top of page

OJD Week in Review: 09/16-09/20

This week has been an exciting time for OJD. Not ONLY was there training in Gaston County BUT OJD welcomed two employees into the office (who also trained in Gaston!). Keep reading for all the news.

Tip of the Week

Prior Record Level Matters

If your client’s prior record places him/her in a position for the judge to enter a level 1 OR 2 dispositional level, ALWAYS argue for a level 1 disposition. You can find a copy of the disposition chart here. Make sure to check the final written order for accuracy.


There were two new published opinions last month, one from the NC Supreme Court and the other from the Court of Appeals. In the Matter of T.T.E., decided by the Supreme Court, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision vacating the juvenile’s adjudication and disposition orders of disorderly conduct. Justice Earls wrote a lengthy dissent, which is worth reading.

In the Matter of J.B., the Court of Appeals, in a divided opinion, reversed the trial court’s adjudication and disposition orders for second degree sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree forcible sexual offense, and an attempted larceny admission. The Court also addressed the juvenile’s right to confrontation, the commitment of the juvenile to YDC, and confinement pending appeal. You can find the summary for In the Matter of T.T.E. here, and In the Matter of J.B. here.

Gaston County Training

Tuesday, September 17 OJD visited Gastonia, NC and provided essential training to defenders and legal teams regarding Raise the Age and Juvenile Defense Basics. Our Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim led Juvenile Basics while our NEW Project Attorney tackled all the information for Raise the Age.

Missed this CLE? Contact our office if you’re interested in attending or scheduling training for your county.

New Employees

Meet OJD’s new Project Attorney, Austine Long. Here’s a bit about her:

Before coming to join our office, she worked as a Program Attorney for at the UNC School of Government where she designed trainings for public defenders and private attorneys appointed to represent indigent clients. She also previously worked as the drug court coordinator for the Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts in Maryland. She has served as a project director at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and an assistant public defender for the 14th Judicial District in Durham, NC, where she handled only juvenile cases. For seven years prior to that, she was in private practice focusing on juvenile, family, and criminal law.

*Extra: Austine’s previous position is now seeking applicants. For more information visit:

Meet OJD’s new Communications & Office Manager, LaTobia Avent. Here’s a bit about her:

Before taking her position with OJD, LaTobia worked in the private sector for 7 years at AT&T Mobility as a Supervisor. She graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with her Masters in Communications in 2019 and prior to that, she attended North Carolina A&T where she received her bachelors in English in 2011. She loves social media and connecting with the world, which is her goal with OJD, connecting defenders to vital information. Through her gained communication skills at AT&T and using her passion of social media, advocacy and all things human connection, she hopes to extend OJD’s reach to attorneys and justice fighters alike. Follow OJD on Facebook for just how she does it: Search “NC Office of the Juvenile Defender”

Have a GREAT weekend and BE SAFE!

bottom of page