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Corporate Counsel Section Website › Newsletters › The Business Lawyer, February 2011 › The Chair’s Comments: A Word from John Orgain

The Chair’s Comments: A Word from John Orgain

Article Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The year is racing by, both literally and figuratively. Note the picture with some of the members of the North Carolina Bar Association's Corporate Counsel Section Council in the Winner's Circle at the Charlotte Motor Speedway appearing later in this issue.  The Corporate Counsel Section exists to help put our members in the winner's circle by helping you better serve your businesses, your other clients and your communities. 

Please contact me at with questions, ideas and offers to help the Corporate Counsel Section provide useful services and information to our members and communities.  Your ideas, comments and participation are encouraged and welcomed. 

At our last meeting, in addition to getting on the track for a high speed tour of the Speedway and the receiving the normal committee reports, we heard from several Speedway executives, including Chris Kouri, the Speedway's general counsel, who discussed distinctive legal issues faced by the Speedway.
The Corporate Counsel Section has been busy since our last quarterly meeting.  In January, the section's Career Development Committee, led by Theresa Jones, held a teleseminar entitled "Climbing the Law Firm and Corporate Law Office Ladder" to educate participants on the best way to prepare themselves for advancement in a corporate or law firm setting.  Panelists included in-house counsel from Lenovo Corporation and partners from Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson and Williams Mullen.

The section's Continuing Legal Education Committee, led by Jason Hensley, has been planning, along with the Business Law and International Law Sections, an excellent continuing legal education program to take place in Pinehurst on the afternoon of Thursday, February 17 and during the day on Friday, February 18.  You can attend one or both days.  On February 17, the topics covered are the impact of consumer financial services regulation on corporate practice; the buy-sell agreement in the professional service setting; acquiring distressed companies; appointing and managing the special committee to the board of directors; and managing risk, choosing the right law and right type of entity. On February 18, the topics include the North Carolina business law update; the art and science of business organization minutes; ethics-alternative fee arrangements; essential elements of the license agreement; and addressing substance abuse problems within the profession. Three breakout sessions are included where in session one you can choose between social media law and a consumer guide to international arbitration forums, in session two you can choose between audit response letters and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: the basics of compliance programs, and in session three you can choose between data privacy: what every business lawyer and corporate counsel need to know or the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: handling potential violations.

The Corporate Counsel Section's annual meeting will be held in Pinehurst during lunch on Friday, February 18. You can attend the annual meeting whether or not you are participating in the CLE sessions.

The most recent quarterly meeting of the Corporate Counsel Section took place on Friday, February 11, at The Clearing House, a very high tech, high security facility in Winston-Salem. Our quarterly meetings provide both substantive updates and good opportunities for networking and sharing of ideas with each other.  The last quarterly meeting of the fiscal year will be held at the Bar Center in Cary on May 5.  Please come join us. You can always check the Corporate Counsel Section's website ( for more details about our meetings and other Section activities.

The new United States Marshal for the Middle District of North Carolina, Willie R. Stafford, spoke during lunch at the February 11 meeting.  He discussed the role of the United States Marshal's Office in our justice system.  In the Corporate Counsel Section Council portion of the meeting, we discussed the Section's involvement in the North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NC LEAP), 4ALL, and other pro bono and community service opportunities.  

The Corporate Counsel Section was one of the founders of NCLEAP and, along with others, has helped sustain the program.  NC LEAP provides pro bono assistance for low-income entrepreneurial individuals throughout North Carolina and provides an opportunity for corporate counsel to utilize their skills to help deserving individuals start and grow new businesses.  NC LEAP clients may need assistance with entity formation, contracts, trademarks, bankruptcy and other areas of law with which corporate counsel have experience and expertise.  It provides a perfect fit for corporate counsel looking for an appropriate way to provide outreach and pro bono services to our local communities.  I hope you will considerate allocating some of your pro bono hours to NC LEAP.

In addition to the regular committee reports, also discussed the slate of new Section Council members and new officers for next year and the goings on in the General Assembly, including proposed legislation that may affect the practices of our members.

Our Section Council is here to serve you.  Please let us know how we can help your practice.  I hope to hear from you or see you soon.
Views and opinions expressed in articles published herein are the authors' only and are not to be attributed to this newsletter, the section, or the NCBA unless expressly stated. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations and quotations.