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At Olive & Olive, our paralegals are our backbone. They work side-by-side with our attorneys to give our clients personal attention and top-level service. They help make sure things get done on time. They add value to what we do every day.

Shelia L. Alexander

Shelia is our legal assistant and docketing clerk. She has close to 30 years in the intellectual property field. Though she primarily supports our trademark disputes and litigation practice areas, her wealth of experience makes her valuable wherever she’s needed.

Shelia graduated from Durham Technical Institute (now Durham Technical Community College), where she earned an A.A.S. degree in Secretarial Science with high honors. She began her career by concentrating on trademark and copyright applications. Her scope expanded to include domestic patent applications as well. Before entering the legal profession, Shelia worked for state and federal government agencies, non-profit groups, and in the banking/finance industry. She has been a North Carolina Notary Public since 1994.

Off hours

Shelia is active in her church, Mount Level Missionary Baptist Church. She is also an avid reader and loves action movies.

Shannon M. Bartle

Shannon is a paralegal with more than twenty years of experience as an administrative and legal assistant.  She primarily supports the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board practice at Olive & Olive.

A native of southern Wisconsin, Shannon relocated with her family to the foothills of North Carolina when she was a teenager.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and a proud Tar Heel fan.  She loves living in Durham with her partner, Carolyn, their sweet pitbull mix, Maggie Mae, and their crazy cat, Scout.

Off hours

Shannon’s hobbies include genealogy, baking, tennis, trivia, and watching the UNC Volleyball, Soccer, and Basketball teams, the Green Bay Packers, and the Durham Bulls.

Joseph T. Blackley Jr.

Joe wears lots of hats at Olive & Olive. As a paralegal, he focuses on patents but is skilled in all practice areas. As our chief draftsperson, he supervises the technical drawings required for patent and trademark applications and litigation. He is also our Assistant Administrator, and he oversees the maintenance and upkeep of our office building.

Joe graduated from Durham Industrial Education Center (A.D. Drafting and Design Technology) and Durham Technical Institute (A.A.S. Paralegal Technology, High Honors). He is a member of the NC Bar Association’s Legal Assistants Division and is certified by the NC State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification.

Joe and his wife are the proud parents of three grown children and three grandchildren. His grandson (aka Number 1 Buddy) is in high school, and his two granddaughters (twins) are in elementary school. He loves animals, especially his Aussie Doodle (Bailey).

Off hours

Joe enjoys spending time with his family, taking care of his yard and tending his small garden (as if he didn’t already have enough to do!).

Serita C. Evans

Serita is a paralegal with almost 20 years of experience in intellectual property law. She primarily supports our trademark practice and domains practice. She assists clients with state, federal and international trademarks, and she and handles communications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and domain registrars.

Serita is a native of Broadway, NC and proud graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where she received her B.A. in Political Science and Business. After moving to Washington, DC, she earned a Paralegal Certificate and B.S. from the University of Maryland-UC and an MBA in Management from Bowie State University.

She returned to North Carolina to marry the love of her life. She is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and an advocate for mental health awareness. She is a Scorpio, cat lover, news and pop-culture junkie and a great cook.

Off hours

You can find Serita volunteering as a speaker to young adults on the importance of maintaining mental wellness and self-awareness. She also loves looking at the stars.

Nicolle S. Paolillo

Nicolle primarily supports our patent practice (including disputes). She also assists with trademark disputes and litigation. In the patent arena, she helps clients with US, PCT and foreign national stage patent applications and filings, prepares and files prosecution documents, works with our many foreign associates, and communicates with the US Patent and Trademark Office as necessary.

A native of Syracuse, NY, Nicolle is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She has a degree in political science and history, as well as minors in math, Russian culture, and Spanish. She also holds a paralegal studies certification from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Nicolle came to North Carolina in 2015 after an eight-year paralegal career in Syracuse, NY. In addition to studying in Pittsburgh and living and working in New York, she spent five years in business development and marketing in Los Angeles, CA.

Off hours

Nicolle enjoys spending time with her son Nicholas. She also enjoys politics, traveling, gardening, reading, and baking.

Erin A. Rall

Erin has for more than 20 years worked in all areas of our practice: from trademark, copyright and patent applications to contracts and litigation. She has a particular passion for protecting and enforcing our client’s rights.

Erin was one of the first Certified Paralegals in North Carolina, and she was an early member of the NC Bar Association’s Legal Assistants Division. Erin is the first and only legal assistant who has been honored to serve as president of the Durham Orange Women Attorneys and Vice President of Durham’s Young Lawyers Division. She has also been a member of the Durham Bar Association’s Public Service Committee, was Chair of the Paralegal Division of the NC Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), Vice-Chair and CLE Chairs of the NCAJ Small Office Practice Section, Liaison for the Commercial Litigation Section of NCAJ, a member of the education, membership and ethics committees of NCAJ, and a member of the education committee for the NC Association of Women Attorneys.

A graduate of Brown University (Mid-East Studies) with a focus on Islam and Islamic Law, Erin’s thesis for that degree focused on International Law and its applicability to Palestinians. She has continued her educational activities by teaching continuing legal education courses on topics including privacy law, e-discovery, intellectual property, ethics, law office management and technology for numerous groups including paralegal students, new lawyers and local and statewide bar associations.

Off hours

Erin enjoys knitting, designing knitting patterns, and being with her family and Mishka, her Maltese service dog.

Park A. Rall

Park handles in-house IT and new client intake. He joined us in 2005. Park is responsible for scheduling initial appointments, sending out forms and screening for conflicts of interest. Looking to become a client? Park is the one who’ll answer your questions and address your concerns.

Park also makes sure our computer hardware and software are top-line and secure so that your case will be handled expertly and your information will be kept safe. He provides paralegal assistance to our attorneys and clients, particularly in matters that involve computer software or require online research and investigation.

Park attended Bucknell University before going to India for a four-month walk-about to take his various computer certification tests (MCDBA, MCSE, etc.). His studies prepared him well to handle the IT side of things for our firm. Having an intellectual property litigator for a mother didn’t hurt, either. Park enjoys helping clients start off right in their relationship with our firm. He is the one who gently directs people with real estate questions to the right place, and he has gotten quite good at tactfully telling people that no, we can’t help them patent the paper clip.

Off hours

Park enjoys a good book and exploring the local food scene. Though he tends to hide the fact that he participates competitively in a variety of massive multiplayer online games, he’s more than happy to tell you about the best Durham chocolatier (Miel Bon Bons) or where to go for biscuits (Rise if your sticking to Durham, your options go up if venturing outside), and he loves introducing the office to unusual food holidays (such as national ice cream day or national pi day.)

Cassidy F. Schmidle

Cassidy primarily supports our dispute and litigation group.  She acts as Susan Olive’s go-to person when she needs a hand and is the paralegal you’ll be most likely to see working hand in hand with her into the evening on any rush basis filing.

Cassidy is a native of Alexandria, VA and a graduate of Radford University. She has a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Biology. She also worked in both the General District and the Circuit Court of Fairfax County Civil Divisions where she picked up four years of experience with the courts and civil litigation.

Cassidy came to North Carolina to get away from the Northern Virginia traffic and the back and forth between North Carolina and Virginia.

Off hours

Cassidy is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan (not by choice). She also enjoys going to Hurricanes games, NC State football games, and not having to drive up and down 95 every other weekend.