Members In Focus: World Traveler, Lawyer, Writer, Volunteer Kara Gansmann Can’t Be Stopped

Getting involved with the (North Carolina) Bar Association was one of the best things to do … I started out volunteering for 4ALL, one year at Williams Mullen and one year my firm hosted. … It has been so rewarding, and I run into colleagues who are also giving back. It is a really good feeling; people are really excited.

Kara Gansmann, NCBA Member


By Russell Rawlings

Kara Gansmann finished college in Wilmington and left her home state of North Carolina in 1998. She returned to practice elder law and estate planning in Wilmington in 2014. In between, she saw the world – as a flight attendant, student and young lawyer – living in Washington, D.C., Chicago, North Dakota and Texas.

“If I move again, it will be to a grave.”

Gansmann has a way with words, as her law partners at Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog well know. She has been a reliable ghost-writer and brief writer for them in the past – “I don’t need the glory of a byline” – and more recently has emerged as a popular contributor in her own right to the WilmingtonBiz Insights blog, where she writes bi-monthly columns on elder law issues.

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October Tech Tip: Maximize Productivity With Google Docs Voice-Typing Feature

By Alicia Mitchell-Mercer

Looking for a way to increase productivity in the creation of correspondence and legal documents? There is now a way to dictate correspondence, pleadings, etc. using the new-ish voice-to-text feature in Google Docs. If you text (sure you do) and use the Google voice-to-text function, it works similarly, but this time it’s on the Google Docs platform (Google’s version of MS Office).

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NC Business Court Weighs In On ‘Actual Cash Value’

By Susan Boyles

Accardi v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co., 2018 NCBC 109 (Oct. 22, 2018) 

A storm damage claim with only $169.30 in controversy has set the stage for a battle over actual cash value calculations. In a win for insurance carriers, Business Court Judge Gregory McGuire dismissed a putative class-action lawsuit against Hartford, holding that its practice of depreciating labor costs when determining actual cash value on a first-party property loss claim was consistent with the policy’s language and North Carolina public policy.

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All We Need Is You: Sign Up Deadlines For the SLD Fall Meeting Approaching

Erwin Fuller, Senior Lawyers Division Chair

SLD Members:

All arrangements are now in place for our SLD Fall 2018 Meeting in Salisbury on November 8-10, and all we need is your presence! FYI, there is no registration fee for this SLD meeting.

You can review the meeting schedule of events by clicking here, and a good variety of events has been planned for your information and your entertainment.  Please note that there will be trolley transport to some of our SLD meeting events.

Whenever there is an SLD meeting, we always have good dining experience opportunities, and the upcoming Salisbury meeting is no exception.  Click here for dining event registrations which need your prompt attention, especially your registration for the Friday evening dinner (11/9/18) at the Salisbury Country Club, which will follow our tour of the historic Steeleworth Plantation House and the late Friday afternoon reception at the residence of Glenn and Susan Ketner (from which the Country Club dinner venue is within sight).

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Negotiating LLC Operating Agreements: Representing Minority Members

By Jennifer Weaver

Negotiating on behalf of minority members of an LLC requires careful attention to their unique position.  The minority (“Minority”) may include those who have no voting rights at all or limited rights to participate in voting, or those who have a vote but not enough to control.  Although the Minority may not have voting control, the Minority may have other leverage in negotiating the deal, such as being a key manager or bringing key knowledge, controlling the deal or access to the opportunity, or owning the business but selling a majority position.  As with any negotiation, understanding the leverage is key.  Counsel should focus on (i) the Minority’s access to information, (ii) limiting risks to the Minority, and (iii) ensuring that there are few opportunities for mischief on the part of the majority.

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Join Us For the Military & Veterans Law Section CLE!

The Military & Veterans Law Section (MVL) annual CLE offers it all — you can advance military and veterans issues, learn how to advocate for military members and veterans, earn CLE credit and network. And you might be able to do it for free, as scholarships are available to qualifying members.

Over 800,000 military members and veterans reside in the state of North Carolina.[1]  The MVL is dedicated to serving those residents, and the MVL CLE aims to train North Carolina attorneys on how to do just that. Additionally, one of the tremendous benefits of MVL’s CLE is that its subject matter overlaps with that of other areas of the law, such as family and education law, trusts, estate planning, and consumer protection.

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EEOC Sees #MeToo Uptick, Regulatory Agenda Released

By Robin Shea

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released preliminary figures on sexual harassment activity for Fiscal Year 2018, which ended September 30. The EEOC’s figures indicate an increase in sexual harassment charges and EEOC lawsuits, and a dramatic increase in the amount paid to settle sexual harassment charges. Then, last week, the Trump Administration issued its regulatory agenda for Fall 2018, which contains a number of labor and employment-related matters.

EEOC #MeToo uptick

The following are highlights of the EEOC’s recently released preliminary numbers on sexual harassment for Fiscal Year 2018:

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Paralegal Spotlight with Morag Polaski

Morag Polaski’s hobbies include involvement with the 4H Horse Club.

Q: Name, Position Title and/or major duties:

A: Morag Polaski, freelance paralegal

Q: Firm or Corporation/Location:

A: Just A Paralegal Virtual Services LLC

Q: Brief background of education, certification, etc.?

A: A paralegal certificate from Old Dominion University, a Bachelor of Science in History from Excelsior College, a Master of Liberal Studies in Social Science from Fort Hays State University, NALA CP certification, NALA ACP Certification in Child Custody, Support & Visitation; Social Security Disability; and Discovery, NCCP.

Q: What’s one thing you’d like to see the NCBA PD do/accomplish in the short term for its membership?

A: Encourage more freelancers

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Welcome to the Corporate Counsel Section Blog

By Clayton Doron Morgan

The Corporate Counsel Section is quite excited to have its many leaders and members actively serving and participating in Section-related events. I, too, am excited to be your 2018-2019 Section Chair and cannot begin to communicate my enthusiasm in anticipation of a wonderful Bar year. As our Section membership is some 500 strong and spans the state, the Section leadership is planning a number of interesting, thought provoking and enjoyable events for this year in order to ensure we all have an opportunity to meet, network and enjoy one another’s war  stories, lessons learned and ambitions. I therefore wanted to take this opportunity to give you a heads up.

  • By now you should have received notice of our next Section Council meeting to be held Nov. 9 at RTI International (RTP). We will be having a luncheon networking event immediately following the meeting. It promises to be a good one and the first of many to come.
  • Please join us for a number of Lunch-n-Learn opportunities this Bar year; with the first being held Dec. 3 at the Bar Center in Cary. The law firm of Jackson Lewis is sponsoring both this CLE Lunch-n-Learn and will be presenting a timely and exciting topic exploring “Unconscious Bias, Diversity and Inclusion” So, come out and join us and participate in the discussion of how to make the business case for a more diverse and inclusive working environment.  In addition, this Lunch-n-Learn will also be webcast in case you cannot join in person.
  • Our CLE committee has been hard at work to bring you our January Annual Meeting CLE which promises to be simply spectacular. You are going to love the talented line up of speakers and presenters who will bring you some innovative topics and different perspectives.
  • Throughout the year, we will spotlight certain members and keep you abreast of relevant job postings, volunteer opportunities, pro bono opportunities and other informational posts; all designed to bring us together as a Section and help us help each other and the community.
  • Lastly, please remember to check the Bar Association’s website to see how you can help victims of Hurricane Florence.
  • So, stay tuned, stay engaged and we look forward to seeing you at the networking events, Lunch-n-Learns, Annual Meeting CLE and out in the community.

By the way, a hearty welcome to all NEW MEMBERS! Also, the line is always open to any member who wants to submit ideas or any comments to the Section leadership.  We value your opinions and welcome all input!

Until next time.




Checking In: Oct. 23, 2018


Jake Parrott has joined Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP as counsel in the firm’s Raleigh office. He joins Parker Poe’s Development Services Industry Team. Parrott focuses his practice on commercial real estate transactions that include the new development, acquisition, and sale of all commercial property types, as well as leasing, real estate financing, and lending. Parrott is a leader within the North Carolina Bar Association’s Real Property Section, serving on its council. He joined Parker Poe from Ward and Smith.


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