NC Court of Appeals Decision Reaffirms Contributory Negligence Defense is Not Absolute

Rebecca Thornton, Jennifer Milak and Patrick Scott

Klapp v. Buck, a recent unpublished opinion by Judge Dillon of the North Carolina Court of Appeals revisits the defense of contributory negligence and confirms that this affirmative defense is not absolute. Background of the Case This case stems from an accident where Defendant’s vehicle collided with the Plaintiff who was riding her bicycle. The…

Criminal Justice Reform in North Carolina: Important Changes for Local Law Enforcement Agencies

Patrick Scott

Governor Roy Cooper recently signed Senate Bill 300—a criminal justice reform bill—into law. The bill, reflecting the impact of the national conversation surrounding reform in law enforcement and attempts to address the calls for transparency from those who wear the badge, is expected to have major impacts on law enforcement and local governments in North…

COA Issues Opinion Affecting all Mediated Settlement Agreements in Superior Court Civil Actions

Patrick Scott and Tracey Jones

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently considered the issue of whether a mediated settlement agreement can be signed by the attorneys on behalf of their clients in the case of Mitchell v. Boswell, ____ N.C.App. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (2020). In that case the parties were out of state while their attorneys participated in…

Local Governments Haunted by Graveyard Regulations

Patrick Scott

During the month of October, front yards across the country are transformed into ancient burial grounds where long term tenants are attempting to escape. In most situations, this spellbinding event vanishes on November 1st, leaving authentic cemeteries to exist without much thought until the next October. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made “private cemeteries” –…

Jail Safety During COVID-19

Patrick Scott and Brad Inman

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we, as a society, operate in our daily lives. Sheriffs and their leadership have been especially affected due to the challenges operating a detention facility presents during the pandemic. Jails around the country have attempted multiple strategies to protect the inmate population, including isolation, testing, and early release…