Volume 32 No. 8
Ferguson & Sumter
BY JOHN LASSITER
Often the most impressive achievements of extraordinary
people require years of hard work and little, if any, notoriety.
In a special ceremony at the Levine Museum of the New
South on January 9, 2006, two members of our Bar were
recognized for two decades of such service by the South
In This Issue African Ambassador to the United States, Barbara Maskela.
Beginning in the summer of 1986, Mecklenburg County
Ferguson & Sumter Internationally Call for VLP Pro Bono Award Nominees...................5 Bar members James Ferguson II and Geraldine Sumter, along
Acclaimed.................................................................cover Lawyer Referral Service Panel Members.....................6 with Ken Broun, former dean of the law school at the
From the Leary Bar Association Co-Presidents..........1 Holiday Giving Tree 2005 a Success! ..........................6 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, began a James Ferguson II Geraldine Sumter
Lawyers in the News.......................................................1 YLS Needs Volunteers for project to help South Africa’s victims of apartheid. They volunteer lawyers had limited knowledge and expertise.
CLE Courses....................................................................2 Moot Court & Ask A Lawyer Day..............................6 traveled regularly to the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Many of the lawyers they trained were arrested on the way
Defending the Future .....................................................3 MCB Board Nominating Committee..........................7 Town in order to train black lawyers in the courtroom skills to class, and most witnessed gross exhibits of arbitrary
State of the Judiciary Meeting Scheduled...................4 Bar Staff Update..............................................................7 needed to challenge and successfully change the oppressive judicial actions and unfair treatment in the courts. Broun
4th Street Parking Deck Opens....................................4 McMillan Fellowship Applications..............................7 and discriminatory system. Their Trial Advocacy Project has captured many of the early experiences in his book,
Legal Aid of North Carolina.........................................5 Blast from the Past Winner ...........................................7 took place under the auspices of the South Africa’s Black Black Lawyers, White Courts, The Soul of South African Law.
Access to Justice Campaign ..........................................5 Lawyers Association. Alumni of the project include Chief Through personal interviews and the narratives of 27 of
Justice Ismail Mahomed and current President Mbeki’s top these brave lawyers, the book chronicles the challenges and
legal advisor. Ferguson and Sumter are members of Ferguson, risks of social and legal reform. Nelson Mandela described
MECKLENBURG COUNTY BAR PRSRT STD Stein, Chambers, Gresham and Sumter, PA, with practices the Trial Advocacy Project: “They know the role law can
438 Queens Road U.S. POSTAGE
Charlotte, NC 28207
focusing on civil litigation and civil rights. play to accomplish wrong, as under apartheid, and they
Ferguson noted that the lawyers they met in the early know what good it can accomplish in a free society. These
years of the program had come face to face with the criminal men and women are the heroes of yesterday and the hope of
PERMIT NO. 3337
justice system and “virtually all of them had been political tomorrow—I salute them.”
prisoners of one kind or another.” Most of the participants Sumter noted the changes that took place in the
had been taught in inferior educational environments to program over the past 20 years. Originally a three-day
their Afrikaner counterparts, but despite the risk to their program, the course now is a full week with a combination
personal safety, they were committed to a program that of lecture, videotaped critiques, and trial practice. The
promised to improve their courtroom skills and the impact original mock trials were all held before white judges, but
of their advocacy. today most of the judges are black, many of whom
Broun, now the Henry Brandeis Professor of Law at the completed the program years before. The project has
University of North Carolina, recalls developing the course expanded to the neighboring countries of Botswana,
materials for use in a legal system based on common law and Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia, and Zaire. Lawyers who once
the civil law of the Dutch-Roman system; one in which the continued on page 2
February 2006 www.meckbar.org
ENBURG COUNTY B February 2006
E S T 1 9 12
Volume 32 No. 8
From the by Robert P. Johnston
John S. Leary Bar
Association Christy Mann Newest Judge
Co-Presidents Christy Mann is Mississippi in 1985 and practiced law in
Mecklenburg County’s Batesville, MS, for 18 months. Mann’s duties in a
newest district court judge. small, general practice firm included serving as
She was sworn in the city prosecutor on Tuesday mornings.
December 23, 2005, and The lights of a bigger city beckoned, and
will serve the unexpired Mann picked Charlotte sight unseen and moved
term of Libby Kelligrew, here, obtaining employment with Tucker, Hicks,
who left the bench to work Moon, Hodge & Cranford. She worked closely
District Court with the Community of with Fred Hicks and did primarily domestic
Judge Christy Advocates, a child advocacy work. In 1995 she and Terri Young left their old
Mann program affiliated with the firm and started a new one, where Mann
Council for Children. remained until becoming a judge.
Leary Bar Co-Presidents
Aretha V. Blake, Baker & Blake LLP and A native of Mississippi, Mann received her Mann, who had an active domestic practice,
Trevor M. Fuller, Fuller & Barnes, LLP Bachelors of Science in Physical Science from the anticipates holding mainly domestic court, at
University of Southern Mississippi. She obtained least initially.
her Juris Doctor from the University of
With great humility and honor, we take
on the co-presidency of the John S. Leary Bar
Association for 2006. We are grateful to those Bennett Appointed to Wildlife Resources Commission
who have placed the stewardship of this Charles (Chuck) Bennett was recently chair of the Cold Water Fisheries Committee. He
august organization in our hands. Particularly, appointed to his fourth, two-year term on the has also been appointed as the Wildlife
we hail the sage and steady leadership of our Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC). The Commission’s representative to the North
predecessors, Corie Pauling and Eric WRC consists of wildlife and fisheries biologist, Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund
Montgomery, who so ably and tirelessly wildlife enforcement officers, educators, and as the Commission’s representative to the
worked to maintain and advance the cause of engineers, and administrative staff in nine National Heritage Trust Fund.
African American lawyers in Mecklenburg districts across North Carolina. A graduate of University of North Carolina
County. With the support of our members, we An avid hunter and fisherman, Bennett (UNC) Asheville and UNC School of Law,
intend to carry on that tradition. estimates he spends about six days a month on Bennett practices with Weaver, Bennett &
As we begin this year, we realize how Commission work. He is chair of the Habitat, Bland, PA, in Matthews.
quickly 2005 seems to have hurtled by. Last Non-Game Endangered Species Committee and
year, the Leary Bar engaged in an intensive
self-examination relating to its mission and Joan Waldron First CSL Law Student
purpose and the needs of our membership. Joan Waldron, a paralegal in public finance the application for CSL was
This self-examination proved to be at Parker Poe, is the first student admitted by the made public, I applied. I was
immensely meaningful and revealing. As a Charlotte School of Law (CSL). Having recently soon admitted and received a
result, we spent a great deal of time in 2005 completed UNC Charlotte’s seven-year-degree scholarship,” Waldron said.
putting in place the changes that came out of program, the mother of two grown children had Florida Coastal and CSL are
our retreat, including revisions to our bylaws long intended to go to law school. She had been part of the InfiLaw
and amendments to our constitution. admitted to Florida Coastal School of Law when Consortium of Law Schools.
In 2006, one of our goals is to nurture the she heard that Charlotte School of Law would be Waldron will be a full-
relationship between the Leary Bar and the opening. “The dean of Florida Coastal was the time student when law school Joan Waldron
Mecklenburg County Bar. By engaging our acting dean of CSL. We talked, and the first day begins in August.
local Bar on issues of concern to our
members, we believe that all lawyers will Judy Thompson Elected Network Chair of IWIRC Chapter
benefit. In addition, we look forward to the
Judy Thompson has As Network Chair, Thompson will lead a
support of the Bar as we make preparations
been elected Network Chair group of more that 60 professional women in
for an event this year to award scholarships to
of the Carolinas Chapter of law, accounting, lending, turnaround manage-
deserving high school and college students
International Women’s ment, and other disciplines that work with
who see for themselves the possibility of a life
Insolvency & Restructuring troubled companies and their creditors
in the law.
Confederation (IWIRC), throughout the Carolinas.
The second mission of the Leary Bar in
effective January 1. IWIRC Thompson, a partner of Poyner & Spruill
2006 is to continue to serve the Charlotte-
is an international LLP and a former president of the Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg community by providing pro
IRWC Network professional association that County Bar, co-founded the Carolina’s chapter in
bono advocacy and representation and Chair Judy works to enhance the 2004. Her practice areas include mediation and
creating forums for the exchange of ideas Thompson professional status and arbitration, bankruptcy law, creditors’ rights,
affecting Charlotte’s minority communities.
reputation of women in insolvency practice. workouts, and commercial litigation.
For example, the Leary Bar proudly supports
the Council for Children’s Student Defense Belmont Abbey Turns to Local Lawyers to Teach
Project, which provides pro bono
representation for students who are subject to Belmont Abbey College approached William L. Esser IV,
suspension and/or exclusion from the members of Charlotte’s St. Thomas More Society president of the local Society,
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System. The about doing a course for the pre-law program, and is coordinating the classes,
primary purpose of the Project is to ensure the Society has created “A Practical Introduction which will include guest
that students are afforded all necessary due to Lawyers and the Law.” speakers discussing one
process rights during their hearings. The first class was in January. Students subject (e.g., Contracts)
The final focus of the Leary Bar in 2006 completing the course will receive one hour of each class.
continued on page 2 credit toward a pre-law minor.
February 2006 www.meckbar.org 1
Ferguson and Sumter
continued from cover
Live Programs paid by risking their lives to learn now pay a
tuition that covers a portion of the costs that had
Ethics, Professionalism, and Mental Divorce 101 previously been borne by international
Health—Issues for Attorneys and CLE Credit: 1.0 hour General contributions and foundation support.
Paralegals Date: Friday, February 24, 2006
CLE Credit: 3.0 total hours (2.0 Ethics and Time: Reg. 12:00 p.m.
Somewhat embarrassed by the awards
1.0 Substance Abuse) Program 12:30–1:30 p.m. presented by the Ambassador, Sumter noted she
Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2006 Location: MCB Center received much more from the experience than
Time: Reg. 8:30 a.m. Fees: $40 attorney rate, $27 public rate any contributions on her part. Without a doubt
Program 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. few among us have affected so much positive
Location: Best Western Charlotte Uptown, Parent Coordinator Training in conjunction
with Children’s Law Center change and lasting impact. Congratulations and
201 S. McDowell Street
Fees: $135 attorney rate, $75 CLE Credit: 12+ hours our collective appreciation to Jim Ferguson and
paralegal rate Date: Thursday, March 2, and Friday, Geraldine Sumter!
(Video replay of this program is scheduled for March 3, 2006
2/28/06. See below for more info.) Time: Two full days
Location: MCB Center
Immigration Issues in Family Law— Fees: TBD
Sponsored by the MCB Family Law Section continued from page 1
CLE Credit: 1.0 hour Have You Lost Your Appeal?
Date: Thursday February 16, 2006 CLE Credit: 1.5 hours General is diversity within the Bar, including the
Time: Reg/Lunch 12:15–12:45 p.m. Date: Friday, March 17, 2006 recruitment, development, and retention of
Time: Reg. 11:45 a.m.
Program 12:45–1:45 p.m. minority attorneys. The Mecklenburg County
Location: MCB Center, 438 Queens Road Program 12:00–1:30 p.m.
Location: MCB Center Bar’s Special Committee on Diversity is
Fees: $10 lunch/$35 lunch plus CLE
Fees: $35 attorney rate developing an agenda that will go far in
credit Family Law Section
Member, $15 lunch/$40 lunch increasing diversity and diversity awareness
plus CLE credit non–Family Law CLE Credit: 12.0 total hours (2.0 Ethics, within the Bar. The Leary Bar fully supports the
Section Member 1.0 Substance Abuse, and 9.0 Committee’s efforts. Further, the Leary Bar will
Business Litigation Forum • The 2006 General), fulfilling one year of continue to provide opportunities for minority
Annual Civil Litigation Forum—Sponsored by NCSB-mandated CLE hours summer interns and first year associates to
the MCB Civil Litigation Section Date: Friday, February 10, and become connected with Charlotte, including its
Saturday, February 11, 2006
This program will includes information on the minority community, through our summer
new Business Court in Charlotte Time: Friday Reg. 8:30 a.m.
Program 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. intern reception, Annual New Bar Members
CLE Credit: 6.0 hours
Saturday Reg. 8:00 a.m. Social, informational sessions, and social events.
Date: Friday, February 17, 2006
Time: Reg. 8:30 a.m. Program 8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Finally, understanding that diversity within the
Program 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Location: Best Western Uptown, Bar begins far in advance of law school, Leary
Location: Charlotte Chamber, Belk Action 201 S. McDowell Street will continue to provide financial support, via
(formerly Sheraton Four Points)
Center, Corner of 2nd and Tryon scholarships, to high school and college students
Fees: $210 attorney rate, $180 MCB Fee: $435
interested in the legal profession.
Civil Litigation Section member
The year 2006 will be an exciting year for
rate, $90 paralegal rate
the Leary Bar and we welcome you to be a part
Video Replays of it! All members of the Mecklenburg County
Bar are invited to become involved in our
Harnessing the Potential of the ADD Mind: Healthy Balance, Good Mental Health activities. We also welcome the opportunity to
Challenges, Ethics, & the Practice of Law Practices for Lawyers support the activities of the Mecklenburg
CLE Credit: 3.0 hours Mental CLE Credit: 1.0 hour Mental
Health/Substance Abuse Health/Substance Abuse
County Bar and other local bar associations.
Dates: Thursday, February 9, 2006 Dates: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 Through joint effort and mutual support, we can
Times: 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.—Please Times: 9:00–10:00 a.m. and attain greater achievements than ever before!
arrive 15 minutes prior to start of 1:00–2:00 p.m.—Please arrive
program 15 minutes prior to start of
Location: MCB Center, 438 Queens Road program
Fees: $135 attorney rate, $75 Location: MCB Center
paralegal rate Fee: $55 attorney rate EDITORIAL POLICY
A Study in Ethics—Alan Gell, Aftermath Ethics, Professionalism, and Mental Health
and Current Affairs—Sponsored by the MCB —Issues for Attorneys and Paralegals
Civil Litigation Section CLE Credit: 3.0 total hours (2.0 Ethics and The Mecklenburg Bar News accepts editorial
CLE Credit: 3.0 hours Ethics 1.0 Substance Abuse) and advertising material of general legal
Dates: Thursday, February 9, 2006 Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 interest to the practicing Bar of the 26th
Time: 1:00–4:00 p.m.—Please arrive Time: Reg. 8:45 a.m. Judicial District. The implicit purposes of the
15 minutes before start of Program 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. newsletter, website, and related methods of
program Location: MCB Center communication are to educate members of the
Location: MCB Center Fees: $135 attorney rate
Fee: $135 attorney rate Mecklenburg County Bar and to create and
$75 paralegal rate
maintain shared communication with its
Ethics and Professionalism—A View From Joint Ventures members. The Communications Committee
Mecklenburg County CLE Credit: 3.0 hours General
CLE Credit: 1.0 hour Ethics reserves the right to accept, reject, or edit all
Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Dates: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 Time: Reg. 12:45 p.m. material.
Times: 9:00–10:00 a.m. and 12:00–1:00 Program 1:00–4:00 p.m. DISCLAIMER Efforts will be made to
p.m. —Please arrive 15 minutes Fee: $115 attorney rate
provide information of interest that is timely,
prior to start of program
Location: MCB Center accurate, and relevant to the legal community.
Fee: $50 attorney rate The Mecklenburg County Bar is not
responsible for misprints, typographical errors,
Online CLE Programing Available at www.meckbar.org or misinformation in The Mecklenburg Bar
New courses for 2005–06 now posted News. The views and opinions are not
Open 24 hours—pay and take courses online necessarily those of the 26th Judicial District
NC State Bar allows up to 4 hours of online CLE annually Bar.
Customer service for online courses 800/373-0366
Communications Committee: John
MCB endorses only Education Over the Net as our online hosting service
Lassiter, Chair, Judge Bob Johnston, Corby
Continuing Legal Education Recruitment Anderson, Mike Daisley, Porter Durham,
Alan Edmonds, Will Esser, Larry Grayson,
The MCB Continuing Legal Education Committee is recruiting committee members and Allison Karp, Charles Keller, Brandon
program planners. If interested, please contact John Buric (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lisa
Lofton, Valerie Munei, Nancy Roberson
Armanini (email@example.com). The Committee meets the third Tuesday of each month at
8:00 a.m. at the Bar Center, 438 Queens Road.
2 www.meckbar.org February 2006
Defending the Future: Position Available
Charlotte’s Foundation for the
Student Defense Project Charlotte Jewish Community
Charlotte, North Carolina, as one of the target Executive Director
BY BRANDON LOFTON
cities. The Civil Rights Project made this Job Description
Several area groups are working together selection based on the educational upheaval and Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish
with the Civil Rights Project at Harvard community activism the city was experiencing in
University to provide quality representation to
Community (FCJC) is seeking
regards to civil rights concerns in primary
students facing long-term suspension and qualified candidates for the position
education. The Civil Rights Project hosted
exclusion from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools several community meetings and learned that a of Executive Director. FCJC is a
(CMS). The effort has been named the Student primary area of concern was the disproportionate nonprofit charitable organization
Defense Project and is being coordinated long-term suspension and expulsion rates of low- dedicated to creating permanent
primarily by the Council for Children. income children and children of color. charitable endowments to support
Adrienne Woods, Case and Class Advocate In response to this concern, noted Woods, the growing and changing needs of
for the Council for Children, stated that the the Civil Rights Project formed a local steering Charlotte’s Jewish community.
Project’s primary objective includes ensuring committee and held several meetings to gain the
“that every student, regardless of race or involvement of local organizations. In September A Supporting Organization affiliated
socioeconomic background, is afforded due of 2005, the Council for Children agreed to with Foundation For The Carolinas,
process and has access to a sound basic education become the umbrella or host organization for the the Executive Director of Foundation
by producing a group of lawyers organized and project. As of December 1, 2005, additional for the Charlotte Jewish Community
trained to provide… pro bono representation at organizational partners include: the Children’s provides planned giving and
long-term suspension and expulsion disciplinary Law Center; Ferguson, Stein, Chambers, endowment services to the
hearings at CMS… ” The Project will also work Gresham & Sumter; the John S. Leary Bar
to alleviate and increase community awareness of constituent organizations and donors
Association; the Civil Rights Project at Harvard
the racially disparate impact of current suspension University; the Charlotte Chapter of the of the Jewish community to promote
and expulsion procedures. National Association for the Advancement of long-term financial stability. This
Under both the state and federal Colored People; the A.M.E. Zion Church; position is currently budgeted to be
constitutions, a student facing long-term Greenville Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church; and 1/2 to 3/4 time.
suspension (i.e., greater than 10 days) or exclusion Legal Aid of North Carolina.
from school are entitled to due process hearing. Preferred
Aretha Blake, co-president of the John S.
Jake Sussman, an attorney with Ferguson, Stein, Qualifications and Experience
Leary Bar Association, commented that the
Chambers, Gresham & Sumter, PA, has Project’s objective of ensuring that minority and Minimum Bachelor’s Degree,
represented several students in school due process low-income students are not denied their due with post graduate degree preferred
hearings. As Sussman explains, these hearings are process rights provided a great opportunity for the in law or business
conducted before a hearing officer (often a former Leary Bar to further its goal of “strengthen[ing] its
teacher or administrator) who records witness role in the community as an advocate for the Working knowledge of the
testimony and examines any documentary underprivileged and underrepresented in [the] Charlotte Jewish community or other
evidence presented. The hearings officer can and Charlotte-Mecklenburg [area].” To that end, the Jewish communities
will ask questions of the student and witnesses Leary Bar has sponsored the training of several of
and, based on the evidence presented at the its members for pro bono service to the Project, a Excellent written, oral and
hearing, ultimately recommends whether or not to number of Leary Bar members are providing interpersonal communication skills
impose the long-term suspension or exclusion of significant pro bono representation of students
the student. That recommendation, along with a facing long-term suspension or exclusion from Knowledge of estate planning,
transcript of the hearing and the evidence CMS, and several Leary Bar members currently planned giving vehicles,
presented, is then considered and ruled upon by serve on the Project’s steering committee. endowment building, and an ability
the Alternative Education and Safe Schools More involvement is needed in order for the to articulate legacy giving concepts
Department. Adverse consequences against a Project to succeed. Woods reported that the in layman’s terms
student can include exclusion from CMS, long- Project currently has 13 attorneys who have
term suspension (i.e., more than 10 days), agreed to provide either pro bono or sliding scale Professional experience in
re-assignment to an alternative school, and/or fee representation. “In January 2005, The Annual, Capital, and/or
community service. Charlotte Observer reported a total of 52,600 in Planned Giving fundraising
Sussman explains that while students have and out of school suspensions in CMS for the
the right to an attorney at these hearings, the Non-profit management or significant
prior year, with three-fourths of those being out of
vast majority of students are unrepresented. school suspensions. There is no way,” asserted non-profit volunteer experience
Moreover, Sussman contends, although these Woods, “13 attorneys could handle 13,150 Demonstrates strong organizational,
hearings are supposed to comport with due (three-fourths of 52,600) due process hearings or creative, motivational and
process and its guarantees, it rarely works out that school board appeals within one year. We need
way. Among the complaints voiced by attorneys leadership skills
more attorneys to handle these types of cases. We
representing students at these hearings is that the also need attorneys to help us with community For more information or to apply,
school does not present its evidence through live awareness, funding, etc…” please contact
witness testimony, but rather through the To find out more information, or to find out Holly Welch Stubbing
presentation of unsworn statements by alleged how to get involved, contact Adrienne Woods at
witnesses. In other words, there is no actual by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
accuser in the room during the hearing.
Moreover, if the alleged witness is a student, the
statement is not only unsworn but also
anonymous. CMS takes the position that the
Rules of Evidence do not apply at these hearings,
and that if the student wants the opportunity to
cross-examine the witness, the student can
compel the witness’s attendance.
It was concern for unrepresented students
during these proceedings that led to the Project’s
founding. Woods stated that the Project got its
start in 2003 when the Civil Rights Project
obtained a grant from the Knight Foundation.
The grant provided funds to address civil rights
concerns in K–12 education. After conducting an
analysis of several cities across the United States
and conducting discussions with community
members, the Civil Rights Project selected
February 2006 www.meckbar.org 3
BY CHARLES KELLER, JR. COMMUNITY ACCESS AND OUTREACH ADMINISTRATOR
State of the Judiciary Meeting Scheduled
On Friday, February 17, the Mecklenburg • 2005 also saw the creation of Justice develop or implement a significant or unique
County Trial Court Administrator’s Office will Initiatives, Inc., a non-profit established for educational program or court management
hold its annual State of the Judiciary meeting. our district. Justice Initiatives is dedicated to system in the mid-Atlantic region.
This gathering is a time when all Trial Court the funding of justice-related initiatives to • Other notable accomplishments in 2005
Administrator (TCA) staff come together to support innovative and non-traditional include the creation of a Mental Health
recognize and discuss accomplishments during the programs in the court system. Examples of Court and a Business Court.
previous year, as well as talk about future non-traditional programs and services
Prior to the meeting this year, one TCA staff
initiatives and goals. Each division of the TCA’s requiring funding include Drug
member will receive the Helen Stonestreet
Office will give a brief presentation highlighting Treatment/DWI Court, Mental Health
Employee of the Year Award, which is a new
accomplishments throughout the 2005 calendar Court, SelfServe Center, and special needs
incentive created to recognize outstanding
year, as well as share statistical information from services (Americans with Disabilities Act,
performance among TCA staff. The award was
the 2004–05 fiscal year. interpreting, etc.) The Court Clubhouse
named after Helen Stonestreet, who retired in
The theme of this year’s meeting is “A Childcare Center, Juror Business Center, and
December of 2004 after working for the TCA’s
Celebration of Success,” which was chosen due to Responsible Fatherhood Access and
Office for over 25 years. Helen will attend the
the fact that there have been some notable Visitation Program are other possible
meeting and speak as part of the award ceremony.
improvements and achievements made in our candidates for funding. The first fund raiser
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Robert P.
district during the past year: was held in September to benefit Drug
Johnston will present the award.
• In early 2005, the 26th Judicial District was Treatment Court and, aside from any money
The State of the Judiciary meeting will take
selected as a partner court in the area of pro se raised, served to create a heightened
place in the Anthony Stancil Conference Room
litigation through the Center for Court awareness around funding shortfalls that this
at Jail Central from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Since all
Solutions, a joint initiative of the State Justice valuable program is experiencing.
TCA staff are required to attend due to the
Institute, the National Center for State • The Resource Team project set forth by the important information shared during this
Courts, and the Center for Effective Public TCA’s Office and Community Building meeting, all divisions of the TCA’s Office,
Policy, which provided outside assistance and Initiatives was announced as the winner of including Family and Drug Court, the SelfServe
support to define and implement solutions in the 2005 John Neufeld Court Achievement Center, Post-Judgment Services Center, Jury
the pro se area. While this project continues, Award established by the Mid-Atlantic Office, and Judge’s Office, will be closed to the
several areas in need of attention have been Association for Court Management. This public during this time.
identified, solutions have been introduced, annual award is intended to recognize an
and plans are being made to implement them. individual or a group of individuals who
4th Street Parking Deck Opens Position Available
The long-awaited court parking deck is
now open to the public. The new deck,
which is being called the 4th Street
Parking Deck, opened for court employees, For The Carolinas
jurors, and the general public on December Vice President -
19, 2005. While the operator’s booths, Development & Planned Giving
gates, and landscaping were not in place
when the deck first opened, they should be FFTC seeks a Vice President of
by the time this article goes to print. Development & Planned Giving to
The first phase of the new parking
make up a team of professional
facility includes 982 parking spaces on
seven levels. Adding an eighth level may fundraisers and support staff member
take place some time in the future. The which will support the donors, staff,
public entrance to the parking deck is on volunteers and clients of FFTC.
4th Street, directly across from the 3rd and
4th Street/I-277/John Belk Freeway exit The 4th Street Parking Deck as of January 2006 Leading candidates
ramp. As visitors enter the deck, they must will have demonstrated success
convenience store, etc.). The space is not
punch for a ticket, and then follow the signs for in a planned giving development
intended to be used for offices or other ‘low-
parking. Jurors park free on the 4th level on a first
activity’ uses,” said Mark Hahn, Director of Real position, with five to seven years
come, first serve basis. As of right now, the plan is
Estate Services for Mecklenburg County. experience, or comparable
to issue jurors a validation pass in exchange for
Occupancy of the retail spaces, however, is not experience in the banking,
their parking ticket that they can then give to
expected to occur for several months.
the attendant. When leaving the deck, visitors insurance, financial planning,
Morgan Morris, a booth operator with
must stop to pay the attendant. If there is no accounting or legal fields.
Central Parking, the firm who manages the deck,
attendant on duty, visitors can insert their ticket
says the cost to park in the 4th Street Parking An excellent knowledge of
into a ticket reader, which will indicate how much
Deck will be the same as the Government Center financial matters and the laws
money is owed, then payment can be made using
Parking Deck: $1 for the first 30 minutes, then $1
cash or credit card. The deck is handicap governing charitable
for each additional 30 minutes, up to $12 for the
accessible, with designated parking spaces located estate planning is desired.
entire day. Court employees have been issued
near the elevators on each level. Signs in English
magnetic strips for the windshield of their vehicles. A Bachelor’s degree is required.
and Spanish have been carefully placed.
An electric eye scans the strip as a vehicle To apply or to request full job
The deck features two elevators, with shelled
approaches one of the gates, and the gate opens. description, contact:
space for two additional elevators. The first level
This replaces the old magnetic cards, which
of the new facility also accommodates light retail,
required a driver to open their window to wave Lynne Wooten
the nature of which has not yet been determined.
the card in front of the reader to enter or exit. Foundation For The Carolinas
A real estate management firm is in charge of
The opening of the 4th Street Parking Deck
marketing the retail space in the plaza area of the 217 South Tryon Street
precedes the opening of the new Mecklenburg
parking deck and to manage the leases. “We are Charlotte, NC 28202
County Courthouse, which sits diagonally across the
asking our management firm to seek tenants that
intersection of 4th and McDowell Street. The new email@example.com
will provide active services that will energize the
courthouse is scheduled to open January 2007.
area (i.e., coffee shop, food service, book store,
4 www.meckbar.org February 2006
VLP Partner Highlights: Legal Aid of North Carolina
What Is LANC? 2002 as the result of a consolidation of the four, a “lemon,” or a family crisis—can have a
Volunteer Lawyer Program (VLP) partner federally funded, legal services programs in devastating impact. If not addressed
Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) is a North Carolina, including part of the staff of the immediately, more difficult problems can result:
statewide, nonprofit, 501(c)3 law firm that Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP), unemployment, homelessness, domestic
began operations on July 1, 2002, as a result of a another Volunteer Lawyers Program partner. Ted violence, and family instability. In turn, these
consolidation of multiple legal services law Fillette serves as the senior managing attorney crises place a far greater burden on society in the
firms, each with a 25+-year history of serving for the Charlotte office, and he supervises a full- form of increased costs for health care, law
low-income people in North Carolina. In the time staff of five attorneys and two paralegals. In enforcement, and public welfare. Legal Aid is a
early 1960s, as our nation was responding to a addition to participating in the statewide cost-effective means of stopping the downward
call to service and justice articulated by such Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative, the spiral and the resulting consequences.
leaders as newly elected President John F. Charlotte LANC office was an instrumental LANC also eases the pressure on the
Kennedy and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther partner in organizing support for Project overburdened court system in North Carolina by
King, Jr., members of the North Carolina State Pillowtex—designed to assist many displaced resolving greater than 70% of its cases outside of
Bar and other citizens in Forsyth, Mecklenburg, workers of the shuttered Pillowtex plant in the the courtroom. Having access to LANC means
and Durham counties demonstrated their Charlotte area. that clients are not appearing in court on their
commitment to equal justice under the law by Legal Aid of NC’s clients statewide typically own behalf. Instead, these clients have an
establishing legal aid organizations to assist include: experienced attorney to represent them, thereby
people living in poverty to protect their rights in • victims of domestic violence who seek providing for a more efficient, effective use of
civil cases. The Legal Aid Society of Northwest safety for themselves and their children; the judicial system.
North Carolina (Winston-Salem), Legal • disadvantaged children who have been LANC is able to provide one attorney for
Services of Southern Piedmont (Charlotte), and denied the mental and physical health care every 15,000 eligible clients in North Carolina,
North Central Legal Assistance Program and education that they need to grow into whose general population has one attorney for
(Durham) were created as the result of that productive adults; every 500 persons. In order to fulfill its mission,
work. Through various reorganizations and the staff of LANC welcomes the support of
• the elderly who are sometimes preyed upon
restructurings, LANC was created to assist the more than 3,700 private attorney volunteers,
and who need assistance with benefits and
poorest of the poor. who donate their expertise across North
LANC provides free legal services in civil Carolina each year through local volunteer
• the disabled and homeless who need special lawyers programs.
matters to low-income clients in order to ensure
equal access to justice and to remove legal You Can Help
barriers to economic opportunity. In most • working, single- and two-parent families
The Charlotte office of LANC, along with
situations, a LANC client’s income must fall who struggle to pay for child care, housing,
LSSP and Legal Services for the Elderly, relies
below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. food, and health care for their children on
on funding, in part, from the ongoing Access to
However, the income level eligibility criteria low-wage jobs; and
Justice Campaign. The Campaign goal for
typically does not apply to domestic violence • natural disasters victims who suffer as a 2005–06 is to raise $300,000. The Access to
victims, senior citizens, and for other case result of weather events, such as Hurricanes Justice Campaign provides an opportunity for
specific reasons. LANC’s involvement and legal Floyd, Fran, Hugo, and Katrina. the legal community in Mecklenburg County to
help are necessary to complement the efforts of partner with these organizations financially to
family shelters, social services, children’s
Strengthening the Social Fabric
Legal Aid is a remarkably efficient means of make sure access to justice is a reality
organizations, community development To volunteer your services for Legal Aid of
giving low-income families a “hand-up” that in
corporations, and other nonprofit and North Carolina, you can call the Charlotte
turn saves taxpayer money. When someone
governmental organizations in North Carolina. office at 704/971-2621 or Jennifer Howle, the
living near the poverty line faces a single
LANC operates in all 100 North Carolina Mecklenburg County Bar’s Volunteer Lawyers
problem, that problem often creates a domino
counties through 24 regionally based offices. Program Coordinator, at 704/375-8624,
effect. One-time events—plant closings, lapse of
The Charlotte office of LANC opened in July extension 121.
health insurance, a used car that turns out to be
’05–’06 Access to 2006 VLP Pro Bono Position Available
Justice Campaign Awards Call For Nominees
Update MCB Awards for Mid-size Matthews, NC, law firm
seeking associate attorney in
Under the leadership of Campaign Chair,
Jon Buchan of Helms Mulliss & Wicker, the
Extraordinary commercial real estate
2005–06 Access to Justice Campaign has Pro Bono Service and business practice.
Applicants must have at least
been very successful to date as many
The Mecklenburg County Bar Volunteer three years experience in
Mecklenburg County attorneys demonstrated
their generosity and support with a donation. Lawyer Program welcomes nominations for commercial real property matters,
The goal this year is $300,000. Funds from the 2006 Pro Bono Awards. This year’s commercial banking,
the Campaign support the work of Legal categories are: land development matters, or
Services of Southern Piedmont, Legal Aid of I. Outstanding Individual Attorney business law.
North Carolina, and Legal Services for the II. Outstanding Large Firm with 25 The position would extend to
Elderly by providing these agencies with vital Attorneys or More* business negotiations for purchases
resources to assure that those in need in our III. Small Firm with 24 Attorneys or Less and sales of business entities,
own community have access to the justice * Firm total not limited to Mecklenburg County real estate closings, and land use
system, regardless of their ability to pay. Winners will receive their awards at the practice, including acquisition,
Thank you to those who have already MCB Annual Meeting on May 25. development, zoning, restrictions,
donated to the 2005–06 Campaign! If you For more information on selection
have not yet given, please consider a and environmental law.
criteria, please go to http://www.meckbar.org/ Applicants should send a resume to
donation today to support this important legal
newsevents/news_detail.cfm?cont_id=6432. P.O. Box 2570,
work. You may send your donation to: Access
Please submit nominations in writing
to Justice Campaign, 1431 Elizabeth Avenue, Matthews, NC 28106.
before March 1, 2006. Any attorney, law firm,
Charlotte, NC 28204. Secure online Full benefits available, including
or partner organization may submit nomina-
donations are accepted at www.lssp.org. For health, life, and disability insurance,
tions. Send nominations to: Mecklenburg
more information, please contact 401-K, paid vacation, and sick leave.
County Bar, Volunteer Lawyers Program, 438
704/971-2588 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Salary based upon experience with
Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207 or
email@example.com. bonus opportunities.
February 2006 www.meckbar.org 5
Meet Our Panel Members:
Cloud, Navarro & Williams, PLLC
Recently the new law firm of Cloud, Navarro laude from North Carolina Agriculture & president during his third. He briefly worked in
& Williams, PLLC, joined the Lawyer Referral Technical State University in May 1999 with a the Durham County Public Defender’s Office
Service (LRS) panel. The firm opened for Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He moved to before becoming an associate with Harris and
business on November 15, 2005, with primary Charlotte shortly thereafter and worked for Bank Associates, PLLC, working primarily in the area
areas of practice in Criminal Law, Wills, Personal of America as a financial analyst. He then of criminal law. Michael moved to Charlotte
Injury, Entertainment, Civil Rights, and Family attended North Carolina Central University’s because he felt there was a great opportunity for
Law. The partners feel they and LRS share the School of Law, graduated in May 2005, and growth and also to be closer to his family.
common goal of serving the community by pro- received the 2005 Deans Award for leadership. Cory A. Williams
viding affordable legal services to those in need. Vernon became licensed to practice law in the Cory A. Williams graduated cum laude from
To quote them on their experience with the state of North Carolina on August 25, 2005. He Winston Salem State University in May 2002 with
panel so far, “We have been very pleased with LRS. moved back to Charlotte because he felt there a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. He
Before we signed up, we were told that we would was a great need for young African American received his law degree from North Carolina
receive referrals within 24 hours of joining LRS. attorneys in Charlotte. Central University School of Law in May 2005.
We assumed this was an optimistic estimate. Michael E. Navarro Cory also received the 2005 North Carolina
However, to our surprise, we started receiving Michael E. Navarro graduated magna cum Chapter of Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
referrals just 15 hours after joining. For our firm, the laude from St. John’s University in May 2000 Award for Outstanding Achievement. He
LRS has served as a great tool in getting our name with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He graduated attended high school 45 minutes away from
out there as well as in serving the community.” from North Carolina Central School of Law in Charlotte in Catawba County so was familiar
Vernon E. Cloud Jr. May 2003. Michael served as vice president of his with Charlotte and thought it would be a good
Vernon E. Cloud Jr. graduated magna cum class during his second year of law school and place to start a practice and raise a family.
Holiday Giving Tree 2005 a Success!
We would like to thank YLS members participating law firms, YLS members, and other
BY GREGORY J. CARLIN, YLS BOARD
Michele Woodside and Qyunn Redmond who helpful volunteers (including our administrative
took time out of their busy schedules to coordinator of the Giving Tree Program for three
The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of the coordinate the participation by the YLS. We years running, Glenda Ransom) for their efforts
Mecklenburg County Bar is pleased to announce would also like to thank the numerous at making our 2005 Giving Tree a success.
yet another successful year for our contributions
to the Division of Social Service (DSS) Giving
February Volunteer Opportunities with YLS
Tree Program. Our participation in the Giving
Tree 2005 included over 330 gifts that were Attorneys Needed to will be hosting a statewide Ask A Lawyer Day.
distributed to needy children and the elderly in Help Judge High School This is an opportunity for members of the bar
group homes who typically would not receive a Moot Court Competition to assist their local communities in providing
gift during the holidays. On Saturday, February 18, 2006, the legal services and information, often to people
The YLS Community Services Committee Young Lawyers Section, in conjunction with who may not otherwise have access to the legal
collected specific gift requests for each child or the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System, is system. Attorneys in Mecklenburg County will
elderly person from the DSS. These specific gift hosting the Mecklenburg County High be joining their colleagues throughout the state
requests were then redistributed as sub-lists to School Moot Court Competition. In order to in this volunteer project. If you have an interest
various firms and individual lawyers participating make this a successful event, we need your in participating in this event or wish to learn
in the Giving Tree Program. These sub-lists were help in serving as judges for the competition. more, please contact Heather Kushner at Bank
then distributed within the firms and the gift Please volunteer your morning to help these of America, N.A., the contact person in
requests fulfilled by volunteers braving holiday students explore their interest in the law. Mecklenburg County. Her number is 704/386-
crowds to purchase the specific gifts requested. Email Amy Butterworth at AButterworth@ 2389, and her e-mail address is
Gifts ranged from handheld computer games, to HorackTalley.com if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org.
baby dolls, to gift certificates that allowed some Attorneys Needed for Attorneys specializing in all areas of law are
recipients to have a chance to do some shopping Ask A Lawyer Day needed, including litigation, employment, real
of their own. Gifts were then collected by YLS On February 25, 2006, the Young Lawyers estate, landlord-tenant, bankruptcy and family
members and taken to DSS for distribution to the Division of the North Carolina Bar Association law.
The Mecklenburg County Bar
Basketball League will begin its 2006
season in late
February/early March 2006.
Games will be played at the
If you’re interested in participating,
Arthur Morehead (704/377-8358
or Pat Sarsfield (704/338-5305
as soon as possible!
6 www.meckbar.org February 2006
MCB Board Nominating Committee
2005–06 Members Procedures for Nomination Each member whose name is submitted for
In accordance with Section 3, Article V of All members of the Mecklenburg County Bar consideration of a nomination must indicate his
the bylaws of the Mecklenburg County Bar, the are encouraged to submit their names or the names or her willingness to serve if elected. The
Board of Directors has elected the following of other active members of the Bar to the Committee shall nominate persons to serve in
persons to serve as members of the 2005–06 Nominating Committee for consideration as nom- the following offices for the 2006–07 term:
Nominating Committee: inees for various offices, board of directors’ seats, • President-Elect (one-year term)
Tyywadi Baker Mark Weston Johnson and ABA Delegate. Names should be submitted to • Vice President (one-year term)
Peter C. Buck Judge Robert P. Johnston a member of the Committee (listed above) prior to • Secretary (one-year term)
Robert C. Dortch K. Mitchell Kelling the executive session of the Nominating
• Treasurer (one-year term)
Ana Flynn Judge Nancy Black Norelli Committee tentatively scheduled for late March,
Ronald L. Gibson Catherine E. Thompson or mailed to Nominating Committee, c/o MCB, • Board of Directors (six members—three-year
George V. Hanna III John Mark Wilson 438 Queens Rd., Charlotte, NC 28207 by that terms)
date. Additional nominations may be made from • American Bar Association Delegate (two-
the floor during the open session of the Nominating year term)
Committee Meeting. Notice of the meeting date
and time will be posted in the March newsletter.
Bar Staff Update Tell Us about
(left to right) Attorney Iraq/
Marketing Associate The Mecklenburg Bar News would
, like to do one or more articles on
Meetings & Events local attorneys who have recently
Assistant Karen served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Rieck, and Assistant
Coordinator for If you have served or know
Lawyer Referral someone who has,
Service and please contact Valerie Munei at
Continuing Legal email@example.com or
Education Jen Taylor
704/375-8624, extension 108.
Karen Rieck, who commenced working
BY ROBERT P. JOHNSTON
The Bar welcomes two new employees and
December 19, is Meetings and Events Assistant, James B.
supporting the Communications and Events area.
congratulates two staff who have moved to new
responsibilities. Three of these positions are
About five months ago she and her husband
moved to North Carolina to be close to family.
newly created. “We are delighted to have these
much needed positions filled,” said Executive
She had previously worked for over 14 years as a
program assistant in the Annual Giving Office of
Director Nancy Roberson. “These changes within
staff also help with continuity and assist in cross-
Union College in Schenectady, NY. Among her
many administrative tasks, Karen will assist
, who began December 15, is
Valerie Munei in preparation and registration for
events and meeting coordination.
Development and Marketing Associate. A native Nancy’s former assistant Jen Taylor, is now Applications for the Fellowship are now
of Kentucky, received her Bachelors of both Assistant Coordinator of Lawyers’ Referral available from the Bar Office or online at the
Arts in Communications from the University of and Assistant Coordinator of Continuing Legal Mecklenburg County Bar website: www.meckbar.
Kentucky and her Masters of Arts in English from Education. org/newsevents/news_detail.cfm?cont_id=6431.
Winthrop University in Rock Hill. Her Jill Wiggins, who has been with the Bar The James B. McMillan Fellowship Fund
professional experience in Charlotte includes nearly seven years, was formerly was established in 1995 to honor the memory
writing, communications, and marketing. She Membership/Assistant Coordinator of and example of U. S. District Judge James B.
will coordinate production of the Bar directory Continuing Legal Education. Since September McMillan. The Fellowship has a goal of
and assist in fundraising by cultivating she has been Membership/Database Coordinator. promoting justice and innovation within the
relationships with advertisers for the directory, She handles dues for new members, membership legal system in Mecklenburg County by
newsletter, and website. She will also assist in renewals, address changes, and, in general, most awarding summer fellowships to law students
obtaining sponsors for Bar events and with the matters related to membership and the desiring work experience with not-for-profit or
Patron’s Fund Campaign. membership database. governmental agencies. The amount of the
fellowship is up to $3000 for the summer.
The Fellowship Committee will give greater
McPhail Wins Blast from the Past Contest consideration to applications submitted jointly
The first Bar member to correctly identify all the names was Fred McPhail. Fred wins a free by the requesting agency and a law student. The
ticket to the MCB Annual Barbeque on May 25, 2006. Congratulations, Fred! And thanks to application should describe what the applicant
everyone who sent in their best guesses or who told us they enjoyed this “blast from the past”! will be doing for the agency and how that
Who were the Bar members pictured in the January 2006 issue of the newsletter? student’s interests dovetail with the work to
be performed. Please contact Valerie Munei
at 704/375-8624 x108 or Maria Long at
704/358-6274 if there are questions
concerning the application process.
1 2 3 4 5 6 The application deadline is March 15, 2006,
Susan J. Raymond E. Calvin The Hon. The Hon. C. Murphy at 5:00 p.m. Applications should be submitted
Weigand Owens, Jr. Murphy Shirley Fulton Robert P. Johnston Archibald
to the Mecklenburg County Bar, McMillan
Fellowship, 438 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC
28207. Faxed applications will be accepted, if
received before 5:00 p.m. on March 15, at
7 8 9 10 11 704/333-6209, ATTN: McMillan Fellowship.
Jonathan E. John B. Yorke Harold Spears Alice Carmichael The Hon.
Buchan Richey James B. McMillan
February 2006 www.meckbar.org 7