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The kidney transplant that almost wasn’t (access required)

Kidney transplant

Ashley Quiñones showed up at the Legal Aid office in Pittsboro, N.C. in desperate need of a good lawyer – and a good kidney. She had received a lung transplant more than 10 years earlier, but her kidney function was deteriorating quickly. In March 2010 her kidney transplant was approved, and all that was left was Medicaid’s agreement to pay. “Every appointment and treatment the doctors requested, all the dialysis, had always been approved,” she said. So Quiñones was stunned when the letter arrived last August informing her that the kidney transplant was denied.

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Jester for justice

Johnny Hagins

John A. Hagins, managing partner at Covington, Patrick, Hagins, Stern & Lewis in Greenville, is the quintessential ham, a compulsive entertainer and perpetual jokester who is as funny as he is formidable. At 72, he has tried some of the state’s biggest cases; served as a legislator; joined every board, commission or group that would have him; owned several businesses; won shelves of legal awards; and left a trail of rubber cockroaches in his wake.

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The mentor is in (access required)


Mentoring programs for new lawyers are catching on in a number of states, as growing numbers are entering the profession without the ethical and professional safety net of a job. In the Carolinas, those programs -- operating informally for a number of years -- are about to kick off in a big way.

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Haley signs law against camping around Statehouse

South Carolina Statehouse

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed a bill banning camping and sleeping on Statehouse grounds. The Republican governor wasted no time Thursday signing the measure preventing Occupy Columbia from continuing its around-the-clock presence outside the capitol. Her signature came soon after the House gave final approval to the bill.

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Not your everyday repo man (access required)

A lawyer makes novel use of repo law to aid service dog in distress

When a colleague and friend of attorney Bob Cone called and said he had a dog of a case for him, he wasn’t kidding. Canine Partners for Life needed to retrieve one of its service dogs from a home in Browns Summit, N.C., where it suspected the dog was being abused. After mulling his options, Cone realized that the most obvious tactic would also be the most effective. He’d channel his inner repo man and repossess the dog.

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Whistleblower collects $18M for robo-signing crusade (access required)


When attorney Lynn Szymoniak received a foreclosure notice from her lender, her fraud antennae went up. The paperwork didn’t make sense, so she did a little digging. Thus began the uncovering of robo-signing – the practice by bank and mortgage servicing company employees of signing sworn affidavits without any knowledge of the underlying facts.

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