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Author Archives: Amber Nimocks

Doctor liable for woman’s perforated colon and subsequent death (access required)

Rita Blair and her husband Michael began to worry the day after she was discharged from Palmetto Baptist Hospital. They called Dr. John Warren, who had performed a gynecological surgical procedure on her, and reported that Rita was nauseous and constipated. Rita died three weeks after the first surgery. She suffered massive organ failure caused by a bacterial infection that began when her colon was perforated.

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Blow to the back yields $1.3 million judgment (access required)

Traffic cones

Money can’t buy happiness, but $5 a day can help offset the loss of pleasurable pursuits. That was among the calculations a U.S. District Court judge in Florence figured into the $1.3 million judgment he awarded last month to a former road crew worker hit in the back by a mail carrier’s vehicle.

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Cribbed plans cost builder $1.4 million (access required)

The middle class dream of four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car garage can manifest itself in thousands of distinct – and copyright-protected - floor plans. So, when a Tennessee builder built more than 75 houses based on plans created by a nationally-known home design company, the company sued for copyright infringement and won $1.4 million.

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This ain’t your grandpa’s CLE (access required)

Watching Batman movies and playing bingo might seem better suited to a 6-year-old’s birthday party than a professional development seminar, but when you’re trying to persuade a roomful of lawyers to take stock of their own mental health, you do whatever works. Over the years, Continuing Legal Education seminars on mental health, addiction and ethics have evolved beyond the standard, heart-wrenching testimonial to include multimedia programs studded with film, comedy, games and even modern dance. Credit that change to an ongoing effort to create an environment of acceptance and support in a profession known for high stress levels and burnout rates.

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NC native takes helm of National Bar Association (access required)

The country’s oldest organization for minority lawyers has tapped a North Carolina native to serve as its first female executive director. Demetris W. Cheatham, formerly the National Bar Association’s interim executive director, has taken the helm at the 87-year-old group. Cheatham, who grew up in Tarboro, said her first order of business is to firm up the NBA’s relationships with government and political leaders. For more than 30 years, the face of the organization was its longtime executive director John Crump. The organization has been in a transitional mode since he retired in 2009, Cheatham said.

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ABA mulls stricter standards for law school job info (access required)

As American Bar Association leaders consider more exacting standards for law schools for reporting post-graduate salary and employment information, a new round of class action suits is ratcheting up the pressure on schools and the ABA to address allegations of fraud and misrepresentation. An ABA committee has recommended that an ABA council on legal education and bar admissions adjust its standards, according to, an American Lawyer Media website. reports that the committee’s proposal includes requiring individual schools to report salary numbers for the 25th, 50th and 75th percentile for graduates in jobs requiring a law degree, J.D.-preferred jobs, other professions, and nonprofessional jobs. Schools would need to report salary information in 15 job categories.

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NC group acquires small Columbia firm with big connections (access required)

North Carolina’s largest law firm grew by three lawyers, one city and an unknown number of Palmetto state political connections last week when Winston-Salem-based Womble Carlyle merged with the boutique firm Hall & Bowers of Columbia. The lawyers of Hall & Bowers — Kevin Hall (pictured), Todd Carroll and Butch Bowers — have deep roots within the South Carolina political establishment, including relationships with South Carolina’s sitting U.S. senators and Republican congressmen, and the state’s current and former governors.

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Law school websites don’t score well for transparency (access required)

Like most of the country’s law schools, those in South Carolina and North Carolina stumble when it comes to reporting clear and accurate information about post-graduate employment on their websites, according to a new survey by the advocacy group Law School Transparency. The nonprofit policy organization issued the Transparency Index on its website ( earlier this month. The exhaustive evaluation is LST’s latest effort to cajole law schools into providing prospective and current law students with more realistic portraits of the economic conditions awaiting them after graduation.

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