Month: March 2016

On the Ides Of March, a Soothsayer’s Tips On Making Law Partnerships Last

“All happy law firms are alike; each unhappy law firm is unhappy in its own way.” Tolstoy wrote that. Or maybe it was Tolstoy’s lawyer. I forget.

Whoever wrote it, it’s wrong.

Unhappy law firms – and by unhappy, I mean the law firms where the partnership is fracturing – are often unhappy in similar ways and for similar reasons. I regularly do consultations with a couple of lawyers who are planning to open a firm together. It makes sense; starting a law firm is scary, and doing it with someone you like and trust feels like it helps mitigate the risk.

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Beware the Ethics Pitfalls of Social Media Research

By James M. Dedman IV

Lawyers now find themselves well into the era of social media discovery. Time was, Internet evidence was a novelty, and courts eyed such issues with wonder and skepticism. Cf. St. Clair v. Johnny’s Oyster & Shrimp, Inc., 76 F. Supp. 2d 773, 774 (S.D. Tex. 1999) (“[A]ny evidence procured off the Internet is adequate for almost nothing . . . .”). These days, these inquiries are routine. Accordingly, corporate counsel should be aware of the ethical principles governing social media research in litigation (whether they be conducting such research internally or relying on outside counsel to do so).

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How To Ace the One Appellate Filing That Must Be Perfect

The North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee has a long tradition of not only making recommendations regarding the Appellate Rules, but of also producing publications designed to help North Carolina attorneys comply with the Appellate Rules. The Appellate Style Manual, Oral Argument Guides, Oral Argument Comparison Chart, and a Guide to Interlocutory Appeals are just a few of the popular publications produced and regularly updated by our committee.

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Can I Use a Mac at My Law Office?

I work with lots of firms that are either starting up or looking to move to the cloud. One question comes up over and over – Can I use a Mac instead of a PC in my firm? The answer is usually YES! However, while the answer may be yes for some attorneys, it’s good to know why the answer might be no for you in particular.


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James Ferguson: The People’s Champion

Long-time North Carolina Bar Association member James Ferguson won the NCBA Litigation Section’s Advocate’s Award last year. Our slide show offers scenes from his 48-year career as a civil rights attorney and leader in the international trial advocacy movement, including work with Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela in South Africa. For the full story, see the most recent edition of North Carolina Lawyer, which features Ferguson on the cover.

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