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Chair’s Comments: Council Hears Street Law Presentation, Addresses Budget Surplus

By Robert Ward

Our last meeting of the year was held on April 7, 2017, and began with a great presentation about NCCU’s Street Law Program by Professor Page Potter. Professor Potter first provided a historical overview of street law, and she then detailed NCCU’s Street Law Program, which is a course taught by law students on legal topics to Durham public schools middle or high school students in cooperation with their classroom teachers. Topics taught include contemporary law & justice – principally, Constitutional law; the Bill of Rights; landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases; Federal and North Carolina court systems; and criminal law and criminal trial process. Professor Potter’s presentation was interesting and enlightening to the council, particularly to those, including myself, who may not have been aware that a number of law schools have a street law course as part of their curriculum.

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Chair’s Comments: 2017-18 Officers Elected, Walter E. Dellinger III Honored, CLE on HB2 Held

By Robert Ward

The council held a brief meeting at 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 9, 2017. John Branch, chair of the Law School Committee, reported on a potential law school forum program which may be considered during the fall of 2017. Colin Shive, editor for our blog, The Constitutionalist, related that there would be forthcoming blog articles. Patricia Perkins presented the treasurer’s report, and a discussion ensued regarding the use of any potential section budget surplus. In this connection, Andi Bradford will consult LRE for recommendations for council consideration at the next council meeting.

As has been the custom, the Annual Meeting of the Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section was held in conjunction with the section’s sponsored CLE. The topic this year was North Carolina House Bill 2. At noon, the section meeting convened and for the agenda the nomination committee submitted a slate of officers and members for consideration by the section. The first agenda item was the nomination of Chair Michele Luecking-Sunman and Vice Chair Patricia Perkins to be submitted to and recommended for appointment by NCBA President-Elect Caryn Coppedge McNeill. Second, Secretary Tami Fitzgerald and Treasurer Chris Brook were elected. Third, the section elected four new Council members: Leto Copeley, Scott Gaylord, Ann McColl and Tom Segars. I extend my congratulations to them on their election and commend them for their willingness to serve our section for the upcoming 2017-2018 council year.

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The Chair’s Comments: An Exciting Course For the Year

By Robert M. Ward

I am honored to serve as chair for the 2016-2017 term. Let me begin by thanking Trey Allen for his outstanding job as our chair during the 2015-2016 term. Under Trey’s leadership we had a budget carryover, which was put to good use by Law Related Education. Additionally, as reported in the spring issue of The Constitutionalist, our membership increased more than 8 percent over the past year.

Our kickoff council meeting was held on Aug. 18, 2016, at the Bar Center. Jay Ferguson of Thomas, Ferguson & Mullins of Durham provided an excellent presentation: “Eighth Amendment: Evolving Standards of Decency to Eliminate the Death Penalty.” His presentation was quite informative and precipitated a lively discussion among the members of the council. To those of you who may be interested, Jay has agreed to share his Power Point presentation.  If you would like a copy, please contact him at:  ferguson@tfmattorneys.com

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