How To *Really* Lock Down a PDF Document

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CATHERINE’S CALL

By Catherine Sanders Reach

Did you know that it is very easy to edit a PDF document unless you take steps to secure it? You can convert a PDF to Word in MS Word 2016 or in Adobe Acrobat and other PDF conversion applications. You can also easily edit a PDF in Acrobat. If you want to secure a PDF there are many ways to do so, but the strongest security is to apply a watermark, disable copying and printing, and apply a digital signature. This three-step process will create a document that is very difficult to alter or reproduce.

To create a PDF document that would be difficult to tamper with, including reproducing from a screenshot, you can take a three-step approach:

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Pro Bono Spotlight: Molly Gross, NCBA Disaster Legal Services Volunteer

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By Caroline Trautman

Few things make people feel helpless like a natural disaster can. If you’re like most attorneys, your daily work doesn’t involve feeding people, clearing giant trees, or repairing homes. As we settle into our day-to-day work, it’s easy to feel like we don’t have anything to offer people who have lost basic needs like clothing and shelter.

But what we forget is that many of our jobs, at their core, DO involve helping people clean up messes – and the knowledge and skills we’ve picked up along the way are probably more useful than we think.

 

Molly Gross, a young lawyer in Hickory who’s been bitten by the pro bono bug, has figured this out. Her story is proof that attorneys like you can impact people with big needs, even with just a little time. We at the NCBA Pro Bono Committee were so inspired, we thought we’d give her a shout out.

 

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A Better Way to Find Time

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Finding a mutually available time to meet with multiple busy people including clients, colleagues and other parties used to mean a lot of negotiation and multiple emails. Then tools like Doodle and FreeBusy came along to make scheduling much easier. Now users of Microsoft Office 365 can take advantage of a built-in polling tool called FindTime that integrates directly in the Outlook calendar for free!

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Take Steps This Holiday Season

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By Catherine Sanders Reach

With the holidays approaching, we can look forward to gathering with friends and family, celebrations, and merriment. We also look forward to lots of great food and tempting treats. For many the holidays also add stress, tension and increased feelings of depression. Make time to keep up with exercise, which will help guard against weight gain and help boost your serotonin levels. Need motivation? Your mobile device likely has a pedometer built in to help you keep track of your steps and stay on goal.

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Is a Password Enough To Keep Your Sensitive Information Safe?

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By Catherine Sanders Reach

Are you using two factor authentication? You should be! Passwords alone are not enough anymore to thwart motivated hackers from accessing your accounts, whether by a keystroke logger infection on your computer or a data breach of the systems you use every day online. Two factor authentication, or two step verification, adds strength to your passwords by using something you know (your password) and something you have. The “something you have” is often a code sent separately to a mobile phone via text. Without the code you will not be able to login to an online account on a device you have not previously trusted. Ostensibly it would also thwart anyone who had your password as well. You can turn on two factor authentication in most online accounts by going into your privacy and security settings.

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Civility and Sanity: A CLE To Help Lawyers Maintain Both

By Lucy Inman

In an age abounding with public and private incivility, division, and discrimination, how can lawyers and judges promote professional behavior? And when individual struggles with stress and depression make news every day, how can we recognize and respond to warning signs in ourselves and others? “A Most Stressful Profession: Promoting Civility and Sanity in Your Practice,” a daylong CLE happening Dec. 7, will address those situations we usually don’t talk about.

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Find Help In the ABA’s Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

Julie D. Beavers

Sarah Nagae

By Julie D. Beavers and Sarah Nagae

As chairs of the North Carolina Bar Associaton’s Professional Wellness Committee, we want to share an important resource created by the ABA earlier this year – the Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers.  In 2017, the ABA’s National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being shared a report noting that many lawyers across the United States juggle mental health and substance use disorders all the while managing demanding caseloads.

While the report spotlights troubling realities in the profession, I suspect few of us are surprised by the findings.  With that in mind, whether you are a solo practitioner ready to set healthy parameters in your office or a large employer needing to refine the workplace culture, be sure to check out the Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers as well as the toolkit’s “Nutshell” tip sheet.  Both resources offer helpful tools and guidance essential to assisting lawyers thrive in the workplace which promotes optimum client service and better working relationships with colleagues.  Invest some time exploring these resources in order to protect yourself as well as the well-being of your personnel.  You’ll be glad you did.

Julie D. Beavers, julie@lawyersmutualnc.com
Sarah Nagae, SNagae@nexsenpruet.com

 

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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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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Watch NCBA/UNC-TV Constitutional Amendment Programs On UNC-TV Or At NCBar.org

Six proposed constitutional amendments are appearing on the North Carolina general election ballot this year. As a service to our members and the citizens of our state, the North Carolina Bar Association has partnered with UNC-TV to produce educational programming regarding the proposed constitutional amendments.

The “Amendments Explained” programs premiered on Friday night, October 19, at 8 p.m. on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel and will air multiple times on UNC-TV’s primary channel and the North Carolina Channel. Click here or see below for a full schedule of air times for all the programs. Online viewing of the interviews is available on the NCBA website at https://ncbar.org/public-resources/constitutional-amendments/.

Two 30-minute programs have been produced, one focuses on the proposed judicial vacancy appointment amendment, and the other focuses on the proposed State Board of Ethics and Elections amendment. The programs include a segment on the history of the N.C. Constitution and discussion segments featuring proponents and opponents of both amendments.

Listed alphabetically, the proponents and opponents featured in the programs are: N.C. Senator Dan Bishop, former N.C. Governor Mike Easley, former N.C. Governor Jim Martin, and N.C. Speaker Pro Tempore Sarah Stevens. The segments focusing on the history and evolution of the N.C. Constitution feature Martin Brinkley, Dean of the UNC School of Law and a Past President of the NCBA. All of the interviews are conducted by Kelly McCullen, director of the North Carolina Channel and Public Affairs for Public Media NC at UNC-TV.

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