Unscrambling Scrambled Eggs

            When it comes to appellate litigation there are holdings (which are fodder for legal treatises) and there are lessons (which become fodder for life in the real world). Last week the N.C. Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion in Jobe, et. al. v. Town of Haw River that has a clear holding and a […]

Quasi-Judicial Proceedings — According to Dr. Seuss

            Last week I got an email from an attorney in Hoke County. She had heard that I possessed some sort of definition of quasi-judicial proceedings written by Dr. Seuss and wondered if I could forward it.  [Side Bar: I really do know where most of our counties are, and I’ve been through or practiced […]

Legislating Ethics — Part 4 — When is a “Close Relationship” Too Close?

            Like it or not, we live in a world where our most difficult decisions are subjective, debatable and ultimately inconclusive.               These past few weeks I have reviewed and analyzed statutes that (supposedly) provide guidance as to when a board member is incapable of putting self-interest or the interest of someone close to […]

Legislating Ethics — Part 3 — What Makes a Board Member “Impartial”?

            If American Idol’s Simon Cowell sat on your city council or county commission, would he be a help or a hindrance to ethical decision-making?              As someone who seems to be swayed by no outside opinion or influence, my guess is that, from a consideration of ethics, he would be a help.              In […]

Legislating Ethics — Part 2 — Conflicts of Interest in Quasi-Judicial Proceedings

            Many sermons and discussions on ethics include a story from an episode of The Andy Griffith Show.  Today’s post is no different.             In one of the later Andy Griffith episodes when Opie is older and the show was filmed in color, a man from “somewhere up north” robs a bank in Raleigh and […]

Controversy in Carrboro — What do Facts Have to do with Anything?

             A recent N.C. Court of Appeals case (Northwest Property Group, LLC v. Town of Carrboro, filed 22 December 2009) provides an interesting glimpse into the insane world of conditional use zoning and its multiple attendant rules.  The facts              The December 2009 decision is but one more stop in a journey that started when […]

Case Law Update – Legal Standing and Quasi-Judicial Sausage

            Earlier this week the North Carolina Court of Appeals decided two companion cases with the same name, each arising from the same development in Polk County. McMillan et. al. v. Town of Tryon was filed after the town approved the Tryon County Club’s petition to rezone property from a “P-1 open space zone” to […]

Legal Update – General Assembly Ratifies SB 44 on Quasi-Judicial Proceedings

            Yesterday the General Assembly, after years of delay and hand-wringing, finally adopted Senate Bill 44, an act that codifies the laws on quasi-judicial proceedings.              Quasi-judicial proceedings are the legal processes by which elected and appointed boards make findings of fact based upon evidence before them, and applies those facts to previously adopted standards […]

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