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Day 1 | NCBA 2020 Annual Review

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        A Reminder of the North Carolina Law on Scams and Frauds

Mercedes Restucha-Klem, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh

Learn about some of the tools you can utilize to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim and what you can do to protect your clients, staff, family and friends from scams. Also learn what legal tools the North Carolina Attorney General's Office uses to combat unfair and deceptive trade practices.

10:00      Break

10:10      Trust Matters*^

Leanor B. Hodge, The North Carolina State Bar, Raleigh

Discuss all aspects of trust account management with particular focus on the requirements of Rule 1.15, including proper record keeping, fraud and audit.

11:10      Break

11:20      Administrative Law: Case Law Update

David P. Ferrell, Nexsen Pruet LLC, Raleigh

Hear an update of appellate and other cases related to administrative law, licensing boards and state government law.

11:50      Lunch Break

12:20      Mental Health and Well-Being During COVID-19†

Robynn E. Moraites, North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program, Charlotte

COVID-19 is placing unprecedented demands and challenges on everyone and in a variety of ways. This session focuses on the impact COVID-19 has specifically had on the mental health and well-being of lawyers.

Listen to a brief overview of recent mental health and substance use disorder research statistics in the context of lawyers (before COVID-19). Also review the emotional, physical and behavioral reactions experienced as a result of COVID-19, the strategies for putting these reactions in perspective, and the tools, coping methods and suggestions for how to effectively deal with your own reactions as well as the reactions of others.

1:20        Break

1:30        Temporary Emergency Video Notarization Law: Where Does NC Go from Here?

Ozie Stallworth, North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Raleigh

Review the provisions in the emergency video notarization law that allow notaries to perform notarizations over a video conferencing platform. Also examine the possibility of having a permanent solution for remote notarization and discuss how these advances are impacting North Carolina's business communities, and the mortgage industry specifically, during the COVID-19 era.

2:30        Break

2:40        Family Law Update

Chelsea E. Gajewski, Sodoma Law, Charlotte
Meredith J. Parker, Charles R. Ullman & Associates PLLC, Raleigh

Engage in a fast-paced overview of last year’s family law cases and legislative changes. Topics include equitable distribution, child custody and child support, spousal support, separation agreements, and more.

3:40        Break

3:50        The Intersection of Technology and Ethics*‡

Catherine S. Reach, North Carolina Bar Association, Cary

While technology can help law firms with efficiency and are instrumental to the modern practice of law, the tools of the trade are not without risk. From confidentiality concerns to e-discovery blunders to marketing mishaps, there are a lot of ethical implications for a firm to consider. You don't need to go get a degree in computer science to use technology ethically and securely, you just need to first have awareness and then take steps to mitigate risk. Many technology blunders are the result of end-user error. In this session, explore practical ways for lawyers to leverage practice tools, apps and software while complying with ethical requirements.

4:50        Adjourn

*Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
†Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit
‡Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit
^Indicates portion providing Trust Account Management

Thank you

Thank you for joining us today for day one of NCBA 2020 Annual Review. We'll see you tomorrow.


  • David P. Ferrell

    David P. Ferrell concentrates his law practice in civil matters, including civil litigation, professional liability defense, energy and public utilities, legislative representation and lobbying, eminent domain and real estate litigation, administrative and regulatory matters, government contracts, and construction litigation.

    David represents architects, engineers, project owners, contractors, and liability carriers in a variety of construction, professional liability, insurance coverage, employment and contract disputes, as well as in other matters. David represents clients in financial services, title insurance and securities litigation. His practice is broad in scope and includes mediation, arbitration and litigation in state and federal courts.

    David is a North Carolina registered lobbyist and has experience in state, local and executive branch lobbying, grass roots campaigns, and regulatory compliance. His government relations experience includes a diverse group of clients and a wide range of issues, which has allowed him to appear in and monitor legislation in most of the standing legislative committees and interim study committees.

    Click here for more information about David.

  • Chelsea E. Gajewski

    Chelsea E. Gajewski is with Sodoma Law, P.C. in Charlotte. Chelsea is originally from Buffalo, New York and came to North Carolina to pursue her legal career. Chelsea’s sole area of practice is family law in Mecklenburg County and surrounding counties. Chelsea assists her clients through a variety of family law areas to include, but not limited to, property distribution, separation agreements, alimony, child custody, child support, separation agreements and guardian ad litem work. Chelsea obtained her B.A. in Social Work from the Statue University of New York at Fredonia where she focused on working with children. Chelsea’s passion is helping her clients through a difficult chapter in their lives so they can start a new one.

    Chelsea is the Chair of the Membership Committee and a member of the CLE Committee of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. She is also a member of the Social and Networking Committee of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association. Chelsea also dedicates her time to Council for Children’s Rights as a volunteer attorney. 

    Click here for more information about Chelsea.

  • Leanor Bailey Hodge

    Leanor Bailey Hodge is a Deputy Counsel with the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh. She counsels the NCSB's Grievance Committee and prosecuting lawyers for ethics violations before the Disciplinary Hearing Commission. Prior to joining the NCSB in 2008, Ms. Hodge was a litigation partner at the law firm of Manning, Fulton & Skinner, P.A. in Raleigh, and a prosecutor in Philadelphia and Chicago.

    Ms. Hodge frequently lectures for the Mecklenburg County Bar on ethical and professional topics.

    She received her B.B.A. degree from Howard University in 1993 and her J.D. degree from Temple University in 1996.

  • Robynn E. Moraites

    Robynn E. Moraites is the Executive Director of the NC LAP. She obtained her undergraduate degree in education from Florida State and her law degree from UNC at Chapel Hill. Prior to attending law school, she ran a public health program at the University of Miami where she developed continuing medical education programs for healthcare professionals working in the field of geriatric medicine. Prior to joining the LAP, Robynn practiced law in North Carolina in large firm, small firm, and in-house settings. She has an extensive background and knowledge in helping lawyers in recovery.

    Click here for more information about Robynn.

  • Meredith J. Parker

    Meredith J. Parker grew up in Concord, North Carolina where she attended Cannon School. Meredith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. After graduating from UNC, Meredith moved to Raleigh and earned her Juris Doctor degree from Campbell University School of Law in 2017. In August of 2017, Meredith was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar and joined the Family Law Section at Cheshire Parker Schneider & Bryan, PLLC.

    Since her admission to the Bar, Meredith has focused her practice exclusively on family law matters in Wake County, including separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, property distribution, domestic violence, premarital agreements, separation and property settlement agreements, and grandparents’ custody rights.

    Although she quickly discovered her passion for family law while clerking for a local family law firm during law school, Meredith also interned with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and clerked for Wake County District Court Judge Jefferson Griffin. In addition to her understanding of family law, Meredith’s experience in diverse areas of the law has equipped her with the necessary skills and instincts to handle a wide range of legal challenges.

    Always up for a challenge and an opportunity to push the limits of her comfort zone, Meredith got involved with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and enjoys volunteering every tax season. Meredith also participates in Partners Read with Wake County Schools and the Wake County Bar Association’s Lunch with a Lawyer program.
    Meredith is a member of the Wake County Bar Association and the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

    Click here for more information about Meredith. 

  • Catherine Sanders Reach

    Catherine Sanders Reach is the director of the Center for Practice Management at the North Carolina Bar Association, providing practice technology and management assistance to lawyers and legal professionals. Formerly, she was the director of law practice management and technology at the Chicago Bar Association and the director of the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. Prior to her work at the NCBA, CBA and ABA she worked in library and information science environments for a number of years, working at Ross and Hardies as a librarian. She received a master's degree in library and information studies from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa in 1997.

    Ms. Reach's professional activities include articles published in Law Practice magazine, Law Technology News and GPSolo Magazine, as well as numerous other publications. She has given presentations on the use of technology in law firms for national bar conferences, state and local bar associations, and organizations such as the National Organization of Bar Council and the Association of American Law Schools. In 2011, she was selected to be one of the inaugural Fastcase 50 — celebrating 50 innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders in the field of law — and in 2013, she became a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. In 2015, she was selected to be part of the ABA LTRC's Women of Legal Tech. She served on the ABA TECHSHOW board from 2007 to 2009 and 2014 to 2016, was co-vice chair in 2019 and was co-chair for 2020.

    Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

  • Mercedes Restucha-Klem

    Mercedes Restucha-Klem serves as an Assistant Attorney General with the Public Protection Section of the North Carolina Department of Justice. In this role, she does outreach to vulnerable populations and works on various public safety policy initiatives, including consumer protection and criminal justice. Mercedes is the Attorney General’s representative on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. Prior to joining the Public Protection Section, Mercedes represented the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education in administrative hearings related to child care providers. Before joining NCDOJ, Mercedes worked for Disability Rights North Carolina advocating for the civil rights of people with disabilities, with a focus in employment, architectural accessibility and voting rights. She has also practiced criminal and immigration law in private practice. Mercedes has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication (Public Relations Sequence) with a second major in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Juris Doctorate, with honors, from North Carolina Central University School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Mercedes worked as an aide to U.S. Congressman Bob Etheridge in North Carolina’s 2nd District. She’s a native of Raleigh, where she lives with her husband, 2-yr. old daughter, and 15 yr. old pug.

    Click here for more information about Mercedes.

  • Ozie H. Stallworth

    Ozie H. Stallworth is the Electronic Notarization and Notary Enforcement Director at North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State. Mr. Stallworth, the 2020 recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in Innovation and Efficiency arguably has more experience in the unique area of eNotarization than any other individual in the country and easily qualifies as the nation's foremost expert on eNotary policies, procedures and implementation and is the Department's resident expert on eCommerce.

    Among his many accomplishments in the field of eCommerce is launching the North Carolina eClosing Initiative after successfully overseeing the execution of the first electronic mortgage closing in the history of North Carolina. The first electronic recording of a plat in the nation also was completed under his direction in addition to directing the efforts of the Secretary of State's office to promulgate rules for electronic notarization and electronic recording, resulting in nearly 90% of the state's population having access to electronic recording; and organizing the first international conference on electronic notarizations and electronic apostilles with the Hague Conference, the International Union of Latin Notaries and the National Notary Association (NNA). He received his Bachelor's degree from Howard University in 1990.

    Click here for more information about Ozie.

January 14, 2021
Thu 8:55 AM EST

Duration 7H 55M

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