GBA Members Deliver 200 Books to Jones Elementary

On December 20, 2016, members of the GBA delivered approximately 200 books to students in the Neighborhood Leadership Program (NLP) at David D. Jones Elementary School. The NLP is designed to positively impact the academic and social lives of children growing up in Warnersville, the first organized African-American community in Greensboro. The success of this year’s GBA Elementary School Project was thanks to individuals who donated more than $1,300 in total and helped wrap the books at the GBA Holiday Party on December 14.  As has been done in years past, the books were purchased through Jones Elementary’s Scholastic Book Fair, which sends 50 cents of every dollar spent back to the school in the form of funds that can be used to purchase new books for the school library and classrooms.

2017 GBA Jones Elementary Book Project

Above: Books were delivered by members Eloise Hassell, Nicole Patino,Afi Johnson-Parris, Gwendolyn Lewis, Adam Kerr (Co-Chair), Hon. Bill Davis, Erin Reis (Co-Chair) and principal Ron Luciano.

2017 GBA Jones Elementary Book Project

2017 GBA Jones Elementary Book Project

Remaining funds will be used to purchase books as gifts for all 99 fifth graders graduating from Jones Elementary this year in both the NLP and Spanish Immersion programs.


The GBA would like to thank the following individuals for their generosity in donating to the annual Elementary School Project:

  • Michael R. Abel
  • Jonathan S. Anderson
  • Vance Barron, Jr.
  • Joseph R. Beatty
  • Barbara R. Christy
  • Bob & Sally Cone
  • Catherine Eagles
  • W. Erwin Fuller, Jr.
  • Kathleen A. Gleason
  • A. Robinson & Eloise Hassell
  • Patrice Hinnant
  • Kenneth R. Keller
  • Adam Kerr
  • Henry B. Mangum, Jr.
  • Barbara R. Morgenstern
  • Erin D. Reis
  • Michele G. Smith
  • Norman B. Smith
  • Donald K. Speckhard
  • Theodora A. Vaporis

Urban Ministry Food Pantry in Need of Donations

As reported by Fox 8 News, the shelves at Urban Ministry’s food pantry need to be restocked immediately. GBA members are encouraged to donate canned foods (like fruits and vegetables) and dried items (like beans and rice). Drop your food in the collection box located in GBA office copier room, Suite 815 of the Self Help Building, 122 N. Elm Street. Members of the Community Involvement Committee will deliver the food to Urban Ministry. Thank you!

2017 North Carolina ‘Super Lawyers’ Honors 23 Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP Attorneys

Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP is pleased to announce that 23 of the firm’s attorneys in Greensboro were recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine for their high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Seven of those attorneys were recognized as Rising Stars.

Super Lawyers is an independent lawyer ranking service that selects attorneys using a rigorous, multi-phase rating process. Through peer nominations, evaluations and third party research, exceptional attorneys are selected within each state. Rising Stars are selected by peer nominations of attorneys who are 40 years old or younger, or have 10 years or less of legal experience.

The Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP attorneys honored in 2017 North Carolina Super Lawyers are:

  • Lisa W. Arthur – Business Litigation (Rising Star)
  • D. Erik Albright –  General Litigation
  • E. Kent Auberry – Business/Corporate
  • Brian W. Byrd – Real Estate
  • Richard A. Coughlin – Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Julianna Theall Earp – Employment & Labor
  • Carrie A. Hanger – Health Care (Rising Star)
  • Terrill Johnson Harris – Health Care
  • Gregory G. Holland – Antitrust Litigation
  • Neale T. Johnson – Construction Litigation
  • Frankie T. Jones Jr. – Real Estate (Rising Star)
  • Patrick M. Kane – Civil Litigation: Defense (Rising Star)
  • Allyson Jones Labban – Health Care (Rising Star)
  • Alexander L. Maultsby – Employment & Labor
  • Charles E. Melvin Jr. – Real Estate
  • Maureen Demarest Murray – Health Care
  • Kip D. Nelson – Intellectual Property (Rising Star)
  • Whit Pierce – Intellectual Property Litigation (Rising Star)
  • Patti West Ramseur – Employment & Labor
  • D. Clark Smith – Business Litigation
  • Thomas E. Terrell Jr. – Land Use/Zoning
  • E. Garrett Walker – Real Estate
  • Jeri L. Whitfield – Workers’ Compensation
Kenneth R. Keller, President, Greensboro Bar Association

Message From the President, Feb 2017

As practicing attorneys, our professional life is regulated by the North Carolina State Bar.  Our February meeting will feature presentations by our 18th Judicial District Bar Councilors, Barbara Christy and Steve Robertson.

The North Carolina State Bar is an agency of the State of North Carolina (N.C.G.S. §84-15) and is governed by councilors (N.C.G.S §84-17).  As part of their governing responsibilities, the councilors regulate the professional conduct of licensed attorneys and certified paralegals (N.C.G.S. §84-23).  This regulation includes admission to practice (N.C.G.S. §84-24) as well as discipline and disbarment (N.C.G.S. §84-28 et seq.).

The Council consists of 69 Councilors (5 officers, 61 Councilors elected by their respective judicial districts, and 3 non-attorney public members)(N.C.G.S. §84-17).  Each of the 45 Judicial Districts is represented by at least one Councilor.  An additional 16 Councilors are allocated among the districts every six years, based on the number of active members in the districts (N.C.G.S. §84-17).  For example, the 10th District (Wake County) has 8 Councilors; the 26th District (Mecklenburg) has 7 Councilors.

To be eligible for election, a prospective councilor must be an active member of the North Carolina State Bar and must either reside in the district to be represented or have filed a written statement with the Secretary of the North Carolina State Bar that the member desires to vote in that district (N.C.G.S. §§ 16 & 18).

The  Councilors are elected for three year annual terms beginning January 1 in the year following their election, and are limited to three successive three year terms, with no prohibition on the number of three year successive terms provided a three year period of nonservice intervenes in each instance (N.C.G.S. §84-18).

The fiscal and operating policies of the North Carolina State bar are set out in detail in a sixteen page publication available on the Bar’s website (  Although Councilors receive some compensation for time spent in attending meetings and for travel expense (N.C.G.S §84-20), service as a Councilor is just that: service.

Please plan to attend our meeting on the evening of February 16, 2017 at Starmount Forest Country club to hear the important work our Councilors are performing.

Frankie Jones Elected as New Partner at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP

Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP is pleased to announce that Frankie T. Jones Jr. has been elected to the firm’s partnership effective January 1, 2017.

Jones primarily practices in the areas of real estate, land use and business law. Jones has been recognized by Business North Carolina magazine as a Legal Elite in real estate (2017) and corporate law (2014), by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine as a Rising Star (2012, 2016), by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly as an Emerging Leader (2011) and by the Triad Business Journal as one of the 40 Leaders Under Forty (2010). He served and continues to serve on various alumni and community boards including the Davidson College Board of Visitors, the University of Virginia Law Alumni Council, the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority Board of Directors, the Greensboro ABC Board, and was recently elected as chairman of the Guilford County Planning Board. He earned his undergraduate degree from Davidson College and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Frankie T. Jones, Jr.

Frankie T. Jones, Jr.

GBA Feb 2017 centennial award

Centennial Award Presented to John M. Cross

The 2016 Centennial Award for outstanding and exemplary community service was presented to John M. Cross, Jr. on January 19 at the GBA member meeting.  John is a seasoned corporate attorney with the Brooks Pierce firm. His community service in Greensboro began with this Bar Association in the Young Lawyers Section, where he participated in community service projects and later served on the section’s board.  John became Chair of that Section in 1999-2000.  He was also a member of the Greensboro Board of Adjustment for six years, serving as its Chairman in 2008-09.  He has long supported the United Way, serving as campaign coordinator, on the board of Directors and as Chairman in 2010-11.  John supported the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, where he volunteered and served on the camp’s board for 10 years.  John has also supported the Greensboro Children’s Museum, serving in every leadership capacity.    John is currently on the Boards of the Cone Health Foundation and the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad (NCCJ), and he served as Board chair of NCCJ during 2015-16. We are pleased to recognize John Cross for his service to our community.

GBA Feb 2017 centennial award

Ken Keller (right) presents John Cross (left) with the 2016 Centennial Award.

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

Young Lawyers Section: Connections, Jan 2017

The past few months have been busy for YLS members. After welcoming our newly admitted attorneys in October, the YLS joined the GBA for a membership Mix and Mingle in November where we networked with our fellow colleagues.  We finished out the year with our annual Greensboro Urban Ministries event.  We are looking forward to a great start to 2017, and hope to see you at some of the following events:

Natty Greene’s Party, January 20: Please mark your calendars for our annual post-holiday party at the Loft at Natty Greene’s on January 20, 2017.  We will be collecting donations for Hampton Elementary School.

Pro-Bono CLE, January 31: The Greensboro Bar Association and the Young Lawyer’s Section will be sponsoring a free CLE titled “Increasing Pro Bono Participation” at the law offices of Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP on January 31, 2017 at 12 noon. Lunch will be provided and this CLE is open to all GBA members.  This CLE will qualify for 1 hour of Professionalism/Ethics credit.  Please RSVP to Kristen Redman ( by January 24, 2017 to reserve a spot.

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:

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.

Legal Aid of North Carolina 2017 Fundraiser Flyer and Sponsor Form

Legal Aid of North Carolina 2017 Flyer

Legal Aid of North Carolina 2017 Flyer

Legal Aid of North Carolina 2017 Form

Legal Aid of North Carolina 2017 Form

Download Flyer & Form (PDF)

Camille Stell

Stell: My Reading Challenge

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

Stephen King,
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“I’m a slow reader, but I usually get through seventy or eighty books a year, most fiction. I don’t read in order to study the craft; I read because I like to read”

Stephen King,
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

I don’t set New Year’s resolutions, primarily because I’ll fail to keep them and I don’t like failure. However, in 2016, inspired by Stephen King’s memoir on writing (which I’ve read many times), I set a New Year’s resolution – read 52 books during the year.

As I write this, I’m in week 50 of 2016 and I’ve read 46 books. I’m convinced I’ll reach my goal. One, because I’m taking a week of vacation before the end of the year so the competitor in me can make up for lost time. And two, because I have a small stack of VERY short books including a Christmas gift from my dear friend and colleague Jay Reeves, Anna Quindlen’s “A Short Guide to a Happy Life.”

I thought I’d share with you some of my insights on reading 52 books in a year, as well as some of my favorites.

The Challenge

First, a book a week is daunting. When the new year began I was reading a book about the creation of the Panama Canal by David McCullough. At over 800 pages, I quickly realized I’d have to put this book back on the reading pile. As I looked at my stack of books, I realized many of my upcoming reads were heavy on history and biographies that were hundreds of pages. These would best be read in a year that didn’t include a 52 book reading challenge.

As I continued to read during the year, I had to make decisions along the way. “If I stop a book I don’t like, can I count it towards my goal?” No. “Can I skim a book I don’t love, but count it towards my goal?” Yes, provided I read the majority of the book and lightly skimmed. “Can I include children’s books or Young Adult Fiction?” Yes to both. I included a slim collection of Christmas short stories written by Louisa May Alcott as well as the latest Harry Potter publication, a stage play titled “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. By September, the Challenge drove every book selection decision. I still read books that were on my list and that I wanted to read, but memoirs and business books were a much better fit for a book a week. No one but me was monitoring my challenge, but I wanted to feel I had earned my reward of completing 52 books.


This year I read memoirs or essays by David Sedaris, Nora Ephron, Pat Conroy, Anderson Cooper, Rob Lowe, Drew Barrymore, Ray Kroc, Dr. Paul Kalanithi and Shondra Rhimes.

While I enjoyed each of these authors, I recommend “When Breath Becomes Air” by Dr. Paul Kalanithi. Dr. Kalanithi is a 37-year old neurosurgeon who died in 2015 of lung cancer. His beautiful memoir leads us through a soul-searching journey on what makes life worth living.

One of my favorite collection of essays was the posthumously published “A Low Country Heart: Reflections of a Writing Life” by Pat Conroy. Conroy has been my favorite writer since I discovered “The Prince of Tides.” This collection of essays was more meaningful as it was the last. Conroy’s books occupy a single shelf devoted to my favorite author and I re-read them more than any others in my collection.

I read multiple business books this year: “The Future of the Professions” by Richard Susskind, “Personal Branding 101” by Katy Goshtasbi, JD, “Internet Branding for Lawyers” by Jeff Lantz, “Lawyers at Midlife: Financial Planning” by Michael Long, Mary Crane’s “100 Things You Need to Know” series for lawyers, “The Anxious Lawyer” (on implementing a meditation practice) by Jeena Cho, and “Ted Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking” by Chris J. Anderson.

I enjoyed all of these books and they are available to Lawyers Mutual insureds through our Lending Library (visit our website for more details). I’d recommend “Ted Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking” by Chris J. Anderson. I hope you are familiar with TED Talks and either watch them on video at, through the TED app on your mobile device or via the TED Radio Hour, an NPR podcast. The book analyzes many of the best TED Talks and offers guidance for anyone to become a more powerful public speaker. Topics covered include: common traps, idea building, the allure of stories and how to control your nerves.

The Technology of Tracking the Reading Challenge

My colleague Warren Savage introduced me to GoodBooks, a mobile app (and website) that includes book reviews, recommendations, social sharing with friends and the ability to create your catalogue of books you have read, are currently reading or want to read. I use the app’s Reading Challenge to track my progress. It’s also nice to have a single place to track recommendations I receive from friends or books I read about that I want to add to my reading list.

Your Reading Challenge

There are many ways to set your own reading challenge. You can embark on a plan to read a certain number of books, books from new or different genres than your “go-to”, or take a tour through classic literature. Perhaps re-reading some of those high school assignments that once seemed like a chore would be a good start.

Ann Morgan, a freelance writer from London, embarked on a great reading adventure. As she describes it on her blog, “In 2012, the world come to London for the Olympics and I went out to meet it. I read my way around all of the globe’s 196 independent countries . . . sampling a book from every nation.” To see Morgan’s extraordinary book list visit here – A Year of Reading the World –

I read to learn. I read because I love it. I read to become a better writer. Join me in setting your own reading challenge for 2017.

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