Jonathan Parisi, associate attorney with Spangler Estate Planning in Greensboro, has been invited to run the 2020 Boston Marathon on behalf of the Veteran’s Department for the City of Newton, Massachusetts. The marathon is scheduled for September 14, 2020. Jon proudly runs in honor and remembrance of his father, Sergeant Major Todd M. Parisi, who passed away in March, 2018. Jon is dedicated to raising awareness for veteran PTSD and the suicide epidemic statistic that 22 veterans take their own lives every day. In addition, Jon is raising funds to support initiatives and programming for veterans and their families. His GoFundMe link is https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/boston-marathon-for-todd-m-parisi. Jon Parisi is a graduate of Elon School of Law.
EDWARD LINN McVEY III
May 1, 1947 – March 11, 2020
Edward Linn McVey, III, 72, passed away suddenly on March 11, 2020. He spent that day doing many of his favorite things: volunteering at the hospital, helping friends and neighbors, playing with his grandchildren, and working in the yard.
He was born in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Edward Lynn McVey, Jr. and Irene Spence McVey. He graduated from Baylor University with a degree in business and a Juris Doctorate. He practiced law for 42 years.
Ed and his wife of 45 years, Catherine (Kay) Boyd McVey, began raising their three daughters in Columbus, Ohio. They moved to Greensboro in 1985 to nurture their warm and adventuresome relationship with Kay’s mother, Sis Cole Boyd Schenck.
As a young man, Ed enjoyed marathon running, distance cycling and scuba diving. He was a certified rescue diver, ice diver, divemaster. In later years, he could usually be found somewhere outdoors, noticing the subtle signs of growth and change in nature. He enjoyed managing the family tree farms, splitting firewood, and taking “urban hikes” around Greensboro. Some of his most favorite days were spent kayaking and enjoying sunsets from the dock of his Topsail Island home. He was an involved and attentive dad, and an amazing grandfather, “GG.” He took a special joy in playing with and leading his three grandchildren on adventures around town and out in “the wide world.” He attended Oak Ridge Presbyterian Church.
He is preceded in death by his father Edward Lynn McVey, Jr.; mother, Irene Spencer McVey; son, Edward Lynn McVey IV; and daughter Catherine Courtney McVey. He is survived by wife, Catherine (Kay) Boyd McVey; daughter, Cole McVey Kampen and husband Andy, daughter, Elizabeth Whitney McVey and fiancé Sean Hennessy; grandchildren Clara Louise Kampen, Eleanor Rae Kampen and Simon Cole Kampen; sister, Lynn McVey Scott and husband Tim; as well as a loving handful of “adopted” children.
Leadership is a concept that we don’t spend much time discussing. We know who the leaders are, those people whose names are on the door. And we know what leadership looks like, it’s what the leaders tell us to do.
But is that really what leadership is all about?
Times of crisis can bring out the best or the worst in leaders. The COVID-19 health crisis is a case study at the ready. Take a few minutes to scan the list to see where you fit on the leadership scale.
Great leaders stay on top of data
Garbage in, garbage out is how we refer to whether the information in our database is accurate. This also applies to the information we need to make decisions. Disaster preparation occurs in law, such as when we anticipate weather emergencies. Many of our firm leaders have had to decide whether to close the office in the wake of a weather warning or how to continue to serve clients following a flood. But not many of us have had to deal with an infectious disease calamity. As a result, we are trying to gather information in real time.
As a leader, you need to make sure you are accessing the best data possible. You need a clearinghouse for the data, whether it is you or someone on your team. Designate a data czar and share that name with everyone. People then know to whom to forward the latest articles or raise concerns.
Great leaders recognize that even while meeting client needs and daily operations, a new crisis means devoting time to gathering new data.
Great leaders make decisions
Decision making is hard. Especially when you must reach consensus, make decisions by committee, or wait for all the decision makers to focus on the issue at hand.
However, being a law firm leader requires that difficult decisions must be made and made timely.
There are ways to improve the decision-making process. Have a lean team making the decisions. Once a process is in place to collect the data, leaders need to rely on the data to reach a decision. Avoid decision fatigue by having process and procedure in place so that leaders are not making hundreds of decisions every day. Set a time limit to provide the pressure of reaching a decision timely.
Great leaders listen
Two ears for listening, one mouth for talking. Did your mom ever share that homily with you? It’s good advice.
During a time of crisis, great leaders listen to their constituents’ fears and concerns. It can be tempting to think you know what is best for everyone. And that your position within the firm allows you the authority to make the decision. But listening allows people to feel heard and tells them that their voice matters. They will trust your decision-making process more if it includes a listening component.
Great leaders listen twice as much as they talk.
Great leaders communicate
When people discuss life in a law firm, one of the most common complaints is a failure to communicate. While there is some information that must be safeguarded, for the most part, we err on the side of withholding too much information. As firm leadership meets to discuss how to handle a firm crisis such as COVID-19, do you share information as you make decisions? Or does your staff see you gather at 10:00 a.m. in the conference room, but they don’t get the memo until 4:00 p.m.? Does your staff know that you make salary adjustments at the February partners meeting, but you don’t share the information with them until the day before paychecks are deposited in March?
Lawyers are busy. That goes without saying. But the reality is that everyone is busy. And the more information your team has, the less time they spend worrying, and wondering, and losing productivity.
Great leaders make decisions, then communicate clearly and as quickly as possible.
Great leaders have empathy
When people express fear, worry, or anger, great leaders have empathy. Great leaders do not retaliate. Great leaders do not mock. Great leaders do not discount others’ emotions.
We can improve our empathy muscle. Walk in other peoples’ shoes. Challenge yourself to tackle experiences that take you outside your comfort zone. Seek feedback from people in person and have conversations though they may be uncomfortable. Examine the emotion presented, not just the data. Ask questions. Examine your biases.
Great leaders recognize that when people have an unexpected reaction to your decision, you must lean into empathy. This doesn’t mean your decision necessarily has to change, but expressing empathy is what keeps your team following you even when they disagree with you.
Great leaders reassess
I was five business days away from hosting a conference with 70 people, my Managing Partner Summit. During the day on Wednesday (before my upcoming Tuesday conference), I was on the phone with my venue, my keynote speaker, my caterer, and my sponsors. On Wednesday evening, I sent out an email telling registrants the conference was moving forward. On Thursday, the situation deteriorated quickly, it seemed everything in North Carolina was cancelled due to COVID-19, including schools, universities, sporting events, and more. By Friday morning, I was back on the phone with my venue, my keynote speaker, my caterer, and my sponsors. Before lunch, I sent out an email telling registrants the conference was cancelled.
In a fast-moving situation, great leaders continue to re-assess the situation and make changes as necessary.
Trust = Leadership
Trust is an essential element of leadership. Effective leadership impacts every aspect of your law practice. If you exercise these six skills, you will build trust and strengthen relationships even in times of crisis.
Camille Stell is the President of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at email@example.com or 919.677.8900.
City of Greensboro
Endorsed by William A. Kelly
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. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community in the company of fellow bar members.
Schedule changes due to COVID-19:.
April 19 (Cancelled) May 17 (Tentative).
Please email Molly Hilburn-Holte at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help. Write POTTER’S HOUSE in the subject line.
April 2 – Trivia Night (Postponed)
April 8 – GBA Board Meeting, 4:00 PM, Teleconference
April 15 – Annual Joint Meeting, 5:30 PM (Postponed)
April 18 – Human Race (Postponed)
April 19 – Potter’s House (Cancelled)
April 21 – Second Chance Expunction CLE, 1:00 PM (Tentative Webinar)
“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
For sure, we are swimming in unchartered waters at this moment in time. We wait patiently (maybe anxiously) for the tide to turn and allow us to resume “normal” activities. But will the pressures of this moment leave lasting imprints on our lives? The quote above, taken from The Republic by Plato, comes to mind when I consider one potential impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on our lives. First and foremost, it is the intent of the Greensboro Bar Association to continue to support our members through this challenging time while keeping the safety of all at the forefront of every decision we make. For this reason, we have not only postponed or cancelled a number of events scheduled for mid-March and April, but also have pivoted to video meetings and online events where possible. Of note, our GBA Board meeting scheduled for April 8 will be, for the first time, attended remotely via Zoom. And our annual Legal Aid Fundraiser became an online raffle and donation. Thank you to our sponsors, many of whom have agreed to maintain their pledge to the Legal Aid Fundraiser despite cancellation of the in-person event.
Let me offer some encouragement at this time of uncertainty.
I’m wondering, are these pandemic changes to our routine merely short-term adjustments or will we learn that there are better ways to do the things that we have been doing for years and, therefore, implement new processes or plans? One local businessperson said it this way, “we are seeing that instead of sending an employee on a two-day trip to California for one in-person meeting, that same employee can have three video conferences a day, and meet with six clients in the same two-day period.” Many of you have already participated in CLE by webinar, but now we are seeing a conscious move toward conference, mediation, deposition and even minor settlement hearings by video from your desk. I believe we are just scratching the surface. As we sit around our homes learning that we can actually get things done from a distance, I’m curious what new tools will we develop to be better at or more efficient with practicing law? And will this “downtime” force us to see our practice or our lives in new ways?
Let me offer some encouragement at this time of uncertainty. I’d like to tell you this will all work out okay. But no one has a crystal ball to make such a prediction. What we do have is the ability to examine the truths that we are aware of and then proceed in the direction that is best for us individually. So how do we proceed? Author Parker Palmer, in his work Let Your Life Speak, teaches that the evolution of finding one’s true calling has more to do with listening to what your life is trying to tell you about the truths you embody and the values you represent than telling your life the noble values that you have discovered in others and intend to live up to.
Perhaps examining one’s life may not be on your pandemic survival checklist. That is okay. However, is this the time to implement that change you have relegated to the backburner? It is not unusual to find that in the routine hustle and bustle of our busy practices and lives that the idea of planning something new, developing a new practice area, or learning a new life skill (like dancing or meditation, or joining a book club, etc.) must compete with the built-out life that we already have in place. But right now something else is happening. Court hearings are cancelled, appointments have been minimized, travel is discouraged, restaurants and gyms are closed and non-essential social gatherings are banned. As a result, some of us have found time to reflect. If this applies to you, make use of this opportunity, listen, and during this break in your routine, let your life speak to you!
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! Are you a trivia master? Do you want to support your local bar association?
Join us for the High Point vs. Greensboro Bar Association Trivia Battle on Thursday, April 2 at Stumble Stilskins, located at 202 West Market Street in Greensboro. Doors
open at 5:30 p.m. Trivia game begins at 6:00 p.m.
Food and drinks will be provided for your enjoyment.
More importantly, at stake will be the trophy and all bragging rights for the year for the winning Bar Association! GBA took it home in 2019 and we’re ready to repeat!
On February 27, Allie Petrova received the 40 Under 40 award from the Triad Business Journal. She has been recognized in Mergers and Acquisitions by Super Lawyers for North Carolina and has been named Legal Elite in Tax/Estate Planning and Business Law by North Carolina Business Magazine in 2020 and previous years.
Allie Petrova is the founder of Petrova Law PLLC, a Greensboro-based business law firm focused exclusively on tax and business law issues. The firm assists individual and business clients with tax matters, IRS representation, and business law matters from launch to exit
Greensboro attorney Afi Johnson-Parris is pleased to announce the formation of her new firm. Johnson-Parris Law will serve the needs of Guilford County residents with family law issues ranging from divorce and property division to custody and child support. Ms. Johnson-Parris also practices collaborative family law, offering “Divorce with Dignity,” where informal, private discussions and conferences are used to settle family issues without going to court. Ms. Johnson-Parris is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law and has taught at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy Family Law Program since 2017. She currently serves as the chair of the Family Law Section for the North Carolina Bar Association and is a former president of the Greensboro Bar Association. In 2017, Ms. Johnson-Parris was selected as the overall winner for Family Law in Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” and inducted into the Hall of Fame. Most recently, she was featured in the 2020 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers.
Ms. Johnson-Parris is a 2002 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and a published member of its Law Review. Before law school, she served her country as an officer in the Air Force and earned an MBA. After law school, Ms. Johnson-Parris began practicing complex civil litigation in Atlanta and relocated to Greensboro in 2007 to practice employment law and civil litigation.
The office of Johnson-Parris Law is located at 101 S. Elm, Suite 235. The new firm contact information is:
101 S. Elm Street, Suite 235
Greensboro, NC 27401
The 2019 Centennial Award for outstanding and exemplary community service was presented to
Margaret R. Kantlehner at the GBA member meeting on February 20, 2020.
While attending Campbell Law School, Margaret was the Editor for the U.S. Supreme Court cases in the Campbell Law Observer. She later served as the North Carolina Young Lawyers Division Chair and on the Board of Governors for the North Carolina Bar Association.
Margaret has served the Greensboro Bar Association in a wide array of leadership roles that include Newsletter Editor, 4ALL Attorney Volunteer, and BarCARES Volunteer, and served as the Elon Law School Liaison to our Board of Directors for over 10 years.
It has been said that Margaret loves to pull from many different places to help people with their problems. Seeing various opportunities to meet a need in the community, Margaret has shared her talents with the Corporation of Guardianship. For years, she built houses, organized food for volunteers, and helped with pro bono loan closings for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro. She used her love of art and became an officer and then president of the Board of Directors at UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum. She helped lead Greensboro Bound and has helped organize the annual Greensboro Literary Festival.
She worked to engage law students in community leadership by co-creating and leading the Elon Law School Preceptor program for almost a decade. These, however, are merely the highlights, as the list of organizations to which she has contributed is long.
We are pleased to recognize Margaret Kantlehner for her dedicated service to the community and her commitment to making this world a better place for all.
Save the date for Tuesday, April 21, 2020, the Greensboro Bar Association’s Second Chance Project, in partnership with the North Carolina Justice Center, will be presenting a FREE CLE program for Greensboro Bar Association Members on (1) expunction of criminal records and (2) eliminating traffic court debt to restore driving privileges.
The first part of this CLE will be an overview of changes to North Carolina statutes relating to expunction and will provide training on how to assist a client through the process of getting an eligible criminal charge or conviction expunged. The second part of this CLE will explain the nature and impact of traffic court debt in Guilford County and identify tools to eliminate debt and restore driving privileges.
The presenter will be Daniel Bowes, Director of the North Carolina Justice Center’s Fair Chance Criminal Justice Project. Mr. Bowes partners with impacted people, congregations, concerned community members, advocacy organizations, and decision-makers to change local and state policies and practices to make the criminal justice system fairer, from arrest to reentry.
3 Hours of General CLE Credit (approval pending)
CLE program from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
The Community Room
at Guilford Merchants Association/First Point,
225 Commerce Place, Greensboro, NC 27401
Registration information is forthcoming.
To schedule an appointment, please visit GBA Blood Drive Registration
(if needed, the sponsor code is GBA)
As a friendly reminder to all GBA members and attorneys practicing in the Guilford County Courthouse in Greensboro, through the efforts of the Greensboro Bar Association and the leadership of several members, we now have a fully functioning and upgraded attorney lounge on the second floor of the courthouse where you can gather to discuss cases, have coffee, store your lunch, and research on working computers. We encourage all to use these facilities as a break room or location to congregate during your downtime at the courthouse.
Spring into March Madness with the Greensboro Bar Association Young Lawyers Section
The Young Lawyers Section will host its annual March Madness Happy Hour on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at World of Beer. Expect free drinks, fun, and a great time!
This year’s annual Kick-Off Party was amazing! Thank you for your attendance! We had a great time at The Bearded Goat and enjoyed the pizza provided by Cugino Forno. The networking opportunities were abundant and we all had fun catching up with old friends.
The Young Lawyers Section is planning a March lunch event. Details will be posted to the Young Lawyers Section Facebook page and sent to the Young Lawyers Section email list.
4All Service Day
The Young Lawyers Section will be participating in the 4All Service Day on March 6, 2020 from 4:00- 7:00 p.m. Please reserve a spot if you can help!
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@example.com) to make sure you are on the listserv, and follow us on Facebook (Greensboro Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section). If you have missed the opportunity to connect with the Young Lawyers Section in January, we hope to see you at one of our February events!
Though control is an illusion, conquering procrastination allows us to gain a sense of control over our days. While we may not be in control of outcomes, we can control a few moments of the day when we push through our to-do list.
Often the dread of a task uses more time and energy than the task itself. Here are 20 tips to help you avoid procrastination:
- Do the job you dread the most first.
- Concentrate on one task at a time.
- If it takes longer to write the task on a to-do list, then go ahead and do it.
- Select one task to do that you have been avoiding and Just. Do. It. Then celebrate the win.
- If you are avoiding the job because you hate one aspect of the job, tackle that part first.
- If you are avoiding the job because it takes too long to gather the component parts, set up a designated area. For example, you don’t mind sending handwritten notes, but you hate the inefficiency it takes to gather the supplies. Create a correspondence station at your desk with personalized note cards, return address labels, and stamps.
- Often, we procrastinate because we imagine the job will take longer than it actually does. Keep track of how long you work on the project, so next time you will know what to expect.
- Use a timer for uninterrupted work. Use the Pomodoro app for 25-minute stretches or your mobile device to set your own pace.
- Replace your excuses with positive self-talk about the rewards of completing the task.
- Build your muscle of discipline as you build your physical muscles. If you would hire a coach, join a gym, set a workout schedule, and calendar time for the gym, then consider hiring a productivity coach, commit your goals to paper, set small daily goals, and celebrate wins as they occur.
- It can be emotionally draining to have undone tasks hanging over you. To enhance your mental health, tackle your to-do list
- Rather than add an item to your to-do list, say no to a request to do something that is not necessary or does not move your goals forward.
- Don’t allow perfectionism to prevent you from moving forward. Sometimes good enough is good enough.
- Don’t allow the fear of making the wrong decision paralyze you. As Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
- According to author, Barbara Kingsolver, “There is no perfect time to write. There’s only now.” This works for writing, but also for other projects that are stuck on your list.
- Prioritize. You can’t do it all. You can’t read it all. You can’t learn it all.
- Set your priorities for the day at the end of the prior day or before you start each day’s work. Then, on a sticky note or small note pad, list 3 things that must get done today. Not too many, not too few, find the number that works for you based on real priorities.
- Use your high-productivity hours for top-priority projects.
- Do not start the day with email. Take a quick scan if necessary, to make sure there are no true emergencies, then close email down. Managing email is not the same as getting work done. Schedule time in your day to work on email and honor a time limit.
- Do not overschedule your day. Leave time for creative work or unexpected emergencies.
Marion Wright Edelman, the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar (in 1965), spent a lifetime providing a voice for poor children, children of color, and children with disabilities. I would imagine she knew a little something about an overloaded to-do list. I’ll leave you with her words for breaking through procrastination:
“Lord, help me to sort out what I should do first, second and third today and to not try to do everything at once and nothing well. Give me the wisdom to delegate what I can and to order the things I can’t delegate, to say no when I need to, and the sense to know when to go home.”
March is the Month to Donate
You Can’t Squeeze Blood from a Turnip . . .
BUT you can donate your blood and time to a person in need. The GBA is hosting a Blood Drive on March 27, 2020, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Elon University School of Law. You can schedule an appointment online or you can drop in on March 27, 2020 to donate blood.
As a recipient of donated blood on more than one occasion, I can tell you personally that your blood can save a life. We hope that you will join us on March 27, 2020. Please consider what an impact this free gift may make.
I encourage you also to consider giving another free gift – the gift of your time on March 6, 2020, as a 4ALL participating attorney. Attorney volunteers are especially needed for the 4:00 p.m. – 7:00p.m. slot, while there are opportunities to volunteer throughout the day, from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. You can register through the following link: https://www.ncbarfoundation.org/our-programs/4all/.
This year, the 4ALL Statewide Service Day will be held at the Volunteer Center of Greensboro, and the address is:
The Volunteer Center of Greensboro, Inc.
1500 Yanceyville Street
Greensboro, NC 27405
Last year, almost 500 attorneys answered almost 10,000 calls in just one day, with over 1,700 calls answered by 88 attorney volunteers in Greensboro. Please join us this year to provide access to legal services to even more North Carolina residents. I promise that you will have fun and it will be an experience to remember (and tell stories about) for years to come!
Please consider what you can give in March. You might get even more in return!
L. Nicole Patino
Law Offices of Fred T. Hamlet
Health and Wellness Committee Co-Chair
Anthony J. Baker
Guilford County Attorney’s Office
Endorsed by Mark Payne
Stephanie K. Marshall
Elon University School of Law
Endorsed by Alan D. Woodlief, Jr.
Walker Allen Law
Endorsed by Norman F. Klick, Jr.