By Claudia McClinton
An NCBA member shares her BarCARES story in recognition of Mental Health Month.
Ten years ago I found myself in quite a quandary. My law partner had been appointed to the bench so I was practicing family law and criminal law (his former caseload) at the same time. I was also carrying the financial responsibility of three attorneys (don’t ask).
As you can imagine, I was in court practically every day and yet still barely scraping by financially. Worse, I was chronically stressed, not sleeping much, if at all, and my on-the-go lifestyle had me making poor health choices. One of those poor choices, for me, was the regular consumption of alcohol in an attempt to drown out the day. That choice amplified other poor choices and, in some cases, endangered not only my life but the lives of others. I was going down a very dark path.
By Joshua McIntyre
We put members first at the NCBA every day, but we wanted to do a little extra to express our gratitude this May, so we’re kicking off our first ever Member Appreciation Month.
Extra benefits for members this month include:
- Free Fridays – The first three Fridays in May we’re offering free services around the state in Charlotte, Cary and Fayetteville: secure document shredding, professional headshots and social media training sessions. See below for detailed scheduling and RSVP information.
- Winning Wednesdays – Check your Twitter feed every Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. for a fun yes/no game of NCBA trivia with gift card prizes.
- Hotel Holiday – One lucky member who uses the NCBA hotel discount between May and June online or through the Member Benefits App will win the full cost of their stay. No location or length-of-stay limits apply. Just use your member discount to book a stay, and we’ll announce the winner in early July.
Please note an RSVP is required for Free Friday services. Click each link below to register. We are grateful to Special Counsel of Charlotte and Hutchens Law Firm of Fayetteville for serving as host locations.
Thanks for being a member, and we hope you feel the appreciation this month especially!
By Amber Nimocks
This year’s NCBA Annual Meeting features a rockstar lineup of legal innovators from around the country. Among them is Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase and a leader in Artificial Intelligence integrations for the legal profession.
Walters will present a CLE titled “Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” on Saturday, June 23 at 12:30 at the Wilmington Convention Center. Registration for NCBA Annual Meeting includes CLE while availability remains. Sign up by May 1 to secure your place.
Here’s a quick look at Walters’ take on AI and the future of the law.
Are you concerned about AI changing the legal profession’s understanding of ethics?
I’m more concerned with how we apply the existing ethical rules to new tech, including AI. The ethics rules (for the most part) stay the same, and we apply them to a changing world. Sounds easy, but it’s actually pretty hard.
Most of our ethical rules exist to protect clients – but when machines begin analyzing legal problems, our rules break down. With existing lawyer regulations, we regulate the inputs: lawyers have to graduate from an accredited law school, pass the bar exam, pass character and fitness, and in many states, do continuing legal education. We presume that people who satisfy those conditions are fit to dispense legal advice.
Those questions are irrelevant to machines. Could Watson pass the bar exam? Probably – but would that mean that it could give competent legal advice? Probably not. With software, we’d probably want to look at outputs: is the advice accurate and up to date?
Think about TurboTax. Is there any question that the software is interpreting tax law? No – but it isn’t licensed anywhere. Do we need to regulate TurboTax? No. But we also wouldn’t let Intuit start representing clients in legal matters either. We’re not yet ready to draw the lines, but that world is coming fast.
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.
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.