A Recipe for a Tasty Thanksgiving

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By Leslie Pegram

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family, friends and friends that are more like family.  It’s a time to cook like a Food Network star, your favorite celebrity, blogger or Instagram star (or to just let someone else do all the cooking for you).  It’s a time to get up early and run in a Turkey Trot before donning your sweatpants to eat your heart out on turkey, ham, turduken, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or your favorite vegetarian or vegan dishes for lunch and then hop in the car to your next destination where you’ll dine on the same food a few hours later for dinner. it’s a time for unexpected trips to the ER for those brave enough to try deep frying a turkey. A time to watch football, the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade or prepare your Black Friday strategy. A time to volunteer giving to others in need or just need compassion and company.  Also, did I mention naps?  It’s also a time for naps, lots of food-coma inducing naps! Thanksgiving is also the unofficial start of potluck season!

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Volunteer Your Time Helping Young Students Realize Their Love of Reading

By Shawana W. Almendarez

The Paralegal Division Council Pro Bono Committee is happy to announce another opportunity for our division members to move with purpose in our community.  The NC Bar Foundation’s (“NCBF”) Lawyers for Literary Program needs reading mentors for the children of North Carolina.  NCBF has the following existing groups in school classrooms in several cities and areas  undertaking this work:  Brunswick County, Greensboro, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Goldsboro, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.

Through this program “legal professionals help to improve students’ reading skills and spark their interest in books, civic and history.”  We are looking for volunteers to commit to reading to a child in a classroom for 30 minutes once a week for 4 weeks starting January 2020 ending May 2020.  NCBF provides the books to be read.  If you are interested in volunteering, click the link below to get started:

https://www.ncbarfoundation.org/our-programs/lawyers-for-literacy/

If your county or city does not have a program listed, do not hesitate to contact Paul Vaughan, Program Coordinator at pvaughan@ncbar.org and become a program coordinator for your county.  Thank you for your support!

Announcing the 2019 IP Institute for Paralegals! Date: Nov. 14, 2019

By Jake Sullivan

Are you a “new” paralegal looking to learn more and meet others in the paralegal field? Does your work involve trademarks, copyright, or patents? Are you curious to learn more about intellectual property? If so, the 2019 NCBA IP Institute for Paralegals has something for everyone.

The 2019 Institute is being held on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at the NC Bar Center in Cary. Registration opens at 8:30 am and the program begins at 9:00 am. Lunch will be provided to all attendees and is included in the registration fee. The program will adjourn by 4:15 pm.

Attendees will have the option to attend breakout sessions that cover both basic and more advanced IP topics. In addition to providing information about what intellectual property is and includes in the context of the paralegal role, speakers will be sharing updates in the law and information on current intellectual property hot topics. There will also be an afternoon panel with in-house and law firm IP paralegals and attorneys to discuss the industry and what it’s like to be an IP paralegal.

Attendees will be eligible for 6.0 hours of Certified Paralegal Education (CPE), 5.0 hours of General CLE credit, and 1.0 hour of Ethics/Professional Responsibility CLE credit.

This year’s agenda promises to be very engaging and interesting. We hope you can join us!

For a full description of the event and registration, please visit: http://gateway.ncbar.org/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=145579

Jake Sullivan is an Intellectual Property Paralegal with Apex Tool Group, LLC and has worked in the private and public sectors as a paralegal since 2008 with a primary focus on trademarks, copyright(s), and most recently, patents. He is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill (BA 2005), the Meredith College Paralegal Program (2008), and the UNH School of Law (JD 2013). Email: jakersullivan@gmail.com

The Paralegal Certificate is Just the Start of Your Paralegal Training

By Ann Pearson

Indispensable paralegals know that their paralegal certificate is only the beginning of their paralegal training. If you’re like most, you probably spent a good sum of time and money to receive that paralegal certificate, so it’s not easy to immediately start thinking about more school or more courses.

If you’re already employed as a paralegal, it doesn’t take long to figure out that your paralegal certificate was just the start to your paralegal education.  That paralegal certificate was the base, or the foundation that you can build upon with additional training in your practice area.

Ask Any Experienced Paralegal:  How Well Did Your Paralegal Certificate Prepare You for that First Year?

Regardless of the practice area or experience level, all paralegals agree on one thing:  if you want a successful career, don’t ever stop looking for opportunities to attend paralegal training events (online or in person). Think about any skill or hobby that you are really good at – and you know – it takes more than an introductory video or course to get you to the point where you’re really good at it.

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Did You Know? Microsoft Stops Supporting Windows 7 in 2020 

By Keenan Harward

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7.  Microsoft only supports each version of Windows for so long. Windows 7 is currently in “extended support” until January 14, 2020. What does this mean for you?

When Microsoft stops supporting a version of Windows, Microsoft stops issuing security updates for that operating system. For example, even if substantial security holes are found, Windows Vista and Windows XP no longer receive security updates. The same will be the case for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Why be concerned?  If a huge security hole is found that affects Windows 7, Microsoft won’t issue a security update to repair it. You’re on your own.

What about Anti-virus tools and security software?  These tools are great when working hand in hand with Microsoft’s security updates, but these tools are never perfect on their own. Running software with the latest security updates is important, too. Antivirus software and even security programs will gradually drop support for Windows 7.

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Tech Tip: Save Hours Responding to Document Requests or Creating Exhibit Lists with This Simple Trick

By Alicia Mitchell-Mercer

The day I returned to the office from a 7-day vacation, there was a lot of work to catch up on. By 3:00 PM, I was feeling very accomplished. I had completed most urgent matters on my to-do list for that day. However, around 4:00 PM, an attorney walked into my office with an urgent assignment. The project was to take approximately 3,000 computer files (subfiles, zip files, all types of different file formats), give each file a description, and create an exhibit list for an upcoming arbitration. I was told our deadline was the next day at 5:00 PM. The documents had already been sent to printing.

There was a brief moment when I felt overwhelmed. I began calculating how long it would take to look at each of the 3000 files on the computer and create descriptions suitable for the exhibit list. If I did this manually, I would need to type 375 filenames per hour (or 6.25 file names per minute) to have it completed in 8 hours and that’s if I never took a break.

I could have panicked, but my mantra has always been to work smarter – not harder. With technology, there’s almost always a way to automate processes to make tedious projects less cumbersome. With a few mouse clicks here and there, I completed the project in a little over an hour and the final result was 82 pages of itemized exhibits, perfect to cut and paste into a formal exhibit list in time for tomorrow’s deadline with plenty of time to spare.

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Supreme Court Adopts Generous, Secured-Leave Policy To Assist Sleep-Deprived, New Parents

By Beth Scherer

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued its latest amendments to the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure. The amendments impact word-count limitation applicable to appellate briefs and parental leave.

Rule 3.1 Supreme Court Briefs are Subject to Rule 28(j)’s Word Count Limitation

Historically, word-count limitations have not applied to appellate briefs filed in either direct or secondary appeals to the Supreme Court.  In January 2019, the Supreme Court overhauled Appellate Rule 3.1 to reflect a shift of appellate jurisdiction over a subset of Rule 3.1 juvenile appeals from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court.  As noted here, I was surprised to learn during a March 2019 CLE that the Supreme Court was interpreting Appellate Rule 3.1(f) to implement a word-count limitation for Rule 3.1 briefs filed in the Supreme Court.  The September 2019 amendments now remove any doubt: Rule 3.1 briefs filed in either appellate court are subject to Appellate Rule 28(j)’s word-count limitation.

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The Paralegal Role in Disaster Legal Services

By Rachel Royal, NCCP

Looking Back
As we get settled into the new Bar year, the Paralegal Division is burrowing deep into project planning. One of those projects is its Pro Bono Committee’s endeavors to promote even more paralegal involvement in legal volunteering across the state. In the past year, the Paralegal Division has been very active in the pro bono world, including post-Florence Disaster Legal Services Hotlines, Disaster Recovery Centers, and FEMA Appeals Clinics. Additionally, we volunteered as notaries for clinics for Wills for Heroes, Driver’s License Restoration, and Durham Expunction and Restoration (D.E.A.R.). Some of our members served as Site Coordinators, Scoring Directors, and general volunteers for multiple High School Mock Trials, as well as the Middle School Mock Trials. Additionally, Immediate Past Chair, Leslie Pegram, initiated a Hurricane Florence Clothing Drive that has assisted multiple legal professionals and students who lost clothing in the hurricane. 

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The Chair’s Comments: New Year, Exciting Opportunities and Events Ahead

By Tina Dadio

It gives me great pleasure to serve as your 2019-2020 Paralegal Division Chair.   First, I want to say thank you for being a member of the Paralegal Division. I hope our exciting new member benefits will encourage you to get involved while having fun networking with your fellow members across the state. Over the next year, there are several goals I would like to accomplish.   Your membership provides you the opportunity for education through one of our CLE/CPE programs, networking at one of our social events, volunteering with one of our many pro bono programs , and that your experience encourages others to join our Division. Second, I hope our Division continues to see expansive growth and success, and that it will be an exciting year of opportunities and events for our members.

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Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act Changes the Adult Prosecution Age to 18

By Nathan Jarvis

Today in North Carolina, 16 and 17-year-olds are automatically prosecuted as an adult for criminal offenses. The Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act, which is effective on December 1, 2019, will change the adult prosecution age to 18 years old to align with the current policies of all other States in the United States. This means that 16 and 17-year-olds will start being prosecuted in juvenile court instead of in adult court and a youth’s split-second decision will not automatically lead to adult punishment.

Who is Not Included?

“Raise the Age” will not apply to motor vehicle offenses defined by the Motor Vehicle Act. Defense attorneys should be aware that offenses such as unauthorized use of a motor vehicle or breaking and entering a motor vehicle may trigger this exclusion. Also, some juveniles will be excluded from this Act, such as: (1) married or emancipated juveniles; (2) those that have been transferred and convicted in superior court; and (3) those that have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, including motor vehicle offenses, in district or superior court.

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