

The video game world saw a massive acquisition Monday when Microsoft confirmed it was buying Mojang, the company behind the immense world-building game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion.  Now let’s be clear: While the ink on the deal might say Microsoft bought Mojang, they really just bought the game franchise Minecraft. The company has created and published a few other small games, but nothing in its portfolio is on the level of Minecraft.

Reading After Grad School

Our Reading Lives features stories about how books and reading have shaped who we are and how we live.

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Come Celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day with Us on September 19th!!!

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Greetin’s and salutations me hearties!

Plan t’ join us in t’ Library on Friday, September 19, as we celebrate

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Several activities have been planned, including:

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Professor Tony Ketron will be speakin’ about modern day pirates in t’ Library at 10:30 in t’ East Readin’ Area on t’ 5th floor (just past t’ Administrative Offices, beyond 525).

He be currently writin’ a book about Somali pirates.

Coffee will be served and we’ll have some comfortable seatin’ available for you.

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Want t’ know what your true pirate name is?

We’ll have name generators available t’ quench your curiosity about such thin’s. And you can try on several t’ find which one suits you best.

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And if words be more t’ your likin’, Pirate Poetry will be available . . .

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How about throwin’ in t’ win a study room durin’ mid-terms or finals and gain a little knowledge along t’ way? Follow our treasure map t’ t’ booty and be entered into a drawin’ t’ win.

Details will be available at t’ Circulation Desk.

And of course you can don your finest pirate apparel if you like!

See you Friday in the Library!

Fair winds and following seas!

~ Mad Jenny Flint ~

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