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Connecting the Dots: New Laws and New Ways of Doing (2021 Administrative Law and Government & Public Sector Sections Joint Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        "Everything Starts With a Dot." (Wassily Kandinsky) — Governing in a Pandemic: Hot Topics

Walker Reagan, North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, Raleigh
Ozie H. Stallworth, North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Raleigh
John R. Szymankiewicz, Matheson & Associates Law Office PLLC, Raleigh (Moderator)

Blake Thomas, North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, Raleigh

An expert panel places the first dot as they discuss the impact of recent changes in law, including remote notary, ABC, and many other laws affecting the daily lives and practice of lawyers.

10:02      "Polka Dots Can't Stay Alone." (Yayoi Kusama) — Elections, Voting and Redistricting Updates

Paul M. Cox, North Carolina State Board of Elections, Raleigh
Jonathan C. Mattingly, Duke University, Durham

Sripriya Narasimhan, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh
Allison J. Riggs, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Durham

Elections are how we get together in democracy to create the pattern of our lives for the next few years. This session examines how and where we vote and our voting rights. With filing beginning on December 6, 2021, hear a timely expert discussion of electoral topics and how they affect you.

11:04      Break

11:14      Dots That Change the World, Like Morse Code: Decriminalization and Alternative Responses to Community Challenges

Charles S. Blackwood, North Carolina Sheriff's Association, Hillsborough
Daniel Lee House Jr., NC State University Police Department, Raleigh
Spencer B. Merriweather III, Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office, Charlotte
Jessica "Jessie" Smith, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill

What does it mean to you, and to your practice, that we are decriminalizing "poverty-related crimes" in NC? In government, administrative law and private sector, how can we respond to behaviors that are now outside the criminal justice system?

12:14      Lunch Break

12:44      Using Dots in a New Way, Like Braille: Second-Chance Hiring and Its Impacts on Practitioners, the Community and Occupational Licensing

Daryl V. Atkinson, Forward Justice, Garner
Jeffrey P. Gray, Bailey & Dixon LLP, Raleigh
Kerwin Pittman, Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services Inc., Raleigh

Similar to how the six dots of braille, and other technological advances and accommodations, connected people with visual impairments to employment opportunities, second-chance hiring practices can change North Carolina for people with criminal records and reduce recidivism rates. During this session, the speakers discuss the racial equity implications of second-chance hiring and recent legislative developments in that area with special considerations for licensing boards.

1:44        Collecting the Dots: Reimaging Emergency Responses

Brian Aagaard, RTI International, Research Triangle Park
Megan Johnson, Town of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill
Tiffanie W. Sneed, Town of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill
Erin Williams, City of Greensboro, Greensboro

You have to collect the dots before you can connect them. Attorneys, communities and first responders in NC are collecting and connecting the dots of emergency response, access to social work and mental health professionals. What do you, in whatever type of practice, need to know about these trends and changes in law and practice?

2:45        Break

2:55        "Innovation Is to Connect the Dots." (Pearl Zhu) — Community Involvement in Law Enforcement: Civilian Review

Tom Carruthers, NC League of Municipalities
Sharon R. Fairley, University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, IL

Jasmine S. McGhee, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh (Moderator)
Shaun L. McMillan, Fayetteville Police Accountability Task Force, Fayetteville

As lawyers, we have a special responsibility for the quality of justice. We need innovation in relationships, in law enforcement accountability and in community involvement. Whether in your daily practice or in your status as a lawyer, you have a role in discussions about community-law enforcement interactions. Learn how you can support improvements in areas of community policing strategies, civilian review boards and other areas.

3:59        Adjourn

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for Connecting the Dots: New Laws and New Ways of Doing (2021 Administrative Law and Government & Public Sector Sections Joint Program) .

Contributors

  • Brian Aagaard

    Brian Aagaard is a member of RTI International's Policing Research Program in Research Triangle Park and has extensive experience as a crime and intelligence analyst. Brian worked with law enforcement at the local, county, state and federal levels for more than a decade. His areas of expertise include the collection, management and analysis of law enforcement data. Brian's current work focuses on the intersection of policing, technology and analysis. He is particularly interested in the dynamics of law enforcement-community interactions, specifically during routine encounters such as traffic stops.

    Prior to joining RTI, Brian worked as an analyst at the Onondaga Crime Analysis Center in New York State, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Intelligence Unit, and the City of Durham (North Carolina) Police Department. He is a member of the International Association of Crime Analysts and became an IACA certified law enforcement analyst in 2013.

    Click here for more information about Brian.

  • Daryl V. Atkinson

    Daryl V. Atkinson is the Co-Director and Co-Founder of Forward Justice. Prior to joining Forward Justice, Daryl served as the first Second Chance Fellow for U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). 

    While at DOJ, Daryl was an advisor to the Second Chance portfolio of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a member of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, and a conduit to the broader justice involved population to ensure that DOJ is hearing from all stakeholders when developing reentry policy. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her remarks announcing this historic role, stated "this position was designed to bring in a person with expertise as a leader in the criminal justice field— and as a formerly incarcerated individual. Recognizing that many of those directly impacted by the criminal justice system hold significant insight into reforming the justice system".

    Daryl received a B.A. in Political Science from Benedict College, Columbia, SC and a J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN.

    Click here for more information about Daryl.

  • Charles S. Blackwood

    Charles S. Blackwood is the vice-president of the North Carolina Sheriff's Association in Hillsborough. Sheriff Blackwood is a 40-year Veteran of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, where he began his career on December 16, 1980. Initially assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division, he rose through the ranks, earning promotions to Corporal, Sergeant, and then Lieutenant of the Patrol Division. Following another promotion in 2003, Charles served as Captain of Services, supervising the Civil Process Division and all Courthouse Operations. In 2010, he assumed the rank of Major of Operations where he supervised all divisions and reported directly to the Sheriff.

    Charles retired on December 17, 2012; then-Governor Beverly Perdue awarded him with the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his service to the State of North Carolina. During his retirement, he prepared to campaign for the Office of Sheriff, anticipating the retirement of long-serving Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass.

    Elected in 2014, Charles became the 47th Sheriff of Orange County. Since becoming Sheriff, he graduated from the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association's (NCSA) Sheriffs' Leadership Institute, an intensive course of instruction for newly elected sheriffs that he was instrumental in developing several years before becoming Sheriff. He is an active member of NCSA where he serves on the Executive Committee as Second Vice President. Charles is also a Governing Board Member and Vice-Chair of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Information Network. Governor Roy Cooper appointed Charles to the Governors' Crime Commission in 2017, and named him Vice-Chair in 2020. Director Bob Schurmeier of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation named Charles to the SBI Center for the Analysis of Police Use of Force in 2020. In April, 2021 Charles was appointed to the Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services Board by Governor Roy Cooper at the recommendation of the Office of Attorney General. He is also a member of the North Carolina Justice Academy Joint In-Service Training Subcommittee and the Fully Autonomous Vehicle Committee. Most recently, he accepted a request to serve on a law enforcement advisory panel for the Governor's Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice. In addition to the statewide leadership summarized above, Charles is very active leading the 150+ employees of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Locally, he serves on the Orange County Behavioral Health Task Force, the Jail Mental Health Workgroup, and the Orange County Racial Justice Task Force. He is active at both the state and local level on committees addressing bail and bond reform and working to ensure the safety of children in our schools. He is an advocate of the recovery community and works tirelessly to examine and develop innovative ways to address the opioid epidemic, drug misuse, and mental illness. Attorney General Josh Stein presented Charles with a Dogwood Award in 2020 for his work combatting the opioid epidemic in North Carolina, specifically highlighting Orange County's Coordinated Opioid Overdose Reduction Effort, a program known as COORE.

    Charles is married to Lisa Williams Blackwood, a lifelong resident of Orange County. They have two children, and a one grandchild.

  • Tom Carruthers

    Tom Carruthers is a Senior Assistant General Counsel with the NC League of Municipalities. The League is a member driven institution of over 500 Cities, Towns and Villages in this state. Tom assists member local governments and affiliate organizations on practical, procedural, and strategic issues. He also interprets and drafts legislation in support of local government issues.

    Prior to joining the League, Tom served as Assistant County Attorney to the Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers. His areas of practice included civil litigation, public records requests, public contracting, and advisor on First Amendment issues. Tom also served as the City Attorney with the City of Greensboro where he provided critical legal guidance to the Mayor, City Council, and City Manager across numerous practice areas.

    Tom has worked with a Civilian Oversight Board and sought local legislation to further enable this Board's mission and function.

    Earlier in his career, Tom served as an Assistant District Attorney with the 24th Judicial District and has also worked in private practice in civil litigation and business law.

    Click here for more information about Tom.

  • Paul M. Cox

    Paul M. Cox is associate general counsel for the North Carolina State Board of Elections. He advises the State Board on the administration of elections and related litigation. He also provides training and guidance to the 100 county boards of elections.

    Prior to his service on the State Board, Paul was a special deputy attorney general with the NCDOJ, where he litigated dozens of election law disputes in venues ranging from the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings to the U.S. Supreme Court. Paul also served as agency counsel to the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, focusing on long-term recovery from hurricanes Matthew and Florence. He was in private practice with Ellis & Winters in Raleigh, where he handled business litigation and appeals. He clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    Paul is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and UC Berkeley School of Law.

    Paul was recently the drummer in a classic rock cover band based in his hometown of Sanford, until the pandemic and the birth of his second child reoriented his priorities.

    Click here for more information about Paul.

  • Sharon R. Fairley

    Sharon R. Fairley is a Professor from Practice at the University of Chicago Law School where she has been teaching law since 2015.

    Sharon was immersed in the world of civilian oversight of law enforcement following the fatal officer-involved shooting of Laquan McDonald. In 2015, Sharon was appointed to serve as the Chief Administrator of Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority, which, at that time, was responsible for police misconduct investigations. In that role, Sharon implemented a series of reforms and transformative changes while leading the creation of Chicago's new Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Sharon's continued interest in police accountability and civilian oversight, in particular, is reflected in the focus of her academic research and writing and her consulting practice.

    Sharon has served as a subject matter expert on civilian oversight, use of force, law enforcement training, and other topics relevant to police accountability. Sharon served eight years as a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, investigating and trying criminal cases involving illegal firearms possession, narcotics conspiracy, bank robbery/murder, murder for hire and economic espionage, among other federal criminal violations. Sharon also served as the First Deputy Inspector General and General Counsel for the City of Chicago Office of the Inspector General.

    Sharon holds a B.S. degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, an M.B.A. degree in marketing from The Wharton School of Business, and a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

    Click here for more information about Sharon.

  • Jeffrey P. Gray

    Jeffrey P. Gray is of counsel with Bailey & Dixon LLP in Raleigh, where he concentrates in administrative and regulatory law, occupational and professional licensing, trial and appellate advocacy, and state government and legislative lobbying. He currently serves as legal counsel to four occupational boards and as hearings counsel to one. Of the then fifty-six occupational and professional licensing boards in North Carolina, he has served thirteen in one legal capacity or another in his career.

    Prior to entering private practice, Jeffrey served as Special Assistant to the Attorney General, then as an Assistant Attorney General and Law Enforcement Liaison in the Criminal Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice.

    Jeffrey obtained his B.S. degree in 1981 from Western Carolina University, cum laude, and his J.D. in 1985 from Campbell University School of Law.

    Jeffrey recently authored an article published in the Campbell Law Review, "In Defense of Occupational Licensing: A Legal Practitioner's Perspective." Much of the material in his article is derived from his extensive experience in the realm of occupational licensing and over thirty years of legal practice.

    Click here for more information about Jeffrey.

  • Daniel Lee House Jr.

    Daniel Lee House Jr. has been serving the citizens of North Carolina as a Law Enforcement Officer for over 24 years. He started his career with the Wilson Police Department and rose through the department. He was assigned to the Patrol Division as a Sergeant when he left the agency to accept a position with NC State University.

    In 2006, Daniel accepted the position of Patrol Sergeant with the NC State University Police Department and ultimately rose to the rank of Lieutenant, responsible for department operations.

    In 2011, Daniel accepted the position of Chief of Police with the Wrightsville Beach Police Department and served the citizens of Wrightsville Beach for eight and a half years.

    In March of 2020, Daniel was selected as the next Chief of Police with the NC State University Police Department, and currently serves in that capacity.

    Daniel holds a Master's of Science Degree in Administration from Central Michigan University, a Bachelor's Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College in Justice Studies and an Associate's Degree from the State University of New York at Broome Community College.

    Click here for more information about Daniel.

  • Megan Johnson

    Megan Johnson LCMHC serves as a civilian Division Commander for the Chapel Hill Police Department managing the Police Crisis Unit, a 24-hour co-response team that provides onsite emergency response with officers to persons in crisis situations. Additionally, Megan is the LGBTQ+ Police Liaison serving as the main contact for addressing and elevating the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community related to public safety and policing. Megan has clinical oversight of the Police Peer Support Team which offers confidential emotional support to first responders under a peer-to-peer model. She serves as the Coordinator for the Department's Crisis Negotiation Team which is deployed during critical incidents that require specific engagement with suicidal persons, barricaded subjects, and hostage situations. She also oversees the administration of the Town of Chapel Hill's Criminal Justice Debt Relief Program which offers criminal justice related debt relief to members of the community.

    Prior to joining the Police Crisis Unit, Megan worked as an Emergency Services Clinician for the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Assessment Center, an extension of Colonial Behavioral Health's Emergency Services Unit in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she provided assessment and intervention services in community, correctional, and hospital settings to adults, children and families in crisis situations. Her specific clinical interest areas are Cluster B Personality Disorders, suicidality and self-mutilation.

    Megan holds a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the College of William and Mary and is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in the State of North Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Megan.

  • Jonathan C. Mattingly

    Jonathan C. Mattingly grew up in Charlotte. He graduated from the NC School of Science and Mathematics and received a BS is Applied Mathematics with a concentration in physics from Yale University. After two years abroad on a Rotary Fellowship, he returned to the US to attend Princeton University where he obtained a PhD in Applied and Computational Mathematics. After 4 years at Stanford University and a year as a member of the IAS in Princeton, he moved to Duke in 2003. He is currently a James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and a Professor of Statistical Science.

    Jonathan is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and a Sloan Foundation Faculty Fellowship. He is a fellow of the Institute for Mathematical Statistics (IMS) and the American Mathematics Society (AMS) and has served on the advisory boards for a number of NSF institutes.

    Since 2013, Jonathan has also been working to undersand and quantify gerrymandering and its interaction of a regions geopolitical landscape. This has lead him to testify in a number of court cases including Common Cause v. Rucho which went all the way to the US Supreme Court. He was also involved with a sequence of North Carolina state court cases Common Cause v. Lewis and Harper v. Lewis which lead to the NC congressional and both NC legislative maps being deemed unconstitutional and replaced for the 2020 elections. He was awarded the Defender of Freedom award by the Common Cause for his work on Quantifying Gerrymandering.

    Click here for more information about Jonathan.

  • Jasmine S. McGhee

    Jasmine S. McGhee serves as Special Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Public Protection Section at the North Carolina Department of Justice (NCDOJ), where she leads public safety policy, outreach, and related litigation, including on gender-based violence, criminal justice reform, and consumer protection.

    Jasmine is the Lead Counsel for the Governor's Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, which in December 2020 published and is working to implement 125 recommendations to improve racial equity in North Carolina's criminal justice system. She is the Attorney General's representative on the NC Human Trafficking Commission and supervises the office's participation on the NC Domestic Violence Commission and the Victim's Compensation Fund. Jasmine also serves as a member of the Statewide Reentry Council Collaborative, including its Steering Committee.

    Prior to joining NCDOJ, Jasmine worked as a litigator in the areas of white-collar crime and government investigations and had an active pro bono practice on civil rights and human trafficking matters. She practiced at both K&L Gates in Raleigh and WilmerHale in Washington D.C. She also clerked for Judge Andre M. Davis, then on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

    Jasmine graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with honors and distinction and from Columbia Law School, where she was a Paul Robeson Scholar and an essay and review editor for the Columbia Law Review.

    Click here for more information about Jasmine.

  • Shaun L. McMillan

    Shaun L. McMillan is a Fayetteville native and co-founder of Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce (P.A.C.T.). Since 2016 Fayetteville P.A.C.T. has worked to end mass incarceration with a focus on police transparency and accountability. A big believer in the moral arc of the universe, Shaun's activism has extended to support of healthcare, immigrants rights, LGBTQ rights & anti-racism campaigns alongside groups like Cape Fear Indivisible and Equality NC.

    A high school history teacher, Shaun holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Elizabeth City State University. He is also a retired US Army Officer, airborne ranger & three-time combat veteran.

    Shaun is no stranger to police accountability advocacy, having spent years under the umbrella of the North Carolina Statewide Police Accountability Network (NCSPAN) and aligned with organizations like the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE). He is currently engaged in efforts to establish a Citizen Police Oversight Authority (CPOA) in Fayetteville along with promotion of several other local police and judicial reform measures.

    Click here for more information about Shaun.

  • Spencer B. Merriweather III

    Spencer B. Merriweather III has served as the chief prosecutor of Mecklenburg County since 2017. He established a Violent Crimes Team, which focuses on shootings and felony assaults, and a Special Victims Team, a group of trauma-informed prosecutors and staff who seek justice for adult and child survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

    Spencer is actively involved in efforts to establish a family justice center in Mecklenburg County to serve survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking. A champion of recruiting attorneys from under-represented communities, Spencer also created the office's Diversity and Inclusion Team.

    Before becoming District Attorney, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for more than a decade, prosecuting an array of cases.

    Spencer earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Spencer.

  • Sripriya Narasimhan

    Sripriya Narasimhan serves as Deputy General Counsel to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. In that role, she manages the Department's high-stakes litigation and offers strategic counseling on matters at both the trial and appellate level in state and federal courts. In addition, Narasimhan manages crises and advises the AG on his strategic and policy goals and substantive legal positions.

    Narasimhan's work focuses on constitutional law and civil rights matters, with a special focus in the areas of the separation of powers and executive power, voting rights, reproductive justice, gender discrimination, economic justice, and immigration. Additionally, she leads and works with multistate coalitions on civil-rights issues.

    Narasimhan previously served as Associate General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation, where she counseled the Secretary on the Department's regulatory programs and litigation and enforcement. Before that, she practiced trial and appellate law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in New York and Washington D.C., and was a member of the adjunct faculty at the George Washington University Law School.

    Click here for more information about Sripriya.

  • Kerwin Pittman

    Kerwin Pittman was born in Germany but raised in Raleigh. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services Inc (RREPS), a nonprofit geared towards reducing the recidivism rate in North Carolina.

    Kerwin is also a National Social Justice Activist, who advocates in the social justice field, particularly criminal justice, where he is a voice for the voiceless. He penned the book "Love Yours: A Guide on How to Love Yourself", which is a self help book slated towards self empowerment of love in oneself. Kerwin is also a field director for Emancipate NC, a nonprofit slated towards combating structural racism in the criminal justice system. He sits on the state re-entry council collaborative created and headed up by Governor Roy Cooper. He sits on the North Carolina Task Force For Racial Equity In Criminal Justice, also headed up and created by Governor Roy Cooper.

    Click here for more information about Kerwin.

  • Walker Reagan

    Walker Reagan is the Attorney-Rulemaking Coordinator for the ABC Commission since May 2017. He worked as a Legislative Analyst/Attorney with the NC General Assembly from 1992 until retiring as the Director of the Legislative Analysis Division (formerly Research Division) after 5 ½ years in October 2015. He was in the private practice of law for 13 years before joining the General Assembly staff.

    Walker obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's in Public Policy Sciences degree from Duke University and a JD degree from UNC.

    Click here for more information about Walker.

  • Allison J. Riggs

    Allison J. Riggs leads the voting rights program at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, an organization she joined in 2009. In March of 2020, she also took over as Interim Executive Director of the organization, and in March of 2021, became the permanent co-Executive Director. Her voting rights work over the last decade at SCSJ has been focused on fighting for fair redistricting plans, fighting against voter suppression, and advocating for electoral reforms that would expand access to voting.

    Allison has litigated redistricting cases on behalf of State NAACP Conferences in Texas, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina. In 2018, she argued the Texas redistricting case in the United States Supreme Court, and in 2019, she argued the North Carolina partisan gerrymandering case in the Supreme Court. Allison works closely with grassroots organizations and communities of color as they seek to advance their political and civil rights.

    Allison received her undergraduate, Master's Degree and J.D. from the University of Florida.

    Click here for more information about Allison.

  • Jessica "Jessie" Smith

    Jessica "Jessie" Smith is Director of the UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill's Criminal Justice Innovation Lab. The Lab brings together a broad range of stakeholders to learn about criminal justice problems, implement innovative consensus solutions, and measure the impact of their efforts. It seeks to promote a fair and effective criminal justice system, public safety, and economic prosperity through an evidence-based approach to criminal justice policy.

    Jessie has offered numerous courses for trial and appellate judges and has taught sessions for prosecutors, defenders, law enforcement officers, magistrates and others. Her many books, chapters, articles and other publications deal with criminal procedure, substantive criminal law and evidence.

    Jessie came to the School of Government in 2000 after practicing law at Covington & Burling in Washington D.C., and clerking for Judge W. Earl Britt on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina and for Judge J. Dickson Phillips Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 2006, she received the Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Term Professorship for Teaching Excellence; in 2013, she was named by the Chancellor as a W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, one of the University's highest academic honors.

    Jessie earned a B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was managing editor of the Law Review.

    Click here for more information about Jessie.

  • Tiffanie W. Sneed

    Tiffanie W. Sneed is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and graduate of the Altamont School. She matriculated at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, with a dual concentration in Child Psychology. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law in 1998. After seventeen years of practicing law in both the private sector and local government, Tiffanie resumed her studies, while working full-time, obtaining a master's degree in Divinity, magna cum laude, from Duke Divinity School in 2019.

    After several years in private practice, concentrating on insurance defense work, Tiffanie discovered that a career in local government suited her best. She currently serves as the Sr. Legal Advisor for the Town of Chapel Hill, where she focuses on employment law, EEOC training and policy development. She also spends a significant amount of time training and advising law enforcement, in areas that include use of force, fair and impartial policing and Constitutional law. She also represents the Town in alleged employment and housing discrimination matters.

    Prior to serving the Town of Chapel Hill, Tiffanie served as the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Fayetteville and as the Police Attorney for the Fayetteville Police Department.

    Click here for more information about Tiffanie.

  • Ozie H. Stallworth

    Ozie H. Stallworth is the Electronic Notarization and Notary Enforcement Director at North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State. Ozie, 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).

    Ozie received his Bachelor's degree from Howard University in 1990.

    Click here for more information about Ozie.

  • John R. Szymankiewicz

    John R. Szymankiewicz is a licensed professional engineer and attorney in North Carolina. Embarking on a second career, John went to law school at night while juggling a demanding full-time job, a family, and teaching at a local martial arts school.

    Seeing the need for experienced attorneys who are focused on their client's needs, John launched his own law firm in 2010. Since then, his practice has focused on developing ongoing relationships, becoming a business partner with clients instead of being merely a supplier of services. He has earned the trust and respect of entrepreneurs and growing businesses by serving as a collaborator in his client's efforts to be successful. John joined Matheson & Associates in 2014.

    John is a distinguished member of the board of directors for the Wake County Bar Association, which recently presented him with the President's Award for his services to the Wake County Legal Community. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and serves on the Council of the Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Section. In addition to the North Carolina and Wake County Bar Associations, he is also a member of the 10th Judicial District Bar and the American Bar Association. He is licensed to practice in all of North Carolina State Courts, the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina's Federal and Bankruptcy Courts, and the United States Supreme Court.

    John has been featured in Attorney at Law Magazine (Triangle Edition), the Raleigh News & Observer, and the Triangle Business Journal.

    Click here for more information about John.

  • Blake Thomas

    Blake Thomas serves as the General Counsel of the NC Office of State Human Resources (OSHR). OSHR is responsible for setting general HR policy for the tens of thousands of people who are North Carolina state agency employees. At OSHR, Blake has worked on the vaccination-or-testing policy that is now in place at Cabinet agencies, along with state agencies' teleworking pilot programs.

    Blake came to OSHR in June 2021 from the North Carolina Department of Justice, where he worked with the Governor's Office as the primary DOJ attorney on drafting Executive Orders and other emergency actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    At DOJ, Blake also negotiated and drafted the settlement with Duke Energy on coal ash cleanup costs, which will save electric ratepayers more than $1 billion.

    Prior to joining DOJ, Blake worked as in house counsel in the State Treasurer's Office, where he was responsible for all contracts in the state's $100 billion portfolio.

    Click here for more information about Blake.

  • Frank Trainor

    Frank Trainor has been the staff attorney for the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners since 2011. He provides general legal advice to the Board and oversees the Board's Professional Standards section, which focuses on the discipline of CPAs in the State of North Carolina and enforcement against the unauthorized use of the CPA title in the State.

    Prior to his current position, Frank was in private practice focusing on administrative law, where he represented other occupational licensing boards as well as numerous licensees facing disciplinary action.

    Frank earned his bachelor's degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and his J.D. at Tulane University.

    Click here for more information about Frank

  • Ann B. Wall

    Ann B. Wall is General Counsel for the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State in Raleigh. She has served as an attorney in the North Carolina Departments of Justice and Labor, as well as the National Labor Relations Board. She has provided advice regarding public records requests, open meetings and records retention issues during her years of State and federal service.

    Anne is a member and past chair of the Administrative Law and Government and Public Sector Sections of the NCBA. She is a past recipient of what is now called the Grainger Barrett Award for Excellence awarded by the Government and Public Sector Section. She is also a member of the Business, Constitutional Rights & Responsibilities, Corporate Counsel, Criminal Justice, Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections. She is a member of the ABA and several of its sections, and of the NC Association of Women Attorneys.

    Anne's undergraduate and law degrees are from Meredith College and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill respectively.

    Click here for more information about Ann.

  • Erin Williams

    Erin Williams has a Master's Degree in Applied Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor (LMHCS). She has worked in the mental health field for approximately 12 years and has held positions in a variety of settings. She was a Staff Counselor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and previously led a Community Support Team and an Assertive Community Treatment Team. Her current role is as the Behavioral Health Team Lead for the City of Greensboro's Co-responder Team, which started operating in January 2021.

    Erin most enjoys working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as personality disorders, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, and helping people process trauma.

January 10, 2022
Mon 8:55 AM EST

Duration 7H 4M

This live web event has ended.

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