Bar Luncheon at Hilton Garden Inn 2018-2019

From Bar President James Kilbourne:
Breaking bread together is a time-honored tradition here in the South and many other places.  While we work in different firms, concentrate in separate areas of the law, and often represent opposing clients, the lawyers of the 28th Judicial District still share a common meal eight times a year.

In the upcoming year, we are working to improve this time and fellowship we share together.  First, we have obtained a new location and new menu at the Hilton Garden at 309 College Street, just a block away from the Courthouse.  Members of the Finance Committee raved about the food at a recent tasting.

The programs will be continue to informative for your practice, as President Elect Anne Salter has put together an amazing set of speakers on a variety of topics.  We have re-implemented an advanced sign up for the luncheon to control costs.  As a special incentive, the first luncheon on September 12th, with Warren Savage of Lawyer’s Mutual, will provide an hour of free ethics CLE to everyone who pre-registers here.

Perhaps, most importantly, the Executive Committee has committed to the sustainability of the luncheon programs by re-instituting a fee of $15 for our members.  This fee will provide the funds to continue these regular meetings of the Bar.

We are working on plans to offset this cost to our members, especially our younger members and those in public interest or government.  Your suggestions to this end would be appreciated.  We will include low cost CLE with many of our meals.  Finally, we are letting folks pay in advance for the entire year to enjoy a significant discount.  The 28th JDB is offering a discounted annual pass for this fiscal year’s luncheons. By purchasing the $100 annual pass, members will get a $20 discount for the eight luncheons. Each pass will have a total of eight possible “punches,” and those are transferable to any Bar member in your firm.  Click here to purchase the annual pass.

I invite all of our Bar members to purchase the annual pass and commit to joining me at our monthly luncheons to get involved with your local Bar.

Here is the luncheon schedule (12:30-1:45pm) for the upcoming year:

Sept 12, 2018
Oct 10, 2018
Nov 14, 2018
Feb 13, 2019
March 13, 2019
Apr 10, 2019
May 15, 2019
June 12, 2019 Annual Meeting

Bar Luncheon Annual Pass Available

The 28thJDB is offering a discounted annual pass for this fiscal year’s luncheons. The cost for each buffet luncheon will be $15 for members, but by purchasing the $100 annual pass, members will get a $20 discount for the eight luncheons. Each pass will have a total of eight possible “punches,” and those are transferable to any Bar member in your firm.

Click here to purchase the annual pass.


State Bar Councilor Update

Dear Friends and Colleagues of the 28th Judicial District Bar –

I hope you are well and having a wonderful summer!

The State Bar Council held its most recent quarterly meeting on July 24-27, 2018.  I thought I would pass along a brief summary of some of the main areas the Bar handled this quarter.  The Bar will send out a more detailed report in the near future.

I. Ethics:

  1. Due to what appears to be (at least the temporary) demise of AVVO,  Proposed 2017 FEO 6 is being withdrawn regarding participation in AVOO legal services.
  2. There has been an inquiry about the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency by law firms, so be on the lookout for a proposed ethics opinion on that issue.
  3. Proposed 2018 FEO 5 (accessing social network presence of represented or unrepresented persons) is being returned to its subcommittee.
  4. The following Proposed FEOs were adopted and approved by the Council, making them effective 7/27/2018:

         a. 2018 FEO 1 (This opinion explains when a lawyer may participate in an online rating system and the lawyer’s professional responsibility for the content posted on a website directory profile);

         b. 2018 FEO 2 (A lawyer has a duty to disclose to a tribunal adverse legal authority that is controlling as to that tribunal if the legal authority is known to the lawyer and is not disclosed by opposing counsel);

         c. 2018 FEO 3 (the name of a lawyer under an active suspension must be removed from the firm name);

        d. 2018 FEO 6 (under certain conditions a lawyer may include in a client’s fee agreement a provision allowing the lawyer’s purchase of litigation cost protection insurance and requiring reimbursement of the insurance premium from the client’s funds in the event of settlement or favorable trial verdict);

         e. Ethics Decision 2018-1 (the RPC do not prohibit a lawyer from serving an opposing party’s subpoena on a witness adverse to the lawyer’s client if the lawyer is so ordered by a court or tribunal).

II.    IOLTA interest income received in the first five months of 2018 increased by 18% compared to last year.

III.  Grievance:

The Grievance Review II Special Committee has completed its review of the grievance process, finding that only a few tweaks were necessary to continue providing the consistency and efficiency that is a hallmark of the program.

Behold some recent statistics on grievance cases opened:

2015:  1331 grievance files opened

2016:  1,375 grievance files opened

2017:  1,305 grievance files opened

2018:  as of 7/20/18, 933 files have been opened

IV.  In other news:

  1. Barbara Christy of Greensboro has been nominated to become the next Vice-President of the NCSB.  Barbara is a great person, and will serve the Bar well.  Plans are also moving forward for the retirement of Tom Lunsford and the transition of Alice Mine to be the new executive director.  This is the first transition of staff leadership in 40 years.  As noted in the last report, Brian Oten was promoted to Assistant Director in July with responsibility for many of our program activities, including the Ethics Committee.  Peter Bolac will become Assistant Director with management responsibilities on October 1, and he will continue to be our legislative liaison.
  2. A new Special Committee is taking a close look at ABA-proposed modifications in advertising rules.
  3. The Legislative Committee discussed constitutional amendments regarding appointing judges to fill vacancies and legislation proposed for redistricting.  Even though these measures will impact lawyers in NC, they do not implicate Chapter 84, so no position was taken by the State Bar.
  4. We heard an interesting presentation by former Justice Edmonds and former Chief Judge Arnold regarding the efforts by a special subcommittee that also includes former Chief Judge Martin to respond to attacks on the judiciary in the media, and to try to prevent such attacks from occurring by establishing relationships with the NC Press Association and reporters who cover the courts.
  5. We approved a proposal by our newest standing committee, Communications, to involve all our councilors in efforts to educate lawyers and the public about the State Bar and our many responsibilities.

Thank you, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or criticisms.  My direct line at work is 575-1344, and my cell is 707-4249. Take care!


Anna Hamrick
State Bar Councilor

Memo from Superior Court Judges

TO:  Members of the 28th Judicial Bar

FROM: Alan Z. Thornburg, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge and Marvin P. Pope, Resident Superior Court Judge

Just a note to say “thank you” for the confidence and  trust you have placed  in the two of us to continue as Resident Superior Court Judges for the next term beginning December, 2018.  We have enjoyed  our time on the Superior Court bench and wish to continue as long as possible.

The Adult  Drug  Court has continued to serve those individuals who have faced challenges in the opioid crisis and  has held 19 graduations in the last eight years. The  recidivism  rate  is well below the national average of 30 percent with its rate of return to the criminal justice system at a low of 14 percent. The Adult  Drug  Court has graduated 92 graduates since July 31, 2009.

Veteran Treatment Court (VTC)  was formally established in July, 2015 and since then  has celebrated four graduations with a total of eight graduates. These veteran clients have continued to be law abiding citizens since the completion of the five phases ofVTC with zero  recidivism.

We will continue to do the best we can to provide judicial  efficiency, fairness and improvements to our court system over the coming years.

Alan Z.Thornburg  &  Marvin P.Pope, Jr.

Executive Committee Responsibilities

As I sit here among my fellow lawyers enjoying a warm evening with the boys of summer at McCormick Field, I am reminded that the backbone of the 28th Judicial District is its Committees. The seats at the Bar are never empty because of the largely unsung work of our members serving on committees.

As her first effort in June was thwarted by rain, President Annika Brock triumphantly ended her tenure by throwing out the first pitch at the Bar’s annual trip to the Asheville Tourists’ baseball game. It is only fitting to remember that Annika’s signature achievements during her term in increasing health and wellness for the legal community were achieved through the work of the Wellness Committee. Through other committees, like the Special Events Committee, the attorneys of Buncombe County maintain engagement with one another through dozens of events each year. At the same time, the Pro Bono Committee supports engagement of the Bar with the wider community through service. The work doesn’t stop there. The Communications Committee brings us this newsletter each week, while our CLE Committee gives the lawyers a chance to earn their required CLE in interesting topics without ever leaving town. Finally, it is the Finance Committee that keeps the financial affairs of the Bar in order. Without the members of these committees, our work would remain incomplete.

It is my privilege to name the members of our Bar who will be serving on our committees for the next year. Please feel free to reach out to them with your ideas.

Chair: Carter Webb
Members: James Kilbourne, Annika Brock, Anne Salter, Janet Amburgey, Sonya Rikhye
Responsibilities: Preparing budget and financial policies and making appropriate reports and recommendations on all things financial.

Chair: Zephyr Jost
Members: Sonya Rikhye, Kenny Hunt, Anne Salter
Responsibilities: Creating and facilitating 12 hours of low-cost CLE per year

Chair: Janet Amburgey
Members: Matt Roberson, Angie Dorsey
Responsibilities: Website, weekly e-news, and the bimonthly Bar Briefs

Special Events:
Chair: Johanna Finkelstein
Members: Yolanda Fair, Jessica Leaven
Responsibilities: Special (and social) events, including new member swearing in, retirement receptions, holiday party, memorials, picnics, etc.

Chair: Gill Webb
Members: Annika Brock, Carter Webb, Katie Fisher
Responsibilities: Provide support for attorney wellness & assist with pairing mentors & mentees

Pro Bono Committee:
Chair: John Noor
Members: Dale Curriden, Susan Dotson-Smith, Johanna Fowler, Bill Whalen, Anna Hamrick, Sheila Lambert, Matt Roberson, Meredith Gregory, Bo Carpenter, Nicki Applefield Engel, Todd Leaven

James W. Kilbourne, Jr.
President, 28th Judicial District Bar