Category Archives: Books & Stuff

ALR Student’s Corner: Shuford North Carolina Civil Practice and Procedure with Appellate Advocacy

Introduction

A legal treatise is a scholarly legal publication that contains in-depth information related to a particular area of law. Legal treatises are authoritative secondary sources written by scholars for the purposes of providing practitioners with a “framework of analysis” and offering annotations to primary authority that stand for the rule of law.  For these reasons, treatises are great starting places for any research project.  Shuford North Carolina Civil Practice and Procedure with Appellate Advocacy (6th edition, West) (herein referenced as Shuford) by Alan D. Woodlief, Jr., Associate Dean for Admissions and Administration and Associate Professor of Law at Elon University School of Law, is one such treatise to reference when looking for detailed information concerning the practice of civil law in North Carolina.

 shuford

About Shuford North Carolina Civil Practice and Procedure with Appellate Advocacy

Shuford is a single-volume practice guide that explains and analyzes application of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Each chapter corresponds to a particular rule of civil procedure and includes the text of the rule, an explanation of its application, interpretation of the rule by the appellate court and research references that expound on the rule. The book is divided into two parts: Part I contains Civil Procedure and Part II contains Appellate Advocacy.   This latter section is fairly new and addresses the evolving needs of attorneys by helping them to “synthesize the overlapping rules, statutes, and case law that govern North Carolina appellate practice.”  As more attorneys take-on appellate work, this guide will help them understand and navigate appellate practice.

The annotations to case law, located in the footnotes, separate Shuford from being a mere recitation of the rules of civil procedure. Relevant case law and statutory authority provide deeper insight and context to each rule and its application. Additionally, the footnotes point the practitioner to trends in the field, while also providing comparisons between the state and federal rules of civil procedure.  However, a research tool missing from Shuford are checklists which provide the practitioner with guidance for filing motions and other court documents and proceeding with discovery.

The print version of Shuford is located in the “Reference: Carolinas” section at the Charlotte School of Law library; the call number (KFN.7930.S53) can be accessed via the library catalog with the search term, “Shuford.”  The catalog additionally provides a link to the electronic version of Shuford on WestlawNext.  To access the resource on WestlawNext, drill down in accordance with the following navigational path: “Browse: All Content” > “Secondary Sources” > “North Carolina” > “Texts & Treatises” > “Shuford North Carolina Civil Practice and Procedure with Appellate Advocacy.”

How to Search Shuford North Carolina Civil Practice and Procedure with Appellate Advocacy

To demonstrate how easy and helpful this practice guide is, let’s conduct a hypothetical search.  Suppose you were looking for the appropriate form to commence a negligence action on behalf of a client.  Upon consulting the detailed table of contents, you see that “Chapter 3: Commencement of Action” discusses when a complaint is deemed filed and an action commenced.  There, you cull a better understanding of the requisite steps for the commencement of an action and find the appropriate forms, which, as per your client, is §84.3 – Complaint For Negligence.  This particular form, like the others, 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.  To access this same form on WestlawNext, drill down to Shuford, select “Part I: Civil Procedure,” and then search within that part with the following search string: complaint /3 negligence.

Conclusion

Shuford North Carolina Civil Practice and Procedure with Appellate Advocacy is a great secondary source for gaining in depth knowledge, annotations, and forms related to the rules of civil practice and procedure in North Carolina.

~ Latoya Gardner, L’15 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Elements of Civil Causes of Action in North Carolina

I can only imagine what life will be like as a practicing attorney, and when I do, it often makes me nervous because work and life will be busy considering it takes a lot of commitment and excellence to stay abreast of the law which is ever changing.  But then I discovered Elements of Civil Causes of Action in North Carolina (2nd ed. 2014) by Douglas Scott MacGregor and Alyssa Rosen and published by the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation.

elementsofcivilcauses

This single-volume, annotated resource relieves my anxiety because, like most other practice guides, this one is put together by lawyers for lawyers to use in practice.  So, the practice guide does much of the early research for you, explaining the rule of law and any applicable exceptions in clear, concise language and offering annotations to relevant case law and statutory authority.  Elements of Civil Causes of Action in North Carolina covers 38 of the most frequently filed causes of action in North Carolina, breaking each down according to definitions, elements, defenses and remedies.  I dream that my class outlines could be as well organized as this resource.  It is important to note that this resource exists only in print; there is no electronic version.  The print version of Elements of Civil Causes of Action in North Carolina can be located in the “Reference: Carolinas” section at the Charlotte School of Law library; the call number (KFN7933 .M33 2014) can be accessed via the library catalog with the following search string: “elements north carolina.”

Using the table of contents is the quickest and most efficient way of navigating to a particular cause of action as each is presented in its own chapter.  At the end of each chapter, endnotes provide additional references to journal articles, cases, and statutes that provide background information about the particular cause of action and the legal authority that stands for the rule of law.  Chapter titles include such causes of action as assault, battery, infliction of emotional distress and negligence.   At first glance, this is a clear throwback to Torts class, but other “non-doctrinal torts” are also covered such as the cause of action called “wrongful conception, wrongful birth and wrongful life,” also known as prenatal torts.

elementsofcivilcauses2

I had never heard of wrongful conception, wrongful birth and wrongful life, but learned from Elements of Civil Causes of Action in North Carolina that the Court of Appeals first recognized the tort in 1986.   These types of cases are usually brought by the parents of a child whose physician negligently performed an abortion or sterilization procedure or by a couple whose physician or pharmacist negligently performed a vasectomy or improperly filled a birth control prescription.  These prenatal torts are generally brought under a plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim, and the North Carolina Supreme Court has established that, to state a claim for malpractice, the plaintiff must establish the following: 1) there was a duty; 2) there was a breach of that duty; and 3) damages or injuries proximately resulted from that breach.

If you are ever working through a fact pattern that involves the alienation of affection, neglect, wrongful birth, or a similar tort, take the time to review Elements of Civil Causes of Action in North Carolina, a great resource to use when becoming familiar with an unfamiliar area of law.

~ Raeneice Taltoan, L’16 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: North Carolina Law of Damages

nclawofdamages

What is North Carolina Law of Damages?

North Carolina Law of Damages (5th edition) is a two-volume, annotated practice guide for attorneys practicing in North Carolina. It provides a wide-range of information on damages as they pertain to such legal topics as criminal proceedings, hospital liens, personal injury, fraud and deceit, wrongful death, family torts, estates, and statutory penalties. These diverse topics represent a mere fraction of the information available in North Carolina Law of Damages, making it an enormously valuable resource for attorneys researching the law of damages in North Carolina as it applies to a multitude of civil law issues.

This practice guide is exceptionally well organized; topics are broken down further into concise sub-topics, 269 in total. Part I (Damages, Generally) contains 12 chapters and 88 subtopics, while Part II (Damages Relating to Particular Subject Areas) contains 26 chapters and 181 subtopics. This organization provides an extremely user-friendly way of searching for almost any information about damages in North Carolina.

How to Locate North Carolina Law of Damages

To locate the electronic version of the practice guide on WestlawNext, type the title in the universal search box and, once “North Carolina Law of Damages” populates in the suggestion box below, select the practice guide (note: make certain to check the “Show Suggestions” box beforehand). From there, you can choose Part I for general information on damages or Part II for more specific information on damages relating to a particular subject.  The electronic version of the practice guide might also be accessed on WestlawNext by drilling down in accordance with the following navigational path: “Browse: All Content” > “Secondary Sources” > “North Carolina” > “Texts & Treatises” > “North Carolina Law of Damages.”

The print version of the practice guide is available at the Charlotte School of Law library; the call number (KFN7595 .W66 2004 v.1) can be accessed via the library catalog with the following search string: “north carolina damages.”  The practice guide can also be purchased for $312.00 with monthly updates costing $27.00.

How to Search North Carolina Law of Damages

To demonstrate how easy and helpful this practice guide is, let’s conduct a hypothetical search.  Let’s say that a client has come to you after a trial judge set aside a jury verdict awarding him $10,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages. To advise your client, you decide to determine whether the damages are considered excessive under North Carolina law. This is a more general topic, so you consult Part I of North Carolina Law of Damages. From the table of contents, you decide “Chapter 7: Amount of Damages” seems relevant to your client’s issue, and even more so, the subtopic below, “§ 7:4 – Excessive or inadequate damages.” Turning to that section in the volume, you learn the trial judge has discretionary power to set aside an award of damages if she believes that the damages are excessive or inadequate and given under the influence of passion or prejudice, or if the evidence is insufficient to justify the verdict. This does not provide much guidance as to whether your client’s award of damages might be considered excessive. However, § 7:4 goes on to state that a ruling by the trial judge on the issue of damages is within her discretion and will not be set aside except upon a showing of abuse of discretion. You can now advise your client appropriately, and you have North Carolina Law of Damages to thank for it.

~ Michelle Abbott, L’15 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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CSL Library Academic Success Collection Guide

The CSL Library’s Academic Success Collection is located behind the circulation desk on the 5th floor.

This collection includes resources like hornbooks, practice exams, flashcards, audio CDs, and law school success books. Students may browse available titles by subject using the online library catalog, or they can discuss with an Academic Success Counselor which resources might be best suited to their purpose.

The Academic Success Collection contains high-use materials of interest to a large number of students, covering a wide variety of subjects, which is why the materials are on reserve and have limited loan periods. The Academic Success resources are available for a 3 day checkout. Some of the Academic Success resources listed below are also available as a reserve item. Reserve items are limited to a 3 hour checkout.

The following is a general description of the types of Academic Success resources available for each of the 1L classes and for many of the upper level courses:

  • Black Letter Outlines – These outlines summarize the basic black letter rules of each topic in a way that allows students to appreciate how different parts of their course material fit together.
  • Concise Hornbook Series – Discusses specific problems and illustrations, focusing on topics covered in a typical course on civil procedure, tied to no particular casebook.
  • Crunch Time Series – Crunch Times include a summary of about 100 pages, summarizing all the key concepts in easy-to-read outline form, Exam Tips, drawn from analysis of exactly what has been asked on hundreds of past essay and short-answer law exams, Flow Charts short-answer and multiple-choice questions , and complex issue-spotting essay questions. 
  • Emanuel Law Outlines – Emanuel Law Outlines support your class preparation, provide reference for your outline creation, and supply a comprehensive breakdown of topic matter for your entire study process. Also included are exam questions with model answers, an alpha-list of cases, and a cross reference table of cases for all of the leading casebooks.
  • Examples & Explanations – Examples and Explanations are written in clear text and contain many concrete examples as well as questions and answers with detailed explanations for help in reviewing concepts.  Certain legal concepts are explained with the aid of charts and graphics, and sample examination questions are provided with their model answers.
  • Hornbooks – Hornbooks cover a single legal subject and are written expressly for law students by law professors.  These condensed one-volume overviews are written in clear, accessible language.  They contain discussion of courts’ interpretation of the law, explanations of the application of the law today, and may contain hypothetical questions and model answers.  
  • Nutshells – Nutshells are small, paperback texts that present concise overviews of areas of law. Nutshells are considered the most basic secondary source on a legal topic.
  • Q&A Series – These LexisNexis study guide series feature hundreds of multiple-choice and short-answer questions arranged topically, plus an additional sets of questions comprising a final “practice exam.”  For each multiple-choice question, authors provide a detailed answer that indicates which of four options is the best answer and explains thoroughly why that option is better than the other three options. 
  • Siegel’s Series – The Siegel’s Series works through key topics in Q&A format, providing an additional source for self-quizzing. Titles in this exam-prep series contain essay questions with model answers, as well as multiple-choice questions and answers. 
  • Understanding Series – The Understanding the Law series of hornbooks covers the central concepts and issues students encounter in the basic 1L law course, as well as the leading cases.  Topics that typically cause the most confusion are covered in-depth.

Additional Material Types Available from the Library

  • Bar Prep Materials – In the final Stretch? Check out the Bar Prep Materials your library has to offer.
  • Audio CDs – Designed for Audio Learners, or students with long commutes, these convenient audio CD’s present legal topics in a clear, succinct, timesaving format.
  • Flash Cards – For reviewing legal topics point-by-point, Law in a Flash Card Sets contain hundreds of short questions and provide precise answers on the flip side.

~Aaron Greene~

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ALR Student’s Corner: Bender’s Forms of Discovery

bendersformsofdiscovery

Introduction

Discovery is a key part of a civil or criminal action because it can force an adverse party to disclose information and evidence that is essential to the preparation of the requesting party’s case.  Because discovery is a key part in any trial, there must be rules and regulations monitoring it to avoid abuse by one or both parties.  The purpose of Bender’s Forms of Discovery is to showcase all the different avenues and tools used in the discovery process today.  Since Bender’s publication in 1975, the world of discovery has drastically changed thanks to the Internet and all the technological advances our country has seen over the past 35+ years.  In most cases, the law struggles to keep up with the ever evolving world of technology.  As a subset of that issue, our legal system must address how to handle and deal with each new form of evidence through discovery, and keep pace with its constant evolution.

Background

Bender’s Forms of Discovery, authored by Matthew Bender of Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a subsidiary of LexisNexis, is a 17 volume, loose-leaf series made up of Treatises and Interrogatories.  The Index for the Interrogatories is volume 10A which provides an index for volumes 1-10A.  The Index for the Treatises is volume 17 which provides an index for volumes 11-17.  Each volume contains its own index for that specific volume.  Each index is given section numbers based on broad topics depending on the type of discovery.  These sections are broken down further into sub-categories, providing its users with even more detailed descriptions.  For instance, within Interrogatories, the categories for the different types of discovery range from accountants to computers to products liability to slip-and-falls to zoning, while the categories for the different types of discovery, in the Treatises, range from discovery generally to production and inspection (federal and state rules) to discovery of electronically stored information.

Bender’s Forms of Discovery was last updated in 2013 and can be accessed in one of the following ways: 1) using the Browse Sources feature on Lexis Advance, search or browse by title; 2) using the Charlotte School of Law Library catalog, locate the title and then click on “Ebook” to be directly linked to the Lexis Advance site; and 3) using the call number – KF 8900.A3 – pulled from the catalog, access the print version of Bender’s Forms of Discovery in the stacks at the CSL Library.

Critique

The volume indices do a great job of grouping categories into broad topics first and then breaking those down further into chapters, subcategories, sections, and subsections.  For example, “Chapter 15: Discovery of Electronically Stored Information” is broken down into such subcategories as Scope, Understanding Electronically Stored Information, Record Retention and Disposition Policy, Litigation Response Plan Formulation Stage, Identification Stage, and Preservation Stage.  These subcategories are further broken down into detailed sections and sub-sections.  However, the Index of Treatises and the Index of Interrogatories may be slightly confusing to a layperson interested in looking up a specific topic because of how the indices refer to specific topics.  The indices refer to topics by chapter numbers and sections rather than volumes, whereas the volumes are not broken down by chapters, but rather by alphabetical categories.  So, you first have to find the appropriate volume based on your topic, and then locate the chapter and section referenced in the Index.

Example

To demonstrate how easy and helpful this form book is, let’s conduct a hypothetical search.  Suppose I were a corporate attorney and had a client who is being charged with embezzlement.  Because electronic data on computers, hard drives, and other storage systems will be sought by opposing counsel, I have a moral and ethical duty to ensure that no evidence is destroyed pending litigation.  I can locate my duties as the defense attorney by using Bender’s Forms of Discovery; within Chapter 15 discussing electronically stored information, I learn everything I need to know about these duties as they pertain to this specific form of discovery.  To get there, I locate Volume 17 because it contains the Chapter 15 discussion about electronically stored information.  Within the table of contents for Chapter 15, I locate the topic “Preservation Stage” and within that, § 15.63[1]0 providing a full description and analysis of the attorney’s responsibilities to advise a client of her duty to preserve, with annotations to primary and secondary authorities.

~ Courtney Carter, L’14 ~

  Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina

Introduction

Are you a solo practitioner looking for cases to support your client’s unlawful search and seizure? Are you a judge wondering how to correctly apply the law to defendants involved in criminal matters? Or, are you a new police officer eager to carry out your duties within the law, or one looking to fill-out the proper form subsequent to the search of a vehicle? Regardless of your law enforcement role, the resource for you is Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina by Robert L. Farb, an annotated practice guide that analyzes issues of criminal law and procedure in North Carolina, specifically the law of arrest, search and seizure, and rules of evidence.

arrestinvestigationnc

Content of the Guide

Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina, currently in its fourth edition, is published by the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The practice guide is designed to help law enforcement and legal professionals, including judges, public defenders, police officers, law students and law professors, apply federal constitutional law and North Carolina state law as each pertains to arrest, search and seizure, and post-arrest procedures.  Within this practice guide, you will find comprehensive and relative treatment of North Carolina criminal law and procedure, insight into the practical issues of policing, and advisement within the legal field.  The practice guide further breaks down the probable cause requirements necessary to satisfy the Constitution, details the elements and factors of proof of various crimes, and annotates with case law from the United States Supreme Court (highest federal authority), NC Supreme Court (highest state authority) and NC Court of Appeals.

The practice guide is located in the “Reference: Carolinas” section, on the fifth floor of the Charlotte School of Law library.  Taking the search string – “arrest search” – into the CSL library catalog gives you the call number (KFN 7976.F37 2011) for the exact location on the shelf; a reference librarian or student workers at circulation are also there to assist.

Organization of the Guide

Inside the practice guide, there is a general table of contents listing the six chapters and chapter titles. There is a more detailed table of contents for each chapter highlighting the particular subtopics discussed. At the end of chapters two through five, there are appendices for case summaries, and at the back of the book, an index of cases in the case summaries and a subject index. Additionally, the practice guide includes forms that address such criminal procedure issues as search warrants for the search of the home, car, or person (i.e. blood samples when a DUI offender refuses a Breathalyzer), administrative inspections, and non-testimonial identification orders.

Best Way to Navigate the Guide

The general table of contents and the chapter-specific ones make it a breeze to navigate Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina. For instance, suppose you have a client who questions the lawfulness of a recent police search of his home.  Upon browsing the general table of contents for the search term “Arrests,” you are directed to Chapter 2 which deals with the law of arrest and investigative stops.  This seems relevant to your client’s issue, and upon perusing the table of contents specific to Chapter 2, you discover there are discussion and analysis of the rule of law related to entering a premises to arrest, with annotations to relevant case law and statutory authority.  Additionally, you might consider navigating the practice guide via the subject index, which is organized alphabetically.  For instance, were the same hypothetical client from above searched and frisked on the street, locating “frisk,” under the “F” column of the subject index, leads you to analysis of the rule of law related to stop-and-frisks (i.e. definitions, lawful versus unlawful Terry stops, annotations).

Conclusion

Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina is an excellent source to consult when involved in any field of criminal law, from investigating crimes to administering justice.

~ Shante’ Burke, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Summer Reading – Library Staff Picks

There are still a few weeks of summer left and we wanted to share some our suggestions for good reads you might want to take in before returning to school . . .


 

lifeafterlife

Last month my book club read Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. It’s a really good book to read at the beach as it is 560 pages and keeps your attention. Rarely, is there a book that I would like to read again to pick up on the pieces I missed the first time through, but this is one.

In an interview, Kate Atkinson talked about wanting to write about the London Blitz but also wanting to experiment with a character who constantly dies and is reborn. That character, Ursula lives a a different path each time she dies and is born again.  The historical fiction account of World War II in combination with an interesting structure makes this a good read.

~ Betty Thomas ~


thegolemandthejinni

I recently read and loved The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.  Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free.

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

~ Jamie Sunnycalb ~


tibetanpeachpie

Tom Robbins’ warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels—including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates—provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.  In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, stitching together stories of his unconventional life, from his Appalachian childhood to his globetrotting adventures —told in his unique voice that combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy. (Amazon)

~ Julie Morris ~


timetravelerswife

The Time Travelers’ Wife  – Audrey Niffenegger

Don’t let yourself be swayed by the soft focus movie trailer and think this is some sappy chick flick novel – this story, in book form, is literally one of the edgiest and rawest love stories I’ve ever picked up, featuring a punk rocker time traveling librarian.  It ended up on my lap as a screenplay many years ago when it was first being shopped around and I was so touched by the screenplay I immediately went on a hunt for the book, starved for more words, for the original story.  And the book itself was such a magnificent, moving piece that after I finished, I put it down and said something I’ve never said before ‘I can’t even read it again.  It’s too good.’  And it was a year before I cracked and opened the cover again.  I still haven’t gone back for my third helping…

~ Ashley Moye ~


katiespicks

~Katie Brown~


pariswife

The Paris Wife by Paula McClain

The Paris Wife is a fictionalized, but well-researched account of Hemingway’s first marriage to Hadley Richardson, told from Richardson’s perspective. It captures the warmth between the two individuals and provides a peek into the artsy, ex-patriot society which included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound. I had seen this book in various book stores over the last two years, but had always walked right by it.  I’d never been a fan of Ernest Hemingway. I just didn’t “get” him.  The only works of his I had read were some of the short “Nick Adams” stories and his memoir, A Moveable Feast.  I enjoyed the latter.

I had learned that a newly restored A Moveable Feast had been published and so, along with this title, I picked up The Paris Wife.  The novel permitted me to see Hemingway in a new and more vulnerable way and has the potential of motivating me to read The Sun Also Rises.

~ Susan Catterall ~


And if none of these suit your fancy, check out these recommended reading lists:


 

read

~Julie Morris~

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