Interested In Assisting With CLE? Let Us Know By Friday

By Holland Ferguson

Dear Section Members,

I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer. As many of you may know, we are in the process of planning two CLEs for our section. Click here for information on the Nov. 30 CLE. Details regarding the other CLE are forthcoming.

In addition, the NCBA has asked if our Section would be interested in assisting in planning a CLE related to social security disability. This CLE is currently set for Jan. 18, 2019 at the Bar Center in Cary. It is not anticipated that this CLE will be an advanced course as it will likely explore new rules/updates, hearing protocol, and hopefully include an ALJ or a panel to answer questions and provide best practices for social security disability. There is some overlap in practice between workers’ compensation and social security disability, so we wanted to inquire and see if anyone in the section was interested in co-planning this social security disability CLE. If you are interested, please reach out to either myself or Kate M. Leahy, Continuing Legal Education Manager for the North Carolina Bar, by Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.


Holland B. Ferguson


Ctrl Alt Career: Reset Goals to Find Personal Success

By Joyce Brafford

The thought of chasing your dream can feel like an impossibility. With financial, professional and personal goals so closely tied to success as an attorney, there seems to be little opportunity to leave a traditional job in favor of something more fulfilling. But it can be done. In this article, three lawyers will reflect on how choosing a non-traditional path impacted their relationship to the profession, and their feelings about that decision.

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The Chair’s Comments: New Year, New Focus, New Blog

By C. Amanda Martin


Networking and education. If you’ve ever wondered why most people belong to the NCBA Litigation Section, it’s networking and education. Quite a few of you answered our recent survey – 164 of you, to be exact – and overwhelmingly that’s what you said. Over half said that you’d be most likely to attend a Section meeting if it had some kind of substantive program. About half of you said you would be most likely to attend a Section CLE if it were closely related to your field. (That answer sounds obvious, but it beat out CLEs that were inexpensive or in fun or close locations.) And asked what you most valued or would like to see in our Section, again and again you answered “CLE or other high quality education” and “networking opportunities.”

You’ve spoken, and we’ve listened. Your Section Council got together at the first of this month in a planning and brainstorming session to discuss how we can best serve you and give you what you want. Here is what we came up with.

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Tick-tock: February Means Attorneys Have 28 Days To Meet CLE Deadline


By Kim Wentworth

Ready or not, February is upon us.

As of Feb. 1, attorneys have 28 days to get their North Carolina State Bar Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) in for 2016.

As attorneys know, they must complete 12 hours of CLE credit each year. Two of these hours must be ethics/professional responsibility credit and at least once every three calendar years, each attorney must complete one hour of substance abuse/mental health credit.

We all know how busy things get for attorneys and how the year can easily slip away, then before you know it, the grace period is almost over and you still don’t have your CLE hours completed. For that reason, the NCBA CLE department makes sure that its February schedule is as jam-packed as possible in order to give everyone ample opportunity to get their hours completed. It is our mission to get everyone across that finish line.

Here are some numbers to highlight what February looks like at the Bar Center and around the state:

  • 16 live programs this month in three locations — Cary, Greensboro and Pinehurst;
  • 12 webcasts members can participate in from the comfort of their own home or office;
  • 66 video replays happening in 17 cities all across the state including Cary, Winston-Salem, Concord, Pinehurst, New Bern, Boone, Wilson, Wilmington, Asheville, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Hickory, Lumberton, Roanoke Rapids, Charlotte, Manteo and Shelby;
  • 40 phone/audio streaming options, five webinar options and over 800 on-demand programs to view from your computer or mobile device;
  • Two Marathon Days (Feb. 25 and 28) when you can earn up to 18 hours of MCLE credit including seven hours of ethics/professional responsibility and four hours of substance abuse/mental health hours.

By the time this month comes to an end, not only will we have all lawyers caught up on their MCLE credit hours, we will also be celebrating another successful February in the books.





The Practice Series – Question and Answer with a Family Lawyer

Jessica B. Heffner is a 2013 graduate of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University.  She practices with Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP in Raleigh, NC.

Q:  What kind of law do you practice?

A:  My practice includes all aspects of North Carolina family law including absolute divorce, child custody, child support, property division, spousal support, separation agreements, postmarital agreements, and premarital agreements.

Q:  What do you like best about your practice?

A:  I enjoy practicing family law because it allows me to work with individuals.  Family law requires a great deal of client contact—in person, over email, and/or over the phone.  It’s a practice area where you interact with clients every working day.  Also, every family law case is unique and challenging in its own way.  As members of a “learned profession” we are challenged to consistently study and expand our knowledge of complex and evolving issue—it keeps my day to day job very interesting and rewarding.

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CLE Deadline Season: Legal Professionals, Start Your Engines


Here we are two weeks before the North Carolina State Bar Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) grace period ends on Feb. 29, 2016. I have started to call it the “silly season.” NASCAR fans are familiar with that term. It’s when drivers, crew chiefs and car manufacturers change at the end of the season in a flurry of somewhat unsettling activity.  Similarly, the phone is ringing off the hook here in the CLE Department, and there is a definite air of desperation in the voices of most of the people calling in, some of whom need to get in all 12 hours of MCLE before the end of February.

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