Swearing-In & Bridge The Gap Oct. 14

Attention all newly licensed attorneys. The Young Lawyers Section of the Greensboro Bar Association is sponsoring a Swearing-In Ceremony for the admission of newly licensed attorneys to the state and federal courts on Friday, October 14, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room located on the second floor of the Old Courthouse (301 W. Market Street). This ceremony is also open to newly licensed attorneys (who have already been admitted to state and/or federal court) who simply want to participate in the ceremony and be introduced to the Greensboro Bar Association.

A reception serving complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, will be held in honor of all newly sworn-in attorneys immediately following the ceremony at Churchill’s on Elm.

In addition to the Swearing-In Ceremony and reception, the Young Lawyers Section of the Greensboro Bar Association has also organized an optional event on October 14th known as Bridge The Gap, which gives new attorneys in Guilford County an opportunity to become familiar with the local court systems by touring the Federal, State, and Bankruptcy Courts. This program starts at 9:00 a.m. on October 14th at the U.S. Federal Courthouse. Newly licensed attorneys are invited and encouraged to attend.

Click on 2016-17 Swearing-In Packet for the application and more information.

If you have any questions about the Swearing-In Ceremony, the reception, and/or Bridge The Gap, please contact Lisa Arthur, President of the Young Lawyers Section, at 336-378-5318 or Lisa Arthur.

Joint Meeting of 18 & 18-H Judicial District Bars Scheduled for September 29

A SPECIAL JOINT MEETING OF THE 18th and 18-H JUDICIAL DISTRICT BARS will be held on September 29, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room (the Old Superior Court Room) at the Old Guilford County Courthouse at 301 West Market Street in Greensboro, NC, to 1) amend the Bylaws of the 18th Judicial District (click on Bylaws with Proposed Amendments to review proposed revisions); and 2) select nominees to submit to the Governor to fill the District Court judicial vacancy occasioned by the July 31, 2016 retirement of the Honorable District Court Judge Wendy Enochs. Member check-in and distribution of ballots will begin at 3:00 p.m.

Notice of Joint Meeting of 18th & 18-H Judicial District Bars

Bylaws with Proposed Amendments

View List of Candidates and Profiles

Kenneth R. Keller, President, Greensboro Bar Association

Message from the President, Sept 2016

With service and Bar initiatives and selection of nominees for District Court judgeships, we have a full agenda for 2016-17.  On local service and Bar initiatives, we are continuing our successful book project at Jones Elementary, local CLE/Colloquium offerings, annual fundraiser for Legal Aid, Herb Falk Society, Holiday Party at Elon, Second Chance Expungement project, and a day of service with multiple projects.  As the year progresses, we will feature details on each in this newsletter.

On statewide Bar initiatives, our first speaker will be Will Robinson, the Executive Director of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice.  Chief Justice Mark Martin convened the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ) in September of 2015 and charged its members to evaluate the North Carolina judicial system and provide recommendations for strengthening our courts. Commission members were drawn statewide from business, academia, the bar, the non-profit sector, the Legislature, and the Judicial Branch to ensure a well-rounded evaluation of the judicial system.  Each of the members serves on one of five NCCALJ committees studying the areas of civil justice, criminal investigation and adjudication, legal professionalism, public trust and confidence, and technology.

Presently, public hearings are being conducted throughout the state to obtain feedback from the public.  On August 3, 2016, over 100 people attended the hearing held at GTCC.  Overwhelmingly, comments were in favor of raising the jurisdictional age for non-violent juvenile criminal offenses and changing the process by which judges are selected.  The Committee will be taking comments through August 31, 2016 (information and forms are at http://nccalj.org/interim-reports/) and we encourage you to comment.

On the 18th Judicial District Bar front, we will be sending out notices in the near future announcing a joint 18th Judicial District/18H Judicial District Bar meeting to select 5 nominees for the District Court Judge position that has become vacant with the resignation of Judge Enochs.  As part of the meeting, we anticipate that we will also be submitting proposed amendments to both the 18th Judicial District Bylaws and the Bylaws for High Point’s 18H Judicial District to harmonize the Bylaws for both districts, allow notice by e-mail, and comply with section 7A-142 requirements for the selection process.

Your Board of Directors and Committee Chairs are already actively at work and, with your involvement, look forward to a productive year!

Legal Aid CLE – September 1

Legal Aid of North Carolina and the Advocates for Children’s Services is getting ready for the school year and is putting on a CLE that will be free for those who are currently and are interested in volunteering with Legal Aid. The cost is $75 otherwise. Education rights of children is an important topic and we are looking forward working with everyone who would like to volunteer. The training will focus on school discipline, special education, enrollment, and bullying issues.

CLE: The Kids are Alright: Zealously Representing Students in Education Matters

Thursday, September 1, 2016. 12-1:30 p.m..
1.5 hours of general CLE credit.

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1130723840402738436

Tom Kane

Do Your Clients Refer You or Your Firm To Others? Most Don’t!

By Tom Kane (Reprinted from Tom’s LegalMarketingBlog.com dated June 9, 2016)

According to a survey by The BTI Consulting Group, only 40.1% of clients recommend their primary law firm to a peer. As bad as that statistic is, the good news is that it is better by almost 7% over the previous year, and better slightly than five years ago.  According to the survey it “still leaves more than half of all clients wanting.”

As I, and many others have consistently stated, clients hire lawyers they know, like and trust.  Clients consider not only the quality of the legal product, but also how the services are provided.  Referrals from satisfied clients is the “express lane” to more work and new business.

So, what should you do?  A few recommendations include:

Seek feedback (No. 3 on my list of Top Ten Marketing Tips)

Set goals that match those of the client

Invest in understanding the client’s business (a failing I’ve heard from clients over the years)

Don’t wait for the client to ask about succession plans

Educate the clients “in new, high-value topics” (off-the-clock I would add)

The good news is that more and more firms, according to BTI, are doing a better job of systematically adopting practices to “improve client service on a continuing basis.”

Are you and your firm doing the same?

Tom Kane is a member of the Greensboro Bar Association and former NC Assistant Attorney General. He has spent the past 30-plus years as an in-house legal marketer and consultant to law firms throughout the U.S. He is the author of LegalMarketingBlog.com. He can be reached at (386) 225-9612.

Brooks Pierce Partner Becomes President of North Carolina Bar Association

Kearns Davis, a partner in the Greensboro office of Brooks Pierce, was sworn in as the 122nd president of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) on June 25 at the organization’s annual meeting in Charlotte. Davis is the second Brooks Pierce attorney to serve as president of the NCBA. Aubrey Brooks, one of the firm’s founding partners, led the association from 1916-1917.

“I’m deeply honored by the trust my fellow lawyers have placed in me. I look forward to working with attorneys, judges and citizens across the state to help meet the legal challenges of our time,” Davis said. “Brooks Pierce was built on a foundation of service and leadership in the legal profession and the communities we serve. I’m deeply grateful for my partners’ tremendous support.”

Davis heads Brooks Pierce’s white-collar criminal defense and investigations practice, and handles a wide range of federal and business litigation. He previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, where he was the United States’ lead prosecutor in felony trials for a broad spectrum of federal crimes, and as a law clerk to the late Chief Judge Sam J. Ervin, III, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has taught trial advocacy at the University of North Carolina School of Law, the Elon University School of Law, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center.

“Since joining Brooks Pierce in 1996, Kearns has demonstrated the Brooks Pierce brand of extraordinary commitment to our clients, exceptional integrity, and mastery of a demanding practice, all while taking on many leadership roles within the North Carolina Bar Association,” said Reid Phillips, the firm’s managing partner. “He is truly dedicated to advancing the legal profession. The North Carolina Bar Association could not have chosen a better lawyer or more accomplished leader to be its next president.”

Black, Slaughter & Black Announces Two New Partners and an Associate

The law firm of Black, Slaughter & Black announces the naming of two new partners: Carole Albright, a State Bar Certified Family Law Specialist, and Theodora Vaporis, who heads up the firm’s Estate Planning & Administration Department.  Adam Marshall has joined the firm as an associate attorney with a primary focus of real estate and community association (HOA and condo) law. Black, Slaughter & Black (formerly Rossabi Black Slaughter) has a new website address of www.lawfirmcarolinas.com.

Adam Marshall

Adam Marshall

Carole Albright

Carole Albright

Theodora Vaporis

Theodora Vaporis

SportsBusiness Journal Recognizes Erik Albright as ‘Power Player’

Smith Moore Leatherwood partner Erik Albright has been included in “Power Players: Sports Lawyers and Outside Counsel” by SportsBusiness Journal.  The publication recognizes honorees for their influence on the profession, depth of client list and overall body of work.

erik albright

erik albright

Albright’s inclusion within this distinguished group reflects his representation of clients in the sports industry.  His clients have included colleges, universities and collegiate athletic conferences; professional football, baseball and soccer teams; the local organizers of Greensboro’s PGA TOUR golf tournament; a national amateur sports organization; and multiple other sports organizations, sports insurers and outdoor adventure sports centers.  He also has taught sports law as an adjunct faculty member at Wake Forest School of Law and Elon University School of law.  In addition, he serves as an active member of the national Sports Lawyers Association and he is the secretary and past treasurer of the Sports and Entertainment Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Albright earned his bachelor’s degree from Duke University and law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. He has practiced law for 26 years with Smith Moore Leatherwood and, in addition to sports law, also focuses on civil litigation including complex commercial and antitrust litigation and general tort and insurance coverage matters.  He has been recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers and Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite for his general litigation practice, and by The Best Lawyers in America® for commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.

Smith Moore Leatherwood Achieves Top Rankings across Seven Practice Areas in 2016 Chambers USA Guide

Smith Moore Leatherwood is pleased to announce that twenty-five attorneys have earned recognition in the 2016 Chambers USA Guide by Chambers and Partners, publisher of the world’s leading guides to the legal profession.

The firm also received rankings across seven key practice areas, including recognition in North and South Carolina for work in: Litigation, Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions and Real Estate. In North Carolina the firm was awarded the highest Band 1 ranking for Health Care and was also recognized for its Environment, Labor & Employment, and Intellectual Property practices. The firm was recognized in Georgia for its Health Care practice.

Three attorneys from the firm’s Greensboro office and one from the Raleigh office received Chambers’ highest Band 1 ranking in North Carolina in their respective practice areas – Maureen Demarest Murray and Robert L. Wilson Jr. for Health Care; Julianna Theall Earp for Labor & Employment; and Thomas E. Terrell Jr. for Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use. In addition, two attorneys in North Carolina made their first appearance on the list – Laura Deddish Burton (Greensboro) for Labor & Employment: Immigration, and Patricia A. Markus (Raleigh) for Health Care.

In its 17th year of publication, the Chambers USA Guide is an annual ranking of leading lawyers and law firms in the United States. Results are obtained through hours of research and thousands of interviews with clients and lawyers, with greater weight given to the views of clients. The qualities on which the rankings are assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities highly valued by clients.

A client interviewed by Chambers commented, “They treat the business relationship as a partnership, and approach our problems as their problems; they’re excellent.”

The 25 Smith Moore Leatherwood attorneys recognized as leaders in their states and practice areas include:

Corporate/ M&A

E. Kent Auberry, Greensboro, NC

Frank C. Williams III, Greenville, SC


Stephen W. Earp, Greensboro, NC

Mona Cunningham O’Bryant, Greensboro, NC

Health Care

Terrill Johnson Harris, Greensboro, NC

Barry S. Herrin, Atlanta, GA

Patricia A. Markus, Raleigh, NC

Maureen Demarest Murray, Greensboro, NC

Lawrence J. Myers, Atlanta, GA

Tobin N. Watt, Atlanta, GA

Robert L. Wilson Jr., Raleigh, NC

Labor & Employment

Laura Deddish Burton, Greensboro, NC

Julianna Theall Earp, Greensboro, NC

Alexander L. Maultsby, Greensboro, NC

George J. Oliver, Raleigh, NC

Patti West Ramseur, Greensboro, NC


Steven E. Farrar, Greenville, SC

Robert R. Marcus, Charlotte, NC

Robert D. Moseley Jr., Greenville, SC

Larry B. Sitton, Charlotte, NC (Senior Statesmen)

Fred M. Wood Jr., Charlotte, NC

Real Estate

Michele Fuller Lyerly, Greenville, SC

Charles E. Melvin Jr., Greensboro, NC (Senior Statesmen)

Marvin A. Quattlebaum, Greenville, SC

Thomas E. Terrell Jr., Greensboro, NC

Lisa Arthur, President, Young Lawyers Section, Greensboro Bar Association

Young Lawyers Section: Connections

My name is Lisa Arthur and I am the Young Lawyers Section president. This year at YLS we are all about connections—connecting young lawyers to other lawyers and young professionals, connecting young lawyers to volunteer opportunities, and connecting young lawyers to the Greensboro community.  I will use this column each month to update you about what is going on with YLS and how you can connect with us.

Book Buddies. Book Buddies is a volunteer program that YLS created and supports every year.  The program pairs lawyers with classrooms at Hampton Elementary to read aloud to the class for thirty minutes to an hour.  The great thing about the program is that it’s flexible—once you’re paired with a classroom, you work with the teacher to schedule mutually agreeable reading times.  Our goal is to fully staff Hampton’s pre-K through second-grade classes and expand to another Guilford County school. Book Buddies is open to all GBA members, so you don’t have to be a young lawyer to volunteer with us. To find out more about Book Buddies and how you can volunteer, please see article on page 6.

Backpack Beginnings. Our first YLS event this year will be with Backpack Beginnings on Thursday, September 14, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. with a happy hour to follow. Come meet new YLS members and help stuff “comfort” backpacks for Guilford County kids.  To RSVP for this event, please email me at lisa.arthur@smithmoorelaw.com.

Swearing-in Ceremony/Bridge the Gap Program.  Please mark your calendars for Friday, October 14, 2016.  Our Bridge the Gap Program starts at 9:00 a.m. and provides a great opportunity for new lawyers to tour the Federal, State, and Bankruptcy Courts.  Our Swearing-In Ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the Commissioners’ Room located on the second floor of the Old Courthouse (301 W. Market Street).  We would love for members of the GBA to join us and support our newly licensed attorneys. If you are a newly licensed attorney or know of a newly licensed attorney, please e-mail me directly at lisa.arthur@smithmoorelaw.com so I can send you the application materials.

Lisa Arthur is President of the Greensboro Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section and an attorney with Smith Moore Leatherwood in the litigation practice group. Follow YLS on Facebook