Administrative Law Section Honors Nichols

By Brad Williams

Jack Nichols, director and attorney at Nichols, Choi & Lee, PLLC in Raleigh, N.C., is the 2018 recipient of the Administrative Law Award for Excellence, an annual award given by the Administrative Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Nichols received the Administrative Law Award for Excellence on Friday, April 20, at the section’s annual meeting and CLE at the N.C. Bar Center.  He chaired the Administrative Law Section in 1994-1995.

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Recent Guidance On the ‘State Supervision’ Requirement

By Frank Trainor

Ever since the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, 1235 S. Ct. 1101 (2015), occupational licensing boards have struggled to discern what constitutes adequate “state supervision” over their activities in order to retain state action immunity.  The Supreme Court did not provide much guidance on what is expected of that supervisor or what that supervisor should look like.  However, it did state that “the supervisor must review the substance of the anticompetitive decision, not merely the procedures followed to produce it [and] the supervisor must have the power to veto or modify particular decisions to ensure they accord with state policy … however, the adequacy of supervision otherwise will depend on all the circumstances of a case.”

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Recent Court Opinions

By Joseph S. Murray IV

Thank you to everyone who has submitted posts during the past several weeks. Here are some of the latest opinions from the 4th Circuit and North Carolina appellate courts:

Weckesser v. Knight Enterprises S.E., LLC, No. 17-1247 (4th Cir. June 12, 2018) (unpublished): What’s in a name? When it’s a party’s name in an arbitration agreement, then it’s everything. Using South Carolina contract law, the 4th Circuit upheld the district court’s ruling that the parties never entered into an arbitration agreement since the arbitration agreement referred to defendant’s parent company.  Since there is no arbitration agreement, plaintiff’s case and purported class action alleging improper classification (and owed overtime, back pay, and treble damages) must be heard in court.

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Paralegal Perspective: Working In the World of Craft Alcohol

By Mollie Schwam

I started working at Beer Law Center in September 2015 while I was in paralegal school at Meredith College. I was anxious to join the workforce and earn a paycheck. I knew nothing about beer and even less about the myriad laws surrounding the alcohol industry. After my first year working at Beer Law Center I grew somewhat comfortable using words like “TTB,” “specimen,” “unfortified wine,” “Brewers Notice,” “Basic Permit,” etc. The intricacies of alcohol law were not covered at Meredith College. For me it was trial and error until I understood the craft beverage lingo and procedures. And, it was not until I attended local and national beer conferences that I realized an innovative, powerful work force was behind the beer.

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Thoughts After Kiawah

By Keith Wood

It was great seeing many of you over the Memorial Day weekend at the Tax Section Annual Workshop in Kiawah.  I am pleased to say that we are making arrangements to be back at Kiawah next Memorial Day for the 2019 Tax Section Workshop.

I wanted to give out a special thank you to Kevin May for his efforts in coordinating with the Georgia Tax Section and the South Carolina Tax Section to plan an excellent program this year.  We also appreciate the generosity of our sponsors this year, Intuitive Compensation Group, Bessemer Trust, Monarch Private Capital, Forensic Strategic Solutions, LLC, Sterling Foundation Management and South Carolina Bar.

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White House ‘Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices’: Large Aspirations, Little Detail


By Stephanie Trunk and Erin Atkins

This article first appeared on the Arent Fox LLP Health Care Counsel blog. 

Following delays and much build up, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have released their plan to address rising pharmaceutical prices and out-of-pocket costs directly impacting patients.  The plan is known as the “American Patients First” program, as outlined in “The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs” (the Blueprint).   As part of this, HHS has published a formal request for information (RFI) seeking public comment on the questions and issues raised in Section V of the Blueprint (summarized below).  Comments are due to HHS on or before July 16, 2018.  We encourage all interested stakeholders to utilize this opportunity to submit feedback to the agency.

One initial impression of the Blueprint is that many of the proposed solutions are not defined in great detail and will take time and agency (and in some cases Congressional) action in order to implement.  In addition, many of the solutions were previously articulated in President Trump’s 2019 budget, and do not reflect novel policy.  Additionally, many of the issues raised in the Blueprint are familiar to those actively engaged in or following the drug industry, but will require active engagement between HHS and the industry to refine and address.

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Requirements for Submissions to the NCBA Sports & Entertainment Law Section Blog

Blog pieces are geared toward informing laypeople and practitioners of relevant legal issues and current legal events in the areas of sports and entertainment.  It is a great opportunity to get published while in law school!

Submission Requirements:

  • Choose a current/relevant issue in Sports and Entertainment Law and advocate a position.
  • A maximum of 1,500 words in Microsoft Word and 25 footnotes in Bluebook format.
  • Send by e-mail to Kelly Ryan ( and Amanda Whorton ( with the subject line: NCBA Blog Submission
  • Also include the following:
    • A link to your LinkedIn bio
    • How you would like your name to appear on the post
    • A head shot sent as a separate attachment

We look forward to reading your submissions for publication consideration!


Kelly and Amanda

Communications Co-chairs

Sports & Entertainment Law Section

North Carolina Bar Association

Items of Interest: Start Replying With ‘STOP,’ Armstrong Settles, DJ Khaled Exposed

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

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Litigation Section Honors Ward Black With Its Advocate’s Award

Janet Ward Black of Ward Black Law in Greensboro was honored on Feb. 7 as the 10th recipient of The Advocate’s Award.

Janet Ward Black, left, accepts The Advocate’s Award from Litigation Section Chair Amanda Martin during a Section reception on Feb. 7.

Presented as merited by the Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, the award recognizes “superstars” of the section and the legal profession.

Amanda Martin, section chair, presented the award in Greensboro during a special reception held in conjunction with a meeting of the Litigation Section council.

Attorneys and staff from Ward Black Law also participated in the event. Black is the principal owner of the 36-person firm, which is one of the largest woman-owned law firms in the state, and the first woman to receive The Advocate’s Award.

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Overtime, Non-Competes & Employee Medical Records: Three Topics for Employers in the Healthcare Field

By  L. Diane Tindall, Daniel Palmieri and Jenna Borders


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that mandates the payment of a federal minimum wage and overtime pay to workers who do not fall within a specific FLSA exemption.  The most common of these exemptions under the FLSA are the so-called “white collar” exemptions for employees whose pay and duties reflect their exercise of real managerial or executive authority in the workplace and their ability to better influence their compensation.  In general, in order to be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions under the white collar exemptions of the FLSA, an employee: (1) must be paid at least $455 per week (or $24,300 per year); must be paid on a “salary basis” (with some exceptions); and (3) must perform duties that are consistent with an executive, administrative or professional position (the “duties test”).  To be paid on a salary basis, an employee must receive the same pay each work week in which he or she performs any work (with a very few limited exceptions) without any deduction for the quantity or quality of work performed.

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