REQUIRING LANDLORDS TO GIVE NOTICE TO THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE BAR OF AN ATTORNEY'S DEFAULT ON A LEASE IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE ATTORNEY'S FILES.
Enacts new GS 42-14.4 requiring a landlord with knowledge that a tenant is or may have been an attorney to notify the NC State Bar (State Bar) at least 30 days before the destruction or sale of any potentially confidential materials remaining in the premises after the landlord obtains possession. Defines potentially confidential materials as client files, trust or operating account records, or other materials relating to client matters. Directs the landlord to provide the State Bar with the attorney’s name, the location of the relevant materials, and the landlord’s contact information. Requires the landlord to exercise reasonable care in removing, storing, and maintaining the materials. Permits the State Bar to take possession of the materials within the 30-day period without a court order. Details circumstances allowing the tenant to take possession, and exempts the landlord from liability for cooperation with the State Bar. Allows the landlord, after the 30-day period, to destroy or discard the materials in a manner to protect confidential information.
Enacts new subsection (h) to GS 44A-2 (concerning liens on personal property), requiring any landlord of residential or nonresidential property containing potentially confidential materials to notify the State Bar as required. Specifies that the materials are not the subject of a lien and must be destroyed or safely discarded if the State Bar does not take possession.