Volunteers are needed to serve food to the less fortunate at the Urban Ministry’s Potter’s House.
Shifts are from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM on the following Sundays:
October 20, 2019
February 16, 2020
November 17, 2019
March 15, 2020
December 15, 2019
April 19, 2020
January 19, 2020
May 17, 2020
This is a great opportunity to give back to the community in the company of fellow bar members.
Please email Molly Hilburn-Holte at [email protected] if you are able to help. Write POTTER’S HOUSE in the subject line.
Black, Slaughter & Black has been named by the Triad Business Journal to its “Fast 50 List,” which consists of the 50 fastest growing businesses in the Triad. It is the only law firm recognized for 2019.
Pictured are three partners who attended the ceremony at High Point University.
Eric Richardson and I have been working diligently since last year in refreshing the appearance of the Greensboro Lawyers Lounge. We purchased new furniture, office equipment, coffee supplies and accessories with budgeted funds from the Greensboro Bar Association and donations from the Guilford County Association of Black Lawyers and Attorney Tom Maddox.
On September 3, 2019, we celebrated the opening of the newly renovated space which coincided with Attorney Kearns Davis hosting a court visit consisting of a small delegation of leaders from the Port-au-Prince Bar Association in Haiti. We welcomed President Stanley Gaston and Board Member Jacques Miguel Sanon. Light refreshments were served courtesy of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP.
Please stop by and enjoy the Lounge when you are in the courthouse.
— Judge Michelle Fletcher
The North Carolina State Bar is hosting an Opioid Summit on Friday, October 4, 2019 at the State Bar building in Raleigh. Attendees will hear from leading experts and practicing lawyers about the opioid epidemic in North Carolina and how it affects the legal profession. In this day-long CLE, attendees will hear from experts on the State’s response to the epidemic, the science of opioid use, and the implementation of recovery courts, while also hearing individual stories from lawyers about the disease’s impact on family members and clients. The program is bookended by a morning keynote address from Attorney General Josh Stein and an afternoon panel discussion with practicing lawyers offering practical guidance. Details about the summit are included below:
What: Broadcast of the North Carolina State Bar Opioid Summit
When: October 4, 2019
Where: Fox Rothschild LLP
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
CLE Credit: 4 hours general, 1 hour ethics, 1 hour substance abuse/mental health
Cost: $25 to be paid at the door (for full-day attendees, payable to NC State Bar)
For those who cannot attend the entire program, attending any one hour of the CLE will earn the substance abuse/mental health credit, attending any two hours will earn the substance abuse/mental health and ethics credits, and any additional hours will earn the general credits. Attendees are responsible for paying the $3.50 per credit hour they attend. Lunch will be provided, so please register in advance through the link on GBA’s website.
Jerry Douglas Blakemore
Endorsed by Kristen Bonatz
Julia Michelle Brown
Susan L. Hunt, PC
Endorsed by Susan L. Hunt
Ashley Louise Campbell
Chandler and Schiffman, PA
Endorsed by Abigail E. Peoples
Michael Donnell Casterlow
The Law Office of Michael D. Casterlow, PLLC
Endorsed by Justin R. Ervin, III
Katherene E. Holtzinger Conner
Elon University School of Law
Endorsed by Enrique Armijo
Elon University School of Law
Endorsed by Scott W. Gaylord
Melissa Jackson Holloway
NC A&T Legal Affairs
Endorsed by Chelsea A. Peele
David L. Hurewitz
Endorsed by J. Stanlet Atwell
Benjamin Louis Klein
Guilford County Public Defender
Endorsed by Frederick G. Lind
Michele P. Lee
Guilford Co. Clerk of Court
Endorsed by Lisa Johnson-Tonkins
Elon University School of Law
Endorsed by Marissa Meredith
Jonathan Michael Parisi
Connors Morgan, PLLC
Endorsed by C. Scott Meyers
Shawn Vincent Poole
Sharpless McClearn Lester Duffy, PA
Endorsed by Peter F. O’Connell
Elizabeth Anne Ray
Crumley Roberts, LLP
Endorsed by Chelsea A. Peele
Emily Elizabeth Scotton
Chapman Law Firm
Endorsed by Adam K. Roberts
Cordon McLendon Smart
Endorsed by William P.H. Cary
Melissa Kirkman Sumner
Endorsed by Jennifer G. Mencarini
Purrington Moody Weil LLP
Endorsed by Crystal T. Taylor
Samantha Cummings Varney
U.S. District Court- Middle District of NC
Endorsed by Sinead N. O’Doherty
Charles D. Watts, Jr.
City of Greensboro
Endorsed by John Roseboro
John Hunter Wright
Hill Evans Jordan & Beatty, PLLC
Endorsed by Michele G. Smith
Tyler Lane Younts
North Carolina Industrial Commission
Endorsed by Jonathan T. Sink
Brooks Pierce partner Jennifer Van Zant was recently selected as one of Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation. She has been named to the list each year since 2015.
The list features 250 women across the United States who have earned their place by participating in impactful litigation matters, as well as by earning the respect of their peers and clients as top players in their respective fields. Attorneys are nominated based on extensive client and peer reviews.
Van Zant focuses her practice on complex business litigation and class action defense. She represents businesses on a wide range of disputes before federal courts and the North Carolina Business Court, and works closely with clients to make paths toward resolution.
Among her many other accolades are being elected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Antitrust Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation and Commercial Litigation and has been named Greensboro “Lawyer of the Year” in her respective practice area four times. Van Zant has been recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers every year since 2010, including being named one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in the State” every year since 2012 and one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in the State” each year since 2014. She is a member of the North Carolina Legal Elite Hall of Fame. She has also been named one of the Triad Business Journal’s “Outstanding Women In Business.”
by Nicole Patino, Law Offices of Fred T. Hamlet
It is not uncommon to see individuals running in downtown Greensboro; however, it is rare to see a runner with the dedication of David Meschan, a bankruptcy attorney with the Law Offices of David F. Meschan. Mr. Meschan’s regular routine includes running approximately 15-20 miles per week.
When he isn’t running, Mr. Meschan likes to play tennis with a group of friends, a sport he has always played. While at Davidson College, he played competitively as a junior and was on the varsity team his senior year.
However, it wasn’t until around 1990 that Mr. Meschan began to consider other forms of physical exercise. It was then that he realized that some form of regular aerobic exercise was needed to be healthy and, because of his interests and skills, he decided running was the most logical choice. Ever the lawyer, he became an expert in running and can tutor one on the best running gear, training techniques, and even the best times to run.
Mr. Meschan turned 75 this year. He continues to run competitively. Recently, he ran the 50th Annual Peachtree 10K in Atlanta. He also has won his division in races, including the 2015 Tar Heel 10 Miler in Chapel Hill. Mr. Meschan says that there are running races going on all the time and it is easy to find one if you are interested.
Mr. Meschan uses the results from his competitive runs to monitor his fitness level. He notes that running keeps his weight under control, makes him more effective at work by sustaining his focus and helping him stay better organized, and that his primary care physician tells him that running helps with all his vital signs.
Law may sometimes feel like a marathon, but Mr. Meschan is taking control of this race.
Do you or someone you know have a fun way to stay healthy? If so, please email Karen McKeithen Schaede at [email protected] or Nicole Patino at [email protected] for a chance to be featured in our new Wellness Corner.
What does law firm leadership look like?
Too often, it’s an outdated model where reward goes to the most senior, regardless of contribution. Where leaders look for perks rather than developing servant leadership concepts. Firm partners hold tightly to decision making and there are clear lines of distinction between partners and associates, lawyers and all others.
There is no discussion about the future of the firm or really much discussion about anything strategic.
As a result, many law firms end up being one generation firms. When the current firm owner retires, the firm will cease to exist. This keeps everyone in the firm unsettled. While they may be content today, they don’t know what tomorrow brings.
The practice operates under the status quo: we know our clients, we know what they want, and we aren’t worried about them leaving.
However, this client view doesn’t always fit with reality. Client surveys consistently show clients are not satisfied with their law firms and, when a better opportunity comes along, they will leave.
So, what can you do to exhibit leadership that will make your firm more profitable? Here are a few suggestions:
Agility. Law firms love committees. And task forces. And blue-ribbon study groups. And consensus building. And debating. What law firms do not love is decision making. Or to change direction. Or to improvise. Yet modern law firm leaders need to think quickly, analyze the current situation, and even change course in response to a rapidly changing environment. Practice experimentation in your firm. Learn more about the tech world philosophy of “fail fast” where you decide, evaluate your results, and adjust accordingly.
Collaboration. Lawyers are often, by nature, individualists. Law school further intensifies this characteristic. Much of law school and early career is about surviving competition. When lawyers arrive at traditional firms where there are even more distinctions between groups of people, the concept is reinforced.
Except the current generation of employees doesn’t necessarily buy into this concept of competition and working as an island. Modern employees, lawyers, and clients are more responsive to collaboration. Today, information is open and accessible. The barriers that lawyers could build because they were the only ones with access to legal knowledge are being broken down. Studies show time and again that diversity makes for better results whether it is diverse perspectives, diversity of people, or diversity of experience. Working together in diverse groups will build stronger law firms.
Growth mindset. Dr. Carole Dweck is a psychology researcher who has studied and written about the benefit of a growth mindset. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Dweck says that an individual who embraces lifelong learning has an advantage over those whose viewpoints remain fixed.
Lawyers should find a natural advantage here as lawyers are required to be lifelong learners by the very nature of their chosen careers (and those pesky mandatory CLE requirements). However, most of the learning is focused on the substantive law side of education rather than learning skill sets outside of law. By slightly shifting your focus: add a few business books to your reading list, include an entrepreneurial podcast on your playlist, or attend a conference on a topic that’s new to you, you’ll be exhibiting the very characteristics that Dr. Dweck cites as imperative to next generation leaders.
Accountability. People often perform best when others are holding them accountable. My goal is to show up at the gym every morning. I’m more likely to do it when I’m meeting an accountability partner or reporting my progress to someone. How does this relate to leadership in law firms? Few firms create strategy or plans with specific action items or hold people accountable for meeting goals. We often fail to set our expectations for our firm members. My experience with employee evaluations is that time and time again, we talk with employees about their same failures, yet we don’t provide the resources to improve the situation, allocate time necessary to make improvement or have conversations throughout the year about why the improvement is important in helping the law firm reach its goals.
Modern law firm leaders realize that by establishing strategy and goals, firm members know where they are headed. By establishing a clear roadmap of the strategy and tasks needed to reach the goal, providing the necessary tools, and establishing ownership of projects by team members, and checking in regularly to see how people are doing, you’ll find individuals moving forward to meet strategic goals.
Next generation leaders need to master new skill sets. Are you improving your own leadership skills? Mentoring and developing skills of others in your office? The future of your firm depends on it.
Camille Stell is the President of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at [email protected] or 800.662.8843.
Last month, the Young Lawyers Section partnered with Backpack Beginnings and checked pre-made food bags for Triad area children. Thank you to all Young Lawyers Section members and GBA members who were able to join us! The event was such a success that we hope to do it again in the future.
On October 23, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. the Young Lawyers Section will host its first lunch event of the year at Liberty Oak Restaurant and Bar in downtown Greensboro. Please come out and join us for lunch!
Each year, the Young Lawyers Section sponsors a Fall Swearing-In Ceremony for the admission of newly licensed attorneys to the state and federal courts. This year, the Young Lawyers Section is hosting its Fall Swearing-In Ceremony on Friday, October 25, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. in Courtroom 3 of the United States District Court in downtown Greensboro.
We welcome the support and attendance of members of the GBA at the Fall Swearing-In Ceremony to support our newly licensed attorneys. Friends and family are also invited to celebrate the occasion. Cell phones and cameras will be permitted at the event. If you are a newly licensed attorney, or you know a newly licensed attorney, please e-mail Nicole Scallon at [email protected] to receive the application materials.
Swearing-In Ceremony Reception
Following the Swearing-In Ceremony, the Young Lawyers Section will host a reception from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Horigan’s House of Taps. Please come out and celebrate our newly licensed attorneys!
Connect With Us
Do you want more information about upcoming Young Lawyers Section events or how you can get involved? Visit our website at www.greensboroyls.org, email Andrew Steffensen ([email protected]) to make sure you are on the listserv, and follow us on Facebook (Greensboro Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section). If you missed the opportunity to connect with the Young Lawyers Section in September, we hope to see you at one of our October events!
Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series
Presented by The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation
Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m.
Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro
For tickets call the Carolina Theatre Box Office at 336.333.2605
For more information visit https://carolinatheatre.com/event/elon-laws-distinguished-leadership-lecture/
Tickets are now on sale to see Preet Bharara, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who prosecuted terrorists, drug cartels, arms traffickers, money launderers, insider traders, and corrupt public officials. He visits October 10 at 6:30 p.m. for a talk at the Carolina Theatre presented by The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation. Tickets are $15 each (plus tax).
Bharara is the latest addition to an Elon University line-up of speakers of international prominence invited to encourage and promote discussion and thought during the upcoming academic year on the theme of “Quest for Truth.” The Elon University Speaker Series is supported by The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer, and
Nominated to the position by President Barack Obama, Bharara served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017, earning a reputation as one of “the nation’s most aggressive and outspoken prosecutors,” according to The New York Times. On March 19, 2019, Bharara’s book “Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law” was published by Knopf and debuted at #4 on The New York Times bestseller list. It offers an overview of the American justice system, and why the rule of law is essential to society.
MEMPHIS, The Musical. WOW! Last month, the Greensboro Bar Association along with the Guilford County Association of Black Lawyers came together at the Community Theater of Greensboro for a membership outing of singing, dancing and good old-fashioned fun. Greensboro is home to such tremendous artistic talent. And that talent brought the audience back in time to 1950’s Memphis where laws, society and everyday human beings came face to face with deep seated prejudice and injustice. These reminders of our past were both emotional and thought provoking.
While watching this performance, I couldn’t help considering what a middle-aged attorney (like me) would be doing in the 1950s. Would I be aware of the weight of prejudice? Would I quietly go about my business letting others do the heavy lifting of reform? Could the Greensboro Bar Association even participate in an event with the Guilford County Association of Black lawyers? What friends (that I have today) would I likely not have had back then? What relationships would be frowned upon, ridiculed or just forbidden? Thank you, Community Theater of Greensboro, for using the arts, the talented performers of Memphis and our country’s difficult past to remind us that social justice is an ongoing journey, an evolving struggle and an essential destination of a healthy society.
As lawyers, we play a critical role in the journey of social justice. We are both participants in and creators of social justice.
So, as we enjoy our 90th year as a bar association, it is important to take stock of our past. To be mindful of where we have been so that we can be deliberate about where we are going. I hope each of us will consider our history in deciding the role we will play in our legal community’s future. As lawyers, we play a critical role in the journey of social justice. We are both participants in and creators of social justice. Walk into our courtrooms, read appellate decisions, and attend bar events to witness it in action. Pick up a newspaper or turn on the news and hear about an innocence project’s latest exonerated citizen. One way or another we will leave a legacy for our successors.
During the month of October, we will present more events and opportunities for members to connect, network, and earn CLE credit. On October 4, Lisa Arthur and her CLE committee will host a full-day CLE focusing on the opioid crisis at Fox Rothschild. For just $25.00, GBA members can have lunch and earn 6 CLE credits while watching a program simulcast from the State Bar. Thank you, Steve Robertson, for bringing this idea to our CLE committee’s attention. Next, our monthly membership meeting will celebrate several of our members followed by an Elon Law update by Dean Luke Bierman on October 17 at Starmount Forest Country Club. On October 25 at 3:00 pm in the Federal Courthouse, our Young Lawyers Section will assist our newest lawyers with a swearing-in ceremony. And, finally, our bar will come together on October 23 with our colleagues from High Point to nominate candidates to fill the District Court judicial vacancy left by Judge Jarrell’s passing, along with the Guilford County Public Defender vacancy created by Fred Lind’s upcoming retirement.
These are just a few of the happenings in October. Glance through this newsletter to find even more of what we have in store for the membership. Also, please consider helping on a committee. It is a great way to get involved with the GBA while developing your leadership skills. Anyone interested in learning more about the Greensboro Bar Association’s committee opportunities can call me or Diane Lowe at the GBA office. On behalf of my hard-working Board of Directors, we truly hope you will consider joining our team and attending one or more of these GBA events
Save the Date for our GBA Annual CLE on Technology and Data Privacy
When: February 20, 2020
Where: Starmount Country Club
Time: Afternoon before the GBA member dinner