Waynesville attorney didn’t deserve firing

The Waynesville town attorney serves at the pleasure of the board. Elected officials can fire or terminate him for any reason they see fit.

Pay for court-appointed lawyers remains stagnant

Under the Sixth Amendment every criminal defendant has a constitutional right to legal representation — and if you can’t afford a lawyer, you have the right to have one provided by the state. 

Macon wants out of flat fee defense program

While the North Carolina Legislature included Macon County in a pilot program to change the way court-appointed lawyers are paid, Chief District Court Judge Richard Walker requested to opt out of the program. 

Practicing toward perfection: Law practice a team effort for majority-female firm

Sylva attorney Kim Carpenter’s legal career started after law school, but the year she spent beforehand working with the Swain County Department of Social Services planted the seeds. 

Did the southeastern Native Americans take scalps?

(Editor’s Note: Readers should be cautioned that several of the descriptions of scalping and related practices presented in this column are graphic.)     

When I was a boy, incidents of scalping by Native Americans were a staple in the old-time movies about the “Wild West.” And there is no doubt whatsoever that the western tribes utilized that practice. But what about the Cherokee, Creek, Catawba and other southeastern tribes — to what extent was scalping a part of their warfare and ritual?

Impeachment attorney faces allegations of misconduct

The attorney who argued for the impeachment of former Principal Chief Patrick Lambert has been issued an order from the Cherokee Tribal Court requiring him to show the court why allegations against him from former Attorney General Danny Davis shouldn’t result in disciplinary action.

Cherokee’s attorney general resigns

The attorney general of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians appointed during the administration of Principal Chief Patrick Lambert has decided to resign from his position, his last day Sept. 22 coming just 17 months after his April 2016 appointment.

State tries to curb indigent defense expenses

Court-appointed lawyers are the crux of the U.S justice system because it is their duty to ensure every U.S. citizen is granted their constitutional right to a fair trial, but many lawyers in Western North Carolina are concerned a new pilot program implemented by the state could threaten that right.

Macon is one of six counties across the state that is being included in a pilot program in which court-appointed lawyers are compensated using a flat-fee schedule instead of an hourly rate. According to data from the Indigent Defense Office of North Carolina, indigent defense costs increased 168 percent between 1989 and 1999 while caseloads increased by 90 percent. Capital defense costs rose 338 percent during the same time period.

Jackson hires new attorney position

jacksonAfter more than four years as Jackson County’s attorney, Jay Coward will soon yield his spot as the county’s legal face. But commissioners aren’t replacing him with another contract attorney. Rather, they’ve opted to create a new staff position.

Jackson pursuing staff attorney hire

Commissioners in Jackson County are moving forward with a plan to scrap their policy of contracting legal services with a private attorney in favor of hiring a full-time staff attorney. At a recent work session, they gave County Manager Chuck Wooten the go-ahead to advertise the position and include more than $100,000 in salary, benefits and associated expenses in his proposed budget for fiscal year 2015-16.

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