The Chair’s Comments
Article Date: Thursday, November 03, 2011
Written By: Chris Capel
I'm very pleased to be writing my first Chair's Comments column, having taken the reins from Steve Lynch as chair of the section on July 1. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions, ideas, or concerns. I feel privileged to be involved in the section's leadership, I'm excited about my term, and I look forward to hearing from you.
On behalf of the section, I'd like to thank Steve Lynch for his service as chair the past two years. He has done an excellent job and we appreciate his commitment and insight. I know that we will look to him for guidance going forward as well.
Thanks to the leadership of Steve and the Business Law Section Council and the hard work of many, we are all members of a very strong section. This spring, I attended the ABA's Annual Business Bar Leaders Conference in Chicago, designed for section chairs and other section leaders. We were told that a strong section involves, among other things, a well-developed committee structure, timely and practical continuing legal education, or CLE, meaningful projects, and a quality newsletter. The speakers offered guidance on how to build these components, and I realized in listening to them and in interacting with lawyers from other states that we already have them in spades. Please join me in continuing stewardship of our Business Law Section and in maintaining and enhancing our programming and other activities.
I'd like to welcome to the Business Law Section Council Jennifer Ball, Mark Cain, Karen Gledhill and Kevin Prakke. Mark and Kevin are not true new-comers - Mark is also continuing as chair of our Section Home Page and Technology Liaison Committee, and Kevin co-chaired the section's Delaware/North Carolina Corporate Law Comparison Project. Ken Carroll is our new vice chair of the section, Scott Coward is the new secretary, and Jeff Dunlop will serve as treasurer. We also have some new committee chairs: Robert Saunders is our Nonprofits chair, Dave Caplan is our Pro Bono/NC LEAP chair, and Rick Starling is our Securities Regulation/Investment Advisors Act Task Force chair. Thanks to all of you for serving in these capacities, and thank you also to our returning council members and committee chairs.
Two of the section's key activities are in the areas of CLE and legislation. In the legislative area, legislation authorizing attorneys' fees in business contracts and legislation amending dissenters' rights (Article 13 of the Business Corporation Act) were enacted in the General Assembly's last session and became effective on Oct. 1, 2011. Articles about these two important laws will be published in the January 2012 issue of this newsletter. I commend Stephen Later, Kenny Greene, Bill Gwyn, John Miller, Steve Lynch, as well as others, for their efforts in getting this legislation in place. Stephen has also agreed to continue as co-chair of our legislative committee.
In the CLE area, we are gearing up for our annual meeting and related CLE, February 16 and 17, 2012. As has been the case for the past few years, we will partner with the NCBA's Corporate Counsel Section and International Law & Practice Section in Pinehurst. Scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, February 16 is the Business Law Institute CLE, and on Friday, in addition to CLE, each of the three sections will hold its 2012 Annual Meeting. Gene Jones is our section's Planning Chair for the event. This program will include coverage of the attorneys' fees and dissenters' rights legislation, as well as other current topics. You may recall that for last year's event in Pinehurst we were displaced to another meeting room (which received mixed reviews) - this year we will return to our usual venue.
Other important on-going projects include our Forms Initiative and NC LEAP. Ours Forms Committee co-chairs, Scott Dillon and Carolyn Minshaw, are implementing plans to identify new forms to be added to the database and, of course, will continue to need volunteers - so please consider this opportunity. NC LEAP (North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program; providing pro bono legal advice to low wealth entrepreneurs) continues to thrive but also always needs volunteers. This issue of the newsletter includes an article by Mary Horowitz which provides an update on NC LEAP. I'll also mention that our section's "LISTSERV" is underutilized, so please consider contributing.
I encourage you to become involved in the section's activities, from suggesting ideas for projects, CLE and legislation, to serving on a committee or in another role. From personal experience, I'm sure that you will find it rewarding to interact with our great business bar lawyers and to be exposed to an array of substantive business law issues. Again, I look forward to hearing from you and working with you. •
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.