All About the North Carolina GAL Program

Interested in serving as a Guardian Ad Litem or pro bono counsel for a child in need? If so, the NC Guardian Ad Litem program wants you. The program, a division of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, was established in 1983 to provide trained GALs for children in abuse or neglect proceedings. Unfortu… Read More

Legal Ethics and Bank Failures

Amid distressing news of bank failures, inflation and economic uncertainty, lawyers have growing questions about the scope of their ethical duty to safeguard client funds. The North Carolina State Bar is providing some answers.  The State Bar has a new FAQ page on its website. It went up after the bar re… Read More

The Return of Law Office Breakroom Drama

Now that most lawyers have returned to the office in some form or another, they are having to grapple with thorny questions from pre-pandemic times. Such as: whose turn is it to clean the break room? Who left the coffee on? What is that thing growing in the fridge? “Even when people aren’t flagran… Read More

North Carolina 2023 Formal Ethics Opinion 1

If you’re retiring and want to sell your law practice, how to determine if a potential purchaser is the right one? What sort of due diligence is required? How to avoid common legal, financial and ethical pitfalls? NC State Bar 2023 Formal Ethics Opinions 1, adopted April 21, 2023, sheds light on these a… Read More

Unpacking the RPC 1.1 Duty of Tech Competence  

You probably know that the Rules of Professional Conduct impose an ethical duty of competence in technology. What you might not know are the specifics of that duty – or how to meet those obligations and stay compliant with the rule. Do you simply have to know how to upgrade your version of Office 365? O… Read More

NC Pro Bono Resource Center Q&A

Paralegals have a vital – and growing – role to play in providing pro bono legal services to more than two million eligible North Carolinians. Unfortunately, because of resource shortages, Legal Aid organizations are able to serve only 3 percent of clients in need.  That’s where groups … Read More

Half of Retirees Lack Sufficient Savings

Close to half of baby boomers are reaching their golden years with little to no money in the bank. That could mean a most unpleasant retirement. “Fewer than half of working-age Americans have any retirement savings, according to Census data for 2020,” according to The Hill. “And that is… Read More

The Lawyer Who Found Instant Karma

Next time someone tells you “No good deed goes unpunished,” don’t believe them.   The truth is, no good deed goes unrewarded, although the payoff might not occur until later – maybe years or decades later – and in a way you never imagined.   Read More

The Ethics of Buying or Selling a Law Practice

The NC State Bar has issued an opinion outlining the ethical responsibilities of lawyers who are retiring or phasing out of practice. Read, print or download NC Formal Ethics Opinion 1 here. A companion guide is the Lawyers Mutual publication, “Buying or Selling a Law Practice,” which you can read… Read More

ABA Adopts Guidelines for AI Usage

AI promises to be a game-changer for the legal profession. The question is: are you ready for the changes? In an effort to get ahead of – or at least keep up with – the speeding locomotive that is AI, the American Bar Association has passed a sweeping resolution addressing some of the legal and eth… Read More

How to Protect Against Typosquatting and Combosquatting

Just when you thought your law practice was cyber-safe, along comes a slew of new online scams involving typosquatting and combosquatting. Typosquatting, also called URL hijacking, relies on user mistakes – such as making a simple typographical error when entering a URL into an internet browser – t… Read More

BarCARES = Wellness for NC Lawyers

We all understand the importance of wellness, but we sometimes have trouble maintaining it. BarCARES can help. BarCARES is a confidential, short-term wellness intervention program available to members of participating North Carolina judicial district bars, voluntary bar associations and law schools. It offers… Read More

The Risk of Cursing a Judge’s Ruling

Here’s some free risk management advice: if you’re going to make snarky comments about a judge’s ruling, don’t do it in the courtroom in front of a live microphone. And while you’re at it, avoid profanities. Otherwise you might find yourself brought before your professional disci… Read More

AI Beats Law Grads on Bar Exam

When it comes to passing the bar examination, it seems Artificial Intelligence is better than Law School Intelligence.  In a recent mano-a-machina competition, an upgraded version of ChatGPT outperformed humans on the two-day bar exam by seven percent. “GPT-4, the upgraded AI model released by… Read More

NC Bar Fee Dispute Program

If you are embroiled in a fee spat with a client, you’d better brush up on your ethical obligations. Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, you must notify your client of the N.C. Bar’s program for resolving fee dispute program at least 30 days prior to initiating a legal proceeding to collect th… Read More