March 2011 Archives

North Carolina Still Recognizes Alienation of Affections Court Claims

March 25, 2011

The Lumberton North Carolina Courts provide a good forum for Alienation of Affection cases. NC is only one a a handful of remaining states which allow an action against a third party for wrecking a marriage. The claim is called allienation of affections. Punitive damages are also allowed, subject to North Carolina's cap on such damages. A companion charge of Criminal Conversation is usually pled alongside the alienation of affection charges.

To prevail on such a case the Plainitff must essentially prove that a third party almost preditorially stole away the affections of a marriage partner who had no prior inclination to be unfaithful.

A parallel action which is available is a claim for Criminal Conversation. Argueably easier to prove, this claim requires only that the jury find by the greater weight of the evidence that the third pary had sex with the Plaintiff's marriage partner while the third party knew or had good reason to believe the partner was married to the Plaintiff. This claim also carries punitive damages. These cases often provide the victim a decided advantage in their divorce case against the marriage partner, especially if the illicit relationship is still ongoing.

Often the sexual contract has been admitted by the marriage partner and often by the third party. Damages can vary widely, as can the ability of the Defendant to pay. But it may well pay to have an interview with a lawyer to assess the possibilities.

Lumberton Attorney Woodberry "Woody" Bowen travels throughout North Carolina to try Criminal Conversation and Alienation of Affection and other civil and criminal cases.

Slandered Red Springs NC Shopper Wins Record Jury Verdict

March 23, 2011

I was not long out of the DA's office from a position as a state prosecutor. Fresh back in private practice those decades ago, no big cases were lining up at the door just yet. So I had to make the most of what I had.

A young mechanic from Red Springs NC came to me after being slandered in the local grocery store. He and his wife were checking out of the food store one Friday night with two full baskets of groceries. My client had a wad of bills to pay for the merchandise and he and his wife were regular shoppers in the store.

Still, the manager accosted my clients in the check-out line and accused the local mechanic of stealing six doughnuts. My client protested. He showed the money he had to buy all the merchandise. He then pulled out the lining of the pocket in his full length leather coat where the manager claimed he had concealed the donoughts. No doughnuts. Still the manager accused him, standing right in the front of the store in front of many citizens of Red Springs who knew him. The manager never asked my client to step to the back of the store or into a private office so they could talk about it. The manager never tried to place a six pack of donoughts in his coat pocket to see if the white carton would stick up above the coat pocket, clearly visible. We did just that at trial and the jury laughed at the manager when they saw the doughnut package protruding at least 4 inches over his coat pocket in plain view. Shoplifting is concealing merchandise inside the store. Nothing had been concealed and my client had not left the store when confronted by the insulting manager.

The accusations damaged my client's business since a mechanic must rely on his integrity as well as his skill in a small town. My client proved by his tax return that his business got bad for a time after this indicent, likely because of all the uncomplementary talk.

But the talk chaged drastically in his favor and his business returned. The jury awarded him $ 150,000.00 for his loss, $ 50,000.00 for the lost business due to the slander and $ 100,000.00 for punitive damages for the malicious manner in which the manager falsely accused him and the store refused to apologize.

Sticks and stones can break your bones, but the law says that words can hurt you, too. When they do, get just compensation.

Lumberton NC lawyer Woodyberry Bowen tries slander and libel cases.

North Carolina Traffic Offenses Cost Clients Inceased Insurance Premiums

March 21, 2011

Lumberton N. C. is situated on Interstate 95 where numbers of speeding and other traffic tickets are written by the Highway Patrolmen stationed in Robeson County, North Carolina. The numbers of tickets going to Robeson County Court are on the rise now that the state is in desperate need of revenue.

Officers are writing tickets for infractions as little as 8 or 9 miles over the speed limit.

Not only do these tickets cost motorists fines and costs in court, but they also jack up insurance premiums ten per cent or more for all cars on a policy. And these increases can affect motorists' policies for three years.

The remedy is to get the charges dismissed or change the charge to one which will not trigger serious surcharges on the motorist's insurance.

A local traffic ticket attorney, especially for an out-of-state motorist, is desirable if not a necessity.

With over 35 years of experience in the Robeson County Courts, both as a state prosecutor and as defense counsel, Lumberton N. C. lawyer Woodberry "Woody" Bowen has the background to handle traffic cases in a way that minimizes license points and insurance points, thus saving motorists hundreds of dollars on liability insurance premiums.

Court can take a full day and often the client cannot get as good a deal from the DA that the experienced lawyer is able to get. Stay at work and let us do what we are trained to do. Having a good lawyer usually doesn't cost, it pays.


Dog Joins Staff of Lumberton, N. C. Attorney Woody Bowen

March 5, 2011

Atty Blog Jon Provost couch small elegantportraits.jpgBesides being a trail attorney, I am President of the Robeson County Humane Society. Four years ago RCHS began the annual tradition of the Puppy Love Valentine's Dinner as a fund raiser. One of our most energetic officers stuck up an e-mail conversation with Bill Berloni, world famous animal trainer. Bill trained all the "Sandy" dogs for the movie and Broadway play, Annie. He trained the cat in Mr. Wilson's War and Bruiser in Legally Blond. Lumberton is a small North Carolina town on Interstate 95 so we were thrilled to have someone of Bill stature.

RCHS has its own no-kill shelter near our small airport, but we are concerned always about conditions at the Robeson County pound. Since Bill advised all the public pounds in the State of New York we asked him to inspect our county pound on the way from Raleigh Durham Airport. He did so. But when Bill arrived early at the dinner I overheard him tell some folks that he was saddened that he had seen a little Collie mix puppy at the pound. He said his first dog was a Collie.

Little did he know that my wife Joan and I are Collie and Sheltie lovers. I could not sleep that night, imagining the pup. Next morning early I typed some signs and put them up at the pound on the way to a deposition. I encountered the pound director on the way out who told me he had orders to put down all the puppies immediately because of a distemper scare. I could not talk him into letting me have the playful Collie mix pup. So I called the County Veterinarian, Dr. Curt Locklear. I could almost see Dr. Locklear's vexation when he heard they would not let me adopt the puppy. He said he knew I was going to get the dog isolated and vetted and that it would be alright if I took him. I had Dr. Locklear tell the pound folks what he had told me, and by mid morning RCHS volunteers had the dog safely in quarantine at Dr. Locklears animal hospital.

I then called Bill Berloni in New York City to tell him that we had saved the pup that he had mentioned from his visit to the pound. I asked Bill the name of his first Collie and he told me "Rexie". I said that with his permission and in memory of his "Rexie", we would name this one Rexie.

A year later Bill returned for the Second Annual Puppy Love. I introduced him to the audience with the story of how we got Rexie. Little did Bill know that just outside the French doors to the banquet room, Joan had Rexie on a leash. On cue Rexie walked in. Bill knelt down. I think Dogs just know. I thought Rexie would lick Bill's face completely off, and Bill was a little too overcome for a while to start his talk.

Today Rexie is our law office dog. He comes to work every day and greets all the clients. Lawyers from all over the state ask if Rexie can be present for the deposition or mediation we are doing together and of course Rexie always accommodates requests for his presence. We take turns walking him and he spreads his time equally among the legal assistants.

And Rexie likes celebrities. So a couple of years later Jon Provost (Little "Timmy" on Lassie) came and talked to us at Puppy Love, and Rexie and Jon stopped by my portrait studio and had their portrait made. More on that story later but the photo is at the top of this article.