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Thursday, May 03, 2018

APRIL meeting synopsis

Appointments

The following appointments were made: 

American Bar Association Delegates – The council reappointed Margaret M. Hunt of Brevard, Ronald L. Gibson of Charlotte, and Shelby D. Benton of Goldsboro to two-year terms. 

Legal Aid of North Carolina – The council appointed Christopher R. Clifton of Winston-Salem to a three-year term.

NC Judicial Standards Commission – The council appointed Allison Mullins of Greensboro to complete the unexpired term of J. Anthony Penry.

NC General Statutes Commission – The president reappointed Starkey Sharp of Kitty Hawk to a two-year term. 

Disciplinary Hearing Commission – The council reappointed Hunter N. Wyche Jr., of Raleigh and Richard V. Bennett of Winston-Salem to three-year terms, and appointed Shannon R. Joseph of Raleigh and Maya Madura Engle of Charlotte to three-year terms.

Recommendations for Appointments Sought

The council will make the following appointments at its meeting in July 2018. Anyone wishing to be considered or to nominate someone should contact Tom Lunsford at the State Bar office: 919-828-4620; tlunsford@ncbar.gov; PO Box 25908, Raleigh, NC 27611.

Board of Legal Specialization (3-year terms) – There are four appointments to be made. Larry Rocamora (vice-chair), Kim Coward, and Robert Ponton are eligible for reappointment. Delores S. Todd (public member) is not eligible for reappointment. 

IOLTA Board of Trustees (3-year terms) – There are three appointments to be made. Kerry Friedman, Joseph A. Smith Jr., and Jane V. Harper are eligible for reappointment.

Random Audits

Lawyers randomly selected for audit are drawn from a list generated from the State Bar’s database based upon judicial district membership designations. The randomly selected judicial districts used to generate the list for the second quarter of 2018 are District 5, composed of New Hanover and Pender Counties, and District 17B, composed of Stokes and Surry Counties.

Ethics Committee

At its meeting on April 19, 2018, the Ethics Committee agreed to take no action on proposed 2017 FEO 6, Participation in Platform for Finding and Employing a Lawyer, until the Authorized Practice Committee issues an advisory opinion on a related question. The committee also took no action on proposed 2016 FEO 1, Contesting Opposing Counsel’s Fee Request to Industrial Commission, which was tabled pending the conclusion of a relevant case on appeal. The committee voted to publish three revised opinions for comment: Proposed 2018 FEO 1, Participation in Online Directories and Ratings Systems, Proposed 2018 FEO 2, Duty to Disclose Adverse Legal Authority, and Proposed 2018 FEO 3, Use of Suspended Lawyer’s Name in Law Firm Name, and approved two new opinions for publication; Proposed 2018 FEO 5, Accessing Social Network Pages of Represented or Unrepresented Persons, and Proposed 2018 FEO 6, Shifting Cost of Litigation Cost Protection Insurance to Client. The council adopted 2018 FEO 4, Offering Clients On-Site Access to Financial Brokerage Company For Legal Fee Financing.

Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee considered 256 files. Two lawyers received letters of caution, ten lawyers received letters of warning, seven lawyers received admonitions, seven lawyers received reprimands, 12 lawyers received censures, three lawyers were referred to the Trust Accounting Compliance Program, and ten lawyers were referred to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission for trial.

Rule Amendments

Amendments for which Supreme Court Approval is Pending

At its meeting on April 20, 2018, the council adopted, subject to the Supreme Court’s approval, the amendments described below.

A) 27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .0900, Procedures for Administrative Committee

.0902 Reinstatement from Inactive Status

.0904 Reinstatement from Suspension

The proposed amendments would require a petitioner for reinstatement to complete CLE for the year the petitioner went inactive or was administratively suspended, if inactive or suspended status was granted on or after July 1. 

B) 27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .1500, Rules Governing the Administration of the Continuing Legal Education Program

.1522 Annual Report and Compliance Period

The proposed amendment would permit members to file their annual report forms online, and would allow the State Bar to email notice to the membership that the forms have been posted to every member’s online record in lieu of mailing the forms. 

C) 27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .1500, Rules Governing the Administration of the Continuing Legal Education Program

.1501 Scope, Purpose, and Definitions

.1518 Continuing Legal Education

The proposed amendments provide a definition of “technology training,” and mandate that one of the 12 hours of approved CLE required annually be devoted to technology training. 

D) 27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .1600, Regulations Governing the Administration of the Continuing Legal Education Program

.1602 Course Content Requirements

The proposed amendments further define “technology training,” and mandate that one of the 12 hours of approved CLE required annually be devoted to technology training. 

E) 27 N.C.A.C. 1G, Section .0100, The Plan for Certification of Paralegals

.0118 Certification Committee

The proposed amendments would allow an additional one-year term for service as chair of the Certification Committee.

F) 27 N.C.A.C. 1G, Section .0100, The Plan for Certification of Paralegals

.0122 Right to Review and Appeal to Council

The proposed amendments would eliminate the rights of an applicant (1) to review a failed examination and (2) to request review by the board of a failed examination.

G) NC Board of Law Examiners, Section .0500 Requirements for Applicants

Rule .0501 Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law in North Carolina

The Board of Law Examiners has proposed an amendment to its rules that would provide a time period within which a general applicant would be required to successfully complete the state-specific component of the Uniform Bar Examination. 

Proposed Amendments for Publication 

At its meeting on April 20, 2018, the council voted to publish the following proposed amendments to the State Bar’s rules for comment from members of the Bar.

A) 27 N.C.A.C. 1A, Section .0400, Organization of the North Carolina State Bar

.0406 Vacancies and Succession

A completely new rule would specify what would occur should any of the State Bar’s officers become temporarily unable to perform the duties of office. The existing less comprehensive rule would be replaced.

B) 27 N.C.A.C. 1A, Section .1400, Rulemaking Procedures

.1401 Publication for Comment

The proposed amendment would allow future proposed amendments to be published for comment in a digital version of the Journal, the State Bar’s official publication. The amendment is necessary to accommodate those who elect to receive the electronic version of the Journal exclusively. 

C) 27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .2900, Certification Standards for the Elder Law Specialty

.2905 Standards for Certification as a Specialist in Elder Law

.2906 Standards for Continued Certification as a Specialist in Elder Law

The proposed amendments would clarify what constitutes elder law CLE for the purpose of satisfying the CLE standards for certification and for continued certification in elder law.

D) Board of Law Examiners, Section .0600 Requirements for Applicants, Section .1200 Board Hearings

Rule .0604 Bar Candidate Committee

The Board of Law Examiners proposes an amendment to its rules that would require transfer applicants as well as general applicants to appear before bar candidate committees.

Rule .1201 Nature of Hearings

The Board of Law Examiners proposes additional amendments making clear that all applicants are liable to be required to appear at hearings before the board, and providing that comity applicants and military spouse comity applicants may in the board’s discretion be permitted to appear at hearings electronically.

E) 27 N.C.A.C. 1A, Section .1400, Rulemaking Procedures

.1403 Action by the Council and Review by the North Carolina Supreme Court

The proposed amendments would establish an effective date for State Bar rules and amendments.

Filed Under: General News

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