Phil Dixon joined the School of Government in 2017. Previously he worked for eight years as an attorney in Pitt and surrounding eastern North Carolina counties, focusing primarily on criminal defense and related matters. Dixon served as assigned counsel to indigent clients throughout his career, and represented adult and juvenile clients charged with all types of crimes at the trial level. He earned a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD with highest honors from North Carolina Central University. He works with the indigent education group at the School to provide training and consultation to public defenders and defense lawyers, as well as to research and write about criminal law issues.
The North Carolina Indigent Defense Practice Guides are primers on specific areas of North Carolina law, designed to assist indigent defense attorneys in their day-to-day practice. Each guide will include an overview of the topic and basic principles; practice tips, strategies, and pitfalls; and citations to authority and links to related resources. Some guides will focus on the substantive law; others will focus on procedure and practice in specific stages of litigation. Let us know of possible practice guides that would be useful to you in your work! Contact Phil Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Timothy Heinle at email@example.com.
The First Seven Days as a Guardian ad Litem in an Incompetency Proceeding
This guide focuses on what a G.S. 35A guardian ad litem attorney should do in the first week after being appointed. Strategies are explored that will improve client representation and help attorneys better manage their workloads and stress. This guide highlights concrete steps that guardian ad litem attorneys can incorporate into their practices to hit the ground running early, including how to set up a file, client outreach, investigation tools, and report writing.
The First Seven Days as a Parent Defender
This guide focuses on what parent attorneys in G.S. 7B juvenile abuse, neglect, and dependency proceedings should do in the first week after being appointed. Strategies are explored that will improve client representation and help attorneys better manage their workloads and stress; these strategies include the use of various templates—examples of which are included in the guide. This guide offers practical tips and highlights concrete steps that parent attorneys can incorporate into their practices to hit the ground running early, including setting up a file, reaching out to the client, conducting discovery, and preparing for court.
Defense Motions and Notices in Superior Court
Defense Motions and Notices in Superior Court is a practical guide to trial-level motions practice in North Carolina felony cases. There are entries on virtually all significant motions and notices that may need to be filed during a case, from pretrial to post-conviction. Each entry lists the authority for the motion, its basic concepts, applicable deadline, and any relevant practice pointers, along with links to related resources.