Clerk of Court John Connell Retires From Court of Appeals

By Russell Rawlings

John Connell just knew he had blown the interview. He was suffering from a cold, on medication, and unusually anxious.

“I felt I rushed it.”

That was nearly 30 years ago when he interviewed for the position of assistant clerk of court at the N.C. Court of Appeals. Not only did he get the job, but seven years later when the clerk’s position became open, he landed that job too.

The affable Connell retired Nov. 1, leaving behind a legacy of service and leadership that will permeate the Court of Appeals for years to come. Always quick with a smile and a self-effacing comeback, he covers his emotions well until the conversation turns to his co-workers.

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NCBA Member Seth Blum on Being an Actor and an Attorney

Photo by Yorgason Photography

Members in focus: Seth A. Blum
Duke University School of Law
Founding Partner of Kurtz & Blum, Raleigh

By Amber Nimocks

For Seth Blum, the works of William Shakespeare offer not just philosophical inspiration but also a means of self-expression, an opportunity for family bonding and a chance to enhance some of the skills he uses in the practice of law. Blum, a founding partner of Kurtz & Blum, is also an actor who frequently brings the Bard’s works to life on the local stage.

He said he doesn’t remember a moment when he decided to pursue involvement in theater, but that he has been acting for as long as he could talk.

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Tennis Lessons: WFU Prof’s Life A Study In Sportsmanship, Tenacity And The Law

By Russell Rawlings 

Professor Muriel Beth Hopkins of Wake Forest University currently serves as chair of the Constitution and Rules Committee of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), a role she never could have envisioned growing up in Petersburg, Va.

“In the town I grew up in there were no public tennis courts available for African-Americans,” said Hopkins. “We would have been arrested had we attempted to play on public tennis courts in the 1960s.”

So much has changed since then, and Hopkins was done more than simply witness it. She’s been a part of it.

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