Category Archives: Student Postings

Global Entrepreneurship Week in Charlotte

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When you hear the word entrepreneurship do you think of (a) start-ups, (b) small businesses, or (c) both?  Or are you not sure because maybe you were edging towards one answer but see the potential in another answer?  Whatever answer you choose, it’s not wrong.  Entrepreneurship can occur when one creates a theater meant to be interactive, or when one create an urban farming scheme.  Entrepreneurship can mean building a new website or creating something that will impact the modern lifestyle.  It can even be as simple as opening that small bakery you always wanted to.  At the end of the day, the word entrepreneurship can mean many different things but all of them boil down to one core concept: change and a willingness to enact it.

So, why do you ask, do I want to talk about entrepreneurship?  The answer is simple; come November, I will be a major participant in Charlotte’s own Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).  Events will range from panel discussions and networking to a start-up challenge hosted by the Chamber to a “food innovation” event. One of the most interesting aspects of GEW Charlotte is that any person from the Charlotte area can attend any of the events during the course of the week.  Attendees will be able to network and learn about what Charlotte has to offer someone who wants to be an entrepreneur.  The goal is to invite residents from in and around Charlotte to come, to meet fellow entrepreneurs, and to have a good time.

What is GEW?  To put it simply, GEW (Global Entrepreneurship Week) is an annual series of events hosted by the Kauffman Foundation–a leading innovator in helping investors see the value of small start-ups that will eventually become the next Facebook or phone app.  Any city can host events for GEW as long as they sign up and agree to host at least one event during the week of GEW.  GEW will run from November 19th to the 23rd, and this year, Charlotte has its own version of GEW.

This year in Charlotte, GEW has panels on investing and financing small businesses or start-ups, non-technology start-ups, and a food innovation demo day hosted at Johnson C. Smith University

No matter what entrepreneurship means to you, I hope you take the time to think about what it means (to you) and whether or not you want to take the time to see just what Charlotte has to offer in terms of GEW Charlotte.

~Ananya Mallavarapu, L’17~

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ALR Student’s Corner: North Carolina Workers’ Compensation: Law and Practice with Forms

Civil and criminal practice guides are astonishingly beneficial sources for both practicing attorneys and laypersons. Practice guides provide detailed information about specific areas of litigation, from annotations, to checklists, to fillable forms, to recent news about relevant legislation.

Workers Compensation is an area of litigation that has both cost effective and expensive (i.e. WestlawNext, Lexis Advance) electronic and print practice guides. With the intention of elaborating on a helpful resource for the newly formed law firm that needs to save on overhead costs, and the large firm that can afford a yearly subscription to WestlawNext, I will review North Carolina Workers’ Compensation: Law & Practice with Forms.

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This practice guide gives in-depth coverage to every component of workers’ compensation.  Substantive and procedural issues analyzed include the following subtopics in workers’ compensation law: jurisdiction, notice, definition/classifications of employer and employee, accidents arising out of employment, insurance, minors and incompetents, disability benefits, statute of limitations, medical expenses and treatment, and hearings and appeals before the Industrial Commission.  For every issue and subtopic covered, the practice guide references the applicable North Carolina cases in the footnotes.

Additionally, the practice guide includes forms, pulled directly from the Industrial Commission and downloadable in PDF format, and a brief summary about the key forms.   The appendix provides links to the following supplemental materials: 1) North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules, 2) guidelines for payment of fees to medical providers, and 3) ethics opinions.  Workers’ compensation is a challenging area of law, but the “general summary” chapter and “interpretation of policies” chapter help to demystify such complex issues as insurance and hearings before the Industrial Committee.

A general table of contents, consisting of 33 chapters and appendices, and as many indices as there are subtopics help to navigate the practice guide.  The print version of North Carolina Workers’ Compensation: Law & Practice with Forms is located in the “Reference: Carolinas” section at the Charlotte School of Law library; the call number (KFN7742 .J47) can be accessed via the library catalog with the following search string: north carolina workers compensation.  To locate the practice guide on WestlawNext, drill down in accordance with the navigational steps below:

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This practice guide is in an incredible resource and a one-stop-shop for attorneys practicing in workers’ compensation law.  Unfortunately, the electronic version of the practice guide on WestlawNext is quite expensive.  Thankfully, the continually updated print version at the CSL library provides a cost effective alternative.

~ Elizabeth Bowling, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Voter Identification Laws: Necessary to prevent against voter fraud? Or necessary to prevent Democrats from voting?

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The right to vote appears 5 times in the United States Constitution – more than any other right prescribed in the Constitution. [i] Until recently, one of the questions a person had to answer in order to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S. was “What is the most important right granted to U.S. Citizens?” The correct answer, according the U.S. government, was the right to vote.[ii]

Currently, 32 states in the U.S. have enacted voter identification laws which require voters to present some form of identification at the polls. Of these states, 17 require photo identification. Although North Carolina does not require a photo ID in order to vote at the moment, this will soon change as a result of the Voter Information Verification Act that was passed in 2013. Beginning in 2016, voters in North Carolina will be required to present a photo ID at the polls.[iii]

Acceptable forms of photo identification differ from state to state. For example, Wisconsin allows voters to use their student ID’s as an acceptable form of photo identification, but does not recognize military veteran ID’s. In Texas, voters are allowed to present a gun license registration as an acceptable form of photo ID.[iv]  Starting in 2016, North Carolina will accept the following forms of photo identification:

  • Unexpired NC Drivers’ license, including a learners’ permit or provisional license
  • Unexpired NC non-operators identification card (DMV ID Card)
  • Unexpired United States passport
  • United States military identification card
  • Veterans Identification Card
  • Tribal enrollment card issued by a federally recognized tribe
  • Tribal enrollment card issued by tribe recognized by NC
  • Out-of-state drivers’ license or non-operators identification card (valid only if the person’s voter registration date in the county is within 90 days of the date of the election)

Supporters of voter ID laws argue that such requirements are necessary in order to prevent in-person voter fraud at the polls. Photo ID requirements also prevent against the risk of non-eligible voters, such as non-citizens or people under the age of 18 years, from voting. Furthermore, voter ID laws help promote accurate record keeping by preventing people from voting in the wrong or in multiple precincts. So, just how prevalent is in-person voter fraud?

Voter Fraud Facts

  • Since 2000, there has been:
    • 47,000 UFO sightings
    • 441 Americans killed by lightening, and
    • 10 credible cases of in-person voter fraud
  • This means, out of 146 million registered voters, there is one case of voter fraud for every 14.6 million eligible votes. You are 12 times more likely to get struck by lightening.
  • In Wisconsin, one of the 17 states that require photo identification to vote, zero cases of in-person voter fraud occurred during the 2004, 2008, 2010, and 2012 elections in the state.
  • Every state that requires photo identification to vote has been under the control of a Republican majority legislature at the time the voter ID law was passed.
  • Fox News weighed in on the topic by acknowledging that “Voter ID Laws Target Rarely Occurring Voter Fraud” See here: www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/24/voter-id-laws-target-rarely-occuring-voter-fraud

Another compelling argument in support of voter ID laws is that requiring photo identification might prevent persons who are too young or not citizens from voting. However, state-issued ID’s are available to non-citizens – they only need to show proof of legal presence in the US. A non-citizen that is a permanent resident of the US only needs a copy of his foreign passport and immigration documents to obtain a photo ID. Therefore, voter ID laws do not prevent non-citizens from voting.

As for preventing underage voters from voting? States that allow a voter to present a student ID as an acceptable form of photo identification only require proof of enrollment, the student’s signature, and the date of issuance. There is no requirement that the student’s birth date be listed. Therefore, the law does not prevent against young voters from voting because an underage student who is determined to vote can merely present his student ID, which offers no proof of age.

The next argument in support of voter ID laws is that it helps promote accurate record keeping, so that people who have moved do not vote at the wrong precinct. However, in North Carolina, the address on a voter’s ID does not have to match his or her voting address. So, for instance, if you registered to vote in Mecklenburg County and have since moved to a different address within the county, you may vote at any precinct within the county.

Judge Richard Posner, a Reagan-appointed 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge, approved the very first photo ID voting law in the US in 2008. Now, six years and half years later, Judge Posner states that even though voter identification laws are being touted as necessary to prevent in person voter fraud, repeated investigations of these allegations show that there is virtually no in-person voter fraud nationally.

Opponents of voter ID laws argue that these restrictions are imposed by Republican legislatures in order to make it difficult for minority voters, a majority of whom vote Democrat, to vote. Requiring photo identification in order to vote places a series of obstacles in front of voters that do not have a photo ID that meets their states requirements.

First, an eligible voter who lacks a photo ID must educate himself on the process of obtaining an ID. Though this may be easy for some, voters with lower levels of education may have difficulty understanding the process to know where to start.

Some states, including North Carolina, offer voters a free state ID card. However, many eligible voters who lack a photo ID are low-income individuals. Lack of a photo ID also means that they do not have a driver’s license, and therefore they must either rely on public transportation or another source to get to the DMV. Not all DMV locations are accessible by public transit.

Many eligible voters that lack a photo ID are low-income individuals. Those who lack the proper documents necessary to obtain a state ID card are placed with the additional burden of acquiring extra resources, such as a birth certificate, social security card, or school records. This places additional time constraints and monetary expenses on the voter.

Voter ID laws that require a voter to present a photo ID in order to vote impose many obstacles on those who lack a photo ID. Such laws have been shown to ultimately deter voters from voting, either because the voter does not understand the process to get an ID, lacks the time or money, or views the process as more trouble than it’s worth. These restrictions placed on voters through voter ID laws ultimately prevent some eligible voters from exercising the most important right afforded to them under the Constitution, the right to vote.

~Mili Banerji, ‘L14~

[i] http://theusconstitution.org/text-history/1621/yes-there-right-vote-constitution

[ii] http://www.democracyjournal.org/28/the-missing-right-a-constitutional-right-to-vote.php?page=all

[iii] http://www.ncsbe.gov/ncsbe/Voter-Id

[iv] http://votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/need-id/

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ALR Student’s Corner: Douglas’ Forms

Douglas’ Forms is an indispensable, five volume set of hundreds of forms covering the following areas of North Carolina civil practice: Business Transactions; Civil Litigation; Wills, Trusts, and Estate Administration; and Domestic Relations and Guardians.

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Whether you are a new attorney starting in a large firm or a seasoned attorney managing your own practice, Douglas’ Forms will save you valuable time drafting documents, which is now more important than ever, as attorneys shift their billing structures, away from hourly billing and to such things as fee-for-service solutions, to satisfy and retain clients who have become savvier at negotiating attorneys’ fees.

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Douglas’ Forms can be accessed electronically via the Charlotte School of Law library catalog or Lexis Advance.    For those who prefer print, Douglas’ Forms can also be accessed at CSL’s Library on the fifth floor in the “Reference: Carolinas” section.  But, if you get lost in the stacks, even with the call number (KFN7468.D622) in hand, there is always a reference librarian to assist (by the way, CSL has the best reference librarians ever).

Researching electronically on Lexis Advance for the correct Douglas’ form should begin the same way as any other research project, with an effective search string.  For example, my client, a hospital, would like to enter into a joint venture with a medical practice.  Therefore, I need to draft a joint venture agreement. To access Douglas’ Forms on Lexis Advance, I can either type the title in the universal search box or use the “Browse Sources” feature.  Once I’ve pulled up the resource, the most efficient starting point is to search “joint venture” from the Table of Contents tab. Then, from the result list, click the link for “Form 8-5 Joint Venture Agreement.”

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Once the document is open, click the save icon to import into your word processing platform.

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The last step before downloading is to choose the document format, format options, and content-specific options.

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After you click download, retrieve the form by clicking the .docx link from the pop-up window.

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Finally, the form will require minor formatting adjustments depending on the word processing platform being used. Now all that is left is to tweak the contract according to the agreed upon terms and make sure the contract does not violate either federal Stark law or Anti-Kickback laws.

Douglas’ Forms is an excellent resource for essential forms related to every aspect of North Carolina civil practice, designed for attorneys to adapt the relevant form to their client’s particular situation.  So, why recreate the wheel – save yourself some time with Douglas’ Forms.

~ Kriss Anne Carlstrom, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Lee’s North Carolina Family Law

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Introduction

Lee’s North Carolina Family Law (“Lee’s”) is a vital secondary resource for attorneys practicing family law in North Carolina.  The Fifth Edition of this treatise, authored by Suzanne Reynolds and published by The Michie Company of Charlottesville, Virginia, provides comprehensive coverage and analysis of family law in North Carolina, including but not limited to substantive case law and statutes, overview of relationships from marriage to divorce, and the parent child relationship.

Lee’s is located in the Charlotte School of Law Library on the fifth floor in the “Reference: Carolinas” section at Call Number: KFN7494.L43, or by searching “family law north carolina” in the Library Catalog.  Additionally, Lee’s can be accessed electronically with a valid Lexis Advance login and the following navigational steps: 1) click on “Browse Source” in the upper right corner, 2) choose sources beginning with the letter “L”, and 3) select Lee’s North Carolina Family Law.  However, this post focuses on the hardcopy print volumes of Lee’s.

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Author Suzanne Reynolds is an Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law.  Suzanne is widely recognized for her scholarship and research in the family law field.  She was the principal drafter of the North Carolina statutes modernizing alimony and adoption.

The Fifth Edition of Lee’s is a three-volume hardback series originally published in 1993, but is routinely updated and kept current with additional pocket parts which can be found on the inside back cover of the relevant volume.  The most current pocket parts were updated in December 2012.

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Content of Lee’s North Carolina Family Law

As aforementioned, Lee’s is divided into three volumes covering all aspects of family law in North Carolina.  Volume I covers Acts Prior to Marriage, Entering Marriage, Annulments, Nonmarital Living Arrangements, Spousal Rights and Obligations during Marriage, and Divorce from Bed and Board.  Volume II focuses on Absolute Divorce, Post-Separation Support, Alimony, Child Support, and Enforcement of Awards.  Additionally, Volume III addresses Division of Property Upon Divorce-Equitable Distribution, Child Custody, Separation Agreements, Parent and Child Relationship, Unmarried Parents and Their Children, Adoption and Assisted Conception, and Procreational Liberties- Abortion and Sterilization.

The volumes combine ease of use with practicality by outlining specific topics efficiently and thoroughly.  However, the researcher must be careful not to rely solely on the Summary Table of Contents because the corresponding Table of Contents contains topics that might not seem correlated at first glance.  The Summary Table of Contents at the beginning of each volume lays out the topics covered and the applicable page numbers with clarity and precision.  Furthermore, the actual Table of Contents is intricately detailed, which is initially overwhelming, but ultimately incredibly valuable to the user as a research tool.

The annotations are another incredible research tool.  In the footnotes section on nearly every page, Lee’s provides citations and references to secondary authority, such as articles and scholarly journals, and to primary authority, such as case law and statutes, that are on-point with the legal issue being discussed.  Moreover, all three volumes contain a “Table of Cases” and “Table of Statutes” that a cost-conscious researcher can then look up for free on FastCase or the www.nccourts.org website.

To demonstrate how easy and helpful this practice guide is, let’s conduct a hypothetical search.  Suppose, on behalf of a client, I was researching the requisite elements of the marital tort, alienation of affection.  Upon consulting the Volume I Summary Table of Contents, I see that Chapter 5 deals with Spousal Rights and Obligations during Marriage.  Subsequently, a search of the Chapter 5 Table of Contents reveals that “Alienation of affections and criminal conversation; elements” are located in § 5:46(A) on page 393.  There, I learn the requisite elements of alienation of affection are as follows: 1) marriage with love and affection, 2) love and affection alienated and destroyed; and 3) defendant with malice, caused the loss of love and affection.  The text includes a relevant footnote to the premier North Carolina case explaining and analyzing the elements.  Furthermore, the text provides legal analysis discussing the satisfaction of each element and additional references to the relevant case law.

Conclusion

If an attorney is under a time crunch, Lee’s in print might not be the most time efficient resource, relative to the ease of navigating the electronic version on Lexis Advance. But, if that same attorney seeks comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the legal principles of family law in North Carolina, then Lee’s in print at the Charlotte School of Law library is the same invaluable tool, only more of bargain.

~ Michael Haigler, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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