Archive | April, 2014

Is a Search of Your Cell Phone a “Search Incident to Arrest”?

30 Apr

“The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court — the youngest of whom is 54 — confronted their own technological limits yesterday and struggled with creating new parameters for the right to privacy in a world where a person’s whole life can be documented on a cell phone.

The direct issue in the two cases before the court was whether police could search the contents of cellphones without a warrant under the established doctrine of “search incident to arrest.” That doctrine has been justified by courts over the years as necessary to remove weapons that might otherwise be used to harm officers and to seize documents or other types of evidence of a crime that might otherwise be quickly destroyed by the person under arrest.”

Read the rest of the story from NC Policy Watch’s Sharon McCloskey.


The Fourth Circuit Rules on Public Access to Court Records

16 Apr

In 2011, a company sued the Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep a report about one of its products out of the CPSC’s database. The company filed a motion to have the case litigated under a seal, with the company proceeding under a pseudonym. North Carolina Policy Watch’s legal analyst Sharon McCloskey reports:

In a decision released today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond held that the public and press right of access to court records trumps a corporation’s desire to keep quiet complaints about one of its products — regardless of whether those complaints are inaccurate or unfounded.

NCPW’s McCloskey explains the decision and its importance here.

Spudzooka Hijinks – Who is Liable?

16 Apr

Imagine an issue statement when the facts include a spudzooka, gunpowder, video, and perhaps some beer.

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reports that Colby Hines, a maintenance worker at an Atlanta-based railway service provider, is arguing that a serious head injury caused by his coworkers’ shenanigans at the rail yard was the fault of his employer:

The lawsuit brought against Railserve relies on a tort theory adopted by many states that says an employer can be held responsible for an action taken by an employee — one who is off the clock but still on company premises — that causes intentional harm to others.

The injury occurred back in 2010 when, after a few beers, the employee’s coworkers decided to test a “spudzooka”–a homemade potato cannon that, depending on design, uses a small explosive charge to propel a potato downrange. However, instead of being packed with potato, the device was full of metal bits. When the device fired it essentially acted as a pipe bomb. Hines caught flying shrapnel in the head while he recorded the event with his phone. He was off the clock at the time, but claims the potato cannon was constructed at the direction of a company supervisor.

In the 2012 lawsuit, the employee claimed that the employer failed to maintain a safe work space.  The trial court dismissed his case, but a state appeals court overruled the decision. 

A petition submitted by Railserve raises the question of whether “the Court of Appeals properly interpreted Restatement (Second) of Torts § 317 to enable a plaintiff to recover in Court against his employer as a consequence of injuries he sustains, in part, by virtue of his own tortious acts committed outside the scope of employment.” Attorneys for the company claim the decision could have far-reaching effects.




Graduation Application Deadline is April 17, 2014

16 Apr

Get ready for your big day! More information on commencement can be found here.

Grammar Tip: How to Avoid a Strange Dinner

15 Apr


Update Your ID for Library Access on Campus

7 Apr

Students now need to show a Spring 2014 Durham Tech photo ID every time they come to the library. If you are registered for classes, a Spring 2014 sticker for your ID card is free at the Campus Security office, which is located in Building 8, adjacent to the Phail Wynn Jr. building. Each semester, you will need a current ID. Visitors will be asked to sign in with their name and address. Also, food and drink will no longer be allowed in the library, so do your snackin’ before you hit the library,


NCBA Paralegal Division Career Fair April 4th

2 Apr
From the North Carolina Bar Association:
It’s not too late to sign up for the 2014 Paralegal Career Fair!!  This is an excellent opportunity for students and recent graduates to talk to experienced paralegals, legal support vendors, NC State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification, and local paralegal organizations.  We are also featuring a Career Dressing Corner where attendees can register  to win a variety of gift cards from our sponsors, including a $150 Belk gift card sponsored by CaseWorks!
Please visit the following link to sign-up:

Date:  Friday, April 4, 2014

Time:  1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location:  Guilford Technical Community College
Building w2 (Continuing Education Center) in Rooms 152 A-D located at
3505 E. Wendover Ave, Greensboro, NC.