Ethics Review

2021 STATE BAR ETHICS OPINIONS The North Carolina State Bar adopted six new ethics opinions in 2021.  These opinions cover a range of topics, including issues that are a regular source of calls to Lawyers Mutual:   2019 FEO 4 – Communications with Judicial Officials (adopted July 2021) This r… Read More +

Affordable Housing Payoff Issues

There are various public entities that provide down payment and loan assistance to first time home purchasers which help many folks achieve the American Dream of home ownership. However, when those purchasers later want to refinance or sell their home, there can be issues involving the payoff of the public entity’s secured liens against the realty.  Read More +

Appellate Practice for Trial Work

A trial lawyer recently described appellate practice to me as “a lot of rules and timelines” that are “really complicated.”  The good news is there are lawyers who enjoy appellate practice.  The better news is if you are a trial lawyer, you do not have to know all the intricaci… Read More +

Finding Your Law Power in a Pandemic

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” For a mighty boost to your Law Life, add the above words to your firm’s mission statement. The precise origin of the quote is unclear. It has been attributed to Winston Churchill, Homer Simpson, and Chicago Cubs president Jed Hoyer. One undeniable … Read More +

Practice Points with Mark Scruggs

When it comes to Equitable Distribution, Complaint, Counterclaim, or Motion – It's Your Choice A few months ago, I received a call from an insured asking for help. She represented a party in a domestic case. She decided to file a motion in the cause for equitable distribution for several reasons instead … Read More +

Understanding the LM Financial Fraud Exclusionary Endorsement in Your LM Professional Liability Insurance Policy

Wire Fraud losses continue to plague real estate transactions, resulting in millions of dollars of losses around the country. The most common scenario is the buyer receiving altered wiring instructions. The State Bar is now holding the closing attorney accountable for this loss even though the closing attorney … Read More +

Real Estate Practitioners: Let’s Go Over This One More Time

Real Estate related wire fraud in North Carolina has been going on now for at least six years. Yet, both Lawyers Mutual and the State Bar are still seeing claims and grievances arising from wire fraud attacks which could have been avoided if the attorneys had followed the risk management advice of the Bar, Lawy… Read More +

Practice Points with Mark Scruggs

 Extending Time for Filing Under a Rule 3 Application and Order Extending Time to File Complaint. I came across the case of Williams v. Jennette recently and found once again the law is not what I think it is. Maybe this case will help you out of a tight spot one day. Plaintiffs commenced their suit on O… Read More +

Ever Evolving Cyber Insurance

Cyber Insurance is likely still in its infancy, but it’s safe to say that the honeymoon is over and the volatility stage is at hand.  Cyber risks are increasing and Cyber Insurance must grow and change to meet the threat.  Here are some of the changes I am seeing as I assist clients with their C… Read More +

The Dog in the File Cabinet

One day a lawyer heard barking sounds coming from his file cabinet. Opening it, he was surprised to find a pack of dogs living inside. Some were newborn puppies. Others were full-grown Mastiffs and Great Danes. All were yapping, snarling and howling. The racket would have driven even saintly Cesar Millan to th… Read More +