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2022 Basics of Business Law

8:25        Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Legal Entity Choice

Jeffrey R. "Jeff" Wolfe, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro

This session covers the basics of legal entity formation, including the reasons and purposes behind forming an entity. Walk through the different legal and tax structures available when forming an entity and discuss how those decisions impact various events in the life of an entity, including ownership changes, financing needs, employee management and exit events.

9:45        Break

9:55        Basics of Business Taxation

Katie A. Lawson, The Law Office of Katie A. Lawson PLLC, Durham

Join us for a high-level overview of the taxation of business entities, with a focus on explaining common tax types that are shared by all business entities. Learn the tax advantages and tax pitfalls for each entity type to address general tax questions and advise business clients to choose the business structure that works best for the business.

10:55      Break

11:05      Corporation Organization and Operations

Stephen F. Later, Robbins May & Rich LLP, Pinehurst

Gain insights about the critical decisions in organizing and operating a corporation, including choice of jurisdiction of incorporation; corporate ownership, capital and management structure; articles of incorporation; optional charter provisions; bylaws; organizational meeting; initial and ongoing filing and reporting requirements; shareholder and restrictive stock agreements; corporate housekeeping; meetings of directors and shareholders; charter and bylaw amendments; stock transfers; foreign qualification; and dissolution and liquidation.

12:05      Lunch Break

1:05        Issue Spotting: Overview of Common Intellectual Property (IP) Issues for Non-IP Attorneys

Douglas W. "Doug" Meier, NK Patent Law PLLC, Raleigh

Join us for an overview of common IP issues that you may run into when representing your business clients. We cover issues that often arise in the patent, copyright, trademark and trade-secret contexts. Also, learn about fact patterns that lead to common IP issues. And lastly, we highlight important considerations for discussing these issues with your clients.

1:35        Break

1:45        Merger & Acquisition Transactions

Brandy B. Milazzo, Ascension Law, Charlotte

This session provides an overview of merger and acquisition transactions.

2:30        Break

2:40        Basics of Private Placements

April E. Kight, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro

Your company client plans to raise money from friends and family or a few other investors. How hard can it be? This session explores the securities considerations in a typical private placement transaction, including the importance of "accredited investors" and the most commonly used exemptions from registration: Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act and the safe harbor under Rule 506.

3:25        Break

3:35        Basics of Employment Law

Benjamin R. Holland, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC, Charlotte

From discrimination and wage and hour concerns to leave laws and non-compete agreements, this interactive session seeks to provide attendees with a foundation for understanding and addressing common employment law concerns relevant to any North Carolina employer.

4:20        Break

4:30        Tech Tips for Lawyers to Make Your Practice More Efficient

Catherine Sanders Reach, North Carolina Bar Association, Cary

Are you looking for ways to work smarter and not harder? Do you want to leverage the tools you already have more effectively? Do you want to ease security worries? How about making it easier to work with clients? Want to automate repetitive workflows and manage tasks more efficiently? In this session, receive an actionable to-do list of tips to help you manage your practice so you can focus on practicing law.

5:30        Adjourn

‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit


This program is developed for attorneys who are new to the practice of business law, as well as for more experienced attorneys seeking an update on recent legal developments.


  • Benjamin R. "Ben" Holland

    Benjamin R. "Ben" Holland is a shareholder with Ogletree Deakins in Charlotte. His principal areas of practice are employment law, litigation, healthcare, retail, staffing/PEO and class action. He is a results-oriented employment lawyer maintaining a national practice. As a litigator, Ben is both aggressive and well-versed in virtually every aspect of employment litigation. From serving as first-chair trial counsel in bet-the-company litigation to defending high-profile class and collective actions to managing portfolios of wage and hour arbitrations on a national scale, Ben has an accomplished litigation track record spanning jurisdictions across the country. Ben is also regularly brought in as trial counsel for colleagues across the country in high stakes litigation.

    In addition to his litigation practice, Ben serves as national employment counsel for a number of clients. In that capacity, Ben partners with clients to not only ensure the best possible workplace environment for their employees, but also to address and eliminate potential areas of liability prior to the advent of litigation.

    Ben is rated "Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, was named a Super Lawyers "Rising Star" for eight consecutive years and deemed an "Acritas Star" since 2018, a designation solely determined by senior in-house counsel at organizations with revenues of $50 million and above.

    Ben received his B.A. from Kenyon College and his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

    Personally, Ben is a fan of his daughters' sports teams and participates in ultra-marathon open water swimming, qualifying to swim the English Channel in 2019.

    Click here for more information about Ben.

  • April E. Kight

    April E. Kight is a member of Schell Bray PLLC in Greensboro. Her practice areas are general corporate, mergers & acquisitions, new markets tax credits, renewable energy, private equity and securities regulation. She works with companies of all sizes on a variety of transactional, corporate, and commercial matters. Her practice involves assisting limited liability companies, corporations, and private equity funds with formation and governance matters and negotiating, documenting, and closing complex business transactions, including strategic alliances, acquisitions, mergers, and debt and equity financings.

    April also provides advice to sponsors and investors in private equity transactions. She has assisted clients in a variety of industries with federal and state securities law compliance when raising money through private placements, including real estate and private equity funds, a technology-related service provider, and a multi-national investment company formed to acquire energy-related technology. She is also experienced with broker-dealer, investment adviser, and investment company regulatory issues that may be raised in connection with private placements.

    April received her B.S.B.A., summa cum laude, from Appalachian State University and her J.D., with high honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    April is married to Robert and has two children. She enjoys spending time with her family and working on her antebellum farmhouse.

    Click here for more information about April.

  • Stephen F. Later

    Stephen F. Later is a partner at Robbins May & Rich LLP in Pinehurst. His practice areas include limited liability companies and business and nonprofit corporations, employment, secured finance and loan transactions. He joined Robbins May & Rich LLP in 1999 after serving as general counsel to a United States Senator, and provides practical and solution-oriented counsel to clients throughout the Southeast in general business and nonprofit corporate, lending, and employment law.

    Stephen represents individuals and business and nonprofit associations in activities including entity selection and formation, governance, and dissolutions and creditors' rights. He advises clients in a range of acquisition techniques including asset sales, equity sales, and private equity placements. His nonprofit corporate practice includes extensive experience in formation of nonprofit entities, application for recognition of exemption, preservation of tax-exempt status and avoidance of sanctions, and solicitation registration. He further advises employers in matters related to confidentiality agreements, non-competition agreements, employment contracts, employment discrimination, and employment terminations.

    Stephen earned his A.B., cum laude, from Columbia University, M.A. from University of Virginia and his J.D., cum laude, from University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Stephen.

  • Katie A. Lawson

    Katie A. Lawson is managing partner at The Law Office of Katie A. Lawson PLLC in Durham. She zealously represents businesses and individuals in tax and corporate matters. Her passion is helping to create and grow small businesses to their full potential.

    Katie is a native of South Carolina. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Accounting. Before attending law school, Katie entered the workforce as an assistant branch manager of a large corporate bank. Realizing that this was not her calling, Katie decided to further her education by going to law school. She attended North Carolina Central University school of Law where she rediscovered her first true love, taxation. After successfully completing law school, Katie decided to further her tax knowledge base by pursuing a Master's of Law in Taxation. She received her LL.M. from the University Of Washington School Of Law and began her legal career in 2008 with a regional law firm, where she practiced tax and corporate law. During her tenure, Katie focused primarily in tax controversy where she effectively defended clients against both the IRS and North Carolina Department of Revenue.

     Click here for more information about Katie.

  • Douglas W. "Doug" Meier

    Douglas W. "Doug" Meier is an experienced patent attorney with a background in electrical engineering at NK Patent Law PLLC in Raleigh. He brings to his clients a unique combination of legal and technical experience that allows him to quickly understand complex electrical, computer, and software technologies.

    Before becoming a patent lawyer, Doug worked as an electrical engineer for a major defense contractor in Houston, TX, where he designed and developed software tools to support NASA's Space Shuttle Program.

    Doug's practice focuses on patent prosecution before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as inter partes review and other post-grant proceedings. In addition to patent prosecution, he also provides guidance on other patent-related issues, such as helping clients prepare for patent litigation and preparing patentability and clearance opinions.

    Having experience with a variety of electrical technologies covering smartphones, computers, wireless communications, networking, semiconductors, and digital image processing, Doug has represented a variety of small and large companies alike.

    As a patent prosecutor, Doug has assisted a variety of software companies with developing patent portfolios. As a patent litigator, he has represented numerous multi-national companies in high-stakes, multiple-patent cases involving technologies ranging from computers, mobile devices, telecommunications and networking hardware (including base-station antenna and radio technology), wireless communications (such as 3G/4G/LTE, 802.11 Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth standards), texture compression/decompression in mobile devices and computers, digital image processing in smartphone cameras, and nonvolatile memory.

    Doug received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and his J.D., with honors, from the University of Texas School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Doug.

  • Brandy B. Milazzo

    Brandy B. Milazzo is managing partner, co-founder & principal owner of Ascension Law in Charlotte. She focuses her practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, technology, supply chain and outsourcing transactions, private equity and venture capital transactions, commercial business transactions, finance, loan modifications, and other general corporate work, such as corporate organization, governance, or dissolution.

    Brandy earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of South Carolina, along with her M.I.B.S. from the Darla Moore School of Business. She also attended Campbell University, receiving a B.A., summa cum laude, with a pre-law/government major and French minor. During graduate school she lived in Paris and worked for a French technology company for approximately one year. After spending 12 years in the big law firms as a corporate lawyer, she ventured out on August 1, 2013, with a colleague from a large law firm to open what is now Ascension Law.

    When she is not doing what she loves at work, she is doing the other things in life that she loves…spending time with her son and dog, sports of all types, especially when outside, including hiking, running, cycling, paddle-boarding, etc., watching football, especially Gamecock, Panthers and Steelers football, traveling to see as much of the world and its people as possible, and reading.

    Click here for more information about Brandy.

  • Catherine Sanders Reach

    Catherine Sanders Reach is Director for 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 Director, Law Practice Management and Technology for the Chicago Bar Association and the Director at 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.

    Catherine'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 Association of Bar Council and the Association of American Law Schools. In 2011 she was selected to be one of the inaugural Fastcase 50, celebrating fifty innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the field of law and in 2013 became Professionalism for New Attorneys (PNA) a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. She served on the ABA TECHSHOW Board from 2007-2009, 2014-2016 and is co-vice chair in 2019.

    Click here for more information about Catherine. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • Elizabeth M. "Lizzie" Snow

    Elizabeth M. "Lizzie" Snow is with Robbins May & Rich LLP in Pinehurst. She joined the firm after practicing in the Raleigh area and focuses on business law, commercial real estate and equine law.

    Lizzie earned her B.S., magna cum laude, from Western Carolina University, her M.B.A., cum laude, and J.D., cum laude, from Campbell University. She also earned her LL.M. in International Legal Studies from Nottingham Law School.

    Prior to law school, Lizzie was a professional rider and equestrian trainer, and was one of the youngest riders to compete at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event CCI 4*. Lizzie has particular insight into athlete sponsorship agreements, syndications, partnerships, and boarding and training agreements.

    Click here for more information about Lizzie.

  • Andrew D. Steffensen

    Andrew D. Steffensen is an associate of Schell Bray PLLC in Greensboro. His practice areas are general corporate, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, venture capital, securities regulation, taxation, and pass-through entities. He represents a wide range of clients in complex business transactions and has interest and experience in entity selection and formation, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and general corporate matters.

    Andrew received his B.S., summa cum laude, and M.S., with high honors, in Accounting from East Carolina University and his J.D. from William & Mary Law School. In addition to Andrews's legal knowledge and experience, he has passed the North Carolina CPA exam, which is particularly useful when advising clients in connection with the financial aspects of business transactions.

    Andrew is an avid baseball fan and enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, and weight training.

    Click here for more information about Andrew.

  • Jeffrey R. "Jeff" Wolfe

    Jeffrey R. "Jeff" Wolfe is of Special Counsel with Schell Bray PLLC in Greensboro. His practice areas are general corporate, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities regulation and corporate governance. He focuses his practice on all stages of the for-profit and non-profit business cycle, including entity formation, raising capital, daily contract needs, and strategic exits. He has advised companies of every size, from early-stage startups and small consulting companies to large public companies, on matters including complex mergers and acquisitions and private and public equity offerings.

    In addition to providing legal services, Jeff enjoys mentoring and coaching business leaders on legal and non-legal matters. He has served as a counselor with the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center; a mentor with Velocity, an accelerator for creative entrepreneurs; and a coach for various Startup Weekend events. Since 2021, Jeff has served on the school board for Redeemer School in Winston-Salem. From 2015 to 2021, Jeff served on the Board of Directors for JusticeMatters, a non-profit that provides empowering legal services to protect children and help survivors of human trafficking and other trauma rebuild their lives.

    Jeff earned his B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Indiana University Bloomington and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jeff.

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October 7, 2022
Fri 8:25 AM EDT
North Carolina Bar Center 8000 Weston Parkway Cary, NC 27511 919.677.0561

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Duration 9H 5M

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