The Chair’s Comments: A Word from Stephen M. Lynch
Article Date: Tuesday, May 03, 2011
We held our annual meeting and Business Law Institute this year on February 18 and 19. For the second consecutive year, our annual meeting was held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Corporate Counsel Section and the International Law & Practice Section. I’d like to thank our course planners, Jason Hensley, Tracey Leroy and Russell Robinson, as well as the chair of our CLE Committee, Chris Capel, for all of their efforts in pulling this together. I would also like to thank the chairs of the Corporate Counsel Section and the International Law & Practice Section, John Orgain and John Erwin, for agreeing to share the podium with us again this year.
Those who attended this year’s event noticed that we were not in our customary meeting rooms in Pinehurst. That change was not a voluntary experiment on our part-another group snagged those rooms ahead of us. For those who prefer tradition, rest assured that we have reserved our customary annual meeting facilities for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
At the annual meeting, we distributed the Statement on Professionalism for North Carolina Business Lawyers with the program materials. The Statement, drafted by a committee chaired by Anna Mills and Kathryn Purdom, was adopted by the Business Law Section Council a few years ago as a set of goals to which we should all aspire. I think it is useful for us to periodically revisit the Statement to be reminded of these goals, and I have reproduced it below for your consideration.
Statement on Professionalism for North Carolina Business Lawyers
This Statement on Professionalism describes aspirational professional goals for business lawyers in North Carolina. The Statement’s principles should serve as a reminder to experienced lawyers and a guide to newer lawyers of ways to practice business law that enhance the reputation of business lawyers in North Carolina. The goals described in the Statement are in addition to the North Carolina State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct and do not establish a basis for discipline or standards of conduct.
Service to the Client
I will endeavor to continually develop my legal knowledge, professional skills and understanding of my clients’ businesses and the environment in which they operate. In the course of representing my clients, I also will endeavor to understand and be guided by my clients’ principal business goals and objectives. I will seek to explain all relevant legal issues to my clients and advise them of the important legal risks. I will strive to achieve efficiencies in time and legal expense.
Working with Other Lawyers
I will be professional and courteous toward other lawyers during negotiations and other interactions. When making transactional due diligence requests, I will endeavor to request only relevant and necessary information appropriate to the size and scope of the transaction. I will strive to draft documents that reflect the agreement of the parties and that are appropriate for the transaction. If called for, when exchanging documents with other lawyers, I will clearly mark any revisions. When requesting a legal opinion or responding to a request for a legal opinion, I will follow the “Golden Rule” enunciated in the American Bar Association’s Guidelines for the Preparation of Closing Opinions.1
I will seek to ensure that all signed documents in my control are in the form agreed to by the parties involved.
Service to the Legal Profession
I will endeavor to participate in the continuing business legal education and training of other lawyers and law students. I also will strive to participate in organized bar activities to improve business laws.
Pro Bono Service
I will strive to contribute to business development in North Carolina by providing pro bono business legal services to deserving individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
1. 57 Bus. Law. 875 (2002).
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