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Attorney hopefuls must pass character test before taking exam (access required)

They lined up in the early-morning heat outside the Jim Graham building and the Exposition Center at the state fairgrounds, some with laptops, some empty-handed, all with an it's-now-or-never look on their faces. With two days of the bar exam ahead of them and three years of law school behind them, the applicants were facing the last hurdle in their quest to become North Carolina attorneys.

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Bar examiners take team approach to score essays (access required)

As hundreds of would-be attorneys gathered on the state fairgrounds in Raleigh to take the exam earlier this week, a new concept in grading essay questions was about to be used for the first time in North Carolina. It's called "team grading" and it will reduce the time it takes to grade the exams, allowing the N.C. Board of Law Examiners to stick to a two-week grading period instead of having to spill over into a third week.

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Bar continues debate on non-discrimination preamble (access required)

The Ethics Committee of the State Bar considered a controversial amendment to the preamble to the Rules of Professional Conduct at its quarterly meeting late last week in Pinehurst. The original amended language provided that a lawyer, "[w]hile employed in a professional capacity ... should avoid knowingly manifesting through word or deed or bias or prejudice based upon a person's race, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or other protected status or personal characteristic." Alice Mine (pictured) serves as ethics counsel for the State Bar. [...]

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ADA’s firing shines light on traffic school ‘arrangement’ (access required)

A Mecklenburg County assistant district attorney says he was terminated because he gave an interview to Charlotte's FOX affiliate. The attorney, Sean P. Smith, is a candidate for the district court seat held since 2009 by Gov. Bev Perdue appointee Tyyawdi M. Hands. Smith said that in the Mecklenburg district attorney's office, "You don't talk about certain things." He gave the interview on July 9 as part of his judicial campaign.

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‘Textbook clarity’ in lis pendens case extinguishes lien (access required)

Winston-Salem real estate developer T. Michael Kelley had his moment in the Court of Appeals' spotlight last week. It was his second such moment this month. The Court of Appeals reversed a trial court's dismissal of his quiet-title action and remanded the case for entry of summary judgment in Kelley's favor in June 20's Kelley v. Citi Fin. Servs., Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-07-0668, 15 pp.).

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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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