January 26, 2013

Public Service Opportunity: Wills for Heroes

Perhaps you've heard of Wills for HeroesIt is a pro bono program of the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association under which local volunteer attorneys donate their time and knowledge to help provide free essential estate planning and health care planning documents to first responders including law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians and their spouses at no cost.

Having volunteered at a number of Wills for Heroes legal clinics across North Carolina, I can vouch for its effectiveness and the sense of reward it brings to the volunteer attorneys.  Some of the finest lawyers I know I have met through Wills for Heroes clinics (and Project Grace clinics, a sister program of the Young Lawyers Division).    

I have been attempting for years to arrange a Wills for Heroes event in my home town of New Bern, and it will finally be held on February 23, 2013 thanks to the generosity of Craven Community College and the efforts of several individuals, including particularly Jillian Brevorka and Kristen Kirby.

If you are a North Carolina licensed attorney and would like to volunteer, please register here.  (You need not practice in the area of estate planning to participate.  Training will be provided and estate planning attorneys will be on site to address any issues that arise.)

The 2013 "Legal Elite" List Has Been Released

I am very honored to have been included among the Legal Elite for 2013.  When Business North Carolina magazine surveyed more than 20,000 North Carolina attorneys, they asked only one question: "Whom would you rate among the current best in these categories?"  Less than 3 percent of the state's attorneys were selected for this distinction. Among the talented and diligent lawyers named were 25 of my colleagues at Ward and Smith, as well as many other extraordinary lawyers across the state.

To those of you who take the time to participate in this and other peer surveys, I give you my sincere thanks.  Please know that I always respond to this and other peer survey requests, and I am very pleased to recommend exceptional professionals.

January 15, 2013

New Limits on Counsel’s Review of Employee Email Communications

I've had an article published in The Business Lawyer, a publication of the Corporate Counsel Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, regarding limits on a lawyer's ability to access and review the email messages of a client's employee.  Here's an excerpt:

"We all know there are limitations on the discoverability and admissibility of attorney-client email communications, but under an ethics opinion recently adopted by the North Carolina State Bar, there may now be an additional consideration—whether obtaining or reviewing employee email messages amounts to a breach of a lawyer’s professional responsibility that could result in disciplinary action."

You can read the full article here

Thanks to my colleague Grant Osborne for his great work on this piece!