Posted By William Plyler on January 25, 2013
The North Carolina Supreme Court, in Topp et al v. Big Rock Foundation, Inc. et al, (No. 279A12, filed January 25, 2013) today reversed the decision of the N.C. Court of Appeals, 726 S.E. 2d 884 (2012), and sent this well-publicized case back to Superior Court for trial. The Supreme Court, in a Per Curiam decision, adopted the dissenting opinion from the Court of Appeals decision below. In so doing, it gave new life to the infamous first mate who failed (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on January 16, 2013
While speeding 90 mph in a 45 mph zone without activating his emergency lights and siren, a Greenville police officer lost control of his patrol vehicle, crossed the center line, and crashed head-on into an oncoming car. In the process, he killed himself and the innocent driver of the oncoming car. The innocent driver’s widow sued the Greenville Police Department. The North Carolina Court of Appeals, in Greene v. City of Greenville, (COA12-908, filed January 15, 2013), dismissed the case.
The officer must have had a good reason for driving like a madman, right? Maybe he was chasing a fleeing bank robber or a suspect in an Amber Alert? Not exactly.
It turns out (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on August 8, 2012
In yesterday’s opinion in Prouse v. Bituminous Casualty Corporation, et al (COA12-160, filed August 7, 2012), the North Carolina Court of Appeals insured (by issuing a 2-1 decision) that the N.C. Supreme Court will have an opportunity to administer an overdue fine-tuning of the “physical contact” rule applicable to uninsured motorist claims.
In Prouse, the plaintiff was a passenger in a truck. The truck was hit by a tire which fell from a moving vehicle. The impact of the tire caused the truck to overturn, which (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on June 5, 2012
A first mate’s failure to have a valid fishing license cost him and his four crewmates the $910,062.50 first prize for catching an 883 pound marlin in the 2010 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. The North Carolina Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision, in Topp et al v. Big Rock Foundation, Inc. et al, (COA11-681, filed June 5, 2012), affirmed the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the Tournament.
The Court of Appeals held that the Tournament Rules Committee did not act arbitrarily by disqualifying the Citation (an unfortunate name for the plaintiffs’ boat) and its catch, for violating (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on October 7, 2011
Martin H. Brinkley allowed me to publish his tribute to deceased Raleigh attorney William Joslin. Mr. Brinkley presented the tribute on 2/5/11 at the funeral service for Mr. Joslin. The tribute is published in its entirety.
A Tribute to William Joslin
February 5, 2011
When William Joslin boarded what his lifelong friend Robert McMillan calls “the express train to heaven” last Saturday, I embarked (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on September 11, 2011
A man can sue his wife’s paramour for negligent infliction of a sexually transmitted disease (NISTD), held the North Carolina Court of Appeals last week, in Carsanora v. Colvin, (COA11-43, filed September 6, 2011). It is long settled law in North Carolina that a person is liable if he negligently exposes another to a contagious or infectious disease. See, Crowell v. Crowell, 180 N.C. 516 (1920) (married woman may sue her husband for infecting her with venereal disease). However, Carsanora (no, it’s not Casanova) is the first North Carolina case where liability extends beyond (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on August 17, 2011
Robert McMillan allowed me to publish his tribute to deceased Raleigh attorney William Joslin. Mr. McMillan presented the tribute on 8/12/11 at a memorial service in Wake County Superior Court which honored William Joslin and other Wake County attorneys who passed away in the preceeding year. The tribute is published in its entirety.
FOLLOWING WORLD WAR II THE WRITER, IRWIN SHAW, WROTE A BOOK ENTITLED ‘THE YOUNG LIONS’. IT TELLS THE WAR TIME STORIES OF SEVERAL PERSONS WHO HAD KNOWN ONE ANOTHER PRIOR TO THE WAR. IT IS WORTH YOUR READING.
A WRITER OF SHAW’S STATURE COULD WRITE AN ENTHRALLING (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on July 19, 2011
It is refreshing to see the North Carolina Court of Appeals inject a little humor in the normally dry analysis of insurance law. Judge Martha Geer’s decision today, in Herbert v. Marcaccio, No. COA10-876, filed July 19, 2011), quotes from a 1938 Supreme Court case in stating, “Justice does not require that courts profess to be more ignorant than the rest of mankind.” State v. Vick, 213 N.C. 235, 238, 195 S.E. 779, 781 (1938).
The issue in Herbert which drew the dead-pan zinger from Judge Geer was (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on June 8, 2011
The North Carolina Court of Appeals, in Inland American Winston Hotels, Inc. v. Crockett and Winston, (COA10-593, filed June 7, 2011), held yesterday that the words “solicit”, “recruit”, and “induce” have different meanings than the word “hire”. Not leaving anything to chance, the Court of Appeals cites Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Black’s Law Dictionary for two pages worth of definitions.
The defendants in this case were former executive officers of a company which merged with another company. As part of the merger, the defendants left the merged company to pursue other ventures. When they left the merged company, the defendants signed non-compete agreements. The non-compete agreements, in pertinent part, prohibited (more…)
Posted By William Plyler on May 3, 2011
An opinion filed today by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Estate of Erik Williams v. Pasquotank County Parks & Recreation Department, (COA10-491, filed May 3, 2011), provides some much-needed clarity for plaintiffs’ attorneys bold enough to embark upon the governmental immunity Magical Mystery Tour.
Williams is a wrongful death case arising from the drowning death of a young man attending a high school graduation party at Fun Junction, a Pasquotank County public park. The park included a “Swimming Hole” which was alleged by the plaintiff to be unsafe. The hosts of the party rented the park from the County for $75.
Governmental immunity cases usually turn on whether (more…)