NCAJ Attorneys Protect Your Rights: April 2019 edition

robby jessup  by Robby Jessup

NCAJ attorneys & other NCAJ legal professionals protect the citizens of North Carolina who have been harmed. For a snapshot of their work, read NCAJ’s April 2019 Verdicts, Settlements and Dispositions column, linked below.

Congratulations to all attorneys highlighted in the column:  Ann Groninger and Valerie Johnson of Copeley Johnson & Groninger PLLC; Gabriel Snyder and Barry Snyder of Snyder Law; Winslow Taylor of Taylor & Taylor Attorneys at Law, PLLC; Joan Davis and Douglas Noreen of Howard StallingsLakota Denton of Lakota R. Denton, P.A.;  Guy Crabtree of Crabtree Carpenter, PLLCLennie Jernigan and Kristi Thompson of Jernigan Law; Douglas Maynard, Jr. of Maynard & Harris, PLLC; James Roane of Roane LawRichard Watson of Richard Watson Law, PLLC; Bill Gardo of Gardo Law; and Robby Jessup of Howard Stallings.

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NCAJ Convention 2019: Revitalizing+ Retooling Our Community

Adrienne S. Blocker-Education VP - crop for wordpress  by Adrienne Blocker, Convention Co-Chair

Convention Co-Chair Darrin Jordan of Whitley, Jordan & Inge, P.A. and I look forward to welcoming you to NCAJ’s Annual Convention which runs from June 20 – 23, 2019 at the Hotel Ballast in Wilmington, NC.

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A Special Note from NCAJ Executive Director Kim Crouch


Online Registration is Open
Registration is now available at ncaj.com/annualconvention.  Register by May 10 and save!  Online registration closes June 12 and on-site registration opens June 20.


Allen A. Bailey Professional Development Fellowship
NCAJ lawyer members licensed between 1 and 10 years can apply for the Allen A. Bailey Professional Development fellowship to attend NCAJ’s 2019 Convention.  Fellowship covers one Convention registration & hotel accommodations. Apply before May 12 at ncaj.com/fellowship.


Opportunity to Exhibit or Sponsor an Event
Exhibit or sponsor an event at NCAJ’s Annual Convention if you’re looking for a great way to promote your company, reinforce brand loyalty, increase visibility and boost your market share with trial lawyers!


What’s New this Year at Convention 2019!

  • First-Time Attendees Meet & Greet on Thursday
  • State of the Association report by Executive Director on Friday
  • Practical skills training for all attendees including
    • Unifying Juries in a Dangerously Divided World by David Ball, PhD,  and Artemis Malekpour  (three-hour session focusing on trial skills with the nation’s only trial consulting team qualified and certified to advise attorneys on Reptilian methods and techniques)
  • President’s Gala open to ALL members on Saturday
  • Concurrent Civil Law and Criminal Law Update
    • Jon Moore has pulled together the most significant appellate cases that have impacted civil practice over the past year. In this three-hour session, hear first-hand from the attorneys of record and take home best practice tips for implementing the appellate case law in your practice
    • Join Duke University School of Law professors Theresa Newman and Jamie Lau for a nuts and bolts approach to post-conviction work at the state and federal level. Newman and Lau, who run the law school’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic, will lead you from investigations to federal habeas. Immediately following their presentation, hear from criminal defense attorney David Rudolf in a presentation that drives home the importance of criminal defense work
  • Board of Governors Orientation

Don’t Miss Some of these Old Favorites, too:

  • Edwards Kirby Opening Reception
  • NCAJ Awards Presentation
  • NCAJ Section meetings and gatherings

Make Your Hotel Reservations Today
Mention the NC Advocates for Justice for discounted rates at Hotel Ballast and Riverview SuitesGroup rates available until May 19.

NCAJ Women’s Caucus Retreat – Join us!

abrams.melissa  by Melissa Abrams, NCAJ Women’s Caucus Chair

 

The NCAJ Women’s Caucus FIRST ANNUAL retreat is quickly approaching.

The retreat (Feb 28-March 1) offers a full-day seminar containing a range of topics to build and improve your practice taught by North Carolina’s finest female trial lawyers – including three female Past Presidents/President of NCAJ. Each session of this “How-To” seminar will provide you with invaluable and resourceful takeaways that can be applied to your practice and to your daily professional life. In addition to top-notch CLE, the social activities will provide you with the opportunity to build relationships with other NCAJ female trial lawyers. The retreat takes place in Winston-Salem on February 28-March 1. Register today.

The retreat is only open to members of the NCAJ Women’s Caucus. Not a member of the NCAJ Women’s Caucus? Good News! The NCAJ Women’s Caucus is open and free to any female attorney member of NCAJ. 2-28-19_WomensCaucusRetreat_Speakers

NCAJ Attorneys Protect Your Rights: Jan 2019 edition

robby jessup  by Robby Jessup

NCAJ attorneys & other NCAJ legal professionals protect the citizens of North Carolina who have been harmed. For a snapshot of their work, read NCAJ’s January 2019 Verdicts, Settlements and Dispositions column, linked below.

Congratulations to all attorneys highlighted in the column:  George V. Laughrun II of Goodman, Carr, Laughrun, Levine & Greene, PLLC in Charlotte and L. Bree Laughrun of Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes, P.A. in Charlotte; Leto Copeley and Drew H. Culler of Copeley Johnson & Groninger, PLLC in Durham, in association with David Stradley of White & Stradley, PLLC in Raleigh;  Kevin M. Duffan and Richard N. Shapiro of Shapiro & Appleton, P.C. in Virginia Beach, in association with Travis E. Collum of Collum & Perry, PLLC in Mooresville, and Patricia P. Shields and Joshua D. Neighbors in Raleigh; Brooke A. Howard of Howard Law, PLLC in Raleigh, in association with Michael J. Byrne of Byrne Law, PC in Raleigh; Thomas L. Odom Jr. of The Odom Firm, PLLC in Charlotte, in  association with W. Winston Briggs of W. Winston Briggs Law Firm in Atlanta; Rachel Alexis Fuerst and Thomas W. Henson Jr. of HensonFuerst, P.A. and C. Boyd Sturges III of Davis, Sturges & Tomlinson, Attorneys at Law.

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NCAJ Members Protect Your Rights: October 2018 edition

robby jessup  by Robby Jessup

NCAJ attorneys & other NCAJ legal professionals protect the citizens of North Carolina who have been harmed. For a snapshot of their work, read NCAJ’s October 2018 Verdicts, Settlements and Dispositions column, linked below.

Congratulations to all attorneys highlighted in the column:   Robert Elliot and Michael Elliot of Elliot Morgan ParsonageJustin Lowenberger of Ted A. Greve & Associates, Assistant Capital Defender Stephen Freedman, William Durham of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Sidney Fligel and Preston Lesley of the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, Assistant Appellate Defenders Barbara Blackman, John Carella and Kathy VandenBerg, Paul Tharp of Arnold & Smith, PLLC; Assistant Public Defender Richard Miller; Tabitha Bingham of Bingham Law PLLC, and Stuart Paynter, Sara Willingham, Jennifer Murray and Celeste Boyd of the Paynter Law Firm.

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NCAJ Members Protect North Carolinians Many Different Ways

robby jessup  by Robby Jessup

 

NCAJ attorneys and other NCAJ legal professionals offer relief and protection to citizens who have been harmed.

For example, NCAJ’s July Trial Briefs magazine’s Verdicts, Settlements and Dispositions Column describes a dog bite case win;  a win pertaining to the constitutional rights of public employees; a verdict for an elderly couple’s mental anguish against a home healthcare company; an appellate victory for workers’ compensation claimants; a second-degree verdict for a client facing first degree murder (Life Without Parole); a jury verdict for compensatory damages for the negligent handling of human remains; a settlement for a wrongful death of a motorcyclist and other auto accident verdicts.

Congratulations to all attorneys highlighted in the column:  Alex Woodyard of the Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb; Luke Largess and Cheyenne Chambers of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC; Jeremy Wilson of Ward & Smith, P.A.; Wade Byrd of the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd, P.A; Bradley Smith of Campbell & Associates; Charles Hinnant and Dr. Ted Greve of Ted A. Greve & Associates; Assistant Public Defenders Matthew Geoffrion and Taplie Coile; James Rogers of James E Rogers, PA; and Robby Jessup and Joan Davis of Howard Stallings Law Firm.

Click image below to read full article

verdicts settlement dispositions column july 2018_Page_1

 

Part 2: The Educators

by Bradley Bannon, NCAJ President

By now, even if you haven’t seen it, it’s hard to imagine you haven’t at least heard of the movie “Black Panther.” In four months this year, it became the ninth highest grossing movie of all time. The fact that it’s a superhero movie was unremarkable. The fact that the superhero was an African man, whose three strongest and closest allies in the movie were all African women, each with different areas of skill and expertise, was unprecedented.

“Half the battle is getting that kind of imagery made,” Rafe Chisolm told SF Gate. “Lots of kids never see anyone who looks like them in that kind of light.” Chisolm made sure that lots of them did, by organizing screenings for them in their home town of Oakland, California—a key location in the plot of the movie.

I’d learned a similar lesson about imagery while working with Karonnie Truzy and Sarah Olson in their roles as Co-Chairs of NCAJ’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force (DITF).

Karonnie, who also serves as the organization’s inaugural Diversity Officer and is receiving an Ebbie Award this year for his years of service to the NCAJ and its mission, told me about how he had to be contacted several times about becoming more involved in the organization before he finally agreed. Why the initial reluctance? Because he hadn’t really seen anyone else who looked like him in leadership, or behind the podium at the front of the rooms where most of our members regularly convene: our CLEs.

Sarah, who also serves as the Criminal Defense Section Chair this year and previously received an Ebbie herself, spoke more bluntly about the impact of imagery at that podium: “When you are a woman, and you attend CLEs where every single faculty member is a man, it raises real concerns about the role of women in the organization and how women are viewed by the organization.”

This makes perfect sense. It’s not as if our profession is devoid of women and people of color who are highly qualified to teach our CLE programs. So when you don’t see them at the podium, and when you are one of them, you may quite naturally wonder whether there’s much of a role for you in the organization and its CLE programming, beyond paying for admission of course. And the more you’re made to wonder that, the more likely you are to seek other professional communities and programs where you feel more welcome.

In recent years, NCAJ leadership has recognized shifting sands in our population, profession, and organization. In 2015-2016, NCAJ President Chris Nichols highlighted the need to attract Millennials, who by that time had already surpassed Baby Boomers in the workforce. In 2016-2017, President Bill Powers recognized the need to focus more intentionally on diversity in our membership and leadership. This year, I have built on both of those initiatives by developing a more formal organizational framework to connect with the state’s law schools and students.

NCAJ’s effort to reach Millennials and tap into the law school pipeline is no more designed to exclude or devalue our members of other generations (like me) than its effort to strengthen diversity and see more women and people of color behind CLE podiums is designed to exclude or devalue members of any other categorical group (like me). Quite the contrary, it’s all designed to recognize an undeniable truth: there is strength in numbers.

The pragmatic side of that truth is that NCAJ must expand and cultivate a broad membership base to survive and successfully pursue our mission in an evolving profession. The aspirational side of that truth is what we recognized when we adopted our Diversity Statement last year. And both sides are served by putting people behind the podium in our CLEs who are not only qualified, but reflect all members of our profession and organization.

That is why, after publication for comment, the Board of Governors adopted a Diversity Plan last fall that included an initial goal of developing and implementing a Speaker Diversity Program. Working with DITF membership and leadership, as well as Education Committee members and Vice President Meghann Burke, NCAJ Executive Director Kim Crouch and Education Director Alex Rogers developed an infrastructure of member tools and staff support to assist CLE planners in achieving more speaker diversity.

We now have a Speaker Diversity Database, and our staff will be working with members to build that database over the months and years to come into a powerful resource for helping program planners identify qualified presenters. We have created a checklist for planners, highlighting the speaker diversity goal. We have begun to collect and analyze data on a quarterly basis about the extent to which we achieve the goal and the factors involved in that success. We are working more closely with Section and Division Chairs to identify speakers at the Section levels. Membership Vice President Sonya Pfeiffer has been working with Membership and Development Director Amy Page Smith to establish and renew our connections to affiliate organizations and affinity bars.

These institutionalized efforts are long overdue. NCAJ did not suddenly begin to value the worth and dignity of all of our clients and members when we adopted the Diversity Statement and crafted the Diversity Plan last year. We just became more intentional about weaving that valuation into the fabric of our entire organization. In terms of institutionalizing the efforts, we are either shoulder-to-shoulder with or trailing other professional organizations. This point was brought home to me in March, when, in my capacity as NCAJ President, I accepted an invitation from Dayatra Matthews, the first African-American female President of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, to attend NCADA’s first day-long program focused on identifying and addressing white privilege and implicit bias, two loaded terms I wrote about coming to terms with myself in this space last week. Fortunately, nothing but good can come from our institutionalized efforts, and everything about them is who we are and need to be.

Specifically regarding the Speaker Diversity Program, we have recognized the reality that the educators at our CLE programs are not just teaching attendees about the substance of their presentations, but about the substance of who we are and who we value as an organization. Because #WeAreNCAJ, we value everyone who shares our mission—from our clients, to our members, to our leaders, to our educators. Since that’s the substance of who we are, it should certainly be the imagery we project.

And, of course, #WakandaForever.