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Author Archives: Diana Smith, Staff Writer

Gay lawyers say North Carolina’s climate is better but not perfect (access required)

Dan Ellison (pictured) graduated from UNC Law School in 1984 with the same anxiety about passing the bar exam that all lawyers-to-be face at the beginning of their careers. But it wasn't just a commonplace case of the nerves for him. On the contrary, he faced a worry that an unknown number of his classmates might have faced at the same time - whether being gay would affect his ability to become an attorney in North Carolina.

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A decade in, IDS goes from controversial to institutional (access required)

Ten years ago, North Carolina's criminal justice system was in the Dark Ages. Today, it's seen the light. That's according to Raleigh defense attorney Joe Cheshire V, who still applauds the General Assembly for establishing an office to oversee the legal representation of the state's poorest defendants in 2000. The Office of Indigent Defense Services was created to fix "a criminal justice system that had absolutely no structure," said Cheshire, who served on the study group that recommended the agency's creation and is now IDS Commission chair.

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Lights! Camera! CLE! (access required)

NCBA distance learning coordinator Carroll Herndon poses with some of the new equipment in the new studio at the Bar Center. Photo by Russell Rawlings NCBA distance learning coordinator Carroll Herndon poses with some of the new equipment in the new studio at the Bar Center. Photo by Russell Rawlings Don't be surprised if you walk by a closed door with an "on air" sign lit up the next time you visit the Bar Center in Cary. The North Carolina Bar Association is putting the finishing touches on an in-house recording studio for its CLE programming. The studio will allow the NCBA to increase its online offerings, according to CLE director Ray Ruppert. The NCBA currently offers about 300 video replays per year, but Ruppert said the organization must up that number.

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