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It's Not Easy Being a Government and Public Sector Lawyer (With Nods to Kermit) (2022 Government & Public Sector Section Program)

8:25        Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        All Beige, or Not? Politics in the Government Workplace

Robert P. Joyce, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill

Learn what the rules are about politics in the government workplace, and just who is, and who is not, covered by them.

10:00      Break

10:10      Green, the Color of Money

Nicolette Fulton, City of Raleigh, Raleigh
Kara A. Millonzi, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill

Learn about government money, including money coming in through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and money going out — potentially badly if you get your Software as a Service (SaaS) contracts wrong.

11:10      Break

11:20      Yellow Caution Lights

Donya Strong, North Carolina Department of Administration, Raleigh

The first week as a State General Counsel or a city or county attorney can be tough if you miss the yellow caution lights. Find out what laws you need to be aware of and what questions you should ask.

11:50      Lunch Break

12:30      Fuzzy Brown Critters in Government Spaces

Elizabeth Myerholtz, Disability Rights North Carolina, Washington, D.C.

Fuzzy brown critters bring a caution light of another sort. What is a service animal and what is not? What are the rules for allowing service and non-service animals in government spaces?

1:00        Break

1:10        A Color Wheel of a Case Law Update

Amy Y. Bason, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, Raleigh
Adam Pridemore, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, Raleigh

Learn how appellate courts at all levels have been spinning the color wheel and impacting State and local governments in sometimes not-so-obvious ways.

2:10        Break

2:20        Blue Skies – Government Attorneys, Ethics and Investigations*

Gill P. Beck, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville
Jeffrey P. Gray, Bailey & Dixon LLP, Raleigh
Christopher B. McLaughlin, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill

This session provides the clarity government attorneys need regarding their ethical constraints — whether conducting, supervising or deciding about outsourcing investigations.

3:50        Break

4:00        Red Light – Impairment in the Government Workplace

Grant B. Osborne, Ward and Smith PA, Asheville
Tyler J. Russell, Ward and Smith PA, Asheville

We throw up a big, red "no" when it comes to impairment of employees of State and local governments. But what does it mean to be impaired in this age of CBD oils, alcohol, and prescription and unlawful drugs? And what can governments do and not do?

5:00        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit


It's not easy being a government and public sector (GPS) attorney. As Kermit sings, "It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things." A GPS attorney has to know and be able to do a variety of things.


  • Amy Y. Bason

    Amy Y. Bason serves as Deputy Director and General Counsel for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. The NCACC is a non-partisan organization that serves as the official voice of all 100 counties on issues considered by the General Assembly, Congress, and federal and state agencies.

    Prior to joining the NCACC, Amy served as General Counsel to the NC Senate Majority Leader and began her legal career as an assistant district attorney in the First Judicial District of North Carolina. Amy graduated from Rutgers University and received her law degree from the UNC School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Amy.

  • Gill P. Beck

    Gill P. Beck is an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina in Asheville, and currently serves as the Civil Chief of the Office's Civil Division..

    Prior to joining the Western District, Gill served as the Civil Chief for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Middle District of North Carolina. A 26-year federal prosecutor, he guides the handling of the Office's civil caseload, including representing the United States and federal agencies in federal and state courts. He is a past recipient of the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award, the NC Lawyers Weekly Lawyer of the Year (2016), and the NC Bar Association's Citizen-Lawyer Award.

    Gill served as the first Army Judge Advocate to command a two-star U.S. Army Reserve unit, and also commanded the Army Reserve Legal Command. Over the course of his military career, Major General Beck has served the United States overseas, including in 2005 in Iraq, where he led a joint legal team prosecuting terrorists. During 2007, as an Associate Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel, Department of Defense, in the Pentagon, he provided legal advice on Iraq and Afghanistan issues in support of the surge in Iraq, and in 2008, he served as Executive Officer to the Army General Counsel, who was responsible for supervising Army attorneys throughout the world. From 2009-2011, he served as the Chief Judge (Individual Mobilization Augmentee) to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. For his service, Major General Beck has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, and numerous other awards.

    Gill received his Bachelor's Degree, summa cum laude, from Appalachian State University, his J.D., with high honors, from Duke University School of Law and his Master's Degree from the U.S. Army War College.

    Gill was born and raised in Lenoir.

    Click here for more information about Gill.

  • Nicolette Fulton

    Nicolette Fulton is the Senior Associate City Attorney with the City of Raleigh. She has a comprehensive background in litigation, contracts, policy, and administrative law. Her experience includes policy and legislative development, drafting and negotiating multi-million dollar federal contracts, and litigation at all levels.

    Prior to The City of Raleigh, Nicolette was a partner at Fulton & Cooke PLLC in Wilmington before owning her own firm in Wilmington for two years.

    Nicolette earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in Criminal Justice from University of North Carolina Wilmington and her J.D. from Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Nicolette.

  • 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.

  • Robert P. Joyce

    Robert P. Joyce is professor of public law and government at the School of Government of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has practiced law in New York and North Carolina. He has been on the faculty of the School for 37 years. He focuses his research, teaching, and consulting in the areas of elections law, public employment law, public education law, and higher education law. He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard Law School.

    Click here for more information about Robert.

  • Christopher B. "Chris" McLaughlin

    Christopher B. "Chris" McLaughlin is a Professor of Public Law and Government at UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill. He works in the areas of local government tax and finance as well as ethics for government attorneys. He joined the School of Government in 2008 after practicing law in New England and serving as an adjunct professor and assistant dean for student affairs at Duke Law School.

    Chris has authored books on property tax collection, tax foreclosures, and occupancy taxes and has published over 200 blog posts on a wide variety of issues including local taxes and legal ethics.

    Chris is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and Duke Law School, where he was also Order of the Coif.

    Click here for more information about Chris.

  • Kara A. Millonzi

    Kara A. Millonzi is a Robert W. Bradshaw Jr. Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government at UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill. She joined the School of Government in 2006. She specializes in local government finance law, general county law, school finance, utilities finance, development finance, and incorporation.

    Kare administers the Coates' Canons Local Government Law Blog and has authored well over 100 posts on issues related to local government law and finance. She also administers NC Finance Connect, an online community portal, centered around the topic of local government finance. She has authored numerous publications, including A Guide to Billing and Collecting Public Enterprise Utility Fees for Water, Wastewater, and Solid Waste Services, Introduction to Local Government Finance (4th edition), and The Governance and Funding Structure of North Carolina Public Schools. She teaches several core finance courses and directs the NC County Attorneys Conference and Fundamentals Workshop and Local Government Finance Officers Conference each year.

    Kara is the lead faculty for Lead for North Carolina, a fellowship program that aims to recruit, train, and place the state's most promising young leaders in paid local government fellowships as a means of strengthening our public institutions, supporting our local communities, and cultivating a new generation of public service leaders.

    Before joining the School, Kara practiced law with Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault LLP in Boston and clerked for the Honorable Louis F. Oberdorfer, United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

    Kara earned a B.A. in economics, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University at Buffalo and an M.A. in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park. She earned a J.D., with highest honors, Order of the Coif, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she served as editor in chief of the North Carolina Law Review.

    Click here for more information about Kara.

  • Elizabeth Myerholtz

    Elizabeth Myerholtz is an attorney at Disability Rights North Carolina in Washington, D.C. She joined DRNC in August 2018.

    Elizabeth is from Ohio and graduated from Miami University with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English literature. She worked as a direct support professional for adults with autism before moving to Washington to attend law school at American University Washington College of Law. While in law school, Myerholtz worked at the San Diego public defender's office – mental health unit, the American University's Disability Rights Law Clinic, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • Grant B. Osborne

    Grant B. Osborne is a labor and employment attorney with Ward and Smith PA in Asheville. His practice experience of more than 30 years encompasses a wide range of issues that arise in employment and labor law. He provides counsel to clients in the health care, financial, hospitality, construction, business services, employee staffing, and non-profit sectors. He represents clients in state and federal courts as well as administrative agencies. He regularly advises employers of all sizes and litigates civil cases regarding all forms of employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, unlawful retaliation, contractual issues, personnel policies and practices, and wage and hour issues.

    Grant also has advised and represented employers with respect to their rights and obligations arising under laws pertaining to collective bargaining and labor unions. He is a frequent lecturer regarding all aspects of the employment relationship that arise under numerous federal and state laws, and often represents employers before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and federal and state "wage and hour" agencies. He also serves as a mediator and is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission. Grant served as the Chairman of the North Carolina Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section (from 2015 to 2016).

    Grant earned his B.A., Duke University and his J.D., Duke University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Grant.

  • J. Mark Payne

    J. Mark Payne appointed as Guilford County Attorney in 2009, served as legal counsel to the Board of Commissioners and oversees the County Attorney's Office with a staff of twenty-four.

    Mark was born in Greensboro, grew up in Raleigh. He attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he received his undergraduate degree and his law degree.

    Mark began his career in private practice before taking a position with the Attorney General's office. During his tenure with the Attorney General's Office Mark worked in the areas of Environmental law and Energy/Utilities law.

    Mark went on to accept an appointment as County Attorney in Johnston County where he served for approximately 13 years prior to his move to Guilford County.

    Mark served as council member on the North Carolina Bar Association Administrative Law section and has previously served as Chair of the Government and Public Sector Section of the NCBA, Past President of NC Assoc. of County Attorneys; and received the "County Attorney of the Year" award in 2007.

    Click here for more information about Mark.

  • Adam Pridemore

    Adam Pridemore is Legislative Counsel at the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners in Raleigh.

    Prior to joining the NCACC, Adam was the Legal Affairs & Policy Manager at the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, Staff Attorney/Legislative Analyst at the North Carolina General Assembly/UNC School of Government and an associate at The DiLeone Law Group PC.

    Adam earned his Political Science from North Carolina State University and his J.D., cum laude, from Valparaiso University School of Law

    Click here for more information about Adam.

  • Tyler J. Russell

    Tyler J. Russell is a member of the Ward and Smith PA in Raleigh. Tyler co-chairs the firm's Hemp Law practice group. He regularly works with clients involved in all levels of hemp and CBD industries and guides the firm's practice in those efforts.

    Tyler is passionate about the hemp and cannabidiol ("CBD") industries, their products, and their people. He co-chairs the firm's Hemp Law practice group, and he represents clients in all aspects of the hemp and CBD industries – both in North Carolina and beyond. His clients include farmers and growers, processors, extractors, product manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers. He also assists clients who are involved in the industry but do not directly "touch the plant" – including brokers, consultants, marketing agencies, lenders and financial institutions, and other suppliers and vendors.

    In his hemp and CBD practice, Tyler regularly provides advice and counsel to his clients on Federal, state, and local legal and regulatory compliance matters, and he regularly represents clients in all types of agribusiness, transactional, and corporate deals and agreements within the industry. He is also actively engaged in state-level lobbying and public activism efforts in support of the industry, its companies, and their products. The hemp and CBD industries are unique, and Tyler and the firm's Hemp Law team are committed to helping the people and businesses within them.

    Tyler also works with other regulated industries – including breweries, distilleries, and wineries – to address permitting needs, compliance issues, distribution and supply chain matters, and negotiations and interactions with local, state, and federal governmental and regulatory agencies.

    Tyler is a member of the American, North Carolina and Wake County Bar Associations. He received his B.A. degree from Virginia Military Institute and his J. D. degree, summa cum laude, from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

    Click here for more informaton about Tyler.

  • Donya M. Strong

    Donya Strong was appointed general counsel for the Department of Administration in December 2021. Prior to joining DOA, Strong served as an enforcement attorney for the NC Secretary of State where she advised the executive management team on policies and statewide legislation concerning constitutional amendments, the securities industry and trademark enforcement. She also managed the agency's Trademark Enforcement Unit.

    Donya began her state government career in 2008 at the NC Administrative Office of the Courts as an assistant district attorney for the 8th Prosecutorial District and was later promoted to senior assistant district attorney for the 14th Prosecutorial District in 2013. Previously, she worked in the private sector for three years initially as a legal assistant and later as an attorney for Harris & Associates in Durham.

    Before entering the legal field, Donya worked as a reporter and news editor for the News & Observer and Detroit Free Press.

    Donya holds a Juris Doctor from the NC Central University School of Law in Durham and a bachelor's degree in journalism and Spanish from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

    Click here for more information about Donya.

  • 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.

If you did not attend this program in its entirety, please fill out a partial credit form to ensure that we report your credit accurately.

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April 7, 2022
Thu 8:25 AM EDT
NC Bar Center Cary

Duration 8H 35M

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