Month: March 2018 (page 1 of 2)

Sunday Best: Catch Up on the Week’s Top NCBarBlog Posts

Here’s what NCBarBlog readers found most interesting on our pages this week:

Make Your Writing More ‘Impactful’: Banish Trendy Words

What Your Trial Court Administrator Wants You to Know, Parts 1, 2 and 3: Triad and Sandhills, Western Region and Eastern Region

In the Wake of Charlotte School Of Law’s Demise, What Awaits Those Left Behind?

Forming an LLC: Walking Your Client Through the Paperwork, Part 1

The Future Has Arrived; Come Take a Look At Annual Meeting

An Untapped Source of Savings for State and Local Government Owners of Property

By Drew ErteschikJ.M. Durnovich and Cosmo Zinkow


It is almost unheard of that a state or local government entity is able to tap into a new source of cost savings that has not already been tapped.  Fortunately, however, as a result of a recent administrative ruling from the North Carolina Department of Administration, state and local government entities are now able to pursue millions of dollars in taxpayer savings.

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Say Hello To the Small Firm & Technology Section

Interested in a leadership role in the new Section? Contact Pegeen Turner or Matt Van Sickle.

Welcome to the Small Firm & Technology Section. It has taken us about a year, but we are now rolling out our new name. As of the NCBA Board of Governors meeting on Thursday, Jan. 25, the Law Practice Management & Technology Section and the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section have been approved to officially combine to form the Small Firm & Technology Section. This change will formally roll out July 1, 2018, but we are introducing the new name now in preparation for the upcoming bar year.

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The Future Has Arrived; Come Take a Look At Annual Meeting

By Erik Mazzone

“The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

– William Gibson

I’ve thought about that quote a lot over this bar year, particularly when watching the work of our newly formed Future of Law Committee. That committee, convened by President Caryn McNeill on July 1, 2017, is charged with helping the NCBA to cast its headlights further down the road than we’ve previously done; to see not just the changes that are likely to come in the next 12 months, but the issues that lurk around the bend in the next two to four years.

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NCBA Annual Meeting ’18 Features 6.0 Hours Of CLE, Included In Registration

Register by May 1 to save your spot at the President’s Luncheon and CLE sessions.

Welcome Reception on the Cape Fear: Kickoff party on the banks of the Cape Fear outside Wilmington Convention Center with beach music, food and fun. All attendees are invited. Thursday, June 21 at
5:30 p.m.

Annual Meeting Awards Dinner: We’re going to celebrate several pro bono award winners, recognize others and announce a new Justice Fund. Embassy Suites, Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Joint Session with the N.C. Superior Court: Kick off the Friday morning session with a civil law update from the bench. Members of the judiciary will present. Friday, June 22 at 9 a.m.

President’s Luncheon: Join President Caryn McNeill for a luncheon after the morning session where we’ll honor recipients of annual pro bono awards and hear from Iris Sunshine, executive director of the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina. Friday, June 22 at 12:30 p.m. Included with registration by May 1.

Registration Includes Six Hours Of CLE: Hear from Paul Unger, Ed Walters of Fastcase, Emily van Siereveld of Clio and a panel of blockchain experts. Friday, June 22 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, June 23 at 12:30 p.m. Included with registration by May 1.

Supreme Court May Soon Tell You Whether a Denial Of State Action Immunity Is Immediately Appealable

By Nathan Standley

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a petition for certiorari in the case of Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement & Power District v. SolarCity Corp., No. 17-368 (U.S. Sept. 7, 2017).  If you advise state agencies or local governments, you will want to take note of what the court determines.

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Save the Date For the ACBD Section Annual Meeting, Feb. 7, 2019

It’s never too early to block off your calendar for the ACBD Annual Meeting. It’s on for Feb. 7, 2019 at the Bar Center in Cary.

That’s the when and where. Details on who and what to come.

CLE Lunch & Learn: How Do Diverse Legal Teams Perform Better?

Join the Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Section and the Intellectual Property Law Section, live or via webcast, for a discussion of diversity in the legal workplace. The program Performance and the Bottom Line: How Diverse Legal Teams Perform Better takes place Wednesday, April 25 at the Bar Center in Cary. Registration link available soon.

During the CLE-credit portion, a panel will discuss topics including:

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What Your Trial Court Administrator Wants You to Know, Part III: Eastern Region

By Molly Martinson and Bridget Warren

For our third and final installment of this series (you can read Part I and Part II here), we head to the coast and summarize what the TCA and TCC of New Hanover County want you to know about practicing in their county.

Rule No. 10: Know Your Local Rules (Third Time’s the Charm)

For the third time running (see Rule No. 1 and Rule No. 5), the New Hanover County TCA and TCC both stressed the importance of attorney familiarization with the local rules.  New Hanover County’s local rules can be found here and the local calendaring rules can be found here.

Rule No. 11: Look Carefully at the Applicable Calendar Prior to Submitting a Calendar Request

We’ve talked in prior installments about utilizing each county’s online resources via the N.C. Courts website, but the New Hanover County District Court TCC Lee Alexander noted attorneys often attempt to schedule hearings on the wrong date or in the wrong division (district court vs. superior court). Both the district court and superior court calendars for New Hanover County can be found here.

Rule No. 12:  Don’t Ask a Judge to Sign an Order on a Motion that Hasn’t Been Filed and Heard

One of the common mistakes New Hanover County TCA Tonya Gilley sees is attorneys submitting proposed orders to the TCA’s office that purport to rule on motions which were never filed or heard by the court. Remember that motions are not merely formalities—all motions, including motions to withdraw and motions for default judgment must be properly filed in accordance with the local rules and heard by a judge before he or she can sign an order addressing the motion.

Rule No. 13: Don’t Ask a Judge to Sign an Order Before it Has Been Signed/Reviewed by the Proper Parties

On the issue of orders, remember that you should send a proposed order to opposing counsel prior to sending it to the judge for his or her signature. That way, if any aspect of the proposed order is disputed, the dispute can be resolved in advance of the judge’s review. Along the same lines, when submitting consent motions to the TCA’s office, remember to attach the signatures of all parties or their attorneys.

Rule No. 14: Ask Questions . . . to a Point

Both the TCA and TCC of New Hanover County emphasized their willingness to field questions from attorneys related to local rules or procedures. However, remember that the TCAs cannot answer legal questions from the public or from attorneys.

Rule No. 15: Thank a TCA

OK, we admit, this is our rule not theirs. We are incredibly appreciative of our hard-working TCAs across the state. They make our lives easier as litigators, and we hope that following these tips will make theirs easier too. Next time you talk to a TCA, thank them for all that they do!

From the Chair: ZPLU At the Forefront Of Change

By T.C. Morphis

Growing up in Hickory, N.C., I once thought that the entire world ran on furniture and textile mills. How much has changed in 30 years: North Carolina’s population has exploded, with people flocking to places to like Charlotte and the Research Triangle, while other parts of the state struggle. Amid this growth, our state continues to wrestle with the difficult questions: Who are we? Who do we want to become? As members of the Zoning, Planning & Land Use Law Section, we have the privilege and the challenge of being at the forefront of much of this change. Our Section members practice throughout North Carolina, representing developers, units of local government, and private citizens and neighborhood groups. We strive to reflect all of these roles on our Section Council, along with the geography and diversity of our state.

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