North Carolina Criminal Law: Two Marijuana-related Convictions Reversed by Court of Appeals

Posted by Sean P. CecilJan 20, 20160 Comments

The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed two convictions of maintaining a building or vehicle for drug purposes, citing insufficient evidence. This is an important case defining what the crime is not, and should provide guidance for prosecutors and defense attorneys who have to deal with these allegations which are often used as bargaining chips to convince defendants to plead guilty to other crimes in a plea bargain.

NC Criminal Law: Appellate Court Rules Search Warrant Invalid

Posted by Sean P. CecilJan 13, 20160 Comments

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court's ruling that a magistrate-issued warrant for the search of a home was not supported by probable cause to believe that drugs would be found in that particular home and that the evidence found in the home was the "fruit of the poisonous tree" and could not be used against the defendants in support of criminal charges.

4th Circuit: Evidence Suppressed because Police Detained Suspect Without Reasonable Suspicion of Criminal Activity

Posted by Sean P. CecilOct 28, 20150 Comments

The exclusionary rule prevents the government from  presenting evidence in a criminal case that is tainted by a violation of the suspect/defendant's constitutional rights. A recent 4th Circuit Appellate concluded that drug evidence should have been suppressed under the exclusionary rule because the police seized the defendant without a reasonable suspicion that he was engaged in criminal behavior. This article explores the case and the law behind the Court's ruling.

NC Court of Appeals: A Recent Look at the "Last Clear Chance" to Prevent Calamity

Posted by Sean P. CecilOct 26, 20151 Comment

North Carolina is one of just a few states in the United States that adheres to the contributory negligence doctrine, meaning that a plaintiff who's own negligence (failure to use due care to prevent a foreseeable injury) was at least partly to blame for his injury. However, an injured plaintiff's contributory negligence can be excused if he or she can establish that the defendant had the "last clear chance to avoid the injury.

Jury Awards Victimized Female Farmworkers $17 Million

Posted by Sean P. CecilSep 16, 20150 Comments

A jury in Florida just returned a verdict of $17 million to five female migrant farmworkers who complained they were raped and sexually harassed by male supervisors at a packing plant where they worked. Sexual abuse of female farmworkers is a widespread problem; federal government is apparently a...

Anniversary of the Imperial Foods Fire

Posted by Sean P. CecilSep 03, 20150 Comments

Today marks the 24th anniversary of the notorious Imperial Food Products fire in Hamlet, North Carolina. In the fire, 25 workers dies and 49 were injured because of unsafe conditions, including a locked exit door; according to the NC Dept. of Labor, the investigation found "numerous violations of...

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