Increased Security To Enter Courthouse

Dear Bar Members,

Beginning Monday, November 4, all persons and packages entering the Buncombe County Courthouse will be searched for weapons, including attorneys. Please allow extra time to enter the building.

An Administrative Order was filed on October 29, 2019:

To preserve order, the fair administration of justice and insure the safety of all persons having business in the Buncombe County Courthouse, it is hereby ordered and decreed that no weapon, explosive, or other object deemed to be dangerous be permitted in the building. It is further ordered that all persons or packages entering the building shall be subject to a limited administrative search for weapons and explosives. It is finally ordered that the Buncombe County Sheriff implement policies and procedures to effectively carry out this order forthwith.


Honorable Alan Z. Thornburg, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge

Honorable J. Calvin Hill, Chief District Court Judge


Native American Sovereignty

Presenters Dr. George D. Pappas, Esq., and Hon. Matthew Martin bring historical and legal knowledge to this two-hour CLE on Native American dispossession and other relevant issues. The CLE will take place at Van Winkle Law Firm on Friday, November 15, from 9am to 11:15am. Sign up here.

Hour One–Dr. George D. Pappas, Esq:

1. Introduction to Native American Tribal Self Determination:  How Law and Literature have been blurred by the U.S. Supreme Court with respect to Native American Sovereignty
2. Theoretical Frameworks for Analysis  of U.S. Supreme Court Rulings
3. Introducing the Marshall Trilogy Cases
4. Review How The Doctrine of Discovery Became incorporated into U.S. Law
5. Review other Trilogy cases for the racial foundations and the legal dispossession of Native American lands
6. Review the impact of literature in the Marshall rulings and beyond
7.  Trace the Genealogy of literary discourses of de-humanization in late 19th Century,  20th Century and 21st Century  to U.S. Supreme Court rulings relating to Native Americans.
8.  Forecast the jurisprudencial future of Native American self determination in light of The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
9. America’s Exceptionalism can only be realized by acknowledging the true legacy of Native American dispossession, respecting international human rights jurisprudence and domesticating Int’l law.

Hour Two–Hon. Matthew Martin:

In this one hour segment, we will examine some of the quirks, frustrations, and nuances surrounding the competing exercise of jurisdiction between Tribes, States, and the government of the United States in the area of traffic safety.  We will focus on the Qualla Boundary, the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Introduction–We will examine the “Marshall Trilogy” of cases, building upon Dr. Pappas’ earlier presentation, with a quick look at the history of the modern day trust relationship to establish a foundation for analysis.

Jurisdictional Maze–We will explore an overview of the jurisdictional “maze,” relevant to traffic cases in Indian Country, utilizing both the “Kilbourne Chart,” as well as Judge Letts’ chart for the magistrates in the far western parts of North Carolina.

Problems–Utilizing these documents, we will discuss some problems commonly seen in Indian Country in the traffic arena.

Conclusion–We will attempt to link the results of the problems discussed with larger policy concepts including Tribal sovereignty and the overarching goal of public safety.  Hopefully we will have questions, so this will be interactive and we can enjoy some peer-to-peer learning.

Please view more information about Dr. George Pappas, Esq. here; and about Hon. Matthew Martin here.

Top 10 Questions For Navigating An Appeal

Judge Linda Stephens will present a one-hour CLE on best appellate practices on November 11, 2019 from 11am-noon. The CLE will take place at Van Winkle Law Firm, and is sponsored by the Buncombe Bar. Sign up here.

Judge Stephens brings nearly four decades of experience, including eleven years as a NC Court of Appeals Judge, four years as a Deputy Commissioner at the NC Industrial Commission, and over 20 years of private practice. Linda Stephens is currently of counsel to Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP’s appellate practice group where she serves a client base ranging from small and medium size businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Linda’s distinguished career includes many firsts.  She became the first female law clerk to Court of Appeals Judge Fred Hedrick, brother of Hedrick Gardner’s founder, Phil Hedrick. After serving four years as a Deputy Commissioner at the NC Industrial Commission, she became the first female associate at a Raleigh law firm and five years later, its first female partner. She served as the first female president of the NC Association of Defense Attorneys and was the first person to ever receive the highest awards from both the NC Association of Defense Attorneys and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.

Judge Stephens was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Mike Easley in 2006. During her years as a judge, she earned a reputation of applying the law fairly to everyone. In her last campaign, she earned the endorsements of both the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, representing opposing sides in the courtroom.

The target audience for this course is lawyers who have little to intermediate experience in appellate practice and do not do appellate work on a day to day basis. As a former Court of Appeals judge with decades of appellate practice, Linda has not only the knowledge and expertise, but also the practical experience of applying the appellate practice rules and procedures to ensure compliance with procedural requirements to avoid unnecessary dismissal of appeals. She also has the experience of applying persuasive writing and oral argument techniques to enhance thorough consideration of their position on appeal. The objective of this course is to help attorneys develop a working understanding of how to best navigate the appeals process.

This course was designed to provide attorneys an overview of best appellate practices for navigating the appeals process in the North Carolina appellate courts. Attendees will gain practical advice for applying the appellate practice rules and procedures to ensure compliance with procedural requirements to avoid unnecessary dismissal of appeals. The course provides a working understanding of how to navigate the appeals process including techniques for persuasive writing and oral argument to enhance thorough consideration of an attorney’s position on appeal, while avoiding common mistakes.

Course Outline

I. When Does My Appeal Start?
II. Am I Appealing from an Immediately Appealable Interlocutory Decision? III. What is Required for a Notice of Appeal?
IV. Do I Want a Transcript?
V. Do I Need an Appeal Bond?
VI. How Do I Make a Record on Appeal Manageable? VII. How Do I Settle a Record on Appeal?
VIII. What Do I Include in a Brief?
IX. How Do I Write a Persuasive Brief?
X. How Do I Make a Persuasive Oral Argument?

This CLE is approved for one hour of general credit.

Have You Used Your Free Resilience Coaching or Mental Health Benefits?

Did you know that lawyers and judges in the Buncombe Count Bar are eligible for free Resilience Coaching sessions with Laura Mahr or free mental health care sessions with a local therapist this calendar year? If you have not yet used your 2019 BarCARES benefits, call BarCARES at 800-640-0735 during business hours. The program coordinator will take your confidential call. You can specifically request three sessions with Laura Mahr, a local attorney and mindfulness-based resilience coach, or ask for a referral to a participating licensed therapist. You do not need to give any specifics other than your name and Bar number to access your benefits.

To find out more about BarCARES, visit To find out more about Laura’s mindfulness and neuroscience-based resilience coaching for lawyers, visit
NOTE: Per BarCARES rules, if you used your 2018 BarCARES benefits for coaching sessions with Laura, you are eligible for only two sessions with her in 2019.