NOTEWORTHY CASES

2005 |
State v. Hardy

Prior to joining Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, Jake Sussman and Mark Kleinschmidt, along with attorney Henderson Hill, successfully represented Melvin Jay Hardy, Jr., in state post-conviction proceedings. Mr. Hardy had been on death row following two separate murders in Mecklenburg County in 1995 and 1997. Following a four-day evidentiary hearing in 2005, Mr. Hardy’s death sentence was vacated. The North Carolina Supreme Court subsequently upheld the lower court’s decision and Mr. Hardy was taken off of North Carolina’s death row.

 
2005 |
Brown v. Hillcrest Foods

In 2005, Luke Largess secured a substantial jury verdict in federal court for a client following his employer’s unlawful retaliation. A federal jury awarded Mr. Brown $420,000 after it found that his employer unlawfully retaliated against him for filing a discrimination claim. The case was ultimately settled confidentially before the court’s ruling on attorneys’ fees.

 
2005 |
United State v. J.B.

Noell Tin represented Jimmy Bijoux at trial and then on appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Bijoux initially faced drug charges and charges of possessing a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. In a pretrial hearing, Tin won a suppression motion regarding the drugs and the Government dismissed the drug charges. Bijoux then pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Over Tin’s objection, the trial judge enhanced Bijoux’ sentence to 20 years based upon evidence of drug quantity presented at the sentencing hearing, but for which Bijoux had not been tried. Tin challenged the sentence and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. But the U.S. Supreme Court summarily reversed the ruling, finding that the trial judge relied upon facts about drugs not proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. On remand, Bijoux received an 8-year sentence. The case was covered by the national media, including the Wall Street Journal.

 
2005 |
Vanderburg v. N.C. Dept. of Revenue

John Gresham successfully litigated a case of first impression before the North Carolina Court of Appeals concerning whether a probationary state employee could bring an action alleging that his termination was the result of his religious practices. After succeeding in the Court of Appeals, Gresham’s client was reinstated. The Department of Revenue ultimately settled both the wrongful termination claim and parallel discrimination claim brought with the EEOC for $100,000 in lost wages, compensatory damages, and lost benefits. The Department also paid $52,000 for attorney’s fees and costs.

 
2005 |
State v. S.B.

Noell Tin and Matthew Pruden represented a client charged with first-degree murder. After conducting an intensive investigation, Pruden and Tin demonstrated weaknesses in the State’s case, and S.B. pled guilty to aiding and abetting assault inflicting serious injury. He received a probationary sentence.

 
2005 |
Lytle v. Town of Bolton

Luke Largess and Jake Sussman represented a husband and wife in the Eastern District of North Carolina in a civil action alleging that a local Chief of Police assaulted and unlawfully arrested them after the couple sought to file a complaint against the Chief. The case was successfully resolved through a confidential settlement.