SLD Inaugural Blog Post: Annual Meeting Nov. 8-10, Pro Bono Project Details and More

Senior Lawyers Division Chair Erwin Fuller Jr.

Dear Senior Lawyer Division Members:

Welcome to Fall 2018 and a new SLD program year.  I hope that you all had a pleasant summer and that many of you have a special summer 2018 event memory.  I’m in that group since I had a BIG birthday in July and my children and grandchildren arranged a birthday celebration weekend for the whole Fuller family at Fontana Lake in western North Carolina in early August where I got to ride on a tube pulled by a power boat (with me hanging on for dear life) together with my youngest grandchild (7½)!

Our hearts are heavy as we think about the citizens of our state living in eastern North Carolina (many of whom are SLD members) who have suffered devastating damage and loss from Hurricane Florence winds and rainfall, and I know that SLD members who were spared this tragedy will be reaching out with financial and other assistance for storm victims in the coming weeks and months.

I am excited to tell you about the SLD 2018 Fall Meeting which will take place in Salisbury during the weekend of Nov. 8-10.  We are planning an interesting event which will combine a three-hour CLE video replay component on Friday morning, Nov. 9, three interesting and enlightening speakers (non-CLE) on Saturday morning, Nov. 10, a fine group of dining experiences plus visits to local sites on Friday and Saturday, and a celebration dinner at the Salisbury Country Club on Friday evening, Nov. 9, following a reception at the home of Glenn and Susan Ketner which is within sight of the celebration dinner venue.  To top things off, you will have a trolley transport opportunity as we move from place to place during that meeting. Click here for more details.

You should have already received an email regarding the Friday morning CLE video replay program, and you will shortly be receiving an email invite for the social program for our Salisbury meeting.  I hope you will be on the lookout for this social program email invite and that you will send in your signup response right away so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Our SLD 2018 Fall Meeting host site in Salisbury will be the Courtyard by Marriott (120 Marriott Circle, Salisbury, NC 28144), which can be easily accessed from I-85, and we have been able to obtain a very favorable lodging rate.  Reservations can be made by contacting the Salisbury Courtyard facility directly at (704) 680-9201 and identifying yourself as a NCBA SLD member.  The favorable reservation rate deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 31, so don’t let this good opportunity slip away due to inaction or oversight.

We are all set to launch our fully approved SLD Pro Bono Project, and all SLD members should shortly be receiving an information email about this new initiative.  Briefly stated, SLD members will have an opportunity to become advisers and counsellors when requested for Legal Aid attorneys across most areas of the state.  This pro bono project will afford younger Legal Aid attorneys a chance to consult with more experienced SLD members who hopefully will be able to give advice and suggestions about how the Legal Aid attorney could best handle some issue or matter or challenge that he or she is facing.

Through this SLD pro bono project, we will be able to be a part of a win-win situation, and it seems to me to be a truly unique way to engage in giving back to the legal profession.  You alone can call the shots 100% in this pro bono venture, specifically as to your time commitment and your area of consultation, so please join me in becoming a SLD pro bono volunteer attorney soon.

Finally, in about a month North Carolina citizens will be going to the polls to elect local officials and North Carolina General Assembly members, but on Election Day this year there will be six proposed North Carolina constitutional amendments on the ballot to be decided.  Two of these proposed constitutional amendments (#5 and #6) are of special interest to attorneys, and one of them (#5) proposes a significant change in the way future judicial vacancies would be filled.

As attorneys, your friends and neighbors and other associates will almost certainly be looking to you for information and guidance about how they should vote regarding these proposed constitutional amendments.  While no SLD officer or group of SLD members can speak for the entire SLD membership on any political issue, it may be of interest to SLD members that at a recent SLD Council meeting, the dozen or so attorneys participating in that Council meeting were unanimous in their feelings as individual voters that proposed Amendments #5 and #6 were unwise ideas and that proposed Amendment #5 would pose a threat to judicial independence and thus both of them should be opposed and defeated.

I’ll be in touch again after our 2018 Fall Meeting with more information about upcoming SLD programs and happenings.  In the meantime, remember to vote on Nov. 6 (and consider voting NO on proposed Amendments #5 and #6) and please plan to join your SLD friends in Salisbury on Nov. 8-10 for a pleasant and enlightening weekend!

Sincerely yours,

Erwin Fuller Jr.

SLD Chair 2018-2019