Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 8, 2013

Fish story lands in NC's high court, $1M on line

(Continued)

The Citation's lawsuit to reclaim its winnings was dismissed after it was transferred to the county where the tournament is based, and after local Superior Court Judge John Nobles Jr. decided its merits without a jury. Only just before the hearing did the Citation's lawyers learn that Nobles was the former law partner and vacation buddy of the attorney representing the boat finishing second after Citation.

Claud Wheatly III and Nobles had taken several vacations together, including during the time the lawsuit had been under way, the Citation's lawyers said. Owners of the second-place Carnivore stand to divide $999,453 after taking the winner's share and part of the third-place money.

Wheatly noted to the high court that Citation's lawyers have no evidence that Nobles displayed any prejudice or bias in the case.

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