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NCBA Team Heads To Haiti

NCBA Team Heads To Haiti

Haiti, as evidenced by a banner that includes the NCBA logo, welcomes the advice and assistance of North Carolina legal professionals.

A dozen North Carolina Bar Association members will be in Haiti next week in an effort to help bolster the economy and business climate of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation.

Many of the delegation’s members are on the agenda for the weeklong conference, organized and hosted by the Port-au-Prince Bar Association to discuss methods of attracting investment there.

The conference was previously scheduled in October 2016 but was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. The NCBA delegation will participate in three days of the event, beginning on Monday, May 15, and concluding on Wednesday, May 17.

NCBA President Kearns Davis will lead the delegation and address the opening day of the conference.

"This country is full of people who scratch out a living however they can, in conditions we can't even relate to," Davis said. "The needs are great and numerous, but economic opportunity is high on the list. If Haitian lawyers and leaders can strengthen and protect institutions that attract investment and jobs, they can change many lives."

Also appearing on the program will be Danny Merlin of Alexander Ricks in Charlotte, who serves on the NCBA Board of Governors and chairs the Haiti Committee; Steve DeGeorge of Robinson Bradshaw in Charlotte; and Ernie Pearson, David Robinson and David Garrett of Nexsen Pruet in Raleigh.

Stanley Gaston addresses the 2016 NCBA Annual Meeting installation audience, joined from left by Jacques Miguel Sanon, incoming NCBA President Kearns Davis, and outgoing NCBA President Shelby Benton.

Elon University School of Law is also participating in the event. John Flynn of Carruthers & Roth in Greensboro, who serves as practitioner in residence at the law school, is bringing five participants in the residency program to Haiti. The students, who are members of the NCBA’s Law Student Division, are Shanelle Edmonds, Kimberlee Farr, Liliane Long, Veronica Townsend and Brad Beyer.

The conference will focus on banking, insurance and international investment. Haitian senior officials, lawyers, business leaders and representatives of various organizations are also participating.

Another NCBA member, Joe Smith, former N.C. Commissioner of Banks who is now with Poyner Spruill in Raleigh, was on the agenda last fall but is unable to attend the rescheduled event. His remarks, however, remain on the agenda and will be presented by Danny Merlin.

The NCBA is involved in the conference through its relationship with Stanley Gaston, president of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association and the Federation of Bars of Haiti, and Jacques Miguel Sanon, who serves on the board of the Port-au-Prince bar. Gaston and Sanon attended the 2016 NCBA Annual Meeting and it is at their invitation that the NCBA delegation now visits their country.