Update from State Bar Councilor Anna Hamrick

Dear Friends and Colleagues –

I hope you are well.  The NCSB Council recently had its Summer quarterly meeting in Asheville.  In the past after these meetings, I have sent out an update to you about the major points of interest.  However, the NCSB recently reinstated its efforts to provide a state-wide summary, and you should receive it directly from them.  The one from the July meeting can be found below if you did not get it:

https://ncbar.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c8f565c89cc1996a150dc1259&id=242c6bbbfe&e=0442fdb1b9

Given the above, I will not recreate the wheel with a summary of my own.  However, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

The synopsis covers the big points, but I did want to note the Preamble amendment on discriminatory conduct was approved for transmission to the Supreme Court.

Another topic not addressed in the quarterly update or the synopsis is the decision of the executive committee to instruct the officers to appoint an ad hoc committee to study the feasibility of creating a license for legal paraprofessionals who can assist with addressing the unmet legal needs identified in the Equal Access to Justice Commission’s 2021 Legal Needs Assessment.   Here is a link to the assessment:  https://ncequaljusticealliance.org/assessment/.

Our state Bar councilors had a wonderful time in Asheville.  I would like to especially thank Bill Wolcott, Bill Christy, Jason Gast and Bob Deutsch for their kind and generous help.  Each of them volunteered to guide a local hike for Bar councilors who wanted to see the area.  Everyone had a great time visiting new places.  Many of the non-local lawyers treated to the hikes praised Bill, Bill, Jason and Bob as wonderful ambassadors and hosts.  I really appreciate their hard work.

One last thing I would like to mention that may save some of you worry and heartburn:  After each quarterly meeting, the NCSB asks the Bar councilors to call all members in the councilor’s local bar who may be owing any or all of the following to the Bar:  NCSB dues, local Bar dues, CLE forms, CLE fees, CLE hours and/or the annual IOLTA certification.  The idea is for us to give a gentle reminder to you of anything missing which perhaps fell through the cracks.  The Bar is hoping with the call, you can then take care of the matter, and they can avoid the time and expense of a Notice to Show Cause.

When I make these calls, if I have to leave a message for you, please do not worry.  As someone who can teach a masterclass in the art of the kneejerk panic reaction, I get it.  The problem sometimes comes when I can’t get through to the lawyer’s voicemail (where I feel comfortable leaving a message of the exact issue), and so I have to be somewhat vague and cryptic with the person who answers the phone for the number you have given to the NCSB.  Some lawyers do not want the person answering the phone to know the issue, and I have tried to tread a fine line between giving out just enough information, without getting into actual matter.  Please just know if you get a message from “Anna Hamrick, local Bar councilor,” especially in the months of January, April, July or October, this is likely why I am calling.  Any serious Bar issues would not be presented to you in the form of a phone call from me.

Our next meeting will be in Raleigh in October.  Thank you, and take care!

Sincerely, Anna Hamrick