the Gba News Docket - Greensboro Bar Association

the
Gba News Docket
Volume 64, Number 2; October 2014
Message from the President
I had a flashback the other day. Twenty-five years ago, my left hand was on the Bible,
my right hand was raised, and I was reciting an oath for admission to practice law in the
federal and state courts of North Carolina. I and about 40 other newly minted lawyers were
speaking in unison, up front in the well of the old County Courthouse in Greensboro. I don’t
remember which judges were presiding. The president of the Greensboro Bar Association
then was William L. Osteen, Sr. The gravity and awesomeness of the moment will be with me
forever.
That moment will be repeated again, on Friday, October 10, for our next generation of
lawyers. The Swearing-in Ceremony of 2014 will take on the aura of a momentous occasion
for the new lawyers. Some will rarely again set foot in a courtroom; others will be in court
almost every day. But it is a near certainty that 25 years from now, in October 2039, those
same lawyers reciting the loaded words on October
10 will remember that moment vividly. I thank the
GBA’s Young Lawyers Section and its president,
Steve Russell, for organizing the event, as well
as the Bridge-the-Gap program that will take
place earlier in the day at the state, federal and
bankruptcy courthouses and the reception after the
ceremony at Churchill’s on Elm Restaurant.
“The
changes
ahead will
challenge
us all.”
Jim Bryan, President
of the Greensboro
Bar Association
The GBA is known for its volunteerism. What
better way to showcase our public service than to
have a volunteer day, a Day of Giving, on Saturday,
October 25. Back in June, at breakfast at Smith’s
Diner downtown, the idea of a volunteer day was
hatched by the GBA’s community involvement
committee – Craig Hensel (co-chair), Polly Sizemore
(co-chair), Allison Grimm and myself. Since then, the details have fallen into place. First,
our members who love pets will have an opportunity to do animal rescue volunteering at
the Animal Rescue & Foster Program on 711 Milner Drive in Greensboro from 9:15 a.m. to
2:00 p.m. Second, those who want to help repair and fix up a low-income rundown home will
be able to join Greensboro Housing Solutions from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Third, we have
a landscaping project for our landscaper lawyers. Irving Park Elementary School on 1310
Sunset Drive, Greensboro has an outdoor classroom and entrance that need sprucing up and
nice flowers.
In This Issue:
Message from the President . . . . . . . . . .
New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Save the Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Elder Abuse Awareness CLE . . . . . . . . . .
BarCARES: Dues Well Spent . . . . . . . . . .
Kane: How to Get New Business Now . .
Six Tips to Client Relationships . . . . . . . .
Forbes’ New Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Calendar Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
GBA Day of Giving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sustaining Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
You can contribute news or topics
of interest to the GBA by contacting
Editor Travis Martin:
[email protected]
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Shifting gears, I want to say a few words about Allan Head. He was our featured speaker
at the September 18 membership dinner at Starmount Country Club. His dedication to our
profession is unparalleled, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. For 31 years, he has guided
the North Carolina Bar Association as its Executive Director and helped all of us transition
into the 21st Century. He drew upon his years of experience and spoke on where the legal
profession is going in the next few years – his 2020 vision. He said it is going to be “stormy
with lasting changes.” One state now has a “limited licensed legal technician” who is not
supervised by a lawyer. Another state now allows a “certified law clerk” to participate in
the courtroom with a lawyer being present. These trends are likely headed our way in North
Carolina. Lawyers will continue to provide high value services in the areas of advocacy and
counseling, but it is the low value services involving process and content where the profession
is being challenged by non-lawyers. The changes ahead will challenge us all.
The NCBA is doing so much good for our profession. Allan Head listed several examples.
There is the military veterans program, where the NCBA is urging law firms to hire
veterans for non-attorney jobs such as IT specialists, runners, etc. The judicial performance
evaluations for incumbent trial judges and their challengers, a recent NCBA initiative, have
given the public a helpful resource for deciding who to vote for in upcoming races for District
Court and Superior Court judges. And our senior lawyers have the Transitioning Lawyers
Commission to turn to as a resource for advice on how to retire. Other examples abound.
After the speech, GBA members hurried upfront to share kind words with Allan and thank
him for his many years of service. He is still our fearless leader. Thank you, Allan Head.
Save the Date
NEW MEMBERS
Twenty-one new members were approved
at the September 10 board meeting
Wendy M. Bartos, Honda
Aircraft Company, Sponsored by
Damon T. Duncan
Justin W. Kay, Ivey McClellan
Gatton & Talcott, LLP,
Sponsored by Dirk W. Siegmund
Christine L. Bergman,
Sponsored by Stanley E.
Speckhard
Jonathan G. Kreider, Dummit
Fradin, Sponsored by Ames
Chamberlin
Dean Luke Bierman, Elon
University School of Law,
Sponsored by Andrew J. Haile
Katlyn Lantz, Church World
Service, Sponsored by Andrea L.
Davis
Hilary H. Bowman, Womble
Carlyle Sandridge & Rice,
Sponsored by Jodi S. Knox
John P. Manzo, Dummit
Fradin, Sponsored by Megan E.
Spidell
Brenton J. Boyce, Law Office of
Brenton J. Boyce, PA, Sponsored
by Charles K. Blackmon
Manisha P. Patel, Ward Black
Law, Sponsored by Afi JohnsonParris
Benjamin Crissman, Gordon
Law Offices, Sponsored by
Jennifer A. Crissman
Galina P. Petrova, Schell Bray
PLLC, Sponsored by Doris R.
Bray
Dwight A. Ensley, ValuePointe.
biz, Sponsored by Jessica S.
Bullock
John Roseboro, Greensboro
City Attorney’s Office, Sponsored
by Thomas D. Carruthers
Jeremy B. Foltz, Sponsored by
Emma C. Merritt
Bob Stitcher, Bob Stitcher,
Attorney at Law, Sponsored by
Stephen E. Robertson
Elizabeth W. Holloway,
Rossabi Black Slaughter, PA,
Dr. Douglas Tsao, MacCord
Sponsored by Michael C. Taliercio Mason PLLC, Sponsored by
James L. Lester
Kya Johnson, Kenneth M.
Johnson, P.A., Sponsored by
David C. Wilson, Rossabi Black
Kenneth M. Johnson
Slaughter, PA, Sponsored by
Michael C. Taliercio
Terri A. Jones, Greensboro City
Attorney’s Office, Sponsored by
Thomas D. Carruthers
Elon Law’s Elder Law Clinic will be offering a
free CLE on Monday, November 3, 2014, from
6:30 p.m. to 8:30pm. The program will be
entitled, “Legal and Medical Perspectives on
Capacity.” Application will be made for two
hours of CLE credit. It is not clear at this time
whether the CLE will qualify for satisfaction
of either the substance abuse/mental health
or ethics requirements. Registration will be
available in early October. Registration will
be available in early October by visiting http://
www.elon.edu/e-web/law/academics/elder_
law_seminar_registration.xhtml. For more
information, please contact the Elder Law Clinic
at 336-279-9314 or [email protected]
Elder Abuse
Awareness CLE
Register now for the Elder Abuse Awareness
CLE, featuring Paul Greenwood. The
Greensboro Bar Association is sponsoring this
free CLE event on Friday, October 24, 2014, from
9 a.m. until noon, at UNCG’s Elliott University
Center Auditorium. Space is limited. For more
information about Paul Greenwood or the CLE,
visit www.trla.info/paulgreenwood. “Like” the GBA Young Lawyers Section’s
Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/
GreensboroBarYLS) and stay up to date on
all its volunteer and social events!
September 18 dinner meeting attendees
From left to right, Justice Bob Edmunds, Jim Bryan, Allan Head, Erwin Fuller,
Jim Exum, Dan Koenig. Photo by Fred Lind
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BarCARES:
Your 18th Judicial District
Mandatory Dues Well Spent
By Jim Bryan,
President of the 18th
Judicial District
You may wonder what your 18th Judicial District mandatory dues are spent on. A good part of it goes
toward BarCARES. BarCARES of North Carolina, Inc. is a confidential, short-term intervention program
provided cost-free to members of local bar groups and students, faculty and staff of law schools which
have “opted in.” The 18th Judicial District, along with about another 13 judicial districts, participate
in BarCARES. The program is there to help you and your immediate family members by providing
confidential assistance and brief, solution-oriented counseling.
BarCARES stands for Confidential Attorney Resource and Enrichment Services. It began as an idea of the
NC Bar Association’s Quality of Life Committee in the early 1990s after an NCBA-sponsored survey that
showed many stress factors for attorneys and their families. The entity BarCARES of North Carolina,
Inc. officially began in 2000. The program’s goals are to provide problem clarification, crisis management,
and brief counseling. A separate goal has been to help attorneys access problem-solving resources for
themselves, their families, and their co-workers through a positively viewed gateway.
HRC Behavior Health & Psychiatry, PA provides the services for BarCARES. HRC prepares a utilization
report each calendar year. According to the 2013 report, since the program began in January of 2000,
services have been provided to over 1,552 different individuals. During the entirety of 2013, 310
BarCARES members and eligible family members accessed the program. One hundred fifty-five users
were repeat users from prior years.
BarCARES is designed to offer no-cost assistance in dealing with problems that might be causing distress
and can be used to help with: Personal issues (crisis intervention, depression/anxiety, substance abuse
- drug or alcohol, and financial concerns); Family Issues (marriage/relationships, children/adolescents,
parenting/family conflict); Work Issues (professional stressors, case-related stress and conflict resolution);
and Student coaching on stress/time management.
If you need to contact BarCARES, please call 1-800-640-0735.
How To Get New Business NOW!
(Reprinted from Tom’s LegalMarketingBlog.com dated August 27, 2014)
I was intrigued by a post I ran across on “Attorney at Work” in which several marketing consultants
offered their views on what has been advertised as the “the best way to get paying client work right NOW.” Although there were many good business development tips provided, I was disappointed somewhat because
only one consultant, Gerry Riskin, offered really what I consider practical advice on the “NOW” issue. It is
not that the other ideas wouldn’t lead to more legal work; it’s just that most will take longer—a lot longer
sometimes.
by Tom Kane
Riskin’s advice? Go see your clients. It is something I have preached in my more than 28 years in the legal
marketing business. Visit your clients, past and current, off the clock. It worked for me when I practiced
law, and I have had hundreds of lawyers tell me over the years it has worked for them. Clients can be
procrastinators just like the rest of us.
A visit often, if not 80 percent of the time, leads to immediate work. Many matters have been sitting in a
client’s outbox for a while. Riskin suggests taking along a checklist or article that would be meaningful
and helpful to them. He states there is a “zero” chance of visiting 10 clients and not coming back with
work. I would agree and would go further by saying that the ROI will be a lot better than that. Maybe not
an 80 percent return, but in my opinion you will experience a better than 10 percent return.
Of my Top 10 Marketing Tips, “Visit Your Clients” has always been my No. 1 for obtaining work. It is the
best, quickest way to get work “NOW.”
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6 Tips for Successful
Client Relationships
Maintaining good attorney-client relations can help prevent malpractice claims and avoid ethics issues.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas most ignored by attorneys. Unhappy clients are most likely to
blame their lawyer when the case turns out badly.
Here are some tips that will help you manage your client relationships.
1.
by Camille Stell
Top complaints from disgruntled clients include: their lawyer never explained the legal process or
billing system, did not return phone calls, did not attend to their case in a timely manner, failed to
keep them informed and failed to involve them in important decisions affecting their case. Listen to
your clients. Strive to make them feel comfortable and important. Never be condescending. A lawyer
with a good “bedside manner” is much less likely to be sued than a curt, discourteous, or distant
one. It is expensive, time consuming, and stressful to defend a malpractice suit – even if it has no
merit.
2. An important key to a good relationship is to carefully define the relationship at the outset. Put the
terms of your engagement in writing. Carefully define the scope of engagement. If you are handling
only a part of the whole case, state specifically what obligations you are undertaking and even more
importantly what obligations you are not undertaking. Lawyers Mutual handles many claims every
year in which the client and attorney disagree on the scope of the representation. We have seen the
evidence – a written agreement prevents many conflicts from turning into claims.
3. Create realistic expectations for the client. Talk with them about what a “win” looks like.
Communicate during the process of your representation. Keep your client in the loop and make sure
that you manage their expectations along the way. Return phone calls promptly.
4. Don’t procrastinate. Delay is usually found in every legal malpractice claim. While it may sound
simplistic, calendar every file for quarterly review and communicate with the client at that time. It is
the neglected file that needs your attention and may result in a subsequent legal malpractice claim.
5. Above all else, choose your clients wisely. Lawyers should look at their client-screening policies and
decide if they need to say “no” more often to potential clients. “Red Flags” to look for are clients
who have been rejected by other lawyers, or who have fired other lawyers in the case; clients who
have unrealistic expectations; uncontrollable anger; or clients who have made claims against prior
attorneys or other professionals. The general background of the client, financial condition, history
of personal legal problems and business background of the client may also be important to review
when evaluating a potential client. Learn to trust your gut about potential clients.
6. Sometimes good client relations involve knowing when to fire a client. If the representation is
becoming unsatisfactory for either party, consider ending the relationship. You may have to seek
permission from the court and you cannot prejudice your client by abandoning him, but in many
cases, ending the attorney-client relationship is the right call. Do it professionally and document
the withdrawal properly. If your client requests his file, give it to him, but do not forget to keep a
copy for yourself. If you want advice about whether to fire a client and how, call one of our claims
attorneys for advice.
Good clients are essential to a healthy law practice and they should be your most valuable referral
source. Take the time to nurture the relationship.
Camille Stell is the Vice President of Client Services for Lawyers Mutual. Visit the Risk Management
Resource Center on our website www.lawyersmutualnc.com for more tips on client relationships including
sample letters and checklists.
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Forbes’ Book Set for October 20 Release
Jamie Lisa Forbes’ second book, The Widow Smalls and Other Stories will be
released by Pronghorn Press on October 20, 2014. She will be appearing at
Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC on October 29, 2014
at 7 p.m. to read from her new work. Ms. Forbes, a Greensboro Bar Association
member, won the 2011 WILLA (named for Willa Cather) for Outstanding Literary
Fiction for her first novel, Unbroken. Both her books will be available for purchase at
Scuppernong Books.
Jamie Lisa Forbes
October Calendar Notes
Our featured speaker for the October 16 dinner meeting will be Luke Bierman, the new Dean of Elon
University School of Law. He will share with us his plans and other exciting news for the law school.
We will also have a memorial resolution for William C. Connor, who passed away on April 28, 2014. Bill
practiced for many years at the Tuggle Duggins firm. Details about the three volunteer projects for the
Day of Giving on October 25 will also be given by the community involvement committee.
GREENSBORO BAR ASSOCIATION DAY OF GIVING
SATURDAY OCTOBER 25, 2014
Time based on project (see sign-up sheet)
CHOOSE YOUR SITE:
Animal Rescue
& Foster Program
Community Housing Solutions
Irving Park Elementary School
http://www.arfpnc.com
http://chshousing.org
http://Irvingpark.gcsnc.com
Assist in adoption event; set up;
help unload rescues; hold dogs/
puppies.
Assist in repair of owner-occupant housing
for low income families.
Clean up and plant flowers at entrance
and outdoor classroom.
We will try to give everyone their first choice of project, if possible. All volunteers will receive an email with project assignments
and details the week before the event.
Please submit responses no later than October 17, 2014.
Please complete and mail to Craig Hensel at PO Box 39270; Greensboro, NC 27438 or email to [email protected]
Name: ____________________________________________________
Contact information:
Phone:___________________________________________________
Email:___________________________________________________
After Hours
(in case of weather):
_____________________________________
Site Choice: Number 1, 2, 3 (by order of preference)
_______ Animal Rescue & Foster Program
711 Milner Dr.; Greensboro NC 27410
9:15 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
_______ Community Housing Solutions
Housing location to be announced
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
_______ Irving Park Elementary School
1310 Sunset Dr.; Greensboro NC 27408
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
2014-15 Sustaining Members
Michael R. Abel
James C. Adams, II
Michael J. Allen
Joseph S. Atwell
J. Alexander S. Barrett
Vance Barron, Jr.
June L. Basden
Jack B. Bayliss, Jr.
William P. Benjamin
Frederick L. Berry
M. Douglas Berry
Marc D. Bishop
H. Arthur Bolick, II
Howard L. Borum
Doris R. Bray
Elizabeth S. Brewington
Jason B. Buckland
John S. Buford
Mark T. Cain
Forrest W. Campbell, Jr.
William P. H. Cary
Barbara R. Christy
Harry H. Clendenin, III
Robert C. Cone
Barden W. Cooke
William O. Cooke, Jr.
Nicole A. Crawford
John M. Cross, Jr.
Wanda Bracks Daughtry
Barney Mark Davidson
Kearns Davis
W. B. Rodman Davis
Rachel S. Decker
Daniel L. Deuterman
M. Jay DeVaney
Scott Dillon
Robert D. Douglas, III
Thomas C. Duncan
Robert H. Edmunds, Jr.
Edgar B. Fisher, Jr.
John M. Flynn
Henry E. Frye
W. Erwin Fuller, Jr.
Richard W. Gabriel
Michael H. Godwin
Garland G. Graham
Kenneth M. Greene
Charles T. Hagan, III
Richard D. Hall, Jr.
J. Patrick Haywood
Thomas P. Hockman
L. Worth Holleman, Jr.
George W. House
Neill A. Jennings, Jr.
Kenneth L. Jones
Kenneth R. Keller
Michael E. Kelly
Amy H. Kincaid
The Greensboro Bar Association, Inc.
Post Office Box 1825
Greensboro, North Carolina 27402
Robert J. King, III
W. Winburne King, III
J. Craig Kiser
Norman F. Klick, Jr.
Jennifer L.J. Koenig
D. Beth Langley
Kathryn S. Lindley
Paul H. Livingston, Jr.
Iain MacSween
Henry B. Mangum, Jr.
Charles F. McCoy
Brian J. McMillan
Michael D. Meeker
Larry I. Moore, III
Maureen D. Murray
Benjamin R. Norman
Joel N. Oakley
Jeffrey E. Oleynik
Christina Freeman Pearsall
Jim W. Phillips, Jr.
Reid L. Phillips
Clinton R. Pinyan
Charnanda T. Reid
James M. Roane III
Christopher H. Roberts
Russell M. Robinson, III
Stanley L. Rodenbough, IV
David W. Sar
Robert W. Saunders
E. Steve Schlosser, Jr.
Robert A. Singer
John H. Small
Donald K. Speckhard
Francis A. Sutherland, Jr.
William L. Tankersley, III
Adam P.M. Tarleton
V. Randall Tinsley
Anita Jo Kinlaw Troxler
Randall A. Underwood
Jennifer K. Van Zant
Richard L. Vanore
Donald R. Vaughan
Christopher J. Vaughn
Thomas E. Wagg, III
Thomas C. Watkins
Jeri L. Whitfield
Howard L. Williams
Gregory S. Williams
James T. Williams, Jr.
Joseph A. Williams
Jill R. Wilson
Edward C. Winslow, III
Keith A. Wood
S. Kyle Woosley
Charles P. Younce
Susan M. Young
Elizabeth J. Zook