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Next-Level Skills for Today's Paralegal (2024 NCBA Paralegal Division Annual Meeting)

8:25        Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Trademark Law

Mayukh Sircar, Ward and Smith P.A., Raleigh

Review updates and trends in trademark law, as well as key issues to watch for, including current Supreme Court cases, the intersection of copyright and AI, NFTs, and recent legislation.

10:00      Break

Sponsored by CourtLogic.

10:10      Empowering Paralegals: Harnessing AI for Legal Excellence

Emily J. Beeson, Ward Black Law PA, Greensboro

This session discusses understanding AI and how it can be used in various aspects of the legal community. Explore ways in which AI-based tools can be used to enhance the efficiency and quality of legal services.

11:10      Break

Sponsored by EveryWord, Inc..

11:20      10 Critical Tips to Managing the New Generation of Law Firms

Matthew M. "Matt" Villmer, Villmer Caudill PLLC, Charlotte

Hear about tricks and tools used to manage law firms in this new generation of AI and social media. The speaker also shares ways to efficiently avoid wasting time and resources to perform legal services.

12:20      Paralegal Division Annual Meeting

Lakisha Chichester, Governance Paralegal, Trupanion, Raleigh, 2023-2024 Division Chair, Presiding

12:35      Lunch Break

1:20        Records Management and Retention

Catherine Sanders Reach, North Carolina Bar Association, Cary

During this session, we consider ways to enhance efficiencies for automation of retention and disposition as it relates to record management. We will look at tools and techniques, policies and practical ways to make records retention a reality, without deciding just to keep everything forever.

2:20        Break

2:30        Data Privacy

Martin A. Ginsburg, MarGin Consulting Ltd., Raleigh

Explore the critical intersection of cybersecurity and user compliance in law firms. This session delves into the nuanced challenges faced by legal professionals, emphasizing the risks associated with phishing, unauthorized access, and data mishandling. By highlighting compliance practices such as robust training, secure communication protocols, and regular audits, the presentation underscores the imperative for a holistic approach to fortify against cyberthreats, safeguard client information, and maintain legal and ethical standards in the ever-evolving landscape of legal technology.

3:30        Break

3:40        Ethics*

Carolyn Bellof, Stallard & Bellof PLLC, Charlotte

Examine attorney-client relationships and the rules of professional conduct, including rules related to diligence, communication with clients, confidentiality, conflict of interest, and clients with diminished capacity. The session also discusses the attorney-paralegal relationship and best practices.

4:40        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for Next-Level Skills for Today's Paralegal (2024 NCBA Paralegal Division Annual Meeting).


Designed to assist the paralegal with expanding their skill set and to provide avenues for growth, this program discusses tips, tools and best practices for enhancing the efficiency and quality of legal services.


  • Emily J. Beeson

    Emily J. Beeson is an attorney with Ward Black Law PA in Greensboro. She is the lead attorney for workers' compensation at the firm. Her practice areas also consist of Defective Medical and Dangerous Drugs and Products. Her work has centered on pursuing claims against major medical device manufacturers on behalf of individuals injured by dangerous products.

    Emily earned her B.A. in Spanish Language & Literature from Guilford College and her J.D. from Elon University School of Law. At Elon Law she was awarded a Presidential Scholarship reserved for students demonstrating extraordinary academic achievement, exceptional character, commitment to service, and leadership.

    Click here for more information about Emily.

  • Carolyn Bellof

    Carolyn Bellof is a Managing Partner at Stallard & Bellof PLLC in Charlotte. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist in North Carolina and she also practices family law in South Carolina.

    Carolyn has litigated many family law cases in Mecklenburg, Union, Gaston, and Cabarrus Counties. She understands that clients often feel a loss of control while going through the divorce, separation, child custody, child support, and alienation of affection process.

    Carolyn has volunteered for many years as an attorney custody advocate with Council for Children's Rights, she is actively involved with the Mecklenburg County Bar, having been a member of numerous committees over the years, and she was the 2021 President of the Charlotte Women's Bar, an affiliate of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA). Carolyn is currently a member of the NCBA Modern Family Law Committee and the NCBA Women in the Profession Committee.

    Carolyn earned her B.A. in Political Science and Government at Northern Illinois University and her J.D., cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law.

    Click here for more information about Carolyn.

  • Martin A. Ginsburg

    Martin A. Ginsburg is a Paralegal Nurse Consultant and Managing Member for MarGin Consulting in Raleigh. He is charged with the provision of medico-legal and nursing research for clients per client specifications and drafting of complaints/petitions, answers, and interrogatories. He assists in preparation for depositions of expert witnesses, including depositions upon written questions. Additionally, he reviews medical and healthcare documentation, researchs medication and treatment regimens including medication interactions and administration compatibility, ensures adherence to professional standards in medical, nursing and ancillary provider specialties, reviews policies and procedures and implements appropriate nursing care.

    Martin is also responsible for developing written reports and documents for attorneys as required including identifying rulings, opinions, and treatises related to the issues presented or developed following review of medical records.

    Martin earned his B.S. in Nursing from Barry University. He is also a graduate of Meredith College's ABA Approved Paralegal Studies Program.

    Click here for more information about Martin.

  • Alice L. Johnson

    Alice L. Johnson is paralegal in Cary.

    Click here for more information about Alice.

  • Kimberly M. Johnson

    Kimberly M. Johnson is with the Department of Health and Human Services in Raleigh.

    Kimberly is a member of the Paralegal Division Council and participates in the CPE and Diversity & Inclusion committees. In 2021, she developed two lunch and learn sessions for the CPE committee: Competency and Confidentiality for Paralegals and Inclusion Within the Multicultural and Multigenerational Workplace. She is a member of the Bar Association's Task Force On Integration, Equity and Equal Justice.

    Kimberly graduated from Wofford College with a B.A. in History. She has a M.A. in Human Resources Management from Webster University. She received her paralegal certificate from Midlands Technical College.

  • Paulene Scott Kearney

    Paulene Scott Kearney is a AVP Compliance Officer for First Citizens Bank in Raleigh. She focuses on tracking, investigating, and response to customer complaints in accordance with First Citizens Bank's Complaint Management Program. She resolves complex operational and compliance issues through effective communication with stakeholders to evaluate current processes and appropriate response. She assists with integrating the complaint programs of two separate banks, in addition to, the overall expansion and improvement of efficient and effective data collection, analysis, and management reporting processes for bank customer complaints.

    Paulene was formally the Legal Operatoins Manager in the Creditor's Rights Department at Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers LLP in Raleigh. She managed up to 20 paralegals and paralegal assistants in the NC, SC and VA high volume practice areas.She was with the firm for 21 years.

    In 2003, Paulene completed the Paralegal Studies Program through UNC Wilmington. She has been a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal since 2007. She is currently on the board of the NC Bar Association Paralegal Committee and has served on the board of the RWPA in various roles since 2012. One of those roles was the President of the RWPA from 2018-2020.

    Click here for more information about Paulene.

  • 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 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.

  • Mayukh Sircar

    Mayukh Sircar is a cybersecurity, data privacy & technology attorney with Ward and Smith P.A. in Raleigh. He is a Certified Information Privacy Professional-United States (CIPP/US) who utilizes his keen insights and practical knowledge of privacy and data security law to help clients turn cybersecurity risks into manageable business opportunities. He advises businesses in various industries on developing privacy protection practices, such as the legal requirements and risks associated with the collection, storage, transfer, use, protection, and data disposal. He also counsels clients on structuring and operationalizing privacy compliance programs, data breach response and planning, contract and vendor management, and licensing and technology transactions.

    Mayukh provides clients with comprehensive coverage of local, state, federal, and international laws governing privacy and data security, including the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).

    Mayukh earned his B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University School of Medicine and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Mayukh.

  • Matthew M. "Matt" Villmer

    Matthew M. "Matt" Villmer is an attorney and Managing Partner at Villmer Caudill PLLC in Charlotte. His legal practice focuses on new business startup & business law, mediation, and litigation & arbitration. Over the last 13 years, thousands of business owners have sought Matt's guidance in forming, growing, and selling their businesses.

    In addition to the practice of law, Matt loves to help passionate entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level through education and professional growth. He is a regular guest speaker at industry conferences around the U.S., where he teaches others about the use of customer agreements, the importance of having a written contract between co-owners of a business, and other similar topics. He also teaches other attorneys throughout the country about advanced litigation techniques and strategies to prevail in high-stakes lawsuits.

    Matt was the previous Managing Partner of a law firm with 10 lawyers and a 50-year operating history. The firm had a law library with dusty books, sun-faded paintings of men on horses with hunting dogs hung on the walls, and paper files and invoices. He transitioned the firm to the 21st century, and then in Jan 2022, he launched Villmer Caudill, PLLC—an all-remote firm in Charlotte with 6 lawyers and a Firm Administrator.

    Matt earned his B.A. from Western Kentucky University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Florida Coastal School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Coastal Law Review.

    Click here for more information about Matt.

  • Amanda White

    Amanda White is a paralegal at The Green Firm PLLC in Charlotte. She supports all aspects of the firm's appellate litigation practice and assists with firm administration and technology.

    Prior to entering the legal field, Amanda worked in admissions roles in higher education at the University of Maryland and Catholic University of America. Through that experience, she developed invaluable research, problem-solving, and writing skills.

    Amanda earned her B.A. degree in public relations at York College. She recently earned her post-baccalaureate paralegal diploma at Central Piedmont Community College.

    Click here for more information about Amanda.

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May 10, 2024
Fri 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 7H 45M

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