Paralegals Beware: Wire Instruction Fraud Plagues N.C. Lawyers

Stell,CamilleBy Camille Stell

In recent weeks, Lawyers Mutual has received multiple reports of North Carolina attorneys who were targeted by scammers attempting to divert seller closing proceeds following real estate transactions.  Unfortunately, several of these attacks were successful and hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen and are very unlikely to be recovered.

Often, paralegals are on the front line of client communications and details surrounding loan closings. I’ve asked our claims attorney, Troy Crawford, to talk with me about what went wrong and how to prevent it.

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Upcoming Opportunity For CPE and Notary Update

We are happy to share some exciting news about the upcoming “Practical Skills for the Small Office and General Practice Paralegal” seminar scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.  Ozie Stallworth, Notary Enforcement and eNotarization Director with the North Carolina Department of Secretary of State will be presenting a notary session titled, “What’s New in the Notary Profession,” wherein he will provide important regulatory updates as well as educate paralegals on new notary laws.  This is a great way to refresh those notary skills and to ensure notarial requirements are being met.  In addition, we have new and improved sessions dedicated to the most popular topics.  This is a great way to get your CLE credit while brushing up on all of the “fundamentals” of general practice work.  Come early to check in and enjoy a continental breakfast before the day begins.  See you there!

Register here to join:

Video replays will be available if you are unable to attend.


Cary, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, NC Bar Center, #577BAR

Gastonia, Wednesday, January 25, 2017, Gastonia Conference Center, #577GAS

Wilmington, Friday, January 13, 2017, Ward and Smith, P.A., #577WLM

Winston-Salem, Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Wake Forest Biotech Place, #577WIN

The Chair’s Comments: New Year, Exciting New Changes Ahead

phelpsannetteBy Annette Phelps

Welcome everyone to your new Paralegal Division blog! I am Annette Phelps, your new division chair, and I look forward to serving our division over the next year.  At the Paralegal Division Council’s annual retreat in July, the council decided to join other NCBA divisions and sections and move to a blog format. While we will certainly miss the nostalgic sense of reading Paralegal Perspectives, our quarterly newsletter, we hope this switch will more quickly deliver content, including more in-depth articles and a wider range of topics of interest. Your feedback is important as we transition to this new format so please feel free to email me directly at with your comments and/or concerns about our new blog.

We hope this year will be an exciting time for the division. Our annual meeting is moving to Pinehurst for the next couple of years. Our CPE Committee is working hard to provide a quality program with a wider range of topics that will hopefully reach a wider group of members. Again, your feedback is crucial to the CPE program we offer by way of web casts, live programs, and the annual meeting.

Pro bono opportunities are a big focus this year. In the upcoming months our division will be assisting intakes for the Veterans Pro Bono Network as well as screening and interviewing veterans. We will post more information on available opportunities in our Pro Bono Spotlight.

As a member of the Paralegal Division you have a voice in our division, and I always welcome a chance to hear from you as to what needs you feel are being met or not being met as a member. If you want to become more involved with the division, there are a number of committees you may serve on. You can view these committees through this link:

I look forward to serving this division over the next year and I am extremely excited over the projects and plans for the upcoming year!