Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Vol. 2 No. 1

 

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD: A CRITIQUE OF WAIVERS AND CONGRESSIONAL MANDATES ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS

By: Phyliss Craig-Taylor

In 2005 the Gulf Coast was hit with the worst natural disaster in the history of America, Hurricane Katrina. Following the disaster, Congress issued billions of dollars to help low to moderate income families recover from the hurricane. This study will look to see how the state of Mississippi, along with other government officials and entities, actually used those funds.

The state of Mississippi developed a project called the Port Project that was not a project that helped low to moderate income families. Mississippi focused on this project throughout the Katrina relief period and even diverted funds away from other areas to help fund the project. Research has shown that sometimes it seemed that Mississippi seemed to disregard Congress’s wishes and did not always do what was best for those affected by Katrina.

IS PROPERTY MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE? THE MORAL INADEQUACY OF MODEL RULE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT 1.6

By: Victoria Vuletich

In accordance with a recent change to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, attorneys may now reveal privileged client information if the attorney reasonably believes it will prevent another person from suffering severe injury to finances or property. This raises the question of whether the ABA actually values the right to privacy of clients. Persons could argue that such a rule will result in clients not being able to trust lawyers with confidential information because lawyers will find some technicality that will allow them to reveal confidential information. With regard to the specific rule mentioned above, a strong argument can be made that the ABA values property rights more than the rights of people.

CONSTRUCTIVE TERMINATION MUST BE RECOGNIZED IN WRONGFUL TERMINATION CASES AS A MATTER OF LAW: PLAINTIFF’S DUTY TO MITIGATE DAMAGES

By: Steven A. McCloskey

Constructive termination is a legal device that allows employees to show that they were basically terminated from their jobs because working conditions were unbearable. North Carolina is a state that does allow constructive termination to be used as evidence in certain types of cases. However, the state does not allow plaintiffs to use constructive termination as an evidence device in wrongful termination cases. This study takes a look into how North Carolina uses constructive termination and discusses how it should be used in wrongful termination cases. No valid reason exists as to why North Carolina does not allow constructive termination to be used in wrongful termination cases and the courts are committing an injustice to workers across the state.

EVOLVING PROTECTION FOR TRANSGENDER EMPLOYEES UNDER TITLE VII’S SEX DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITION: A NEW ERA WHERE GENDER IS MORE THAN CHROMOSOMES

By: Amanda Raflo

Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 is designed to prevent discrimination in the workplace but some recent court rulings have shown that it sometimes fails to do just that. Many transgendered persons in the United States are frequently discriminated against at their jobs and the common person may believe that they could simply sue under Title VII. However, many courts have ruled that transgendered persons cannot sue under grounds of sex discrimination under Title VII. This study will look specifically at recent cases that will hopefully persuade courts to adopt a solution for transgendered persons under Title VII.

A THEFT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROPORTIONS: NORTH CAROLINA’S ORIGINAL COPY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS

By: Jeffrey R. Goss

When the Bill of Rights was first proposed in 1789, Congress created 14 original copies: one for the governor of each state, and one for the federal government. So what happened to North Carolina’s copy, and what can be learned from the process by which it was recovered?

When the Union Army overtook Raleigh in 1865, an unknown Union soldier took North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights as a spoil of war, later selling it for $5 to a private individual named Shotwell. Over the course of the next 100 or so years, multiple attempts were made to recover the Bill of Rights from Shotwell and his estate, but because the state of North Carolina refused to pay for its return since it rightfully belonged to the state anyway, all efforts were failed.

In 2002, however, North Carolina’s original copy of the Bill of Rights again resurfaced, and then-governor of the state, Mike Easley, decided to take action. When an antiques dealer who had purchased the Bill from the Shotwell estate arranged to sell it to the National Constitution Center, Easley set up a sting operation that affected a legal seizure of the document. A civil forfeiture action ensued, but the state eventually declined to press criminal charges against the antiques dealer in exchange for mere replevin of the artifact.

While the facts of the case are undoubtedly interesting, the subsequent litigation has little precedential value in forecasting judgments in cases of stolen art for two main reasons. One, because an element of a civil forfeiture claim is that the defendant must be aware that the art is stolen, there will be need to be litigation concerning this actual knowledge requirement. No such litigation occurred here because it is undoubted that anyone in possession of the Bill of Rights would have known that it was stolen property. Secondly, rarely will the plaintiff in a forfeiture action for stolen art be the state, with the vast resources the state is capable of spending in order to prosecute. Therefore, the case of the missing Bill may be entertaining to historians, but it does little to give guidance to litigants in a civil forfeiture action.

WHAT’S MISSING FROM THE MAESTRO’S TOMB: A DISCUSSION ON PROVENANCE AND OWNERSHIP OF ONE OF MICHELANGELO’S LAST SCULPTURES

By: Christopher Neeson

The famous artist Michelangelo is well-known for many of his masterpieces, however, there is at least one that is shrouded in mystery from both a historical and a legal perspective. Michelangelo is rumored to have fashioned a sculpture of himself that was to be placed on his grave upon his death. However, if one were to visit Michelangelo’s grave site in Florence, one would find no such sculpture. To find the alleged work of art, one would have to visit the Vatican. But how did the sculpture come into possession of the Vatican if it was intended to be, essentially, Michelangelo’s headstone? Moreover, despite whosever possession it is currently in, to whom does the sculpture legally belong?

Assuming the sculpture is truly the work of the famous Michelangelo, art historians and lawyers would determine modern-day rightful ownership by tracing the sculpture’s provenance, or chain of title. However, there is no traceable provenance because no one exactly knows what happened to the sculpture upon Michelangelo’s death? Was it ever transferred to his estate? Did the Vatican know about it and steal it, or merely come across it at some later point? Furthermore, because Michelangelo died intestate, the proposition to look to his heirs (and the heir’s heirs at this point) is fruitless.

An exploration of several legal theories under both Italian and American civil and common law tend to reach the same conclusion, which is that the Vatican probably has rightful ownership to the sculpture at this point. Whether under a theory of adverse possession, or under recognition that the passing of 400-plus years since Michelangelo’s death probably means that most statutes of limitations have run, there is little doubt that the Vatican can most likely retain possession of the sculpture without threat of legally-enforceable replevin.