Tricky Rules For Amending Tax Returns

By John G. Hodnette

Amending returns can cause clients and practitioners needless anxiety if they do not fully understand the applicable rules.  This short article describes those rules regardless of whether the amended return provides an addition to tax or requests a refund.

The first concern is the statute of limitations.  Section 6501(a) generally provides a three-year statute for the IRS to assess additional tax.  Therefore, the IRS generally has three years to initiate and conclude an audit.  Although certain circumstances (substantial omissions of income and fraud) can increase this limitations period to six years or indefinitely, for simplicity this article assumes the statute is three years.  The three-year period runs from either the due date (generally April 15th of the year following the tax year in question) or the date actually filed (if filed after the due date).  Returns filed after the due date include returns filed on extension.  One might think filing an amended return automatically starts over the three-year period, but that is not the case.  Instead, the IRS is still generally bound by the original three-year period based on the filing of the original return.

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Laura Mahr On Creating Mini-Moments Of Wellbeing

This year’s NCBA Annual Meeting theme is wellness and how legal professionals can achieve it. In preparation for the event, we talked with speakers scheduled to present at Annual Meeting for a series of quick-read Q&As. Read our Q&A with Jeena Cho and watch NCBarBlog for upcoming Q&As with April Harris-Britt, Stan Phelps and Greg Romeo. Admission to all speaker presentations, including those for CLE credit, is included in registration.

NCBA Annual Meeting 2019
Laura Mahr on Tapping into the Intelligence of the Body to Optimize Your Life
Saturday, June 22
CLE Credit: 1.0 hour
Find more details about Annual Meeting and registration here.

By Amber Nimocks

Laura Mahr is the founder of Conscious Legal Minds LLC, providing mindfulness-based coaching, training, and consulting for attorneys and law offices nationwide. Mahr’s work to build resilience to stress and burnout is informed by 11 years of practice as a civil sexual assault attorney, two decades of experience as a professional trainer, and 25 years as a student and teacher of mindfulness and yoga, and a love of neuroscience.

Q: Describe the three neuroscience-based tools your presentation will offer participants?

A: I will teach three tools that participants can use during their day to create what I call a “mini-moment of wellbeing.” The three “mini-moments of wellbeing” tools participants will learn are designed to help them do their work from an optimal state of physical calm and cognitive clarity. One tool will involve connecting with their nervous system to feel more calm, another will focus on tapping into their bodies to build their resilience, and a third will help them re-wire their brains to optimize their cognitive clarity.

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May 15, 2019


Chuck Kitchen, former chair of the NCBA Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section and NCBA member Karlene Turrentine have formed a new law firm, Kitchen &  Turrentine, PLLC. Located in Raleigh, the firm will serve clients throughout the state. The new firm will concentrate on local government, business, and employment matters, and general civil litigation. More information can be found on their website at



Corena Norris-McCluney has returned to Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton as special counsel, concentrating in labor and employment litigation. She previously served as senior vice president, general counsel, for Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. She holds an undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and a Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University.



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It’s Not Easy Being ‘Green’ . . . Or Is It? (Part 2)

By M. Gray Styers Jr.

This article is the second in a pair of articles related to “green policies” and how to implement them.  The first part of this series was previously published here.

As concern over climate change makes almost-daily headlines, “green” policies are becoming increasingly popular.  Part 1 of this article noted that — from Fortune 500 company board rooms to the N.C. Governor’s Office — recent policy pronouncements call for reduced energy usage, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and increased numbers of zero emission vehicles.  But how — in a state like North Carolina, where direct retail purchases from third-parties are not permitted — do retail utility customers achieve the goals of these “green” policies?  Part 1 of this series discussed energy efficiency measures, time-of-use rates, and self-generation.  This second part of the series looks specifically at HB 589, passed by the General Assembly in 2017, N.C. Sess. Law 2017-192, and implemented by the N.C. Utilities Commission over the past eighteen months, and examines whether (or not) it may make it “easier . . . to be green” by providing new mechanisms for utility customers to access renewable energy resources.

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Collaborative Training In Asheville June 19-20

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The NCBA has offered six basic training courses in Collaborative Law Practice in the past, and is offering the next one June 19-20  in Asheville. Click here to view the brochure with all the details and to register.

Collaborative Practice Training
Wednesday-Thursday, June 19-20, 2019
Renaissance Asheville Hotel

This 14-hour training is for any lawyer who wishes to add the collaborative approach to their practice, whether they are family lawyers or other civil lawyers, including those practicing in the areas of construction, employment, small business, probate, as well as general litigation. Because collaborative law is practiced entirely out of court, it is not necessary to have training or experience as a litigator to become a collaborative lawyer.

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Supreme Court to Decide Whether Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Against LGBT Employees

By T. Cullen Stafford

On April 22, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in three cases involving the issue of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Supreme Court’s decisions in these cases will resolve a long-standing split among U.S. appellate courts regarding whether federal law prohibits discrimination against gay, lesbian and bi-sexual employees.


There is currently no federal statute that expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Nearly every Congress since 1994 has introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”), which would amend Title VII to prohibit such discrimination, but the statute has never been passed.

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Going Paperless: How Long Should I Keep Client Files?


By Jared Pierce

I would be lying if I said that going paperless was easy. Making the journey to a mostly digital office has been troubling in so many ways that one article would not be enough to cover the multitude of ways that my staff and I have been inconvenienced. However, of the many issues and concerns we have experienced along the way, none compare to the knee-shaking anxiety of creating a paperless practice while trying to steer clear of violating the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct.

Going paperless sounds fun and exciting, but the most significant misconception, in my opinion, is evaluating how much paper you have gathered over the years. Every file, intake form, retainer, background check, medical record and medical bill adds up to a verifiable mountain of paper. However, when we began discussing the need to go paperless we didn’t just sit down and create a rough outline; we spent time planning for success.

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How Not to Terminate an Employee

By Joe Murray

I don’t know if Waste Connections, Inc. (WCI) discriminated against Jimmy Haynes when it terminated him in October 2015, but I do know that it did just about everything wrong from an HR standpoint. Because Haynes had to use the McDonnell-Douglas framework to prove his case, those mistakes allowed the 4th Circuit to reverse an award of summary judgment in favor of WCI. Haynes v. Waste Connections, Inc., No. 17-2431 (4th Cir. April 23, 2019).[1] Ultimately, the 4th Circuit found that Haynes proffered sufficient evidence to identify a comparator employee, that he was performing at a satisfactory level, and that WCI’s reason for termination was pretext.

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Spotlight on Salim Uqdah

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

Salim Uqdah is a paralegal-mediator and the owner and director of Mediation for Uroboros Mediations, LLC in Charlotte. His work includes handling domestic, civil, criminal, special proceedings, and estates cases.

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A Profile In Mindfulness: Lakisha Chichester

As we prepare to celebrate and explore wellness at NCBA Annual Meeting in June, we’d like to introduce some NCBA members who are excelling at living healthy lives in the categories of our meeting theme: Work, Mind, Body and Life. Lakisha Chichester impressed us with her mindfulness. She made an impression on her fellow paralegals, too. Chichester received the Paralegal Division’s 2019 Distinguished Paralegal Award earlier this month.

By Amber Nimocks

Loneliness was not what Lakisha Chichester expected to feel after she donated a kidney to her sister last year.

When she learned that she could give her sister the organ she needed, Chichester didn’t think twice about the operation. The transplant was a success, and her sister recently celebrated a year with her new kidney. But after the surgery, Chichester felt a sense of isolation that challenged her emotionally.

Find this and more in the May edition of North Carolina Lawyer magazine online and in your mailbox.

“When you’re preparing to do it, it’s constant doctor visits, constant evaluations, constantly people asking you about it and how you’re feeling,” Chichester says. “Then after you give the kidney, it’s like ‘OK, we’ll see you later. Call us if anything goes wrong.’ ”

She says her meditation practice enabled her to find the mental strength she needed to sustain herself through those post-op days.

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