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In The News

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We feature some of the most newsworthy articles below.

‘Save it for the judge?’ Charlotte lawyers upset as courts change bond hearings

October 18, 2023

Facing stretched resources, Mecklenburg County’s top district court judge has done away with a decades-old staple in the local criminal defense system, upsetting some leading attorneys. For more than 20 years, people charged with felonies have been guaranteed a bond hearing within 10 days of their first appearance in the Mecklenburg County courthouse. The hearings were a chance to argue to a judge, with a lawyer’s help, that a defendant should be released from jail before their next court date, or that their conditions of release should be different. But times have changed, Chief District Court Judge Elizabeth Trosch told The Charlotte Observer. The system was inefficient, she said, and the courthouse is facing new drains on its time and manpower. The change was necessitated, in part, by Mecklenburg’s recent switch to a new, digital court records and case management system known as eCourts. A math problem ECourts launched in Mecklenburg County on Oct. 9. That same day, Chief Public Defender Kevin Tully ended his clients’ first appearances with a consistent appeal to Trosch. Schedule a bond hearing, he asked, so that there might be a meaningful and timely discussion of whether they should be kept in jail or…

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NC child sex abuse court cases stalled by challenges to law allowing lawsuits

April 26, 2023

There is no question that a YMCA counselor took Kernersville kids on trips, hosted them at sleepovers in his home and abused some of them in the 1990s. Three years ago, adult men contending they were among the abused sued that former counselor, Kernersville Family YMCA and others. But their quest to hold them legally responsible for physical and mental injuries has stalled. Whether the counselor, the Kernersville Family…

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Mingo, Clary Win $4.1M Settlement In Non-Fatal Drowning Case

May 25, 2022

Amanda Mingo and Katie Clary of Rawls, Scheer, Clary & Mingo in Charlotte represented a plaintiff who alleged negligence after a pool’s lifeguard failed to notice she was under water. The non-fatal drowning left her with hypoxic brain injury and permanent neurological defects. Read the complete report in N.C. Lawyers Weekly. Mingo is a member of the NCAJ Board of Governors, the Auto Torts & Premises Liability Section, the Hispanic/Latino Division and the Women’s Caucus. Clary is a member of NCAJ’s Criminal Defense Section. Amount: $4.1 million Date of settlement: April 2022

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Client Pleads to Lesser Charge in Local Major Case

April 2, 2019

The client was accused of trying to murder her 1-year-old while he was at CMC hospital in 2017.  The State had surveillance video that they claimed showed her trying to smother the child with a pillow multiple times. [Read the full article here.] [Secondary article here.] Tony Scheer and the RSCM team spent months dissecting the video and investigating the facts claimed in the police reports.  We built the case that the videos actually showed she had no intent to harm her child.  We also uncovered evidence that our client had been in an altered mental state on the day of the incident.  With the help of forensic experts and subpoenas to all of the drug stores in her home town, we established that her doctors had mistakenly prescribed 3 drugs which were known to interact badly and cause severe sedation.  Nonetheless, the State insisted on the client pleading guilty and serving several years in prison. On Mr. Scheer’s advice, she rejected the plea offers and the case was docketed for trial.  Several months later and two years after she was first charged, the State reversed.   They agreed that they did not have the evidence to prove she intended…

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Client Receives Bond and Fair Treatment in Murder Case

April 2, 2019

Mahmood Bhatti, who was charged with killing his former girlfriend and her unborn child, has been in jail without bond since October. [Read the full article here.] Ashendorf said Bhatti could take off if he is allowed out of jail, but Bhatti’s attorney presented a different view. Tony Scheer, Bhatti’s defense attorney, said the case is not as clear-cut as police and prosecutors are suggesting and that Bhatti is not the villain some might think.

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Tony Scheer remembers Minette Trosch, influential council member who championed balanced growth passes

April 2, 2019

Minette Trosch, who served a decade on Charlotte’s city council and later went on to a successful second career in law, died Friday morning. She was 75. [Read the full article online here.] Trosch, a former mayor pro tem, died of ovarian cancer, according to her son, Judge Lou Trosch Jr. After the adoption of city council districts in 1977, Trosch became one of the first district members. As a Republican, she was an influential council member who championed balanced growth and worked across the aisle with Democrats like Mayor Harvey Gantt. Trosch brought the same traits to the practice of law. Tony Scheer, who chairs the board of Justice Initiatives, a nonprofit that advocates for the justice system, said she won the respect of fellow lawyers as well as clients. “Minette was one of those lawyers who brought great honors upon us all in the way she practiced,” he said, “and the way she worked with other lawyers and . . . her clients.”

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Tony Scheer Comments on Local Witness Intimidation Case

March 28, 2019

[Read the full article.] A local murder trial was delayed this week after prosecutors said a key witness in the case disappeared. They’re blaming witness intimidation for putting justice in jeopardy. “The system doesn’t work if people with an interest in the case can intimidate a witness and keep them off the stand,” former prosecutor Tony Scheer told Channel 9. Scheer said this case of witness intimidation goes beyond what he’s seen

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Tony Scheer Named to Super Lawyers Top 100 in North Carolina for 2019

February 12, 2019

Anthony (Tony) Scheer has been named to the Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyers for 2019. Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in North Carolina through a proprietary process that involves peer nominations and independent research. Scheer is a former prosecutor who has been a practicing trial lawyer in Charlotte since 1993. He is one of only eight criminal defense attorneys from Charlotte selected. [Read the full release.]

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Eben Rawls Client Receives 4 Year Sentence For Role in Murders

August 16, 2018

Emily Isaacs was the second defendant to plead guilty Thursday. She drove the two shooters away from the murder scenes and had also testified at their trials. [Read the full article here.] The final piece—Emily Isaacs pleaded guilty to robbery in murders of Mirjana Puhar and 2 others in N CLT in 2015 pic.twitter.com/oPzoOOrWeq — Mark Becker (@MarkBeckerWSOC9) August 16, 2018   The mother of Rosool Harrell told Isaacs in court that she is just as guilty as the others and later shared her feelings with Channel 9. “She was walking around like everything was OK,” Jackie Harrell said. “Like she had no part of it. But she drove the…

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Eben Rawls Defending Rare Death Penalty Case in Charlotte

November 16, 2017

A Charlotte man accused of murdering his in-laws learned Thursday that prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against him. [Read the full article here.] Smith is one of very few defendants who has faced the death penalty in Mecklenburg County in the last several years. The last time a defendant received the death penalty was in…

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Eben Rawls Comments on Bart Menser’s Retirement and Impact on Charlotte

November 10, 2017

[Read the full article online.] Bart Menser, says outgoing District Attorney Andrew Murray, is like EF Hutton: When Bart Menser talks, people listen. And talk he did, to literally hundreds of incoming prosecutors and other staffers in the Mecklenburg DA’s office over the past 30 years. As deputy district attorney, Menser would hold what Murray calls The Bart Talk with each new lawyer. Menser would make abundantly clear the expectations he and the office had of them: To act ethically at all times, to do the right thing and to remember that you don’t have much but your word. Those lawyers he mentored went on to become judges and DAs and U.S. attorneys and among…

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Local Restaurateur Sentenced to 8 Months in Prison

September 5, 2017

The owner of a landmark Lake Norman restaurant was sentenced to eight months in prison followed by eight months of confinement in his Mooresville home on Tuesday for attempted tax evasion. [Read the full article here.] Peter Gjuraj, 49, owner of the Blue Parrot Grill on N.C. 150 West in Mooresville, admitted to hiding about $2.8 million in income and filing false returns. He originally faced up to five years in prison, but prosecutors, in the end, requested an…

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Highway department appeals $3 million ruling in street-racing case

March 31, 2017

Charlotte attorney Amanda Mingo, who represents one of the families, said the appeal was expected. [Read the full article here.] “The N.C. DOT does not have to pay interest on the $3 million award as a person or corporation would, so there is no disincentive for appealing,” she said Monday. “The families continue to wait for justice and hope the Supreme Court affirms the decision quickly.”

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Charlotte School of Law and Parent Companies

February 7, 2017

Rawls, Scheer, Clary and Mingo, along with co-counsel, Crumley Roberts and Bohrer Brady, filed a class action lawsuit against the Charlotte School of Law, and its parent companies, InfiLaw Holdings and Sterling Capital Partners, seeking damages for past, current and future harms caused by the defendants. [Read the full article here.] [Download the original complaint here.] If you are or were a Charlotte School of Law student and have suffered a financial loss due to your attendance, we are here to help….

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RSCM Client Receives Clemency from President Obama on his Last Day in Office

February 7, 2017

RSCM longtime client Ray Surrat receives clemency and is granted early release by President Obama during his last days in office. Tony Scheer is quoted in the story. [Read the full article here.] Surratt was serving a mandatory life sentence for a nonviolent drug crime, a penalty that his sentencing judge, prosecutors and defense team agreed was overly harsh but still could leave the ­42-year-old North Carolina man locked up forever. On Jan. 19, Surratt was left momentarily speechless by a call from one of his attorneys telling him that on Barack Obama’s last full…

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Siskey Ponzi Scheme Comes to Light With Release of Affidavit

January 13, 2017

A recent affidavit released by the FBI reveals details about the Ponzi scheme operated by Charlotte businessman Richard Siskey. [The full story here.] [The full affidavit here.] Charlotte attorney Tony Scheer sat down with Channel 9 and went through the affidavit. “Ponzi schemes are games of musical chairs,” he said. “As long as the music is playing and new investors are bringing in money, everybody’s happy. It’s when the music stops and there aren’t enough chairs that people fall down and hurt their bottoms.” The FBI document states that Siskey spent more than $15 million on casino gambling after transferring investors’ money into his personal accounts — $1 million was sent to Seminole Hard Rock Resort and Casino.

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North Carolina Supreme Court Upholds Judgment against NCDOT

October 26, 2016

This case began with a terrible automobile crash that occurred in Charlotte in 2009 resulting in three deaths. The families alleged that in addition to the racing drivers, a proximate cause of the deaths was Crescent Resources’ decision not to fund – and the NCDOT’s decision not to install – a traffic signal at the intersection. [Read the full article here.] The case was first tried in state court against the developer, Crescent Resources, and the Mecklenburg County jury awarded three million dollars each to the estates of the…

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Man found not guilty in string of robberies, arrested after chase

March 31, 2016

Tony Scheer, a defense attorney, and former prosecutor said if they weren’t convinced that the man behind the masks was Orr, the jury got it right in acquitting him. [Read the full article here.] “If you have a situation where a person’s accused of a crime and no one saw their face, no DNA and no fingerprints, it’s almost impossible to imagine getting a guilty verdict,” Scheer said. Those masked robberies could come back to haunt Orr in a trial on the new charges if prosecutors can show that the new cases are similar to those, Scheer said. “Was he wearing a mask this time? That would be one of those things that would say this is a common scheme or plan,” Scheer said. Quote from wscoctv.com.

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North Carolina Court of Appeals Upholds Judgment against NCDOT

March 30, 2016

North Carolina Court of Appeals Upholds Judgment against NCDOT It has been a long, uphill battle against the NCDOT for its failure to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 49 where it crosses Palisades Parkway and Riverpoint Drive. [Read the full article here.] The NC Industrial Commission awarded the families of Hunter…

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