Author: NCBA BLOG (page 2 of 43)

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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2017 Bills Of Interest To Zoning, Planning & Land Use Section

By Al Benshoff

A handful of complicated bills of interest to this section were adopted during the 2017 “long session.”  Highlights include:
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Forming an LLC: Walking Your Client Through the Paperwork, Part 1

By Mollie Schwam

Do you ever go into autopilot when you work? If you had to stop and walk through the business formation process with a client, could you? Taking time to write down processes and procedures can be beneficial and time saving, especially for tasks you only do occasionally.  Fortunately, Mollie Schwam, NCCP, and her attorneys at Matheson & Associates PLLC have done the work for you. Take time to refresh your memory and efficiently help your clients by reading these simple steps on setting up a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) business.

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Make Your Writing More ‘Impactful’: Banish Trendy Words

By Laura Graham

Recently, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I saw a link to a list that piqued my interest: “Lake Superior State University’s 43rd Annual List of Banished Words.”[1] It turns out that Lake Superior State University has been publishing this list every year since 1975, and over 900 words are now on the master list. The 2017 List of Banished Words (and a few phrases) includes unpack (a “misused word for analyze, consider, assess”); impactful (“a frivolous word groping for something ‘effective’ or influential’”); and drill down (“instead of expanding on a statement”). These were among hundreds of words submitted by “word-watchers” who “target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics, and more.”[2]

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Recent Court Opinions

By Joseph S. Murray IV

The courts have been busy so far this year with employment law decisions. Here are some of the latest:

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, No. 16-1276 (U.S. Feb. 21, 2018): If you want whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, then you’d better blow your whistle at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Balabed v. Eden Park Guest House, LLC, No. 17-1187 (4th Cir. Jan. 25, 2018): How much was Balabed’s bed worth? The 4th Circuit deep dives into the FLSA’s regulations on credit for lodging as wages.

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Allan Head: Leader, Mentor, Advocate, Friend

The Paralegal Division, the NCBA, and the world lost a great man on February 17, 2018 with the passing of former, longtime NCBA Executive Director Allan Head. Allan was a staunch supporter of paralegals and the driving force behind the creation of the Legal Assistants Division, now the Paralegal Division.  Allan worked closely with past Paralegal Division Chairs until his retirement in 2016. He motivated us, believed in us and even pushed us to move outside our comfort zones.  He made us better leaders and people.  To highlight and pay a small tribute to the mark he left on the Paralegal Division, our past Division Chairs share their memories of Allan.

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Supreme Court Decision in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers Removes Protections for Whistleblowers, But Effects Are Limited

By Sean F. Herrmann and Kevin P. Murphy

On February 21, 2018, Justice Ginsburg sent shock waves through the employment bar—specifically those practicing whistleblower law—with the Court’s decision in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, No. 16-1276 (February 21, 2018). This decision significantly limits whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act. However, it is not the proverbial slippery slope.

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