The Memory Of a Loss and a Fierce Passion Drive Felicia Atkinson

Congratulations to Felicia Atkinson the 2018 NCBA Paralegal Division Student Scholarship Winner.  Felicia was recognized on May 4, 2018, at the Paralegal Division’s Annual Meeting at the Pinehurst Resort.  As part of the application process, applicants submitted an essay on the topic “The Factors Which Lead Me to Enroll in Paralegal School.” The Paralegal Division Student Scholarship provides an award of $500 in tuition paid directly to a North Carolina resident enrolled in a North Carolina-qualified paralegal studies program as defined by the North Carolina State Bar. You must be a student member of the NCBA Paralegal Division to be eligible for the scholarship.  Student membership in the NCBA Paralegal Division is FREE!

Please enjoy reading Felicia’s winning submission:

By Felicia Atkinson

It was a hot summer day in August and my youngest brother, twin sister, and I were playing dodge ball in the street. My mother came to the back door of the house and yelled for us to come inside. The three of us ran inside the house excited that perhaps Momma made fresh lemonade and strawberry shortcake. When we entered the kitchen, our summer favorites were on the table. Momma told us to sit down and eat in the kitchen instead of taking our treats back outside. Leticia, my identical twin sister, and I sat at our little wood table set, a present from the previous Christmas. Shawn, my youngest brother, jumped up and sat on Momma’s lap. Daddy was standing in the doorway to the kitchen and my favorite aunt, Momma Stell, was sitting next to Momma. Daddy said he had bad news to tell us. I looked at Momma and realized she had been crying. At that moment, Daddy told us our oldest brother, Alex, was killed last night.

Alex, my idol, was gone. Although I did not understand the concept of death at 7 years of age, I did understand that Alex, with the IQ of a genius, would not be starting Harvard Law School in three weeks.  The brother, who I always followed around the house and tried to imitate, would no longer call me “his little prodigy.” In my mind, this meant that I would not be going to law school.

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A Site For Your Sore Eyes

By Martha J. Efird

On June 19, 2018, the North Carolina Judicial Branch rolled out the new public website for our courts (https://www.nccourts.gov). The site is the culmination of the work of the Discovery Phase of the web redesign project and recommendations in the final report of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ). During the process, NCCALJ invited comments and suggestions from state bar members, other agencies, and community users of the state court website, as they innovatively worked to bring the judiciary, the bar, and the citizens of North Carolina an effective, user-friendly website.

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Checking In: New Feature Keeps You Up To Date On Career Moves and Changes

Checking In: Career Moves and Changes is the newest regular feature on NCBarBlog.com. We’ll update you here on hirings and promotions at North Carolina law firms and practices of any size. NCBA members and non-member attorneys and paralegals qualify for inclusion in the Checking In column, offered at no cost. Email all notifications to Kelly Connors, kconnors@ncbar.org.

Please see the Checking In Guidelines for details on what types of announcements qualify for inclusion in the column.

Alesha Brown has joined Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP as an associate based in its Charlotte office where she will practice civil litigation. She previously practiced insurance defense at a firm in New York City and served as counsel to the New York City Council’s Committees on Civil Rights and Contracts.  Brown grew up in Charleston, S.C. and received her law degree from New York Law School and her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina where she graduated magna cum laude.

 

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JJCR Section Member Wins National Recognition For Youth Justice Reform Efforts

Two North Carolinians – State Rep. Marcia Morey and Brandy Bynum Dawson – are being recognized as leaders in youth justice reform by the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), based in Washington, D.C. The leadership awards honor advocates working at the state level who have championed the cause of youth justice reform. These individuals have shown themselves to be true friends of and advocates for youth in trouble with the law, and the awards recognize their commitment to creating a smaller, fairer, and more equitable juvenile justice system.

“We wanted to honor these leaders because they understand that North Carolina’s youth justice system is like a maze, with too many entrances and lots of dead ends,” said Sarah Bryer, the executive director of the National Juvenile Justice Network. “They’ve each done crucial work to redesign the maze with fewer entrances and clearer pathways out, so that our justice system makes sense and kids can be rehabilitated and contribute to their communities.”

Brandy Bynum Dawson

We recognize Brandy Bynum Dawson, Rural Forward NC associate director and a member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section, because of her decade plus commitment to raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction in North Carolina, which laid the groundwork and inspired the final passage of the Raise the Age legislation. “Brandy has engaged in exceptional advocacy and serves as a visionary leader for youth justice system reform in North Carolina,” said Ricky Watson, co-director of the Youth Justice Project. “Her deep and passionate support of young people has positively impacted the trajectory of so many.”

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Privacy and Data Security Law: Kind of a Big Deal

By Alex Pearce

One of the hottest areas in the law is privacy and data security.  Both the NCBA and our colleagues at the North Carolina State Bar have noticed.

In this inaugural blog post of the NCBA’s Privacy and Data Security Committee, we discuss two developments of which all North Carolina lawyers interested in this important field should take note: (1) the State Bar’s new Privacy and Information Security Law specialty certification, and (2) plans for our Committee to become a full-fledged NCBA Section.

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NC Court of Appeals Clarifies When a Nonsignatory Can Compel Arbitration

By Bryan Scott and Steven Hemric

Generally, only signatories to an arbitration agreement can compel one another to arbitrate their claims. However, in certain situations a nonsignatory may take advantage of an arbitration agreement between other parties. One such situation arises when a signatory to an arbitration agreement is “equitably estopped” from refusing to arbitrate its claims against a nonsignatory, under the doctrine of equitable estoppel, concepts of fairness prevent the signatory from refusing to arbitrate its claims. See, e.g. Am. Bankers Ins. Group, Inc. v. Long, 453 F.3d 623, 627 (4th Cir. 2006). In (Smith Jamison Construction v. APAC-Atlantic, Inc.,) the North Carolina Court of Appeals recently clarified what types of claims by a signatory against a nonsignatory give rise to equitable estoppel. The key issue, according to the Court of Appeals, is whether the claims rest on the terms of the contract containing the arbitration clause at issue.

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Top 10 Changes to the AIA A201: What You Need to Know

By Melissa Brumback

In 2017, as it does every ten years, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) updated most of its standard form contract documents, including the A201 General Conditions.   This cycle, the contract changes are evolutionary in nature, not revolutionary.  Even so, it is crucial to know the changes to avoid making a fatal mistake that could cost you money on a construction project.  In reverse order, the top 10 changes you need to know include:

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Add Your Two Cents: The Ethics Of Serving Clients Who Use Coins and Digital Assets

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An ethics inquiry regarding Digital Assets and Blockchain Businesses is currently being circulated for comment. Click here to read the inquiry: Coins and Digital Assets Ethics Request to NC Bar (June 2018). If you would like to provide a comment, please follow up directly with the State Bar as indicated below. The Ethics Committee is tentatively scheduled to consider this inquiry at its next quarterly meeting in July 2018.

Inquiry:
How can law firms ethically service clients who are using Coins and other Digital Assets?

Deadline:
July 12, 2018.  Items received after this date will still be included in the materials that go in front of the Ethics Committee, but I urge you to meet the deadline to increase the chances that the committee members will have a chance to review it in advance of their meeting.

Comments/Responses:
Should be directed in writing to Alice Neece Mine at the N.C. State Bar and may be submitted via email (amine@ncbar.gov or ethicsadvice@ncbar.gov), facsimile (919-821-9168), or regular mail (P.O. Box 25908, Raleigh, NC 27611-5908).

Sustainers Give More Because They Understand the NCBA’s True Value

By Brandon Robinson

Each year, the NCBA recognizes Sustainers, members who voluntarily pay twice the amount of their requisite membership dues. These funds support the NCBA’s mission of public service and strengthen the community of lawyers and jurists who are its core supporters.

Sustainers have been around since at least 1994. Until now, it has been a small group compared to the entire membership.  Each July, when NCBA members receive their renewal notices, they have the option of becoming a Sustainer by checking the appropriate box and paying twice the normal amount of the renewal invoice.

 

As we prepare for the 2018-19 bar year, I encourage all of my colleagues to strongly consider supporting the NCBA at the Sustainer level. Click here to renew your membership and become a Sustainer.

Being a sustainer means a lot to me because it helps the NCBA plan more strategically for the long term. Investing in the largest voluntary community of lawyers and jurists in North Carolina gives me much satisfaction.  ‘Seeking liberty and justice’ is the noblest calling a lawyer or jurist can pursue, but that ideal is not self-executing.  Being a Sustainer is just one small way in which I try to bridge the gap between ideal and reality.

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MacCord’s List: IP News & Notices From Art MacCord

Art MacCord is a patent attorney with 38 years of experience. He keeps an eye on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office for new rules and practice tips of interest to intellectual property attorneys. Click below for his latest updates.

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