Wake Bar Flyer | Second Quarter 2021

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WCBA Partnerships How Members Work Across Different Organizations to Benefit Our Legal Community.....4 ___________________________________ _

VOL. L • ISSUE 2 | SECOND QUARTER 2021

BAR FLYER DID YOU KNOW YOU’RE A MEMBER OF TWO ORGANIZATIONS? BY RUSSELL D. BABB | THARRINGTON SMITH | TENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT BAR PRESIDENT

I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE: I had practiced law in Wake County for years before I realized there is a distinction between the Tenth Judicial District Bar and the Wake County Bar Association. I recall telling a colleague that I had been asked to sit on the “Wake County Bar’s Grievance Committee,” only to be gently corrected: “No, Russell, you mean the “Tenth Judicial District’s Grievance Committee.” Right… of course … that’s what I meant. I know I’m not alone. Apparently there has always been ample confusion on this issue. You may not understand the difference, either, or how the Tenth Judicial District and Wake County Bar Association work together in a unique partnership. The State Bar requires every licensed attorney in North Carolina to belong to one district bar. Turns out, North Carolina is the only state in the nation with mandatory judicial district bars (there are 35). The Tenth Judicial District is an example of such a mandatory bar, and its approximately 6,000 members pay annual dues. If you live in Wake County but practice in another district, you may choose which district bar to join. If you live in another district, but practice in Wake County, you can join the Tenth Judicial District bar. Members of the Tenth Judicial District carry out many important functions, including electing bar councilors to the State Bar Council, submitting nominations to the Resident Chief Superior Court Judge for appointment of the Wake County Public Defender, submitting nominations to the Governor for judicial appointments if a District Court Judge position becomes available, and conducting the business of the Grievance Committee. Still with me? Hang in there because this is where it gets a little confusing: North Carolina is also one of only three states which have a mandatory state bar and a voluntary bar option. Many lawyers do not realize that the North Carolina State Bar (mandatory) and the North Carolina Bar Association (voluntary) are different entities. The Wake County Bar Association is another example of a voluntary bar association. Simply put: you do not have to join the WCBA in order to practice law. Wake County Bar members enjoy numerous benefits including free CLE hours, public service projects, and excellent networking opportunities such as monthly luncheons, after-work socials, the Oyster Roast, Family Picnic and Holiday Party. Of our 6,000 Tenth Judicial District bar members, about 2,800 are also members of the WCBA. That means about half of the membership of the Tenth enjoy every benefit our local bars have to offer. We are fortunate that the bar officers for both the Tenth and the WCBA collaborate and work closely together behind the scenes to advance the business of both bars. Our Executive Committee is comprised of Dave Holm, the WCBA President, Yvonne Armendariz, the WCBA President-Elect, Dayatra Matthews, the Tenth Judicial District President-Elect, Judge Ashleigh Parker Dunston, our Treasurer, Meredith Pace, our Secretary, and me. Thankfully, this leadership team works in conjunction with our wonderful Executive Director, Whitney Von Haam, and her world-class staff, who oversee both bars. We also work with our Board of Directors and the members of our more than 20 committees to make both bars better and more accessible for all our members. I am inspired by the many lawyers who tirelessly serve our bar in various ways. If you are interested in bar service, there are so many ways you can help. Examples of our committees include Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Bar Awards, CLE, Swearing-In Ceremony, and Professionalism. We look forward to holding in-person events indoors soon, and will do so when we are safely able. With the exception of the Mordecai Picnic in May, which will be held outdoors, it is our current plan to continue to hold our luncheons and meetings virtually until further notice. Thank you for your patience as we get closer and closer to the end of the pandemic. WBF

UPCOMING EVENTS BREAKFAST DISCUSSION SERIES: COMMON ISSUES AT THE CROSS-SECTION OF CRIMINAL AND IMMIGRATION LAW WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 | 7:30 A.M. YLD VIRTUAL PRO BONO CLINIC WITH HEALING TRANSITIONS SATURDAY, MAY 22 | APPOINTMENT TIMES MAY VARY WCBA VIRTUAL LUNCHEON TUESDAY, JUNE 1 LEARN OVER LUNCH THURSDAY, JUNE 3 TENTH J.D. BAR & WCBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING THURSDAY, JUNE 24 LEARN OVER LUNCH THURSDAY, JULY 1 WCBA VIRTUAL LUNCHEON TUESDAY, JULY 13 BREAKFAST DISCUSSION SERIES WEDNESDAY, JULY 21 | 7:30 A.M.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2 3 4 10 11 12 13 15 16 17

A NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JUST TWO RALEIGH LAWYERS WCBA PARTNERSHIPS DIRECT EXAMINATION DIVERSIFYING LAW FIRM PARTNERSHIPS LAW AND PARTNERSHIP MEMBERSHIP IN MULTIPLE BARS CAN YOU NAME THE LAW FIRM? YLD UPDATE NEW MEMBERS


WAKE BAR FLYER VOL. L | ISSUE 2 | SECOND QUARTER 2021

A NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BY WHITNEY D.G. VON HAAM | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WAKE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION

Presidents DAVE HOLM, WAKE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION RUSSELL D. BABB, TENTH J.D. BAR Presidents-Elect YVONNE ARMENDARIZ, WAKE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION DAYATRA MATTHEWS, TENTH J.D. BAR Secretary MEREDITH PACE BREWER Treasurer JUDGE ASHLEIGH P. DUNSTON Immediate Past Presidents CARMEN H. BANNON, WAKE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION ADAM M. GOTTSEGEN, TENTH J.D. BAR Board of Directors TIFFANY COX (2023) JEAN CARTER (2021) ANNA DAVIS (2022) JAKE EPSTEIN (2023) DAVID FERRELL (2022) WILLIAM FINN JR. (2021) NIYA T. FONVILLE (2022) EVIN GRANT (2021) JUDGE SAM HAMADANI (2023) KATIE H. KING (2021) DEAN J. RICH LEONARD (EX OFFICIO) KELLIE MYERS (2023) KIMBERLY MILLER (2022) BRIAN P. OTEN (2022) SARAH PRIVETTE (2023) JUDGE VINCE ROZIER, JR. (2021) KRISTINA THOMPSON (2022) JESSICA VICKERS (2021) JOHN WARD (2022) BENJAMIN O. “BOZ” ZELLINGER (2022) Young Lawyers Division President KENDRA N. STARK Young Lawyers Division President-elect JONATHAN BOGUES Executive Director WHITNEY D.G. von HAAM Wake Bar Flyer Editor CANDACE B. MARSHALL Communications SARAH L. JUSTICE Wake Bar Flyer Designer CLAIR S. SMITH Tenth Judicial District Bar Councilors JULIE L. BELL HEIDI C. BLOOM WALTER E. BROCK THEODORE C. EDWARDS II KATHERINE A. FRYE FRED T. MORELOCK JUDGE ROBERT B. RADER WARREN T. SAVAGE

“HELLO! THANK YOU FOR CALLING THE TENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT BAR AND WAKE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION!” This phrase is more than a mouthful, and you will hear it – or some iteration of it – whenever you call the WCBA and Tenth offices. This statement is more than just the winner of the longest greeting phrase (although, to be sure, some of your law firms give us a run for our money!), but we say it in the hopes that our members will better understand that our office oversees BOTH the mandatory Tenth Judicial District Bar and the voluntary Wake County Bar Association. Yes, it is confusing, and no one knows that better than your staff who are continually explaining to our members the difference between the two entities. However, the members of both the Tenth and the WCBA gain so much by having one group oversee both – for instance, you only have to make one call if you have an address change. Or, if we see that you’ve made your WCBA payment, but NOT your mandatory (i.e. get in trouble if you don’t pay) Tenth dues, we will reach out to you before you get reported to the State Bar. If you think it is a lot to have the two entities, you may want to speak with colleagues who have moved from the 26th Judicial District Bar – or Mecklenburg Bar, where there is only one entity that costs the amount of our two combined and it’s MANDATORY. And, here is the real clincher: there is NO FREE CLE. We’re really proud that our members find great value in voluntarily joining the WCBA. If you are someone that has questioned that value, I’d be glad to take a moment and make sure that you are getting the most out of your membership – whether from our free CLE options, our monthly luncheons (still going, even during the pandemic!) or our re-engineered socials, parties and picnics. We spend a lot of time making sure that you never feel like you have to join the Tenth, and a similar amount of time making sure you love belonging to the WCBA. WBF

WE NEED VIRTUAL LUNCHEON RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATIONS! We hope you’ve enjoyed our virtual luncheons while supporting some of our favorite local restaurants over the last few months. As we look to continue this for the foreseeable future, we’d like to hear from our members with suggestions for new restaurants to reach out to. Please email Stephanie McGee at stephanie@wakecountybar.org with your recommendations!

© 2021 Wake County Bar Association & Tenth Judicial District Bar.

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JUST TWO RALEIGH LAWYERS, SEVEN SUPREME COURT JUSTICES AND ONE NIGHT’S WORK BY WADE M. SMITH | THARRINGTON SMITH

ON A LATE NIGHT NOW BLURRED BY THE MISTS OF TIME, two of Wake County’s many great criminal lawyers Roger Smith and Joe Cheshire sat pondering what to do. It was after midnight. The year was 1984. Their court appointed client, James Hutchins, was scheduled to die in North Carolina’s gas chamber at dawn. On May 31, 1979, James Hutchins had shot and killed three law enforcement officers in Rutherford County. He was captured after a 12-hour search conducted by more than 200 law enforcement officers. He would be the first person to die by execution in North Carolina since 1977. However, on this fateful night, Roger and Joe had discovered a glitch in the execution protocol. What to do? At Central Prison in Raleigh, Hutchins was already being prepped to die. The glitch was a scheduling error. But, nevertheless, it was a glitch. It was now after 1 a.m. If Joe and Roger were going to do something, they had only a few hours to get it done. Time was racing by. It is one thing to be sitting up at 1a.m. worried about a closing argument or a cross examination. However, it is something else indeed to be awake after midnight wondering how to stop an execution. Burley Mitchell was chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, at that time a Wake County lawyer and a member of the Wake County Bar Association. Fast asleep at his home in Raleigh. With their hearts in their throats Roger and Joe placed a call to the chief justice. They awakened him at nearly 3 a.m. and they explained their concern. Chief Justice Mitchell summoned the members of the Supreme Court, who all got up and dressed in whatever comfortable clothing they had been wearing before turning in for the night. And they came downtown. All of them. At 3 a.m. Chief Justice Mitchell convened the Court and called them to order. Appearing before the North Carolina Supreme Court at 3:00 a.m., Roger and Joe argued their case. The Court voted to support their motion for a stay and after 4:00 a.m. Chief Justice Burley Mitchell called the prison and halted the execution with only moments to spare. Many years later, Roger and Joe recalled the remarkable moment when the chief justice picked up the telephone, called Central Prison and stopped the execution. Just another night of work for Roger and Joe, two of Wake County’s many excellent criminal defense lawyers. And just another night’s work for the North Carolina Supreme Court and its Wake County Chief Justice, Burley Mitchell. A new execution date was thereafter scheduled. This time James Hutchins died in North Carolina’s gas chamber. The date of his death was March 16, 1984, almost five years after the overnight stay of execution. WBF WAKE BAR FLYER

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WCBA PARTNERSHIPS The Wake County Bar Association firmly believes that collaboration with other organizations only makes for a stronger, livelier, more inclusive bar, lifting the profession up and moving it forward. As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and we are proud that our members are well-connected leaders throughout our local legal community. In this section, a few of them share their experiences of how the WCBA and other organizations they serve have partnered together to enhance their practice and their lives.

A YOUNG LAWYER GROWS THROUGH THE WCBA AND CAPITAL CITY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION BY JONNELL CARPENTER | UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL

FROM A YOUNG AGE, I have been obsessed with extra curricular activities. I was the person who was involved in everything. While quite the introvert, I craved the sense of community, engagement and personal development that organizations provided. Now as a young lawyer, this sense of belonging and engagement is critical as I increase my knowledge base and connection to the Wake County legal community. During my time at Campbell Law School, my peers and mentors spoke highly of two organizations: Wake County Bar Association (WCBA) and Capital City Lawyers Association (CCLA). Although both are bar organizations for attorneys, my participation in WCBA and CCLA serve and fulfill different purposes. Membership in WCBA provides opportunities to remain engaged and grow professionally within the legal field. WCBA’s continued focus on supporting the educational and professional growth of lawyers is seen through their offerings of CLE credits, networking luncheons and pro bono opportunities. WCBA’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is an added bonus for new attorneys, increasing networking and collaboration within the young legal community. I now serve as the co-chair for YLD’s Speaker Series, where we host panels on legal services, financial advising, and other topics of interest to young lawyers. As the co-chair, I’m excited to contribute to the growth and advancement of other young attorneys. In this sense, I can practice reciprocity, or the idea of giving back while receiving. For similar reasons, I was drawn to the mission and community of CCLA. I was first introduced to CCLA through mentoring relationships with Campbell Assistant Dean of Student Life and Pro Bono Opportunities Evin Grant and Judge Julie Bell. As a Black law student, their mentorship, guidance and support were essential to my success. Black, Indigenous, and attorneys of color continue to make up a small percentage in our profession. Recognizing this, CCLA creates pathways for attorneys of color to thrive and serve through mentoring programs, community service and political action events. In the spirit of Mary Church Terrell, “lifting as we climb,” it is important for me to support the efforts to diversify the legal field as my mentors and those before me have done. I currently serve as the co-chair of the CCLA Events Committee where we host the annual Christmas Gala, which provides scholarships for law students of color. This year, we will celebrate CCLA’s 40th anniversary, and look forward to continued partnerships with organizations such as WCBA to support the advancement of our mission. Both CCLA and WCBA continue to add to my professional and personal growth as a young Black attorney. I highly encourage each of us to consider joining and supporting WCBA, CCLA and other voluntary bar associations through membership, participation in events or sponsorship. WBF

WAKE BAR FLYER

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WCBA PARTNERSHIPS BUILDING COMMUNITY, PROMOTING HIGH IDEALS AND ANSWERING THE CALL TO SERVE: WCBA AND NCBA BY C. MARK HOLT | NORTH CAROLINA BAR ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT 2020-2021

FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS I’ve been a member of and have loved both the Wake County Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association. Each has been a supportive and nurturing professional home. I believe now, more than ever, what the public needs from our profession is a strong legal community working together to make sure the legal needs of the people of our state are met within a system of justice in which all have confidence. Our profession comes together to meet this need through vibrant and active bar associations, both at the local and statewide level. Working together, we can generously support our profession to enable it to effectively serve the public. Both bar associations do this by promoting ideals of integrity, civility and professionalism and by valuing and respecting the humanity and dignity of each person in our profession and the public we serve. We also remind our profession that our highest calling is to serve those in need through pro bono and public service. Our partnerships in recent years have included a Wills for Heroes Clinic in which Judge Dunston welcomed WCBA volunteers and staff from both our organizations for a day of providing wills, health care powers of attorney and durable powers of attorney for police officers, first responders and their families. It was a wonderful day of service. Currently, we conduct these clinics in a virtual format utilizing newly developed technology. WCBA members generously participate each year in another North Carolina Bar Foundation program, the 4ALL Statewide Day of Service, recently held in a virtual format with volunteers taking calls from their offices and homes. Other NCBF programs in which WCBA members have volunteered include NC Free Legal Answers, in which legal advice is provided online and COVID-19 Virtual Legal Hotlines. We also support our profession through members’ engagement and leadership in programs of each of our organizations (virtual this year), including WCBA’s luncheon meetings, breakfast discussions, special events and free CLE as well as NCBA’s practice area sections, committees, Center for Practice Management and CLE offerings, including monthly Expert Series CLE provided with membership. Each of our organizations annually recognizes exceptional professionalism, engages our young lawyers in spirited activities, supports Legal Aid and other legal services providers and holds important programs and initiatives addressing diversity, equity and inclusion. In 2021 and beyond, I hope members of our profession will continue to build community, aspire to high ideals and serve others through both our bar associations.

WAKE BAR FLYER

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SECOND QUARTER 2021


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SECOND QUARTER 2021


WCBA PARTNERSHIPS CONNECTIONS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM | CAMPBELL LAW SCHOOL, WCBA, TENTH J.D. BAR BY MEGAN WEST SHERRON | ASSISTANT DEAN OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS, CAMPBELL LAW SCHOOL

CAMPBELL LAW SCHOOL, the Wake County Bar Association and the Tenth Judicial District Bar have a unique partnership that has resulted in a joint endeavor, the Campbell Law Connections Mentorship program. The program began in 2014 to provide mentoring opportunities to Campbell Law third-year students and new attorneys in Wake County by matching participants with an experienced attorney. Mentees develop meaningful professional relationships and a more thorough understanding of the responsibilities and ethics demanded by the practice of law under the tutelage of a mentor. In 2016, Connections received the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association. This award honors excellence and innovation in professionalism programs by law schools, bar associations, professionalism commissions and other law-related organizations. In selecting Connections, the Gambrell Award selection committee found the program to represent an exemplary law student and new lawyer mentoring program model, embracing best practices and effective strategies, as well as a model bar/law school partnership for others to follow. WBF

Pictured below: Connections participants take part in the 2019 end-of-year- social.

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WCBA PARTNERSHIPS THE WCBA & THE NCAJ: BETTER TOGETHER BY DAVID L. SHERLIN | HOLT SHERLIN | NCAJ BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND WCBA PAST PRESIDENT

THE WAKE COUNTY BAR AWARDS COMMITTEE sat in the upstairs room at Cantina 18 planning the 2019 event. Despite the flavorful chips and queso, we still had a problem. The organization that had served as the primary community sponsor of the Bar Awards was not filling the role again in 2019. Losing the primary community sponsor was a big deal because of the financial support it provides to the event. Several different groups were brought up as potential community sponsors. A court reporting service? A legal research outfit? Finally, an organization was brought up and, with unanimous support, we would reach out to the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. Whitney von Haam and Kimberly Miller, chair of the Bar Awards (and NCAJ member) agreed to make the ask of Kim Crouch, NCAJ’s Executive Director. They met, with NCAJ marketing director Hallie Kennedy, at Ridgewood Wine & Beer for “the ask” to take place. This ask would likely not have happened but for the long-standing personal relationships between Whitney, Kimberly and Kim. Later that evening I got an excited call from Kimberly Miller: NCAJ was in as the Bar Awards primary community sponsor! The 2019 Bar Awards was the most successful event to date, and that success was in large part due to the working relationship between the Wake County Bar Association and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. While supporting each other’s initiatives is a great thing, the relationship between the WCBA and the NCAJ goes well beyond just that. These organizations share members, share leadership teams, and often times share common goals. But perhaps the most important thing the WCBA and NCAJ have shared in recent months is the experience of adapting to life as a voluntary bar association during a global pandemic. Both the WCBA and the NCAJ are fortunate to be led by dynamic executive directors who work with talented staff. Both the WCBA and the NCAJ have a have active and engaged members who help run the organizations. And both the WCBA and the NCAJ have a long-standing history of giving back to the community through both deeds and actions. Through all of these comes the ability to find common purpose, common ground and a knowledge that through the relationship between the WCBA and the NCAJ both organizations are stronger and better. There’s a great TV show my family just watched called “Ted Lasso.” Due to potential spoilers, I won’t give the full context of this quote, but in one scene Coach Ted Lasso says to his football (soccer) team that is going through a tough time “ain’t nobody in this room alone.” While the WCBA and the NCAJ are going through these pandemic times, it’s important to know that they are not going at this alone either. Through support, sharing of information and yes, the occasional meeting at Ridgewood Wine & Beer, these groups are collectively stronger, and we are all better for it. WBF

WAKE BAR FLYER

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WCBA PARTNERSHIPS WCBA AND WCACTL PARTNER TOGETHER FOR THE ANNUAL BLOCKBUSTER CRIMINAL LAW CLE BY LINDSEY D. GRANADOS | THE LAW OFFICES OF WILEY NICKEL, PLLC

OVER THE PAST DECADE I have had the privilege of serving on the Wake County Bar Association CLE Committee, the group responsible for the planning and executing all the amazing 45+ CLE hours that the WCBA provides to our members at no cost, included as a part of your annual membership. Our committee, currently led by Alice Stubbs, meets quarterly to brainstorm new ideas, discuss trending topics in the law that would be of interest to our diverse membership and suggest new voices that could be called upon in our local bar to teach a CLE. Additionally, I have concurrently served in various capacities on the governing board of the Wake County Academy of Criminal Trial Lawyers (WCACTL). WCACTL was founded as a way of providing low-cost, specifically tailored CLEs for our local criminal defense bar, and to network with other defense attorneys working “in the trenches.” In pre-COVID times, we would meet after hours on the third Thursday of every month, usually at a local restaurant or bar for a mixer and a CLE, and once a year, we put on a full-day, in-person CLE. Hopefully, we will get back to that very soon. A few years back, the WCBA and WCACTL forged a new tradition by teaming up to host our full-day Blockbuster Criminal Law CLE. WCACTL is responsible for lining up the speakers and topics and sets the agenda for the six to seven hour CLE, which is typically held on the Friday of District Court Judges’ Conference in October. The WCBA, via resident CLE superwoman Colleen Glatfelter, performs all the nitty-gritty detail work that we lawyers can get bogged down with when we are also trying to, you know, perform our day jobs. Colleen helps us confirm the location for the CLE, nicely twists speakers’ arms to get manuscripts to submit to the State Bar, completes all the necessary paperwork pre- and post-CLE, and most importantly, takes care of ordering the delicious food we serve our attendees. Both organizations market the CLE to our respective members. We routinely have approximately 80-100 participants at our all-day CLE, and it is one of the best attended CLEs that the WCBA puts on every year. Even during a pandemic, while not able to get together in person, we still put on a half-day virtual CLE that covered important, timely subjects in criminal law and defense. This CLE has also helped drive new members to the WCBA, because the all-day CLE is free to WCBA members. We routinely have attorneys sign up to join the WCBA on the day of the Blockbuster Criminal Law CLE. The WCBA/WCACTL partnership to offer the Annual Blockbuster Criminal Law CLE has benefited both organizations, as we are able to share in the planning, execution and costs associated with the exceptionally large task of organizing a full-day CLE. I hope the WCBA/WCACTL partnership will continue for many years in the future. Feel free to join us this October for the next Annual Blockbuster Criminal Law CLE! WBF

WAKE BAR FLYER

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DIRECT EXAMINATION: JUDGE BRYAN COLLINS | RESIDENT SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE

DIRECT EXAMINATION IS THE FIRST opportunity for the jury to meet a witness. An effective

lawyer will use the opportunity to personalize the witness, making the witness appear both likeable and credible. At the end of the day, the direct examination is a party’s best chance to tell his or her story.

1. When you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’m sure at one time I wanted to be an astronaut. I was eight years old when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and thought the whole space program was amazing. 2. What was the most important lesson your parents taught you? My parents were big on leading by example. By watching them I learned that no person is any better or worse than any other person.

8. What has been the most surprising or unexpected development in your career? All of us were caught off guard when the General Assembly decided that Wake County would have a Public Defender. In a matter of just a few months, I sought and received the appointment, shut down a thriving law practice and started the Public Defender’s Office from scratch. I’ve never worked so hard in my life and I’m surprised it all came together so well.

3. Who was your favorite teacher and why? William Clark, who was my high school government teacher. He encouraged us to use our brains and engage in critical thinking. He also let me be the judge in our mock trial, which included wearing a black robe. I was hooked from that day on and set about becoming a lawyer and a judge.

9. What is your favorite book? “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee.

4. Did you love or hate law school?

10. What is your most marked characteristic?

I loved law school. I developed some very close friendships that have lasted to this day.

I hope it’s my quick wit and teddy bear demeanor. I expect some might differ.

5. What was your most embarrassing courtroom experience? I’m sure that in my first few years of practice I did any number of things that should have embarrassed me, but I was too obtuse to realize it. 6. What was your best courtroom experience?

11. What is your hidden talent? I spent two summers as a professional actor, dancer and stunt man. 12. Who are your real life heroes?

My best courtroom experience was during my time as the attorney for the clients in Drug Treatment Court (now known as Recovery Court) when a client would graduate. The folks who came into that program at that time were in very bad shape and had to overcome enormous obstacles to succeed. There is one graduate in particular who still gives me a big hug and thanks me every time she sees me on the street.

My mom and dad. 13. When and where were you happiest? I’ve led a very happy life. I’ve had my share of setbacks and challenges but that’s all part of life. Right here and right now is the happiest time of my life.

7. Why did you become a lawyer? WAKE BAR FLYER

I got a bad speeding ticket when I was 16 years old. The lawyer I hired was very professional and made me feel so much better. When we went to court, I was very impressed with how much respect he was shown by everyone in the system and how he treated everyone in the courtroom. I decided I wanted to be like him. His name was Bill Mitchell in North Wilkesboro.

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COMMITTEE FOR DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION DIVERSIFYING LAW FIRM PARTNERSHIPS AND LEADERSHIP POSITIONS BY NEUBIA L. HARRIS | THE LAW OFFICE OF NEUBIA L. HARRIS PLLC

IN JULY 2020, the American Bar Association reported that women of color only held a handful of leadership roles in law firms across the United States, and that the attrition rate was high. Specifically, the ABA’s report found that 14% of associates are women of color, but women of color only account for 5% of non-equity partners, and just 3 percent of equity partners. This means that only 21% of women of color who start on the law firm path make it to the level of equity partner. White women, at 54%, make it to equity partner at more than double the rate of women of color. Perhaps the most troubling realization of the ABA’s statistics is that, notwithstanding race, the prevalence of women narrows as leadership within law firms rises. Why are women of color passed over for partnership within law firms? According to the participants included in the ABA’s report, both gender and racial challenges come into play. Women of color point to “a lack of mentor ship, being talked over in meetings, not getting credit for their ideas, the scarcity of inclusion in business opportunities, and the absence of a support system to help them navigate rough patches, as well as deep-rooted stereotypes about women and life balance.” When faced with the heaviness of these challenges, women of color must decide whether to stay at the law firm or move on to law firms, organizations or other entities that respect their work and appreciate their voice. In some cases, women of color were acutely aware of these challenges before stepping foot in a law firm. As Rhonda Young, the founding attorney of Young Law Office, PLLC in Raleigh, explains, “Seeing minimal opportunities for the advancement of minority women within law firms, I elected to start my own firm immediately upon graduation from law school. I wanted to and still do provide opportunities for minorities within the legal profession.” Many law firms indicate that they are committed to diversity. In my faith, there is a scripture that states “faith without works is dead.” In other words, it is insufficient to announce a commitment to diversity and not take any action to make it happen. In that vein, I implore Wake County law firms, both big and small, to actively seek out and recruit persons of color, women, LGBTQIA+ and other minority groups not only to work at the firm, but to be considered for partnership and leadership positions. Some steps may include, without limitation: •

Recruiting at minority job fairs like The Southern Regional Black Law Students Association Conference and Career Fair, The Hispanic National Bar Association Career Fair, and The Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair;

Partnering with diverse associations like The Capital City Lawyers Association, Wake Women Attorneys, and the National Asian Pacific Bar Association, to advertise position openings;

Creating and maintaining affinity groups for people of color, women, those with different abilities and other minority groups with a focus on mentoring and networking opportunities; and

Offering flexible and/or nontraditional work schedules, which may include remote working. WBF

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SECOND QUARTER 2021


PROFESSIONALISM COMMITTEE LAW AND PARTNERSHIP - THEY GO TOGETHER LIKE LOVE AND MARRIAGE BY E.D. GASKINS, JR. | EVERETT GASKINS HANCOCK, PLLC | ASSISTED BY KATIE H. KING

“TO PARTNER” can be defined as joining together to achieve a common purpose. Perhaps the most common and well-understood partnership is the one achieved by successful “marriage partners.” The definition of “partnership” which I prefer is “a relationship in that individuals agree to cooperate to advance each other’s and their mutual interests.” I have been in a successful marriage partnership for more than 50 years. I have been in three successful law partnerships, one for more than 10 years and the two others for more than 20 years each. From time to time all three law partnerships considered changing to a professional corporation (“PC”) or professional limited liability company (“PLLC”) form of governance. Although we could have gained some slight financial advantages and ease of management by doing so, I was opposed because of what we would have lost. Corporations and LLC’s are entities conceived primarily to benefit the conduct of business. They both can be centrally managed by a small number of individuals as well. They permit the investment of capital by individuals not involved in the running of the business and who have no legal obligation to each other or to the success of the endeavor. Corporate shareholders and LLC members can invest with limited risk of liability or loss. Corporate shareholders and LLC members have no fiduciary duties to each other or to the entity in which they own an interest. By contrast, partners have fiduciary duties to their partners and to the partnership entity. A fiduciary owes a duty of trust and an obligation to act in a manner so as to benefit the one or ones to whom the duty is owed, even to the point of disadvantage to oneself. That is the relationship I have enjoyed in my marriage and the way I have endeavored to conduct myself towards my marriage partner. Similarly, that is the relationship I have sought with my law partners and the way I have endeavored to conduct myself towards them and expected them to conduct themselves towards me. For the most part, my partners and I have lived up to our mutual fiduciary responsibilities. As licensed attorneys, my partners and I believe (and most lawyers profess to believe) that we are officers of the court; critical elements in implementing the rule of law; committed to providing equal access to justice; dedicated to serving the needs of our clients; with a responsibility to use our training to further the needs of the community. Generating income for ourselves is necessary, but secondary to and a by-product of our service as attorneys to our clients, our profession and our community. And so I ask you, given that belief, which form of organization best suits the practice of law? The relationship I want with those with whom I practice is best defined by the partnership model with its emphasis on duty to each other and to the success of the partnership. The focus on service as opposed to financial gain is best exemplified by the partnership model as well. My partners and I are now a limited liability partnership, which gives us some protection from third-party claims without altering the nature of our relationship with each other. I also acknowledge that the partnership form of organization is not well suited for large firms with tens, hundreds and even thousands of lawyers. In addition, some foreign countries (Great Britain for example) and at least one state (Arizona) now permit non-lawyers to be equity owners of law-practicing entities that are organized as corporations or LLC’s. Such lay owners are not officers of the court; do not profess to uphold the rule of law; are not dedicated to providing access to justice to all; are not obligated to serve clients’ needs; nor to serve the community. Thus the partnership form of governance would be neither practical nor consistent with the absence of a sworn, legal duty to serve each other and the rule of law. But that illustrates the point, doesn’t it? For a small-to-medium-sized firm of dedicated lawyers, partnership is the model that works. It is the best form of governance and makes a statement about both the relationship of the lawyers in the firm to each other and the purpose of the organization. That is why I always have, and hopefully always will, practice law in a partnership. WBF

WAKE BAR FLYER

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SECOND QUARTER 2021


MEMBERSHIP IN MULTIPLE BARS Wake County Bar Association members are active in our local and statewide legal community, and as a local bar, we believe that membership in our bar and others helps our members become more well-rounded lawyers and people. We asked some members what they see as the benefits of being a member of multiple organizations. WBF “I quickly learned early in my legal career that networking and access to other legal minds would help me be a better attorney. Being a member of multiple bars has given me that access and many additional benefits. I have taken advantage of many CLEs, networking opportunities and forums that are available through the various local and state bar associations. I highly recommend for any practicing attorney to explore the different legal associations available to them.” CARLOS ROJAS

“I am a member of the WCBA and the NC Bar Association. I find membership in multiple bars beneficial, chiefly because multiple memberships create a more diverse network of professional associations and varied educational opportunities. In particular, while the WCBA offers free CLEs and social events, the NCBA has other unique offerings that enrich professional growth, such as sections of professional focus, allowing more intentional networking, as well as section educational opportunities specifically tailored to professional areas of interest. As a solo practitioner, I appreciate these opportunities to learn and grow, as I am not part of a firm that provides them.” ERIN EDGAR

“In 1999 I moved to North Carolina from South Florida and was fortunate enough to begin working with Paul Michaels. Upon arriving, I felt overwhelmed with work, the need to take another bar exam and learning the nuances of the practice of law in North Carolina. Paul and I drove together to the annual conventions for both the NC Bar Association and NC Advocates for Justice. During that car ride he strongly encouraged me to join several associations and volunteer as much as possible. Despite some reluctance I did, and it turned out to be a true blessing. Both groups were exceptional collections of passionate lawyers from across our Great State, yet the organizations’ missions, membership makeup and dynamics were very different. I was fortunate enough to serve in leadership positions for both organizations, chairing multiple committees and serving on the boards of each. The type of work we performed in each organization served our legal community and the residents of North Carolina in different ways, that were each gratifying. The relationships made over years with judges and influential attorneys heavily involved in the NCBA and NCAJ were invaluable and enjoyable. I am very thankful for the encouragement and mentoring that Paul gave me at a time when I needed it as a young and busy attorney. It is great to be able to reach out to a friend from across the state when I can use their expertise and it sure feels positive when opposing counsel on a big case is someone you already know, respect and have a positive relationship with.” GABRIEL JIMENEZ

“Being an active member of other voluntary bar associations has been essential to networking, building up referral sources, learning more about the practice of law and forging friendships with other fellow attorneys. In the past, I was on the board of the Durham Orange County Women Attorneys and active with the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. I am also active in the Triangle Collaborative Divorce Professionals group. It has always been both fun and educational to be involved with all of these attorney organizations, and I highly encourage everyone, particularly younger attorneys, to get active and involved.” JUDY TSENG

WAKE BAR FLYER

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SECOND QUARTER 2021


MEMBERSHIP IN MULTIPLE BARS “The biggest benefit to being involved in multiple bar associations is the opportunity to connect and collaborate with attorneys you wouldn’t meet otherwise. Since 2018, I’ve been involved with the Capital City Lawyers Association – a voluntary bar association with mostly Black and Brown attorneys and judges. While there is certainly overlap between the membership of the WCBA and CCLA, being an active member of both has widened my professional network and my circle of friends.” ERIKA JONES

“I enjoy and value participating in multiple bars in part because of what I can learn from the various organizations. For example, taking a single topic like DEI issues, participating in the WCBA gives me a view to DEI issues and solutions within the local community. Spreading the geographic foot print, participating on committees with the NCBA gives more state-wide perspective and how the same challenge presents for other communities across the state. Participating in national bars like the ABA and NAPABA, I can get then get insights on how larger communities tackle the same, systemic issues across the country and beyond, which in turn, helps bring new ideas and voices to the state and local bars.” TARA CHO

“I have been involved as an active member of the NCBA, WCBA and NCAJ in both leadership and CLE committee roles. I have always felt that giving back to the community is one of the best things we can do with the gifts and talents we have as attorneys. Through the CLE and Techy Communication committees, I have the opportunity to not only see leadership talents grow in other attorneys, but I play a small part in helping the next generation of attorneys bloom. I enjoy sharing the wonderful work we do throughout the legal community and highlighting our great achievements throughout the bar.” ELYSIA PRENDERGRAST-JONES “I’ve enjoyed being a member of two bar associations: the Wake County Bar Association and the NC Association of Defense Attorneys. Membership in the WCBA allows me to connect with attorneys outside of my practice area and on the other side of the “v,” keep up with old friends through the social events and to hear from the local judicial bar who regularly attend and participate in WCBA events. I also tremendously benefit from the practicespecific case law updates, CLEs, friendships and colleagues met through the NCADA. Both bars offer something different and are worthwhile to join.” NATALIA ISENBERG

“As an attorney who practices criminal and immigration law, memberships to professional associations are incredible assets to my practice. I am currently a member of the Wake County Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. Membership in these organizations allow me to access a wide array of continuing education opportunities, provide countless networking opportunities with colleagues, and assist with overall professional development.” ANA NÚÑEZ

WAKE BAR FLYER

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SECOND QUARTER 2021


Becoming a law firm partner is a significant step in your legal career, especially when your name graces the front door. Use the list of names below to fill in the blanks of these Wake County law firms from the past and present! Anderson Baldwin Bolton Boxley Brooks Burwell Campbell Dennis Douglass

Douglass Garber Gee Gorham Greaves Haynsworth Hearn Humphrey Johnson

Johnson Johnston Leonard McLendon McMillan Mercer Pierce Pinna Plyler

Smith Smith Smith Teague Tharrington Vinegar

1) ______, ______, ______, ______ & ______ LLP 2) ______, ______ & ______ 3) ______ & ______ 4) ______ ______ ______ & ______ LLC 5) ______, ______, ______, ______ & ______ PLLC 6) ______, ______ & ______ 7) ______, ______, & ______ PA 8) ______, ______, ______ & ______ 9) ______ ______ LLP 10) ______ ______

WAKE BAR FLYER

15

SECOND QUARTER 2021


YLD UPDATE BY KENDRA STARK | 2021 YLD PRESIDENT

Happy Spring! This month, YLD is thrilled to introduce our newest platform- the YLD Blog. Connection with our members has always been a cornerstone of YLD’s mission, and that has never been more important than over the last year. This blog will serve as an additional tool for connection between YLD leadership and our wonderful members. Each month, a different member of the Board will post a vlog, telling members a little bit about themselves both personally and professionally, explaining their role on the Board, and sharing some helpful tips for new and young lawyers in Wake County. We will also post information about all of our upcoming events, such as socials, pro bono and public service projects, and CLE opportunities. I’m also proud to announce that this year, YLD has launched a special Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. You have probably already seen their mission in action through their heritage month commemorations in your monthly YLD email blasts. The Committee will continue that work on the YLD blog, using the platform to inform and educate our members about topics involving diversity, equity and inclusion. You can read their first blog post on Imposter Syndrome here. The Committee is also partnering with each of our longstanding committees to ensure that every YLD initiative is inclusive and representative of our membership. Finally, we recognize that one of the best ways YLD can serve our members is by listening to and acting on your ideas and feedback. We’re so grateful to each of you who participated in the poll we sent out earlier this year, and we’re working hard to implement your suggestions moving forward. If any of you did not have a chance to participate in the poll, or if you have additional thoughts you’re willing to share, please feel free to reach out to me or any of our board members. Be sure to check out the YLD Blog now to watch our first vlog and catch up on recent YLD news and information. We hope to see you soon. WBF

WAKE BAR FLYER

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SECOND QUARTER 2021


WELCOME NEW MEMBERS OUR BOARD WELCOMED 81 NEW MEMBERS AT ITS APRIL BOARD MEETING, LISTED BELOW.

Patricia M. Adcroft I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Chad E. Axford | Axford Law PLLC Kendra K. Bader I Burns Day & Presnell PA Rachel Beaulieu I Rachel E. Beaulieu Law Office PLLC Camden C. Betz I Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP Tamara B. Bowles Brennan T. Brooks I Howard Stallings From Atkins Angell & Davis PA Lisa-Ann J. Buczek I The Law Offices of Lisa Buczek Stephanie F. Bynum Amanda Cairns I Envolve Benefit Options McKenzie Mykal Lamprecht Canty I Julyan Law Firm PLLC Sara T. Carter I McAngus Goudelock & Courie PLLC Birshari D. Cooper I Legal Aid of NC - Raleigh Office Zachary A. Cooper I Zachary A Cooper Law Elizabeth A. Corbett I Petal Card Inc. Tayler R. d’Alelio I Raleigh Family Law PLLC Gregory S. Davis I TriCity Lawyers Noelle K. Demeny I Brown Crump Vanore & Tierney LLP Diana E. Devine I Brent Adams & Associates Allyn B. Elliott I NK Patent Law PLLC Donald R. Esposito Jr. I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Nicholas I. Fisher  Patricia Flood I Wake County District Attorney’s Office Virginia H. Fogg I Disability Rights NC Leah C. Frahm I Leah Frahm Kevin C. Gaskins  Brianne M. Glass I Manning Fulton & Skinner PA Alexandra S. Gruber I Solo Practitioner Nina N. Gunnell I Moore & Alphin PLLC Durward F. Gunnells III I Retired Daniel C. Gunter III  James M. Hawhee I NC Department of Environmental Quality Kempton L. Healey I Dement Askew LLP Corri A. Hopkins I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Khaled Jaouhari I Legal Aid of NC Erika D. Jones I Law Office of Erika Jones Hannah D. Kays I Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Joseph A. Kimmet I Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP Nicolas A. Kirby I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP John B. Knott   Anna R. Kouba Esq.   Angela D. Lassiter I Law Office of Angela D. Lassiter

WAKE BAR FLYER

Stacie L. LeGrow   Twila C. Leigh   Mason E. Littlefield I McAngus Goudelock & Courie PLLC Charles Evan Shelton Lohr I Lohr and Lohr PLLC Anna K. Long I Credit Suisse Kristen N. Longmire I Campbell Law School Kelli D. McGonagle I New Direction Family Law Brittany T. McKinney I McAngus Goudelock & Courie PLLC Chelsea L. Merritt I Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP Jaelyn Miller I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Kay L. Miller Hobart I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Amos T. Mills III I Solo Practitioner Kelsey V. Monk I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP David S. Moreau I Highwoods Properties Inc Blair B. Nelson I Broughton Wilkins Sugg & Thompson PLLC Rose Marie C. Pahl  Alexander M. Pearce I Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP Alan H. Peterson I K&L Gates LLP Allen W. Powell I Powell Law Firm Jodi L. Regina I NC Department of Justice Julie Rizzo I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Philip W. Romohr I Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan LLP Jamie Rudd I Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP Adam C. Setzer I Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP Whitney Sorrell Moore  Amanda Spence I Allen & Spence PLLC Lisa M. Taylor I McAngus Goudelock & Courie PLLC William Toole I NC Secretary of State Office Melissa Tulis I Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers LLP Charles Vail I Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP BreAnna VanHook-Battle I Legal Aid of NC - Raleigh Office Shawna D. Vasilko I Dobson Law Firm PLLC Ashley Weathers  Allen T. Wiggins I The Lane Construction Corporation Tyler A. Willis  Gregory Wilson I IDS Mary D. Winstead  Hannelore Witt I Moore & Alphin PLLC Laura M. Wright I US Patent & Trademark Office

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SECOND QUARTER 2021


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