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August 2009

Volume 36 No. 2

From the President Finding Opportunity in Adversity I recently attended a public forum sponsored by the Community Building Initiative (CBI) which focused on the impact of the economic Patrick E. Kelly, downturn on CharlotteMCB President Mecklenburg and what can be done to lessen the impact. Many participants were representatives of non-profit agencies such as Crisis Assistance Ministries. Others represented government agencies. Still others represented concerned citizens at all levels of the economic spectrum. The one common denominator among all the disparate groups represented was that each was being forced by the economy to do more with less. Despite the grim statistics—double digit unemployment, funding slashed, donations down and savings evaporated—there was little hand wringing. Rather, the conversation focused on dealing with the reality of the dismal economic situation by taking advantage of it. Taking advantage of an economic recession? Seems counter-intuitive. However, each of us, both as individuals and as members of the legal community, can and should use the recession as an opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities and make adjustments and improvements in our personal and professional lives. In short, to find opportunity in adversity. As one wise philosopher once said, “The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.” The Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) and our members have not been immune from the vagaries of the economy. Law firm revenues are down. Lawyers are being laid off. Individual savings and investments have evaporated. Although MCB as an organization has been less impacted by the recession than most, there are many things the Bar has done and must continue to do to turn adversity into opportunity. These include re-examining the Bar’s core mission, goals and priorities and making adjustments as needed, improving management structures and systems, eliminating or scaling back non-essential functions and, if appropriate, re-directing resources into services and programs to better serve members. Here are a few examples of what MCB has done or is doing to make itself more effective and more relevant to its members: 1. Improve Management Structure and Techniques. The Bar leadership and staff have reviewed and revised the MCB Bylaws to clarify the roles of the President, Vice President and President-Elect to ensure that key functions, such as oversight of Committees and Sections, are accomplished. The Bar, through the Strategic Planning Committee, is also reviewing its overall organizational structure to see if it maximizes continued on page 6

August 2009

by Robert P. Johnston Bernstein Receives McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award Mark R. Bernstein was presented the H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award at the Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA). He is the fourth recipient of the award. Other recipients from Mecklenburg County include Bernstein Peter S. Gilchrist III (2006) and E. Osborne Ayscue Jr. (2007). According to a NCBA press release, the award recognizes “those North Carolina attorneys whose trustworthiness, respectful and courteous treatment of all people, enthusiasm for intellectual achievement and commitment to excellence in work, and service to the profession and community, inspire others.” The Award is named after the H. Brent McKnight, a U.S. District Court Judge who died in 2004 while serving on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of N.C. Retired Of Counsel with Parker Poe Adams &

Bernstein LLP, Bernstein received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1952 and his law degree from Yale University in 1957. He has served as president of the Mecklenburg County Bar, the Golden Circle Theatre, the Charlotte Symphony, the Charlotte Civitan Club, Temple BethEl, Olde Providence Racquet Club, the American Symphony Orchestra League, the Foundation of Shalom Park, Inc., the Charlotte Jewish Community Center, Inc., and the Charlotte Lodge of B’nai B’rith. In addition, he has provided board leadership to more than 20 organizations and corporations, serving as chairman of the N.C. Economic Development Board, the Mayor’s Committee for a Performing Arts Center, and the Foundation For The Carolinas. In a recent interview in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, Bernstein said, “… my hope is that my legacy to the Bar would be to encourage the lawyers to broaden their horizons beyond the practice of law and draw their inspiration from the Renaissance and from people like Brent McKnight. By doing so, they will live much fuller and more rewarding lives.”

NCADA Elects Allen President

Legal Aid of N.C. Names Holderness Attorney of Year

The North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (NCADA) elected David N. Allen president at its 32nd Annual Meeting. Allen will serve a one-year term as president of the organization. A partner in the litigation department of Allen Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Allen served on the Board of Directors of the NCADA from 1998-2000 and 2005-2009. He is a State Bar Councilor for the 26th Judicial District and serves on the Ethics Committee of the Mecklenburg County Bar. He obtained his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1977 and his J.D. from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 1980.

Legal Aid of North Carolina recently named Thomas P. Holderness Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit 501(c)3 law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low income people to help ensure equal access to justice and to Holderness remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Holderness, whose practice focuses on business disputes regarding claims of money mismanagement, contract disputes and taxes, has reached settlements and quick resolutions to numerous landlord-tenant disputes in the last year. He has been an active youth coach for the last 20 years and is an Elder at First Presbyterian Church. He obtained his B.S. in 1986 and his J.D. in 1990 from the University of North Carolina.

Pridgen is NCBA President-Elect Eugene C. Pridgen was elected president-elect of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) at its recent Annual Meeting in Asheville. He will serve as the 116th president of the NCBA in 2010-11 and will follow Charlottean John R. Wester, the current president. Pridgen Administrative partner for K & L Gates, Pridgen served on the NCBA’s Board of Governors from 2003-2006 and was chair of the Development Committee and the Citizen Lawyer Task Force. He received his B.S. from North Carolina State University in 1969, his M.B.A. from Wake Forest University in 1975, and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1978.

Fall Swearing In Ceremony Thursday, September 24, 2009 (Date tentative) Registration: 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Swearing In Ceremony: 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Signing of Oaths: 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Reception: 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Location: TBA Visit for details and registration information. 1

Consider the MCB CLE Advantage Your Bar offers high-quality, incredibly convenient and cost-effective Continuing Legal Education programs right here in Mecklenburg County. The feedback on our accreditation and evaluation forms consistently rates our training as excellent. We offer live and prerecorded CLEs at the Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) Center, local sites, and even at your own office. You can also view our online programs right at your desk–24/7. Our programs are competitively priced with rarely any additional long-distance travel expenses. Our customer service is friendly, competent, and knowledgeable. Support your local Bar by getting your CLE credits through the courses listed.

In-House Video Replays You can bring CLE video replays to your firm by contacting Lisa Armanini at or CLE Assistant Sally Kenney at At least three attorneys must view the course, and Lisa or Sally need at least 30 days notice. Video replay hours do not count towards the four-hour online allotment.

Online Programs Online CLE Programs are available on demand, 24 hours a day at The N.C. State Bar allows up to four hours of online courses annually–video and live programs do not count towards that total. The MCB endorses Education Over the Net as our online hosting service. Customer service line 800/590-6867.

Annual Pass Purchase a CLE Annual Pass for $695 and get up to 24 hours of CLE credits. Program materials are yours at no additional cost and State Bar CLE fees are paid for you. After you have reached the 24 hour limit, you may purchase additional CLE courses for $30 an hour. Valid from 7/1/09 to 6/30/10. The CLE Annual Pass does not include online programming or courses running more than 12 hours in length. Non-transferable.

Live Programs Who Moved My Job? Guidelines for Job-Loss Grief Recovery for the Legal Community CLE Credit: 3.0 Mental Health hours each seminar Dates: Tues., August 18 and Wednesday, August 19, 2009 Time: Registration 15 minutes prior to program Program: Seminar I (8/18/09) 8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.; Seminar II (8/18/09) 1:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.; Seminar III (8/19/09) 8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Location: MCB Center Fees: $110 attorney rate per Seminar or $275 for all three; $55 paralegal rate per Seminar or $120 for all three MCB Family Law Section 2009 Update CLE Credit: 4.0 General Hours Date: Thurs., August 27, 2009 Time: Registration 12:00 p.m. Program: 12:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Location: Junior League of Charlotte Fees: $175 attorney rate; $150 MCB FLS attorney rate; $75 paralegal rate Why Using ADR For Resolving Disputes Can Be Your Best Option CLE Credit: 2.5 General and 0.5 Ethics hours Date: Wed., September 9, 2009 Time: Registration 8:30 a.m. Program: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Location: MCB Center Fees: $175 attorney rate; $90 paralegal rate Residential and Commercial LandlordTenant Law 2009–Practical & Ethical Concerns CLE Credit: 3.0 General and 1.0 Ethics hours Date: Wed., September 16, 2009 Time: Registration 8:30 a.m. Program: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Location: MCB Center Fees: $175 attorney rate; $49 pro bono attorney rate; $25 LANC/LSSP rate Video replay dates at the MCB Center from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wed., October 21, 2009; Wed., November 18, 2009 and Wed., December 16, 2009









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Diversity Initiatives for the Legal Profession in Charlotte CLE Credit: 1.75 Ethics hours Date: Thurs., September 17, 2009 Time: Registration 3:00 p.m. Program: 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Location: Hilton Charlotte Center City Fees: $20 participant rate Corporate Compliance CLE Credit: 1.0 General hour Date: Tues., September 29, 2009 Registration 11:30 a.m. Time: Program: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Location: McGuireWoods $75 attorney rate; Fees: $35 paralegal rate Keys for Successful Trust Account Practices CLE Credit: 2.0 General hours Date: Thurs., October 8, 2009 Time: Registration 12:00 p.m. Program: 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Location: MCB Center Fees: $125 attorney rate; $60 paralegal rate Conservation Easements CLE Credit: 3.0 General hours Fri., November 13, 2009 Date: Time: Registration 8:30 a.m. Program: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. MCB Center Location: Fees: $175 attorney rate; $90 paralegal rate 2010 Annual Review CLE Credit: 12.0 Total hours (8.0 General; 3.0 Ethics and 1.0 Mental Health/Substance Abuse) Dates: Fri., February 12 and Sat., February 13, 2010 Time: Registration 30 minutes prior to program start Program: Fri. 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sat. 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Location: TBA Fees: $545 attorney rate; $275 paralegal rate

Submit Dues and Contact Information by Sept. 30 Membership Dues Late Fee A $15 late fee will be imposed on all dues payments not received by September 30, 2009. You may pay your dues at or mail your invoice and check to Mecklenburg County Bar, 438 Queens Rd., Charlotte, NC 28207.

Update Your Contact Information Please update your contact information if it has changed. You may log-in to your account on to confirm and/or edit your current contact information or email Jill Wiggins at All changes must be made by September 30, 2009 to be reflected in the MCB 2009-10 Membership Directory.

August 2009

2009–10 Approved Budget/2008–09 Year-End Actual 2009–10 Budgeted

INCOME BLI CLE Interest Income Law Day Income LRS Mecklenburg Bar Foundation Membership Dues Other Income Other Initiatives Publications Sections Income Social Sports Income Sponsor Income VLP Total Income

$30,500 451,500 10,000 11,820 50,000 90,697 638,000 17,257 3,000 109,920 15,000 36,175 30,000 44,450 $1,538,319

2008–09 Income Membership Dues $634,285

2008–09 Year-End

$32,950 502,524 11,669 11,940 52,305 60,126 634,285 18,095 5,595 80,094 18,508 49,971 NA 44,666 $1,522,728

2008–09 Expenses

Other Income (Interest, Publications, Social Sports, etc.)

Staffing $861,808


CLE, LRS, VLP $194,152

Other Expenses CLE, LRS, VLP $599,495

(Automation, Occupancy, Publications, etc.)

2009–10 Budgeted

EXPENSES $4,000 Audit Fees 6,240 Automation 37,160 BLI Board/Committee Expenses 11,150 CLE 147,500 Capital Expense 4,000 Depreciation Expense 5,000 Dues/Subscriptions 3,000 Equipment Rental/Maintenance 21,200 Exec. Director Discretionary 1,000 Furniture/Equipment 2,000 Law Day Expenses 11,920 4,500 LRS 12,750 Meetings/Travel 400 Memorial Contributions Miscellaneous Expenses 3000 Occupancy 122,392 Office Supplies 11,500 Other Initiatives 5,069 Postage 5,200 Printing (Dues/Statements) 750 Prof. Development/Staff Educ. 6,500 Publications 74,882 Refreshments 1,000 45,812 Social Sports 986,294 Staffing VLP 4,100 Total Expenses $1,538,319

We Still Need YOUR help!

A teacher at Devonshire Elementary School creates an assembly line of students at the Community Schools Project Ice Cream Social.

August 2009

$3,950 7,257 32,066 10,485 189,880 4,437 5,000 2,760 22,810 1,071 1,780 8,602 1,905 13,687 425 2,043 111,067 11,054 6,854 4,496 974 7,558 68,385 1,005 36,776 861,808 2,367 $1,420,502


Patrons Fund 2009 If you are one of the 140 Mecklenburg County Bar members who have already made a gift or pledge to the 2009 Patrons Fund Campaign, we thank and celebrate you for your support. As of July 3rd, you have raised 46% of the Campaign’s $125,000 goal. Our community’s at-risk populations – children, residents of low-income, immigrants, the unemployed and displaced – will benefit greatly from your generosity. Thanks to your commitment to the 2009 Patrons Fund, the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation (MBF) will award competitive grants to organizations coping with rising demands for their services coupled with declining revenue sources. Programs receiving grant awards in 2009 include the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Professionalism, Lawyer Life & Culture Committee, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Larry King’s Clubhouse, International House, Council for Children’s Rights, and the Bar

2008–09 Year-End

Leadership Institute. Visit to learn how these funds will be put to use. If you have not made a contribution to the 2009 Patrons Fund, we still need your help! Help the MBF fulfill its commitment to raising a record $125,000. Enclosed in this issue of The Mecklenburg Bar News is your pledge envelope. Please complete and return it before August 31st. If you intend to be billed, the Foundation is happy to create a billing cycle specific to your needs. You can also mail a check to MBF Patrons Fund, Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, 438 Queens Rd., Charlotte, NC 28207 or donate online at Contribute now and allow the Bar and Foundation to inspire others by recognizing your contribution in our ongoing programs and publications. For additional details, please contact Stephen Belenky, or 704/375-8624.

Community Schools Project Chair Jonathan T. Adams and MCB staff Sarah Darby help children at Ashley Park Elementary School pick their ice cream treat.

Get referrals from your fellow attorneys

Feature Your Firm in the Blue Pages The “blue pages” or Areas of Concentration section of the Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) Membership Directory is an invaluable yearround listing of attorneys, indexed by specific areas of practice. There are more than 5,000 MCB Membership Directories distributed each year. Attorneys listed in the blue pages under their area(s) of practice are at the fingertips of anyone needing to make a referral or find an attorney in a specialized area of law. • Receive referrals from attorneys whose clients need your expertise. •

Be found easily, listed under your legal specialty.

Identify if your services are available in specific foreign languages.

First Area of Concentration – $100* Each additional specialty – $25* Listings marked with specific multilingual designation – single fee of $25 for all of your listings To list yourself in the blue pages, visit and click on the Areas of Concen-tration button. Fill out the order form and return it with your payment to MCB Areas of Concentration, 438 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207 or call Stephen Belenky at 704/375-8624 *All fees apply to each participating attorney, not each firm.


Real Property Section Social BY


The Real Property Section had a great turnout to their annual social on June 18, 2009 – even with a deluge of rain starting the evening. After a quick fourth quarter meeting, the Real Property Section spent time socializing with members and colleagues, and enjoyed a superb spread provided by Mama Riccota’s. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, the Section was able to offer this social free of charge to its members. The Real Property Section would like to thank Katten, Muchin, Rosenman, LLP; Morehead Title Company; and Peoples Bank. All of the sponsors not only provided financial sponsorship, but attended the social as well. The Real Property Section will host its first quarterly meeting of the 2009-2010 year Sept. 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm at the Bar Center. Topics to be discussed include CLE ideas and speakers, current concerns in the practice and Section annual goals. Preceding the meeting, there will be a sectionsponsored CLE at the Bar Center on “Real Estate Commission Issues” presented by Garth K. Dunklin with Wishart, Norris, Henninger, and Pittman, P.A. Look for the flier in your August Mecklenburg Bar News and CLE Bar Blasts or visit for additional details. For more information on the Mecklenburg County Bar Real Property Section, contact Chair Erika Erlenbach at, MCB Sections Liaison Amy Young at or visit


Family Based Immigration Non-Immigrant Employment Visas Immigration Court Representation Adjustment of Status & Immigration Waivers CHARLOTTE OFFICE 5806 Prosperity Road, Suite A2-125 Charlotte, NC 28269 Tel. (704) 614-9152 Email: *Admitted: NC & MA Member: Mecklenburg County Bar Association (MCB) Member: American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

Fun to Spare – YLS Hosts Annual Meeting at StrikeCity BY


The Young Lawyers Section of the Mecklenburg County Bar (YLS) held its annual meeting and summer social at StrikeCity Bowling on June 24, 2009. Each year, the YLS recognizes a section member during the annual meeting who has made significant contributions to the practice of law and the Mecklenburg County community. Clark C. Walton was presented the 2009 Young Lawyer of the Year award. Clark regularly donates probono legal services to several worthy causes. Of specific note is Clark’s involvement in the North Carolina Bar Association’s Wills for Heroes program. As the 2008-2009 Wills for Heroes Co-Chair, Clark helped increase the number of legal clinics offered for free estate planning to firefighters, police officers, and EMTs from two clinics to seven clinics. More than 1,500 North Carolina first responders and their families secured free estate planning services and documents through Will for Heroes in 2008-2009. Several outstanding young lawyers were

nominated for this year’s award. The YLS recognizes Terra K. Atkinson, Katie M. Bowles, Tonya Graser, Henry “Chip” Howes Jr., Gary T. McDermott, David P. Milling, Vaughn K. Reynolds, Ryan G. Rich, Benjamin F. Sidbury, Lauren M. Vaughn, Rebecca K. Watts, and Jeffrey Widdison. Each of these exceptional young lawyers volunteers their time and talents to better our community. The YLS presented Anne J. Randall a plaque in recognition of her service to the Section as 20082009 chair. A YLS member since 2003, Anne recently moved to Wilmington, North Carolina to join Legal Aid of North Carolina. She will be greatly missed. New Section officers were approved during the annual meeting. The 2009-2010 officers are Amy B. Foxhall, Chair; Tara A. Harris, Vice Chair; and Daniel A. Merlin, Secretary/Treasurer. The YLS is seeking chairs for several committees. If you are interested in getting involved in the YLS, please contact Chair Amy Foxhall at or Amy Young at

MCB Sections: Enroll Today! The Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) offers 11 sections to serve its members within particular fields. Each section sponsors CLEs on topics requested by their membership, and provides social, networking and educational opportunities for its members. For detailed information about the activities of a specific section, please visit or contact Sections Liaison Amy Young at 704/375-8624 ext.124 or Any MCB member may enroll as a member of a section by the payment of the annual dues indicated below. Section:  Business Law  Civil Litigation  Corporate Counsel (limited to attorneys employed fulltime in a corporation’s law department or in any executive, managerial, or supervisory capacity)

 Criminal Justice  Estate Planning & Probate  Family Law

 Immigration & Nationality  Real Property  Sole Practitioner/Small


Annual section dues for assistant district attorneys (ADA) and assistant public defenders (APD) are $10. Judges’ dues are waived. You may register for sections at or use this form to indicate the section(s) you would like to join. Mail the completed form and a check payable to the Mecklenburg County Bar to MCB Sections, 438 Queens Rd., Charlotte, NC 28207. MCB sections are an invaluable resource for networking and educational opportunities within your own practice area – join today!

 Tax  Young Lawyers

Annual Dues:

Standard Dues (per section) Young Lawyers Section only: (attorneys who are 36 years Standard Dues of age or younger or are in Young Lawyers Section only: their first 3 years of practice in Law Student Affiliate Mecklenburg County) ADA/APD (per section) Judicial


$25 $20 $10 $10 $0


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August 2009


continued from cover

the King James version of the Gospel of Mark. He has also directed several plays, including “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Grease.” He sings too. I hear he’s pretty good. Judge Caldwell is also passionate about his faith. He visits the pulpit regularly on Sunday mornings and even won an award for one sermon that invites its listener to consider prisoner justice from a Christian perspective. “Will you be a Pharaoh’s cupbearer or God’s Angel,” he asks, “a sheep or a goat?” In another sermon, he knocks softly, then loudly at the lectern symbolizing Jesus Christ knocking at the door of the human heart. Soaked in his characteristic dramatic paradigm, his sermons invite their listener to explore deeper meaning in the seeming idiosyncrasies of daily life. His passion for Justice led him to practice law. Growing up, his parents taught him the importance of equality regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status. He learned to communicate with people from all backgrounds and always “rooted for the underdog.” He believed that by practicing law, he could make a positive change in the lives of real people. After graduating from law school, he worked in private practice and as a public defender for several years. Judge Caldwell was appointed by Governor Hunt in 1993. He still gets choked up thinking about all of the letters that his colleagues, friends and clients sent in support of his appointment. On the bench, he rules with passion and often lectures criminal defendants about their actions. More than once, Judge Caldwell has made “not breaking your mother’s heart” a condition to probation. He has been a crusader for civility within the Bar and he is well known for his intolerance of what he calls “gamesmanship.” He recounted the story of a young lawyer who moved to strike a pleading because opposing counsel, through an oversight, failed to sign his name to it. He called the young lawyer into chambers and explained the importance of collegiality and reputation within the legal community. The litmus test, he says, is to ask ourselves, “would my mother approve of this?” Judge Caldwell goes to his office in the Gaston County Courthouse seven days a week. It’s not because he’s a workaholic, but rather because he loves what he does. For him, it’s not a job, it’s his passion. Because of this, I don’t think he’s ever worked a day in his life. I headed back into the office the following Monday morning, determined to write the brief that I had put off on that rainy Friday afternoon. This trip downtown was different today, however, for in my briefcase tucked deep inside a pocket, I had safely pinned a small red string. It reminds me who I am.

An Intern Recaps on a Summer of Calls, Community, and Co-op Experience This summer, the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service (MCB LRS) was able to host a Central Piedmont Community College student once again through their Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program where students trade internship time for class credit towards a degree in Paralegal Studies. Sara Poplin, an Albemarle, NC native, spent a couple of months with MCB LRS speaking with clients, coordinating administrative tasks, and helping the annual LRS Reception – all to earn class credit in anticipation of her expected graduation date of December 2009. Sara’s time screening calls provided muchneeded experience as she ventures into the paralegal field. She admits her hesitancy at first in fielding over 25 calls a day but confirms that “over the past several weeks I’ve gained the confidence and skills necessary to handle questions from clients and properly place them with attorneys.” With more than 40 areas of law in which to place clients, the education she received in the classroom was heightened by this real-world experience. Sara also experienced how MCB LRS has always been first and foremost a public service for the Charlotte community. As Sara explains “each day new people call in with legal problems and look to the Bar for guidance” either because they have found that the “phonebook is daunting” or because “many

times the clients aren’t quite sure what type of attorney they need in the first place.” She learned first-hand that “for the public, the Lawyer Referral Service is simple, convenient, and beneficial. They don’t have to deal with the stress of finding the right lawyer because the right lawyer is selected for them within minutes of their phone call.” Sara’s quick grasp of the purpose of the program showed in her patience and genuine concern with each caller. Her pleasant attitude extended to other tasks as well and she made a large impression on MCB LRS staff in the short time she was here. LRS Assistant Sarah Darby said, “When you have a service that deals directly with people, it is important that you have employees who are going to reflect your mission statement. Sarah is a natural and very talented when it comes to communicating with people. Her willingness to help people and her dedication to the service has certainly made her a great asset in the Lawyer Referral Service.” Sara acknowledges the challenges her work can have but, as she explains, “I leave work each day happy knowing that I’ve helped so many people with their problems. Attorneys stand up for those who have been wronged, and are a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.” I don’t think we could have put it better ourselves!

Resumé Posting & Searching Available at The Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) offers online resources for Bar members who are seeking employment or have questions related to how the economy may impact their career. Visit the Career Corner at for advice and resources on a variety of career-related subjects, including job search, practice areas, networking, women in law, opening a solo/small firm, and coping with job loss. For a limited time, MCB members can post their resumés and bios to the Career Corner free of charge. Potential employers can search the bios and resumés, and will be able to contact MCB members directly regarding potential job opportunities. Solo/small firms can search the database for contract labor

when they need additional help. Take advantage of this opportunity to post your bio and resumé to the Career Corner as part of your career search. This tool is searchable by members, providing you a networking opportunity to connect with other similarly situated people. This is one of the many initiatives by the MCB in response to the economy – in part through the help of the Professionalism, Lawyer Life and Culture Committee. If you have any suggestions for additional topics not covered in the Career Corner, please contact Maya Engle at or 704/375-8624 ext. 126.

Attorney Positions Available Gaston Memorial Hospital, flagship of CaroMont Health, is seeking a CORPORATE COUNSEL. Requires law degree from an ABA accredited law school, member/eligible for North Carolina Bar, and minimum of 5 years’ experience in health care legal practice. Physician financial arrangements and contracting experience preferred. Apply at or email EOE.

August 2009

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From the President continued from page 1 the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization.

MCB Volunteer Spotlight: Tim Logan BY JACKIE


Timothy P. Logan is a Capital Markets and Public Finance attorney who makes time for regular pro bono work. The Mecklenburg County Bar Volunteer Lawyer Program thanks Tim for his dedication to helping individuals in our community through the Wills & Estates Program. Current Employer/Years: McGuireWoods LLP / 3 years Area of Practice / Expertise: Capital Markets and Public Finance Law School / Law School Graduation Year: University of Virginia School of Law / 2006 MCB VLP: How did you discover the Wills & Estates Program? TL: Stephen Allred, McGuireWoods’ pro bono coordinator, put me in contact with the Mecklenburg County Bar when I was looking for transactional pro bono work. MCB VLP: What does a typical Wills & Estates case entail? TL: Most cases involve basic estate planning concerns, especially planning for the transfer of a new Habitat for Humanity home to the client’s children or loved ones. MCB VLP: How many of these types of pro bono cases do you typically handle at one time? TL: I take the cases on as the Bar contacts me. I rarely have more than one or two at a time.

TL: Each case begins with an application with basic information from the client. I review the application then meet with the client in person to make sure I understand their wishes and present them with any alternative options I think would be beneficial. MCB VLP: Did you participate in any particular training so that you could handle the pro bono cases? TL: I have not undertaken any formal training, but Graham McGoogan and Herb Browne have been invaluable sources of information. MCB VLP: What is your hope for the future with regard to the Wills & Estate Program?


TL: I would ultimately like to see all current Habitat homeowners have their estate planning needs met. Once that goal is met, I feel the Bar could easily work to serve new families as they become homeowners. MCB VLP: What is the best advice you’ve received during your legal career? TL: Brent Jeffcoat put it most succinctly by telling me, “a client is what makes one a lawyer.” I’ve had the opportunity to work with many successful attorneys with various strengths, styles and demeanors. The one constant among them was their ability to excel in serving their clients. MCB VLP: What advice would you give others?

MCB VLP: How do you prepare for handling such cases?


Tim Logan answers a homeowner’s question at a recent Habitat for Humanity Homeowners class at their headquarters.

TL: I would advise other young lawyers to get involved with a pro bono matter. It’s been a great experience to have a client I’m responsible for, and to be able to see such direct and meaningful results from my work. MCB VLP: What is your favorite part of your current job? TL: I love the feeling of finalizing a transaction to the benefit of both parties, especially when that transaction is in the nonprofit, higher education or healthcare sector in public finance. If you are interested in joining Tim’s efforts with the Wills & Estates Program, contact Mary Jordan Mullinax at 704/375-8624 or

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2. CLE Initiatives. The CLE Committee continues to do what it does best by offering quality, convenient and affordable CLE opportunities. As a result, CLE revenues this year are at record highs, despite the down economy. Part of the reason for this is that the MCB CLE options are more attractive as law firm budgets are tightened. But much of the reason for the success of the CLE program is that the MCB has improved the quality and timeliness of its programs, improved awareness of programs, and made CLE opportunities more convenient and accessible. Last month the recently reconstituted Professionalism and Lawyer Life Resources and Culture Committee (PLLC) sponsored a timely program entitled “Hard Times Surviving and Thriving in the Economic Recession”. This month psychologist Michael Hall, Phd will complete a three part series on dealing with job loss entitled “Who Moved my Job?” These and other CLE programs create a win-win situation for the MCB and its members by giving the members what they need while providing revenues to fund the MCB operations. 3. Improve Service to Members. The MCB is continuing to look for ways to better serve its more than 4200 members. Recently, the Bar initiated an informal peer networking event called “Coffee Connections.” Two such events have been well received with more planned. The Bar has also created a “Career Corner” on its website to provide help for attorneys in transition. The Career Corner offers a wealth of helpful information on resume writing, opening a law practice, and other tips for dealing with personal, professional and economic challenges. The website also gives members the opportunity to connect with potential clients by signing up to participate in our ABA-approved Lawyer Referral Service. Check out our website at Let us know what else the MCB can do to serve the needs of our members during these difficult times. Help yourself and the Bar to find opportunity in adversity by giving us your thoughts and feedback. You can reach me at or Nancy Roberson, Bar Executive Director, at

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

DISCLAIMER Efforts will be made to provide information of interest that is timely, accurate, and relevant to the legal community. The Mecklenburg County Bar is not responsible for misprints, typographical errors, or misinformation in The Mecklenburg Bar News. The views and opinions are not necessarily those of the 26th Judicial District Bar. Communications Committee: Tricia Derr, Chair, Judge Bob Johnston, Stephen Belenky, Mike Daisley, Alan Edmonds, Will Esser, Jon Goldberg, Allison Karp, Charles Keller, Rhea Kelley, John Lassiter, Phillip Lewis, Nancy Roberson, Michael Shor, Russ Traw

August 2009

Lawyers’ Luncheon Series Last year, the Bar held monthly luncheons at First Presbyterian Church to allow lawyers to gather, eat, socialize and hear brief remarks from a speaker. The 2009-10 luncheons will again take place on the second Thursday of each month at First Presbyterian Church from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. While the primary focus is providing an opportunity for Bar members to socialize and network, the Committee is lining up a diverse and interesting group of speakers to address a variety of topics, both legal and non-legal. Last year, speakers included CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe, and Humpy Wheeler. The Committee welcomes your suggestions for future speakers and programs. Please make a point of reserving 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. on the following dates for these luncheons, and watch for upcoming announcements with more details. Speakers will be announced at and your weekly Bar Blasts.

Luncheon Series Schedule for 2009–10 Date Registration Deadline September 4, 2009 September 10, 2009 October 2, 2009 October 8, 2009 November 6, 2009 November 12, 2009

Luncheon Series Schedule for 2009–10 Date Registration Deadline December 4, 2009 December 10, 2009 February 5, 2010 February 11, 2010 March 5, 2010 March 11, 2010 April 1, 2010 April 8, 2010

MCB September Luncheon Registration Each luncheon is $10 per attorney Name___________________________________________________________________________________ Firm name_______________________________________________________________________________ E-mail __________________________________________________________________________________ Phone _____________________________________Fax__________________________________________

I am enclosing a check payable to Mecklenburg County Bar TOTALING ______________ For the 9/10/09 luncheon, please mail your registration form and check before 9/4/09 to MCB Luncheon Series, 438 Queens Road, Charlotte, North Carolina 28207

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MCB Golf Tournament at a New Location! Why: It’s a terrific way for attorneys to develop relationships with their associates and colleagues. Upon request, teams may include two people from the same firm. When: Wednesday, August 26, 2009. Lunch is at noon with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Where: Raintree Country Club, 8600 Raintree Lane How: Registrants will be assigned to four-person teams representing different handicaps or skill levels.

MasterCard (plus $1 processing fee). Registration Deadline: Friday, August 21, 2009. Space is limited, so register now.

More Details: Contact Leah Reed at or 704/375-8624, ext. 114 for more information.

2009 MCB Golf Tournament Registration (please fill out one form per player) Name ______________________________________________________________



Cost: $65 per player includes greens fees, box lunch, golf cart, prizes, and reception. $15 for the posttournament reception only.

Firm name _______________________________________________________________________________

Prizes: Longest drive, closest to the pin, and top net team score. (Last year’s prizes included gift certificates to Fore the Links and Edwin Watts Golf, free golf swing analyses, and a chance to win a new luxury car for a hole-in-one.)


Other Good Stuff: Lunch and refreshments before the game and a post-round catered reception and prize ceremony recognizing the winners (registered guests welcome at the reception).

If no handicap, last three 18-hole scores (within three years) ___________ ___________ _____________

Pay by Check: Please use the registration form to the right.

I’m enclosing a check payable to Mecklenburg County Bar TOTALING:__________________________

Pay by Credit Card: Please visit to register and pay using American Express, Visa, or

Name of preferred teammate (one name only, please) _________________________________________

E-mail _______________________________________ Phone______________________________________ Fax__________________________________________ Handicap___________________________________

 Tournament (includes reception):


 Reception only OR guest attending reception (name): ___________________________________ $15

Please mail your registration form and check by 8/21/2009 to MCB Golf Tournament, 438 Queens Road, Charlotte, North Carolina 28207

M a j o r, Lindsey & Africa


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August 2009



438 Queens Road Charlotte, NC 28207




August 2009




Volume 36 No. 2

Passionate Justice: The Honorable Jesse B. Caldwell III DATED MATERIAL

In This Issue The Honorable Jesse B. Caldwell III......................cover

Young Lawyers Section ..................................................4

From the President .........................................................1

MCB Sections Enrollment ............................................4

Lawyers in the News ......................................................1

Lawyer Referral Service .................................................5

Continuing Legal Education..........................................2

Resumé Posting and Searching .....................................5

2009–10 MCB Budget ...................................................3

Volunteer Spotlight........................................................6

Patrons Fund Update .....................................................3

MCB Luncheon Series...................................................7

Feature Your Firm ...........................................................3

MCB Golf Tournament .................................................7

Real Property Section ....................................................4

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red string to remind ourselves “who we are.” I remembered reaching out It was half past lunchtime on to shake his hand and how he Friday. The rain pelted my office extended his arms for a hug instead. window, tapping a mesmeric beat. I thought of his devotion to his four My “to do” list was long, but on this children and the joy in his eyes as particular dreary afternoon, I simply he described each one of them. I couldn’t muster the willpower to recalled our first lunch meeting at start drafting a brief. My eye Simmons’s Soul Food Restaurant wandered to a file labeled where a man he previously “Materials for Caldwell Article” sentenced welcomed him so warmly lying neatly on my credenza. I and how they playfully chided one picked it up and began leafing another over a Croaker Fish through its contents. A diverse Dinner. collection of articles, photographs, Yes, “passionate” is the word sermons and even a class syllabus that best describes Judge Caldwell. filled my brown accordion file. I Passionate about the Arts. settled in and began to unfold a Passionate about God. Passionate documentary scrapbook of The about Justice. Honorable Jesse B. Caldwell III. I His passion for the Arts The Honorable Jesse B. Caldwell III delivering “St. developed early. Growing up in a became hypnotized. Mark's Gospel” at First United Methodist Church of Hours later, my phone rang. small community in Gaston County, Gastonia in April 1982. “Are you coming home soon?” my young Jesse was affectionately husband asked. I could hear the comforting sounds of chaos in dubbed “the director,” referring both to his “bossy” personality the background – 6:30 p.m. The office was empty, my desk and his notoriety for piecing together neighborhood plays. As covered with the pages of Judge Caldwell’s life. the oldest of four children, Jesse often recruited his siblings to I drove home, consumed in thought about this polymath participate in his projects. He fussed over them, requiring long that I had volunteered to capture in 1000 words or less. hours of practice in preparation for “the show.” However, as it turned out, I would really only need one word. Later in life, his interest in acting translated into a love for “Passion,” he said, staring at me over his chicken salad drama and a talent onstage. He has acted in numerous plays, plate at Lupie’s Cafe. I remembered the velvet red carnation he depicting King Arthur’s illegitimate son in Camelot and Allen wore in his lapel at our last meeting. I thought of the “scarlet Felix in “Play It Again, Sam.” He put on a one man show thread of fairness” he described so vividly in the articles he called “St. Mark’s Gospel,” which involved a poetic reading of continued on page 5 wrote and how he urged members of the Bar to carry a small BY


August 2009

The Mecklenburg Bar News - 8/09  

August 2009

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