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Monday, December 02, 2019


Darrin D. Jordan of Salisbury was elected vice president. Barbara R. Christy of Greensboro was elected president-elect. C. Colon Willoughby Jr. of Raleigh was installed as president and Alice Neece Mine was elected secretary-treasurer.


The following retiring councilors and members of boards and agencies were recognized at the Annual Meeting of the North Carolina State Bar:

Council members:

Marcia Armstrong

David F. Branch, Jr.

G. Thomas Davis Jr.

Alan S. Hicks

Debra L. Massie

Donna R. Rascoe

Christopher S. Stepp

Retiring board and commission members:

ABA Delegates
Ronald G. Baker Sr.

Shelby D. Benton

Margaret M. Hunt

Mark W. Merritt

R. Bryan Norris Jr.

Board of Law Examiners
Beth R. Fleishman

Randel E. Phillips

Board of Legal Specialization
Robert A. Mason

Client Security Fund
H. Ranee Singleton

Commission on Indigent Defense Services
David R. Teddy

Disciplinary Hearing Commission
Beverly T. Beal

Christopher Bruffey

Michael S. Edwards

Fred M. Morelock

Dispute Resolution Commission
Robert A. Ponton Jr.

IOLTA Board of Trustees
Steven D. Michael

Edward C. Winslow III

Lawyers Assistance Program
Christopher K. Budnick


The council made the following appointments:

Client Security Fund Board of Trustees – Amy Richardson of Raleigh was appointed to a five-year term. Calvin Murphy of Charlotte was appointed as chair, and Erwin Fuller of Greensboro was appointed as vice chair.

Board of Law Examiners – Judge Sherri Wilson Elliott of Newton, Michael J. Green of Charlotte, and Shelley Blake Curran of Raleigh were appointed to three-year terms. Kimberly A. Herrick of Shelby and D. Clark Smith of Greensboro were reappointed to three-year terms.

Board of Continuing Legal Education – Marisa Campbell of Raleigh, Rebecca Eggers-Gryder of Boone, and A. Elizabeth Keever of Fayetteville were reappointed to three-year terms. George R. Jenkins Jr. of Kinston was appointed as chair, and A. Elizabeth Keever was appointed as vice chair.

NC LEAF – William R. Purcell II of Laurinburg was reappointed to a one-year term.

Board of Paralegal Certification – Warren Hodges of Winston-Salem, Bryan G. Scott of Winston-Salem, and Yolanda N. Smith of Zebulon were reappointed to three-year terms. Warren Hodges was appointed as chair, and Bryan G. Scott was appointed as vice chair.

North Carolina State Bar Foundation Board – Anthony S. di Santi of Boone was appointed to complete the unexpired term of John B. McMillan.

State Judicial Council- Jonathan P. Heyl of Charlotte was reappointment to a four-year term.


Anyone interested in being appointed to serve on any of the State Bar’s boards, commissions, or committees should email the State Bar’s Executive Director, Alice Neece Mine, at, and express that interest, being sure to attach a current resume.

Lawyer Assistance Program Board (3-year terms) – There are three appointments to be made at the council’s January 2020 meeting. Theodore C. Edwards II (councilor) of Raleigh and Paul D. Nagy of Durham are eligible for reappointment. John A. Bowman of Raleigh (volunteer member) is not eligible for reappointment.


The randomly selected judicial districts used to generate the lists of lawyers for trust account audits for the 4th quarter of 2019 were District 14, composed of Cumberland County, and District 16, composed of Durham County.


The council will hold its regular quarterly meetings on the following dates in 2020:

January 21-24
NC State Bar Headquarters, Raleigh

April 14-17
NC State Bar Headquarters, Raleigh

July 21-24
Renaissance Hotel, Asheville

October 20-23
NC State Bar Headquarters, Raleigh 


The council decided that the amount of the annual membership fee (dues) for 2020 should remain at the current level of $300.


The council received a report from the Client Security Fund’s Board of Trustees regarding the financial condition of the fund and its budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Upon the recommendation of the trustees and the Executive Committee, the council decided to recommend to the Supreme Court that the amount of the annual assessment for 2020 be $25. The $25 assessment was subsequently approved by the Supreme Court and will be invoiced to the State Bar’s active membership along with the annual membership fee in early December.


Upon the recommendation of the Ethics Committee, the council adopted three new opinions this quarter: 2018 FEO 8, Advertising Inclusion in Self-Laudatory List or Organization; 2019 FEO 5, Receipt of Virtual Currency in Law Practice; and 2019 FEO 6, Offering Incentive to Engage with Law Practice’s Social Networking Sites. The committee approved the publication of one opinion for comment: Proposed 2019 FEO 7, Attorney Eyes Only Disclosure Restriction. The committee sent two pending inquiries to subcommittee. One inquiry concerns previously published Proposed 2019 FEO 4, which addresses the permissibility of certain communications with judges; the other inquiry concerns the permissibility of a lawyer advancing settlement funds to a client.


During the quarter, the Grievance Committee considered 333 files. The committee dismissed 258 files; dismissed and retained 19 files; and abated one file. Four lawyers were referred to the Trust Accounting Compliance Program; three lawyers received a letter of caution; 14 lawyers received letters of warning; eight lawyers received admonitions; eight lawyers received reprimands; and 12 lawyers were referred to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission for trial.


Amendments for which Supreme Court Approval is Pending 

At its meeting on October 25, 2019, the council adopted, subject to the Supreme Court’s approval, the amendments described below. It is anticipated that these amendments will be submitted to the Court in January 2020.

A) Proposed Amendment to the Rules Governing the Administrative Committee

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

• Rule .0903, Suspension for Failure to Fulfill Obligations of Membership

The proposed amendment allows service of a notice to show cause by publication in the State Bar Journal when the State Bar is unable to serve a member by other authorized methods.

B) Proposed Amendment to The Plan of Legal Specialization

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .1700, The Plan of Legal Specialization

• Rule .1720, Minimum Standards for Certification of Specialists

The proposed amendment specifies that the minimum years of practice requirement for certification may not be waived.

C) Proposed Amendment to the Standards for Certification as a Specialist in Immigration Law

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .2600, Ce1tification Standards for the Immigration Law Specialty

• Rule .2605, Standards for Certification as a Specialist in Immigration Law

The proposed amendment permits the Board of Legal Specialization to offer the immigration law specialty exam either annually or every other year.

Proposed Amendments for Publication

At its meeting on October 25, 2019, the council voted to publish the following proposed amendments for comment:

A) Proposed Amendments to Standards for Certification as a Specialist in Immigration Law

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .2600, Certification Standards for the Immigration Law Specialty

• Rule .2605, Standards for Certification as a Specialist in Immigration Law

The proposed amendments, which were recommended by the Immigration Law Specialty Committee, update and clarify the requirements for substantial involvement for certification as a specialist in immigration law.

B) Proposed Amendments to The Plan for Certification of Paralegals

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

• Rule .0119, Standards for Certification of Paralegals

The proposed amendments eliminate the educational prerequisite for paralegal certification for applicants who satisfy work experience requirements. To be certified, applicants who satisfy the work experience requirements must pass the certification examination.

Filed Under: General News

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