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Fresh Out of the Oven: Hot Takes on Hot Topics (2024 Government & Public Sector Section Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Recipe Swap: Public Records

Jill F. Cramer, NC Department of Labor, Raleigh
Jodi T. Harrison, NC Department of Adult Correction, Raleigh
Sardar Mujeeb Shah-Khan, Shah-Khan Law PLLC, Matthews

The ingredients: Changes to the Public Records Act, and recent cases, are blended with discussion of actual practices in responding to records requests.

10:32      Today's Special: Software Contracts Tips and Tricks

Baxter H. Wells III, NC League of Municipalities, Raleigh

The blue-plate special is the stuff of legends and so is a government agency tech contract gone bad due to provisions that are poorly worded or omitted. Learn the basics to avoid that spoiled contract.

11:33      Break

11:43      Hot Potato: What To Do When a Subpoena Lands on Your Desk

Andrea Leslie-Fite, Guilford County Attorney's Office, Greensboro
Thomas E. Powers III, City of Charlotte Attorney's Office, Charlotte
Francis P. Rasberry, Cauley Pridgen PA, Raleigh

Dropping the hot potato is a bad idea, but how do you make sure you don't? How do you respond to: An out-of-state subpoena? A discovery subpoena? A subpoena from a case to which your client is not a party? A grand jury subpoena? This session assists you in formulating your responses.

1:15        Lunch Break

1:45        Cooks in the Kitchen: Unannounced Visits Under SL 2023-134

J. Mark Payne, J.M. Payne and Associates PLLC, Greensboro
Robin W. Smith, Robin Smith Law Office PLLC, Chapel Hill

A new law allows members and staff of a General Assembly committee to enter any state facility and many local and private-sector facilities. They can ask for information, with a criminal penalty for failing to comply. This session covers what the new law says and some of the questions for government and public sector lawyers to consider.

2:16        Last Course: Generative AI

Kristi A. Nickodem, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill

Explore what generative AI is, how it could impact both government and public sector attorneys and their clients, and what policies and procedures we need to advise clients about.

3:47        Adjourn

‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit


It is the NCBA's pleasure to present the menu for a 5-star legal education course!

We begin with a lovely appetizer discussing updates to public records laws and fine-dining etiquette for handling requests, a refreshing blend of cases and practices sure to satisfy.

To follow, we suggest our hot-potato dish about handling subpoenas without getting burned. Then, sink your teeth into our blue-plate special on tech contracting to help avoid spoiled deals. After, as a palette cleanser, we have a course on unannounced General Assembly visits under SL 2023-134.

Finally, enjoy a sweet taste of the future with our generative AI dessert exploring this emerging technology.

Please join us for this enriching meal for any attorney's palette! Bon appétit!


  • Kathryn J. Cooper

    Kathryn J. Cooper is a Senior Associate City Attorney at the Raleigh City Attorney's Office. Her areas of expertise are environmental, energy, and municipal law. She also provides a broad range of legal services to the City Council, the City Manager and City Officials and staff in conducting the City's business.

    Kathryn spent most of her career with the North Carolina Department of Justice rising to Special Deputy Attorney General, a position she held for over 23 years.

    Kathryn earned her A.B. in African American Studies, Government and Economics from Smith College and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Kathryn.

  • Jill F. Cramer

    Jill F. Cramer serves as the general counsel for the North Carolina Department of Labor in Raleigh. Jill is responsible for providing legal advice to Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson; all divisions and bureaus; managing program and personnel litigation; as well as developing and promulgating rules.

    Prior to Jill's appointment to this position March 1, 2017, the North Carolina native held several legal positions in state government, including working with the N.C. General Assembly, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice. She also previously worked with the N.C. Department of Labor as regulatory counsel with the OSH Division. Jill has over 15 years of public service, and has worked in private practice in the areas of creditor's rights, secured transactions and bankruptcy.

    Jill earned her B.A. in Political Science from NC State University and her J.D. from N.C. Central University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jill.

  • Jodi T. Harrison

    Jodi T. Harrison is General Counsel at the NC Department of Adult Correction in Raleigh. She has specialized in corrections law for more than 25 years, including working as legal risk manager for a corrections health care company, serving as a staff attorney at the University of North Carolina School of Government, and defending correctional agencies as trial counsel in state, federal, and administrative courts.

    Jodi began her legal career as a law clerk to the Supreme Court in her home state of Montana. During her career, she has worked for state and local corrections agencies and public and private stakeholders in the field of adult corrections.

    Jodi served in the NC Department of Public Safety General Counsel's Office from 2015 to 2022 and, prior to that, spent several years as Assistant Attorney General in the Public Safety Section of the North Carolina Department of Justice.

    Jodi earned her B.A. in English Language and Literature/Letters from the University of Montana and her J.D. from The University of Montana School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jodi.

  • Daniel A. Heyman

    Daniel A. Heyman is Staff Attorney at City of Hendersonville. He handles all areas of municipal law.

    Previously, Daniel was a Staff Attorney with Pisgah Legal Services, a non-profit law firm based out of Asheville, and a City Planner in the Hendersonville Development Assistance Department.

    Daniel earned his B.A. in Political Science/Economics and Policy Study from Brevard College and his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law.

    Click here for more information about Daniel.

  • Andrea Leslie-Fite

    Andrea Leslie-Fite serves as the Guilford County Attorney with the Guilford County Attorney's Office in Greensboro. Guilford County is home to over 500,000 residents and ten municipalities. Andrea is the chief legal counsel for Guilford County' including its Board of Commissioners. She has experience as both a litigator, counselor and advisor.

    Andrea previously served as the Shelby City Attorney, a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Charlotte, focusing on Human Resources litigation, and advising various citizen boards on quasi-judicial procedures, and Assistant County Attorney for Cleveland County Government.

    Andrea is active in various legal and professional societies including the North Carolina Bar Association, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, and the Greensboro Bar Association. She is a 2020 International Municipal Lawyers Association Fellow, a designation which recognizes local government attorneys who have demonstrated excellence in the field of local government law.

    Andrea earned her B.A. in Communication Studies and B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Andrea.

  • Kristi A. Nickodem

    Kristi A. Nickodem is an Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government at UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill. She teaches, consults, and writes about human services law, including the organization and governance of local social services and consolidated human services agencies, the powers and duties of social services directors and consolidated human services directors, the responsibilities of social services and consolidated human services boards, and the confidentiality of social services information. Her work also explores how local governments use and respond to technology, including legal issues associated with social media, artificial intelligence, and the First Amendment.

    Kristi joined the School of Government in April 2021. Previously, she practiced employment law at K&L Gates LLP, where she counseled employers on complex employee relations and compliance issues, conducted internal investigations, and defended clients in litigation. Prior to entering private practice, she worked for an international nonprofit organization in Greensboro.

    Kristi earned her B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her J.D., with high honors, Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Kristi.

  • J. Mark Payne

    J. Mark Payne is the Principal at J.M. Payne & Associates PLLC in Greensboro. His areas of practice include governmental representation, transition services and representation before governmental entities.

    Mark has 25 years of experience as a county attorney, serving in Johnston County for 13 years and 12 years as the Guilford County Attorney. In that time, he has represented every kind of local government board in every kind of litigation, including complex elections law matters and a significant role in the ground-breaking national opioid litigation. He has provided training to local government boards and staff, as well as his fellow government attorneys through CLE presentations.

    Prior to his serving service as a county attorney, Mark was in the NC Attorney General’s Office with responsibility in environmental law, utilities law and appellate work.

    Mark earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Mark.

  • Matthew J. Pentz

    Matthew J. Pentz is the Senior Assistant Town Attorney with the Town of Cary. He has served in the Town's Legal Department for the past 9 years.

    As a key member of the 4-person legal team, Matt provides counsel to the Town Council, Town Manager, and various Departments on a wide range of legal matters. His areas of focus include land use and zoning law, contracting, public records, and a burgeoning interest in generative AI.

    Prior to joining the Town, he was an associate at a prominent law firm in Statesville.

    Matt earned his B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies (Great Books Program) from University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Matt.

  • Thomas E. Powers III

    Thomas E. Powers III is the Senior Assistant City Attorney – Supervisor for the City of Charlotte. He has provided legal guidance to the Charlotte Water department since late 2016.

    Thomas previously served as City Attorney for the City of Lumberton and provided legal guidance to the Mayor, City Council and City Manager.

    Thomas earned his bachelor's degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Masters in Public Administration from the University of Georgia, and J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Thomas.

  • Francis P. Rasberry

    Francis P. Rasberry is an attorney with Cauley Pridgen PA in Raleigh. His practice areas include local government law, contracts, real property and eminent domain.

    Francis served as Raleigh's Deputy City Attorney for over 20 years. He also served as a Board Member with the NC Municipal Attorney's Association. He has filed and prosecuted over 500 eminent domain actions, including numerous jury trials. He is co-author on the NC Bar Foundation Deskbook, Vol. IV, Eminent Domain.

    Francis earned his B.A. from Washington and Lee University and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Francis.

  • Sardar Mujeeb Shah-Khan

    Sardar Mujeeb Shah-Khan is the Managing Partner of Shah-Khan Law PLLC in Matthews.

    Prior to forming the firm, Mujeeb was the City Attorney for Monroe. Prior to becoming Monroe's City Attorney, he was the City Attorney for Greensboro and a member of the Charlotte City Attorney's Office. Before joining the Charlotte City Attorney's Office, he worked in private practice as a litigator with the Charlotte offices of the firms of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog and Poyner and Spruill.

    Mujeeb earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from'Duke University and his J.D. from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

    Click here for more information about Mujeeb.

  • Robin W. Smith

    Robin W. Smith is an Attorney at Law at Robin Smith Law Office PLLC in Chapel Hill.

    Between September 1999 and December 31, 2012, Robin served as Assistant Secretary for Environment at the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and had responsibility for regulatory programs dealing with water quality, air quality, water supply, coastal development, mining, oil and gas production and hazardous waste. Before being appointed Assistant Secretary, she served as a Special Deputy Attorney General in the Environmental Division of the NC Attorney General's Office, providing legal representation for several state environmental agencies. She litigated cases defending state environmental policies (beach access rights, public trust rights, and oceanfront development rules) and enforcing coastal development, sedimentation and wetlands protection rules.

    Robin also writes an environmental law and policy blog.

    Robin earner her B.A. from Duke University and J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Robin.

  • 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.

  • Baxter H. Wells III

    Baxter H. Wells III is Assistant General Counsel with the NC League of Municipalities in Raleigh. He focuses on appellate advocacy, in-house contract advising, and member services.

    Prior to his current position, Baxter joined the Raleigh City Attorney's office where he focused on real estate matters and IT contracts, and assisted the City's Parks and Recreation department.

    Baxter earned his B.A. in Criminology from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from the North Carolina Central University School of Law. After graduating from college, he spent few years in law enforcement in Fayetteville and Durham. Following law school, he clerked for Justice Morgan of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

    Click here for more information about Baxter.

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If paying by check, click here for a printable registration form. Please reference the live webcast program code 263RWC.

Certificate of Completion and Archived Video: Your certificate of completion and archived video will be available approximately two weeks of the program date and can be found in your CLE account. MCLE credit is available to registrants only on the day(s) of the live event. This archived content is offered solely for review purposes and is not a substitute for live attendance.

August 8, 2024
Thu 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 6H 52M

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