North Carolina Local Trial Counsel

Looking for Local Trial Counsel in North Carolina?

You may be an out-of-state attorney looking for North Carolina Local Trial Counsel so that you can practice pro hac vice in a North Carolina State Court or as a special appearance attorney in the EDNC or MDNC. On the other hand, you may be a North Carolina business transaction or corporate attorney who doesn’t usually handle litigation.

In either case, you want aggressive North Carolina Trial Counsel who will make you look like a Superstar and will Help You Help Your Client.

“I’m Looking for North Carolina Local Trial Counsel right now!”

To learn more right now about associating us as Your North Carolina Local Trial Counsel, you should click here.

Subscribe to our North Carolina Local Counsel Newsletter

To help our co-counsel keep up with key changes in North Carolina law, we also offer our Free North Carolina Local Counsel Newsletter. To subscribe, you should click here.

Our Co-Counsel Tell Us . . .

Recently one of our out-of-state co-counsel associated us as North Carolina Local Trial Counsel on a business litigation case for her client in California, and shared these kind words:

Criminal Defense, Family Law & Bankruptcy Attorney Cira Duffe“We are very happy to have associated Inez as Raleigh local trial counsel. She has dug in and litigated the case right alongside us.”

Cira Duffe
Missouri Trial Attorney

Additional Attorneys’ Testimonials include:

Testimonial, recommendation, review of Inez de Ondarza Simmons by fellow trial attorney“I have worked along side Inez, so I knew she was competent to handle my case, and I trusted her with something that was personal to me.”

Mary Gurganus
Fellow Raleigh Trial Attorney

“Not long ago I associated Inez on an LLC member dispute involving large real estate holdings here in the Triangle. When the case got complicated, Inez dug in, removed the case to Federal Court, and got a great result for my client, who was very happy.”

Kellie Gonzalez
North Carolina Real Estate Closing Attorney

The Raleigh DWI Lawyer“I worked closely with Inez on a complicated Superior Court case in which we represented the same client. Inez aggressively defended our client, and she was exceedingly well-organized. Her legal writing and oral argument persuaded the Court to rule in our client’s favor on a serious evidentiary issue central to the case.”

John McWilliam
Raleigh Trial Attorney

Please feel free to browse the full-text testimonials and the articles below.

Please Note: The cases, testimonials, and endorsements listed illustrate some of the matters handled by the firm. Of course, they do not reflect all of the feedback the firm has received. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Additional Resources for Our Out-of-State and Transaction-Attorney Co-Counsel

Below are some additional resources we offer for our existing and potential co-counsel, including articles and forms on

Talk to Us About How we Can Help You Help Your Client

To learn more about hiring us to Help You Help Your Client here in North Carolina, you should click here.

Get the New Wake Co. Arbitration Waiver Form in Word

What You’ll Want to Know

If you have a civil case in North Carolina, especially if you are about to file or defend against a new one, you will want to know about some critical changes to the non-binding arbitration statutes.

The changes have left the law of court-ordered arbitration in North Carolina somewhat murky. To try to help clarify things, we have outlined the key changes below and also provided a free download of a Word version of one new arbitration waiver form.

Looking for North Carolina Local Trial Counsel?
You may be an out-of-state attorney or a North Carolina business transaction attorney who does corporate work.

We’re here to Help You Help Your Clients.

To learn more about associating us as Your North Carolina Local Trial Counsel, you should click here.

Previous North Carolina Arbitration Statute

Previously, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-37.1,  the main North Carolina arbitration statute, permitted, but did not require, local judicial districts, counties or individual courts to implement their own mandatory non-binding arbitration local rules. The same statute also gave the North Carolina Supreme Court the authority to promulgate arbitration rules.

North Carolina Supreme Court’s Arbitration Rules

Rule 2 of the the Supreme Court’s Rules for Court-Ordered Arbitration requires arbitration in all civil court actions. The rule, however, contains a series of exceptions. In conjunction with the main arbitration statute, the rule and its exceptions essentially allowed local courts to require mandatory, non-binding arbitration for most civil court actions filed in District Court seeking only money damages.

As a result, many judicial districts had local rules, similar to this current one from the 10th District Local Rules for District Court in Wake County:

“10.1 All eligible civil actions pending in the 10th Judicial District shall be ordered to arbitration unless there is a written order by a judge waiving such arbitration requirements.”

 Changes to the Arbitration-Related Statutes

This past summer, the North Carolina General Assembly passed Session Law 2013-159 (Senate Bill 452).  That bill amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-243, increasing the amount-in-controversy limit for District Court from $10,000 to $25,000, which, of course, will increase considerably the overall number of District Court cases.

Senate Bill 452 also amended former N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-37.1, the main arbitration statute. As amended, that that statute now appears to require mandatory, non-binding arbitration for all District Court cases across North Carolina. It reads in part as follows:

“(c) Except as otherwise provided in rules promulgated by the Supreme Court of North Carolina pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, this procedure shall be employed in all civil actions where claims do not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000)

Still some Confusion

The entire statute, however, is now somewhat confusing, because the General Assembly did not change another part of the statute that appears not to require state-wide arbitration. That part, subsection (d), still reads,

“(d)  This procedure may be implemented in a judicial district, in selected counties within a district, or in any court within a district,….”

In addition, I am told that many North Carolina Judicial Districts are not yet ordering cases to arbitration because the General Assembly has not funded the requirement of State-wide mandatory arbitration apparently required by subsection (c).

But Parties May Now Agree to Waive Arbitration

Previously, to avoid arbitration when it was ordered required a motion and a court order pursuant to Rule 2(b)(2) of the Rules for Court-Ordered Arbitration. That rule still reads,

(b) Exemption and Withdrawal From Arbitration. The court may exempt or withdraw any action from arbitration on its own motion, or on the motion of a party, made not less than 10 days before the arbitration hearing and a showing that:

(1) the action is excepted from arbitration under Arb. Rule 2(a)(1) or
(2) there is a compelling reason to do so.

Now, however, the parties may simply waive arbitration by agreement. Senate Bill 452 amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-37.1(c) to apparently require arbitration state-wide, but the bill also added that this was only so,

unless all parties to the action waive arbitration under this section.

New Waiver Form

Wake County Chief District Court Judge Robert Rader has appointed District Court Judge Debra Sasser to head the civil division of Wake County District Court. Judge Sasser has promulgated a Waiver of Arbitration Form so that parties can notify the Wake Co. Trial Court Administrator’s Office, and Ms. McLeod in particular, that they have agreed to waive arbitration in their case.

You can request a Word version of that form here.

Even if your judicial district has not yet developed its own arbitration waiver form, you might want to grab this one and then modify it for your district.

But No New State-wide Waiver Rule

In a recent interview, Carol McLeod, the Arbitration Coordinator for Wake County, discussed the new changes to the North Carolina amount in controversy and arbitration laws, saying

“We expect an increase in the number of District Court cases, and therefore arbitrations…. We haven’t had many new cases ordered to arbitration under the new laws, so we will have to see how things work out as we all move forward.”

Although the parties can now agree to waive arbitration, there is not yet a rule that governs the time by which they must waive. As Ms. McLeod noted,

 “The Supreme Court hasn’t issued a new rule setting the time by which the parties must waive arbitration…. Hopefully, the parties will give us enough notice that they are waiving arbitration, so that we can continue to administer cases efficiently for the parties and the Court.”

How to Help the Arbitration Coordinator, the Appointed Arbitrator and the Court

Even though it may be possible to turn in a waiver form at the eleventh hour, I’m sure Ms. McLeod, the Wake County TCA, and the lawyer appointed as arbitrator would greatly appreciate notice of waivers as early as possible.

Download a Word Version of Waiver of Arbitration Form

We are frequently associated as local trial counsel, for example, to allow other attorneys to practice pro hac vice in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina. As a service to our existing and potential co-counsel, we have created a Word version of the new Wake County Waiver of Arbitration Form. To request a link to download it now, you should fill out the form below.

While you are here, you should also check the box to subscribe to our free newsletter, North Carolina Local Counsel. It’s our way of helping co-counsel keep up with key changes to North Carolina laws, rules, standing orders, and even judge’s preferences.

Request New Wake Co. Arbitration Waiver Form

Please subscribe me for free to the

North Carolina Local Counsel newsletter.

Do You Need North Carolina Local Trial Counsel?

You may be an out-of-state attorney looking for North Carolina Local Trial Counsel so that you can practice pro hac vice in a North Carolina State Court or as a special appearance attorney in the EDNC or MDNC.  On the other hand, you may be a North Carolina corporate or transactional real estate attorney looking for aggressive North Carolina Trial Counsel.  In either case, you can count on us to help you help your client.

To learn more about associating us as Your North Carolina Local Counsel, you should click here.

 

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Affidavit of Service of Process for Designated Delivery Service

March 2, 2013

Proving Service of Process You may have read our previous posts on serving process through “designated delivery service” and the presumption of proper service on a corporation by FedEx delivery to its receptionist. Both posts discuss how in North Carolina, you can now serve a summons and complaint with specific private carriers, but only if […]

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Slide Show from New Wake Co. Local Rules CLE

March 1, 2013

Slide Show by Wake Co. Trial Court Administrator Kristen Fetter On January 31, 2013, Wake County Trial Court Administrator Kristen Fetter taught a Continuing Legal Education session on the new Wake County Local Rules. At the CLE, Ms. Fetter gave a slide presentation that she used to discuss key provisions of the new rules and […]

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New Wake Co. Forms for General Civil Litigation

February 27, 2013

As mentioned in previous posts, Wake County Trial Court Administrator Kristen Fetter and Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens recently adopted new Local Rules for the Tenth Judicial District (Wake County). These new Wake County Local Rules contain 5 new local forms. Ms. Fetter recently held a CLE on the new rules and […]

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Helping You Help Your Clients in North Carolina

February 23, 2013

Contact Us Now You may be an out-of-state attorney with a case in North Carolina State Court or in the EDNC. On the other hand, you may be a North Carolina transaction lawyer who does not routinely handle business litigation or real estate litigation cases in North Carolina State and Federal Courts. In either case, […]

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LLC Business Owner Recommends de Ondarza Simmons

February 19, 2013

The cases, testimonials, and endorsements listed illustrate some of the matters handled by the firm. Of course, they do not reflect all of the feedback the firm has received. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Member Dispute over Real Estate […]

Read the full article →

New Wake Co. Status Conferences for Civil Cases

February 14, 2013

Under Rule 4.4 of the new Wake Co. Local Rules, Kristen Fetter, the Wake County Trial Court Administrator (“the TCA”), may notice a Status Conference for civil cases more than 4 months old. At the Status conference the parties will discuss administrative matters like selecting a mediator and scheduling the trial date and other deadlines. […]

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Subscribe to North Carolina Local Counsel newsletter

February 5, 2013

For our Existing and Potential Co-Counsel If you have a civil case in North Carolina, especially if you are about to file or defend against a new one, you will want to know about some critical changes to the non-binding arbitration statutes. The changes have left the law of court-ordered arbitration in North Carolina somewhat […]

Read the full article →

Raleigh Trial Lawyer Recommends de Ondarza Simmons

January 12, 2013

Not long ago, after they worked on a case together, Attorney John McWilliam recommended Inez de Ondarza Simmons for business litigation and real estate litigation disputes. Recently, I tried a serious, difficult case to a jury here in North Carolina. In that complicated Superior Court case, I worked closely with Inez, who represented the same […]

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