Chief Administrative Law Judge Issues Response to COVID-19 emergency

Julian Mann, III, Director and Chief Administrative Law Judge of the NC Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), has issued a response to the COVID-19 emergency. The responses addresses how OAH and all its constituent parts are responding to the COVID-19 emergency, as well as information for attorneys, litigants, agencies, boards and commissions.  The response includes: general information, the Hearings Division, the Rules Division, the Civil Rights Division, the Rules Review Commission, and the Human Relations Commission.

Additional Updates in Light of COVID-19

By Eleasa Allen

Below are the most recent updates issued by the North Carolina Industrial Commission on its website in response to the ongoing concerns over COVID-19:

IC Staff Working Remotely; Email Communication Encouraged

In light of Governor Cooper’s March 10, 2020 State of Emergency declaration regarding COVID-19 and consistent with guidance issued by the NC Department of Human Resources, the Industrial Commission is encouraging its staff to work remotely to the greatest extent possible. The Commission remains open for business but encourages you to contact Commission staff by email instead of by phone. Commission employees working remotely have easy and quick access to their email inbox on their laptops and other devices. By contrast, they do not have real time access to office phone calls when working remotely, and their voicemail messages are not forwarded to their personal phones. Email addresses can be found by going under the “Sections” tab on the Commission’s Home Page and clicking on the appropriate section of the Commission. The Commission is committed to continuing to serve you during this challenging time and appreciates your understanding and assistance.

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MacCord’s List: IP News & Notices From Art MacCord

By Art MacCord

Art MacCord is a patent attorney with 40 years of experience. He keeps an eye on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office for new rules and practice tips of interest to intellectual property attorneys. Find his latest updates here:

NCBA IPL section Blog News Blasts for March 17, 2020

Special Announcement about Copyright Office Fee Changes

USPTO update on in-person meetings

Relief for USPTO customers affected by COVID-19  

Fight Hunger, Help Others in the COVID-19 Pandemic – Participate in the Legal Feeding Frenzy and Support Your Local Food Bank!

Michele Livingstone

Will Quick

By Michele Livingstone and Will Quick

We are in unprecedented times with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  It is now more important than ever that we help our neighbors and those who are not as fortunate. I am confident that each of you is doing your part.

Even in the best of times, however, over 1.5 Million North Carolinians struggle with hunger—of those, nearly half a million are children. With public schools and many religious and nonprofit organizations that traditionally serve the food insecure in our communities being closed for indefinite periods, and government leaders calling for social distancing to help limit the spread of Coronavirus, that need is never more pressing than now.

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Ethical Considerations for North Carolina Litigators During COVID-19

Amy Richardson

Marilyn Forbes

By Amy Richardson and Marilyn Forbes

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has created uncertainty in all areas including in our professional lives. The following are a few ethical considerations that litigators should keep in mind during this time.

COMMUNICATION: Make sure to update and timely respond to your clients. North Carolina Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4 governs communications between lawyers and their clients. Rule 1.4 requires, among other things, that lawyers keep their clients “reasonably informed about the status of the matter.” Clients with pending matters may be concerned about the impact of Chief Justice Beasley’s March 13, 2020 Order on their particular case. Lawyers with cases impacted by the Order should provide guidance to their clients on the current impact and potential impact of the matter. It is appropriate to tell your clients that things are in flux, but that you are monitoring developments.

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Updates in Light of COVID-19

Eleasa Allen

Heather Baker

By Eleasa Allen and Heather Baker

This is a post to provide the Section with some updates in light of the changes, postponements, and closures as a result of COVID-19/Coronavirus.  This is an evolving situation that will have varying impacts on each of us.  We encourage everyone to remain flexible.  As additional information is disseminated, we will be sure to share it with you.

Due to concerns regarding safety and public gatherings, the Section’s social scheduled for April 23, 2020 at the Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game has been cancelled.  There should be additional social events scheduled in the future, so stay tuned for those.

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Judicial Updates on COVID-19

By Daniel Adams 

Criminal Justice Section members should pay close attention to rapidly developing guidance from state and federal courts concerning COVID-19. The most recent guidance is summarized below, and the relevant orders are linked. Please also check with your local courts to track developments affecting you and your clients; as of 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 16, 2020, 16 counties were reporting court closings and/or advisories.


NC State Courts

Chief Justice Beasley entered an order on Friday, March 13 regarding the operation of the North Carolina court system.

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Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s Announcement Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

By Afi S. Johnson-Parris

Family Law Section members, please make note of Chief Justice Beasley’s announcement today regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) impact on court operations, which goes into effect on Monday, March 16. You can access her announcement here:

Although courthouses will remain open, this will have a direct impact on many of us practicing in the North Carolina Court System because all court proceedings will be rescheduled for at least 30 days, with some exceptions.

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Judicial Update – COVID-19

By Martha J. Efird

Litigation Section members should pay particular attention to today’s announcement by Chief Justice Beasley regarding the operation of the North Carolina court system during the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus). For your convenience, a link to the announcement is here.

In summary, the Chief Justice’s Order states the following:

EFFECTIVE MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020, for 30 days, Chief Justice Beasley ordered the rescheduling of District and Superior Court proceedings calendared between March 16 and April 16. No District or Superior Court matters can be added to the calendar during the 30-day period either.

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