NC Pro Bono Honor Society Wants To Recognize Your Work


By Sylvia Novinsky

Our Supreme Court notes “Equal Justice Under Law” on its building. Yet, access to this justice only truly exists when it is available to all members of our state, regardless of ability to pay. A failure to provide adequate legal services to those of modest means affects both the economic and social fabric of our society, and does not adequately represent the principles of the profession to which we have been called.

For information about the Pro Bono Resource Center and voluntary pro bono reporting, please visit

Pro bono is one way for attorneys to help narrow the access to justice gap.  We would like to capture your service and celebrate your work.

The NC Pro Bono Resource Center is currently accepting information about the types of activities encouraged by North Carolina Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1: pro bono legal service; legal service at a substantially reduced fee; activity that improves the law, the legal system, or the legal profession; non-legal community service; and financial support of legal service providers.

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Members In Focus: Lt. Col. Robert Rideout Relishes Roles In the Army and the Law


Robert Rideout doesn’t recall what he was listening to in the bunker during this particular rocket attack in Kandahar, in the photo above. To his right, incidentally, is fellow attorney and Deputy Director-Legal Maj. Thomas DeSplinter of Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Robert Rideout.

By Russell Rawlings

In the 1990s, Robert Rideout earned degrees from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Louisiana State University School of Law. Last year he added a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

In between, he has carved out an impressive career in public service that includes tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, a federal judgeship, and service as an Assistant Public Defender, an Assistant District Attorney, and as a Deputy Commissioner for the N.C. Industrial Commission.

Rideout is also the founding chair of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Military and Veterans Affairs Section.

And, at 45 years of age, he’s just getting started.

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Basic Security Best Practices for Law Firms


By Catherine Sanders Reach

“Reasonable efforts” to ensure confidentiality of client information is fact-specific. In North Carolina RPC 1.6 Comment 19 suggests that a lawyer should examine the sensitivity of the information, the risk of disclosure without additional precautions, the cost of extra measures, the difficulty of adding safeguards, and whether more safeguards adversely affect the lawyer’s ability to represent the client. By conducting this risk assessment, a lawyer will be better positioned to understand what she needs to do to protect a client’s confidences. Following are some basic best practices all lawyers should be deploying for basic security.

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Checking In: March 13, 2019


Smith Anderson announces the hiring of Chandler Spaulding, who will serve as the firm’s director of strategic communications and government relations. Prior to joining Smith Anderson, Chandler worked in a variety of public policy and communications roles, including with the North Carolina General Assembly, Duke University, the White House Office of Communications and NBC Entertainment.



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How To Track Time With a Tomato


By Catherine Sanders Reach

Tracking time is the bane of many lawyers’ existence. Few would agree it is an exercise they enjoy. While some excel at it, many factors, including attempting to multitask and daily distractions make accurate time tracking difficult, overwhelming and sometimes loathsome. How can a tomato help you make tracking time easier?

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In the News: ABA Bar Leader Shines Light On NCBA Executive Director Jason Hensley

NCBA Executive Director Jason Hensley

Further solidifying the North Carolina Bar Association’s reputation as one of the most innovative bar associations  in the country, the American Bar Association’s Bar Leader publication featured comments from NCBA Executive Director Jason Hensley in a pair of articles this month.

The article “Right On the Money: Careful Strategy, New Technology Help Bars Move Toward the Future,” focuses on how bar associations across the country are tackling challenges posed by changes in the legal profession. Hensley told the Bar Leader that staff restructuring has been an important part of his approach since becoming executive director two years ago. Those changes include three new staff leadership positions designed to break down silos and encourage more communication among various bar departments.

“We can’t operate in a steady state. The organization really needs to be in a steady state of evolution,” Hensley says. “Is the structure durable, and is it adaptable? Does the underlying structure allow for change? How will we move as everything continues to move? You want to be able to identify and lead that change.”

A second article on executive directors who have replaced long-tenured predecessors, “New Executive Directors Bring Change But Appreciate Continuity,” also spotlights Hensley’s work at the NCBA.

“I had the benefit of knowing it was a strong organization, and the fact that it is a strong organization provides a lot of opportunities,” Hensley says. “This organization has had a tradition of innovation. It’s interesting to put tradition and innovation together, but I think it’s been a tradition here to find new programs and new opportunities and to innovate them.”

Five Issues To Watch For In Federal Privacy Legislation


By Saad Gul

Corporate America, retooling privacy programs following California and Europe’s enactment of comprehensive privacy standards, is looking to Congress for a federal counterpart.  The United States has traditionally had little appetite for comprehensive privacy regulation.  Instead, it has followed a sectoral approach, protecting specific sectors such as health (such as Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act or HIPAA), financial services (such as Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act or GLBA), or vulnerable populations such as minors (such as Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA).

The new Privacy and Data Security Section is now open for member registration. Click here to join.

The latest push may be different however.  Faced with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) — itself enacted to ward off even more stringent rules — and CCPA-like privacy bills pending in other states, a comprehensive federal statute may well be on the horizon.

So what issues should privacy counsel monitor as the privacy sausage is made?  Here are five.

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Fact Gathering and Analysis: Business Research Resources


Finding information about companies, such as financials, principles, employees, valuation, competitors, credit and financial health for publicly traded companies is possible if you don’t mind digging through SEC filings. For nonprofits, religious institutions and privately held companies it requires even more digging, and the information is not always easily available. Whether you are looking at helping with business development in an industry for a client, providing competitive intelligence, looking up information on a company that you are filing a suit against or for many other reasons, the following are free and fee company research resources to help with your search.

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Committee Service: Who Knows Where It Might Lead?

By LeAnn Nease Brown

How is it that a young lawyer who joined a little committee to look at whether we had 100 lawyers in the state to make up a Section called Antitrust and Trade Regulation could go from that moment in time to this moment in time?

I asked this question at last year’s Annual Meeting after becoming President-elect of the North Carolina Bar Association. Serving in this role is an honor beyond words.

The next Annual Meeting and 2019-20 Bar year fast approach.  As incoming President of the North Carolina Bar Association and Foundation, I will soon have the privilege of making Committee appointments.

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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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