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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CSL Paralegal Certificate Program: Spring 2015

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Paralegal Certificate Program (PCP)

Charlotte School of Law’s Professional Education Division is offering a six-month Paralegal Certificate Program that includes internship opportunities.

Program Dates: January 12 – May 28, 2015
Mondays, Tuesday, and Thursday from 6-10p
Graduation: June 5, 2015

Apply Here: http://www.charlottelaw.edu/paralegal/how-apply
Email us: paralegal@charlottelaw.edu
or call: (704) 808-8030

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteLawParalegalProgram

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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.

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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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