Members of NCAJ: Hurricane Victims Need Your Help!

NCAJ members, take note!  The NC Pro Bono Resource Center is looking for attorney, paralegal, and law student volunteers to help with FEMA Appeal and Restoration Clinics.

Clinics will take place on:

  • January 12th – New Bern, NC
  • February 9th – Wilmington, NC
  • February 23rd – Morehead City, NC

Attorney volunteers should sign up here for clinics and to take cases remotely. Training and malpractice insurance are provided.

Paralegals and law student volunteers should sign up here.



NCAJ Helps Build Your Law Practice

In the October 2018 issue of NCAJ’s Trial Briefs magazine, NCAJ Vice President of Membership Jennifer Watson Marsh shared an important tip: how to make the most of your NCAJ membership by accessing the FREE archive of webinars on building your law practice and your career, available online at  Are you taking advantage?  Click story below for details.


NC Pro Bono Resource Center: Helping You Overcome Hurdles to Pro Bono Work

Sylvia Novinksy, Director     
B. Leigh Wicclair, Pro Bono Program Manager  

One of the ways NCAJ members serve NCAJ’s mission of protecting people’s rights is through their commitment to pro bono work. This past spring, over 20 NCAJ members were recognized by the North Carolina Supreme Court for having reported over 50 hours of pro bono legal services work in 2017. We are so proud of, and grateful for, these NCAJ members’ pro bono participation!

When we talk to attorneys across the state, we consistently hear that attorneys want to do pro bono work and deeply value the service element of our profession. In fact, most of the attorneys we speak with chose to become lawyers in order to “make a difference” in the world. However, given the demands that accompany our profession, it not always easy to do pro bono work.  Common barriers to pro bono include an inability to find pro bono projects, feeling overworked and unable to commit the time necessary to do pro bono, and feeling unequipped to handle a pro bono project outside of one’s regular practice area.

We are here to help you overcome these hurdles!

Launched in 2016 by the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission, the NC Pro Bono Resource Center is a statewide pro bono resource center ready to help YOU with your goals to increase pro bono work. The NC Pro Bono Resource Center serves as a clearinghouse for pro bono projects, provides trainings and CLEs to assist attorney volunteers and nonprofit service providers, and recruits and connects volunteers directly to projects. We also work with our legal and community partners to create impactful pro bono clinics and other pro bono projects which directly serve North Carolinians who would not otherwise have representation.

Let us help you find pro bono projects in your community, in your area of expertise, and that fit into your schedule! We can also help you become trained in a new area of law so that you can confidently assist pro bono clients and, perhaps, expand your practice area.

Visit to learn more about available pro bono opportunities, including:

Triangle Area
NC Justice Center Driver’s License Restoration Project

Mecklenburg Co Area 
Custody Advocacy Program

Western NC
Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer (MAVL) Project is administered by Pisgah Legal Services

 Anywhere in NC
Catholic Legal Immigration Network’s BIA Pro Bono Appeals Project

Don’t forget that voluntary pro bono reporting from the previous year occurs from January 1- March 31. Keep track of your hours throughout the year and log them during this time at


*Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1 encourages each NC attorney to provide 50 hours of pro bono legal services each year to those unable to afford them without expectation of a fee.

Sponsors & Exhibitors at Upcoming NCAJ CLE!

Be sure to stop by and visit with our sponsors and exhibitors at NCAJ CLE this September!  They provide valuable resources for members.

September 7 –  Family Law Specialization Exam Review Seminar
Breakfast Sponsor:  Sawyer Consulting LLC
Lunch Sponsor: Smart Start
Exhibitor: Carolina Case Management

September 21 – Quirky Issues in Workers’ Compensation Seminar

Breakfast Sponsor:  Robson Forensic
Lunch Sponsor:  Your Legal Nurse Consultants and Ametros Financial
Exhibitor: Sawyer Consulting LLC

NCAJ to Host Mountain Magic 2018 from Oct 18 to Oct 21 in Asheville, NC

NCAJ’s annual fall conference in Asheville, NC will again be held at the beautiful Omni Grove Park Inn.   The conference is one of NCAJ’s most anticipated events featuring nationally recognized speakers and attendees from across the state!

Take advantage of NCAJ’s group rate of $355/night by calling the Omni Grove Park Inn at 1-800-438-5800 or click here to reserve your room online.

Program chairs Jon Moore of Brown Moore & Associates in Charlotte and Valerie Pearce, IDS Regional Defender in Durham are leading NCAJ in finalizing all other details surrounding the conference’s terrific professional development programming and networking opportunities.  Sneak peek below!!  Please check back at  for complete event details soon.

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at this popular event?  Contact Membership and Development Director Amy Smith  at


THURSDAY, October 18

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm          Welcome to Mountain Magic @ Lexington Avenue Brewery – Sponsored by FindLaw, a Thompson Reuters business     Complimentary for Mountain Magic attendees, Fall Conference for Paralegals attendees and Asheville area legal professionals.

FRIDAY, October 19

8:45 am – 9:00 am           Welcoming Remarks – Mountain Magic Co-Chairs
                                                Jon Moore,
Brown Moore & Associates, Charlotte
                                                Valerie Pearce, IDS Regional Defender, Durham

8:55 am – 4:45 pm           Fall Conference for Paralegals

 9:00 am – 12:15 pm        GENERAL SESSION (for Civil and Criminal Practitioners)

Featured Speaker –Theodore J. Leopold, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

“Do’s and Don’ts at the Court of Appeals”
Featured Speakers – Judge Mark A. Davis,
NC Court of Appeals, Raleigh and Judge Donna S. Stroud, NC Court of Appeals, Raleigh

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm        Mountain Magic Luncheon and Presentation  – Sponsored by Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Co. of North Carolina

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm          Sunset Social at the Omni Grove Park Inn & Spa – Sponsored by Robson Forensic   Catch up with old friends and make new friends before dinner in Asheville. Includes light hors d’oeuvres and drinks on the Vanderbilt Terrace

SATURDAY, October 20

9:00 am – 12:15 pm        GENERAL SESSION (for Civil and Criminal Practitioners)
“Leaders of Tomorrow – Moving Juries and Other Gatherings of People to Greatness”
Featured Speaker – Mel C. Orchard, III,
The Spence Law Firm, LLC, Jackson, WY

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm          Substance Abuse Hour

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm          Saturday Night Party at Smoky Park Supper Club – Sponsored by Milner Plaintiff Service/Millennium Settlements  Join us along the majestic French Broad River for dinner, dancing and fun! We will have a fantastic band providing live music during dinner. This is always one of the highlights of Mountain Magic and a great way to spend time with friends from near and far one last time, before heading home!   This is a family-friendly event, complimentary for Mountain Magic attendees and guest.

Saturday Night Party Band – Sponsored by Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, Attorneys at Law

SUNDAY, October 21

8:30 am – 12:30 pm        NCAJ Board of Governors Meeting

Top Ten Reasons to Join Today


Now is a fantastic time to join the North Carolina Advocates for Justice:   You are eligible to get 14 months of membership for the price of 12!!  

Here are 10 additional reasons to join us today:

  1. Free access to the NC Pattern Jury Instructions (civil and criminal).
  2. Free monthly membership webinars on how to grow your business.
  3. Discounted subscription to NC Lawyers Weekly – a $115 savings!
  4. Deep discounts on outstanding NCAJ CLE in a variety of formats including Live Webcasts, Live Webinars, OnDemand CLE, and Live In-Person Seminars.
  5. NCAJ invites you to Convention and Mountain Magic – the best way to meet and learn from like-minded professionals from across the State and to rest and rejuvenate.
  6. Your membership includes NCAJ’s legal publication, Trial Briefs, delivered quarterly to your inbox and your mailbox.
  7. NCAJ gives you another way to additionally protect your clients by get involved with NCAJ’s legislative activities.    
  8. NCAJ promotes you, your firm and your work to the public and to your peers through referral directories, social media and We are unveiling exciting new ways to do this next year, including through member profiles in Trial Briefs, the NCAJ blog, hosted pro bono clinics and more!
  9. NCAJ membership is your gateway to joining NCAJ Sections and Divisions and their listservs to learn from some of the most talented legal minds in North Carolina.
  10. You become a valued part of the ONLY group in North Carolina devoted to supporting plaintiff attorneys, criminal defense attorneys, and professional legal staff in their careers and to improving the legal environment you work in.

Join the NC Advocates for Justice today at

Don’t Put Danger Under the Tree: Toys to Avoid This Christmas

If you are shopping for a Christmas gift for a child this holiday season, remember that safety should be a top priority. While toys may appear to be safe, some are not properly labeled or tested and may pose serious health risks.

Fortunately, watchdog groups like the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) have taken the time to research the most popular toys this year. They recently released their “Trouble in Toyland” report, warning consumers about potentially dangerous toys and other gifts for kids.

Over the past three decades, U.S. PIRG reports have led to more than 150 recalls of potentially dangerous toys, and its public awareness campaigns have helped lawmakers and consumers alike realize the dangers of these defective products. For 2017, the group’s attention focused on the newest and biggest threats that these products pose to children today, including:

  • Data-Collecting Toys – Toys that pose a serious risk to children according to data privacy laws
  • Choking Hazards
  • Lead Poisoning Threats

Because consumer watchdog groups continue to find issues with products marketed for and to children, the public and government agencies need to remain vigilant when it comes to ensuring that children are not harmed by unsafe or defective toys.

Some of the dangerous toys identified by the U.S. PIRG report include:

  • My Friend Cayla Doll – Several consumer groups have lodged complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over concerns that this Internet-connected “smart toy” may violate children’s data privacy laws.
  • Fidget Spinners – Two models of popular fidget spinners were shown to contain excessive amounts of lead. Because the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) does not consider fidget spinners to be “children’s products,” they are not regulated under federal lead standards for children’s products.
  • Balloons and Games – Two very different products both pose serious choking hazards to children.

One of the primary concerns of the watchdog groups is misleading or inaccurate warning labels. Parents, relatives, or friends may not be aware of the dangers of these products when purchasing them for the children on their Christmas list, and serious injuries or death may occur.

Because of the very real dangers, it is our responsibility as consumers to protect ourselves and the children in our lives from the threats posed by hazardous products. While it may be impossible to identify every dangerous toy on your list, here are a few helpful guidelines when shopping for a child this Christmas:

  • Do Your Research – Make sure to research each toy on your list this year. Many different groups and publications like the S. PIRG, Good Housekeeping, Time Magazine, and others release lists of the most unsafe children’s products each year.
  • Read the Labels – While some labels may be misleading, the majority of manufacturers try to list the potential hazards right on the box. Most toys will have a clear age-range indication displayed on the packaging.
  • Use Common Sense – When buying a toy for a child, it is important to assess the product’s safety yourself before purchasing it. If it seems poorly manufactured or has small pieces, you may consider selecting a different gift. A good rule of thumb when it comes to assessing choking hazards, specifically, is if a toy can fit inside of a toilet paper roll, it is too small and can easily become lodged in a child’s throat.

Despite your best efforts to be an informed consumer and purchase safe presents for children, it is still possible that a defective toy or other children’s product could result in serious harm to a loved one.

As consumers, we have a right to expect that the products we purchase are safe for use, especially when it comes to children. If a product is hazardous or if it is not accurately labeled and is sold to unsuspecting consumers, the injured parties and their loved ones may be eligible to take legal action as a result. If a child is harmed by a defective product, the manufacturer and every party in the distribution chain could be held liable for the injuries.

Get Legal Help for Injuries Caused by Dangerous Toys

At Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, our experienced product liability attorneys have helped many injured victims of defective products recover the full and fair compensation that they may deserve. If your child has been injured by a defective or dangerous toy or other children’s product, please do not hesitate to contact our team today to schedule your free case evaluation. Our firm represents victims throughout the region, including in Asheville, Franklin, Waynesville, North Carolina and Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Since 1979, Grimes Teich Anderson LLP has represented the injured and disabled.  The attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson are leaders in Western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina in representing clients in personal injury matters, workers compensation claims, Social Security disability claims, and employment law matters and veterans’ law.  Grimes Teich Anderson has an active litigation practice with multiple trial tested attorneys, including Henry Teich, a North Carolina Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist.   For more information, visit