Volume 35 No. 11
From the President Our Role in Recovery My son suggested recently that I read a book recommended to him entitled, A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink. Pink is a new age business writer with a J.D. John Lassiter, from Yale, who has MCB President focused on changes in the workplace. His theory in his latest book is that our economy is leaving the Information Age, where knowledge workers and technology drive productivity and globalization, and entering the Conceptual Age, a new economy bolstered by right brain skills of creativity and intuition, ideas not easily replicated by a computer. Thinking how these ideas might affect the legal profession led me to speculate on the role of lawyers in economic recovery. If we are leaving a world dominated by the left brain attributes of analytics, logic and linear thinking, the talents heavily weighted in the LSAT, how will we stack up in Pink’s new world. He references six highconcept and high-touch aptitudes: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. Though the book is a quick read, this column allows me time to reflect on a few of these competencies and how attorneys might contribute in his theoretical economy. Design is the differentiator of products in the marketplace. Story is the context for the facts so readily available. He writes, “when facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact.” Symphony is the way we organize and interpret seemingly unrelated material. This outside the box thinking becomes the mechanism for connecting ideas and communicating experiences. On first blush, one might think legal skills might be tied to the old economy as we see some legal functions and services outsourced to India or offered on website forms. I suggest that clinging to services easily reduced to a commodity are not the long term highest and best use of the legal education. Consider the strength of the research, reasoning and deductive skills honed in law school and how lawyers are uniquely positioned to weave order from a collection of disparate concepts and ideas to meet the ever changing needs of our clients. Consider the current credit constraints limiting economic growth. Many point to freeing up banks as the solution, yet banks have historically provided only 30% of the business credit. Lawyers interact with the related sources of equity and investment wealth and have explored the methods of debt, risk and repayment from every side of the transaction. Similarly as we struggle to find ways to create new ways to meet the energy needs of our economy and particularly expanding renewable sources, our profession is at the epicenter of the continued on page 6
by Robert P. Johnston Nipp Retools Career after 10 Years of Practice John Nipp will never have to wonder what might have been. He’s living it. A few years ago–at the age of 36–Nipp decided to go from a general litigation attorney to a patent attorney who litigates. “I have always been interested in technology and computers and wondered how I could merge my interests outside of work with my work. “I was also interested in having a little more of a specialty. I felt that my trial experience as a prosecutor and civil litigator would be a valuable asset upon entering the realm of IP litigation. “Becoming a patent attorney seemed to address both interests,” says Nipp. So at the end of 2005, Nipp left Dozier, Miller, Pollard & Murphy–where he had practiced since 1998–to pursue becoming a patent attorney. Nipp had an undergraduate degree in political science and economics from UNC-Chapel Hill (1996), but he needed a science degree to take the patent exam. After completing certain academic prerequisites, Nipp entered a program at UNCC to obtain an M.S. degree in Computer Science. “Going back to school after a little over a decade out was a challenge. I stood out like a sore thumb because of my age. “It was hard, man. I had to take back-to-back physics courses with a lab, for example.
“Another course involved algorithms, integrals, and derivatives–concepts I’d not dealt with for a long time. “I was a full-time student but also had to juggle Dad duties,” said Nipp, who reports that his children are now 8, 6, and 2. Nipp In spite of it all, Nipp “made pretty decent grades,” and received his M.S. degree in Computer Science in December of 2007. After passing the patent bar exam in early 2008, he became a registered patent attorney. Nipp, who has a J.D. degree from UNC’s School of Law, attributes his decision to become a patent attorney in part to two things: “Participating in the Bar Leadership Institute provided me the incentive to reexamine what I wanted in a career. Also, I talked to another attorney who said words to the effect of, ‘Ten years ago I had some ideas I wanted to pursue. I didn’t, and now it’s too late,’” says Nipp. “Everything’s worked out very well, and I’m grateful to my wife, who became the sole breadwinner for two years. She encouraged me and extended her blessings and full support.” Nipp’s wife, Tracy Nipp, is assistant general counsel at NASCAR.
Adams Appointed to INTA Panel of Neutrals
Rick McDermott Receives “Spirit of Marquette” Award
W. Thad Adams, III, has been appointed to the International Trademark Law Association (INTA) Panel of Neutrals. The INTA Panel of Neutrals is the world’s only international panel of neutral mediators who are both expert Adams in trademark and unfair competition law and trained in the art of mediating disputes. Adams has mediated attorney/client fee disputes for many years as a member of the Fee Dispute Resolution Committee of the Mecklenburg County Bar and is certified as a mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission. He is one of two INTA Panel of Neutral Members in North and South Carolina. Adams is president and principal shareholder in Adams Intellectual Property Law, P.A., a Charlottebased international patent, trademark, and copyright law practice that he founded in 1978 and continues to manage.
Rick McDermott has been chosen to receive the “Spirit of Marquette” award, which recognizes professional achievements before age 40. Marquette University will honor six distinguished alumni and two friends of the university April 25. McDermott is a partner in Alston & Bird’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. He concentrates on intellectual property litigation, including patent, trademark, copyright and other technology disputes A member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Intellectual Property Owners Association, he is a frequent author and speaker and is co-author of the monthly “Selected Intellectual Property Law Developments” column appearing in the Electronic Banking Law and Commerce Report. He is also a regular lecturer on Intellectual Property Law at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte. McDermott volunteers with several charities, including the Charlotte chapter of the United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Charlotte Children’s Choir, and several Catholic outreach services. He earned both his undergraduate degree (Engineering, 1991) and law degree (1994) from Marquette University and continues to serve his alma mater through service as co-founder and past president of the Marquette Club of the Carolinas, past president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, current member of the National Advisory Council of the College of Engineering, president-elect of the Law School Alumni Association Board, and recipient of the Law School’s Howard B. Eisenberg Award in 2003.
American College of Trial Lawyers Includes Others from Charlotte Last month’s article on Claire Rauscher’s and James Wyatt’s being inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers included a list of members from Charlotte. Omitted members include Tim Barber, Harvey Cosper, and Henderson Hill, who were inducted into the college in 2007.
Cloud Computing 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 here at the Bar Center, other local sites, and even at your own office as well as online programs right at your desk 24/7. Our programs are competitively priced–with rarely any additional long-distance travel expenses. And our customer service is friendly, competent, and knowledgeable. Support your local Bar by getting your CLE credits through the courses listed below.
In-House Video Replays You can bring CLE video replays to your firm by contacting Lisa Armanini (email@example.com) or CLE Assistant Sally Kenney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Just guarantee that at least three attorneys will view the course and give Lisa or Sally 30-days notice. Video replay hours do not count towards the four-hour online allotment.
Online Programs Visit the CLE Program at www.meckbar.org for on-demand, convenient courses. NC State Bar allows up to four hours of online courses annually–video and live programs do not count towards that total. Customer service line 800/590-6867. MCB endorses only Education Over the Net as our online hosting service.
Live Programs Presentation Skills for Attorneys CLE Credit: 2.0 General and 1.0 Ethics Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 Time: Registration 8:30 a.m. Program 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Location: Interact Studio, 1435 West Morehead Street Fee: $195 attorney rate Bankruptcy Seminar 2009 CLE Credit: 5.25 General and 1.0 Ethics Date: Friday, May 8, 2009 Time: Registration 8:30 a.m. Program 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel Fees: $240 attorney rate; $130 paralegal rate Parent Coordinators Sponsored by the MCB Family Law Section CLE Credit: 1.0 General Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009 Time: Registration 12:15 p.m. Program 12:45 p.m.– 1:45 p.m. Location: MCB Center Fees: $50 FLS attorney rate; $75 Non Member attorney rate
UCC Articles 3 and 4 Update CLE Credit: 3.0 General Date: Friday, May 15, 2009 Time: Registration 8:30 a.m. Program 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Location: MCB Center $150 attorney rate; Fees: $75 paralegal rate Prosecuting and Defending Preference Claims CLE Credit: 1.0 General Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 Time: TBA Location: MCB Center Fees: $75 attorney rate; $35 paralegal rate Asset Planning and Protection CLE Credit: 1.0 General Date: Thursday, May 28, 2009 Time: Registration 12:00 p.m. Program 12:30 p.m.– 1:30 p.m. Location: MCB Center Fees: $75 attorney rate; $35 paralegal rate
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that cloud computing has on their practices as well as the legal and business risks that this technology paradigm imposes on clients. While cloud computing offers significant advantages for business processes, it also raises business and legal risks, primarily linked to the loss of information control by the ultimate information owner. If you do not know where your data resides or who is managing it, how do you know it is protected from prying eyes? Many legal concepts like trade secrets and lawyer-client privilege are based on the owner of information maintaining control and secrecy of the information. A privilege can be lost if the wrong person hears your client’s conversation. The law will not protect data as a trade secret if too many people are granted easy access to the data. Public companies and clients in regulated industries have additional control requirements that may be threatened by cloud computing. Public companies must actively manage the security of their important information to meet the institutional control prescribed under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Similarly, financial institutions, healthcare providers and even power generation firms are subject to regulatory obligation of controlling and protecting institutional processes and data flow. Any of these companies could fall afoul of regulatory requirements by carelessly ceding control of processes and information to cloud computing vendors. Poor service from cloud computing vendors can be difficult to handle. Like in any outsourcing contract, cloud computing can put a company’s business processes at risk of breaking down unless adequate back-up and contingency plans are in place. Most companies plan for an alternative source of power should the electrical grid fail, and they should also plan for back-up if their cloud computing solution disappears or the cloud itself shuts down. Finally, by sending data or important company processes out to cloud providers, some companies are leaving themselves open to their important business information being held hostage at the end of the contract. Many vendor contracts include a nebulous requirement upon contract termination for processing fees and data conversion costs to return information. The customer’s data, required for ongoing business operations, can be held hostage for outrageous fees, and the vendor has no incentive at the end of a contract to treat the customer with respect. Where does this leave us and our clients? Choose carefully what applications to place into the cloud. If your business cannot survive without access to a certain process or set of data for several days, then that process or data should probably be kept under your company’s control and not cast into the cloud. Prior to signing a cloud computing contract, larger businesses will send data security analysts to review the cloud provider’s controls and systems and will create secondary back-up systems to plan for disasters. Contract negotiation is crucial to minimizing the risks of cloud computing. A lawyer can provide value to his or her clients by confirming that the client’s data will be safe during the contract and that the data will not be held hostage when the contract terminates. Map the contract terms and service levels to the client’s business and regulatory priorities. If your client must meet the PCI data security standards, then any cloud vendor holding card data for your client must also meet these standards; the contract should require commensurate compliance. Reserve the right to audit the cloud vendor’s controls. Cloud computing offers cost-effective alternatives for business processes, but lawyers should step back and analyze how transferring control into the cloud will affect a client’s business and regulatory needs.
MCB’s Operational Review by the American Bar Association To ensure that our Bar’s business operations are properly aligned with programmatic needs and to take the appropriate steps to become more strategic, we invited an operational review process by ABA’s Division for Bar Services, which was completed in late 2008. Consultants Elizabeth Derrico (Associate Director, ABA Division for Bar Services) and Julie Armstrong (Executive Director, Indianapolis Bar Association) spent nearly six months reviewing a
wide array of MCB materials (board minutes, financial reports, policy manuals, promotional and marketing materials, website, etc.); including two intensive days on-site surveying and interviewing board members, committee chairs and staff members; and comparing industry data. Overall, the report was very positive providing both exceptional priorities and recommendations. The full report is available on the main page under Announcements at www.meckbar.org.
Court Communiqués BY CHARLES KELLER, JR., MA, COMMUNITY ACCESS AND OUTREACH ADMINISTRATOR
Educational Program Receives Award The North Carolina Conference of Court Administrators (NCCCA) recently awarded the 26th Judicial District Trial Court Administrator’s (TCA) Office with their annual Judicial Administration Award for the Lessons, Educational Activities and Programs for Teachers (LEAP) project. The Judicial Administration Award was established by the NCCCA to recognize judicial districts and their respective agencies for meritorious projects and their exemplary accomplishments that enhance the administration of justice in North Carolina. The 26th Judicial District TCA’s Office has sought opportunities to reach out to the community and in an effort to assist teachers in educating students about the North Carolina court system, the TCA Community Access and Outreach division has collected and created a bank of lesson plans and classroom activities tailored to the State of North Carolina and Mecklenburg County court system. These resources provide a basic understanding of the operation of the North Carolina General Court of Justice in the 26th Judicial District, Mecklenburg County, from the role of juries and the process of jury selection to the differences between civil and criminal court cases and possible careers in the court system. The target audience for LEAP includes middle school and high school students studying civics, law, government, and/or social studies. Recently, a new audience was identified: Hispanic students taking English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. The goal is to teach young minds about the North Carolina court system at an early age to give them a solid base of knowledge from which they can draw upon later in life should they ever find
themselves in the court system or simply forming an opinion on how the court system may be handling an issue at some point in the future. It is the hope that these students will also take what they have learned and share it with their parents. Each lesson plan specifies a corresponding competency goal or objective as determined by the North Carolina State Board of Education to better serve the practical needs of teachers. These resources have been primarily selected to focus on those students taking the courses tenth grade Civics and Economics and Contemporary Law and Justice. Some of the lesson plans meet the criteria necessary to obtain Boy and Girl Scout badges. As a supplement to these classroom tools, the Community Access and Outreach division incorporates two additional educational programs: Speak Now! The 26th Judicial District Speakers Bureau, which includes judges, district attorneys, public defenders, and court administrators, and the Courthouse Tour program, which includes a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. These programs make the Mecklenburg County judicial system more accessible to students and teachers. These lesson plans have been used in several area Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, as well as several private schools. Feedback regarding the lesson plans has been very positive and teachers have indicated they are pleased to have a resource that is specific to the North Carolina court system. LEAP is available for download on the 26th Judicial District website www.nccourts.org/County/ Mecklenburg/Community/Education/Leap.asp
Diversity Committee Seeks Attorney Mentors for 2009-10 School Year The MCB Special Committee on Diversity is currently seeking volunteer attorneys who are interested in making a difference in the life of a young person by mentoring a student in the Lunch with a Lawyer program. Through a partnership with CharlotteMecklenburg Schools (CMS), lawyers will serve as mentors to rising eighth graders throughout the 2009-2010 school year. Mentors will meet with their paired mentee at least once a month for lunch, serving as a positive role model and providing the student with a window into the legal profession. Participating students, who are recommended by their principals and represent a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, are considering a future legal career. All new volunteer attorneys will attend a program orientation in July 2009 to discuss program expectations and to review tips for establishing a beneficial mentoring relationship. Additionally, new volunteer attorneys will be required to submit to a background check before being matched with a CMS student. The program officially celebrates its kick-off with a luncheon in mid-August prior to the new school year. Here, students, their parents, and school administrators will meet their attorney mentors and listen to guest speakers from the community. The MCB has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from lawyers and students who have participated in this program in the past, many of whom have formed relationships that will endure for years to come. If you or your colleagues are interested in serving in the 20092010 Lunch with a Lawyer program please contact Judge Albert Diaz (email@example.com or 704/686-0144) or Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell (Rickye.mckoymitchell @nccourts.org or 704/686-0141).
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Lawyers in Love: How to Stop Litigating Ourselves Out of Good Relationships Part 4 BY CHRIS OSBORN, LAWYERLIFE RESOURCE SUB-COMMITTEE CHAIR
â€œSo anyway,â€? continued Rick, â€œShe says I canâ€™t do anything right, and I that donâ€™t careâ€Ś and I didnâ€™t sign up to be treated this way. I just canâ€™t take this anymore!â€? â€œCanâ€™t take what?â€? â€œBeing criticized, and misunderstood all the freakinâ€™ time. It was the same thing on the way hereâ€“Iâ€™m coming here to work on the marriage, for Peteâ€™s sake, but sheâ€™s still accusing me of betraying her, and trying to get you on my side so I can have someone to team up against her. I mean come ON!? I canâ€™t win!â€? John smiled, then gently asked, â€œWell, so, what if sheâ€™s wrong?â€? â€œHuh?â€? The cascade of Rickâ€™s thoughts stopped short. â€œWhat if sheâ€™s wrong, Rick? What would that mean?â€? â€œWell it would mean, John,â€? Rick spat contemptuously, â€œthat there was no way I have a chanceâ€“no way that I can ever prove that Iâ€™m not all those thingsâ€“lazy,
and heartless and a loser. Iâ€™m just doomed.â€? â€œOK, so maybe you couldnâ€™t convince her of anything. But what would that mean about what is true about you?â€? Seeing Rickâ€™s silent bepuzzlement, John continued: â€œRick, do you honestly expect to be right all the time? â€œWell, of course not. I just want to be treated fairly.â€? â€œThatâ€™s fine, but do you honestly expect to always â€˜get itâ€™ when you are wrong? Or, do you honestly expect her to agree with you 100% of the time when you are right?â€? Rickâ€™s wheels kept turning, and his countenance softened. â€œHmmm.â€? Upon gaining courtroom experience, trial lawyers typically learn the sordid truth about litigation: we might confidently believe that our client to be right, our cause just, and all the caselaw tilting our wayâ€“and yet we might still be ruled against. We even learn to tell our clients the truism that, â€œNo one can predict what 12 ordinary people will do with this case.â€? Uncertainty is an unavoidable part of our judicial system; indeed, the complexity of human affairs (and our memory of them) partially explains why we even
YLS Update BY ANNE RANDALL CHAIR, YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION
MCBâ€™s Young Lawyer of the Year Award The Young Lawyers Section of the Mecklenburg County Bar (YLS) is accepting nominations for its fifth annual Young Lawyer of the Year Award. The purpose of this Award is to recognize the outstanding contributions young lawyers are making to the practice of law and the Mecklenburg County community as a whole. The Award will be given to a Young Lawyer who has shown outstanding general overall contributions to (1) the Bar, (2) the practice of law, (3) the community, (4) the recipientâ€™s clients, and/or (5) the recipientâ€™s firm or organization. The Award Committee places a special emphasis on professional contributions that further the purposes and objectives of the Mecklenburg County Bar and the YLS. The mission of the Mecklenburg County Bar is in part to serve the public and the Bar members by improving and preserving the administration of justice, and to assist the North Carolina State Bar. Similarly, the YLSâ€™s goals include promoting professional and social activities that will be of assistance to young lawyers in the practice of law, conducting law-related programs that benefit the general public, and encouraging the participation of young lawyers in the Mecklenburg County Bar. To be eligible, the nominee must practice law in Mecklenburg County, meet the definition of a â€œYoung Lawyerâ€? as defined
by the YLS, and be a member of the YLS. Nomination forms are available on the Barâ€™s web site and are due by 5:00pm on Friday, May 22, 2009. Nominations may be submitted to Danny Merlin by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax at 704/376-1628. For more information, call Anne Randall at 704/444-1419 or Danny Merlin at 704/998-2249.
2009 Spring Clothing Drive The YLS held its annual spring clothing drive April 27 through May 1, 2009. We collected clothing and home goods for Crisis Assistance Ministry (CAM). Items were distributed to CAMâ€™s clientsâ€“low-income families in our communityâ€“free of charge. Thank you for all those who participated and for helping Crisis Assistance Ministry!
Ask-A-Lawyer Day On Saturday, February 21, 2009 the YLS participated in Ask-A-Lawyer Day in association with the North Carolina Bar Associationâ€™s Young Lawyers Division. The MCB YLS held their walk-in clinic at the West Boulevard Public Library to provide free legal advice to members of the community. Approximately seventeen young lawyers volunteered their time to consult with over fifty members of the community on various legal issues. Thank you to Lauren Vaughn and Nick Cushing for organizing this event. Thank you also to the young lawyers who donated their time to making this event a success.
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have an adversarial system. People experience, remember, and report the same events differently. Why, then, do we often tend to hold on to unrealistic expectations in our intimate relationships? Why in the world do we hold on to the odd notion that another personâ€“especially one who knows us wellâ€“will always rightly perceive or affirm our motives and actions? We have been considering how being wired and/or trained for linguistic combat, as needed for our profession, often works to our disadvantage in relationships. Often, by arguing and defending ourselves, we may be running our relationships off the tracks of where we and our significant others want them to be. If you have followed the journey thus far, how easy has it been to stop the â€œ:argument trainâ€?? Or to quell the strong, instinctive bent to selfjustification? If you are like me, it ainâ€™t easy. In an intimate relationship, though, hoping to be seen as right all the time may be just as unrealistic as expecting to win every case we try, or every motion we argue. For starters, we all fail sometimesâ€“to keep promises, to be considerate, or to show respect. And it is impossible to fool someone who is with us such a significant amount of time, and is poignantly affected by our actions. Also, our significant others or spouses, themselves, are fallibleâ€“and thus they may (justifiably or unjustifiably), be upset with usâ€“often based on more than just the immediate event. They may be under stress from other sources, adversely affected by significant events from their own family history, or maybe just in a bad mood that day. So, how much sense does it make to expect that I be viewed with proper regard at all times? Mentioning â€œexpectationsâ€? raises an important point. It is helpful to recognize a crucial difference between desires, on the one hand, and goals, on the other. A desire is something I would like to have from life or from others, but it is not within my power alone to obtain it. A goal, in contrast, is something that I want, and I do have reasonable ability and opportunity to reach it. For example, a solo practitioner may desire to win next yearâ€™s VLP Pro Bono award; while there is much he may do to merit contention, he has no control whatsoever over whether he wins. A committee will decide, and there may be better candidates. He may, however, set a goal of doing 300 hours of pro bono work next year; whether he achieves the goal is largely up to him. Both goals and desires may be legitimate (wanting a motion to be granted) or illegitimate (wanting to commit murder without getting caught), but that is not what is important; the salient difference, here, is in the level of control one has over getting the thing desired. Maintaining this distinction is especially important in relationships: When we have unknowingly converted a desireâ€“even a good oneâ€“to a goal, we may become frustrated when we cannot have what we want (but feel that we should and keep trying really hard). We demand, defend, or manipulate, to get what we want, but it is not something controllable. Rickâ€™s desire to be treated fairly by Stephanie, is unquestionably a legitimate desire. But setting it as a goalâ€“â€“a must-have, without the ability to make it happenâ€“is a recipe for disappointment and frustration. The next time you are in conflict with your partner, stop and ask yourself what you really want in the situation. Why do you want this, and what is it that makes the want so strong? Then, assuming it is a good one, think about whether what you want works better if held as a desire, than a goal. Can you communicate your desire, but without demanding that your partner meet it, or punishing them if they donâ€™t? See whether that changes how you talk with the other person about the issue, and how you respond to their inability or unwillingness to provide it.
Students Head to Charlotte-Mecklenburg for the Legal Diversity Clerkship Six first-year law students in this year’s Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship (CLDC) program will soon call the Queen City home for the summer. These students were selected from more than 190 applicants throughout the country–the largest applicant pool since the program’s 2006 inception–and will immerse themselves in professional and social activities over the course of 12 weeks in order to get the flavor of practicing law and living in Charlotte. Six weeks will be spent in a law firm and six more in a company’s legal department. Representatives from the member firms/corporations invited 20 semi-finalists to Charlotte in late February to take part in a two-day rotational interview process with CLDC employers. The highly-qualified candidates also attended a networking reception to meet additional representatives from CLDC law firms, legal departments and the MCB. All applicants were asked to provide academic and professional resumes, along with a statement explaining how they would contribute to the goal of creating a more diverse legal community in Charlotte. “As a young African American attorney I will represent possibility–the possibility that total
dedication to one’s craft can provide a forum in which to contribute to society in a manner befitting the position,” said one applicant, Christian Murphy, a first-year student from the University of North Carolina Law School. He went on to say, “It is this ideal which I seek to emulate, by being the best attorney that I can possibly be. I intend to give truth to the reality that quality work is not exclusive to one race; and that integrity of character is not limited to one class of people; and that intellect and a willingness to use it is indiscriminate.” Murphy was offered a clerkship position and will be spending his summer with Mayer Brown and TIAA-CREF. The CLDC clerks begin their tenure in Charlotte on May 19. This year’s program will feature events with the MCB Young Lawyers Section, the City Attorney’s Office, a theatrical performance and judicial luncheon. The CLDC program operates under the leadership of its co-chairs Kristi Walters, special counsel and director of professional development and diversity with Parker, Poe, Adams and Bernstein, and Timika Shafeek-Horton, associate general counsel at Duke Energy Corporation. The following law firms and corporations have participated as CLDC partner employers over the
past two years: Alston & Bird,LLP; Bank of America; Compass Group USA Inc.; Duke Energy Corporation; Goodrich Corporation; Hunton & Williams; James, McElroy & Diehl, P.A.; K & L Gates; McGuireWoods, LLP; Moore & Van Allen, PLLC; Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP; Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.; TIAA-CREF; Wells Fargo Corporation; and Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. Congratulations to this year’s clerks in the Legal Diversity Program: • Johnson Atkinson, Duke University School of Law •
Melody Chen, University of North Carolina School of Law
Christian Murphy, University of North Carolina School of Law
Andrew Tamayo, University of North Carolina School of Law
Mathew Telford, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Liana Rebollo, University of North Carolina School of Law
MCB Volunteer Spotlight: Brooke Shultz Our May Spotlight features Brooke Shultz. Brooke is new to the Charlotte area and is integrating into the Charlotte legal community by volunteering with Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP, a VLP partner organization). Brooke’s volunteer work focuses on bankruptcy, foreclosure and mortgage fraud which has risen dramatically during the present mortgage crisis. We welcome Brooke to the Mecklenburg County legal community and commend her for her commitment to volunteer and pro bono work! Name: Brooke Shultz Current Employer / Number of years with current employer:
Before moving to Charlotte this past fall, I spent two years at a general civil practice law firm in Ohio. My practice focused on business law, trusts and estates, litigation, and real estate. Since moving to Charlotte, I have been volunteering daily with LSSP in their Consumer Protection Program. It has been a terrific introduction to Charlotte’s legal community. The environment is friendly, the staff is very knowledgeable, and the clients truly need our help. Law School / Law School Graduation Year: J.D., 2006, Tulane University Law School; B.A., 2002, Hillsdale College How did you discover this pro bono work? My fiancé, Anthony Pijerov (who is also an attorney), suggested contacting LSSP. He did pro bono work for LSSP in the past and spoke very highly of his experience there.
Given the current mortgage crisis, I was interested in working with people impacted by foreclosures, bankruptcy, and mortgage fraud. LSSP’s Consumer Protection Program (which provides legal assistance with predatory lending, bankruptcy, foreclosures, unfair trade practices, debt collection, and other consumer and housing matters) proved to be the
right match. Although this was a completely new area for me, Lois Grossman, Stephanie Ceccato, and other staff members at LSSP jumped right in and began assigning projects to me and Brooke Shultz coaching me on relevant issues. How can the Mecklenburg County legal community help with this issue? LSSP does not have sufficient resources to provide legal assistance to every eligible person who needs help. This makes volunteering so important! Even if you can only contribute a few hours or take on just one case, every contribution is incredibly important to an individual in our community.
LSSP is always looking for more volunteers–and not only volunteer attorneys, but volunteer paralegals and law students, too. Even if you think your practice falls outside LSSP’s typical services, LSSP has a number of matters that any attorney can work on. The LSSP staff routinely trains volunteer attorneys who accept cases outside of their practice area. What advice would you give others? Times are tough in Charlotte for young attorneys just starting out. However, new and young attorneys should get out and volunteer if they can. Not only will you make a difference, but you will learn something new while building new relationships in the community. It’s a win-win opportunity!
If you are interested in volunteering at LSSP or VLP’s partner organizations, contact Mary Jordan Mullinax, VLP Coordinator, at 704/375-8624 or email@example.com.
The Law Firm of ANDERSON TERPENING PLLC is pleased to announce that Hon. Carl Horn, III Former U.S. Magistrate Judge Former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney
Nathan J. Taylor Formerly of Young, Moore and Henderson, PA Former Law Clerk to Judges in W.D.N.C. Have both joined the firm and will add to our collective experience in complex civil business litigation, internal investigations, federal criminal defense, compliance counseling, mediations, arbitrations and appeals.
ANDERSON TERPENING PLLC 409 East Boulevard Charlotte, North Carolina 28203 Telephone: 704.372.7370 Facsimile: 704.372.7411 www.HouseOfDefense.com
Lawyer Referral Service Seeking Spanish-Speaking and Taxation Attorneys The Lawyer Referral Service is continuously receiving calls requesting Spanish-speaking attorneys and, more recently, an influx in requests for tax attorneys to review tax filings and other government forms. Several of our attorneys have staff onsite that serve as translators or even speak Spanish themselves. David Pevney, who joined the service this year and speaks some Spanish, also represents clients as a private-practice attorney and as a court-appointed attorney in criminal and family law/DSS cases. David confirmed that “things seem to be exploding with the Spanish-speaking communities in Charlotte” as he is seeing an influx in Spanish-speaking clients in all of his legal capacities. Michelle Zayas, assistant to Jeffrey Garis – a member of the LRS panel for almost ten years -- said
that “Most of the people that come in need translators. In the legal area they do not trust themselves to understand the terminology” so she is used as a median to ensure the clients fully comprehend the services and work being provided. Michelle is originally from Puerto Rico and has been in Charlotte for four years. She estimates that she translates for 98% of the Spanish-speaking clients that Mr. Garis sees. With the tax season completed, staff in the LRS Office noticed a higher-than-normal call volume from callers requesting tax attorneys. “Currently, we have no tax attorneys in the service and there is obviously a need in the community for that type of legal advice,” Sarah Darby, LRS Assistant said. Should current panel members or other attorneys interested in joining the panel have experience with
tax law, this fiscal year would be a good time to join in anticipation of the many tax cuts and tax exemption mandates that have passed during these recent government attempts at stimulating the economy. The LRS office imagines that next year’s tax season will bring even more questions from clients so be sure to add that area of law to your renewal or newmember application if you have experience. If you are interested in joining the LRS Panel, contact Mary Jordan Mullinax at 704/375-8624 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Your Patrons Fund Dollars at Work There will always be numerous organizations in our local community (and beyond) in need of support, financial and otherwise. Given today’s economic situation, it isn’t surprising that we are considering more carefully how each of our dollars is spent. Funds earmarked for charitable causes are no different. In fact, we might even consider those with a more discerning eye in light of the ubiquitous stories involving the misuse of funds. Understanding where your donation goes and how it is used is certainly part of deciding whether or not to give. But there is more to it than a spreadsheet or pie chart depicting the allocation of funds. There is a human element. The Mecklenburg Bar Foundation’s (MBF) Patrons Fund is no different. It is our goal to bring to life for you–our members and donors–the people who benefit from your generosity. The article demonstrates the impact of the Patron’s fund on the Council for Children’s Rights’ Custody Advocacy Program. The MBF has approved three grants for the Council for Children’s Rights since 2006, for a total of $25,000, which translates to helping change the course of life for nearly 200 local children each year. The most recent grant, awarded this past April, was for $15,000 for their Custody Advocacy Program whose goal is to represent children caught in the middle of contentious custody disputes. These are children who very likely would not have had a voice without the program and, therefore, could have suffered the effects of their parents’ divorces and custody disputes more significantly. The Custody Advocacy Program seeks to protect
children from the damaging and traumatic effects of parental separation and to give children a voice in their own futures. While there is only one full-time and two part-time attorneys, 300 pro-bono attorneys and community volunteers lend their support, enabling many more children to be served. Lucy is just one success story. She was living in a home torn apart by arguments. Her dad was accusing her mom of a serious drug addiction, and her mom was accusing her dad of child abuse. Lucy was confused and scared, and her needs were entirely disregarded by her parents’ anger towards one another. Because the civil court judge could not make sense of either of the parents’ claims, the Custody Advocacy Program was appointed to represent Lucy’s best interests. Now the parents have not only been participating in parenting and substance abuse trainings, but they have also agreed to an arrangement that meets Lucy’s needs. Another client named Zach was being raised by his mother when his father returned after a 10-year absence. Zach’s mother didn’t want her son and father to meet, and stated that there were good reasons to support this. Zach did not know exactly what he wanted, but was confused and upset enough that he began performing poorly in school and fighting with his mom. What did Zach really need and how could it be arranged for both parents to participate productively in the visitation arrangement? These are the kinds of questions the Custody Advocacy Program addresses on a regular basis to ensure that children just like Zach can stay in a safe and sane environment and build healthier relationships with both of their parents. When children need an independent voice in
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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, John Lassiter, Phillip Lewis, Nancy Roberson, Michael Shor, Russ Traw
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determining appropriate custody and visitation arrangements, the Custody Advocacy Program has successfully been that voice. The program has settled more than 92% of cases outside of court; when the cases have gone to trial in recent years, the judge has taken the program’s recommendation 100 percent of the time. Several communities across the country are building programs based on the Council for Children’s Rights Custody Advocacy Program. As the economy has worsened, program needs have grown along with the increase in parental separation. If you wish to help children in your community like Lucy and Zach, please consider a donation to the Patrons Fund today. For more information please contact Stephen Belenky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
cont’d from page 1
creative model. Lawyers protect and promote new products and ideas, introduce entrepreneurs to capital and design unique organizational structures to support growth and job creation. Finally, as ideas are tested to insure a rebuilt economy, many of the regulatory frameworks will be entirely reformatted to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Attorneys have the conceptual capacity to predict the intersection of competing priorities and regulatory alternatives. Pink is right that “what’s in greatest demand today isn’t analysis but synthesis–seeing the big picture, crossing boundaries, and being able to combine disparate pieces into an arresting new whole. “ Somewhere there is a law school professor trying to get that point across to his or her class. Little did they know how important a role that lesson would play in our recovery.
Late Spring/Early Summer 2009 MCB Events Thursday, May 21
MCB Annual Meeting is Almost Here! Back by popular demand, the lovely shaded lawn of the First Presbyterian Church will again serve as the backdrop for the MCB Annual Meeting. Kick off summer with food, fun, and your fellow members at the biggest Bar gathering of the year. Elect the new Board officers for the next fiscal year, elect your 2012 class of board members, vote on MCB bylaw amendments, recognize those who did outstanding pro bono work, and get updates about the Bar. Rain backup is at First Presbyterian Fellowship Hall. 12:00–1:30 p.m., May 21 When: First Presbyterian Church Lawn, Where: 200 W. Trade St. Cost: $13 per person by check; $14 per person by credit card; $17 per person at the door (Lunch availability for walk-ins may be limited.) Registration: To register with a check, please use the form to the right. To register by credit
card, please go to www.meckbar.org (there will be a $1 processing charge). The registration deadline is May 18.
Please contact Leah at email@example.com or 704/375-8624, ext. 114.
2009 MCB Annual Meeting Registration Form Name*___________________________________________________________________________________ Firm name________________________________________________________________________________ Address*_________________________________________________________________________________ E-mail ___________________________________________________________________________________ Phone* ____________________________________ Fax__________________________________________
Enclosed is my check payable to Mecklenburg County Bar for $13. Please mail your registration form and check by 5/18/09 to MCB Annual Meeting, 438 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207. * required information
Late May/Early June
Sign Up for Softball! Spring is here, so pull out your Louisville Slugger and grab your glove! Your Bar is organizing both a co-ed league and a lawyer’s league. Both
leagues will start in late May/early June, so start organizing your team rosters now! Start dates and other information will be in the May issue of Bar News and in the weekly Bar Blast. To sign up for the lawyer’s league, please contact co-commissioner
Bryan Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up for the co-ed league, please contact co-commissioner Carrie Mansfield at email@example.com. Registration deadline is May 15.
Thursday, June 11
Network at Luncheon Series Join your fellow Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) members for food and fellowship at the final monthly Luncheon Series for 2008–09. Keep an eye on our website and your weekly Bar Blast for our next speaker. See you at our next luncheon on June 11! When: Noon, June 11 Where: First Presbyterian Church, 200 W. Trade St. Cost: $10 Registration: Please use the form to the right or go to www.meckbar.org to register by June 5, 2009. Questions: Please contact Leah (firstname.lastname@example.org or 704/375-8624, ext. 114).
MCB Luncheon Series Registration Form (Cost is $10 per person) Name___________________________________________________________________________________ Firm name_______________________________________________________________________________ E-mail __________________________________________________________________________________ Phone _____________________________________Fax__________________________________________
I’m enclosing a check payable to Mecklenburg County Bar TOTALING:_______________ Please mail your registration form and check before 6/5/09 to MCB Luncheon Series, 438 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207.
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Page 8 10:44 AM 5/5/09 MCBNews6-09:MCBNews
MECKLENBURG COUNTY BAR
438 Queens Road Charlotte, NC 28207 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
In This Issue
PERMIT NO. 3337
Lawyers in Love..............................................................4 YLS Update ....................................................................4 Students Head to Charlotte-Mecklenburg for Clerkship ..................................................................5 MCB Volunteer Spotlight..............................................5 LRS Seeking Spanish-Speaking and Taxation Attorneys ........................................................6 Your Patrons Fund Dollars at Work ..............................6 Late Spring/Early Summer 2009 MCB Events.............7
Cloud Computing: What is it and How Does it Affect Attorneys and Clients? ...........................................cover From the President .........................................................1 Lawyers in the News ......................................................1 CLE Courses ...................................................................2 MCB’s Operational Review by the American Bar Association.............................................3 Diversity Committee Seeks Attorney Mentors............3 Court Communiqués......................................................3
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Volume 35 No. 11
sheet software and other business applications, and you simply need a computer connected to the Internet to use them. Google assigns you file space on their servers to hold your document files, and even provides tools like search functions that may not be available with Microsoft applications. Because your applications are held by Google, they can be accessed from any computing device connected to the Internet, wherever you are. No longer are you tethered to a desktop computer as you are when using traditional Microsoft applications. If your computer is lost in a fire, your applications are not affected because they are stored on off-site servers. Application providers like Salesforce.com have long made a business of providing software as a service (known as “SaaS”), serving applications available over the Internet and not installed on your computer like traditional software. The SaaS business model can be attractive for many companies, as it avoids downloading full software packages on every device. It also eliminates the need for software maintenance and service contracts, and turns software from a fixed cost at the time of purchase to a variable “use as you go” cost. The term “cloud computing” covers much more than simply SaaS, frequently including off-site computer storage, “Web 2.0” internet development, redesigned computing infrastructure and highly sophisticated virtualization of computer networks. However, it always involves use of linked computing resources, accessible by connected terminals. Cloud computing will continue to grow as more business applications, infrastructure solutions and operating platforms become available over the Internet, and as access devices become more portable. Lawyers should understand the impact continued on page 2
Cloud Computing: What is it and How Does it Affect Attorneys and Clients?
BY TED CLAYPOOLE
Technology is always changing at a rapid pace. We must make a concerted effort to keep up with the trends and advances or risk being left behind. Attorneys who understand the trends in business technology and, particularly, how they affect their clients, offer exceptional value to the clients. Cloud computing is one of the most important business technology trends today and will most certainly affect your firm and/or clients in some way. Cloud computing is a new generation of computing using distant servers to store data that can be accessed from anywhere. Under cloud computing, computer applications are migrating away from desktop machines and onto the Internet where they can be easily accessed, distributed, and updated. In other words, people who choose to use cloud computing may be accessing software that resides on servers in an entirely different location instead of on their computer or even in their building, or storing documents and information on someone else’s servers in another state, such as Google’s. In this scenario, the physical location of your application is indistinct and unimportant; what matters is that you can access what you need, wherever it is stored. To the user, everything functions in just the same way, but the difference is occurring behind the scenes. Wikipedia states that “The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on how the Internet is depicted in computer network diagrams, and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals.” New Google software applications (called Google Apps) are excellent examples of the business uses of cloud computing. Google now offers email, calendars, word processing, spread
Published on Apr 26, 2010