Items of Interest: Tattoo Ownership, CA Sports Betting, Trademark Protection For ‘Scandalous Brands,’ Etc.

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

Athletes Don’t Own Their Tattoos. That’s a Problem for Video Game Developers.

California Sports Betting Faces Tough But Not Impossible Road

Counterpoint: Maybe Athletes Should Rush To The Trademark Office … If They Play For Teams Like The Dallas Mavericks

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Federal Income Tax Update No. 2

By Keith A. Wood

This is the second of two installments of this article.  Read the first installment here.

I. Charitable Deduction Fails Where Tax Basis Not Shown on Form 8283.

Belair Woods, LLC v. Comm., TC Memo 2018-159, involved a taxpayer who tried to claim a conservation easement deduction under Section 170.  Originally, Belair acquired an interest in certain property with a carryover tax basis of approximately $2,605 per acre. A little more than a year later, Belair granted a conservation easement to Georgia Land Trust. On Belair’s tax return, it claimed a charitable contribution deduction of $33,707 per acre.

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Settling Debts: A Cautionary Tale

By William E. Brewer Jr.

He Began to Cry

My dental hygienist recently brought her father to consult with me to discuss filing bankruptcy. We will call him Steve. Steve had approximately $75,000.00 of credit card debt. He had retired from the State of North Carolina, at age 58, after working as a school teacher for thirty years. He had health issues that prevented him from working more than a part-time job. His wife did not work due to health reasons and had no income. He was supporting himself and his wife on his $3,500.00 State pension and $750.00 of take-home pay from his part-time job. He had accumulated $50,000.00 in the State’s optional 401-K plan. He and his wife had $50,000.00 equity in their jointly-owned residence.

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January Tech Tip: iLovePDF Has Every Tool You Need to Work with PDFs

By Alicia Mitchell-Mercer

As the Division’s Technology Chair, in addition to helping maintain the Paralegal Division webpage, I try to share technology tips and applications (usually free) that can make your work lives a little easier. If you find today’s “Tech Tip” useful, let us know. If you have a technology concern at work and you want to see if there’s a software or process that can make things easier, email and we’ll try to address it in a future blog post.

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NC Supreme Court: Hairston v. Harward

By Dan Morton

Hairston v. Harward, N.C. Supreme Court, No. 416A17 Dec. 7, 2018

In Hairston v. Harward, 821 S.E.2d 384 (N.C. 2018), the Court held that an underinsured motorist was not entitled to a credit against a judgment for payments made by the plaintiff’s underinsured motorists carrier.  The case is interesting on many levels, including its discussion of the collateral source rule, what the reasoning in this opinion portends regarding the current Court’s proclivities in coverage disputes and what was not addressed concerning the “500-pound gorilla in the room.”

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Hall Of Fame Gets New Name

The General Practice Hall of Fame will now be known as the Legal Practice Hall of Fame following formal approval of the name change by the North Carolina Bar Association Board of Governors at the winter meeting on Jan. 17.

The deadline for nominations for the Legal Practice Hall Of Fame is March 22. Click here to access the nomination form.

Two key factors led to this important decision.

First, the General Practice Section, which established the General Practice Hall of Fame in 1989, recently merged with the Law Practice Management Section to form the Small Firm & Technology Section. In conjunction with the establishment of this combined section, the Senior Lawyers Division has assumed responsibility for administering the hall of fame.

Second, by changing the name to the Legal Practice Hall of Fame, the pool of eligible inductees expands significantly, as stated in the proposal, to now include “North Carolina attorneys who have engaged in any aspect of law practice principally in North Carolina for 30 years or more and whose actions evidence a lifetime of exemplary legal practice and high ethical and professional standards as a practitioner of the law and for serving as a role model for all lawyers in North Carolina.”

Erwin Fuller and Ed Gaskins, current and immediate past chairs of the Senior Lawyers Division, respectively, expressed their excitement over the Division’s new responsibility and the hall of fame’s new name.

“The Senior Lawyers Division is delighted to become the North Carolina Bar Association’s sponsor group for the newly renamed hall of fame award,” Fuller and Gaskins stated. “Having this award become the NCBA Legal Practice Hall of Fame instead of the General Practice Hall of Fame dramatically increases the number of potential award recipients.

“But, going forward, the same long-established high standards for award recognition will remain basically unchanged. We look forward to recognizing a maximum of six exemplary North Carolina attorneys from all across the state in 2019, and we welcome award recipient nominations.”

The Senior Lawyers Division, they added, is grateful for the legacy of the General Practice Section for creating the award and entrusting it now into the hands of the Senior Lawyers Division.

Gaskins and former NCBA Director of Sections and Divisions Jane Weathers are coordinating selection of new inductees, working in concert with Emily Poindexter, NCBA Communities Manager and staff liaison to the Senior Lawyers Division.

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Legal Practice Hall of Fame induction class, which will be honored at the NCBA Annual Meeting in Asheville, scheduled June 20-23 at Biltmore. Honorees will be recognized at the Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 20. The new inductees and all past recipients of the award will also be invited to and be recognized at the fall meeting of the Senior Lawyers Division (date and location to be determined).

The deadline for nominations is March 22.

Click here to access the nomination form. Questions should be directed to Emily Poindexter via email ( or phone (919-659-1449).

Future listings of Legal Practice Hall of Fame recipients will include all 160 attorneys listed below who were recognized as General Practice Hall of Fame recipients.

Previous Hall of Fame Inductees


Harold K. Bennett, Asheville

Joseph W. Grier Jr., Charlotte

Kenneth R. Hoyle, Sanford

Harvey A. Jonas Jr., Lincolnton

Lindsay C. Warren Jr., Goldsboro

Claud R. Wheatly Jr., Beaufort


Murchison Biggs, Lumberton

Weston P. Hatfield, Winston-Salem

Martin Kellogg Jr., Manteo

Herbert H. Taylor Jr., Tarboro

Richard A. Williams Sr., Newton


Lewis Alexander, Elkin

Heman R. Clark, Raleigh

E.P. “Sandy” Dameron, Marion

Fred B. Helms, Charlotte

Frank H. Watson, Spruce Pine


Wade Edward Brown, Boone

William A. Dees Jr., Goldsboro

Louis W. Gaylord Jr., Greenville

Robert Leroy McMillan, Raleigh

William E. Poe, Charlotte

Oscar Edwin Starnes Jr., Asheville


Edwin Osborne Ayscue Jr., Charlotte

William Lamont Brown, Pinehurst

Robert B. Byrd, Morganton

John R. Haworth, High Point

James W. Mason, Laurinburg

Ralph M. Stockton Jr., Winston-Salem


Irvin Boyle, Charlotte

Landon B. Roberts, Asheville

William A. Johnson, Lillington

Grady B. Stott, Gastonia


Louis A. Bledsoe Jr., Charlotte

Walter F. Brinkley, Lexington

James B. Garland, Gastonia

John R. Jordan Jr., Raleigh

Edward L. Williamson, Whiteville


Stacy C. Eggers Jr., Boone

Annie Brown Kennedy, Winston-Salem

K. Powe, Durham


Robert H. Burns Jr., Whiteville

Max O. Cogburn, Asheville

Lunsford Crew, Roanoke Rapids

Wright T. Dixon Jr., Raleigh

Thomas Shull Johnston, Jefferson

Brian Scott, Rocky Mount

Gerald F. White Sr., Elizabeth City


Garret Dixon Bailey, Burnsville

Julius L. Chambers, Charlotte

Herbert S. Falk Jr., Greensboro

Worth H. Hester, Elizabethtown

Dewey W. Wells, Elizabeth City


John J. Burney Jr., Wilmington

Herbert L. Hyde, Asheville

Richard S. Jones Jr., Franklin

William A. Marsh Jr., Durham

Charles W. Ogletree, Columbia

David L. Ward Jr., New Bern


James D. Blount Jr., Raleigh

Everette C. Carnes, Marion

William A. Johnson, Newland

William Russell, Asheville


James M. Baley Jr., Asheville

George S. Daly Jr., Charlotte

Robert Epting, Chapel Hill

Tommy W. Jarrett, Goldsboro

Michael D. Levine, Chapel Hill

William A. Powell, Shallotte


William Owen Cooke, Greensboro

Roy W. Davis Jr., Asheville

Walter Lewis Hannah, Greensboro

Wilber Morton Jolly, Louisburg

Mark West Owens Jr., Farmville

Horace E. Stacy Jr., Lumberton


John W. Campbell, Lumberton

Charles D. Dixon, Hickory

Daniel W. Fouts, Greensboro

Troy Smith Jr., New Bern

Sydnor Thompson, Charlotte

Henry M. Whitesides, Gastonia


John E. Davenport, Nashville

Samuel H. Johnson, Raleigh

William R. Rand, Wilson

George Rountree III, Wilmington

Russell E. Twiford, Elizabeth City

Marshall V. Yount, Hickory


Henson P. Barnes, White Lake

Stephen E. Culbreth, Wilmington

Thomas G. Dill, Rocky Mount

M.H. Hood Ellis, Elizabeth City

John C.W. Gardner Sr., Mount Airy

Richard M. Hutson, II, Durham

William R. Sigmon, Hickory

Lonnie B. Williams Sr., Wilmington


Robinson O. Everett, Durham

Clifton L. Moore, Burgaw

William G. Pfefferkorn, Winston-Salem

Rudolph G. Singleton Jr., Fayetteville

Robert Charles Soles Jr., Tabor City

Murray Tate Jr., Hickory


Charles M. Davis, Louisburg

William Joslin, Raleigh

Malvern F. King Jr., Durham

George B. Mast, Smithfield

Cressie H. Thigpen Jr., Raleigh

Sharon A. Thompson, Durham


Charles E. Burgin, Marion

Roy A. Cooper Jr., Nashville

Walter H. Jones Jr., Mooresville

James M. Kimzey, Brevard

Edward Knox, Charlotte

Sally Scherer, Raleigh


Mac Boxley, Raleigh

Charles E. Clement, Boone

William Henry Holdford, Wilson

William P. Mayo, Washington

Bobby Burns McNeill, Raeford

Meyressa H. Schoonmaker, Winston Salem

Henry P. Van Hoy II, Mocksville


P.C. Barwick Jr., Kinston

David Reece Cockman, Raleigh

Orville D. Coward Sr., Sylva

James F. Morgan, High Point

Harold Lee Pollock, Burgaw

Eugene C. Thompson III, Warsaw


John L Holshouser Jr., Salisbury

Richard M. Lewis Jr., Fayetteville

Ray C. Vallery, Fayetteville

Frederic E. Toms, Cary

Benjamin R Warrick, Clinton


Eura D. “Ed” Gaskins, Raleigh

Thomas M. Grady, Concord

Houston Groome, Lenoir

John G. Ludlum, Warsaw

Charles H. McGirt, Lexington

Harold Seagle, Asheville


Thomas H. Morris, Kinston

John S. “Jack” Stevens, Asheville

Allen G. Thomas, Wilson

Diane A. “Dee” Wallis, Raleigh

Thomas H. “Tom” Wellman, Roanoke Rapids

Charles R. Young Sr., Hickory


Edmund I. Adams, Sparta

John Robert Hooten, Oriental

Boyd B. Massagee Jr., Hendersonville

Thomas C. Worth Jr., Raleigh


Sheila M. Lambert, Asheville

John H. Vernon III, Burlington

Richard M. Wiggins, Fayetteville

Lloyd Franklin Baucom, Charlotte

Charles Palmer Brown Sr., Albemarle

Robert J. Deutsch, Asheville

Ralph “Bo” McDonald, Raleigh


Leto Copeley, Durham

Charles David Gantt, Asheville

Bobby Harold Griffin, Monroe

Thomas J. White III, Kinston


Wesley Bailey, Winston-Salem

Nancy Black Norelli, Charlotte

Gary Vannoy, North Wilkesboro


Section 199A Pass-Through Deduction and the Magic Number

By John G. Hodnette

The 2017 Tax Act includes a new deduction for qualifying pass-through entities codified as Section 199A.  Taxpayers other than corporations operating a business are generally allowed the deduction, subject to complex limitations, which require thoughtful planning to ensure taxpayers fully benefit.  Certain classes of businesses deemed a “specified service trade or business” are subject to severe restrictions.  However, for taxpayers not operating a specified service trade or business, use of the magic number equation explained below provides a simple and effective approach to maximize the deduction.

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Pro Bono Spotlight: Robin Stinson


Pro Bono Volunteer: Robin Stinson

Pro Bono Project: NC Free Legal Answers

By Sidney Thomas

Many people don’t have the finances or time to meet with an attorney. While most attorneys’ provide legal advice on a daily basis, some go the extra mile and answer legal questions for people who cannot afford an attorney or consultation fees through programs, such as NC Free Legal Answers.

Robin Stinson has practiced in Winston-Salem and surrounding counties for more than 34 years. Robin joined Bell, Davis, & Pitt, P.A. in 1997, focusing her practice in family and alternative dispute resolution including mediation, arbitrations, and parenting coordination. Her passion for family law led her recently to begin work with NC Free Legal Answers. Robin spends her free time answering questions related to family law, i.e., the procedure for filing and prosecuting a pro se complaint for child custody or visitation for lower middle class and indigents who cannot afford legal services in the general market.

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Smoke Signals: No Fiduciary Duty For Minority Shareholders — At Least Not Yet

The following excerpt is reprinted with the permission of and with credit to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.

By David Donovan

Smoke has long been used for sending signals, but the North Carolina Supreme Court has sent some clear signals to stock owners while resolving a spat over smokes.

On Dec. 7 a narrowly divided court stubbed out a shareholders’ revolt over Reynolds American’s purchase of Lorillard Tobacco and reversed a Court of Appeals decision holding that a minority shareholder could owe a fiduciary duty to other shareholders. See Corwin v. British American Tobacco PLC,  2018 WL 6437701, Lawyers Weekly No. 010-093-18. But the court nevertheless strongly implied that it was inclined to accept the reasoning of Delaware courts that such a duty could exist under the right circumstances.

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BarCARES Is All About You

By Kevin Pratt

In 2019, BarCARES will release monthly blog publications highlighting its offerings and featuring attorneys who, notwithstanding the rigors of the profession, find ways to live their passion. The purpose: to reimagine BarCARES, to repurpose its role in the wellness conversation, and to change the wellness message from one that focuses on how to avoid known dangers, to a liberating message empowering lawyers to identify and pursue their passion. Big goals. Let’s get started.

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