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Listener Questions - Gabby Petito Case -Lenadro Case

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
The Truth Network Radio
October 1, 2021 11:58 am

Listener Questions - Gabby Petito Case -Lenadro Case

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer

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October 1, 2021 11:58 am

Attorneys Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer talk about the Leandro v North Carolina and how it questioned education in schools and they will also discuss the latest in the Gabby Petito case listener questions, including estate questions. To reach the law firm, call 800-659-1186, email or visit 

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Coming up on this week's Outlaw Lawyer, we're going to take some listener questions, we're going to recap the recent updates of the Landro case, and we will also update some additional news items we've talked about in the past. Outlaw lawyers, they are on the air.

Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, 46 combined years experience between these two, and again offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, and a little bird told me, possibly another office opening up, we'll talk about that later. But we get into so many things when it comes to legal talk, so estate planning and administration, personal injury, criminal and traffic, family law, real estate closings, I mean it's all out there folks. And we hit a lot of topics, if you've got any questions, you can always call the show, leave your question for the guys, 800-659-1186, that's 800-659-1186, or you can email your questions to the show at questions at, and check out the website I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. Fellas, welcome in, I understand you had a busy week, so let's get right to it.

Morgan, good to talk to you today. This show is dedicated to legal topics that we pick out of the news and want to discuss, but there's one important news story that I don't think we can ignore at all. We got to go first thing, but that was NC State upsetting Clemson.

I think that's the biggest story legal. Breaking news, breaking news, NC State over Clemson. Oh, that's a huge game.

We were at that game, so me and my wife were at that game with some friends, good seats, and it was great. As an NC State fan, I talked to Joe about this earlier, but as an NC State fan, you're always the underdog. It permeates every aspect of your life, so you're an underdog across the board, I think.

It's just your mindset. Joe over there is a Duke fan, and so I think Duke and Carolina fans, you're raised, you have expectations, you expect to win. When you don't win, you're upset, and that's not how state fans are raised. You're very thankful for any win, and you don't want to jinx it, but that was big time.

That was a good game to be at. Josh, I got to take issue with your assessment of Duke fandom. There's other sports in addition to basketball, Josh, and Duke does have a football program, and if you're a true Duke fan, you're going to follow every Duke sport down to women's field hockey, whatever.

Literally, you're a fan through and through. I understand what you're saying in regards to maybe the men's basketball program, which again, we could get into a debate because that expectation of success has its own drawbacks as well. I would argue you live a more fulfilling life as a state fan because your expectations being so low, man, you get these high moments where something good happens, and you can just feel really good about it as opposed to almost perpetual disappointment when you're not achieving the highest of high achievements constantly.

Well, there may be some truth to that. It would be nice to feel that the winning all the time or being disappointed with your two losses. It's not that great, man. It's not that great, I'm telling you. Well, and I will tell you, your family, being Duke fans, you're one of the only Duke fans I know that really do support and hang in there with football. That is probably like being a state fan to some extent. I think it's worse.

I think it's worse. Again, it's been better recently, not in the immediate recency. The last couple of years, we've had some higher highs than we had in a while, but there was a long period there, man, where it was about the worst thing you could be as far as sports, as far as just being so bad for so long.

Again, has been better recently. We've had some reason to believe, but we're true fans, man. We stick it out. I mean, we've seasoned ticket holders for like 10 straight years. We went and saw them lose to Richmond, went and saw them lose to a lot of really bad teams, man.

Saw a lot of disappointment. It really makes you a better person, I feel like. You know, you're fans. I mean, it comes down to that and you follow your team. I get grief for being a Cowboys fan. And 1995 is the last time they played for it all. So it's been a long, long time. I have a shirt that says, Cowboys just do it.

And I've had several people go, what do they do exactly? Because currently they're struggling, but they're off to a good start this year. So I'm hopeful. And as far as the college aspect, I'm, I'm the elder statesman on the program. Um, and I came through UNC back in the mid to late eighties. So we were coming off a championship in 82 before I got there. State won it in 83. And then Duke just absolutely went to town in the nineties and then it all started to go. But back then those three schools were fan tastic. I mean, this area, when it came to basketball was absolutely crazy, but football we've always kind of struggled.

Yeah. I, you know, I hope this is the beginning of, you know, state, I don't think anybody expects us to, uh, to run the tables. Wake forest always gives us trouble. Boston college is strong. Um, but we're, we're gonna, as a state fan, you just savor. So we're still savoring Clemson.

I think we've got Louisiana tech this, this Saturday. Um, but we're just going to savor this win. No, one's gonna make any crazy claims. We're not going to look at each other in the eyes.

No, one's going to blink. We're not going to talk anything else about it. Um, we're just gonna, we're just gonna hope for the best, but that was, that was a lot of fun.

And we talk about COVID and mask mandates and, and legal aspects of that a lot. And of course you're outside. We were at Carter family.

We were outside. Um, but it was, you know, it was nice not to have a mask on. Everybody seemed to be having a good time.

I guess COVID numbers are still going down. Of course, everybody rushed the field. I wasn't in that too old for that, but that was, uh, that was fun.

And, and another thing we did, we went to the hurricanes preseason game, uh, last night. So it was interesting to see, you know, that being inside, you didn't have a lot of folks who, you know, were doing the mask, obeying the mask mandate, and then the hurricanes have a special check-in procedure. So you had to log in on your phone and answer some questions.

Do you have a fever? You know, is anybody quarantined that kind of thing? It didn't ask you about vaccination.

It didn't ask you about any of that stuff, but you had to pass that little screening. Uh, and they, they checked it, everybody checked it. So it's interesting to see how that that's affecting, uh, live sports, both inside and, and out. Now, Josh, you mentioned, you mentioned something about the COVID numbers going down.

I saw that as well. Watch the news last night. It looks like across the board in the state of North Carolina, the COVID numbers are dropping hospitalizations going down, positive cases going down. Um, um, is it safe to say that NC state beating Clemson has cured COVID? I think it's the, I, not only is it safe to say Joseph, I think it's the only logical, reasonable conclusion one can take from that fact pattern.

Just want to remind everybody the opinions expressed on this show are that of the hosts and only the hosts. Morgan it's, it's science. It's just science.

You can't argue. You can't argue with science, man, but, uh, so how was that hurricanes game, Josh? Pretty, pretty good time outside of the COVID check-in and everything else, the game.

Yeah, that was good. Uh, it was, uh, it was lightly attended. I was surprised. I've never, this is my first year, really, you know, I think me and Joe have talked about it before, you know, not going to concerts last year, not going to live sports. Like I was, I was feening for live stuff.

And so we have doubled down. We've got tickets to every sport known to man guns and roses tonight at the PNC. We're one as, as terrified as we are of COVID, we are putting those fears behind us and we were, we're all in, but I was surprised. I've never been, I don't think I've been to a pre-season hockey game since the hurricanes first came to, uh, Greensboro.

Um, so it's been a long time, but it was, I would say it was lightly attended. Well, I'm sure I feel like that's, you know, it's pre-season obviously. Um, but I feel like you're gonna, we're going to see a lot of attendance and I don't know that.

I don't think we're going to see any kind of, uh, COVID effect on the attendance for the hurricanes games, especially if the team is, is good. The team is winning. We got good fans here, man. We have a strong fan base in this area.

Um, and it's a good place to be and that's a great place to go see hockey as well. The, uh, I think last night they were playing Tampa Bay and I had, I had the boys with me. We couldn't make it through the third period, but we were, we were up and it was, uh, they were playing real loose in the first and I think everybody turned it on in the second period.

Cause there was a lot of, it got real physical all of a sudden in the second period, but no, it was a lot of fun. It's good to get out. I think a lot of people, we invited a lot of people to go with us, uh, cause we had a, we had a couple of extra tickets and there's a lot of people I invited that, you know, really still understandably so concerned about COVID or not ready to go, you know, anywhere like that, but that state Clemson game was full man.

And, and, uh, I think the guns and roses tonight, I think that's a sell out. Um, so anyway, it's interesting to see how everybody's kind of processing and trying to protect themselves the best way they, they see fit, but Joe, I'll remind you here on the outlaw lawyer. Our goal is to talk about, uh, new stories and things in the new cycle that, that have a legal background and kind of fill in maybe where some of the major news outlets, uh, leave out like the attorney, the legal analysis. And we have not done that yet, uh, this show, but we're going to talk about a couple of things that, uh, I think are interesting from a legal perspective.

Thank you for that reminder, Josh. I do tend to forget what the purpose of our show is. Uh, and you know, we, we, we kind of go on tangents sometimes, but you know, we're, we're very busy in our day-to-day life. We don't, we don't get to hang out and, and spend as much time talking as we would probably like.

So it's nice to be able to just catch up on really everything sports and then kind of dive into the, the more exciting legal aspects of life and the news. All right. So today we spent some time last week talking about, I always mispronounce this name, even though it's all over the news, is it, uh, what was Gabby's last name? Petito. I think you do a good job.

I think it's Petito and you've done fine pronouncing it. Give yourself some credit, man. I've talked about that before. That's my, that's my one, that is my biggest flaw. If I was going on a job interview by Josh, what do you think your biggest flaw is? I'd be like, I cannot pronounce even the most basic last names correctly.

It's just a problem that I have. So I always assume that I'm going to do it wrong, but so we've got a couple of news, uh, updates just on that case. And we kind of want to take a legal, legal look at it, but Dog the Bounty Hunter got involved.

I think Joe. Yeah. Dog the Bounty Hunter is involved. Um, we try to cover every Dog the Bounty Hunter related story we can hear. Uh, and this has been the only one that's happened since the show started.

So, but yeah, Dog's involved. Um, we're also going to talk about, uh, sovereign citizens and some scams and fraud and just, just kind of some crazy happenings that have been in the news recently related to that. And then we'll take some listener questions as well. Josh, we haven't taken listener questions in a while.

We've been getting them in, letting them build up. So we're going to go ahead and address that and start talking, hearing some, some things that the listeners are concerned with and trying to answer those questions as best we can. The Outlaw Lawyer.

We're going to take a short break. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, your hosts Whitaker and Hamer law firm, 46 combined years experience offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro and Fuquay-Varina. If you've got a legal question and we do get into legal conversation, we had a little bit of a sports talk break there, but we will get into legal conversation coming up on the other side. Here's the phone number. If you've got any questions about your situation, 800-659-1186, that's 800-659-1186. An attorney with the firm will be in touch.

You can also email your questions and that's easy to do. Questions at and check out the website. Again, the website is

We've got some new happenings in the Leandro case. Joe and I'll discuss next. The Outlaw Lawyer's on the air. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your hosts. Whitaker and Hamer law firm is where you can find them during the week. 46 combined years experience and offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro and Fuquay-Varina. If you've got legal questions through the course of this program and you want to ask those, call this number, leave a message detailed, obviously, and a number to get back in touch with you.

800-659-1186, that's 800-659-1186 and you can email your questions to the program. Questions at We'll use those questions on an upcoming program. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate and of course Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer attorneys and we are all about the legal discussion guys.

What's up next? Well, Morgan, there was over the past couple of weeks, there's been some updates in what we call the Leandro case and we've spent some time on the program talking about the Leandro case, but real quick to bring our listeners up to speed, this is the case that started back in the 90s and it basically concerned how schools are funded by the state. So you have some plaintiffs, which were at the time students in, I can't remember the specific counties, but some counties where, kind of rural counties where you don't have, you know, Raleigh and you don't have Charlotte, you know, schools are funded kind of odd.

They get money from the state, they get money from the federal government, they get money from their local counties and cities and towns. And so to really oversimplify it, these plaintiffs were students in these rural areas that said, hey, we're not getting the same education that a kid growing up in Charlotte or growing up in Raleigh is because their schools are funded better. And that actually violates the North Carolina constitution because the court in that case kind of came to the conclusion that there's a constitutional obligation to provide a certain level of public education to those who want it. And so this funding was vastly different. And if you ever get bored or want to look into it, Leandro, a lot of texts there, a lot of discovery, but does show a real bad funding imbalance.

And I'm not here to, and Joe's not here to say, you know, how does funding affect education or, you know, what do we have to spend on each student to ensure that they get the same educational opportunities as other students? But that's what Leandro, that's what that case set out to do. And so it's been going on, I think I heard someone say almost three decades now, but I think it's 25 plus years that this has been a case, which is kind of weird. So the case itself is odd in that it's been going on for so long, but they make recommendations. So every year or so, Leandro, there's a judge in charge of the case and he hears evidence and he kind of makes recommendations like, Hey, these are the things that need to happen.

So that we give every kid this opportunity for this constitutionally mandated. And when I say constitution, I'm talking about the North Carolina constitution, not the US constitution, but that's a, that's a quick up, that's a quick summary of, and probably insufficient summary of Leandro. It's a great summary, Josh. I'm fully up to speed now. So when I, when I first started going to law school, I was an intern. I think I may have mentioned this and I was an intern for a nonprofit that was kind of looking at this case. I started looking at it a couple of years after it got filed. And so I've always followed it. It's a news item once or twice a year.

I think Leandro will be around after I've left the earth. I think it's just that kind of case, but it took a weird turn this year because the judge ordered, they determined, and I don't know the breakdown, but to properly fund the school systems that are part of the lawsuit, a judge ordered again, a kind of a summary of the order, but he ordered the legislature to fund $1.9 billion to, to bring these counties kind of up to the constitutionally mandated level of funding. And that's, you know, Joe, you know, how our government set up judicial has these one powers executive has a power legislature has a power who has, who holds the power to set the budget.

Yeah. You know, Josh, we, you mentioned earlier the fact that we're not here to debate, you know, exactly what dollar amount constitutes, you know, what's necessary to educate these children. Um, and, and that's a fair point. Uh, but, you know, I think it's, you know, I think it's, it's also rational and it's reasonable to say that, you know, these, these kids do deserve equal opportunities and gross disparities in funding. It logically follows that they're going to lead to disparity in the level of education that these kids are going to receive. So again, we're not going to debate that point, but we talk about the law and it's clear that the North Carolina constitution says that these kids are entitled to these, these equal opportunities and to, to kind of stamp out this disparity. So we've got an order from a judge and judges order things all the time, right? Judge will order your divorce, judge will order that you owe your credit card company $14,000 or that your neighbor needs to move your fence. That's kind of what a judge does. That's what the court system does.

They settle disputes. Um, you know, and, and so they adjudicate things, but the legislature, the constitution gives the legislature the power to confirm the budget, put forth and confirm and approve the budget and the budget's what funds in theory, the North Carolina school system and all kinds of other things. Um, and so here we have a judge ordering the legislature to fund this Leandro County's $1.9 billion. The legislature apparently didn't like that. They, in their budget, I think in their, so I think that the governor proposed the budget cause that governor's do that just like the president's propose a national budget, but they don't, they don't get final say on the budget.

They say, Hey, this is what I think we should do. It goes to the legislature. And I think the legislature, let's see the governor, the governor overfunded. I think the court order was 1.7 governor Cooper advised 1.9. And I think the legislature came back with about 500,000 and said, yeah.

And like you said, Josh, it's, it's, you know, you pose the question to me. Um, but it is unusual because you don't, you know, it's, it's generally not the place of the judiciary to just order these things and, and impose these things from the bench is generally the, the, the, that's where the legislator comes in. Um, and so it is unique and you've got such a gross disparity here as far as what's being proposed and what has been, you know, essentially put forth by the legislature.

Whereas generally that's where these types of directives would come down from. And so now we're, we're in an interesting spot cause this judge who by I'm not faulting the judge. The judge seems to be a fine judge.

I don't, I don't know this judge personally or anything. Um, but he's doing what he thinks is best for the, this case kind of an unusual case, probably took an unusual order to try to try to rectify the wrongs. That's trying to write, but you got a legislature who is right and saying, Hey, you can't order us to budget, right? You know, you can't order us to fund or not fund anything.

That's completely our constitutional right. It looks like they haven't passed their final budget. There may be some negotiation.

We may get closer to that number, but at least initially, uh, it looks like they're not going to fully fund it. And so what happens now, you know, usually a judge, if you violated judge's order, they've got a lot of power. Um, that's not something you want to do. They can hold you in contempt, send you to jail, find you. Judges can do a lot of stuff if you violate one of their orders. Judges are very important people and you don't want to go sideways on, on one of their orders.

But what does, and Joe, there's no real answer to this question, but what does the judge do here if the legislature does not comply with his order? Well, Josh, you know, the situation you've presented and what you've just described is the very definition of a slippery slope. We talk about that slippery slope all the time here, and it really is a slippery slope, man, because if you get into a situation where a judge can just hand down an order and essentially legislate from the bench, you know, you kind of run afoul of our entire system of government and you get into situations kind of like this one where, you know, it's not the process that traditionally and that has been established by the constitution. It's not being necessarily followed here. So it's a slippery slope.

And where does it end? If you start allowing this to occur and a judge can just mandate these things and to answer your question, I don't have the answer to your question, Josh. Um, I don't know the whole legislature in contempt. This is the kind of thing that attorneys find. Well, a lot of attorneys, not all attorneys, but I find it interesting. What is, what is going to happen is this judge, it just didn't happen and they'll go back to the drawing board and try to figure it out. Is there some method of contempt or, you know, I have no idea where we're going to go from there. I think that, I think the legislature is, is free to fund as they, as they see fit.

Um, but I, I don't know. It's going to be, we always talk about balancing of the equities and like our whole legal system, the way our country, our state runs, we're always balancing equities. We're always balancing things. And it's, uh, it's balanced like this on purpose.

Just like you said, you can't, you can't have a judge calling, you know, running the school system or running the state or affecting the budget, taking money away from other things in a, in a, you know, in a budget that the legislature sees fit to fund. But anyway, it may not, it may not interest everybody, Joseph, but this kind of stuff really geeks me out. I think this is interesting. Oh man, I'm sitting here. My mouth is open. I'm drooling. I'm literally.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-30 18:00:31 / 2023-05-30 18:10:45 / 10

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