Annual Meeting: The Time Is This Summer – At Biltmore

By Josh McIntyre

There will be a time when your NCBA Annual Meeting includes three hours of CLE in the cost of registration.

There will be a time when family and friends attend because afternoons are open to enjoy activities at North Carolina’s most visited home.

There will be a time when nationally renowned speakers address one of the profession’s most relevant topics — wellness.

Truly there will be a time. It’s this summer – at Biltmore.

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Paralegal Potpourri: Join the Division Council, Volunteer Opportunities, New NCCP Digital Badge

By Leslie Pegram

Take a minute to catch up on the latest news and happenings regarding the Paralegal Division.

Join the next group of Paralegal Division leaders

Would you like to be more engaged in the future success of the Paralegal Division? Are you looking for an opportunity to grow your leadership skills? One way is to serve on the Paralegal Division Council.

The deadline to apply for a position on the Paralegal Division Council is Thursday, Feb. 28. Find the application here and submit to Debbie Harris.

The Council has general supervision and control of the affairs of the Division in accordance with its Bylaws. The Council will meet five times during the year and participates in a leadership retreat in August. Currently, we are seeking to fill four Council Member positions to serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2022. If you, or someone you know, would like to serve as a Council member, please submit your application to Debbie Harris at debbie.harris@davidsoncountync.gov

The application deadline is February 28, 2019. Apply today: https://ncbar.org/media/759060/pd_nominationsquestionnaire2017.doc

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Pro Bono Spotlight: Chadwick McCullen

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Pro Bono Volunteer Spotlight: Chadwick McCullen

Pro Bono Project: Wills for Heroes

By Celia Pistolis

Chadwick McCullen’s pro bono work focuses on Wills for Heroes, a program that enables its volunteers to prepare essential legal documents — including wills, living wills, and powers of attorney — free of charge to North Carolina first responders (police officers, sheriff’s deputies, EMS, fire and rescue workers) and their spouses.

Register to volunteer for a Wills for Heroes clinic or find out how your organization can sponsor a clinic here.

McCullen’s work with the program began in 2010 when he volunteered at various clinics around the state.  He, along with other volunteers, would meet with first responders and their spouses, discuss their estate planning needs, and prepare the appropriate documents.  In 2016, he became a Young Lawyers Division co-chair of the project with Rebecca Rushton.  As a co-chair, his work shifted to planning the clinics (securing a location, feeding the volunteers, advertising the clinic and scheduling clinic appointments) as well as training and providing legal support for the volunteers. This year, the YLD is partnering with the NC Bar Foundation to offer Wills For Heroes clinics, and McCullen is focusing his efforts on conducting volunteer training and serving as the lead Estate Planning Practitioner on site for clinic days.

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Giving the People What They Want: The Ability To Contact Their Lawyer Even When You Aren’t At Your Desk

By Samantha Duncan

My clients have the ability to get a hold of me on the telephone, even when I’m not at my desk. Furthermore, they can even contact me when I am not even in the office. However, this does not mean that I have succumbed to breaking my golden rule of never willingly giving out my personal cell phone number to my clients. Instead, my firm uses a cloud-based phone system called RingCentral.

RingCentral allows us to access our office lines through our cell phones through the company’s app which is available for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS systems. RingCentral is not the only cloud-based phone system on the market, there are many competitors such as Grasshopper, Vonage, Nextiva, and more. These systems also give you the ability to text message your clients using your office telephone number through the app so that you do not have to break my golden rule mentioned above. Talking on the phone with a client and text messaging a client is not the only benefit of these systems, as they also allow you to fax documents over your firm’s internet connection. Bottom line is, these systems allow you to be at your “desk” in your bed, in your car, at the courthouse, or anywhere else that you are able to access the internet.

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4th Circuit’s Dueling Disability Discrimination Decisions Analyze ‘Illegal-Exam’ Claims Under ADA/Rehabilitation Act

By Andrew J. Henson

When can an employer require its employee to undergo a medical exam without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Rehabilitation Act? In recent weeks, the Fourth Circuit enriched the case law on illegal-exam claims in two divergent opinions, ruling for the employee in EEOC v. McLeod Health, Inc., — F.3d —-, 2019 WL 385654 (4th Cir. Jan. 31, 2019) and for the employer in Hannah P. v. Coats, — F.3d —-, 2019 WL 664491 (4th Cir. Feb. 19, 2019).

The ADA and the Rehabilitation Act both prohibit covered employers from requiring an employee to undergo a medical exam “unless such examination . . . is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity.” 42 U.S.C. § 1112(d)(4)(A). The EEOC’s enforcement guidelines provide that, ordinarily, to meet the “job-related and consistent with business necessity” standard, “the employer must reasonably believe, based on objective evidence, that either (a) the employee’s ability to perform an essential job function is impaired by a medical condition, or (b) the employee can perform all the essential functions of the job, but because of his or her medical condition, doing so will pose a ‘direct threat’ to his or her own safety or the safety of others.” The Fourth Circuit’s recent McLeod and Coats opinions touch on both the “direct threat” and impairment causing a failure to perform the essential functions scenarios, respectively.

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NC Legislative Filing: H.B. 50 – Allow Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for TBI/PTSD

Bill Website: https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2019/H50

Summary: This bill proposes to allow certain medical professionals to treat veterans who have PTSD or TBI with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

Further Reading: In early 2018, the VA obtained an evidence brief related to the use of HBOT to treat PTSD and TBI, which is available at https://www.hsrd.research.va.gov/publications/esp/hbot.cfm.  This brief concludes that “offering HBOT to Veterans with mild or moderate to severe TBI and/or PTSD appears reasonable – with careful consideration of potential increased risk of certain harms.”  The VA continues to study the effectiveness of HBOT in treating these conditions.

Explore More in MS Office 365 Business Premium

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If you have taken the plunge and subscribed to Office 365 Business Premium you are likely aware that the Office suite  (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel) is now not only installed on the desktop but also has a cloud component, syncing your work and making sharing easier. However, you may not be as aware of additional tools and features your firm may have with this subscription that may change the way you do work. Let’s explore!

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ABCs of Criminal Court CLE Scheduled for March 15

Nuances and complexities abound in criminal and traffic law. The simplest of cases may have unfathomable consequences to your client’s finances, employment opportunities, even their freedom.  A CLE that glosses over the basics is not enough. A CLE that offers an in-depth look at obscure subject matter is not sufficient. Get ahead on your 2019 CLEs by taking the “ABCs of Criminal Court” – the one CLE that elevates both new and experienced attorneys to higher levels of expertise in criminal and traffic law.

Find details and register for the “ABCs of Criminal Court,” scheduled for Friday, March 15 live at the NC Bar Center in Cary and via webcast.

Courts, clients, and opposing counsel all demand a level of competence that requires mastering the details. Time plus an overwhelming plethora of statutes, caselaw, and practice traditions force today’s attorneys to take shortcuts, and perhaps get involved in matters too quickly. No criminal practitioner can easily absorb and remember even the “big picture” of the criminal statutes, let alone the detailed nuances that an individual’s liberty and life demand.

This CLE aims to simplify and present information that has immediate, real-world application. Coupled with the release of  “The ABCs of Criminal Court, Second Edition,” which is provided to each registrant, attorneys will leave with confidence in their ability to navigate misdemeanors, felonies, probation violations, expunctions, DWIs, and traffic tickets.

The new book will appeal to every North Carolina attorney who practices or even dabbles in criminal law. It is a one-stop book, covering all the basics and important details, accessible and essential for both the novice and the expert. Veteran attorneys will be impressed with the up-to-date knowledge, newly sourced in this second edition, and new attorneys will be captivated by the complete, all-in-one reference source so easily found when needed. Thousands of pages could be read and hundreds of dollars could be spent to obtain this same information. The “ABCs of Criminal Court captures all that material, giving you a foundation that will grow your confidence and practice to its full potential.

Register today!

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Kate Deiter-Maradei

DR Spotlight is a Q&A series that focuses on Dispute Resolution Section members.

Kate Deiter-Maradei is a mediator in Raleigh at Deiter Mediation. Kate has been mediating full time for almost six years after practicing as a litigation attorney for 10 years with Teague Campbell. She has been on the NCBA Dispute Resolution Section Council for several years and is currently the secretary. Kate enjoys travel, is passionate about adoption and enjoys working with Essential Partners to conduct facilitated dialogues between law enforcement folks and African-American community leaders in the Triangle.

 

 

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Wake Tech Hosts Workshop on the Legal Aspects of International Trade

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David Garrett spoke at the workshop.

On Feb. 12, Wake Technical Community College hosted a workshop on the Legal Aspects of International Trade at its Research Triangle Park campus. The workshop aimed to educate small businesses that wish to expand globally. The North Carolina Bar Association served as a sponsor of the event, and several NCBA members attended the event or presented on various topics.

It included sessions on intellectual property, government assistance, contracting, dispute resolution, and export control in the international realm. Fifty people registered to attend the event. The workshop was well-received, and Wake Tech hopes to make this workshop an annual event.