Enduring Tedium: The Future of Fights Over Electronically Stored Information

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By Sean F. Herrmann

“Seeking justice often involves enduring tedium.” It’s fitting that North Carolina’s first substantive legal decision on eDiscovery begins with this pithy observation. Employment litigators often lament the virtual hellscape of discovering electronically stored information (“ESI”). But the era when paper was king is long dead, and the fight is now firmly in the cyber world of custodians, native formats, and keyword searches.

For those in federal court, at least rules and precedent exist to help guide them through the dark ESI forest (especially those that find themselves before Chief Judge Frank Whitney in the Western District of North Carolina). North Carolina state court practitioners haven’t been so lucky. That is until this week. On Aug. 6, 2019, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued its first substantive decision on ESI in Crosmun v. Trustees of Fayetteville Technical Cmty. Coll. (No. COA18-1054). Judge Lucy Inman, who authored the opinion, put it well: “This appeal presents this Court with our first opportunity to address the contours of eDiscovery within the context of North Carolina common and statutory law regarding the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine.” The Court ultimately reversed the trial court’s order granting Plaintiffs’ forensic expert direct access to Defendants’ ESI, but the way the Court got there and its recommendations on remand are far more important than the holding itself.

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The Dark Side of Instant Messaging for Business

By Kevin J. Stanfield

How do companies balance the efficiencies of instant messaging with potential legal risks? Instant messaging applications are increasingly present in today’s corporate world and a popular form of communications both internally, between company employees, and externally with clients and partner organizations. The days of face-to-face meetings between managers and employees in conference rooms or popping into someone’s office to discuss a project are no longer the norm. Today, many modern employees are using instant messaging (“IM”) as a “virtual water cooler” or “virtual conference room” to collaborate and share information and files with co-workers and customers in real time, using platforms such as Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Google’s Hangouts.

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Checking In: July 26, 2019

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Domestic litigation firm Cordell & Cordell has recently hired attorney A. Allister Cooper to join its office in Wilmington. Cooper’s practice focuses on both family law and employment law. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Juris Doctorate from the Charlotte School of Law.

 

 

 

Joseph DelPapa returns to Ward and Smith’s Raleigh office, where his practice will focus on securities, tax and transactional law. DelPapa has previously served as fractional general counsel for several companies as well as worked as a certified public accountant. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, summa cum laude, from North Carolina State University as well as a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Florida.

 

 

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Kate Deiter-Maradei Knows How To Work

As we continue to celebrate wellness this summer, we’re introducing NCBA members who excel at living healthy lives. Kate Deiter-Maradei sets an example as a highly effective person who doesn’t let work rule her life.

By Amber Nimocks

The first thing you notice about Kate Deiter-Maradei is her smile. It’s wide. It’s bright. And more often than not, it’s spread across her face.

Hers is the kind of smile you wear when you’ve figured something out, something important. For Deiter-Maradei that something is work. She’s figured out how to make a living practicing the kind of law that gives her a sense of meaning and helps others. More than that, she’s figured out how to keep her livelihood from crowding out her life.

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The Stages Of a Lawyer’s Vacation

Is there any day more relaxing than the Wednesday of vacation week? What if every day of vacation could be like that?

By Marc E. Gustafson

As we enter the post-Fourth of July dog days of summer, many of us are either just returning from vacation, leaving soon for a vacation or daydreaming about an upcoming vacation.  After recently returning from an annual “vacation” at the beach with my family and some friends (and I say “vacation” because we have 4- and 6-year-old boys), I spent some time thinking about the various stages of my time away.

Stage 1: Preparing to Leave Work Behind

The first stage begins even before vacation starts.  Undoubtedly, there is the mad rush of deadlines, scrambling to get projects to the stage where they can safely lie dormant for at least a week and trying to avoid calls/emails/incoming work that could completely upend your vacation plans.

If you can safely navigate away from the office without any major events, you can start to relax.  Well, maybe start to start to relax.  As most vacations begin on a Saturday or Sunday, there’s the rush of travel involving luggage, cars, airplanes, shuttles, boats and maybe all the above.

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I learned one thing last week: Wellness is about balance.

During wellness expert Laura Mahr’s NCBA Annual Meeting CLE session, attendees physically embraced wellness techniques.

By Josh McIntyre

It’s hard to avoid the topic of wellness in the legal world these days. Whether it’s a new ABA initiative, an article in last month’s N.C. State Bar Journal, or our own North Carolina Bar Association Annual Meeting, the good news is that the legal community locally and at large seems to be embracing the reality that the stress of our profession is high and we have to take intentional, mindful steps to promote a healthy workplace and lifestyle.

This topic was front and center for me last week, when nearly 700 NCBA members and guests came to Biltmore for our 2019 Annual Meeting. My department is responsible for this event, and our staff spent countless hours over the past year finding speakers, booking activities and setting up dinners and luncheons, nearly all of which included some aspect of our overarching theme of Wellness: Work, Mind, Body, Life.

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Demystifying Paralegal Credentials for Lawyers and Paralegals

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By Alicia Mitchell-Mercer

Recently, I overheard a discussion regarding whether attorneys understand the content of paralegal programs and the meaning of the post-nominal certification credentials you increasingly see behind paralegals’ names. One person responded that many fledgling paralegals don’t understand the difference between being certified and having a certificate, so how can attorneys be expected to understand these distinctions. While these issues may not seem pressing, they are important.

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Runner Tim Meigs Proves It’s Never Too Late To Start

As we prepare to celebrate and explore wellness at NCBA Annual Meeting June 20-23, 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. Tim Meigs has a straightfoward approach to physical wellness that has taken him impressive places.

By Russell Rawlings

Tim Meigs wanted to lose some weight before he turned 40, so he started running. By his early 50s, he was winning his age group at the Boston Marathon.

“I started out walking and jogging, mostly on a treadmill, and at some point I did lose a bunch of weight,” said Meigs, who serves as Assistant General Counsel-IP with Becton Dickinson and Co. (BD) in the Research Triangle Park. “But running a marathon was initially just a bucket list thing.
“I had a friend, Dave Beatty, a law school classmate, who had run a marathon. I figured if he could run a marathon then I could too, so I started training for a marathon.”

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

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Checking In: June 10, 2019

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David Bradin joins Nexsen Pruet as special counsel for intellectual property law, specializing in pharmaceuticals, petroleum chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biotechnology. Previously Bradin worked as a process development chemist and as an adjunct professor of chemistry.

 

 

 

Two years after winning the Nexsen Pruet Diversity Scholarship in law school, Yolanda Davis joins Nexsen Pruet as an associate attorney of corporate and tax law. Before moving into the legal field, Davis worked as a nonprofit and accounting consultant. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology, magna cum laude, from Winston-Salem State University, a Master of Science in accountancy from Wake Forest University, and a Juris Doctorate from Campbell University.

 

 

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Greg Romeo: Clean, Clever, Custom Comedy

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. Click here to find Q&As on Jeena Cho, Laura Mahr, April Harris-Britt and Stan Phelps. Admission to all speaker presentations, including those for CLE credit, is included in registration.

NCBA Annual Meeting registration deadline is June 14.
Greg Romeo, Comedian
Saturday, June 22
Find more details about Annual Meeting and register here.

Greg Romeo is a corporate comedian, actor and entertainer from Winston-Salem He has performed in Mexico, New Mexico, Las Vegas, New York and just about everywhere in between. His widely varied client list includes IBM, Wake Forest University and the FBI to name a few. Romeo continues to build on his reputation for delivering clean, clever and creative customized comedy.

Q: Which is more stressful: Being a lawyer or being a comedian trying to entertain lawyers?

A: I’d say being a lawyer trying to entertain comedians is quite stressful. Was that one of the options? I was never good with multiple choice questions.

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