Serving North Carolina Since 1954
Actionable Legal Advice Backed By Experience

April 2017 Archives

Probate vs. Non-Probate

We will often get telephone calls from individuals who have been told either through a recent television program or a speaker at a seminar that it is best to avoid "probate" at all costs and recommend the establishment of a trust to avoid probate. It may be helpful to understand what "probate" actually is.

Lacking the Capacity to Proceed to Trial Because of a Mental Illness

Mental illness is something I deal with as a criminal defense attorney almost every day. Many of my clients are dealing with some form of mental illness. People with mental illnesses are coming into contact with the criminal justice system throughout the country. The first area we look at if a defendant has significant mental illness is capacity to proceed to trial. Under North Carolina law, a defendant lacks the capacity to proceed to trial if by reason of a mental illness or defect he or she is unable to understand the nature and object of the proceedings, comprehend his or her situation in reference to the proceedings or assist in his or her defense in a rational or reasonable manner. This is a relatively low bar to get over to show capacity to proceed to trial. There are many defendants with significant mental health issues who nonetheless have the capacity to proceed to trial.

Reflections on the Practice

In keeping with the expected amenities of professional conduct, the care and handling of our clients' cases is the sharpest of two-edge swords. We depend upon our clients for our livelihood and for the ability to continue our practice.

North Carolina's Contact Rule

Did you know North Carolina has a "contact" rule? If you are run off the road by another driver and your vehicles do not come into contact with one another, you may be out of luck as far as getting your harms and losses paid for. North Carolina law requires, in the case where the other driver does not stop and cannot be identified, that there be actual contact between the vehicles before your uninsured motorist coverage will apply.

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Kluttz Reamer

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Kluttz, Reamer, Hayes, Adkins & Carter, L.L.P.
129 North Main Street
Salisbury, NC 28144

Phone: 704-216-4012
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