Category: L3: Long Leaf Law – Featured Posts (page 2 of 12)

Holiday Eating Advice From Man’s Best Friend: Treat Thanksgiving Like Any Other Day

By Russell Rawlings

Brownie doesn’t distinguish between Thanksgiving Day and any other day of the year. Nor does he grasp the concept of Saturday and Sunday, which most of us refer to as the weekend.

All our beloved four-legged friend knows is that when my feet hit the floor every morning, we’re going for a long and rewarding walk. That’s all he cares about.

There’s a lot to be gained from this strategy, or better yet not gained, if you’re approaching Thanksgiving Day and the subsequent holiday season with fear and trepidation over what you will eat and what you will weigh once it’s all said and done.

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E-Discovery As Part Of a Winning Strategy For Every Firm

By Joyce Brafford

You have clients. They use email. They send text messages. They create documents. They take pictures. They make phone calls. They send messages on social apps. Imagine if one of your clients came to your office, and told you they were being sued. And all those personal and professional messaging systems were sources of potential evidence. How in the world would you avoid spoliation of evidence? How would you ensure you were gathering all the materials required by a request for discovery? How could you manage all the data you needed to sift through from the opposing party?

It’s a huge challenge. And as our clients create more data every day, there’s no excuse to be puzzled by e-Discovery. To that end, we’re asking Kelly Twigger of ESI Attorneys to tell How to Use e-Discovery and Win at a one-hour webinar on Nov. 29. To help us prepare for the program, Kelly is sharing answers to three essential questions anyone who needs to know more about e-Discovery should ask.

Kelly Twigger

1. Why does every lawyer need to understand e-Discovery?

Put simply, all of the evidence your clients need to prove their cases is electronic. The difference between paper and ESI (electronically stored information) is that clients used to be able to tell what was important and hand it to their attorney. They usually kept it all together or were able to find it easily. Now they can’t always find it all in all the systems that we use to create, send and receive ESI, and it has become the attorney’s job to know the right questions to ask to find out where it’s located, how to search it and how to get at the data for use in a case. It’s a very new complex and ever-evolving discovery process that we are facing. You can’t do discovery without ESI anymore and how you approach e-Discovery can make or break your case.

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The Fantastic Five: Randolph Co. Attorneys Unite To Fight Legal Aid Budget Cuts

Editor’s note: As we #celebrateprobono this week, we take a look at one group of lawyers’ innovative approach to helping their community.

By Nihad Mansour

When Thomas Robins heard about a $1.5 million cut to the budget for Legal Aid of North Carolina in 2015, he realized LANC would no longer be able to send an attorney to Randolph County to represent victims of domestic violence.

Without hesitation, Robins, a partner at Bunch, Robins & Stubblefield in Asheboro, assembled a team of attorneys — Sarah Lanier, Jennifer Bennett, Margaret Megerian and Brooke Schmidly — to not only temporarily fill this gap, but to ensure a long-term commitment to addressing the unmet legal need of domestic violence victims in Randolph County. Robins developed a weekly on-call rotation system for his team of attorneys to represent victims of domestic violence in Randolph County in domestic violence hearings.

Since spring of 2016, the group has collectively represented 114 victims of domestic violence in Randolph County.

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Pro Bono Week: Celebrate Giving Back, Become Part Of the N.C. Pro Bono Honor Society

By Sylvia Novinsky

Lawyers, you have another reason to smile this week.

It’s National Celebration of Pro Bono Week, an annual initiative spearheaded by the ABA Standing Committee on Public Service to enhance and expand efforts to increase access to justice for all. The #celebrateprobono effort gives legal communities around the country an opportunity to recognize the good legal volunteer work being done. In North Carolina, we have much to celebrate in this regard.

In January 2017, the N.C. Pro Bono Resource Center established North Carolina’s first statewide voluntary reporting process. This process allows attorneys to report information about their pro bono legal service in 2016. What we heard through that process was encouraging: Attorneys reported more than 25,000 hours of pro bono legal service provided last year. Further, 89.3 percent of respondents reported providing some legal volunteerism, and 20 percent of respondents engaged in all the types of activity included in the rule: pro bono legal service, law improvement activity, non-legal community service, and financial contributions to support civil legal aid.

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Aliens Invade New Mexico: Higher Education and Cyber Security At a Crossroads

By David Furr

By the time you count 8 seconds or read the first section of this article, 150 new devices have been connected to the Internet of Things.  That means 61,500 per hour; 1.5 million per day.  Currently 7.4 billion devices are connected to the IoT, more than humans on the planet.  By 2020, estimates of connected devices range from 26 billion to 75 billion.[1]

The modern student and faculty are inextricably and innocently connected to the IoT.  Their behavior will only exponentially increase the security threat to the educational institution

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#NCBA In Japan: Attorneys Exchange Ideas, Soak In Culture

As the NCBA’s Attorney Exchange Program delegation wraps up its trip to Japan this week, we’re sharing the group’s impressions of the Land of the Rising Sun. Throughout the trip, members of the delegation have been offering their favorite moments via our social media channels. To see photos, go to the NCBA Facebook page  or follow the group on Twitter at #NCBAinJapan.

Also, we talked via Skype with David Robinson, International Law & Practice Section member and Honorary Consul of Japan in North Carolina. Well-versed in Japanese culture, Robinson helped organize the trip and the group’s meetings with law firms, government officials, businesses and bar organizations. Here’s a 90-second video with photos and excerpts of the interview.

Ctrl Alt Career: Reset Goals to Find Personal Success

By Joyce Brafford

The thought of chasing your dream can feel like an impossibility. With financial, professional and personal goals so closely tied to success as an attorney, there seems to be little opportunity to leave a traditional job in favor of something more fulfilling. But it can be done. In this article, three lawyers will reflect on how choosing a non-traditional path impacted their relationship to the profession, and their feelings about that decision.

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One Lawyer’s Clio Cloud Takeaway: For Potential Clients, Waiting Is the Hardest Part

By Brandon Huffman

I recently attended the Clio Cloud Conference in New Orleans – thanks to an NCBA social media contest (#myNCBA)!

The conference was a tremendous chance to surround myself with other lawyers and professionals who view changes to legal technology as opportunity.

I was able to see the reveal of a new Clio UX/UI and now have insider access to it for my firm. I was able to connect with vendors and get up close and personal with the developers behind the software that is the backbone of my organization.

The biggest single takeaway for me, though, was about a larger trend in the legal industry. Last year’s Clio trends report showed the dismal efficiency in most small law firms (three quarters of work hours are not realized as collections). This year, there was a bit more nuance in the report, and the most interesting nugget, to me, was the survey of legal consumers.

In that survey, they discovered that the single most important factor to consumers considering legal services is the speed with which the lawyer contacts them. This means your “I try to get back to inquiries within 24 hours” policy is a dinosaur. If attorneys are waiting a full day to reply, especially to a potential new client, they should count on that client moving on.

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The NCBA Will Be At Your Swearing-in Ceremony, I Swear!

By Josh McIntyre

Growing up I was always told not to swear. And I don’t just mean “cuss” words.

I mean I was actually instructed not to say the phrase “I swear.” I could “promise” or “pledge” to do something, but actually swearing to do it was taboo.

The aversion to that phrasing stemmed from my cultural and religious upbringing, in which a warning against swearing was pervasive not only in church but also in society. And, in many ways, including at the upcoming bar swearing-in ceremonies, it continues to be so.

Newly licensed attorneys automatically receive a free year of NCBA membership. Go to to find out more.

As hundreds of newly licensed attorneys across North Carolina prepare to be admitted to the bar this month, they can choose from two versions of the N.C. State Bar’s Oath of Office form. If they print page one, they can solemnly “swear.” But if they print page two, they can solemnly “affirm.”

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Changes To NC Laws In 2017 May Affect Your Practice: See the NCBA Legislative Bulletin

Check out the 2017 Legislative Bulletin for a look at changes made in the North Carolina General Statutes this session that may affect your practice of the law. Provided by the NCBA Office of Governmental Affairs, the Legislative Bulletin includes a summary of bills tracked by an NCBA section or committee or the Office of Governmental Affairs during the 2017 session of the General Assembly.

Go to page 3 for a table of contents hyperlinked via section and committee.

These summaries are designed to put you on notice of changes to the law, but they are not intended to instruct you fully as to those changes; there is no substitute for reading the Session Laws themselves. Our purpose is to offer a tool to assist in your practice and we hope you will find that this publication serves your purpose.


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