The Interplay Between First Amendment and Education Law: A CLE

Education Law Section

 By Benita N. Jones

Interested in how the First Amendment impacts schools and universities?  Register for the upcoming NCBA Education Law Section CLE and Annual Meeting.

First Amendment issues are near the top of the list of legal issues that education attorneys address on a daily basis. As our school and university clients navigate legal questions raised by new technologies, viral forms of expression, and impassioned political discourse, it is essential that education attorneys understand the parameters of the First Amendment. I invite you to discuss these topics with your colleagues at the 2017 Education Law Section CLE and Annual Meeting on Friday, April 21, at the NC Bar Center in Cary.

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Have You Heard the One About the Lawyer Who …

Took an online survey? It didn’t even take too long. It explored a range of important topics in hopes of creating a picture of the challenges and goals of attorneys practicing law today.

No joke.

Please take a few minutes to complete the online State of the Profession Survey from the N.C. Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. The survey password was mailed to all licensed North Carolina attorneys on April 5. Email if you need help.

For those who have completed the survey, thank you very much for your participation.

Articles of Interest

Members of the Sports & Entertainment Law Section found the following recent third party articles to be of potential interest to the Section:

Supreme Court Finds Cheerleading Uniform Designs Copyrightable –

New Calif. Law Will Change Youth Sports Concussion Cases –

Court of Appeals Rules that Over-the-Top Video Service is Not a Cable System Entitled to Statutory License to Retransmit TV Station Programming –

Bridging the gap – the highs and lows of the salary landscape in women’s sport –

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Incentive Auction Closing Notice, AM Translator Site Relocation Relaxation Effective Date –

Agents Convicted for Smuggling Cuban Baseball Players –

Washington Post Article Highlights Alleged Improper Drug Practices By NFL Teams –

U.S. Women’s Hockey Team “Dropping the Gloves” for Pay Equity –

FCC Releases Draft Order to Reinstate UHF Discount at April 20 Meeting – A New Round of TV Consolidation? –

THE LATEST: Antitrust Umps Throw Out Information Exchanges Relating To LA Dodgers Broadcast Rights –

Defamation Law Series: California Court of Appeal SLAPPS Several Claims Asserted Against Boxer Floyd Mayweather –

New Jersey Fantasy Sports Regulations Coming Soon? –

Nevada Leads the Way on Esports Wagering –

Seventh Circuit Finds That Sex Discrimination Includes Sexual Orientation

Labor & Employment Law Section

By Sean F. Herrmann

Practitioners in our field have grown accustomed to seeing others’ dismay as they discover that Title VII does not bar sexual orientation discrimination. “That can’t be true—it’s 2017!” For decades, the prevailing belief, and reality, was that employers could discriminate against employees on the basis of their sexual orientations with relative impunity and the wronged employees would generally have no legal recourse. Hardened employment lawyers got used to this, but for most people this situation was nearly impossible to comprehend.

That common-sense disbelief has finally led somewhere. On April 4, 2017, the full 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in an 8-3 decision, ruled that sex discrimination extends to sexual orientation. The case is Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, No. 15-1720, (7th Cir. Apr. 4, 2017) ( and we should get to know it.

Kimberly Hively, the plaintiff-appellant, was a part-time, adjunct professor at Ivy Tech Community College. She was, as the court put it, “openly lesbian.” Hively applied for six full-time positions and received none of them. Ivy Tech eventually decided not to renew her existing contract. Without the assistance of counsel, Hively filed an EEOC Charge that bluntly stated, “I believe I am being discriminated against based on my sexual orientation. I believe I have been discriminated against and that my rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were violated.”

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House Bill 2 Repealed But Challenges Remain for LGBTQ Community

By Kevin Murphy

The repeal of House Bill 2 ends a year of high drama in The Old North State, but many challenges remain for the LGBTQ community. Gone is the clause prohibiting anyone from using a restroom other than that which corresponds to their birth certificate. But also missing is any protection affirmatively granting transgender, genderqueer, and gender nonconforming people the right to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identity.

This vacuum is a return to the status quo pre-HB2. For publicly owned facilities, gone is the worry that using the restroom is against the law. Without any legal protection, however, the simple act of using the restroom continues to be dangerous in light of potential harassment or physical aggression from others in the bathroom.

As to private employers, it remains legal in North Carolina to deny someone employment or access to public accommodations on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity following this repeal. Local governments are powerless to provide otherwise until Dec. 1, 2020.

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No Lawyer Jokes Here – Attorney Survey Is Serious Stuff

The pursuit of happiness – professional and personal – is always in the back of our minds. For a few minutes, we’d like to put it front and center.

If you’ve not yet completed the online State of the Profession Survey from the N.C. Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, please take some time to do so now at The survey password was mailed to all licensed North Carolina attorneys on April 5.

For those who have completed the survey, thank you very much for your participation.

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Attention Paralegal Division Members: Scholarship Time Is Here!

The NCBA Paralegal Division provides scholarship awards to two members each year. One is a membership scholarship, and one is a student scholarship.

The Paralegal Division Membership Scholarship package is valued at approximately $800 and provides an award of the following:

  • Paralegal Division membership (2017-2018);
  • Section membership (2017-2018);
  • Registration for the 2018 Paralegal Division Annual Meeting and Seminar;
  • A CLE/CPE passport to attend eligible programs tuition free; and
  • Up to $100 travel expense reimbursement.

The Paralegal Division Student Scholarship provides an award of $500 in tuition paid directly to your educational institution.


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