Month: February 2018 (page 2 of 3)

Revised Expert Witness Discovery Rules in North Carolina: Discovery of Testifying Expert Witnesses

By Isaac Thorp


Rule 26(b)(4) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure governs the procedure for expert witness discovery. The rule was recently amended, and is applicable to actions filed on or after Oct. 1, 2015. The amendments govern the disclosure, discovery, and payment of expert witnesses. They also provide trial preparation protections for draft expert witness reports or disclosures, and communications between a party’s attorney and her expert witness.

This first part of a two-part series addresses the following amendments:

  • Rule 26(b)(4)a.3: Disclosure through interrogatory answers
  • Rule 26(b)(4)a.2: Option to disclose expert report
  • Rule 26(b)(4)b.1: Depositions of testifying experts

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Apostrophe Misuse: The ‘Greatest Solecism’ In the Punctuation World?

By Laura Graham

As I expected, my last column on the Oxford comma generated some lively feedback — and a topic for this month’s column. It turns out that there is another punctuation mark that causes almost as much angst among the readership as the Oxford comma: the apostrophe.

The readership is apparently in good company; in 2014, crowned “misused apostrophes” the undisputed champion of its “Most Maddening Writing Error” challenge. One voter said, “[I]t seems like there is a whole new wave of people who believe that you NEED an apostrophe and an ‘s’ to make a word plural.”

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Current Legal Issue: Muhammad Ali Sues Fox

By Jonathan Lewis

On June 3, 2016, boxing legend Muhammad Ali passed away from sepsis in an Arizona hospital, after a long fight with Parkinson’s disease.[1] Ali was known for his brash, braggadocious banter before bouts, as much as he was known for his fighting style in the ring. Many, including (and especially) Ali himself, regard him as the greatest boxer ever. After winning an Olympic Gold medal, becoming the then-youngest ever heavyweight champion at the age of 21, losing and regaining the heavyweight title twice more, and inventing both the “Ali shuffle” and the “rope-a-dope,” he was probably right.[2]

Aside from being a great boxer, Ali was also an entrepreneur. In 2006, Ali sold 80 percent of his company, G.O.A.T. LLC (Greatest of All Time), for $50,000,000.  G.O.A.T. LLC, which was subsequently renamed Muhammad Ali Enterprises LLC (MAE), controlled the use of Ali’s intellectual property, including his name, image, likeness, and rights of publicity.[3]

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Two NC Law Schools Send Moot Court Teams To National Finals

Moot court teams from two North Carolina law schools continued their successful seasons with strong showings at the 68th Annual National Moot Court Competition last week at the New York City Bar Association.

Both Campbell School of Law’s team of student advocates and Wake Forest University School of Law’s National Moot Court Team competed after Campbell topped Wake Forest in the title round of the Fourth Circuit Regional in Richmond, Va.

Campbell School of Law’s team consisted of Chris Moore, Morgan Pierce and Ellen Williams.

Wake Forest’s team consisted of Emily Lagan, Kelsey Mellan and Alex Teixeira. The trio earned the eighth best score out of the top 28 teams in the country at the National Finals. At the National Moot Court Region IV tournament, Wake Forest held won all five of its oral arguments, tied for the second-best brief and finished as runner-up to the Campbell team.

In re Janssen: Continued Evolution Of the Obviousness-Type Double Patenting Doctrine

By Jacob Moore

On Jan. 23, 2018, the Federal Circuit in In re Janssen held that a patent issuing from a continuation-in-part (CIP) application is not eligible for 35 USC § 121 safe harbor protection, even if the patent is re-categorized as a divisional application during reexamination. Thus, the court determined that the patent at issue—US 6,284,471 (the ’471 Patent)—was invalid over reference patents US 5,656,272 (the ’272 Patent) and 5,698,195 (the ’195 Patent) under the doctrine of obviousness-type double patenting.

In re Janssen is the newest case in a line of recent decisions interpreting the scope of the safe harbor provision, which shields a patent or application from an obviousness-type double patenting rejection under certain conditions. That provision provides:

A patent issuing on an application with respect to which a requirement for restriction under this section has been made, or on an application filed as a result of such a requirement, shall not be used as a reference either in the Patent and Trademark Office or in the courts against a divisional application or against the original application or any patent issued on either of them, if the divisional application is filed before the issuance of the patent on the other application.

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Of Interest: A Win For Dr. Seuss, Ruling On ‘Empire,’ Tax Cut Repercussions

Members of the Sports & Entertainment Law Section found the following recent third-party articles to be of potential interest to the Section.

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MacCord’s List: IP News & Notices From Art MacCord

By Art MacCord

Art MacCord is a patent attorney with 38 years of experience. He keeps an eye on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office for new rules and practice tips of interest to intellectual property attorneys. Please click on the links below for the most recent updates.

On Jan. 25, the ninth edition, Revision 08.2017, of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) was made electronically available as an update to the eMPEP.

Original Utility Patents Not Surrendered by Reissue and All Reissue Patents in the Reissue Patent Family Require Separate Maintenance Fee Payments

Changes in Requirements for Collective Trademarks and Service Marks, Collective Membership Marks, and Certification Marks; Correction

Copyright Office Publishes Final Rule to Simplify Deposit Requirements for Certain Literary Works and Musical Compositions

Copyright Office Introduces Online Group Registration of Photographs


Coming Soon To a Street Near You: 50-Foot Wireless Cell Phone Towers

By Al Benshoff

With the adoption of H.B. 310 (S.L. 2017-159), all municipalities and the N.C. Department of Transportation must allow the location of “small wireless facilities” in the public rights-of-way.  Here are a few FAQs about the application of the law.

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How I Emerged Refined: My Moot Court Experience

By Nnenna N. Olu, Esq.

As I reflect on my time as a student at North Carolina Central University School of Law and the wholesome academic experience that I gained, I am forever grateful for all the pieces that came together to make me the well-rounded attorney I am today. One piece of the puzzle was my membership in the Moot Court Board.  I seized the opportunity to try out to join and was accepted into the prestigious Moot Court Board during my 2L year. The idea of arguing appellate cases was interesting, and I excitedly awaited the opportunity to fully experience what being a member of the Moot Court Board entailed. Competition season finally arrived, and my team and I were registered to represent our school. I quickly realized that we had lots of work to do: legal research, brief writing, more legal research and preparation for oral arguments.

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What Happens Next With Raise the Age In North Carolina?

By Marcus Thompson

On Thursday, Jan. 11, the N.C. Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC) met for its second meeting since the passage of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act. During the meeting, several presenters addressed the committee with research data and considerations for the juvenile justice system prior to and after the changes to the law are implemented.

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