Michael Taliercio Elected National Treasurer of the ACPL

Michael Talicero

Michael Talicero

Attorney Michael Taliercio with the law firm of Black, Slaughter & Black has been elected the 2018 National Treasurer of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers. The ACPL recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the practice of parliamentary law, including lawyers who advise conventions, condominium and homeowner associations, governmental bodies, and nonprofits. Taliercio is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian and a Fellow in the ACPL.

Mix and Mingle Highlights

The GBA Mix and Mingle event was held at Joymongers Brewing Co. on Thursday, November 9.  Over 60 people (and one dog) were in attendance.  Stay tuned! The Greensboro Bar Association Membership Committee will be hosting a similar event in the spring.

Brooks Pierce’s Greensboro Office Receives 27 Tier-One Rankings in “Best Law Firms”

Brooks Pierce is pleased to announce that 27 of the practice areas in its Greensboro office received tier-­one metropolitan rankings in the 2018 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”

“We feel privileged that year after year so many of our practice areas are distinguished as among the best,” said Reid Phillips, managing partner of Brooks Pierce. “Brooks Pierce prides itself on tackling very complex legal issues and finding successful, and often creative, solutions for our clients. Consistently seeing this kind of recognition for the work we do is truly an honor.”

The 27 Brooks Pierce practice areas that received a tier‑one ranking in the Greensboro metropolitan area include:

  • Antitrust Law
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Transactions/UCC Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Criminal Defense: White-­ Collar
  • Employment Law -­ Management
  • Environmental Law
  • Financial Services Regulation Law
  • Labor Law -­ Management
  • Litigation -­ Antitrust
  • Litigation -­ Banking & Finance
  • Litigation -­ Bankruptcy
  • Litigation -­ Environmental
  • Litigation -­ Intellectual Property
  • Litigation -­ Labor & Employment
  • Litigation -­ Securities
  • Litigation -­ Tax
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Non-­ Profit/Charities Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Securities/Capital Markets Law
  • Tax Law
  • Trusts & Estates Law

The “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on client and lawyer evaluations, peer reviews from leading attorneys and a review of information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Firms are only eligible for a ranking in a particular practice if at least one lawyer is included in Best Lawyers in that particular practice area. More information on the “Best Law Firms” methodology can be found at bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

Sponsor the Legal Aid of North Carolina Fundraiser

On behalf of the Greensboro Bar Association and the Greensboro Bar Association Foundation, we invite you to consider becoming a sponsor of our 2018 Legal Aid of North Carolina fundraiser on Saturday, February 17, 2018, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Science Center & Aquarium! The event features a delicious, catered dinner, craft beer from local breweries, a wine tasting contest, raffles for great prizes, and an evening enjoying fellowship and the exhibits at the aquarium. All proceeds will benefit the Greensboro office of Legal Aid of North Carolina.

Legal Aid of North Carolina (“LANC”) is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity.

The fundraiser provides four different levels of sponsorship:

Platinum Sponsorship: $2,000

  • 8 tickets to the event
  • Company name included on promotional material
  • Company logo included on promotional material
  • Company logo displayed on table cards at the event
  • Sponsorship announced at the event

Gold Sponsorship: $1,000

  • 6 tickets to the event
  • Company name included on promotional material
  • Company logo included on promotional material
  • Company logo displayed on table cards at the event

Silver Sponsorship: $500

  • 4 tickets to the event
  • Company name included on promotional material
  • Company logo included on promotional material

Bronze Sponsorship: $250

  • 2 tickets to the event
  • Company name included on promotional material

If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact Johnna Herron at jzherron@gmail.com. Thank you!

Volunteer at Potter’s House

Volunteers are needed to serve food to the less fortunate at the Urban Ministry’s Potter’s House.

Shifts are from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM on Sunday, December 17. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community in the company of fellow members of the bar.

Please email Melissa Duncan at mduncan6@elon.edu if you are able to help. Write POTTER’S HOUSE in the subject line.

Message from the President, December 2017

The holiday season is upon us, also known as “the season of giving.”  The Online Giving Study conducted by the Network for Good found that a third of all charitable donations in the U.S. happens in December, and a whopping 22 percent occurs on the final two days of the year.  As we enter this wonderful (and sometimes overwhelming) season, I wanted to highlight some opportunities for our members to give to others less fortunate.

“Real generosity toward the future
lies in giving all to the present.”
          -Albert Camus

“I have found that among its other benefits,
giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
          -Maya Angelou

Based on the responses to the survey the Community Involvement Committee sent to our membership a few months ago, the Committee has partnered with the Volunteer Center of Greensboro to provide us with two fantastic ways to help others:

Tiny Houses Greensboro has broken ground on North Carolina’s first tiny house community for the homeless!  Tiny Houses convenes a 15-member work crew every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 4120 Causey Street in Greensboro.  Much like Habitat for Humanity, prior construction experience is welcomed but not required.  Please visit www.volunteergso.org and sign up for a work day.

The GBA has a long history of partnering with Jones Elementary School to provide books for the students at the holidays and for the graduating fifth graders. Now we have an additional way to assist at Jones. BackPack Beginnings donates food to Jones to distribute to students’ families who are in need. Volunteers are needed the 2nd and 4th weeks of each month from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. to distribute donated food to the classrooms. Please visit www.volunteergso.org and sign up for a shift. Additionally, volunteers may stuff bags and work in the food pantry at their convenience. Please contact Kimberly Simmons, Jones Elementary Social Worker, at 336.370.8230 if you would like to help.

Speaking of Jones Elementary, if you have not yet had a chance to make your donation for the annual book project, please consider mailing a check made payable to “GBA Foundation” (include “Jones Elementary” on the memo line) to Post Office Box 1825, Greensboro, NC 27402, or donating online via PayPal.  We hope you will also join the GBA’s “elves” and wrap some of the Jones books at our annual holiday party at Elon Law School on Wednesday, December 13th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and volunteer to distribute the wrapped books to the children on Tuesday, December 19th at 8:30 a.m.

Our Community Involvement Committee has also continued its relationship with Urban Ministries and continues to seek volunteers to serve food to the less fortunate at the Potter’s House.  The next opportunity is on Sunday, December 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Please volunteer by Melissa Duncan at mduncan6@elon.edu. Please list Potter’s House in subject line.

I wish you all a safe, happy, and fulfilling season of giving.

New Members, Approved on November 8, 2017

Daniel Davis Stratton
Tuggle Duggins P.A.
Endorsed by Clinton H. Cogburn

Spencer C. Krantz
Tuggle Duggins P.A.
Endorsed by Richard W. Andrews

Shea Brianne Ward
Dummit Fradin
Endorsed by Megan E. Spidell

Paige Nicole McElravy
Aycock Family Law
Endorsed by George “Trey” W. Aycock III

Laura Whitworth Milloway
Endorsed by Kristen M. Redman

Sarah M. Saint
Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP
Endorsed by Kimberly M. Marston

Sharon Elizabeth Dunmore
Jeffries Law, PLLC
Endorsed by Lauren Jeffries

Chimeaka LaVette White
Endorsed by Hon. Mark T. Cummings

Spencer David Warren
Connors Morgan PLLC
Endorsed by Karen McKeithen Schaede

Donna Rinck
Endorsed by Gerald L. Walden, Jr.

Brenton Begley
Endorsed by Ames Chamberlin

Joseph D. Hammond
Ellis & Winters LLP
Endorsed by Christopher W. Jackson

Stell: #ClioCloud9

A few years ago, I asked NC Bar Association staffer Joyce Brafford, “If I can attend only one conference this year, what should it be?” Joyce did not hesitate, the Clio Cloud Conference. I am so glad I took her advice.

Clio is a cloud based legal technology company and Clio hosted their first conference in 2013 with 200 attendees. I attended my first Clio Conference in Chicago in 2015, then again in 2016. This year the conference moved to New Orleans in September and I attended for the third year in a row along with 1,200 others. What keeps me going back?

There are several standout features of the conference. The conference is highly produced and includes excellent facilities and great networking. The conference extras include hangover tables and massage chairs, plenty of food and beverage, and fun add-ons such as “Clio After Dark” after-conference socials.

As everyone attending the conference is a forward thinking legal professional , many conversations start at a different level – “what can we do better, more effectively and more efficiently?”, along with, “what does the future hold and what is my role in that future?”. These are individuals who have embraced technology and are using it in every part of their practice.

One of my favorite aspects of the conference is getting to know the Clio staff. CEO Jack Newton and Lawyer in Residence, Joshua Lennon are wandering the halls and looking to join in conversations or share a table at the social events. The staff is warm and welcoming and they embrace the mission of the company.

The speakers are forward thinking. There are multiple tracks offered: Clio University (Clio users), business of law and legal technology.

Keynote Speakers

The keynote speakers are always fantastic and this year was no exception. Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield, was perfectly on theme with Clio’s yearlong update to their software, which they christened Apollo. Commander Hadfield had a beautiful slide show of photos from his time on the International Space Station. He shared his experience of astronaut training including preparing for emergencies so that when something goes wrong, they are ready to troubleshoot and repair.

Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind Harvard Law graduate, and also on the cover of the ABA Journal in September, spoke about challenges she faced in life that prepared her for her work as a disability rights advocate who works to promote accessibility and inclusion.

Preet Bharara is a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. His inspirational remarks encouraged lawyers to strive to be their best. Bharara is now the host of the “Stay Tuned with Preet” podcast that tops my “must listen to” list.

Conference Themes

Over 30 speakers addressed topics such as client experience, artificial intelligence, disruption, collaboration, generational communication, social engagement, and how these topics are influencing the future of law.

21st Century Skills

Many of the speakers spoke about the skills needed to be a 21st century legal professional including: cultural competency, leadership, project management, business acumen, high risk tolerance, technology, social networking, collaboration, communication and presentation, forming teams and problem solving that includes innovation.

Conference Highlights

The show opened with a New Orleans Jazz Band and dancing Clio employees in their signature Clio Conference t-shirts and jeans, an early nod that this is not your standard legal conference. Jack Newton opened the conference reporting on changes in the Clio product, continued innovations the company is making, and finally rolling out the 2017 Legal Trends Report.

If you are looking at a report that analyzes what is happening in the world of solo and small firms, this report is a must-read. Clio introduced the report in 2016 and it was a highly anticipated feature of this conference.

The report is based on anonymously aggregated data from 60,000 Clio users. The most shocking news in the report is that in an 8-hour day, lawyers spend 2.3 hours of the day working for clients, they bill their clients for 1.9 hours of their day and they collect from clients for 1.6 hours of their day.

Many bloggers, lawyers, legal consultants and marketing professionals are talking about the 2.3-hour billable day and the missing 6 hours. There may be a variety of reasons for the low numbers including the number of younger lawyers who may be Clio users but do not have a solid book of business, as well as less overall work for lawyers regardless of age and stage.

Clio users acknowledged that in the remaining 6 hours they spend time marketing and developing new business, administrative work, licensing / CLE, office administration, generating / sending bills, configuring technology, and collections.

George Psiharis, Clio’s Vice President of Business Operations, presented a session where he drilled deeper into the report. The report also provides an index of billable hour rates across the country, includes responses from 2,000 consumers of legal services about what clients are looking for in a lawyer, and offers tips on how to set targets for success in your firm that allow you to measure your practice. At a conference where there is plenty of conversation around artificial intelligence, Psiharis offers hope for lawyers, “Data driven lawyers eat robots for breakfast.”

Moving Forward

Who should attend the Clio Conference? I am not a Clio user and I still consider it the best conference I attend. If you are a solo or small firm lawyer, paralegal or other legal professional there will be conference sessions you will find of interest. If you are interested in building a 21st century law firm, this conference is for you.

Finally, if you want to participate in conversations that center around the changing and challenging legal marketplace, make plans to attend. The conference is scheduled for October 4-5, 2018 in New Orleans at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Early Bird Registration is now open. I’ll see you in New Orleans.

Camille Stell is the Vice President of Client Services for Lawyers Mutual. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at camille@lawyersmutualnc.com or 800.662.8843.

Attorney Jeremy Foltz Receives Pro Bono Award

(L-R) President Sarah Roane, Jeremy Foltz and wife Marcelle Foltz

(L-R) President Sarah Roane, Jeremy Foltz and wife Marcelle Foltz

The Greensboro Bar Association’s 2017 Pro Bono Award was presented to Jeremy B. Foltz at the November 16 member meeting.  Jeremy first practiced law in Texas. As soon as he became licensed in North Carolina, he joined the Greensboro Bar Association and contacted the Greensboro Legal Aid Office and asked if he could volunteer. Initially, he helped out with some routine housing cases. As time passed, he undertook some more complex housing matters, where his litigation and insurance law experience proved to be a major benefit for his clients. Since 2015, our award recipient has handled a total of ten (10) Legal Aid referrals with outstanding results. The Greensboro Bar Association is pleased to recognize Jeremy for his service.