Business and International Law Issues Covered At Pinehurst Retreat

See Your Name in Print!  Folks, it’s been some time since we’ve posted.  Before you take a look at this edition, here’s a brief announcement:  The Business Law Section would love  your help with ideas and articles for future posts.  If you have an article you’re working on, thoughts about current developments in law practice management or attorney wellness, an internal firm analysis of a legal issue that you’d like to share (with permission, of course), or information about a recent conference, please let us know.  The circulation we get is quite broad – one of our blog posts this year has nearly 7,000 views at this time.  Please reach out to with content and ideas.

The next few blog posts will catch you up on recent events around the Section.

By Russ Robinson

Business and international lawyers from across the state converged at the Pinehurst Resort earlier this spring for annual section meetings and CLE courses. The mid-February event for the Business Law Section has been an annual event for more than 30 years, and recently the International Law & Practice Section has joined forces as both sections focus on developments in business.

Key themes in this year’s session included technology and the 2018 changes to the North Carolina Business Corporation Act.

Technology lawyers Jim Verdonik of Raleigh and Andrew Steffensen of Greensboro reviewed technical aspects of the new digital technology known as blockchain, which allows data to be distributed without being copied. They also discussed the most common use of blockchain technology, which is digital currency and legal implications that business lawyers will face as this form of currency and payment system develops.  Jay Exum of Cary and Alex Pearce of Raleigh reviewed data privacy rules evolving out of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is now being reviewed for implementation in states in the U.S.

Dave Clement of Raleigh, who has chaired a Business Law Section committee on the Business Corporation Act, presented a thorough review of the changes implemented to the Act in 2018.

There was panel discussion this year on ESOPs, which was moderated by David Shuford of Charlotte, who gave a detailed review of the process that his family’s manufacturing business had gone through when it adopted an ESOP form of ownership recently. Speakers on the panel were ESOP advisers from Verit Advisors, which assisted with valuation-related issues, and GreatBanc Trust Company, which manages the ESOP.

To help keep the state’s business lawyers up-to-date on the sweeping 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation, Adam Tarleton of Greensboro presented on the choice of entity – S corporation, C corporation, LLCs  – in light of the tax law changes.

A special CLE presentation of the International Law and Practice Session focused on cross-border transaction disputes and practical issues that business lawyers in the state face. The topic was covered by Charlotte lawyers John Branson and Kurt Lindquist.

Other topics included a securities law primer, drafting tips for indemnification clauses, insurance considerations for business lawyers, and ethics review.

This year’s event was Thursday, February 14 and Friday, February 15, with 118 attendees on Thursday and 163 attendees on Friday. On Thursday night, following a social happy hour, the Business Law Section and the International Law & Practice Section hosted a speakers dinner for the speakers, the program sponsors, and the volunteer organizers. This year’s sponsors were High Rock Partners, Bernard Robinson & Company, Brown Advisory, U.S. Bank, Davis Forensic Group, and First National Bank.

On Friday during a luncheon between sessions, Business Law chair Ben Baldwin of Charlotte and International Law & Practice Session chair Sarah Schtakleff of Cary presided at the sections’ annual meetings.

Save the Date:  Next year’s meetings will be held Thursday, February 13, and Friday, February 14, 2020 in Pinehurst, with the two sections combining efforts for the program once again.  Also, the Section Council is exploring other options for the meeting location.  Stay tuned for more details.