Month: December 2015

The Chair’s Comments

By Ginny Allen

Almost two months ago, I left my job as head of marketing and business development with a large North Carolina law firm to start my own company. Until recently, my interest within the law practice management and technology world had largely been technology, specifically marketing technologies.

Over the course of these last months, my eyes have been opened to the resilience, hard work, and investment of time it takes to get a business up and running.

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The Chair’s Comments

Morgan,Jennifer

By Jennifer Morgan

Welcome to a new year of Administrative Law Section activities and events. My name is Jennifer Morgan, and I am an attorney at Williams Mullen law firm in Raleigh. My practice includes a focus on alcoholic beverage distribution and regulation, as well as a focus on utilities regulation. I am honored and excited to serve as chair of the section for the 2015-2016 year.

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A Gift for Those Who Walk the Extra Mile: A FitBit Review

By Russell Rawlings
“He likes this more than any present I have ever given him.”
So says my wife of 28 years in regard to the Fitbit activity tracker that my staff gave me for Christmas last year. I didn’t know what to make of the Fitbit One when I opened the package because the only Fitbits I had ever seen were of the wristband variety. Fitbit One proved the perfect choice because I can clip it to my pants pocket and track my steps throughout the day.

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Clerk of Court John Connell Retires From Court of Appeals

By Russell Rawlings

John Connell just knew he had blown the interview. He was suffering from a cold, on medication, and unusually anxious.

“I felt I rushed it.”

That was nearly 30 years ago when he interviewed for the position of assistant clerk of court at the N.C. Court of Appeals. Not only did he get the job, but seven years later when the clerk’s position became open, he landed that job too.

The affable Connell retired Nov. 1, leaving behind a legacy of service and leadership that will permeate the Court of Appeals for years to come. Always quick with a smile and a self-effacing comeback, he covers his emotions well until the conversation turns to his co-workers.

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NCBA Member Seth Blum on Being an Actor and an Attorney

Members in focus: Seth A. Blum
Duke University School of Law
Founding Partner of Kurtz & Blum, Raleigh

By Amber Nimocks

For Seth Blum, the works of William Shakespeare offer not just philosophical inspiration but also a means of self-expression, an opportunity for family bonding and a chance to enhance some of the skills he uses in the practice of law. Blum, a founding partner of Kurtz & Blum, is also an actor who frequently brings the Bard’s works to life on the local stage.

He said he doesn’t remember a moment when he decided to pursue involvement in theater, but that he has been acting for as long as he could talk.

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Tennis Lessons: WFU Prof’s Life A Study In Sportsmanship, Tenacity And The Law

By Russell Rawlings 

Professor Muriel Beth Hopkins of Wake Forest University currently serves as chair of the Constitution and Rules Committee of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), a role she never could have envisioned growing up in Petersburg, Va.

“In the town I grew up in there were no public tennis courts available for African-Americans,” said Hopkins. “We would have been arrested had we attempted to play on public tennis courts in the 1960s.”

So much has changed since then, and Hopkins was done more than simply witness it. She’s been a part of it.

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Still Atticus: An old hero persists despite a new portrayal

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the November 2015 edition of North Carolina Lawyer.

By Amber Nimocks  

 Since Harper Lee breathed Atticus Finch to life in 1960, no other fictional attorney has had such a hold on the American psyche.

The figure of an altruistic Southern lawyer standing up for what’s right in the face of a deeply unjust society in “To Kill A Mockingbird” has inspired millions as a model of dedication to justice, patience and paternal wisdom. But this summer’s publication of Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman,” which presented a new, more difficult view of the character, left us wondering what members of the N.C. Bar Association make of this hero revisited.

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The Chair’s Comments

Chair Anna MillsBy Anna Mills

I am excited to be writing my initial column as chair of the Business Law Section, having succeeded Ken Carroll on July 1. I look forward to serving as chair of the section and invite you to contact me at any time with any questions, ideas, concerns or advice. We have an outstanding section and an active, engaged leadership team.

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Gifts for Lawyers Who Say They Don’t Want an Apple Watch — But Really Do

Editor’s note: This article appears in the November edition of NC Lawyer.

By Erik Mazzone

I didn’t want an Apple Watch. Really.

With an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air, I figured owning three Apple devices that need charging daily and upgrading regularly is enough for one person. Not to mention I wanted to avoid being one of those officious “Apple fan boys” running around, going, “and then Apple innovated by putting a device on my wrist … and it tells the time! Mind. Blown.”

Then this happened.

Photo2

In my limited defense, it was a gift. In my even more limited defense, I asked for it. It’s not entirely my fault, though. My normally tech-disinterested wife has been rhapsodizing about her Apple Watch for months now:

My Apple Watch does this. My Apple Watch does that. My Apple Watch has a built in laser app like Iron Man.

I’m only human. I broke.

I assumed the Apple Watch was going to be kind of a disappointment. It needs to be Bluetooth tethered to an iPhone. The screen is tiny. It doesn’t really do that much. I was prepared to be underwhelmed.

As it turns out, though, it has been kind of a delight. I’m not overwhelmed. But neither am I underwhelmed. Just regular whelmed.

After a few weeks of wear, the Apple Watch has quietly crept into some crevices in my tech life that I didn’t know existed.

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