Despite the name, a final judgment from a trial court is not always the end of a case. Appeal of the trial court judgment is often the next step in the timeline of a case. On appeal, typically, the Courts of Appeal are only restricted to the issues and factual record that were present in the trial court. That means no new evidence can be presented, and outside of a few exceptions, no new legal issues can be presented. Sometimes the appeal is based in a misinterpretation or a misapplication of law. Thus, many appeals focus on legal arguments and rely on old legal cases to argue how the law was misapplied. But at other times, the appellate court has an opportunity to set a new precedent or to distinguish the application of law to a set of facts. In these instances, there lies potential for far-ranging consequences of the Court’s decision. In such cases, interested organizations and attorneys will often want to weigh in on the matter, and attempt to persuade the Court. Remember that on appeal it is still plaintiff versus defendant, so these outside parties’ opinions may not always have any effect. Continue reading →
As part of Women’s History Month, I would like to revisit the Supreme Court’s first woman Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor. She is so much more than the historical trivia note to which she is often reduced. Educated at Stanford and appointed to the Court by then President Reagan, she served from 1981 to her retirement in 2006. She was as much an active voice behind the scenes as she was on the bench; apparently, she insisted that the Justices all eat lunch together, and would not take no for an answer. Continue reading →
A coworker recently asked me, “Why does Guilford County have two courthouses, unlike other counties in North Carolina?” I was born in Greensboro, have lived most of my life in Guilford County, and honestly had no idea. After a brief amount of internet searching, I ran across a 1999 article written in the News and Record by Paul Garber, “High Point Courthouse Changed Legal Landscape.” Continue reading →
A few years ago, when our state’s leading public university was hit with a public records request regarding a campus sexual assault, the school’s response led to a Constitutional standoff. The United States is a republic where the states have a great deal of autonomy, but what happens when a state institution seems to violate federal law? Continue reading →
Neitzer v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2018156, 2018 WL 4519997 (2018)
(a) Facts: Husband owned and operated two businesses. The wife, who was trained as a nurse, was totally disabled after a series of spine and hip surgeries. Her income came primarily from disability benefits.
The couple separated in 2010. Their 2012 joint tax return was prepared by the husband’s business accountant. The wife was notified of the return only two hours before she was expected to sign it. The accountant had been told to disclose nothing to the wife about the husband’s personal or business finances. The wife signed the return without reading it. Continue reading →
In our practice in Greensboro, North Carolina, it is not uncommon for the parties in a divorce to agree verbally to a change in child support payments. Read on to see how such an apparent show of comity may not hold up in the eyes of the court.
Have you taken intimate pictures of your current or former partner? Before you decide to post that image on social media, share it with friends, or try to get revenge with these private images, there are a few things you should know. Publishing, reproducing, or distributing these images could potentially earn you a misdemeanor or felony charge and cost you a lot of money. Continue reading →
Chandler v. United States, 338 F. Supp. 3d 592 (N.D. Tex. 2018)
(a) Facts: Wife filed a petition for innocent spouse relief. The IRS denied the petition. The wife did not seek review in the Tax Court within the 90-day review period. The wife then filed an action in federal District Court seeking a refund of funds seized by the IRS. Continue reading →
In re Kiley, 595 B.R. 595 (Bankr. D. Utah 2018)
(a) Facts: Husband and wife were divorced in Utah. The divorce decree awarded the wife a lump-sum payment from the husband’s retirement plan and ordered that she be named as the plan’s survivor beneficiary.
(a) Facts: A husband and wife signed a joint tax return. The IRS assessed a deficiency. Both parties sought relief in the Tax Court.