By Tara Muller
This article appeared originally in The Peacemaker, the newsletter of the NCBA’s Dispute Resolution Section.
In the world of public opinion, alternative dispute resolution still struggles to compete with its crusty cousin – the traditional, costly, and lengthy trial process. For years, parties interested in enforcing arbitration provisions in lieu of trial have wrestled with the obstacle of unclear North Carolina appellate precedent as to whether courts would compel mandatory arbitration when the parties engaged in some initial litigation before moving to enforce the arbitration provision. Fortunately for the up-and-coming arbitration protagonist in this tale, the North Carolina Court of Appeals kicked off 2018 with a bang, clearing up a history of self-described “divergent case law” and handing a win to parties interested in enforcing arbitration provisions.
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.
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
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.
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.” 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.”
By Russell Rawlings
That’s all that’s left of the Charlotte School of Law — a 404 website unavailable message indicating that the law school has closed, effective Aug. 11, 2017.
The message also includes directions for anyone seeking documentation previously housed and maintained by the law school. Henceforth and forevermore, records pertaining to attendance, performance or graduation from Charlotte School of Law will be maintained by the State Archives of North Carolina.
Life goes on, however, for the students, faculty, staff and administration of Charlotte School of Law. Alumni of the law school, regardless of whether they graduated or passed the bar exam, will populate the workforce for decades to come.
The story of Charlotte School of Law’s rise and fall is well-documented, from its establishment in 2006 in the “nation’s largest city without a law school” through its demise in recent years when it fell out of favor with the ABA and the U.S. Department of Education.
By Amber Nimocks
When summoning the confidence to impress a judge or woo a jury, young attorney Lex-Jordan Ibegbu relies on his years as a rapper growing up in Southeast Raleigh, where he spent much of his time writing rhymes and speaking his truth to crowds big and small.
“Rapping has given me a certain level of comfort when speaking to people,” he says. “MC means ‘Move the Crowd.’ When you are in court, it is similar to a stage, your crowd is the judge or the jury.”
A lifelong North Carolinian, Ibegbu, 27, attended Cary Academy and UNC-Chapel Hill before he headed south for a few years to earn his law degree at the University Of Miami School of Law. He returned home to Southeast Raleigh to begin his practice a year and a half ago, focusing on myriad areas including criminal defense, traffic court, business law, family law, entertainment, sports and government. Growing up in Southeast Raleigh shaped him, Ibegbu says.
4ALL Statewide Service Day, scheduled for March 2, gives North Carolinians the opportunity to ask law-related questions of NCBA volunteers at no cost. The event is sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Foundation. Click here to register to volunteer.
By Nicolette Fulton
The first Friday in March is blocked on my calendar. I am a 4ALL volunteer. Across the state, hundreds of attorney volunteers like me staff seven call centers where they will to respond to about 10,000 callers. It’s a full day!
My day starts when I walk into the WRAL studios, to be there when the phones start ringing at 7a.m., and I stay until the phones stop at 7 p.m. As 7 a.m. rolls around, the station broadcasts our call-in number, and the first phone rings. I have before me my trusty notebook (did they cover this in law school?), my reliance that my coffee(s) has kicked in, and my hope that I have not forgotten everything from my former private practice life. (I haven’t always been an Associate Raleigh City Attorney.)
By Laura Graham
As I expected, my last column on the Oxford comma generated some lively feedback — and a topic for this month’s column. It turns out that there is another punctuation mark that causes almost as much angst among the readership as the Oxford comma: the apostrophe.
The readership is apparently in good company; in 2014, Grammarly.com crowned “misused apostrophes” the undisputed champion of its “Most Maddening Writing Error” challenge. One voter said, “[I]t seems like there is a whole new wave of people who believe that you NEED an apostrophe and an ‘s’ to make a word plural.”
By Russell Rawlings
What, pray tell, does legendary football coach Vince Lombardi have in common with the comedic actor Bill Murray?
The pursuit of perfection.
“Perfection,” Lombardi famously stated, “is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
As for Murray, it wasn’t what he said about perfection, it was what his character did about it in the movie “Groundhog Day.”
The movie is set in Punxsutawney, Pa., the epicenter of this nation’s annual observance of Groundhog Day — where this morning Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, forecasting six more weeks of winter. In the fictional “Groundhog Day,” the main character, played by Murray, starts out as a thoroughly disgusting weatherman who ultimately wins the hand of his beautiful colleague, played by Andie McDowell.