Month: June 2018 (page 1 of 3)

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

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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Forget To Identify an Issue? No Problem!

By Tara Muller

Question: When a brief writer is drafting Contentions or a Full Commission brief and identifies a compelling argument about an issue which was never raised, what can she do?

Answer: Argue it anyway!

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Administrative Law Section Honors Nichols

By Brad Williams

Jack Nichols, director and attorney at Nichols, Choi & Lee, PLLC in Raleigh, N.C., is the 2018 recipient of the Administrative Law Award for Excellence, an annual award given by the Administrative Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Nichols received the Administrative Law Award for Excellence on Friday, April 20, at the section’s annual meeting and CLE at the N.C. Bar Center.  He chaired the Administrative Law Section in 1994-1995.

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Recent Guidance On the ‘State Supervision’ Requirement

By Frank Trainor

Ever since the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, 1235 S. Ct. 1101 (2015), occupational licensing boards have struggled to discern what constitutes adequate “state supervision” over their activities in order to retain state action immunity.  The Supreme Court did not provide much guidance on what is expected of that supervisor or what that supervisor should look like.  However, it did state that “the supervisor must review the substance of the anticompetitive decision, not merely the procedures followed to produce it [and] the supervisor must have the power to veto or modify particular decisions to ensure they accord with state policy … however, the adequacy of supervision otherwise will depend on all the circumstances of a case.”

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Recent Court Opinions

By Joseph S. Murray IV

Thank you to everyone who has submitted posts during the past several weeks. Here are some of the latest opinions from the 4th Circuit and North Carolina appellate courts:

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