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Lunch with Lawyer Program


									                                                                                                                                             October 2008

                                                                                                           Volume 35 No. 4

     From the President                                                                                                          by Robert P. Johnston
                         Talking About
                         My Generation                 Parker Poe Receives Charlotte Chamber’s Diversity Award
                                As one of hundreds          Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP was                       Professional Development and Diversity,
                           of bar presidents from      recently presented the Charlotte Chamber of                 •   the presentation of the Johnson C. Smith
                           around the country, I       Commerce’s first Innovation in Diversity Award. The             University Annual Scholarship,
                           attended the American       award is given to the company that “best exemplifies
                                                                                                                   •   a program called Law Firm Life: An Overview
                           Bar Association (ABA)       new and inspiring initiatives aimed at retaining,
                                                                                                                       for Minority Law Students, and
                           meeting in New York last    mentoring, and developing minority and women
                                                       employees.”                                                 •   participation and leadership in the Mecklenburg
                           month. Our opening
 John Lassiter,                                             In presenting the award, a Chamber representative          County Bar (MCB) Charlotte Legal Diversity
                           session speaker was
 MCB President                                         noted many of Parker Poe’s specific diversity                   Clerkship Program.
                           Michael Rogers, the
 futurist in residence with The New York Times,        initiatives, including                                           Parker Poe currently has more than 250 lawyers
 who challenged each of us to think about the          • the recent appointment of a Director of                   in offices across North and South Carolina.
 rapid changes in technology, the connected
 nature of the future, and the different ways we
 deal with the changes based upon our                  Chambers Receives Luminary-Lifetime Achievement Award
 generational experiences.                                  Julius Chambers was recently honored by being          recipient of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation’s
      Much like the radio experiences recited by                                 presented The Charlotte Post      Ayscue Professionalism Award and the first MCB
 my parents, I remember seeing the internet for                                  Foundation’s Luminary-            Diversity Champion Award (now named in his honor),
 the first time in a hotel conference room in                                    Lifetime Achievement Award.       Chambers was graduated summa cum laude from
 1995. The dial-up image that flickered in and                                         Chambers’ U.S. Supreme      North Carolina Central University, where he earned a
 out is in stark contrast to the broadband speed                                 Court victory in Swann v.         bachelor’s degree in history. He received his master’s
 that is the only reference point for many new                                   Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of    degree in history from the University of Michigan and
 lawyers joining our Bar this fall. Rogers noted                                 Education led to federally        his law degree from the University of North Carolina
 that with the demise of the analog signal this                                  mandated busing to help           School of Law, where he became the first African-
 winter, the transformation of the TV age to a                                   integrate public schools across   American editor-in chief of the Law Review. He was
 digital world is virtually complete. WiMax is         Post Foundation          the country.                       graduated first in his class and later completed his
                                                       award recipient                He currently practices law   Master of Laws at Columbia University. In the 1980s
 replacing WiFi, new phones will be able to            Chambers
 project a functional screen and keyboard on your                               at the firm he founded,            Chambers served as director-counsel for the Legal
 desk, and increasing numbers of professionals will    Ferguson, Stein, Chambers, Gresham & Sumter, P.A.,          Defense Fund. From 1993 to 2001 he was chancellor
 operate in virtual workplaces, seldom traveling to    the first integrated law practice in North Carolina. A      of North Carolina Central University.
 offices or conference rooms outside their homes.
 An ABA survey earlier this year illustrates the
 speed of change. In 2006, only 46% of law firms
                                                       Judge Trosch Elected to NCJFCJ Board
                                                            District Court Judge Lou Trosch has been               children and families in his
 provided smartphones like BlackBerrys to their
                                                       elected to the Board of Trustees of the National            community. His work through
 attorneys, but that number has grown to 76% in
                                                       Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges                 NCJFCJ has furthered this
 2008 and to 97% of lawyers in firms larger than
                                                       (NCJFCJ).                                                   cause on a national level by
 100 lawyers. Only 54% of attorneys could access
                                                            Appointed to the bench in 1999, Trosch presides        helping the organization
 their e-mail on the go two years ago, while 75%
                                                       in Juvenile Court, Family Court, and Criminal               continue its efforts to improve
 do so today. Our connected lives include the
                                                       Court. Prior to serving on the bench, he practiced          outcomes at a national level
 accepted use of text messaging as a business tool
                                                       with the firm of Conrad Trosch & Kemmy, P.A., at            by helping the organization
 and a growing access to instant message services
                                                       the Children’s Law Center, and as an Assistant              continue its efforts to improve NCJFCJ board
 that have an uninterrupted style as well as
                                                       Public Defender in Cumberland County.                       outcomes for at-risk children member Trosch
 unique conventions and terms of response.
                                                            NCJFCJ’s president commented, “Judge Trosch’s          and families.”
      Now for the interesting data points: this year
                                                       efforts both on and off the bench have benefited
 Millenials (persons between the ages of 10 and
 30) have passed Baby Boomers (persons born
 between 1946 and 1964) as the largest segment
 in the population. It should be no surprise that      Lunch with a Lawyer Program
 the two demographics see the world from                                                                           lunch and providing the student with a window into
                                                                    BY JUDGE     ALBERT DIAZ
 different experiences and with different                                                                          the legal profession as well as a positive role model.
 expectations. Boomers are children of television,           On August 12, 2008, the Mecklenburg County            The program culminates at the end of the school year
 while Millenials grew up with the internet,           Bar (MCB) Special Committee on Diversity kicked             with the student “shadowing” the mentor for a day.
 which helps explain why 72% of attorneys under        off its third annual Lunch with a Lawyer program.                Over 150 students, parents, mentors, and school
 age 40 use smartphones/BlackBerrys compared to        Through a partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg            administrators attended this year’s kickoff luncheon
 only 50% of attorneys over 60 use the same tool.      Schools (CMS), lawyers serve as mentors to rising           at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. District Court Judge
                                                       eighth graders throughout the school year, meeting          Rickye McKoy-Mitchell served as our energetic
 Nearly 80% of high school students have
                                                       with a student at school at least once a month for                                                continued on page 6
 published content on the web through social
 network sites like Facebook and My Space              Students, parents, mentors, and school administrators enjoyed the speakers at the kickoff luncheon
 though only 15% of attorneys have taken that
 step. The interconnected expectation of this new
 generation depends on creating and maintaining
 meaningful relationships online. In fact, Rogers
                                 continued on page 6

October 2008                                                                                                                                    1
                                                                                  CLE Planning
       Interested in joining the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee or planning a seminar? Contact CLE Committee Co-Chairs John Reis
                ( and Heather Culp ( or CLE Coordinator Lisa Armanini (

                                                                                  Video Replays
                   You can bring CLE video replays to your firm by contacting Lisa or CLE Assistant Sally Kenney (
                           Just guarantee that at least three attorneys will view the course and give Lisa or Sally 30-days notice.
                                        Video replay hours do not count towards to the four-hour online allotment.

                                                                                 Live Programs
    Family Law and Service Members                                Residential and Commercial Landlord-                           All Star Trial Advocacy 2009
    MCB Family Law Section and CLE Luncheon                       Tenant Law 2008                                                CLE Credit: 6.5 total, including 1.0 Ethics
    CLE Credit: 1.0 General                                       Practical & Ethical Concerns                                   Date:         Friday, January 30, 2009
    Date:       Tuesday, November 11, 2008                        CLE Credit: 4.0 total (3.0 General and
                                                                                                                                 Time:         Registration 8:45 a.m.
                                                                              1.0 Ethics)
    Time:       Registration & Lunch 12:15 p.m.                                                                                                Program 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
                                                                  Date:       Wednesday, November 19, 2008
                Program 12:45–1:45 p.m.                                                                                          Location:     TBA
                                                                  Time:       Registration 8:30 a.m.
    Location:   MCB Center, 438 Queens Rd.                                                                                       Fees:         $275 attorney rate;
                                                                              Program 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
    Fees:       $10 lunch only MCB FLS                                                                                                         $135 paralegal rate
                member; $50 lunch and CLE                         Location:   MCB Center, 438 Queens Rd.
                                                                                                                                 Annual Review 2009
                credit MCB FLS member                             Fees:       $175 attorney rate;
                                                                              $110 pro bono attorney rate;                       CLE Credit: 12.0 total (8.0 General,
    What It Means to Be a Lawyer: Jack                                                                                                       3.0 Ethics, and 1.0 Mental
                                                                              $90 paralegal rate
    Swerling’s Ethics Address to the Silent                                                                                                  Health/Substance Abuse)
    Partners                                                      8th Banking and Finance Forum                                  Dates:      Friday, February 6, 2009, and
    CLE Credit: 1.0 Ethics                                        CLE Credit: 6.0 General                                                    Saturday, February 7, 2009
    Date:       Wednesday, November 12, 2008                      Date:       Friday, November 21, 2008                          Time:       Registration 8:30 a.m. Friday
    Time:       Registration & Lunch 12:00 p.m.                   Time:       Registration 8:30 a.m.                                         and 7:45 a.m. Saturday
                Program 1:00–2:00 p.m.                                        Program 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.                                    Program 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
    Location:   Charlotte School of Law,                          Location:   International Trade Center,                                    Friday and 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
                2145 Suttle Avenue                                            200 N College St.,                                             Saturday
    Fees:       $30 Silent Partner rate;                                      Palmetto Ballroom                                  Location:   TBA
                $60 non–MCB Silent Partner rate                   Fees:       $275 attorney rate;                                Fees:       $545 for attorneys;
                                                                              $135 paralegal rate                                            $275 for paralegals
    E-Discovery and Ethics
    CLE Credit: 3.0 total, including 1.0 Ethics                   Conflicts and Their Resolution                                 ReelTime CLE: Ethical Dilemmas Their
    Date:       Thursday, November 13, 2008                       CLE Credit: 1.0 Ethics                                         Impact on Attorney Mental Health
                                                                  Date:       Wednesday, December 3, 2008                        CLE Credit: 1.0 Ethics and 1.0 Mental
    Time:       Registration 8:30 a.m.
                                                                                                                                             Health/Substance Abuse
                Program 9:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.                      Time:       Registration 12:00 p.m.
                                                                                                                                 Date:       Friday, February 13, 2009
    Location:   MCB Center, 438 Queens Rd.                                    Program 12:30–1:30 p.m.
                                                                                                                                 Time:       Registration 12:30 p.m.
    Fees:       $150 attorney rate;                               Location:   MCB Center, 438 Queens Rd.
                                                                                                                                             Program 1:00–3:00 p.m.
                $75 paralegal rate                                Fees:       $75 attorney rate;
                                                                              $35 paralegal rate                                 Location:   MCB Center, 438 Queens Rd.
    Discovering New Ways to Represent
                                                                                                                                 Fees:       $120 attorney rate;
    Your Clients More Effectively:                                Lawyer Anxiety and Personality
                                                                                                                                             $55 paralegal rate
    Therapeutic Jurisprudence                                     Disorders 2008
    CLE Credit: 3.0 Ethics, including 1.0 Mental                  CLE Credit: 1.0 Mental Health/
                Health/Substance Abuse                                        Substance Abuse
    Date:       Friday, November 14, 2008                         Date:       Friday, December 12, 2008
    Time:       Registration 8:30 a.m.                            Time:       Registration 12:00 p.m.
                Program 9:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.                                  Program 12:30–1:30 p.m.
    Location:   Charlotte School of Law,                          Location:   Crowne Plaza,
                2145 Suttle Avenue                                            201 S. McDowell St.
    Fees:       $150 attorney rate;                               Fees:       $75 attorney rate;
                $75 paralegal rate                                            $35 paralegal rate

                                                                           Online CLE Programs
       Online CLE Program at On demand, available 24 hours. NC State Bar allows up to 4 hours of online courses annually—
                           video and live programs do not count towards that total. Customer service line 800/590-6867.
                                     MCB endorses only Education Over the Net as our online hosting service.

                                                                                  EDITORIAL POLICY

    The Mecklenburg Bar News accepts editorial and advertising material of general legal interest to the practicing Bar of the 26th Judicial District. The implicit purposes of the
    newsletter, website, and related methods of communication are to educate members of the Mecklenburg County Bar and to create and maintain shared communication with its
    members. The Communications Committee reserves the right to accept, reject, or edit all material.

    DISCLAIMER Efforts will be made to provide information of interest that is timely, accurate, and relevant to the legal community. The Mecklenburg County Bar is not
    responsible for misprints, typographical errors, or misinformation in The Mecklenburg Bar News. The views and opinions are not necessarily those of the 26th Judicial District Bar.

    Communications Committee: Tricia Derr, Chair, Judge Bob Johnston, Mike Daisley, Alan Edmonds, Will Esser, Jon Goldberg, Allison Karp, Charles Keller, John
    Lassiter, Yvonne Levine, Phillip Lewis, Valerie Munei, Nancy Roberson, Michael Shor, Russ Traw

2                                                                                                                                          October 2008
BLI Taking
for 2009                                                 Community Schools Project
Program                                                  Thanks You
      “The BLI brought out my commitment to
make a difference—not only in the MCB, but
in Charlotte. It also showed me how to tap
into my personal strengths and use those to
make a difference in my career, in the Bar,
and in my community. The strengths I
discovered through my participation in BLI
still enhance my practice today, and it has
been 5 years since I graduated.”
                        —Kobi Kennedy Brinson,
                        Senior Vice President and
             Assistant General Counsel, Wachovia
                   Corporation Legal Department.
           Founding Chair of the MCB Community
        Outreach Committee. BLI Graduate 2003.

     “I was at a point in my career where I was
becoming tired of the treadmill. BLI allowed
me to reconnect with fellow Bar members. It              An Ashley Park student enjoys          Just some of the school supplies you donated in August
increased my satisfaction with the practice of           his brand-new backpack
law by helping me to focus not only on my                     Thanks to all who responded to our request for       thankful because I like to draw. It’s the best thing to
personal law practice, but on the profession             school supplies in August! We received more than we       do. I also like markers the most because it makes real
of law and my place within the profession.               could count, and a little internal firm competition       cool pictures. I like the glue sticks because you can
BLI motivated me to use my talents to serve              (appreciation to McGuireWoods) ensured that there         make projects with paper.”
the larger community in a more meaningful                will even be a few supplies ready to go for the next           And Jahmir, a fourth grader from Ashley Park
way. It was a life-changing experience.”                 school year. Special thanks to Dewey Leboeuf, Legal       wrote, “I like the markers and color pencil. I will use
                              —Pat Kelly, Partner,       Aid of North Carolina, and Legal Services of              it to draw cars.”
                       Johnston, Allison and Hord.       Southern Piedmont, who teamed up as well as to                 If you missed the school supplies campaign and
         Former MCB Continuing Legal Education           Shantrell Williams who brought backpacks and              would still like to help one of our partner schools
                     Committee Chair and current         Christopher and Heather Culp.                             Ashley Park Elementary, Community Charter, or
         MCB President-Elect. BLI Graduate 2003.              In response, several grateful students from our      Devonshire Elementary, please go to
     The Bar Leadership Institute (BLI) is a five-       partner schools sent us handwritten thank-you notes: and click on School Supplies and
month program designed to teach leadership skills to          Shaimel Williams from Ashley Park Elementary         Volunteers Needed under Announcements or e-mail
members of the Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB)              wrote, “I appreciate you giving us school supplies. I’m   Jon Adams at
and to provide them with information about
leadership and service opportunities in the Bar and in
the larger Mecklenburg community. The Institute
begins with a weekend retreat in January where              YLS Update
participants examine and discuss fundamental issues                                                                addition to a continuing legal education
                                                                    BY ANNE RANDALL, CHAIR,
about their personal and professional priorities and                                                               program that will be offered by the MCB later
                                                                     YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION
goals. The retreat is followed by six evening                                                                      this year. The Bar is also compiling important
discussion sessions featuring leaders in the legal and      Help After a Hurricane                                 telephone numbers and other information to be
civic community. BLI tuition is $1,600, of which                 This fall has been a very active hurricane        placed on its website.
$160 must be paid by the participant. The remaining         season, and, thankfully, North Carolina thus far            If you would like to volunteer to be an on-
fee may be paid by the participant or by his or her         has been spared a direct hit by a major storm          call attorney in the event of a natural disaster in
employer. Financial assistance is available. We             (knock on wood). However, if North Carolina            North Carolina, please call or e-mail Anne
encourage all interested persons to apply. You may          is hit by a hurricane or other natural disaster,       Randall at 704/444-1419 or
download applications now at               the Federal Emergency Management Agency      
Application deadline is November 17, 2008. For              (FEMA) and the American Bar Association’s
more information, please contact BLI Chair Jamie            Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) have a
Kiser at 704/551-1519.                                                                                             Thanksgiving Sponsorships
                                                            formal agreement in place to coordinate the
                                                            legal community’s response. In the event of a
                                                                                                                        YLS begins its holiday community service
                                                            natural disaster, the ABA YLD will lead efforts
                                                                                                                   initiatives with a partnership with the
                                                            to manage and provide volunteer legal service
          Office Space                                      in the weeks and months following the disaster.
                                                                                                                   Department of Social Services (DSS) to sponsor
                                                                                                                   families in Mecklenburg County who are in
                                                            The ABA YLD will coordinate with area
           Available                                        providers of legal services, like Legal Aid of
                                                                                                                   need through the Thanksgiving Sponsorship
                                                                                                                   Program. DSS matches each sponsor with a
                                                            North Carolina and the Mecklenburg County
          1100 sq ft. across from                                                                                  local family in need, and the sponsor delivers to
                                                            Bar (MCB) Lawyer Referral Service, in addition
             Central Piedmont,                                                                                     the family the ingredients necessary for a
                                                            to individual volunteers, to provide help to
                                                                                                                   Thanksgiving meal. If you—or groups from your
    two blocks from Presbyterian Main,                      North Carolinians after a natural disaster.
                                                                                                                   firm/company—are interested in helping a
      three blocks from Metropolitan,                            The MCB Young Lawyers Section (YLS) is
                                                                                                                   family at Thanksgiving, please contact Tara
                                                            seeking volunteers to be on call in the event of
            1500 E. 4th Street,                                                                                    Harris at or
                                                            a natural disaster in North Carolina. The ABA
           available August 1st.                                                                                   704/338-9200. The deadline to sign up is
                                                            YLD has prepared extensive training materials
      Paul L. Whitfield 704/372-8322.                                                                              November 10.
                                                            that will be made available to the volunteers in

October 2008                                                                                                                                    3
Court Communiqués

                       Criminal Caseflow Management Plan
                       Undergoes Major Revision
                             As one might imagine,          record of the defendant, and to inform counsel of the     occur outside the presence of a judge and, instead,
scheduling, and processing large numbers of criminal        sentence to be imposed should the defendant plead         before the Trial Court Administrator (TCA) or
cases in Mecklenburg County’s Superior Court are            guilty. It is generally agreed among court officials      his/her designee. The TCA or his/her designee will
not simple tasks. Events must be scheduled well in          that, as time has passed, the efficiency and              preside over this event and carry the necessary and
advance, participants must make preparations for            effectiveness of this plan have sharply declined.         appropriate derivative authority conveyed by the
each appearance, and multiple parties have to                    As a result, the Criminal Case Management            Senior Resident Superior Court Judge and District
converge at the appointed place and time for a              Plan is being revised in an effort to improve the way     Attorney through this Order. In short, the TCA
scheduled event to take place as planned. In                criminal cases are processed. The new plan has much       designee has the authority to conduct hearings, make
addition, court time and other resources will allow for     in common with the Civil Rules for the 26th Judicial      administrative rulings, set schedules, and refer
less than five percent of felony cases to actually be       District in that it incorporates the same fundamental     noncompliance matters to the Criminal Supervising
tried before a jury. As a result, a large number of cases   principles and best practices advocated in the field of   Judge. New calendaring rules have now been
must be resolved in some manner short of trial.             caseflow management. The District Attorney                developed and will soon be published on the
      The Criminal Caseflow Management Plan,                developed this plan in consultation with the Senior       Mecklenburg County local rules section of
modeled after the system in place in Fayetteville was       Resident Superior Court Judge and after opportunity These rules have been developed
instituted in Mecklenburg County in 1998 in an              for comment by the Public Defender and members of         through the cooperation of a number of agencies in
effort to provide a logical framework and consistent        the local Bar.                                            the criminal justice system. They are designed to
approach to the processing of criminal cases in both             Responsibility for the management of the new         establish a procedure for the orderly progression of
administrative and trial courts. The plan included an       plan will take place within the Trial Court               cases through the use of clearly defined tasks to be
“administrative court” system for arraignments, which       Administrator’s Office. Mecklenburg County has            completed at each stage.
has been in place for over 25 years. At times, this         agreed to fund a new administrative position to                Hopefully, the changes and dedicated attention
court has been very productive, resolving a high            provide oversight of the plan. The Criminal Caseflow      to the criminal docket by this new division will
percentage of cases at an early stage of the process.       Management Administrator will be heading a new            progressively result in a significant reduction in the
The use of a separate courtroom for arraignment             division with a staff of four. Two of the positions are   number and age of cases pending within the 26th
certainly contributed to the ability to focus on cases      newly created and the other two (Eva House and            Judicial District. Property crimes will be the first set
well before they appeared on a trial calendar. The          Jennifer Ammons) will be transferring from other          of cases to be handled under the new system
prosecutor and the defense counsel have relied on           divisions to this new area. In short, this new division   implemented in October 2008. Drug cases and
plea agreements to try to resolve cases at this stage of    will take on the responsibility for managing the          persons’ cases will be incorporated into the mix
the process. Periodically, judges have held plea            criminal docket in Superior Court. One of the major       shortly thereafter. Office space for this new division
conferences in which they meet with both sides in           changes will be that one administrative event under       will be on the eighth floor of the Mecklenburg
order to hear the facts of the case, to learn of any        the new rules known as a Scheduling Conference will       County Courthouse.

                       I-CAN! Makes Filing Family Matters
                       Easier for Pro Se Litigants
                           Justice Initiatives, Inc. in     public via the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.    advice. It simply educates them on the procedural
partnership with the Family Court Division of the                I-CAN! is an interactive web-based legal             steps involved in pursuing their matter and gives
Trial Court Administrator’s Office recently                 services system designed to provide convenient and        them the tools to do such. I-CAN! is simple to use
introduced an exciting new service available for the        effective access to court forms for lower-income          and is designed for individuals with little or no
general public who cannot afford to hire an attorney        litigants who represent themselves in court. In short,    knowledge of computers.
or choose to represent themselves in legal domestic         I-CAN! asks questions associated with each element             The initial release of I-CAN! will allow litigants
matters. Through the generous support of the North          of the form, captures the answers provided by the         to complete the forms necessary to file for absolute
Carolina Bar Foundation, Mecklenburg Bar                    litigant, and inserts them into the proper fields on      divorce and/or file for a name change. Still in
Foundation, and Mecklenburg County Government,              the court form ensuring complete and properly             development, but soon to be released, are interactive
court forms previously only available in hard copy          formatted pleadings. It also provides step-by-step        forms to file for child custody, child support,
through the SelfServe Center are being converted to         instructions in text and video format. It does not in     domestic violence, and small claims matters.
electronic interactive forms and made available to the      any way tell them what to say or give them legal               The cost to use this service is a modest $20.00,
                                                                                                                      which is used to cover administrative costs and
                                                                                                                      reinvested into the development of future forms
                                                                                                                      and/or services in the SelfServe Center and Court
                 The higher you climb, the farther you could fall.                                                    offices. A debit card, credit card, or e-check is
                                                                                                                      required to use I-CAN! After users pay the one-
       As your practice achieves greater success, the                                                                 time fee, they can print their documents and save
       potential consequences of an error increase.                                                                   them in the event they have to update their
                                                                                                                      information or need to reprint documents. All of
       Lawyers Mutual provides risk management
                                                                                                                      the modules have been translated into Spanish.
       education, personal counsel and claims repair
                                                                                                                      However, any forms must be submitted to the Court
       services to protect you as you move upward.                                                                    in English. When non-English information is
                                                                                                                      entered onto an I-CAN! document, that
       With 30 years of experience, we know how                                                                       information is left blank on the form, but it is
       challenging the climb can be. Let us make                                                                      printed on a separate page so it can be translated
       sure that success stays firmly in your grasp.                                                                  and written onto the form later.
                                                                                                                           Users can logon to from
                                                                                                                      any computer with internet access. If the litigants do
                                                                                                                      not have access to a computer, the SelfServe Center
                                                                                                                      in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, Room
                                                                                                                      3350, has public computers that can be used to
    919.677.8900 or 800.662.8843         I   Fax: 919.677.9641   I     I              access I-CAN!

4                                                                                                                              October 2008
MCB Softball Leagues Wind Up 2008 Season
RBH and Parker Poe Star in
“Same Time Next Year”
               BY   ALAN EDMONDS
     In a story that is getting old to avid Mecklenburg
County Bar (MCB) softball fans, Robinson,
Bradshaw & Hinson (RBH) and Parker Poe Adams
& Bernstein met for the long-delayed championship
on September 2. The game was won by RBH 5–4 in
the bottom of the seventh on a “walk off” single. The
victory avenged Parker Poe’s victory in the 2007
championship game.
     A total of 12 Lawyers League teams played on
Tuesday and Wednesday nights. RBH dominated
their night, going undefeated. Parker Poe won the
“regular season” for the other night. Antitrust
attorneys with Moore & Van Allen and Hunton &
Williams vow litigation to break up the monopoly
(okay, maybe oligopoly) if continued practice and           Lawyers League Champions RBH
bribing of the umpires prove ineffective next year.                                                                     Cloud, Navarro & Williams
     Mecklenburg County attorneys challenged the                                                                        Bests DAs
elements to help the region overcome the persistent         overcome the tragic loss of key banger/clanger Gene              It seems that the MCB Co-Ed League ignored
drought. The twice-weekly concentrating of many             Frankel. Perennial near-contender Pain & Suffering          the dynastic battles of the big law firms during their
aluminum bats and unidentified small aluminum               marked its 20th year of frustration, earning the            June to August season. Diverse players from
cylinders in one place attracted lightning and              nickname, “The Cubs of Veteran’s Park.”                     Andresen & Arronte; Cadwalader, Wickersham &
frequent thunderstorms. The many rainouts over the               Despite the many forfeits, errors, and base-           Taft; the Charlotte School of Law; Cloud, Navarro
season resulted in the Tuesday night league playing         running mistakes, fun was had by nearly all as the          and Williams; the District Attorney’ Office; Katten
many more games than the water-treading                     league motto, “We’re not laughing at you, we’re             Muchin Rosenman; Parker Poe; Tippens & Zurosky;
Wednesday night league. Several Wednesday teams             laughing with you!”, was repeated often. All firms,         and the United States Attorney’s Office enjoyed
are contemplating requesting a rebate on their league       limited liability corporations, associations, and sole      games on Monday nights.
dues or perhaps a variance from the region’s water          practitioners are encouraged, yes, even implored, to             In nail-biting, down-to-the-last-inning playoff
restrictions.                                               join together to take on the behemoths of RBH and           games, Cloud, Navarro & Williams defeated Parker
     A surprising contender in the regular season was       Parker Poe to stop their dynasties and prevent              Poe in the semifinals. They then went on to defeat
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice playing with                potential Justice Department action under the               the DAs 12–11 with a home run in the bottom of
many “walk-ons” on the wrong night under the                Sherman Antitrust Act.                                      the seventh to win the championship.
moniker “Moore & Van Allen,” all of which created                Once again, hearty congratulations to                       The Co-Ed League would like to thank umpire
havoc for opposing teams and potential clients.             Commissioner Bryan Stone for organizing and riding          Joe Keeney for another great year as well as Carrie
Moore Cowbell had strong year while still trying to         herd on the league.                                         Mansfield for her help as First Commissioner of the
                                                                                                                        Co-Ed League.

Small Business Bankruptcies:
The Dream Is Dead
                                                            dependent on the housing and building industry are          guarantee that some small businesses will fail even in
                                                            suffering: realtors, mortgage brokers, landscapers,         the boom times.
     Sitting across the conference room table, the          advertisers and marketers, insurance agents placing               Regardless of the reasons why a small business
owner of a small business tells you why his business is     building-related policies, even dry cleaners who no         fails, we have always seen and will continue to see
so wonderful. At the same time, he tells you about          longer service the folks that used to dress up for their    that most of our small business clients are at one of
the serious financial trouble that his company is           housing-related profession. Interestingly, many well-       two extremes. The first extreme is the owner who has
having. While listening to this fellow, you realize that    heeled members of our community invested in real            not made a decent living in years, if ever, and yet is
dreams die hard and that his dream is dying. You            estate development projects that never materialized,        highly resistant to closing the business down and
listen to the usual litany as to why the financial          only to be left owning empty lots that are not worth        working for someone else. Yes, anyone can be her
problems exist: lack of capital, the drought, the           near what they owe on them.                                 own boss, but can she be a good boss? The opposite
subprime meltdown, layoffs, computer failures,                   On the other hand, however, some small                 extreme is the owner who is so beaten down by years
gasoline costs, cutthroat competition, rising               business owners will always find themselves in certain      of debt and struggle that she will do anything and
commodity prices, discounters, and on and on.               kinds of trouble, regardless of the state of the local or   everything to stop the cycle. It is the rare small
However, experience has taught you that there are           national economy. One can never underestimate the           business owner who seeks financial or legal advice
three reasons for business failures: management,            ability of people to mismanage a business.                  before the situation reaches one of these two crises.
management, and management. You sit across the              Unfortunately, all too often, we see business owners        In other words, the more things change, the more
table from the reason that the business is in trouble.      who have liquidated 401(k)s, IRAs, and other tax-           they stay the same.
Nevertheless, you cannot help but feel sorry for the        exempt retirement funds and dumped the proceeds
guy whose dream has turned into a nightmare.                into their business. The business is gone and so is
     On the one hand, recent economic troubles
have changed the types of small businesses that are
                                                            their future retirement planning. Many times they do
                                                            have something left: the withholding and sales tax
                                                                                                                            Position Available
failing and the reasons for their failure. In particular,   that they did not pay in an attempt to continue their              Paralegal/legal secretary needed
the crippled building industry has caused us to see         business operations. The tax man is the easiest person
                                                                                                                              for law firm located near Uptown.
two to three developers and builders a week, on             to borrow from and the hardest to pay back. While
average, for several months now. These are smaller
                                                                                                                                Experience in personal injury.
                                                            most debts are dischargeable in a bankruptcy case,
businesses, which for years have built between 10 and                                                                                      Free parking.
                                                            withholding and sales taxes are not. Often, the
20 houses a year and have until a year or two ago                                                                                 Hours 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
                                                            business owner has foolishly had children, parents,
made a good living doing this. The authors have                                                                              Duties include maintaining personal
                                                            and others near and dear personally guarantee the
learned that many of these owners had all of their                                                                           injury files, litigation files, dictation.
                                                            debts of a small business. There will always be
wealth tied up in real estate, with no diversification      entrepreneurs who have great ideas but no business
                                                                                                                                     Contact Andrew Fink
among other assets. Land rich, cash poor—it doesn’t         sense, and there will always be entrepreneurs who                           at 704/714-6500.
pay the bills. Likewise, other small business owners        never met a detail that they liked. These issues

5                                                                                                                                October 2008
 Diversity—Strengthening the Legal Profession                                                   continued from cover       Lunch with a Lawyer Program
                                                                                                                                                        continued from page 1
program, conducting firmwide diversity training, and         attorney participation in sensitivity and diversity
continuing to place a high value on the development          training. Signatories hope that together they can
and retention of all of its lawyers.                         achieve appreciable change in the demographic
      While there is no “one                                                              make-up of the Charlotte-
size fits all” diversity                     Signatories to the                           Mecklenburg legal
strategy, diversity must be                MCB’s Call to Action                           community.
viewed as a core value.                   as of September 2008                                 Peter Covington, Co-
Firms and legal                                   Alston & Bird LLP                       Chair of the MCB Special
departments need to craft                          Bank of America                        Committee on Diversity
diversity plans and                                                                       and Vice Chair of
                                           Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
strategies that are tailored                                                              McGuireWoods, has
to fit with their cultures                    Compass Group USA, Inc.                     indicated that continued
and goals. In addition, firms                        Dechert LLP                          implementation of the
and departments need to                        Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP                        Diversity Initiative will
identify specific goals and                                                               have the highest priority
                                              Duke Energy Corporation
put in place systems to                                                                   for the Committee in the
measure accountability and                       Goodrich Corporation                     years to come. “In order to
progress in their diversity        Hamilton Moon Stephens Steele & Martin, PLLC           achieve significant change
programs. Only with these                                                                 in the diversity of our legal   Keynote speaker Blake
                                    Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, L.L.P.
important tools in place                                                                  community, law firms and        emcee. MCB President John Lassiter gave welcoming
will law firms and legal                          Hunton & Williams                       legal departments need to       remarks, as did MCB Diversity Committee Co-Chair
departments begin to find                   James, McElroy & Diehl, P.A.                  commit to practices             Valecia McDowell, CMS Associate Superintendent
that they can recruit and                            K & L Gates                          fostering inclusive cultures    Ann Clark, and CMS Director of Global Studies and
retain a diverse group of                                                                 and practices,” said            World Languages Kelly Price.
                                                King & Spalding LLP
lawyers and create a culture                                                              Covington. “We hope                  Our colleague Aretha Blake, an attorney with
where all of the lawyers feel                  Littler Mendelson, P.C.                    additional law firms and        Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP and a
valued and included.                           Lowe’s Companies, Inc.                     legal departments will          Mecklenburg Bar Foundation board member, inspired
How Your Bar                                      Mayer Brown LLP                         commit to the Call to           the students as our guest speaker. Aretha spoke of her
Provides Support                                                                          Action and join the             personal journey as a lawyer, from a childhood
                                                 McGuireWoods, LLP
      Beyond individual                                                                   Diversity Initiative.”          steeped in the Gullah tradition and culture of her
                                              Moore & Van Allen PLLC                           In June 2008, the          native Charleston, South Carolina, to her academic
diversity strategies, another
important avenue for law              Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP             MCB, with the help of the       achievements at Florida State University (where she
firms and legal departments                                                               Special Committee on            graduated Phi Beta Kappa) and the University of
                                         Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
to promote and support                                                                    Diversity, recruited a full-    Georgia School of Law (where she was member of
                                         Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.                time Diversity
diversity is to build                                                                                                     the Law Review), and culminating with her being
partnerships among                      Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP                 Coordinator, Stephanie          honored this year by the North Carolina Bar
Charlotte’s legal                                    TIAA-CREF                            Marella. Stephanie’s role is    Association as one of only 11 Citizen Lawyers for her
community in a collective                                                                 multifaceted, but her           contributions outside her law practice.
                                                Wachovia Corporation
commitment to diversifying                                                                support to the Diversity             We have received overwhelmingly positive
                                       Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC              Initiative is critical to       feedback from lawyers and students who have
our local Bar. For the past
several years the MCB has                                                                 assisting the progress of       participated in this program in the past, many of
increased its role in providing substantial support for      the Signatories. Stephanie and the members of the            whom have formed relationships that will endure for
such partnerships and practices committed to                 Special Committee on Diversity will work with all of         years to come. If you are interested in making a
diversity.                                                   the Signatories to reach the goals that the Diversity        difference in the life of a young person, please give
      This year the MCB will continue to recruit law         Initiative has set.                                          some thought to volunteering for next year’s Lunch
firms and legal departments to join its Diversity                 Recognizing that supporting diversity is not            with a Lawyer program. For more information, please
Initiative. The Initiative, started in 2004 by the Law       limited to private practice, the MCB also takes              contact Stephanie Marella at
Firm and Legal Department Subcommittee of the                significant steps to support lawyers within the public
Special Committee on Diversity, asks Charlotte-              sector and community organizations. Bar and Bar
                                                             Foundation programs such as the Bar Leadership
Mecklenburg law firms and legal departments to work
together in making our legal community more                  Institute, Silent Partners Program, Charlotte Legal                    Advocate
diverse. The program allows interested managing              Diversity Clerkship, and McMillan Fellowships aim
partners and general counsels to voluntarily commit
as Signatories to the Diversity Initiative’s Call to
                                                             to cultivate and educate future leaders among the
                                                             MCB membership. These programs provide                                  Litigate
Action, an outlined set of objectives and goals to           development opportunities for attorneys of varying                            Coming Soon!
which each Signatory devotes time and resources.             ethnic backgrounds as well as attorneys who serve a
Signatories will collectively and independently              highly diversified client population. The MCB
achieve these objectives by establishing effective           understands the need to provide varied resources to
                                                             its membership to better assist in the development of
                                                                                                                                    Office Space
mentoring and leadership training programs;
promoting, fostering, and enhancing diversity efforts        diversity strategies within the legal community, and                    Available
among their managing structures; and encouraging             ultimately provide stronger, higher-quality support to
                                                             the clients our legal community serves.                          Class A office space at SouthPark,
                                                                                                                                       newly renovated.
 From the President                                                                            continued from page 1           Ground floor: Colony on Fairview
                                                                                                                                  across from Phillips Place.
noted that Millenials want to complete all                   information, and virtual relationships are second
                                                                                                                               970 sq. ft, reception, conference
applications, submissions, and problem solving               nature. Our Bar has similar challenges to respond to
                                                                                                                             room, executive office, second office,
through a computer interface rather than face-to-face        the needs of cross-generational members, many of
                                                                                                                                 work area, private bathroom,
resolution or through a toll-free number that have           whom are challenged with the rapid changes in
been the expected tools of previous generations.             technology. Communication tools, delivery of
                                                                                                                                     ample free parking.
     The implications are important for our profession       services, like continuing legal education programs,                   Condo dues, electricity,
and our Bar. New lawyers, support staff, and younger         and access to critical information needed in the day-                   and water included.
clients will be looking to interact and connect              to-day practice of law must respond to our unique                        $1625 per month.
differently than the way most of our firms and               perspectives, the varied expectations of each member,              Contact
practices organized themselves over the past 20 or 30        and perhaps an eye to the future.                                      or call 704/367-1970.
years. Instant communication, remote access to

October 2008                                                                                                                                           6
Upcoming Gatherings for Bar Members
A New Luncheon Series Begins
        BY DOUG JARRELL, CO-CHAIR                         Luncheon Series Schedule for 2008–09
      As our ranks continue to grow, it becomes an             Date                         Speaker                                 Registration Deadline
increasing challenge for the members of our Bar to
                                                               November 13, 2008            Rodney Monroe,                          November 7, 2008
maintain the relationships and strong collegiality we
                                                                                            Charlotte-Mecklenburg Chief of Police
historically have enjoyed. To help address this, the
Luncheon Series Committee has been formed and is               January 8, 2009              TBA                                     January 2, 2009
already hard at work to organize a regular monthly             February 12, 2009            TBA                                     February 6, 2009
lunch meeting at which lawyers can gather to eat,
socialize, and hear some brief remarks from a speaker.         March 12, 2009               TBA                                     March 6, 2009
Modeled after a highly successful program in Wake              April 9, 2009                TBA                                     April 3, 2009
County, these luncheons will take place on the second
                                                               June 11, 2009                TBA                                     June 5, 2009
Thursday of every month at First Presbyterian Church
from 12:15–1:15 p.m. The cost will be $10 per person.
      While the primary focus will be on providing an                   MCB Luncheon Series Registration Form
opportunity for members of the Bar to spend some                                               (Cost is $10 per person)
time together, the Committee is lining up a diverse
and interesting group of speakers to address a variety     Name ___________________________________________________________________________________
of topics, both legal and non-legal. The speaker at our
first luncheon on October 9 was Wachovia’s new             Firm name _______________________________________________________________________________
General Counsel Jane Sherburne, who also served as
Special Counsel to President Bill Clinton. Charlotte-      Address__________________________________________________________________________________
Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe has
agreed to speak to us in November. The Committee           E-mail ___________________________________________________________________________________
also welcomes your suggestions for speakers and
programs to offer in the future.                           Phone _____________________________________ Fax__________________________________________
      Please make a point of reserving your lunchtimes
on the following dates for these luncheons and watch       I   I’m enclosing a check payable to Mecklenburg County Bar TOTALING: _____________
for upcoming announcements with more details. We                                For the 11/13/08 luncheon, please mail your registration
think everyone will enjoy these luncheons and that
                                                                               form and check before 11/7/08 to MCB Luncheon Series,
they will make Charlotte an even better place to
                                                                                    438 Queens Road, Charlotte, North Carolina 28207
practice law.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008
                                                                      2008 MCB Holiday Party Registration Form
Celebrate the
Season!                                                    Name ___________________________________________________________________________________

                                                           Firm name _______________________________________________________________________________
       We’re planning a holiday party
         Please say you will be here                       Address__________________________________________________________________________________
         Let’s celebrate the season
     With good friends and good cheer!                     E-mail ___________________________________________________________________________________

                   Wednesday, December 10, 2008,           Phone _____________________________________ Fax__________________________________________
                   at Byron’s South End from
                     7:00–10:00 p.m.                       I   I’m enclosing a check payable to Mecklenburg County Bar TOTALING: _____________
                       Cost is $20 (includes two                                                (Cost is $20 per person)
                        drink tickets and heavy                          Please mail your registration form and check by 12/5/2008 to
                            appetizers)                               MCB Holiday Party, 438 Queens Road, Charlotte, North Carolina 28207
                           Deadline to register is
                          December 3, 2008. For
                       more information, please
                   contact Leah Reed
( or 704/375-8624, ext. 114).

                  That LRS...
             has been offered by

        the Mecklenburg County Bar
                  since 1955.

   is one of the most visible programs
         the Bar offers to the public.

       handles on average 500 calls
                  per month.
    attorneys earned over $250,000.00

           ?in fees last fiscal year.
      Interested? Call Sally Larsen at
          704/375-8624, ext. 115, to
      find out more about joining the
           Lawyer Referral Service.

October 2008                                                                                                                       7
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                October 2008
                              of the Legal Market.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Volume 35 No. 4
                                Access to Talent.
     With practice and recruitment experience in every major market in North and South Carolina, CAROLINA LEGAL
     STAFFING, the trusted leader in legal employment services, provides full service permanent and temporary
                                                                                                                                                                        Diversity—Strengthening the Legal
     placement for attorneys, paralegals and legal support personnel.                                                                                                   Profession
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             accountable for doing the same. “TIAA-CREF views diversity
                                                                                                                                                                         BY   KRISTI WALTERS AND STEPHANIE A. MARELLA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             as an essential component of effective legal practice and
                                          Charlotte • Raleigh • Columbia • Greenville                                                                                        How can the legal profession be strengthened? One clear         modern business. We require retained law firms to report
                          201 South College Street • Suite 1690 • Charlotte, NC 28244 • 704/343-4822                                                                    way is by enhancing diversity. As the Mecklenburg County Bar         monthly on the diversity of attorneys who work on TIAA-
                                                                                                                                                                        (MCB) Special Committee on Diversity recognizes in its               CREF matters,” said Renee Alexander-Sherrod, Vice President
                              • email:                                                                            Statement of Purpose, “the legal profession can more effectively     of Diversity and Community Relations. “We also have joined
                                                                                                                                                                        address societal and individual needs with varied perspectives,      with law departments at other leading financial companies to
 In This Issue                                                                                                                                                          experience, knowledge, and understanding by people involved
                                                                                                                                                                        in the practice of law.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             host conferences that focus on helping minority and women
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             attorneys develop networks they need to succeed throughout
  Diversity–Strengthening the Legal Profession ......cover                           YLS Update ................................................................... 3   What Law Firms and Legal Departments                                 their careers.”
  From the President .........................................................1      New Criminal Caseflow Management Plan .................4                           Can Do                                                                    Finally, pursuing diversity within our firms and within the
                                                                                                                                                                             A sincere focus on diversifying our law firms and legal         legal profession is simply the right thing to do. It is clear that
  Lawyers in the News .................................................... 1         I-CAN! for Pro Se Litigants...........................................4
                                                                                                                                                                        departments is essential for a number of reasons. First, diversity   good intentions alone will not help law firms achieve the
  2008–09 Lunch with a Lawyer Program .......................1                       MCB Softball Champions .............................................5                                                                                   results they and their clients desire when it comes to diversity.
                                                                                                                                                                        leads to better problem solving and decision making. People of
  CLE Courses ...................................................................2   Small Business Bankruptcies..........................................5             different backgrounds bring different perspectives and ideas to      Instead, it is necessary to move from abstract discussions to
  2009 BLI Program ..........................................................3       Upcoming Events ...........................................................7       problems and arrive at better, more creative decisions. Bill         putting into place practical strategies and initiatives. Achieving
                                                                                                                                                                        Farthing, the Managing Partner at Parker Poe Adams &                 sustainable results on diversity and creating an inclusive
  Community Schools Project Thanks You.....................3
                                                                                                                                                                        Bernstein LLP, recognizes, “If we pursue diversity, it makes us      environment in the law firm setting takes a focused,
                                                                                                                                                                        better... I’m talking about finding people to work in this law       demonstrated commitment from firm leadership, consistent
                                                                                                                                                                        firm who don’t look like me and who are different in their           oversight, and a meaningful allocation of time and resources.
MECKLENBURG COUNTY BAR                                                                                                                                PRSRT STD         background, in their gender, and in the talents and experience            This demonstrated commitment to diversity is a familiar
438 Queens Road                                                                                                                                      U.S. POSTAGE       that they bring to this law firm. That can make us better. It can    practice to the leadership at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson,
Charlotte, NC 28207                                                                                                                                        PAID         make us stronger.”                                                   P.A. (RBH). “Our belief is that inclusion—giving everyone a
                                                                                                                                                   CHARLOTTE, NC             Second, clients want their law firms’ demographics to           sense of belonging and valuing differing contributions from
                                                                                                                                                   PERMIT NO. 3337                                                                           different people—is an element of a successful organization as
                                                                                                                                                                        reflect their own. Corporate legal departments within the
                                                                                                                                                                        Charlotte-Mecklenburg region continue to demand their hired          well as a source of personal satisfaction and enjoyment for
                                                                                                                                                                        outside counsel share a focus and commitment to diversity.           everyone,” said Robert Griffin, RBH Managing Partner. “It
                                                                                                                                                                        This includes not only recruiting diverse lawyers, but helping       would be nice if that sort of environment just happened, and
                                                                                                                                                                        them grow, develop, and assume positions of leadership within        happened for lawyers from all backgrounds, but it’s something
                                                                                                                                                                        the corporation. TIAA-CREF, for example, has been                    that takes work to create and maintain.” Griffin went on to
                                                                                                                                                                        instrumental in enhancing and promoting diversity efforts            state that RBH’s recent efforts include revamping its mentoring
                                                                                                                                                                        throughout its legal department and holds outside counsel                                                          continued on page 6
                                                           DATED MATERIAL                                                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                        October 2008

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