Bull & Reinhardt, PLLC
Free Consultations* 828-348-8053

Complex Cases. Clear Results.

Asheville Legal Blog

How North Carolina drivers can avoid a crash in winter

Winter driving is dangerous, what with the sleet and ice and snow that can cover the roads and make them slippery. By considering the following tips, though, drivers can keep safe and reduce the risk for an accident. First, they should head out on the road only when necessary (work, errands etc.). Once on the road, they should keep their speed down and maintain a distance of at least five or six seconds from the car in front.

Drivers should not accelerate harshly as this can cause them to spin their wheels. To avoid coming to a full stop at a traffic light, drivers can slow down and keep their momentum as well as maintain good traction.

Scientists say blood spatter analysis needs more rigor

Some people in North Carolina might be convicted in crimes involving shootings based on blood pattern analysis, but scientists say that people trained in this analysis are not taught with the scientific rigor needed for accuracy. This could result in the conviction of innocent people.

For example, one man who has been in prison in Texas since the 1980s for the murder of his wife was convicted on evidence from blood pattern analysis that showed he was standing near his wife when she was shot. The man claims that he was at a conference 120 miles away at the time. Blood pattern evidence has also been used in some prominent cases, including the murder trials of O.J. Simpson and Phil Spector. If the blood pattern in the Texas case was in fact analyzed incorrectly, the man might be innocent. He has a final attempt at requesting a new trial ahead, but his last appeal was rejected in 2018.

Splitting your home's value during divorce

Have you heard people talk about some of the more modern approaches to the family home after divorce? For instance, some couples literally share the home, moving in and out with the custody schedule, so that the children do not have to move. They call it "nesting." Other couples continue to own the house together, perhaps renting it out and using it as an income property.

For you, though, these new approaches feel far too complex. You don't want to stay that connected to your ex. While you understand that a home is not an asset you can divide like a savings account, you also know that the home is an asset with a financial value. It's that value that you want to divide.

Divorce may be predicted by these signs

Divorce is one of the most stressful, anxiety-producing situations a person can go through in North Carolina, and most couples seek to avoid it for as long as they can. It can be difficult to know if divorce is the right decision, especially given the weight of the emotions involved. For people who are considering divorce but are not sure about it, there are some telltale signs that divorce is on the way. Among them are not eating meals together, living separate lives, experiencing addiction and not having sex regularly.

It may seem like a small thing, but couples who do not eat dinner together may have major problems. Whatever the surface-level reasons, such as if one partner works late and the other doesn't want to wait to eat, it's a sign that the spouses are disjointed. Meal time is connection time. Living separate lives means that the spouses are making big decisions independently, and they don't care about their partner's opinions. Happy couples have a feeling of connectedness even when they're apart.

Satisfied, low-income newlyweds less needy of family law services

The question of why some marriages fail where others succeed is an important one for any North Carolina couple on the way to the altar. Prevailing wisdom has it that marriages always start off optimistically with high energy that wanes over time into stability and ease. In short, marriage is often seen as a path to a place couples are not enthusiastic about being once they get there. One Forbes contributor takes a closer look at the myth through the lens of a study found in Social Psychology and Personality Science.

According to the author, the existing literature has drawn heavily on one population for determining marriage trends, namely white and middle class couples. The study in question took a different tack by selecting its cohort from Los Angeles County's economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. The authors found that economic security tended to influence satisfaction of women more so than men, even at the outset of the marriage.

Dividing a business in divorce

As you move toward divorce, it is clear that your largest and most important asset is your family business. You and your spouse started it the same year you got married. You both own equal percentages.

The problem is that you do not know what the divorce means for the company. You loved starting it and you still believe in it. For both of you, it's your only source of income. How should you proceed? Are you nearing the inevitable end of the company because your marriage didn't work out, or is there enough separation between that business relationship and your romantic relationship?

Property division issues when divorces happen later in life

When middle-aged or older people in North Carolina decide to divorce, they likely have accumulated significant marital assets. To negotiate an equitable division of marital property and possibly calculate child or spousal support, both parties must identify all marital assets and income. Retirement accounts, inheritances, life insurance policies and future Social Security benefits all enter the equation when determining the final terms of the divorce.

The law views retirement accounts as marital property. People getting divorces need to become familiar with the specific documentation for their retirement plans. The plan rules direct how divorce distributions are valued and authorized.

Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving

Most North Carolina motorists understand that driving under the influence is dangerous and illegal. However, many people don't realize that driving while sleepy is just as hazardous. Worse, almost everyone does it at some point in their lives.

A study by researchers at the National Sleep Foundation found that being awake for 24 straight hours impairs drivers as much as having a blood alcohol content level of .10, which is above the legal limit of .08. Despite this, a 2018 AAA poll found that nearly one-third of all drivers admitted to driving while drowsy in the last 30 days. Statistics show that this behavior is leading to more accidents. For example, a separate AAA study found that almost 10% of accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep behind the wheel.

Advocates urge exclusion of racist police testimony

When people are accused of a crime in North Carolina, prosecutors and even judges and juries often rely heavily on the statements and testimony of police. Unfortunately, there have been multiple cases of wrongful convictions related to police misconduct, deception or outright lies during testimony. Advocates for criminal justice reform are urging district attorneys and prosecutors to refuse to work with police with records of lying and other forms of misconduct in order to prevent future wrongful convictions. They are also urging prosecutors to exclude testimony from cops who have made racist or violent statements.

The letters by these advocates came in response to exposure of Facebook posts and groups containing members of various law enforcement agencies. One group, The Plain View Project, screens the Facebook pages of police officers for violent or racist posts that call into question their ability to handle matters in an unbiased or objective manner. In addition to Facebook posts, the advocates noted that histories of discipline for misconduct, bias and racism are also relevant to police testimony in criminal cases. For example, corrupt police could have a history of falsifying testimony in exchange for money, drugs or other benefits.

Bill proposes automatic emergency braking for all CMVs

North Carolina residents in the trucking industry may be interested to hear that a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on July 16 that would require automatic emergency braking on all new CMVs. The bill is likely to create controversy among truck fleet owners, especially those who may not be able to pay $500 for every AEB system they need.

One of the three congresspeople who introduced the bill proposed a similar bill back in 2015, but it failed. This new bill comes just as members of the Truck Safety Coalition, a non-profit organization, were arriving in the nation's capital to push for improved truck safety regulations. Besides mandatory AEB use, the coalition advocates the use of speed limiters and the installation of front and side guards to protect ride-under accidents.

  • Avvo Rating Superb Top Attorney Family
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney
  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars
  • The national top 40 under 40 trial lawyers
  • BV LexisNexis | martindale-Hubbell Distinguished For ethical standards and legal ability
Email Us For a Response

Tell Us How We Can Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Bull & Reinhardt, PLLC
160 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Phone: 828-348-8053
Fax: 828-254-5166
Asheville Law Office Map

Follow us on