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North Carolina's highest court is holding a "legal party" to observe the anniversary of its first meeting 200 years ago this month.

The state Supreme Court scheduled a special session Monday in its downtown Raleigh courtroom to celebrate the court's bicentennial.

The General Assembly created the court in 1818 and appointed a chief justice and two judges. The court met the first time in January 1819.

The court was formalized permanently in the 1868 state constitution and now has seven justices, each elected in statewide elections to serve eight-year terms. The chief justice is also head of the state's judicial branch.

The bicentennial is the latest in recently observed anniversaries by the court system, including the 50th anniversary of the Court of Appeals in 2017.


A civil rights attorney elected to North Carolina's highest court is taking office.

Anita Earls is being sworn into office as a state Supreme Court associate justice on Thursday. The Democrat defeated Republican incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson in November.

Earls founded and led the Durham-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice. She was a deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Justice Department during the Clinton administration.

Earls also served the state elections board and taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Maryland. She earned her law degree from Yale.



Poland's ruling party has submitted a draft law to parliament that would reinstate Supreme Court judges who were recently forced into early retirement.

The development comes a month after the European Union's top court ordered Poland to immediately stop applying a law that lowered the retirement age for Supreme Court judges, forcing about two dozen of them off the bench.

Poland has been in a standoff with the European Union for three years over attempts by the ruling populist Law and Justice party to impose control over the court system. The efforts have raised serious concerns over rule of law in the young democracy.

Wednesday's legislative initiative marks one of the first significant steps by Poland to comply with EU demands.


The current chief justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia has been elected to a second term in that role.

The court said in a news release Tuesday that the justices re-elected Donald W. Lemons as chief justice. His second term will begin Jan. 1, 2019.

Lemons is a former judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond.

The General Assembly elected him to the Supreme Court in 2000 and again in 2012.



Rebel Wilson has applied to Australia's highest court to increase the comic actress's payout from a defamation case against a magazine publisher.

The 38-year-old, best known for parts in the "Pitch Perfect" and "Bridesmaids" movies, was awarded in September an Australian record 4.6 million Australian dollars ($3.5 million) in damages.

A Victoria state Supreme Court jury found that that German publisher Bauer Media defamed her in a series of articles in 2015 claiming she lied about her age, the origin of her first name and her upbringing in Sydney.

But three judges on the Court of Appeal last month upheld an appeal by Bauer and slashed Wilson's payout to AU$600,000 ($454,000).

The appeal court ruled that the trial Judge John Dixon should not have compensated Wilson for film roles, including "Trolls" and "Kung Fu Panda 3," which she testified she had lost due to the damage the articles had done to her reputation.

She was also ordered to pay 80 percent of Bauer's legal costs in mounting its appeal.

Wilson lodged an application to the High Court late Wednesday to restore Dixon's ruling. The High Court registry made the court documents public on Thursday.

The Court of Appeal overturned Dixon's finding that Wilson's career had been on an "upward trajectory" before the articles, instead saying the judge had given "a picture of the plaintiff's career trajectory that significantly overstated its success and ignored its hiccups."

According to court documents, Wilson's lawyers will argue Dixon was correct, and that he was also correct in finding the articles caused a "huge international media firestorm" affecting Wilson's career and reputation.

The lawyer will also argue the Court of Appeal was wrong in concluding Wilson needed to prove economic loss by showing a project had been canceled.



The outgoing Republican leader of the Indiana Senate is taking a new job at a high-power law firm.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long of Fort Wayne joined Ice Miller as a partner on Friday. He is joining the firm's public affairs wing.

The firm says he will focus on growing Ice Miller's presence beyond its anchor offices in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Washington D.C.

Long announced in February that he was stepping down. The Senate has tentatively selected Sen. Rodric Bray of Martinsville as his replacement.

Long has been the Senate's leader since 2006 and was first elected to the chamber 22 years ago.

Republicans hold a 41-9 majority in the Senate and those GOP members will formally pick the next leader this fall.


New York's highest court on Thursday turned down President Donald Trump's latest bid to delay a defamation suit filed by a former "Apprentice" contestant who accused him of unwanted groping and kissing.

The ruling by the state Court of Appeals didn't address either side's central arguments. But it means evidence-gathering in Summer Zervos' lawsuit can proceed, at least for now.

Zervos' lawyer, Mariann Wang, said she looks forward to continuing with the case "and exposing the truth."

Trump, who denies Zervos' allegations, is trying to get the case dismissed or postponed until after his presidency. A mid-level appellate court is due to consider that request in the fall.

Trump's lawyers at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP noted that Thursday's ruling didn't speak to their argument for tossing out the case: That a sitting president can't be sued in a state court.

Instead, the Court of Appeals said the case was simply in too early a stage for its consideration.

Zervos, a California restaurateur, appeared in 2006 on the Republican president's former reality show, "The Apprentice."

She says he made unwanted advances when she sought career advice in 2007, then defamed her by calling her a liar after she came forward late in his 2016 presidential race. She is seeking a retraction, an apology and compensatory and punitive damages.

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