Month: April 2018 (page 1 of 2)

Raising the Age Raises Questions. This CLE Has Answers.

By Peggy Nicholson

Over the next two years, North Carolina’s juvenile justice system will undergo some of the most significant changes in its history. Chief among these changes is the implementation of Raise the Age legislation (Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act) that will expand juvenile court jurisdiction to include most 16- and 17-year olds by December 2019. While raising the age will result in better outcomes for children, it will also result in many changes to the juvenile system and create a ripple effect across the state’s courts and other youth-serving systems.

On May 10, the Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section will host a CLE at the Bar Center in Cary to answer many of the questions about Raise the Age and discuss some of the wide-ranging impacts. This CLE, entitled “Raise the Age: A New Era for Juvenile Justice in North Carolina,” is intended not just for attorneys who practice in juvenile court, but for any attorney whose practice might be impacted by the new legislation, including those practicing in the areas of criminal justice, education, child welfare, mental health, or government.

Sessions include:

  • An overview of North Carolina’s juvenile justice system including a summary of the recently passed Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act.
  • A panel of court actors from one jurisdiction, including a defense attorney, prosecutor, and two judges, discussing how Raise the Age will impact them at the local level and how they are preparing for those impacts.
  • A panel of attorneys from different youth-focused systems (child welfare, education, and mental health) discussing how changes to juvenile court will impact their areas of practice.
  • An overview of school-justice partnerships, local agreements aimed at reducing the number of school-based court referrals, which are being expanded across the state pursuant to the new Raise the Age law.
  • An ethics session on representing children in adult court, which is especially important since children age 16 and older will continue to go to adult court until December 2019 and, even after that, will still be in adult court in certain circumstances.

These sessions are intended to be informative to both juvenile court novices and seasoned child advocates and will provide opportunities for questions and discussion. Attendees will receive 5.5 hours of CLE credit, including 1 ethics hour.

The Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section will also hold its annual meeting on May 10 and invites CLE participants to attend. During the meeting, the Section will announce the inaugural recipient of The Children’s Champion Award, which is bestowed upon a member of the Section who is a true champion for North Carolina children and youth.

Interested attorneys and advocates should register soon and get 10 percent off the registration fee (until May 3). Click here to register or for more information.


NC Free Legal Answers: Pro Bono At Your Fingertips

By Nihad Mansour

I was hopeless and out of answers when I typed “PLEASE HELP! 🙁 🙁 🙁 ” in the subject line of my post and hit send. Out it went into the ether of a free online Excel forum.

Tears of surprise and elation welled up in my eyes when an Excel forum expert from Belgium responded the next day. His answer provided the solution to a small but vexing problem that I’d been wrestling with for months. But my happiness sprang not just from the fact that I could finally vanquish the Excel “error” message that had been haunting me. The fact that a knowledgeable stranger in the vast, unfeeling Internet had answered my cry for help moved me to tears.

That is the power of a response. As volunteers for NC Free Legal Answers, that’s the kind of help we can offer clients in need of legal advice. And if enough of us pitch in, we can do it in just six minutes per day.

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Happy 20th Anniversary To the Paralegal Division!

By Debbie Harris

It seems like yesterday that we were celebrating our 15th Anniversary at the Grandover in Greensboro and at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville. I’m excited to share that we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary at the Pinehurst Resort May 3-4, 2018. The celebration kicks off Thursday evening, May 3, with a reception starting at 5:30 p.m. on the Front Porch and continues at our Annual Meeting on May 4.

This year’s Annual Meeting is one of the best programs we have offered to date with an excellent lineup of speakers. Click here for more information and to register.

I hope that you will make every effort to attend. That being said, I’m sure you have noticed the increase in the cost of our Annual Meeting. I want to take this opportunity to apologize and provide a brief explanation.

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No Internal Complaints Under Dodd-Frank? Not So Fast.

By Andrew Henson

In Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, 138 S.Ct. 767 (2018), a unanimous Supreme Court recently held that in order to be a whistleblower entitled to the anti-retaliation protections under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, an employee must have provided pertinent information to the SEC. Accordingly, the Court held that internal complaints to corporate management are insufficient to invoke Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower anti-retaliation protections. The import of this decision has been somewhat dramatically characterized by various news outlets (see, “The Supreme Court Limits Whistleblower Protections Under Dodd-Frank,” and “Supreme Court declines to broaden whistleblower protections”), and while this decision may indeed have practical implications in the securities industry, it is important not to conflate this limitation on Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower protections with the broader ambit of anti-retaliation protections afforded to employees under that 2010 law. Internal complaints remain an integral and expressly authorized form of protected activity under another prong of Dodd-Frank, and the Digital Realty Trust decision reaffirms that those protections continue to exist for covered employees.

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2018 Health Law Section Annual Meeting and Joint CLE With the Litigation Section

Have you heard of the opioid epidemic, but don’t know much about it? Or, perhaps you’ve heard of it and have been wondering what North Carolina is doing to address it – either way, we’ve got you covered at the Health Law Section Annual Meeting & Joint CLE with the Litigation Section! Come hear N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein speak about the opioid epidemic in North Carolina and beyond, including the scope of the problem, prevention strategies for physicians and other health care providers, the STOP Act and the Synthetic Opioid Control Act, supporting treatment and recovery services, and support for law enforcement.

Did we also mention that Pamela Morrison with Coastal Horizons Center in Wilmington will be on hand to make this a substance abuse CLE credit presentation, with a discussion about the treatment of substance use disorders and how legal professionals can help and get help.  Please plan to join the Health Law and Litigation Sections for a joint CLE program Friday April 27, 2018 at the Greensboro Marriott Downtown, with presentations by Attorney General Stein, DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, and many other great speakers!  You’ll receive 6 total CLE credits, including 1.0 hour ethics/professional responsibility, and 1.0 hour substance abuse/mental health.  Visit to learn more and to register.

Federal Income Tax Update, Part II

By Keith A. Wood

This is the second of two installments of this article. Read the first installment on the Tax Section blog here.

I. No Tax Basis Increase for Loan Guaranties Even After the S Corporation Loan Is Called in Full.

 An S corporation shareholder may deduct his/her pro rata share of any losses sustained by the corporation, but those loss deductions are limited to the sum of (a) the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the stock, and (b) any corporate indebtedness actually owed to the shareholder.  IRC § 1366(d)(1).

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Road Trip! Road Trip!

By Bob Edmunds

In recognition of the Supreme Court of North Carolina’s 200th birthday, Chief Justice Martin recently announced that the Court is going to put on a road show. North Carolinians living outside Raleigh soon will be able to watch the high court in action without having to travel far.

For as long as anyone now living can remember, the Supreme Court routinely has sat in Raleigh, but it was not always so. When established in 1819, the Supreme Court met in the state capitol. However, as North Carolina’s population grew, so did pressure to meet in a venue convenient to citizens in the western part of the State. In 1847, the General Assembly passed legislation requiring the Court to hold sessions in Burke County.

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ICOs Primer: ‘SEC Compliant’ Initial Coin Offerings

By Sammy Naji

As the Securities and Exchange Commission greater asserts itself against non-compliant Initial Coin Offering tokens, an increasing number of ICO issuers have attempted to comply with SEC regulations by offering tokens pursuant to SEC exemptions or by framing the tokens as utilities rather than securities. Utility tokens are tokens that represent a service or a good to which the token holders are entitled. Notable brands like Kodak, Atari, and Telegram have already issued or are planning to issue such tokens as a way to raise large amounts of capital as well as to stimulate interest from the public to their services. The issuance of utility tokens typically involves two stages: a pre-functional phase and a post-functional phase.

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Can You Spare a Post or Two?

By Joseph S. Murray IV

You may have noticed that our postings have gotten sparser over the past couple of months—and I think it’s because the editors are tired. When we developed the blog, our hope was that section members would submit posts and we would edit those contributions, only stepping in to write when needed. Instead, other than the occasional guest post, we have had to write every week. This has finally taken its toll, and we need help.

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