BWS Update | April 2017

BWS Update | April 2017

Interest Rates & Spring Home Sales By Gary Bowers, Attorney at Law In mid-March, the Federal Reserve announced a .25% rate increase, the first of what is expected to be three small interest rate increases in 2017. According to NerdWallet, mortgage rates prior to the 2016 election were around 3.75%; after the election, rates began to inch upward in anticipation of rate increases by the Fed. For that reason, yesterday’s announcement did not cause an immediate jump in rates. Rates in North Carolina for a 30-year mortgage are currently over 4.1% (see current NC mortgage rates at Bankrate.com). Experts expect mortgage rates may be in the 4.6 to 4.8% range by the end of the year, though those estimates could be impacted by changes made by the current administration. Read more… BWS Attorneys on SilverLife Attorneys David Inabinett and Ryan McNeill were recently interviewed for a new video series for SilverLife Marketing. The first video, titled Decision Time: Transitioning to an Easier Lifestyle, talks about when moving to a senior living community might be the right decision for you. David and Ryan cover legal topics related to moving. Read David’s article, Legal Considerations When Moving to a Senior Living Community, and watch for the release of the video to see David and Ryan in action! National Autism Awareness Month Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompasses a range of development disabilities and impacts how an individual is able to communicate with others. ASD is classified as a “spectrum” disorder, meaning symptoms may range from very mild to severe. Identifying and treating autism early may result in better outcomes for the child....
Will Interest Rate Increase Impact Spring Home Sales?

Will Interest Rate Increase Impact Spring Home Sales?

In mid-March, the Federal Reserve announced a .25% rate increase, the first of what is expected to be three small interest rate increases in 2017. According to NerdWallet, mortgage rates prior to the 2016 election were around 3.75%; after the election, rates began to inch upward in anticipation of rate increases by the Fed. For that reason, yesterday’s announcement did not cause an immediate jump in rates. Rates in North Carolina for a 30-year mortgage are currently around 4% (see current NC mortgage rates at Bankrate.com). Experts expect mortgage rates may be in the 4.6 to 4.8% range by the end of the year, though those estimates could be impacted by changes made by the current administration. Spring in North Carolina typically sees a jump in home sales. The rate increase is not expected to have a big impact on the market, but may cause potential buyers to re-evaluate the amount of house they can afford. Rates are not expected to decrease in 2017, so anyone looking to buy, sell or refinance may wish to do so early in the year. Seller’s Checklist Here are some things to remember if you are considering selling your home this spring: Look at your home with a “buyers eye.” The half-finished repair job that doesn’t bother you may detract buyers. If there are outstanding maintenance issues, take care of them before you put the house on the market. Clean and declutter to make your house look larger and better. Trim bushes, cut grass and spruce up your yard. A welcoming pot of flowers on the porch is always a good idea. Make...
McDonald Awarded Armed Forces Reserve Medal

McDonald Awarded Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Brinkley Walser Stoner attorney Roy L. McDonald II has been awarded the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with a silver hourglass and “M” device, signifying twenty years of service and mobilization with the U.S. Army Reserve. “We are very proud of Roy’s continuing service to our country and our community,” says Brinkley Walser Stoner managing partner, David Inabinett. Mr. McDonald began his more than thirty years of military service at age seventeen as an infantry private in the United States Marine Corps and currently serves as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate Corps assigned to the 134th Legal Operations Detachment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Brinkley Walser Stoner has been twice recognized by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, for its support to the national defense, receiving both the Patriot Award and the Above and Beyond Award. Mr. McDonald’s law practice is focused on business law and civil...
BWS Update | March 2017

BWS Update | March 2017

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace By Bradley Hunt, Attorney at Law There have been several high profile claims of workplace sexual harassment in the news lately, most recently with a claim by a former engineer at Uber that her manager sexually harassed her. Claims of sexual harassment must be taken very seriously by employers, who can be held accountable if the behavior of a harasser is ignored. In the case of Uber, the CEO just hired a third-party to investigate the claims. What is Sexual Harassment? According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.” Read more… Senior Games Rock! Whether you live in Davidson or Guilford Counties, if you are 50+, there is a Senior Games & SilverArts event for you. In Davidson County, the games are presented by Davidson County Senior Services in conjunction with Davidson County, Thomasville, and Lexington Parks and Recreation Departments. Events run from April 24 through May 12 and include 18 different sports and 8 performing arts, literary and art categories. You may pick up applications at the Davidson County, Lexington and Thomasville Recreation Departments and the Senior Centers in Thomasville and Lexington or request an application via email from Sarah.Richards@DavidsonCountyNC.gov or by calling (336) 474-2755. The entry deadline is March 31. The Greensboro...
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

By Bradley Hunt, Attorney at Law There have been several high profile claims of workplace sexual harassment in the news lately, most recently with a claim by a former engineer at Uber that her manager sexually harassed her. Claims of sexual harassment must be taken very seriously by employers, who can be held accountable if the behavior of a harasser is ignored. In the case of Uber, the CEO just hired a third-party to investigate the claims. What is Sexual Harassment? According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.” The law does not consider occasional teasing or single incidents that are not serious to be harassment, although employers must be aware that behavior that escalates may quickly jump into this category. Behavior becomes harassment when it creates a “hostile or offensive” work environment or results in the victim being fired, demoted or believing he or she has no recourse but to quit the job. It is important to note that both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment, and the harasser may be a manager, coworker, someone else within the company, the employee of a vendor or supplier, or even a client. The law not only protects victims of harassment, but also protects third parties who are...
Common Landlord-Tenant Concerns

Common Landlord-Tenant Concerns

By E. Drew Nelson, Attorney Home ownership rates in the United States reached an all-time high of 69.20% in 2004; while there have been a few upticks, there has been a gradual decline in home ownership over the past decade. During the fourth quarter of 2016, the average home ownership rate was 63.7%[1]. Some people rent because they cannot afford to purchase a home, while others do so for convenience – they may move frequently and like the flexibility of renting, or they may prefer having a landlord to handle all the maintenance and repairs on the property. Whether you are a tenant (also called the renter or lessee) or the landlord (the owner or lessor), having a signed lease agreement provides protection for both parties. If you will be renting a property from another party, here are some common things to look for: What is the term? Commonly leases may be for 12 months, but you may find leases that are written for shorter (or longer) terms, or operate on a month-to-month basis. What are the notice requirements? If you wish to terminate the lease or not to renew it, how much notice must you give to the other party? Can you terminate the lease verbally or via email, or do you have to sign a form at the rental office? Many leases have automatic renewal clauses, so you may end up obligated for another 12 months if you do not provide sufficient notice in the form the lease specifies. Are there extra costs involved? A friend leased an apartment that required all tenants to pay for valet...
BWS Update | February 2017

BWS Update | February 2017

Nelson Speaks on Landlord-Tenant Rights Drew Nelson will present a free seminar titled, “What Are Your Rights as a Landlord or Tenant?” in Greensboro this month. The first session will be held 2/15/17 at 10am at the Greensboro Senior Center; the second is at the Women’s Resource Center on 2/28 at 11am. “Under North Carolina law, both landlords and tenants have specific rights and responsibilities,” says Nelson. “The law continues to evolve out of necessity, making it even more important for anyone renting or leasing space to understand the implications before signing a lease agreement.” Nelson’s session will cover lease agreements, landlord obligations, tenant obligations, tenant rights, security deposits and the Fair Housing Act, followed by a question and answer session. Learn more… Carl Gray Retires After 40+ Years Some of you may know Carl Gray. He was born and raised in Lexington, and practiced law in Davidson County and the surrounding area for more than 40 years before retiring in January 2017. Gray joined Brinkley Walser Stoner during the 2015 merger of Brinkley Walser, PLLC and Stoner, Bowers, Gray & McDonald, P.A. Gray began his legal career with Stoner Bowers in 1975 after earning his J.D. at the Wake Forest University School of Law. At the time of the merger, he was President and CEO of the firm. Gray is a Certified Superior Court Mediator by the NC Dispute Resolution Commission. He is also a past member and chairman of the Davidson County Planning and Zoning Board. We recently interviewed Carl to learn more about his legal career and future plans. Read the interview… Capital Campaign for DCCC Health/Sciences Building...
Meet Carl Gray

Meet Carl Gray

Some of you may know Carl Gray. He was born and raised in Lexington, and practiced law in Davidson County and the surrounding area for more than 40 years before retiring in January 2017. Gray joined Brinkley Walser Stoner during the 2015 merger of Brinkley Walser, PLLC and Stoner, Bowers, Gray & McDonald, P.A. Gray began his legal career with Stoner Bowers in 1975 after earning his J.D. at the Wake Forest University School of Law. At the time of the merger, he was President and CEO of the firm. Gray is a Certified Superior Court Mediator by the NC Dispute Resolution Commission. He is also a past member and chairman of the Davidson County Planning and Zoning Board. We recently interviewed Carl to learn more about his legal career and future plans. Q: Why did you choose the legal profession? A: I became interested in the law while taking a business law course during my senior year at Catawba College. I applied to Wake Forest and UNC Schools of law and was fortunate to be accepted at both schools. I chose Wake Forest School of Law (J.D. ’75) because I felt it would be an easier transition for me, and I received a partial scholarship that helped to offset the difference in the tuition. Q: As a general practice attorney, you have handled cases across the board. Do you have a favorite practice area? A: Real estate has been a large part of my practice, and I have enjoyed working in that area, partly because most transactions did not involve much controversy. Q; What is the most memorable...
Greensboro Seminars on Landlord-Tenant Rights in NC

Greensboro Seminars on Landlord-Tenant Rights in NC

Attorney E. Drew Nelson to present two seminars in February Greensboro, NC – Brinkley Walser Stoner attorney E. Drew Nelson will present a free seminar titled, “What Are Your Rights as a Landlord or Tenant?” in Greensboro this month. The first session will be held 2/15/17 at 10am at the Greensboro Senior Center; the second is at the Women’s Resource Center on 2/28 at 11am. “Under North Carolina law, both landlords and tenants have specific rights and responsibilities,” says Nelson. “The law continues to evolve out of necessity, making it even more important for anyone renting or leasing space to understand the implications before signing a lease agreement.” Nelson’s session will cover lease agreements, landlord obligations, tenant obligations, tenant rights, security deposits and the Fair Housing Act, followed by a question and answer session. Details of the seminars are below. February 15, 2017, 10-11:30am Mabel D. Smith Senior Center 2401 Fairview Street, Greensboro, NC 27405 Phone: Ph: 336-373-7566 www.greensboro-nc.gov/Seniors February 28, 2017, 11am – 12:30pm Women’s Resource Center of Greensboro 628 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27405 Phone: 336-275-6090 ext. 213 www.womenscentergso.org About Brinkley Walser Stoner, PLLC Brinkley Walser Stoner prides itself on providing new and cutting edge legal counsel built on a foundation of knowledge and integrity. Brinkley Walser Stoner’s attorneys are first and foremost counselors, advising clients on their legal rights and options for appropriate solutions. Practice areas include business law, real estate, litigation, elder law, estate planning, injury and disability, criminal defense, traffic and DWI, banking, family law, municipal, governmental, and education law, among others. Brinkley Walser Stoner is an AV rated firm by Martindale-Hubble®. The firm...