Articles Posted in LawyerVille

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“Objection – Hearsay!” From Perry Mason to Saul Goodman, anyone who’s watched a courtroom drama has heard it said, but what does it really mean? The technical definition of “hearsay” sounds like complicated nonsense to most people: “an out of court statement used to show the truth of the matter asserted.” The important thing for you to remember on the witness stand is that hearsay is second-hand information, and it’s usually not allowed in court except in special circumstances. Continue reading →

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Shebalin v. Shebalin, 2022-NCCOA-410.

Facts:

This appeal arose from the appointment of a parenting coordinator. Parenting coordinators are often appointed to child custody cases when the parents absolutely cannot get along. Plaintiff and Defendant had a minor child together who was at the center of their custody dispute. The trial court’s finding was that the case had become “high conflict” and thus a parenting coordinator was appointed for a term of years. In 2019, Defendant filed a motion to appoint again and was met with a motion to dismiss. At the hearing on these motions in 2020, the trial court again labeled the case high conflict, denied the motion to dismiss, and then set out a future date for the appointment of a coordinator. Continue reading →

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Wake Co. obo Williams v. Wiley, 2022-NCCOA-402.

Facts: Defendant was ordered to pay child support to Plaintiff in an order from Maryland entered in 2007. For enforcement, the order was to be filed in Wake County. At that time, Defendant was over $42,000 in arrears. Plaintiff filed their notice for registration of the Maryland order and later confirmed the registration through a default judgment in 2018. Defendant next filed a motion to set aside the confirmation because she alleged that she was not properly noticed of the hearing. The trial court denied. Defendant also sought to dismiss the confirmation pursuant to a motion filed under Rule 12(b)(2), (4), and (5). These were also denied. Defendant appealed. Continue reading →

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Recent high-profile trials have been live-streamed with great success. The Depp-Heard defamation trial and Rittenhouse prosecution were widely watched by many across the entire world through new media channels such as YouTube, as well as traditional television broadcasting. Recently, someone asked me if North Carolina would allow cameras into our courtrooms for similar high-profile cases. Remarkably, the Rules of Practice for Superior and District Court already allow them to do so. Continue reading →

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Huffman v. Huffman, 2022 NCCOA 309 – NC: Court of Appeals 2022

In this day of dating apps, social media, and instant gratification, temptations for the unfaithful are everywhere. But so are ways to cover your tracks: it’s easier to get and delete a text message than intercept a letter, easier to lie about a location when phones are tied to specific places.

This leaves many spouses sure that something is going on, but unable to find definitive proof. Maybe he’s on his phone with a “friend” all the time, maybe he disappears at odd hours, maybe there’s a suspicious dinner for two on a credit card. The NC Court of Appeals has decided that when it comes to proving marital misconduct in court, these suspicious behaviors may be enough.

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Mediation is a fantastic alternative method of settling your case and often more satisfying than going to court.  It is likely that a few issues stand between settlement and more prolonged litigation. This is where mediation can really shine—it lets you laser focus on the few things you really care about. A mediator must be a neutral third party that also happens to be an expert in family law, or a former judge that has decided many family law cases. In all court-ordered mediations, there are rules. In North Carolina, some new rules have been passed and can be found in NCGS § 7A-38.4A. This is a quick reference for how some of those rules will apply to your mediation.

Who can be a mediator for Family Financial Mediation?

The mediator must be certified. A list of certified mediators is published and updated at the NC Courts website. To be certified, the mediator must have an understanding of family law in North Carolina. There is also a laundry list of qualifications, classes, and educational requirements. These requirements can be found in Rule 8 of the Rules for Settlement Procedures in District Court Family Financial Cases. To be blunt, your mediator is highly qualified in the area of family law. Continue reading →

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Clark v. Clark and Barrett, 2021-NCCOA-653 (2021)

  • Facts: A married couple, the Clarks, lived in North Carolina. In 2016, Husband began an affair with Ms. Barrett, in Virginia. That same year while home in North Carolina, Wife discovered text messages between Husband and Barrett. The couple argued and Wife ultimately had to be hospitalized due to the stress. More texts and explicit photographs were discovered on Husband’s phone a few months later. The photos were clearly taken in the Clark home. In September 2016, Husband finally left the marital home after Wife threatened to call Barrett and ask about the affair. In January 2017, Husband and Wife acquired some land in which to build a house. A few months later the couple executed a separation agreement. Husband and Wife at one point in 2017 reconciled and resumed an intimate relationship. However, during this time, Husband was still carrying on an intimate relationship with Barrett. That relationship went as far as conceiving a child with Barrett via in vitro fertilization. Wife filed an Alienation of Affection lawsuit against Barrett. Barrett was held liable, and she appealed.

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In a previous post, we discussed the basics and legal implications of smart contracts built upon blockchain technologies. These smart contracts are one of the highly touted tools that are set to streamline business. The recent law that formed regulatory sandboxes to promote innovative fintech (financial technology) products portends this State’s promotion of such tools as smart contracts. It is an interesting time to be in the fintech space. Continue reading →

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For those readers that are tech savvy and keep up to date with financial developments, the buzzwords cryptocurrency, bitcoin, and blockchain should immediately ring a bell. Another development called smart contracts should also be on your radar. Essentially built upon blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, these smart contracts are one of the highly touted tools that are set to streamline transactions in a pseudo-contractual space. Continue reading →

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North Carolina recently enacted a new law that formed a regulatory sandbox for financial and insurance technologies (often termed Fintech and Insuretech). It also commissioned the formation of an “Innovation Council” that serves to receive and approve applications for “entry” into the so-called sandbox. This new law will be codified in NCGS § 169. Continue reading →