Minutes February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014, at 9:00 A.M.


The Council convened at the date, time and place indicated above.

Members Participating:
Sowell, Thornwell F., III, Chair
Crowe, Danny,
HaLevi, Jill E.
Hinson, Richard L.
Keefer, Sean F.
Kinon, Hon. Lisa A.
Massalon, John A.

Bar Staff:
Coker, Cindy
Bopp, Cheryl

Call to Order, Roll Call and Welcome
Section Chair Mr. Sowell called the meeting to order and welcomed those participating.

Approval of Prior Minutes
The Minutes of the January 10, 2014, meeting were adopted by acclamation. Mr. Crowe was to complete the January 23rd Minutes for approval at the next meeting.

Old Business
Mr. Sowell reported that although the seminar held at the Bar Convention was officially a sellout, the room was not full. Discussion of possible reasons for the lower than expected attendance followed. Ms. Coker was to obtain any surveys conducted by the CLE Division as it related to this particular seminar and share those with the Council.

The Council voted to table the matter of the Young Lawyers Division working together with the Section to understand ADR until the next meeting.

Mr. Crowe reported he was drafting a request for an Ethics Advisory Opinion regarding the ethical duty to pay mediators and planned to send it out for review on March 5 and requested comments from the group. Council members noted there is a current Ethics FAQ that appears to address this issue. The opinion of the Council is that a formal opinion will carry more weight with Bar members than the FAQ. A discussion ensued regarding overdue mediation bills. Addressed were the ethical obligation of the lawyer to pay under the ADR Rules and the obligation to pay when the language is included in the agreement. Mr. Sowell noted the provision in the North Carolina rule that each lawyer, no matter how many clients, is responsible for the pro rata share. Mr. Keefer remarked that in family court, lawyers are contacting the court to get payment issues spelled out in the order. Mr. Hinson had filed motions to compel payment under ADR Rules with success.

Mr. Crowe reported the he received good data on the success rate of ADR from Mills Gallivan, but that the information Ms. Coker obtained from Court Administration was not formatted to provide the information Mr. Crowe needed. Ms. Coker said she would contact court administration and try to get additional information.

New Business
The Council discussed the Law Student Affiliate Division of the Bar. The consensus of the Council was that the program was a good idea. Ms. Coker explained that the idea was to get the students acclimated to the DR Section and to invite them to join in conference calls and to a regional meeting. Ms. Coker was to obtain information on the LSAD and share with the Council. Council expressed a willingness to assist with activities at the law school with the new LSAD, including developing a mediation seminar for the students.

Mr. Massalon reported that there was a student division of the Charleston County Bar, which was very successful, and which was open to anyone at the law school. A discussion ensued as to whether to try to come up with a student division in Richland County. Mr. Sowell requested Mr. Massalon to help develop a similar program in Columbia. Mr. Keefer and Mr. Sowell would help as well. Mr. Massalon would send by-laws of the Charleston County program to the Section.

Mr. Sowell stated that the Section did not have any matters to address to the Commission.

Next Meeting
Mr. Sowell scheduled the next conference call meeting for March 28, 2014, at 9:00 a.m.

There being no further business, the Chair declared the meeting adjourned.