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Author Archives: Diana Smith, Staff Writer

His dream – and nightmare – job: Mediating the NFL dispute (access required)

David D. Kalish is a patent attorney with Coats & Bennett in Cary. He has experience in many aspects of patent preparation and prosecution, primarily in mechanical, electromechanical and computer-related arts, in addition to non-infringement, invalidity and freedom to practice opinions. Kalish obtained his bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering with a minor in economics from North Carolina State University. His J.D. and LL.M. in intellectual property were earned from Franklin Pierce Law Center. Outside of the firm, Kalish is a member of the N.C. Bar Association and Wake County Bar Association.

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Want more referrals? Say ‘thanks’ for the ones you’ve gotten (access required)

The importance of giving thanks to colleagues for client referrals isn't lost on Raleigh lawyer Mark Sullivan (pictured). His family law practice draws about 60 percent of its client base from attorney referrals. That's why he turned the etiquette of saying "thank you" into a deliberately structured part of his business plan about 20 years ago. But it took time to figure out what strategy was best.

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In-house counsel hate surprises but love communication

Building rapport and maintaining constant communication are the keys to sustaining a healthy business relationship between in-house and outside counsel, panelists said at Lawyers Weekly's Business and Law Breakfast Wednesday. About 40 people gathered at the Marriott City Center hotel in downtown Raleigh as panelists Jay Campbell, executive director of the N.C. Board of Pharmacy; Ken Hammer, general counsel and vice president of corporate governance at DataFlux Corp.; and Jeff Miller, vice president, general counsel and secretary of Highwoods Properties discussed the most effective ways for outside firms to attract in-house business.

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Seminar better way to learn leadership than ‘screwing up’ (access required)

Attention young lawyers: Time is running out to apply for a spot in the North Carolina Bar Association's inaugural Leadership Academy. Qualified attorneys have until Friday to submit applications to become one of 15 lawyers in the state who will participate in a six-session leadership development program, which is one of the signature projects NCBA President Gene Pridgen (pictured) outlined when he took the helm of the organization last June.

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Firm outfits lounge to lift morale, build staff cohesiveness (access required)

Your eyes are fatigued from fluorescent lighting. Clients have been making tough demands all day long. You need to get away. Next stop, the No Work Zone. By month's end, that's where attorneys and staff at Smith Moore Leatherwood in Raleigh will be able to go in order to take a breather. The firm is in the process of converting an old supply room into an employee lounge replete with a sofa, rugs, TV, soft lighting from lamps, a computer and an aquarium. It's all part of an effort by an office group that is responsible for coming up with creative, out-of-the-box activities for lawyers and staff to do together.

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Legal career path adds intersections, off ramps (access required)

Charlotte attorney Gene Pridgen graduated from law school in 1978 with a clear-cut career path in front of him. He'd clerked for the large firm of Kennedy Covington - now K&L Gates - the previous summer and received a subsequent offer for a position as an associate. Five years later, he made partner. Pridgen called his longevity at the firm typical for lawyers of his generation. But times have changed. New lawyers who aspire to ascend the ranks at large firms may not follow the straight-arrow path to partnership that attorneys once did, opting instead for lateral moves or taking experimental detours into government or in-house work.

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Non-Lawyer to Lawyer: TSA body scan or pat-down? Yes, please

Of my immediate circle of friends, I was the only person who flew to see family over Thanksgiving. Being a frugal flyer, we left Raleigh on Thanksgiving Day. And during my layover in Houston, I happily responded to all of the text messages that people sent wishing me a happy Turkey Day. (I also felt immensely popular, which made up for the fact that my husband dragged me out of bed at 3:30 a.m. to catch the first flight of the day.) But of all of the warm wishes, my favorites came from the people who know my sense of humor best: "So, did you get the erotic pat-down?"

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Elon clinic aims to help refugees and asylees stay here (access required)

This year, more than 2,700 refugees arrived in North Carolina seeking a new start in life. On New Year's Day, those in the Triad will find a new agency to help them do it. The Elon University School of Law has established the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, which will provide free legal services to refugees and those seeking asylum in the state. Its doors open Jan. 1. According to Greensboro immigration attorney Gerard Chapman, the timing for the clinic's opening couldn't be better.

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Q&A: Saying what you mean without being mean is a professional art (access required)

John Minier is a partner with Yates, McLamb & Weyher in Raleigh. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the Duke University School of Law, Minier focuses his practice exclusively on medical malpractice defense. He is a member of the American Bar Association, N.C. Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys and the Wake County Bar Association. Minier was recently selected by Business Leader magazine as a 2010 "Triangle Mover and Shaker." Here, he tells North Carolina Lawyers Weekly about the importance of learning how to communicate firmly yet compassionately with clients.

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Doctors, lawyers find common ground helping elderly (access required)

Experts say wariness of medical-malpractice claims and a discomfort that arises from occupations with different bodies of training has historically led physicians and attorneys to operate on separate playing fields. "There's been a mutual suspicion of the other profession," said Dr. Stephen Kramer (pictured), professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. "They're both highly traditional and learned professions, and you'd think they'd have a lot in common, but the mindset is very different.

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