Patterson Harkavy files lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of December 2016 special session

Yesterday, Patterson Harkavy filed a lawsuit on behalf of Common Cause and ten North Carolina citizens.  The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the North Carolina General Assembly’s fourth extra session in December 2016. At the heart of the challenge is a violation of citizens’ constitutional right to “instruct their representatives” – a right expressly guaranteed

Betton suit receives national coverage in debate over the deadly consequences of police SWAT teams

More than a year ago, Patterson Harkavy filed suit on behalf of Julian Betton, a South Carolina man who was shot nine times in his own home during a police raid.  The shooting left Mr. Betton in a coma for six weeks; he is now paralyzed from the waist down. Both the New York Times and

Patterson Harkavy files voting rights lawsuit against Jones County

This morning, Patterson Harkavy filed a federal voting-rights lawsuit against Jones County, North Carolina, along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Jones County utilizes an “at-large” system for electing Commissioners, meaning that all Commissioners are elected county-wide. The Complaint alleges that voting in Jones County

Willie Grimes wrongful conviction suit settled for $3,250,000

Patterson Harkavy obtained a $3,250,000 settlement for Willie Grimes, an innocent man who served 24 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. In July of 1988, Mr. Grimes was wrongfully convicted of the rape and kidnapping of an elderly woman in Catawba County.  On October 4, 2012, thanks to the work of the North Carolina

Court denies motion to dismiss Joseph Sledge’s wrongful conviction suit

Last year, Patterson Harkavy filed suit on behalf of Joseph Sledge, a man who served 37 years in prison for crimes he did not commit.  The suit alleged that Mr. Sledge was wrongfully convicted because officers with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation unlawfully withheld evidence that demonstrated

Patterson Harkavy files suit on behalf of Julian Betton, victim of police shooting

Yesterday, Patterson Harkavy filed suit on behalf of Julian Betton, a Myrtle Beach man shot nine times by local law enforcement officers in his own home.  The shooting left Mr. Betton in a coma for six weeks; he is now permanently paralyzed from the waist down. The complaint’s introduction begins: In early 2015, Defendant Chad Guess,

Patterson Harkavy files wrongful conviction suit on behalf of Joseph Sledge

In 1978, Joseph Sledge was wrongfully convicted of a dual murder. On January 23, 2015, thanks to the work of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, a three-judge panel unanimously found that Mr. Sledge was innocent. Mr. Sledge served 37 years in prison for crimes he did not commit. Last week, Patterson Harkavy, together

Victory: Court of Appeals finds tenure repeal unconstitutional

Earlier this week, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Patterson Harkavy’s clients, finding that the state’s 2013 repeal of teacher tenure violated the North Carolina Constitution and the United States Constitution. For over forty years, North Carolina public school teachers have been able to earn “career status” after successful completion of