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Newsletter

Get me out of this mess, and do it quick.

We are bumping into our friends at the courthouse again. Despite the quiet and distance of the last fifteen months, our friends have not changed much. A lawyer friend of nearly thirty years stopped to chat on the courthouse steps yesterday. He was headed to another county. I was due in court. But, we had not […]

Can I Trust You to Cure Me?

You may recognize this person. If she isn’t a close friend or family member, you know someone with a similar personality. She doesn’t tolerate fools. Although she is not completely humorless, she usually has better things to do than engage in light-hearted conversation. Her mind is sharp and her use of the English language exacting, […]

Why Are You Nice to the Enemy?

My friend was a long-time public defender before he retired. Over four decades of public defense, he accumulated a lot of wisdom, which usually takes the form of self-deprecating, humorous, and instructive stories. One such story comes to mind. Years ago, my friend represented a client in a two-person conspiracy. The other person’s family had […]

If I am presumed innocent, why am I in jail?

A lawyer down the street was ahead of the times in what came to be known as the “Me Too” movement. He developed a favorable reputation during the 80s and 90s representing children and (mostly) women in civil cases against the people who physically or sexually abused his clients. He remains passionate about the cause. […]

Some Good News Not to Report

The newspaper options in New Bern in the 1970s were The “Raleigh” News and Observer and The Sun Journal. My parents took both papers. The papers included the baseball box scores and, between the two of them, all the local and national sports coverage we could imagine. Walking up the driveway to collect the paper every morning or afternoon was part […]

Don’t interfere when you are winning

Superior Court Judge J.B. Allen was a rather large man with a big personality. He had white hair, a booming voice, and a no-nonsense approach to the most mundane issue. Some say he was a bit of a bully. I tried my first serious case before Judge Allen. My client was accused of attempted murder […]

How to respond to trustafarians

My friend stayed single longer than the rest of our peer group. Not that he didn’t have options. Arguably, his delay can be attributed to the fact that my friend was more handsome. Women really liked him and settling down can be a challenge for a young man with his qualities. After college, my friend […]

Should you turn back now?

It has been a difficult week calling for difficult decisions. We started watching The Queen’s Gambit, which one review in The New Yorker called the “most satisfying show on television.” It is pretty compelling. But just as we immerse ourselves in Beth Harmon’s journey, season four of The Crown is released. It violates binge watching protocol to leave one show and […]

You just got to turn some people off

Chapel Hill is a bit of an island in our state. Commonly accepted views here may not be so commonly accepted in other parts of the state. In fact, I am pretty confident that some of the commonly accepted views in my home of over thirty-five years have not made it to New Bern, my […]

Sometimes being kind beats being right

A mentor of sorts told me the story of his relationship with his brother. They were close in age and fierce rivals while growing up. They competed at everything. They were not violent, but argued every point. Neither gave ground to the other in making their cases. It continued throughout their childhoods until my mentor […]