News from 2016

North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission 2016

  • October 26-27, 2016 – Members Participate in the 2016 Legal Services Conference.Members of the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission shared their perspective and expertise during continuing legal education sessions offered at the 2016 NC Legal Services Conference on October 26-27, 2016 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Chief Judge Linda McGee moderated the View from the Bench panel with fellow judges, Judge Luis Olivera and Judge Paul Jones, to discuss access to justice from the perspective of the judiciary and approaches to ensuring access for low-income and self-represented litigants. Justice Cheri Beasley, Vice Chair of the Commission, gave remarks during the Awards Luncheon honoring legal aid staff. Afi Johnson-Parris of Ward Black Law participated in the panel discussion, Increasing Pro Bono Participation, reflecting on her efforts to do pro bono in her community and as a leader of her local bar, the Greensboro Bar Association.  Rick Glazier, Executive Director of the NC Justice Center, also participated in a panel discussion, Magnifying Our Marketing: How Being an Ambassador & Story Teller for Civil Legal Aid Makes Big Impacts for Clients.

  • October 21, 2016 – Chief Justice Recognizes Outgoing Commission Members. During the last meeting of 2016, Chief Justice Mark Martin recognized outgoing Commission members Chief Judge Linda McGee, John McMillan and Kirk Warner.  Thank you all for your many years of dedicated service to the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission.

  • July 19, 2016 – Interim Reports Released by the Commission on the Administration of Law & Justice.This week, the Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice released interim reports detailing its work to date and inviting public comment.  Staff and members of the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission have been involved in the Commission’s work, including making presentations and providing research to two committees.  The report includes recommendations (1) to restore funding for legal aid providers and (2) to support efforts to provide assistance for pro se litigants as undertaken by the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission. Comments on the report may be provided online at nccalj.org/interim-reports or in person at one of these four public meetings:
  • July 1, 2016 – 2015 Impact Report Released.  The NC Equal Access to Justice Commission released the 2015 Impact Reportthis month highlighting accomplishments and activities of the Commission during the past year.
  • March 18, 2016 – Commission Member Ann Warren Recognized as Charlotte’s 40 Under 40 for 2016.Ann Warren, Associate General Counsel, Duke Energy, was recently named to Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.  Each year Charlotte Business Journal selects 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are making major strides in their careers and having a positive impact on their communities. The class was recognized at a celebration on March 16 at the historic McGlohon Theater in Charlotte. Ann has served as a member of the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission since 2014 and is the chair of the Pro Bono and Resource Development Committee.
  • March 1, 2016 – Sylvia Novinsky Named Director of N.C. Pro Bono Resource Center at Equal Access to Justice Commission. Chief Justice Mark D. Martin is pleased to announce that the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commissionhas hired Sylvia Novinsky to serve as the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center Director.  “I could not be more excited to have Sylvia Novinsky as our first Pro Bono Resource Center Director,” said Chief Justice Martin. “As a national leader on pro bono, she will bring an unparalleled enthusiasm and professionalism to this new position.”  Read the full announcement welcoming Sylvia.
  • February 9, 2016 – Associate Justice Cheri Beasley Speaks to Graduating Students at UNC School of Law about Pro Bono. On Tuesday, February 9, UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program hosted Practically Transitioned, a networking event for graduating students and alumni to connect and share about the importance of a lifelong commitment to pro bono service.  Associate Justice Cheri Beasley gave remarks, congratulating the class for reaching 90% participation in pro bono and encouraging them to continue to fulfill their professional obligation to assist those who cannot afford legal services.

  • January 8, 2016 – Chief Justice Martin Presents Friend of the Court Award to Jerry Parnell.NC Equal Access to Justice Commission founding member Jerry Parnell was presented the Friend of the Court Award at the Commission’s meeting on January 8. In addition to serving on the Commission since its establishment in 2006, Parnell also served as a founding member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism.  Read the article about the award.

  • January 4, 2016 – Commission Hiring Director of the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center.The NC Equal Access to Justice Commission is hiring a Director of the NC Pro Bono Resource Center, a new initiative of the Commission to increase pro bono efforts statewide.  Applications should include a cover letter, resume, and list of at least three professional references, including contact information for each. Submit applications to Executive Director Jennifer Lechner at lechner@ncequalaccesstojustice.org no later than Friday, January 29, 2016.
  • January 1, 2016 – Commission Welcomes New Members. Chief Justice Mark Martin has appointed eight new members to serve on the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission beginning January 1, 2016.  The Commission’s 25 members represent the judiciary, private bar, law schools, business and philanthropy communities, legal aid, and governmental entities.
    • Barbara Degen, Western Regional Manager, Legal Aid of North Carolina
    • Ronald L. Gibson, Partner, Ruff Bond Cobb Wade & Bethune L.L.P.
    • Rick Glazier, Executive Director, NC Justice Center
    • Joy Vermillion Heinsohn, Assistant Director, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
    • Charles Holton, Member, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP
    • The Honorable Lisa Y. Johnson-Tonkins, Clerk of Superior Court, Guilford County
    • Alan Parry, Partner, Parry Tyndall White
    • Judge Jan Samet, District Court Judge, District 18 (reappointed for a second three-year term)
    • McKinley Wooten, Deputy Director, Program Services, North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts