Webinar: Doing Business With The United Nations

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Webinar: Doing Business With The United Nations
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Join the U.S. Commercial Service New York and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations for a webinar on doing business with the UN.

The U.S Ambassador to the UN, U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary, and the UN Assistant Secretary General will provide opening remarks.

This seminar will offer a free introduction to the UN’s nearly $19 billion global procurement market, covering a wide range of goods and services. The event will be particularly informative for companies that need help getting started.

Attendees will hear about the UN procurement process, both the opportunities and challenges, and how to register as a UN vendor.

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Immigration Lawyers Needed As Volunteers For COVID-19 Virtual Legal Hotline

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Dear NC Bar Association International Law & Practice Section members,

The NC Bar Foundation is partnering with Legal Aid of NC and others to offer COVID-19 (Virtual) Legal Hotlines across North Carolina (like “mini-4ALLs,” but held remotely). The Hotlines will be staffed by volunteer attorneys and open to the public. We need your help for the Hotline taking place this Friday, June 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will serve the Triad region. Currently, we have only two immigration law attorney volunteers signed up for the first shift and zero for the second shift. Can you join us?

COVID-19 (Virtual) Legal Hotline: Serving the Triad, June 12
Register Here

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Western Hemisphere Best Prospects Industries Free Webinar Series

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Infrastructure – Defense/Safety & Security – ICT/Cybersecurity – Energy
April-August 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EST

In light of current circumstances, the U.S. Commercial Service is offering these webinar series at no cost.

Infrastructure Projects in Latin America Webinar Series
Webinar Series focused on upcoming infrastructure projects in Latin America announced by different governments in the region to stimulate their economies. These projects represent opportunities for different sectors from architecture services, engineering services, construction equipment, building products, airports, ports, transportation, housing, environmental technologies, among others.

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Feedback Requested: E-Court Filings Requiring Notarization

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The Legislative Analysis team at the NCBA is compiling a list of causes of action and associated documents which are filed using e-Courts that normally require notarization. The legislature is looking to our Sections to identify any other documents not filed on an AOC form that require notarization prior to filing on e-Courts.

Devon Karst, NCBA Government Affairs Manager, has created a list of such documents and causes of action. Please review this list and send any other items that meet this criteria to Devon before noon on April 27 for inclusion into the final list. Thank you!

How to Make It Work While Working from Home

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By Samantha E. Gordon

One word has been on everyone’s mind lately: Coronavirus. When will the stay-at-home orders be lifted? When can I go to the grocery store without worrying about whether I will find toilet paper? When can I go eat at my favorite restaurant again or will my favorite restaurant even be open after all of this is over?

These questions are on most Americans’ minds daily. The unknown of when this is all going to end is terrifying. There have been so many different occupations affected by this pandemic, lawyers included. Before Governor Cooper announced the statewide stay-at-home order in North Carolina, lawyers from the North Carolina State Bar and NCBA asked Governor Cooper to consider legal services “essential.” When the Order was issued on March 27, legal services were considered essential. Even so, many lawyers find themselves working at home. If you are not used to working from home, finding motivation and willpower to get work done can be challenging. There are plenty of distractions: dogs, children, outdoor projects, spring cleaning, Tiger King . . . the list goes on.

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U.S. International Education Response and Resilience Webinar Series

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The U.S. Commercial Service Global Education Team is offering the “U.S. International Education Response and Resilience Webinar Series” to address the COVID-19 health crisis affecting the U.S. international education industry.

The first webinar will be held the afternoon of April 15 at 3 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. CDT; 1 p.m. MDT; 12 p.m. PDT). Participation is free of charge. The topics addressed in this webinar include:

  • U.S. Education Industry Support for International Educators in Response to COVID-19 — Joann Ng Hartmann, Senior Director, IEM-ISS Services, NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Admissions Schedule and Requirement Changes — Mallik Sundharam, Associate Vice President, International Enrollment Management, Northeastern University and Eileen Tyson, Executive Director, TOEFL & GRE Global Client Relations, ETS
  • U.S. Commercial Service Virtual Programs — Gabriela Zelaya, Global Education Team Leader, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Program for U.S. Education Sector
  • Feedback Session

Register for the webinar here: https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/event/editWebReg.do?SmartCode=0QHS

For questions, please contact Gabriela Zelaya at gabriela.zelaya@trade.gov.

*Future topics will become available in the coming weeks. Additional topic suggestions are welcome.

COVID-19 Relief Information for Small Businesses from U.S. Department of Commerce

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Notarization During the COVID-19 Crisis

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Laura Linfante

Pam Deeds Stewart

By Lori Linfante and Pam Deeds Stewart

The COVID-19 crisis has not affected the Notary law in North Carolina. However, the NC Secretary of State’s Office has issued guidance on how to comply with the in-person appearance requirements in this time of practicing social distancing. Some steps that can be taken to reduce exposure to the Notary and the principal (“signer”) are the same as the recommended COVID-19 precautions we should all be practicing such as not shaking hands, cleaning your hands often, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and keeping a 6-foot distance from others. Specific suggestions when notarizing documents are to not share pens (ask the signer to use their own pen), viewing the identification from the tabletop instead of touching the identification, and standing at the opposite ends of a long conference table. Some firms are offering curbside notary services or other outside options as ways to keep their employees and clients safe. These Notary challenges will be increased for parties that reach an agreement while they are participating in a mediation conducted via electronic means. It will be a process of getting the documents to each party at their location and then having them signed and notarized.

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Pro Bono Opportunity From Home

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By Sarah Schtakleff 

As we all search for ways to help others during this difficult time, consider volunteering your legal skills on NC Free Legal Answers. See more information below on this opportunity as well as other resources, some of which were included in your weekly e-bar email.

NC Free Legal Answers: Pro Bono From Home

The NC Bar Foundation’s web-based program NC Free Legal Answers facilitates remote pro bono legal services to North Carolinians. Help low-income individuals by answering their brief family, housing, employment and consumer law questions. A growing number of COVID-19-related questions are being posted, including questions about custody rights under stay-at-home orders and rights to recover pre-paid daycare payments due to closures. Attorney volunteers are needed and registration is easy. Contact NCBF Pro Bono Staff Attorney Jeanine Soufan if you have any questions.

As a reminder, the NCBA provides resources to support members in various ways:

  • COVID-19 Updates and Resources
  • BarCARES focuses on improving the mental health and overall quality of life for NCBA members, local bar groups, and law students, offering no-cost assistance in dealing with personal, family, financial, work, and career stressors. Visit BarCARES online or call 800-640-0735 to arrange a telehealth or telephone appointment.

Work in the Time of COVID-19: FAQs for Employers

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Kelsey Mayo

Kate Dewberry

Jennifer Parser

By Kelsey Mayo, Kate Dewberry, and Jennifer Parser

Employee Benefit Questions

If I furlough or layoff employees, can I continue some or all of their benefits during the leave?

There may be ways to continue some or all benefits during a furlough or layoff. Each plan is unique, however, and the exact terms must be reviewed. Many plans include a provision that employees be “employed” or “actively at work” and, therefore, employees may lose eligibility under the terms of the plan if they are not performing services. In addition, service requirements for eligibility (such as offering benefits only to employees working at least 30 hours per week) may cause an employee to lose eligibility during a temporary leave (but not in all circumstances). However, many plans include specific provisions extending eligibility during leaves of absence (including unpaid leaves) or following layoffs. Thus, each plan must be reviewed to make this determination.

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