Volume 35 No. 4
From the President by Robert P. Johnston
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 www.meckbar.org 1
Interested in joining the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee or planning a seminar? Contact CLE Committee Co-Chairs John Reis
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and Heather Culp (email@example.com) or CLE Coordinator Lisa Armanini (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can bring CLE video replays to your firm by contacting Lisa or CLE Assistant Sally Kenney (email@example.com).
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.
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.
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.
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 www.meckbar.org. 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.
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 www.meckbar.org October 2008
for 2009 Community Schools Project
Program Thanks You
BY JAMES L. KISER, BLI CHAIR
“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: www.meckbar.org 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.meckbar.org. the Federal Emergency Management Agency email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.meckbar.org 3
BY CHARLES KELLER, JR., MA,
COMMUNITY ACCESS AND OUTREACH ADMINISTRATOR
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 www.nccourts.org. 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 www.icandocs.org/nc. 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 www.lmlnc.com I email@example.com access I-CAN!
4 www.meckbar.org 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
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
Small Business Bankruptcies:
The Dream Is Dead
dependent on the housing and building industry are guarantee that some small businesses will fail even in
BY HEATHER CULP AND RICK MITCHELL
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
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 www.meckbar.org 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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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,
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 CBenson@iusinc.com
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 www.meckbar.org 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
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008
2008 MCB Holiday Party Registration Form
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
(email@example.com or 704/375-8624, ext. 114).
has been offered by
the Mecklenburg County Bar
is one of the most visible programs
the Bar offers to the public.
handles on average 500 calls
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 www.meckbar.org 7
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
www.carolinalegal.com • email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.meckbar.org