Preparing for an In-House Position? Try Brown Bagging It!

By Andre Gibbs 

From time to time, I am asked by law firm colleagues how to prepare for the transition from outside counsel to in-house counsel. In many instances, these colleagues must transition from being an Intellectual Property (IP) specialist in a few areas of IP law to an IP generalist. For example, I notice that many of these colleagues have extensive experience working as a patent attorney performing specialized “prep and pros” work for submission to the USPTO, working closely with foreign counsel regarding related non-US “prep and pros” work, occasionally assisting with patent assertion and litigation matters, and even perhaps assisting with due diligence relating to a client M&A deal. At its core, this type of work relates to their specific, specialized expertise in patent law. In many cases, it is this same expertise that in-house counsel will most likely seek in a new hire (e.g., to assist with the management of a patent portfolio).

However, in many additional cases, an in-house IP attorney must also be a general IP attorney that wears many hats. They should be ready to advise on issues related to the licensing/monetization of IP, use of open source code, participation in Standards Setting Organizations, product naming, product packaging claims, copyright assertions, DMCA take down requests, Privacy issues (e.g., GDPR), IP indemnification and ownership clauses in commercial agreements, etc. These tasks are in addition to not only managing the patent portfolio, but also providing IP education sessions and performing invention harvest sessions with the organizations’ engineers or scientists. Rarely have I seen many outside IP attorneys that have had the opportunity to obtain such a broad array of IP legal experience before transitioning to in-house IP legal position.

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Nominations for 2020 Distinguished Paralegal Award are Now Open!

By Tina Dadio

The Paralegal Division of North Carolina Bar Association is currently seeking nominations for its 2020 Distinguished Paralegal Award. Please take this time to think about that colleague or professional contact who stands out in your mind as an exceptional paralegal both in the legal community and community in which the nominee lives. The nominee will be selected to receive the 2020 Distinguished Paralegal Award at the annual NCBA Paralegal Division meeting to be held on April 24, at the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Beach, NC. In addition, the Distinguished Paralegal will be acknowledged at the NCBA Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony taking place in Charlotte on June 25, 2020. This award recognizes the NCBA Paralegal Division member who exemplifies the best of our profession for their outstanding contributions both professionally and personally within the recipient’s community.

Please take a few moments to nominate a Paralegal Division member (or feel free to nominate yourself) and summarize the qualities and activities you believe qualify your nominee to receive this award.

Please click here to access the nomination application. Deadline for submissions of all nominations is Friday, April 10, 2020.

Russian Competition Regulators, Mount Up: Russian Authorities Crack Down on Anti-Competitive Agreements With Uptick in Criminal Liability for Antitrust Violations


This article has been republished with permission from K&L Gates.

Just one month into the new year, Russian courts have already handed down three new criminal judgments for violations of anti-competition laws, a stark contrast to previous years that often passed without a single conviction for cartel agreements. Over two decades after Russia introduced criminal liability for cartels, this increased activity could signal that the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (“FAS”) is finally beginning to focus on criminal sanctions for cartels—prosecutions that it has long shied away from. Russia’s expanded focus into the enforcement of criminal antitrust laws may be felt most heavily by the construction, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries, where procurement procedures and auctions are particularly vulnerable to cartel manipulation.[1] These actions could foreshadow an increased era of Russian enforcement or a backlash against foreign companies doing business in Russia.

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Beware of the Risks! No Ownership, No Lien

Republished with permission from Smith Anderson.

A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision reiterates the importance of knowing who you are dealing with when undertaking work or selling materials in connection with any construction or development project in our state. In a recent decision the Court of Appeals found that the design firm that performed design services for a prospective property purchaser could not properly assert a lien on the property, given the design services were never actually used to improve the property.  While this case involved a design firm, the lesson of this case extends to any party providing labor or materials on any type of construction or development project in the state. Read more here.

Written by:

Andrew Atkins
Peter Marino 
Patrick Wilson


Update on Jimmo v. Sebelius and Opportunities to Participate in Section

By John R. Potter 

This blog updating the status of the Jimmo v. Sebelius was drafted in December for publication in January but was preempted by the SECURE Act. The goal of these Elder Law blog posts is to raise awareness about significant issues elder law attorneys might want to consider or investigate further. We welcome suggestions for blog post topics; we also welcome blog post writers. As you will see from this blog and the SECURE Act blog, we are not looking for the great American novel, and we do not ask that posts rise to the level of law review-level research or commentary. If you have a suggested topic or would like to submit a blog post, please reach out to me at

Just a reminder that the Elder Law Symposium is in Charlotte at the end of this week. If you have an interest in participating in the Elder Law Section, whether the contribution is big or small, we would love to hear from you. Our Pro Bono Committee and CLE Committee in particular could use more hands, but Communications, Ethics, Legislative, and Membership would also welcome help. To find out more, please talk to a member of the Section Council or a Committee Chair at the Symposium or reach out to one of us afterward.

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February 2020 YLD E-Blast

By Rachel Matesic

February 20, 2020 | “From Attorney to Elected Official” Panel | Charlotte | 6:00 p.m.
February 26, 2020 | North Carolina Bar Exam | Raleigh | 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
February 28, 2020 | Legal Feeding Frenzy Kick-Off | Raleigh | 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
March 26, 2020 | Insurance Law Section and Constitutional Law Section Networking Event | Raleigh | 5:00 p.m.
March 28, 2020 | YLD Spring Quarterly Meeting | Cary | 9:00 a.m.



Bar Exam Committee: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! The February North Carolina Bar Exam for 2020 is quickly approaching and the NCBA YLD Bar Exam greets examinees on the second day as they finish the exam. The Committee provides snacks, a drink, and well wishes to those who finish the exam. You may remember when the Committee congratulated you on finishing!

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Get Ready To Frenzy!

By Michele Livingstone

Around 1 in 4 children are food insecure in North Carolina, and over 1.5 million people, from children to seniors, are food insecure. The NCBA YLD’s Legal Feeding Frenzy is an opportunity for the legal community to come together to fight hunger in your local communities. Running for the month of March, Legal Feeding Frenzy is a month-long food and funds drive competition to see who can raise the most food per employee to benefit local Feeding the Carolina food banks. Law firms, solo practitioners, law schools, and corporate counsel are all encouraged to participate. By donating to the food banks, your dollars go further. Every dollar helps provide five meals. ($1 = 5 meals). Get your team together today! Registration is now live here.

Want to volunteer?  Join us at our kickoff event on Feb. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the local food bank in Raleigh (Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, 1924 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC, 27604) to help kick off the competition. One hundred (100) pounds of food will be awarded as a bonus to each team that has an attendee at the Kickoff Event on Feb. 28. Please contact Erin Ball at to reserve space for you and your firm.

Interested in volunteering, but not in Raleigh? If your firm is interested in coordinating a volunteer event, we can help with that, too. Two hundred (200) pounds of food will be awarded as a bonus to each team that arranges an event for their firm at their local food bank during the month of March. Contact Erin Ball at for assistance in planning and to receive credit for your participation.

After March 1, visit NC Legal Feeding Frenzy to donate and keep an eye on your competition.

CFIUS Finalizes Rules Reforming Foreign Investment Reviews


This article has been republished with permission from King & Spalding.

Focus on Technology, Infrastructure, Data and Real Estate

On February 13, 2020, two Final Rules issued by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’ (“CFIUS”) implementing most of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (“FIRRMA”) became effective. CFIUS, an interagency committee, reviews foreign investments in U.S. businesses and real estate and determines whether transactions should be unwound, blocked, or restricted due to national security concerns. FIRRMA is the first major expansion to CFIUS’ powers in a decade.

One Rule expands CFIUS’ jurisdiction to review certain non-controlling foreign investments in U.S. businesses involving critical technology, critical infrastructure, and sensitive personal data (“TID businesses”) (“U.S. Business Rule”). The other Rule expands CFIUS’ jurisdiction to review certain foreign investments in U.S. real estate (“Real Estate Rule”).

The Rules create narrow exceptions for certain Australian, Canadian, and UK investors. They indicate that CFIUS anticipates future rulemakings to create CFIUS filing fees and to increase CFIUS enforcement.

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2019 Legislative Summary – A Resource for Education Attorneys

By Brian Gwyn

The Legislative Analysis Division of the General Assembly has now published its annual Summaries of Substantive Ratified Legislation for 2019. This publication includes:

by subject area, summaries for the final edition of all substantive legislation of general applicability and certain local legislation having general import. The summaries are prepared by the nonpartisan legislative staff and do not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.

The summaries include session laws as well as ratified legislation. Chaptered session laws (i.e. SL 2019-51) have the force of law, but if the bill was only ratified, that means it passed both chambers of the General Assembly but did not receive approval of the Governor (and the Governor’s veto was not overridden).

Summaries can be viewed individually or together by subject area.

A link to the summaries specifically related to education may be found here.

Weekly Roundup: Interesting Reads for GPS Members

Don’t Forget the States.” By Kathryn Watts, Feb. 5, 2020, Administrative Law Jotwell. From the Article: “Largely missing from this scholarly discourse, however, has been a focus on the important role that the states can and have played in both furthering—and counteracting—presidential administration. In her forthcoming article titled Administrative States: Beyond Presidential Administration, Professor Jessica Bulman-Pozen seeks to remedy this scholarly void. Specifically, Professor Bulman-Pozen seeks to bring the states into the modern day account of presidential administration.”

Planning Boards Inclusion Report.” By Allen Buansi, UNC Center for Civil Rights. From the Report: “There are 100 counties in North Carolina, and 92 of those counties have planning boards. The Center was able to interview with staff from 85 of the 92 counties. This report focused on the following three aspects of county planning boards: (1) powers and duties, (2) member selection procedures; and (3) racial, ethnic and gender representation.”

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