Category Archives: Of Interest to Law Students

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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Free Online Resource for Immigration: Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in North Carolina

free

Charlotte Law Library is continuing a series of blogs on the free online resources available on the website of the North Carolina Court System Office of Indigent Defense Services (NCIDS).

This blog will focus on the Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in North Carolina available for free online as a pdf.

“Using a step-by-step approach to the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction, this essential guide explains the different types of immigration status and the various criminal convictions that trigger removal (deportation) in light of a person’s immigration status. Included is a detailed chart of immigration consequences of various North Carolina offenses as well as a removable, laminated checklist [print version] highlighting the key consequences.”

Here is the Table of Contents:

Immigration Consequences Manual

Title Page, Table of Contents, and Preface
Chapter 1: Overview
Chapter 2: Determining Your Client’s Citizenship and Immigration Status
Chapter 3: Criminal Grounds of Removal
Chapter 4: Conviction and Sentence for Immigration Purposes
Chapter 5: Determining Possible Immigration Consequences Based on Your Client’s Immigration Status
Chapter 6: Options for Minimizing Adverse Immigration Consequences
Chapter 7: Procedures Related to Removal
Chapter 8: State Post-Conviction Relief
Appendix A: Selected Immigration Consequences of North Carolina Offenses
Appendix B: Legal Resources for Indigent Defense Attorneys and Noncitizen Clients in North Carolina
(revised April 2008)
Summary Checklist

This manual is an invaluable resource for those who work in immigration law.  Just look at how this resource is packed with practical information!

Here is the Table of Contents of a typical chapter:

Chapter 6:

Options for Minimizing Adverse Immigration Consequences

6.1 General Rules 70

A. Offenses That Do Not Carry Adverse Immigration Consequences

B. Deferred Prosecution

C. Record of Conviction

D. Pleading Not Guilty

E. Post-Conviction Relief

6.2 Cases Involving Aggravated Felonies 72

A. Aggravated Felonies Triggered by a One Year Term of Imprisonment

B. Aggravated Felonies Triggered by More than a $10,000 Loss

C. Crime of Violence Aggravated Felony

6.3 Cases Involving Drugs 74

A. Possession of 30 Grams or Less of Marijuana

B. Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance

C. Accessory after the Fact

D. Non-Drug Charges

E. Admissions Involving Drugs

6.4 Cases Involving Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude 76

A. Offense That Is Not a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude

B. One Misdemeanor CMT

C. One Felony CMT for Noncitizen Admitted to the U.S. for More Than Five Years

6.5 Cases Involving Firearms 77

A. Weapons Offenses That Do Not Specifically Involve a Firearm

B. Non-Aggravated Felony

C. Accessory after the Fact

6.6 Cases Involving Domestic Violence 78

A. Offense That Is Not a Crime of Violence

B. Offense That Is Not Against a Person

Look for this symbol for future blogs on free online resources:

free

Come see us in the library for more resources in print and online.  And for immigration research, check out our Research Guide on Immigration Law.

~Mary Susan Lucas~

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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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A New Framework

framework

For the past fifteen years, academic librarians and teaching faculty have used the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) as the basis for learning outcomes when teaching information literacy. These standards have been recently revised by a task force. The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education was developed and released for comment in July. The final version will be presented to the ACRL Board in August for approval in September.

Implications for Law Librarians and Faculty

The American Association of Law Libraries Information Literacy Standards and Legal Research Competencies are based upon the ACRL Information Literacy Competence Standards for Higher Education (2000). Once the new Framework is adopted by ACRL, the standards for legal research may also change to mirror the updated thinking.

The Framework is substantially different from its predecessor.  With changes in the higher education environment for students, faculty and librarians, the Framework is no longer a set of standards with prescribed skills. It is called a framework because it is based on interconnected threshold concepts with flexible options for implementation.

Information Literacy Redefined

The new Framework redefines the term information literacy so that it is more useful to different disciplines and academic institutions.  (Some library authorities like William Badke dislike the term and refer to information literacy skills simply as research processes.) The new definition follows:

Information literacy is a repertoire of understandings, practices, and dispositions focused on flexible engagement with the information ecosystem, underpinned by critical self-reflection. The repertoire involves finding, evaluating, interpreting, managing, and using information to answer questions and develop new ones; and creating new knowledge through ethical participation in communities of learning, scholarship, and practice.

Threshold Concepts

Threshold concepts are “those ideas in any discipline that are passageways or portals to enlarged understanding or ways of thinking and practicing within that discipline.”

The six threshold concepts are:

  1. Scholarship is a Conversation
  2. Research as Inquiry
  3. Authority is Contextual and Constructed
  4. Format as a Process
  5. Searching as Exploration
  6. Information has Value

Each threshold concept is supported by:

  • Knowledge practices (abilities) which are demonstrations of ways in which learners can increase their understanding of these concepts
  • Dispositions which describe ways in which the affective, attitudinal, or valuing dimension of learning can be addressed.

The framework will be accompanied by a toolkit that will include assignments and assessments for different situations. There has also been discussion of having a separate mapping document to help link the threshold concepts to the old standards. Ultimately, an online sandbox will be created to help librarians and instructors see a variety of practical applications.

This is the basic framework. The discussion will continue. There will be some changes before the task force presents the final version to the board. However, the basic structure will still include these concepts and a new framework.

~Betty Thomas~

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ALR Student’s Corner: The North Carolina Defender Manual – Pretrial and Trial

The North Carolina Defender Manual is part of a collection called the North Carolina Indigent Defense Manual Series.  The series serves to provide comprehensive, up-to-date reference materials to attorneys who defend indigent clients.  The Defender Manual has two volumes: volume one addresses the intricacies of pretrial criminal procedure, while volume two provides materials for the trial level.  Each volume includes a complete table of contents at the beginning of the manual, as well as, a more in-depth table of contents at the beginning of each chapter.  The Defender Manual is funded by and made available for free online through the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services.

ncdefendermanual

Volume one was authored by John Rubin, also the series editor, and Alyson A. Grine.  John Rubin has been with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government since 1991.  He specializes in criminal law and procedure and indigent defense education.  Alyson A. Grine has been with the School of Government since 2006 where she serves as defender educator.  Volume two was authored by John Rubin and Julie Ramseur Lewis.  Ms. Lewis has served as an assistant public defender in Charlotte since 1993.

The first volume has 15 chapters that include the following issues related to pretrial criminal procedure: pretrial release, probable cause hearings, discovery, grand jury proceedings, jurisdiction, venue, suppression motions, and stops and warrantless searches.  Case law authority includes decisions through June 30, 2013 and statutory authority, through the end of the 2013 session of the North Carolina General Assembly.  Volume two, current through February 2012, includes the following issues related to criminal procedure at the trial stage: personal rights of the defendant, guilty pleas, jury selection, opening statements, closing arguments, and appeals, post-conviction litigation, and writs.

The manual cites to all relevant case law and statutes.  It lays out the elements of rules in easy-to-read bullet form and then provides an in-depth explanation of the rule.  Throughout the volumes, you will find helpful charts, forms, and other materials. Volume two includes Performance Guidelines for Indigent Representation in Non-Capital Criminal Cases at the Trial Level which acts as a training tool to help practicing attorneys provide quality representation to indigent defendants.  Additionally, the manual includes practice notes that provide instruction for problems that may arise during representation. For example, consider the following practice note below:

Volume two includes about twice as many practice notes as volume one.  But, unlike volume two, volume one includes legislative notes that detail any changes made to the statutes during the 2013 session.

Because this practice guide is available for free online through the Office of Indigent Defense Services’ website, it has the advantage of providing external links to helpful forms and websites, as exemplified below.

Although it places a special emphasis on indigent clients, the North Carolina Defender Manual is a great resource for any attorney practicing criminal defense.  It reads much like one of the many study aids that law students come to know very well.  It is a one-stop-shop for the key legal principles and practice pointers at every stage of litigation. The manual also provides checklists, fillable practice forms, sample questions, and many other helpful practice materials.  It is a great reference guide for anyone who is interested in criminal law.

~ Lindsey Cox, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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