NOTEWORTHY CASES

2014 |
General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Reisinger

In a landmark civil rights ruling, U.S. District Judge Max G. Cogburn, Jr. ruled in favor of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and co-counsel at Arnold & Porter and struck down Amendment One, the ban against same-sex marriage in North Carolina. Judge Cogburn ruled that North Carolina’s ban on marriage equality violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Cogburn’s order was entered at 5:30 p.m. on October 10, 2014. In Raleigh, the Wake County Register of Deeds issued her first same-sex marriage license at 5:44 p.m. and a ceremony quickly followed.

Click here to read Judge Cogburn’s order.

See below for media coverage of this historic ruling:

The Charlotte Observer, Oct. 10, 2014
Federal Judge Overturns North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Ban

The News & Observer, Oct. 10, 2014
Gay Marriage Now Legal in North Carolina

The Charlotte Observer, Oct. 11, 2014
Charlotte Attorney For Same-Sex Couples Celebrates Anniversary — And Legal Win

 
2014 |
State v. M.S.

Noell Tin successfully challenged the City of Charlotte’s “dancehall” ordinance as being unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, resulting in the dismissal of criminal charges against M.S. Noell’s client was arrested and charged with operating a dancehall without a permit after he hosted a Sweet 16 birthday party. Under the city ordinance, every establishment that (1) has music; (2) has space available for dancing or permits dancing to occur (whether dancing actually takes place or not); and (3) allows admission by payment of a direct or indirect charge, would need a permit. At trial, Noell showed that the city ordinance’s definition of “dancehall” was too vague, and broad enough to include museums, exercise facilities, movie theaters, yoga studios and indoor playgrounds. Noell also established that the ordinance was being enforced in a discriminatory manner — such that nearly 87% of those persons charged with operating a “dancehall” without a permit by the arresting officer involved were African-American, and that 93% of those charged were a racial minority.

 
2014 |
State v. A.L.

Jake Sussman represented a critical care nurse who was falsely accused of possessing controlled substances allegedly taken from the hospital where she was employed. Following a vigorous investigation and extensive negotiations with the prosecuting authorities, Sussman was able to secure the voluntary dismissal of all charges. He also represented A.L. before the Board of Nursing, which ultimately declined to pursue its complaint and permitted A.L. to return to work without restriction.

 
2014 |
United States v. M.M.

Matt Pruden represented a client who was seeking post-conviction relief after being sentenced to life in prison in 1998 for a federal drug conspiracy conviction. Mr. Pruden convinced the government to file a Rule 35 motion to reduce his client’s sentence. The government sought to reduce the sentence from life to 30 years. Following a contested re-sentencing hearing, however, the court reduced the client’s sentence to time-served and he was ordered to be released from federal prison.