2013 Editor’s Picks

The following is a brief list of some of the most interesting and insightful articles published by the Campbell Law Observer over the past year. We hope you take a moment to read - hopefully not for the first time - these excellent articles by our staff.

More – or Less – at Four: Potential Changes to North Carolina’s Pre-Kindergarten Program
By: Harper Gwatney on January 1, 2013

We began the year by examining the latest round of the Leandro litigation, which has been overseen for a number of years by Judge Howard Manning, Jr.  The most recent litigation involved a challenge to Judge Manning’s order that the N.C. General Assembly’s artificial cap on funding for at-risk, Pre-K students was a denial of the “sound basic education” to which they were entitled.  Judge Manning’s order was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.  While the Supreme Court of North Carolina eventually found the case to be mooted by the General Assembly’s removal of the artificial cap, the analysis in Associate Editor Harper Gwatney’s article was not mooted, as the Leandro litigation is likely far from over.

Read the full article here.


Attorney-Client Privilege Versus the Public’s Right to Know
By: Jim Small on February 20, 2013

Another important, ongoing case involving the N.C. General Assembly revolves around the redistricting plan enacted in 2011.  The litigation challenging the plan is currently pending review in the Supreme Court of North Carolina following the plan being upheld by a three-judge panel this year.  The Supreme Court’s review will come in 2014, and the plaintiffs in the case have already requested Justice Newby’s recusal – for the second time.  But prior to the three-judge panel’s ruling, there was a legal battle over whether private counsel’s legal advice to various legislators was covered by the attorney-client privilege.  Former senior staff writer Jim Small discussed the Supreme Court’s ruling and its possible impact in future redistricting litigation.

Read the full article here.


Thwarting Equality and Justice for All
By: Jacquelyn Merrill on May 22, 2013

The N.C. General Assembly enacted the Racial Justice Act in 2009 to create a state claim for relief for defendants currently on death row who could show that race was a significant factor in the exercise of peremptory challenges in their cases.  If the defendant was successful in an RJA claim, the remedy would be a reduction in their sentence from death to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Despite recent success and statistical evidence showing that the RJA was indeed valuable legislation, it was slowly but surely being minimized by subsequent legislation.  While Gov. McCrory eventually signed the repeal of the RJA just one month after Features Editor Jacqui Merrill’s article was published, this did not resolve the issues she discussed.

Read the full article here.


N.C. Court of Appeals to hear argument over Terps’ exit fee dispute with the ACC
By: Parker Dozier on September 25, 2013

Money is increasingly the driving force in most, if not all, decisions in college sports.  Recognizing that fact, the University of Maryland announced in November of 2012 that it was leaving the ACC for the supposedly greener pastures of the Big Ten.  But it likely was not counting on having to pay the incredibly hefty exit fee it signed on to just months before.  The ACC filed suit to enforce the fee in North Carolina and the University of Maryland attempted to have the suit dismissed, claiming sovereign immunity.  Senior staff writer Parker Dozier’s article previewed the oral argument on the day in which it was held at the N.C. Court of Appeals, which eventually affirmed the trial court’s denial of sovereign immunity for the University of Maryland.

Read the full article here.


“Safe Until Proven Dangerous”: Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act
By: Sarah Bowman on June 5, 2013

Just two days after Senator Frank Lautenberg’s death, we published an article discussing proposed reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act – namely two pieces of bi-partisan legislation co-authored by Sen. Lautenberg prior to his passing.  The TSCA requires the EPA to prove that a chemical is unsafe before it can be taken off the market, making the law a “safe until proven dangerous” catch-22.  Associate Editor Sarah Bowman discussed how the reforms, which remain referred to committee, would make serious changes to protect consumers and the public at large from harmful chemicals.

Read the full article here.


Released: Wake County’s scientific approach to prison population reduction and defendant re-entry
By: Tyler Roberts on October 15, 2013

We held our most recent write-on competition at the beginning of the fall semester and the highest overall score was given to Tyler Roberts’s article on a topic of his own choosing.  The article discussed how, by assessing qualifying factors of a particular defendant, Pretrial Services in Wake County takes a data-driven approach to predict a defendant’s risk of flight and the likelihood that he or she will be rearrested before the completion of their current case.  Such a program assists Pretrial Services in reducing the local jail population and facilitating a defendant’s re-entry into society.

Read the full article here.


A Leaked Justice Department Document Discusses Targeted Killing of U.S. Citizens Abroad
By: Kathryn Barge Jagoda on February 14, 2013

Foreign policy and international affairs continued to see headlines in the news over the past year.  One of those headlines came in February when NBC News received a leaked Justice Department document outlining the legal rationale for targeted killing of United States citizens who were living in a foreign country and had ties to al-Qaeda.  Associate Editor Emeritus Kathryn Barge Jagoda discussed the due process concerns and the continued use of drones – a topic that will continue to find its way into the headlines.

Read the full article here.


To ask permission or not to ask permission… is that the question? Syria, separation of powers, and constitutional interpretation
By: Tripp Huffstetler on October 1, 2013

Drones and targeted killings were not the only foreign policy issues in the news, as Syria finally devolved into a situation the United States could not ignore.  In August, President Obama announced his intention to seek Congressional approval for military action in Syria while noting his belief, like his Presidential predecessors, that he was not constitutionally required to do so.  Senior staff writer Tripp Huffstetler took a deep look at the history of the tension between the presidency and Congress when there is the possibility of American military involvement abroad.

Read the full article here.


An undocumented immigrant in California who passed the bar is barred from obtaining a law license
By: Katherine Doering Custis on October 16, 2013

The second highest score in our most recent write-on competition went to another new staff writer who chose her own topic.  Katherine Doering Custis’s article discussed a man’s quest to become licensed to practice law in the state of California.  He had graduated from law school in 2009 and passed the bar exam that same year.  Yet, his status as an undocumented immigrant resulted in a years-long legal battle to be issued a law license – a battle that reached the Supreme Court of California.  The primary obstacle for him was the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which bars undocumented immigrants from obtaining professional licenses of any kind.  California has since passed a law allowing undocumented immigrants to be admitted to the state bar.

Read the full article here.


Using your phone as a mobile bank teller? You may be risking your privacy
By: Rebecca Lopes on July 23, 2013

Modern technology is undoubtedly affecting consumer privacy rights.  Look no further than the latest feature of the iPhone or the soon-to-be-released Google Glass.  Another example is mobile banking.  Senior staff writer Rebecca Lopes looked at the growing trend in using mobile devices to make payments and discussed the potential implications in the future for a consumer’s reasonable expectation of privacy.

Read the full article here.


Fair chance for a fair review: FBI hair sample analyses possibly led to wrongful convictions
By: Shannon Page on September 17, 2013

Hair samples are often used to link suspects to crimes, but the FBI announced this year that it will review cases where hair analyses were used to make thousands of convictions, some even involving the death penalty.  Senior staff writer Shannon Page discussed the plan to re-open and re-examine more than 2,000 convictions from 1985 to 2000 to determine if individuals have been wrongly convicted based on over-exaggerated or inaccurate hair samples.

Read the full article here.


Drug testing for Welfare recipients: as simple as it sounds?
By: Katelyn Sally on May 30, 2013

Governor McCrory used his first veto after taking office this year in response to a contentious piece of legislation that requires a recipient of welfare benefits to first pass a drug test.  Senior staff writer Katelyn Sally’s article on a similar bill discussed each side of the issue – including opponents of the bill focusing on the welfare applicants’ privacy rights and proponents of the bill seeking to deter illegal drug use.  Gov. McCrory’s veto was subsequently overridden by the N.C. General Assembly.

Read the full article here.

 

Adam Steele, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
About Adam Steele, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus (17 Articles)
Adam Steele served as Editor-in-Chief for the Campbell Law Observer during the 2013-2014 school year. Prior to law school, he attended N.C. State University, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science in 2006. He taught US History at a local high school for a short time before working as a paralegal at Millberg Gordon Stewart PLLC for three years prior to law school. Adam interned in all three branches of the state government, including with the Transportation Section of the N.C. DOJ, the Research Division of the N.C. General Assembly, and with the Honorable Paul C. Ridgeway, Resident Superior Court Judge in Raleigh. Adam spent the summer of 2013 clerking with the Honorable Sanford L. Steelman, Jr., N.C. Court of Appeals and Millberg Gordon Stewart PLLC. Adam spent the majority of his 3L year interning with Red Hat, Inc., and as a research assistant to Dean J. Rich Leonard. He graduated from Campbell Law School in May 2014.
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