Future Paralegal Channels Communications Skills Into Her New Career

The Student Relations Committee serves as the bridge between the Paralegal Division and the students enrolled in paralegal programs across the state. The committee would like to shine the spotlight on Brianna Huff, a paralegal technology certificate student at Coastal Carolina Community College. Ms. Huff is a recent graduate of UNC Charlotte with a bachelor of arts in history and communication studies with minors in journalism and Spanish.

Membership in the Paralegal Division of the North Carolina Bar Association is FREE to student members! Register here.

Ms. Huff discusses how volunteering as a paralegal student can garner real world experience and networking opportunities. 

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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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Insurer Violated Lien Statute and Committed Deceptive Trade Practice When Settling With Pro Se Claimant

By Samantha Lloyd

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently held that, where an insurer settles with a pro se claimant and issues a settlement check to the claimant, the insurer must pay off any valid medical provider liens pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 44-49 and 44-50 before making any payment to the claimant. Nash Hosps., Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Automobile Ins. Co., 803 S.E.2d 256 (N.C. App. 2017). A check made payable jointly to the claimant and the lienholder will not suffice; in fact, it violates the lien statute and is an unfair and deceptive trade practice.

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MacCord’s List: IP News & Notices From Art MacCord

By Art MacCord

Art MacCord is a patent attorney with 38 years of experience. He keeps an eye on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office for new rules and practice tips of interest to intellectual property attorneys. Please click on the links below for the most recent updates.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Related to Removal of Rules Governing Trademark Interferences

Trademark Practice Tip Section 2(d) & Foreign Entity Designations: When Different Entity Terminology Identifies the Same Owner

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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MacCord’s List: IP News & Notices From Art MacCord

By Art MacCord

Art MacCord is a patent attorney with 38 years of experience. He keeps an eye on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office for new rules and practice tips of interest to intellectual property attorneys. Please click on the links below for the most recent updates.

On Sunday, October 15, 2017 the USPTO issued the October 2017 TMEP

The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to create a new group registration option for a limited number of unpublished works

The One CLE You Don’t Want To Miss

If you’re a government lawyer or a lawyer whose practice intersects with the government, then there is one CLE you cannot afford to miss this year: the NCBA’s Nov. 16-17 CLE entitled “The Only Constant is Change: 2017 Legislative, Executive and Judicial Updates.”

Let me give you two reasons why you need to sign up now, if you aren’t signed up already:

First, the CLE features an all-star cast of speakers from all three branches of government.  These speakers include Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals judges, and the recently retired Speaker Pro Tempore of the North Carolina House of Representatives.  Simply put, there is no more qualified group of individuals than these current and former public officials to speak about the sweeping changes that our state government and local governments have experienced in the past year.

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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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Of Interest: Playwright Wins Copyright Dispute, Board Blows the Whistle, Dickerson v. WB Studio

Sports & Entertainment Law

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

Joy in Who-Ville? Playwright Wins Fair Use Copyright Dispute in Parody of “Grinch”

Board Blows the Whistle on Independent Contractor Status for NBA Video Production Crew

Dickerson v. WB Studio Enterprises, Inc., et al.

Can NFL Players be Fired, Disciplined for Protesting During National Anthem?

Mark Ronson Sued For Infringing 80’s Funk “Masterpiece”

Politics in the Workplace: Do NFL Players Have Freedom of Speech To Protest at Games?

Court Holds that Fantasy Sports Companies Did Not Violate Players’ Rights by Using Their Names and Likenesses

Hackers Score Touchdown: NFL Players Association Hit With Data Breach

Doubling (& Tripling) Down on Trademark Protection For Secret Menu Items–In-N-Out v. Smashburger

No “Contract By Tweet” for Plaintiff Who Pitches Movie Idea via Social Media  

Advanced stages of CTE found in Aaron Hernandez’s brain

‘Please don’t make us call your mom,’ Netflix tells pop-up bar owners in cease-and-desist letter  

N.C.A.A. Coaches, Adidas Executive Face Charges; Pitino’s Program Implicated

King’s College Football Coach Sued For Copyright Infringement For Retweeting A Book Page 2 Years Ago

Spectrum Center rebounds after HB2 repeal

Charlotte Hornets could score larger TV deal in 2018

Laurene Powell Jobs buys stake worth around $500 million in DC sports empire

Lawsuit accuses Kmart of copying Halloween banana costume

CBS fires lawyer over Facebook posts calling Vegas shooting victims likely ‘Republican gun toters’

‘Tip of the iceberg’: More charges expected this month in college basketball scandal

New true crime TV series should reopen debate over cameras in the courtroom

News Flash From the N.C. Secretary of State

The North Carolina Secretary of State’s office would like to share the following announcements:

New Secretary of State Website Design is On the Way

Look for our new www.sosnc.gov  website design this fall.

We are updating the look and feel of our website to improve your experience. The new website design, created under the statewide Digital Commons initiative, features:

  • Improved navigation,
  • Modern design,
  • Mobile device optimization, and More!

We will provide additional information about the roll-out of the new design on our current website front page.  We will also be supplying information about the roll-out in a variety of other ways over the coming months.

Our Corporations Division is now Business Registration

On Sept. 1, the Corporations Division began rebranding its name to the Business Registration Division. This improvement is in response to growing needs of the business community. Business Corporations now represent a minority of the entities we administer, given the growth of limited liability companies, nonprofit corporations, and partnerships.

The new title should minimize confusion about the name and make internet searches for information easier. This change will be spreading across all N.C. Secretary of State materials and platforms in the weeks ahead.

So please, make a note: The Business Registration Division is now your destination for your business registration needs in North Carolina.  Your bookmarks do not need to change.