The 2016 Election

Wow. That was a surprise. Donald Trump has been elected to serve as the nation’s 45th president, defying the outcome nearly all the experts predicted, in what The Washington Post called a “shocking ending” to a “traumatic campaign.”

President-elect Trump carried North Carolina by 3.8 percentage points over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. That’s an impressive margin for a state that Republican nominee Mitt Romney carried by 2.2 percent over President Obama in 2012, and which Obama won by less than a percentage point in 2008.

What impact will a Trump presidency have on the legal issues discussed in this blog? 

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What Are Permissible Discovery Sanctions Against the Defendant?

In State v. Cooper, issued last week, the Court of Appeals reversed the defendant’s conviction for first-degree murder of his wife and ordered a new trial. The case has drawn considerable media attention; recent news reports indicate that the State intends to petition the state Supreme Court for review. This blog post focuses on one … Read more

Ineffective Assistance in Plea Bargaining?

On Halloween, I was dressed up as a sheep, trick or treating with my daughter, Little Bo Peep. Fortunately, serious legal business was being conducted elsewhere: the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lafler v. Cooper, a fascinating ineffective assistance of counsel case. Here’s a summary of the case, courtesy of SCOTUSblog: Cooper shot a … Read more