A Lawyer’s Night Before Christmas

Since we are a law firm, we must disclose that this is not our intellectual property. We only wish it were.

 

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain
improved piece of real property (hereinafter “the House”) a general lack of
stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and
around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/
St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter “Claus”) would arrive at sometime
thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House, were
located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations,
i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited
to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in
said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as
“I”), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the parts of the
second part (hereinafter “Mamma”), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained
period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of
headgear, e.g. kerchief and cap.)

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the
unimproved real property adjacent and appurtent to said House, i.e. the lawn, a
certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of
the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the
cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of
wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter the “Vehicle”) being
pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8)
reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the
previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the
approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal
co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner
and Blitzen (hereinafter the “Deer”). (Upon information and belief, it is
further asserted that an additional co-conspirator named Rudolph may have been
involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer
intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences
located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle
was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or
nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or
implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the
chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue
from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the
aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what
appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances
and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor
children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts.
(Said items did not, however, constitute “gifts” to said minor pursuant to the
applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.) Upon completion of such task, Claus
touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of
the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as
“lookouts.” Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House,
the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: “Merry
Christmas to all and to all a good night!” Or words to that effect.

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Joyous New Year.

Or, if you prefer, happy weekend.

 

 

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Save the Planet, Share the Private Information

Parade watchers during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade received a surprise as confetti fell from the air during the festivities. A student from Tufts University, home for the holiday, noticed that some of the confetti was longer than most parade confetti. And words were printed on it. Words that, on closer inspection, appeared to be sensitive information including Social Security numbers and criminal charges. When this unusual confetti was publicized by a local news station, it was discovered that the “confetti” was actually shredded police reports. Nassau County Police Department is investigating to see how police reports ended up as party trash.

Repurposing, most people would agree, is a responsible way to get rid of papers and other paper products that are recyclable. Emptying the office recycling bin onto a crowd of parade goers, however, may not be the best way to fulfull a New Year’s Resolution about saving the planet.

Macy’s has stated that they purchase commercially made confetti. Commercial confetti is cut uniformly, is generally solid colored shreds, and does not include police reports.

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North Carolina Judicial Elections

The Dummit Law Firm would like to congratulate the winners of several North Carolina judicial elections held yesterday

North Carolina Supreme Court

•Incumbent Paul Martin Newby defeated Sam J. Ervin IV in a close race to keep his seat for another 8 years

North Carolina Court of Appeals

•Incumbent Linda M. McGee won over challenger David S. Robinson
•Incumbent Wanda Bryant won challenger Marty McGee
•Raleigh Attorney Chris Dillon won over incumbent Cressie H. Thigpen

Forsyth County

District Court Judge

•District Court Judge Victoria Roemer won reelection for a fifth term over Forsyth County Assistant Public Defender Andrew Keever

•Assistant District Attorney David Sipprell defeated Winston Salem family law attorney Amy Allred, for the seat vacated by retiring Judge Chester Davis

•Incumbents Lawrence J. Fine, William T. Graham Jr., Laurie L. Hutchins, Chief William B. Reingold, and Camille Banks-Payne all won reelection to hold their seats for another term

Superior Court Judge

•Assistant District Attorney David Hall ran unopposed on the ballot for the seat vacated by retiring Chief Superior Court Judson D. DeRamus. Winston Salem attorney Carl Parrish ran a short campaign against Hall until he was disqualified due to residency requirements

Guilford County

District Court Judge

•Incumbents Sherry Fowler Alloway, Betty J. Brown, Susan R. Burch, Avery Michelle Crump, Michelle Fletcher, Angela C. Foster, Angela B. (Angie) Fox, William K. (Pete) Hunter, Jan H. Samet, and Teresa Vincent all won reelection to hold their seats for another term

•Tabatha Holiday defeated incumbent Polly D. Sizemore

•Linda L. Falls defeated Brian Tomlin for the Bray seat

Superior Court Judge

•Susan E. Bray defeated Robert Enochs to become Superior Court Judge for District 18E

Mecklenburg County

 

District Court Judge
•Incumbents Kimberly Best, Charlotte Brown-Williams, Ronald L. Chapman, Jena Culler, Karen Eady-Williams, Ty Hands, Donnie Hoover, Christy Townley Mann, Elizabeth Trosch, and Luis A. Trosch Jr. all held their seats for another term

•Gary Henderson defeated Roy H. Wiggins for the Moore seat in District 26

•David Strickland defeated Kary Church Watson for the Totten seat in District 26

Superior Court Judge

•Yvonne Evans and Linwood Foust were both elected to Superior Court District 26A

 

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Is It Legal to Wear a Mask on Halloween?

Leaves are changing, the air is getting cooler (at least some days), and Christmas trees are appearing in department stores everywhere. These signs can only mean one thing: Halloween is on its way.

That’s a good thing, especially for those who love to dress up. Whether you plan to be silly, clever, or scary, there is a certain element of freedom in dressing up one night a year and being someone that you aren’t. But is it really ok? We have received emails from cautious individuals wondering if they need to change their costume plans to a look that doesn’t involve masks.

According to North Carolina State Law, it is illegal for anyone over the age of 16 (legal adult) to wear a mask or hood over your face. North Carolina General Statutes 14-12.7-10 ban the wearing of masks and hoods on public streets, sidewalks, public property (such as a park or building), and also on private property. G.S. 14-12.11 makes an exemption for any person wearing a traditional holiday costume in season.

Seems that Halloween would fit into the “traditional holiday costume in season” exception. So take advantage of the one day that allows a loophole big enough for everyone to fit into.

Be safe out there.

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Tragic Timing on New Safety Law

Effective October 1, 2012 – North Carolina’s Move Over Law was extended to cover Highway and Utility Workers. Previously only applied to Emergency Vehicles on the side of the road, the new law is extended to cover utility and road maintenance workers with amber lights.

The day after the new move-over law became effective, hoping to protect the lives of Highway and Utility Workers, a Department Of Transportation worker was struck and killed in Watauga County. Workers were clearing a fallen tree off of the road.

This tragedy comes as a stark reminder for why the law was needed. In addition to being law, most drivers would move over to give space to an emergency or rescue vehicle on the side of the road, but few would consider giving the same courtesy to construction workers or utility workers.

We encourage you to move over for any vehicle on the side of the road, as long as the movement can be made safely. If there is a car or debris in the next lane, or maybe there isn’t another lane, reduce speed until you pass. It is much safer to move over or reduce your speed than to be facing a Felony of Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle Charge.

If you are charged with a Move Over violation, do not pay off the ticket! Not only are fines higher for these charges, but it will also cause your insurance to increase. Call The Dummit Law Firm for a free consultation to review your options.

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6 Reasons to NOT Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

You read that correctly! Over many years of practice it is always surprising to me the reasons people have for not getting legal representation. Here’s a list of the top 5 reasons why people don’t think they should get an attorney:

1. I don’t want to sue my employer. Not a problem, because you’re not allowed! In workers’ compensation law, employees who are injured by accident at their workplace cannot sue their employers, but must go to the North Carolina Industrial Commission instead. If benefits are being wrongfully denied or delayed, the attorney will take that up with the insurance company, not with your employer. The employer will not be sued.

2. I just want my medical bills to be paid. In order to get paid for your medical bills, you have to file a workers’ compensation claim! Many times, your medical bills can pile up for months as your treatments extend. Under workers’ compensation law, you never see a bill. In addition, if you have lost wages or are out of work for any period of time, you are entitled to payments for your lost wages even before you settle your claim. The system is designed so that workers do not have to go through the financial hardship of dealing with lost income while juggling bills.

3. I don’t want to get fired. There are several reasons why employers know they should not fire injured workers. First, the workers’ compensation system is designed to allow employees to claim benefits for accidents at work without the need for costly lawsuits. In most all cases, employers have insurers who investigate the claim and hire and pay an attorney to represent the company. Your employer usually isn’t out of pocket at all! Second, firing an injured worker could bring a claim against them for a retaliatory termination. That could be a much more expensive lawsuit for the company as their insurance does not cover such an act.

4. I can’t afford a lawyer. At The Dummit Law Firm we do not get paid until you get paid. Your initial consultation is free, you will not have to pay out of pocket, and there is no fee unless we are able to get you benefits!

5. The insurance adjuster seems to know what I should get. He most certainly does know what you are entitled to, but is not offering it to you! Insurance adjusters are in the business of saving their companies money. They are not in the business of looking out for your best interest. They may sound knowledgeable and even accommodating to you, but they are not in your corner.

6.  I wasn’t hurt that badly. When you are hurt at work, it may be difficult to know immediately how the injury affects your work now, as well as future employment. When you hire a Workers’ Compensation attorney, you hire someone who has experience in how injuries like yours could affect your job situation for years to come.

You have a very limited time to get your benefits! Contact The Dummit Law Firm right away.

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Guilford County to Introduce DWI Task Force

Guilford County has received a grant to establish a DWI task force. The funding, from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, will create 3 new positions in the Sheriff’s department and 2 in the High Point police department. The city of Greensboro did not receive funds, but will assign 2 officers to be full time members of the task force.

For everyone who drives in Guilford County, this should be a reassuring development. For some, though, cynicism may kick in. In order to renew the grant after the trial period of 1 year is up, the task force will have to prove that there is good cause to fund another year. How better to show this than by having a lot of arrests to show? Guilford County will be facing the same issue, to a lesser degree, that we as a nation face- how do we keep citizens safe, while not trampling on civil rights?

Drivers have a right to go about their business unmolested. This means safe from drunk drivers, and it means safe from fear that waiting a few seconds after a red light turns green could lead to being pulled for Driving While Impaired. Since “impairment” includes more than simply alcohol, a person carrying prescriptions in a non-pharmacy container could be charged.

North Carolina has several counties that now boast a DWI task force, some even have special DWI courts. Even counties with neither special police units nor special courts provide additional training to District Attorneys who will handle DWIs. The only group that does not have a special team is the accused. Many attorneys throughout the state make concerted efforts to improve the knowledge base for defending DWIs, but they lack the unified support that every other party to a DWI- police, state prosecutors, and sometimes judges- (The Institute of Government) have.

If you have been accused of Driving While Impaired, interview the Law Firm you are considering hiring carefully. Ask how many DWIs the Firm actually handles each month and each year. Ask if the Firm regularly pleads people Not Guilty, and actually fight the charges. Typically if you are charged in North Carolina you will receive more than a dozen letters from attorneys who offer their services. While they may handle these cases in a general way, check into how many they have actually plead Not Guilty tried out to the finish. Some lawyers may tell you to simply plead guilty, but discuss your cases with several attorneys and see if you have a valid defense, then consider the path you should take.

Efforts to keep innocent drivers and passengers safe should always be welcomed. But this welcome does not have to be blind. Protection of some should never cost others freedom.

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