Category Archives: Of Interest to Law Students

ALR Student’s Corner: North Carolina Real Estate with Forms



The real estate industry is broken down into two broad categories:  commercial real estate (i.e. office buildings, retail buildings) and residential real estate (i.e. single family, multi-family).  In 2013, within the Charlotte area alone, there were over 35,000 residential property transactions.  In many commercial and residential transactions, a broker is involved and there are standard forms approved by state associations, such as the North Carolina Association of Realtors and the North Carolina Bar Association, used in the transaction.  There are also many times when buyer or seller’s counsel will draft the necessary documents for the transaction.  Law firms generally have “go-by’s” which are standard templates that provide boilerplate language that serve as a starting point for transactions.  However, if you are practicing on your own and do not have a library of go-by’s, a practice guide is a great place to get both comprehensive coverage of a topic, as well as, forms to serve as the basis for your transaction.

About North Carolina Real Estate with Forms

North Carolina Real Estate with Forms (Thompson/West, 2012) by Edmund T. Urban, A. Grant Whitney, Jr. and Nancy Short Ferguson contains two volumes and is organized to parallel the process of the real estate transaction from the purchase or sale to closing and recording.  The last update from 2012 is contained in a supplement in the back of Volume 1 and a separate supplement for Volume 2.

Volume 1 covers the various aspects of commercial and residential real estate sales contracts and options, and includes an extensive amount of information on real estate title searches and examinations and special considerations in the closing process.  Additionally, Volume 1 includes a Summary of Contents and a Table of Contents for both volumes, which is helpful to determine where your broad topic or subtopic may be located within the two volume series.

Volume 2 continues with its coverage of title searches and examinations and concludes with a comprehensive overview of the closing process and required documents.  Additionally, Volume 2 includes two tables and an index.  The first is a Table of Laws and Rules, which points to federal and state statutes and treatises and lists their location within the series.  The second is a Table of Cases.  The cases are arranged alphabetically, and the table lists their location within the series.  Finally, Volume 2 includes a detailed Index.  The Index is more comprehensive than the Summary and Table of Contents.  For instance, if you were looking for a form for the rescission of a mortgage and relying on only the Table of Contents, you would be hard pressed to determine the relevant chapter and title.  However, the Index lists the topics “Rescission” and “Mortgages and Deeds of Trust,” which also has the subtopic “Rescission,” both of which lead to the relevant chapter and title, specifically Chapter 21: Defects, Liens, and Encumbrances.

Each chapter in North Carolina Real Estate with Forms lists the forms available for each represented topic.  It is important to check the most current supplement for updates to the forms.  For example, the Offer to Purchase and Contract Form 2-T was completely revamped in 2011 as North Carolina moved to being a due diligence state for residential property purchases.  But, the 2009 edition of this Practice Series includes the OLD Form 2-T, while the new Form 2-T is included in the 2012 supplement.

North Carolina Real Estate with Forms can be found in the “Reference: Carolinas” section at the Charlotte School of Law library with the following call number: KFN7526.U73. More information about this title and other titles in the North Carolina Practice Series can be found by searching the Charlotte School of Law library catalog with the search string “north carolina practice series,” or by visiting the library’s LibGuides, specifically the North Carolina Legal Research LibGuide.


North Carolina Real Estate with Forms is a valuable practice series for any attorney involved in a commercial or residential real estate transaction.  The series gives a comprehensive overview and consideration of each aspect of the law that could impact the real estate transaction.

~ Traci Belk, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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October Happenings

Never fear, we’ve got plenty of tricks and treats for this bewitching month!

HALLOWEEN: Misfit’s Witches Ball, Corn Mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides, Scarowinds, Bootanical, Pumpkin Patch Party at Romare Bearden Park , GUTS Pumpkin Carving Contest, Trunk or Treat, Queen City Ghost ToursRich and Bennett’s Halloween Pub Crawl, Great Pumpkin Fest at Carowinds, Spirits of Rosedale

KISS 95.1’s Grave Digger’s Ball

Performing Arts: A Mother’s Love, Charlotte Ballet: Dangerous Liaisons, Rouge, Things that go bump in the night, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Vagina Monologues, For the Love of Harlem, Just do it – Man’s Best Friend, Nabucco, Africa Umoja

Music: For the love of Harlem, Old 97’s, Taking Back Sunday, Chris Tile & Edgar Meyer, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Nick Carter & Jordan Knight, Charlotte Classic Jazz Festival, Midatlantic Music Fall Festival, Ne-Yo, Wynton Marsalis, Calvin Harris, Silent Disco, Macy Gray, Steep Canyon Rangers, Darius Rucker with David Nail & A Thousand Horses, Marketa Irglova, Los Lobos

Chews&Booze: Bachtoberfest, Amazing Race Bar Crawl, Oktoberfest at Waldhorn Restaurant, Bibliofeast, Dining for Friends Finale, Great Grapes! Food and Wine Festival,  National Taco Day, Taste of the World, Chili Cook Off, BBQ and Blues Festival, Mecktoberfest,  Clips Beer and Film Tour, Pink on the Lawn event at the Charlotte Observer with food trucks, All you can eat oysters at Georges Brasserie

Sports: Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Checkers

Races: Race for the Cure, Runway 5k, Walk with Me, Walk like MADD, Charger Challenge 5k and Fun Run, Rocktoberfest, Hopebuilders 5k, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Just for laughs: Last Comic Standing, Tommy Davidson, Carlos Mencia

For the kids: The Lion and the Little Red Bird, 101 Dalmatians, Disney on Ice: Princesses & Heroes, JAARS Day, Penguins 3D, Omimeo, Day out with Thomas, Myers Park Library Presents: Children’s Pumpkin Party, Book Fair, Bootanical

For the “furry” kids: Barktoberfest, Humane Society’s Ties and Tails Gala

Other fun events: NC Legal Geeks, Charlotte Magazine Bridal Show,  Goodguys 21st Southeastern Nationals, Hairwalk: The Movement, Bank of America 500, 2014 Gantt Symposium featuring Common, An Evening with Bob Woodruff, Latin American Festival, Renaissance Festival, Hola Charlotte Festival, Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Festival, Carolina Balloon Fest, Autumn Jubilee, Charlotte Fall Home Show, 18th Annual Carnival at St. Ann’s Parish, Soul Food: National Author and Diverse Panels, Elizabeth Home and Garden Tour, Pretty in Pink Fashion Show, Chocolate for a Cure, Wine Women and Shoes, Lights!Camera!Fashion!, Creative Loafing’s Best of Charlotte Cocktail Party, Geek Gala, Relive the Legacy of the Appalachian Trail, Teresa Caputo, Festival of Praise Tour, Healthy Home Market Grand Opening

If your sense of adventure leads you outside the city limits, check out these attractions:

NC State Fair in Raleigh, NC. Why not ride the rails?

Tweetsie Railroad Ghost Train in Blowing Rock, NC

Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to soak up some beautiful foliage sights.

Blue Ridge Pride Festival in Asheville, NC

BBQ Festival in Lexington, NC

~Jamie Sunnycalb~

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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:

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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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!


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


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)
  2. Smith v. Bishop (Oklahoma)
  3. Rainey v. Bostic (Virginia)
  4. Schaefer v. Bostic (Virginia)
  5. McQuigg v. Bostic (Virginia)
  6. Bogan v. Baskin (Indianna) and
  7. Walker v. Wolf (Wisconsin)

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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