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Lawyers In The News

Michael L. Weisel has joined the Raleigh firm of Allen & Pinnix. He will concentrate in domestic and international finance and corporate transactional areas. He will also engage in administrative and legislative representation. A former vice president and investment advisor for Kemper Financial Services, Weisel worked with Wells Fargo Bank as vice president in the pension fund advisory group. He is a member of the North Carolina Banking Commission and served as a trustee for the N.C. Teachers and State Employees’ Retirement and the Local Government Employees Retirement system. He ran for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer in 1996….

For the past three years, Daryl Smith has been the executive director of Eastern Carolina Legal Services. In March, he entered the private sector, opening a law office in Wilson. He plans to concentrate in family law, personal injury claims and criminal cases. During a long and illustrious career, Smith spent 15 years as an assistant DA in Durham and taught at NCCU’s law school. He sat on the Executive Committee of the Durham County Democratic Party and was a citizen ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, where he traveled to study their legal systems and meet with professional counterparts….

In 1980, newly elected District Judge Albert S. Thomas was hearing about 12 juvenile cases on a busy day. In the last six months, Thomas has seen that number jump to about 50 cases a day. Meanwhile, the average age of the offenders has dropped from 16 to about 10 or 11 years old, according to a March 22 article in the Wilson Daily Times. Court officials are perplexed about Wilson’s problem, although drug use and the breakdown of the family unit are suspected. “The community says, `Why can’t you (the court) fix it?’ but with all this, what kind of chance do we have of making a substantial difference?” said Thomas. He helped write the state’s juvenile code 18 years ago and would like to see it tightened to give the community’s protection equal weight with the needs of the offender. Currently, the law does not look at the community’s safety or interest when juveniles come to court, Thomas said.

Charlotte attorney Kathy Lange has been named to the board of directors of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. Lange was manager on a recent project. Since 1988 the group has erected more than 25 homes in Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville….

Mary Kercher has been named as vice president, legal counsel and secretary of Compass Group USA. She has been with Compass since 1991, when she was hired as assistant general counsel….

Adrian M. Lapas and Richard J. Archie have formed Lapas & Archie in Goldsboro. Archie was formerly with Warren, Kerr, Watson, Hollowell & Taylor. The firm will handle civil and criminal litigation as well as real estate law, collections, foreclosures, business law, estates, Social Security and workers’ compensation….

Greensboro lawyer Manlin Chee was featured as the “Voice for Immigrants” in a March 12 Greensboro News & Record article. Since graduating from Wake Forest’s University law school in 1978, Chee has stayed busy helping immigrants get green cards or U.S. citizenship. Just how busy is she? Her resume states: “I do not smoke, I do not drink and I do not sleep.” A 1991 winner of a Pro Bono Publico Award, Chee recently completed the 10-week program sponsored by the N.C. Institute of Public Leadership. The course offers practical pointers for those with potential to be the state’s future political leaders….

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