The Nuts and Bolts of a Court of Appeals Case presented by the Honorable Richard Dietz

Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys

The Nuts and Bolts of a Court of Appeals Case

by the Honorable Richard Dietz

March 21, 2017

The Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys is proud to host the Honorable Richard Dietz to present “The Nuts and Bolts of  a Court of Appeals Case.” We invite you to join us and learn best practices for appellate practice from Judge Dietz, an appellate judge who has heard hundreds of cases and personally argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pending 1 CLE Credit

Location: Elon School of Law, Classroom 105

Date: March 21,2017, 6-8 pm

Light hors d’oeuvres will be served

Cost is $10 for PTWA members and law students,
$20 for non-members.
Space is limited and registration is required.
Deadline for registering is March 17

Registration forms can be found at:  PTWA CLE Registration Form 2017

The purpose of the Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys is consistent with those of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys:

a) To increase the participation of women attorneys in the legal profession;

b) To protect the rights of women under the law

c) To promote and improve the administration of justice;

d) To engage in any other lawful activity to achieve the purposes of NCAWA, as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation of NCAWA.

North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys Chapter

You’re Invited to Our 8th Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking

The Habitat Steering Committee is thrilled to announce that construction of our 8th house will begin on Saturday, April 1. All GBA members (whether or not on the 4/1 work crew) are invited to the groundbreaking ceremony and lunch on site at noon on April 1. You will be receiving a registration email for this lunch in the coming weeks.

We will be contacting members who have already signed Volunteer Forms to schedule their workdays. Members who have not already submitted a form will have an opportunity to sign up using Habitat’s online registration. Look for an email from GBA with the Habitat volunteer link enclosed, to be sent shortly. Construction Volunteer FAQ (PDF download)

Thank you to all the volunteers and donors who are making this house possible for the Tona Nay and D’Joan R’mah family!

Meet New Homeowners

The Tona Nay and D’Joan R’mah Family

The Tona Nay and D’Joan R’mah Family
722 Prince Road

Tona and D’Joan are parents of four sons: Sru – 25 years old, Santigo – 14 years old, Tula – 12 years old, Jensu – 7 years old, and three daughters: Sara – 21 years old,
Sama – 18 years old and H’Po – 16 years old. Tona and D’Joan came to the United States from Vietnam. Tona is employed at Affordable Stone Products and D’Joan manages the family. They work very hard to provide for their family and are looking forward to having their own home in a wonderful neighborhood.

Camille Stell

Stell: Most Memorable Lunch of 2016

It wasn’t the restaurant that made it memorable, though I really love Centro located in downtown Raleigh. And it wasn’t the food, though their steak tacos are my favorite. Instead, it was the company of my lunch companion that made the meal so memorable.

Sylvia Novinsky, the Director of the newly established North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, has an enthusiasm for pro bono work that is infectious.

On April 1, 2016, the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission launched the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center.

The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center (the Resource Center) partners with legal aid organizations, local bars, law schools, community groups, and others, to develop new projects to help address unmet legal needs. The Resource Center also operates, which serves as a matching service of lawyers and paralegals who want to volunteer with pro bono opportunities.

In 2010, the North Carolina State Bar adopted Rule 6.1, Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service, which states in part, “Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono public legal services per year.”

In order to encourage pro bono volunteers, it’s important to recognize the need. According to Sylvia, 80% of the civil legal needs of North Carolinians living in poverty are unmet.  Many attorneys and paralegals, though willing to help, are not sure where to turn to meet these needs.

The Resource Center plays a vital role in recruiting pro bono attorneys to fill the gap as legal aid providers and legal clinics in North Carolina are facing tremendous financial challenges.

The Resource Center will also develop pro bono projects statewide, working in partnership with legal aid providers and community organizations. The Resource Center will provide support for existing pro bono projects, including recruiting volunteers and training them for various projects. Finally, the Resource Center will include a place for lawyers to report their hours and will recognize lawyers for their volunteer efforts. Before the Resource Center was launched, while there was an annual aspirational goal of 50 hours per lawyer, there was no method of reporting.

While malpractice claims for pro bono activities are rare, insurance coverage can give you a peace of mind knowing there is a safety net should a mistake be made or a claim asserted against you. Many organizations where lawyers would be volunteering already have coverage in place. For lawyers insured with Lawyers Mutual, claims arising from pro bono activities are covered just as a claim for a paying client would be. For policies issued by Lawyers Mutual after August 1, 2015, there is a limited waiver of deductible up to $10,000 for claims expenses on pro bono matters handled through many legal service providers.

If you are not insured, there are policies available solely for pro bono work. While pricing may vary and would be subject to the application process, the initial pricing (for limits of liability up to $1 million) would likely be below $500 for the year.

For newly-admitted attorneys, pro bono work can be a great way to build skills, learn about different practice areas and meet other legal professionals. The Resource Center can assist you with looking for training opportunities to help bridge the gap between your classroom and the courtroom experience. There are often CLE opportunities available for those who are willing to provide pro bono services but need to enhance their skills. Check with the CLE provider to see about getting a reduced pro bono rate.

For law firms looking to enhance their pro bono involvement, working with the Resource Center would be a great way to develop a pro bono plan for your firm and to find projects that meet your geographic needs, as well as match your area of practice expertise.

Lawyers who are beginning to transition out of law practice can find pro bono service to be a way to stay connected with the profession and continue to give back. Some pro bono opportunities do not require attorneys to have an active law license. The Resource Center can assist with a match for transitioning lawyers to a pro bono activity that fits their needs while benefiting the community.

If you want a memorable lunch, call or email Sylvia and introduce yourself. She would be delighted to help you get involved. And she enjoys a great taco when she has the chance.

Visit or email Sylvia Novinsky, Director of the Pro Bono Resource Center, at or call 919.719.9281.

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

Scrubs vs. Suits: GBA Lawyers take on Local Doctors in a Charity Basketball Event

On Sunday, February 26th, the GBA and the Young Lawyers Section took on local doctors from Greensboro in the Scrubs vs. Suits basketball game challenge.  The goal of the event was to raise $5,000 for a new play therapy room for the Mustard Seed, a new clinic serving uninsured and underinsured patients in East Greensboro.  Together, both teams exceeded their goal and raised over $15,000.

The doctors were coached by former NBA player, Gene Banks. Mike Hogewood announced the game and Chief Justice Frye provided the honorary tip-off.  Both teams played their hearts out but ultimately the doctors were victorious. Luckily for the Suits, there’s always next year.

The YLS would like to thank the GBA for their support and co-sponsorship in this event. We would also like to thank each and every member of the Suits team (listed below), which consisted of local practitioners, GBA board members, a judge, Elon law students, and YLS members. It was a great opportunity to interact with members from across the profession and we are truly grateful to all of the players who gave of their time to support this great event. Finally, we would like to thank Adam Kerr, our head coach, for all of his hard work in organizing our practices and coaching us through the game, as well as our assistant coaches, Gwen Lewis and Mark Gaylord.

Team Suits

  • Todd Davis
  • Ben Crissman
  • Josh Bui
  • Mark Cummings
  • Adam Kerr
  • Tola Familoni
  • Christian McMullen
  • Bobby Trimble
  • Mark Gaylord
  • Robert Cratch
  • Eloise Hassell
  • Gabriel Kussin
  • Patrick Apple
  • Jason Aycoth
  • Lisa Arthur
  • Tony Huynh
  • Daniel Harris
  • Gwen Lewis
Coaches Gene Banks, Gwen Lewis, and Adam Kerr.

from left to right: Coaches Gene Banks, Gwen Lewis, and Adam Kerr.

Coach Gwen Lewis discusses game strategies during a timeout.

Coach Gwen Lewis discusses game strategies during a timeout.

Chief Justice Frye preparing for tip-off.

Chief Justice Frye preparing for tip-off.

Scrubs v Suits 2017

Scrubs v Suits 2017

Scrubs v Suits 2017

Scrubs v Suits 2017

Scrubs v Suits 2017

Scrubs v Suits 2017

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

Young Lawyers Section: Connections, Feb 2017

Upcoming Events Hosted By The Young Lawyers Section

Scrubs v. Suits MD/JD Basketball Game, February 26: Help us raise money for a new play therapy room to expand the mental health services offered to children at the Mustard Seed by helping us defeat local doctors from the Greater Greensboro Society of Medicine in a basketball game.  To sign up to be a basketball team member or to be a member of the spirit squad, please contact Lisa Arthur (

Greensboro 4ALL, March 3: The YLS and the Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys are taking over the 4:00pm-7:00pm volunteer block at 4ALL this year. To register, please sign up here:

NC Law School Consortium Invites Employers to Participate in February’s Interview Programs for Law Students

The NC Law School Consortium (a consortium of all NC law schools) presents two interview programs each year, one in Charlotte and one in Raleigh, each catering to employers in those areas of the state.  Employers in the past have included private firms (25 or less attorneys), companies with in-house legal departments, public interest organizations, and associations.  Employers recruit for summer interns and / or entry-level associates.  Employers post their positions for all NC law school students’ consideration, select the students they wish to interview and interview them on the specific dates in Charlotte and Raleigh.  The Western program will be held at Charlotte Law School on February 18 and the Eastern program will be held at the NC State Bar in Raleigh on February 25.  For more information, please click here.

Superior Court Seeks Public Guardians

The office of the Clerk of Superior Court seeks four (4) qualified Attorneys to serve as Public Guardians for Guilford County.  The Public Guardian serves the community by providing fiduciary services when property is discovered belonging to a minor or incompetent person without a guardian or when a person who is eligible to be guardian is unable or unwilling to serve.  Pursuant to N.C.G.S.§ 35A, your responsibilities would include ascertaining and securing assets, income sources, benefits, and debts as well as filing proper inventories, petitions, and accountings with the Court. Interested persons should contact Lisa Johnson-Tonkins, Clerk of Superior Court, at (336) 412-7301.

Amanda Hodierne Promoted to Partner at Isaacson Isaacson Sheridan Fountain & Leftwich

Isaacson Isaacson Sheridan Fountain & Leftwich, LLP is pleased to announce Amanda P. Hodierne as partner in the firm.

Ms. Hodierne joined the firm in 2013, immediately after graduation from Wake Forest School of Law and admission to the North Carolina Bar.  Since that time, she has handled various real estate, corporate and general matters while focusing her practice on all aspects of real property and land use law including commercial transactions, entitlements, financing and leasing.  Prior to entering law school, Ms. Hodierne worked as an urban planner for the Town of Cary, the City of Raleigh and in the private sector for various developers.  During that time she earned her designation as Certified Planner from the American Institute of Certified Planners and continues to put that knowledge base to use in her legal practice.

Ms. Hodierne is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and the Greensboro Bar Association.

Amanda P. Hodierne

Amanda P. Hodierne

Habitat Needs You!

Hopefully by the time you read this, you will already have donated (or pledged a donation) and completed a volunteer form for our eighth Habitat for Humanity House.  On the chance that you have not done so, both the 2017 Contribution Form and the 2017 Volunteer Form are available on the Greensboro Bar Association website.  We also offer the option of donating online.  Although your payment can be made either this year or by February 28, 2017, we need to obtain donations and commitments as soon as possible.

Tom Kane

Kane: Traditional Hourly Billing Is Finally Dead – Almost

By Tom Kane (Reprinted from Tom’s dated January 25, 2017)

More than 10 years ago, I started talking about:

I now know that those posts were a “touch” premature. I’m not so sure they still are. I can confidently state that the “traditional” hourly billing is dead. According to the “2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market by Georgetown Law’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and Thompson’s Reuters Legal Executive Institute, in many firms, AFAs (only 15-20% of revenues) and  budget-based pricing “combined may well account for 80-90 percent of all revenues.”

The “widespread client insistence on budgets (with caps) for both transactional and litigation matters” over the past decade is the reason, according to the report. While firms may still keep track of their time on a billable hour basis, be assured that it is a different animal when it comes to invoices sent out. Debra Cassens Weiss’s take on the topic can be seen online at ABA Journal and is entitled Billable hour pricing is effectively dead because of budget caps, report says.

After discussing other significant changes to the legal profession over the past decade, the report concludes that “those firms that are most likely to survive and prosper in the new market environment are not necessarily the oldest or the strongest or the smartest, but rather those most able to adapt to the changes around them.” A good start would be to read the entire 17-page report.