Welcome to the Dispute Resolution Blog!  Goodbye, Old School. Hello, Smart and Sassy!

By Nancy Black Norelli

Big, big shoes to fill!

I am excited to be a part of our inaugural blog that replaces the old-school Peacemaker, which served us well for decades.  We are blessed with two fantastic editors who will edit and procure articles and launch us into this modern, easy, sassy way to communicate. Please send your ideas or proposed blog to our Blog Co-Editors Tara Muller (tara@mullerlawfirm.com) or Kate Deiter Maradei (kate@deitermediation.com).

Ron and Nancy Norelli and LeAnn Nease and Gordon Brown celebrate a great year at the NCBA Annual Meeting in Wilimington.

Wonderful news!  Our Section has produced an NCBA president-elect! Please join me in congratulating LeAnn Nease Brown (lnease@brownandbunch.com). She promises to be an outstanding president as her participation at the NCBA includes chairing three sections, the formidable CLE Committee and a host of other committees and projects. The breadth of her knowledge and true affection for our profession and her compassion and astute judgment will propel the NCBA to new heights as challenges and opportunities are addressed.

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Can Lawyers Be Good Samaritans?

By Marc E. Gustafson

We’re all familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan. Some states even have Good Samaritan laws. But did you know that a lawyer played a prominent role in the telling of the Good Samaritan parable? I will tell you, based upon first-hand experience, that hearing a reference to a lawyer in church sure will make you sit up straight in the pew.

Before you stop reading, this isn’t a Bible story. In fact, it’s not a religious piece at all. So, don’t go back to Facebook or close your browser.

If you didn’t know, Jesus was adept at taking a question and turning it into a lesson. And as the parable about the man who stops to help the stranger goes, it wasn’t a saint or a sinner, but a lawyer that asked Jesus that prefatory question. He inquired, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus responded by asking in return, “What is written in the law?” and “How do you read it?”

Wait. What? The answer to eternal life is in the law? And Jesus is asking a lawyer to interpret the law? I know, I know. The law being referred to is religious law, in other words scripture, but hang in there with me. (As an aside, I would love to go back to that day, when lawyers were respected for their opinions on such important matter. But, alas, that is for another article.)

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NCGA 2018 Wrap Up: Abbreviated Short Session Produces Fewer Bills but More Proposed Constitutional Amendments

By Whitney Campbell Christensen

The 2018 Short Session of the North Carolina General Assembly adjourned in late June and can boast something that many Short Sessions cannot: that it was genuinely short.

What else made it memorable?  An unusual adjournment resolution, a pre-negotiated state budget, a renewed interest in amending the North Carolina Constitution, campaign pressures, a record-breaking protest on opening day and milk jokes… lots of milk jokes.

Short Session by the Numbers

The intended purpose of the Short Session is to make modifications to the two-year state budget enacted during the previous Long Session based on changes in revenue projections, new priorities, and unforeseen events such as natural disasters.  Legislation unrelated to appropriations may also advance during Short Sessions, but it is subject to a very restrictive body of eligibility rules imposed by each chamber.

The practical impact of these rules is that very few bills with statewide implications are introduced during a typical Short Session and only a small percentage of the bills introduced during the previous year’s Long Session can be considered.  Below is a quick look at the 2018 Short Session by the numbers.

6 – The number of weeks the 2018 Short Session lasted

129 – The number of bills enacted

1922 – The number of bills filed during the biennium (The Long Session and the Short Session occurring between each General Assembly election)

$23.9 billion – The amount of total spending in the Fiscal Year 2018-19 state budget

2% – The minimum state employee pay raise in the budget

6.5% – The average pay raise for teachers in the budget

6 – The number of North Carolina Constitutional amendments legislators voted to put on the ballot for this fall’s general election.

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MacCord’s List: IP News & Notices From 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. Find his latest updates here.

July 25, 2018

New Pilot Program for Submitting Documents in Text Format in New Utility Patent Applications

Patent Cooperation Treaty Collaborative Search and Examination Pilot Project between the IP5 Offices

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Is the GDPR Coming to California? Ten Things You Need To Know About the California Consumer Privacy Act

By Saad Gul and Mike Slipsky

The ink had barely dried on the Alabama’s new data breach notification statute (which made it the 50th state to enact such legislation) when California upped the ante. In an effort to head off a November ballot initiative, the home state of Google, Facebook, and countless other Silicon Valley data-driven companies rushed to enact major privacy legislation. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) has inevitably drawn comparisons with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In particular, both regulatory regimes focus on consumer control of personal information and stress transparency in data processing. In a departure from prevailing American practice, CCPA will apply to any business engaged in data processing, regardless of sector. Existing federal requirements, such as Graham Leach Bliley or HIPAA, will remain in place.

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Call It What You Want, This Blog Thing Is Catching On

By Amber Nimocks

Welcome to your new NCBarBlog, NCBA members and guests. I hope you like the changes we’ve made because we made them with you in mind. With a new look and feel, and some upcoming tweaks to the member posting process, the NCBA blog community aspires to be a welcoming space where you can read, write and stay involved with your NCBA.

NCBarBlog has taken off since we launched it three years ago thanks to member support and contributions. Twenty-eight Sections and Divisions have moved their content from the newsletter format to NCBarBlog since we kicked off, with six more slated to embrace the blog during this 2018-19 bar year.

During 2017-18, more than 300 posts went up on NCBarBlog, earning tens of thousands of page views. Those who have attended the Section and Division Council meetings where I presented information on newsletter readership know that this means a lot more eyes are seeing the articles that members work so hard to research, write and edit.

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July 23, 2018

Pardis Camarda has joined Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP as an associate based in its Wilmington office. Pardis will join the firm’s Admiralty & Maritime Practice. Pardis previously worked as Staff Counsel at a law firm in Middletown, NY where she practiced injury litigation and as an associate at a Queens, NY law firm where she practiced real estate law. Pardis received her law degree from the St. John’s University School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University.  She is admitted to practice law in North Carolina and New York.

 

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Annual Meeting ’18 Draws a Near-Record Crowd

By James Kilbourne

It feels like just yesterday that the sun set across the Cape Fear River on the last night of the 2018 Annual Meeting in Wilmington.

For decades, the attorneys of North Carolina have been meeting every summer to discuss changes to the law, to honor the most deserving in the profession, and to break bread together as lawyers and friends.  In June during three fun-filled, eventful days, a near-record number of Bar Association members, their spouses, and guests traveled to the coast to partake in the annual gathering. Wilmington did not disappoint, as you can see in our pictures and videos.

The attendees included:

  •             406 Bar Association Members
  •             285 Registered Guests
  •             150 Superior Court Judges (approximately)
  •             8 former or current N.C. Supreme Court Justices
  •             A Quorum of the en banc Court of Appeals
  •             A Gaggle of kids, dogs, and other fun-seekers

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New Tools for Your Corporate Law Toolbox in Recent Changes to the North Carolina Business Corporation Act

By David B. Clement

The General Assembly of North Carolina recently approved changes to the North Carolina Business Corporation Act, Chapter 55 of the General Statutes (the “NCBCA”), which the Governor signed into law on June 22, 2018 and which will take effect on October 1, 2018.[1]

The bill enacted into law (the “Act”) makes significant enhancements to North Carolina corporate law, the net effect of which is to:

  • eliminate any perceived advantage certain jurisdictions may have over North Carolina as business-friendly jurisdictions;
  • attract and retain qualified businesspersons as officers or board members of North Carolina corporations;
  • facilitate the efficient discharge of board duties, particularly for public companies subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;
  • facilitate efficient corporation reorganizations and acquisitions; and
  • protect the reasonable expectations of shareholders with respect to their investments.

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