Page 1

NEBRASKA PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION

IN BRIEF

VOLUME MMXIII ISSUE 3

AUGUST 2013

IN THIS ISSUE: From the President ..... 1 From the Editor ........... 2 Letters to the Editor .... 3 Getting to Know Your Officers ..................... 4-5 Tech Tips ..................... 7 Keyboard Quickies ...... 7 Weird Laws ................. 9 HIPAA Final Rule Tightens Data Security Requirements ................ 10 2013 Fall Seminar ..... 11 Member News ........... 12 CSM Student Paralegal Association ................ 13 Legal Talk Network ... 14 Committee Corner ..... 15 A Day in the Life of a Collections Paralegal. 17 NALA Convention .18-20 Round Table at NALA Convention ................ 20 Relay for Life ............. 21 ISO Moves Forward on E -Discovery Standard . 23 NALA News ................ 24 Did You Know? .......... 25 Member Benefits ....... 26 Website Committee Report ....................... 26 Through the Mind of a Sleepy Father ............ 27 NALA Announces New Exam Specs ............... 28

www.nebraskaparalegal.org

FROM THE PRESIDENT:

KIM HANSEN

We are awesome! These words from Glenn A. Leier, Esq. opened the 2013 NALA Convention in beautiful Portland, OR. Mr. Leier’s keynote speech encouraged the paralegals in attendance to become more involved in their state paralegal and bar associations. The phrase “We are awesome!” resonated throughout the convention and brought inspiration and encouragement to all in attendance. Congratulations are in order for Ann Atkinson, ACP who was installed as NALA President for a second term and Kim Brown, ACP for receiving an Affiliated Associations Award. More details on the convention can be found on pages 18-20 from our NALA Liaison, Carla Larson, ACP. The convention was a wonderful experience and I thank NePA for providing me the opportunity to attend as President. I also want to thank NEPA’s Board of Directors and Committees for their accomplishments this year, including rebranding our logo colors, updating our website and newsletter design, amending our Bylaws/Standing Rules (including the addition of a Distance Membership category), welcoming our 200th member, participating in Relay for Life, and nominating Lori Chapman for the Cengage Scholarship, which she ultimately won! As with the Academy Awards, I would love to individually list everyone who has had a part in NePA’s continuing success this year, but I would hate to omit someone’s name. Thank you all for your efforts; it has been an honor to be your President this year. If you are not currently serving on a Committee, I encourage you to join and be a part of an AWESOME Association!


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 2

FROM THE EDITOR: AMBER ROBERTS, ACP I’ve never been much of a drinker. I gave it several attempts in my early twenties trying all kinds of different drinks from beer to wine to fruity frou-frou things no one can pronounce. I ended up coming to the conclusion that drinking just wasn’t for me and set myself up to forever be the designated driver. When I was a little older and starting my career, I noticed that social drinking seemed to be the norm and where a lot of business was done, there and on the golf course. Since there was no way I was ever going to be able to hit that little ball, I figured I’d give drinking another try. A friend from college was heading to wine country in Missouri and invited me. I accepted and hoped that I’d finally be able to find some kind of wine that was at least tolerable, if not actually good. I remember heading to one winery where we signed up for a wine tasting. We started at the dry end of the spectrum and worked our way down through reds, whites, blushes, etc. Every single time, I’d take a sip, pucker up, and then have to force myself to actually swallow. I was convinced that I’d never find anything; after all, if you try every single type of wine at a winery and still don’t like anything, then there just isn’t any hope for you. We were down to the last one on the list and I was bracing myself for another forced swallow when to my surprise it was delicious! I couldn’t believe it and quickly called the host over to ask what the wine was as I was about to buy the entire stock of it. Imagine my surprise when he said that it was grape juice! While I did buy several bottles of the best tasting grape juice ever, I also learned a valuable lesson that has stuck with me through the years. I’m my own special kind of duck and I don’t need to follow all of the social norms to fit in or get ahead in my career. Fast-forward 7 years or so and now I’m comfortable in my own skin at all kinds of events, work-related or not. When someone asks if I’d like anything to drink, I stick with a water or actually get the chocolate milkshake I’m craving instead of trying for a mudslide that no one ever gets totally right. I believe that the lesson I learned has grown past relating to social norms and now allows me confidence in other areas of my life as well. At work, if I see something that I think needs to be discussed but that others are hesitant to bring up, guess what? I’m the person in the room pointing it out so that it can be fixed instead of just plodding along with the status quo. I’m the person at an event that is chatting with those who seem uncomfortable or shy in order to let them know that all people are approachable once you realize that we’re all the same….human. So, while I don’t recommend going on a bender to try and find out what your special drink of choice is, I would suggest allowing yourself the time to be different if needed. It’s not a bad thing to stand out among the crowd and you shouldn’t ever feel self-conscious about not fitting in. We all have certain things about us that are just a bit off and those are things to be celebrated. They make us unique and lead to different points of view and new ideas. Take a few minutes to think about what makes you different and how it has positively affected your life; you might be surprised what you come up with!


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 3

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The last two issues have been well received by the membership and I have to say that I’m thrilled! Thanks to everyone who has sent in emails of praise and encouragement; it makes all the effort worthwhile!

Wonderful job. It is professional, fun and fresh. Your team did a great job. - Stephanie Henson, ACP Great job on the In Brief!! You do excellent work! - Mindy Ware,

ACP

Another fine issue! Great job! - Alison Barthel Jacobson, ACP Know that your efforts in publishing the In Brief do not go unnoticed. I LOVE all the new features you have brought to it! The getting-to-know articles were a brilliant idea, and I love having more than just one in each issue! I forwarded your tech article to Rick Jeffries – I know he will be pleased that he influenced your increased proficiency in Adobe. And that cartoon – please pass on to Nathan that at least one reader got a belly laugh out of it! The newsletter looks great! - Laurie Montag, CP Nice work! It looks great and I read it all. - Anna Palmer, ACP Great job again!! The cartoon was awesome and relevant. - Amy

Young

Do you like what you’ve seen in this issue? Do you have questions or comments? Notice an error? Please let us know at: Amber.Roberts@gavilon.com.

BRONZE SPONSOR


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 4

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR OFFICERS - NICOLE DAY, CP Nicole Day is a Paralegal for the Civil Division of the Douglas County Attorney’s Office where she has worked since February of 2012. Nicole maintains property tax cases appealed to the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission and assists the attorneys in the office with work in government law areas including civil litigation, employment law/employer defense, and inheritance tax collection. Nicole earned her Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Metropolitan Community College in 2010, a Bachelor’s Degree from Bellevue University in Legal Studies in 2012, and recently received her CP credential in March 2013. She has been a member of NePA since 2009 and currently serves as the Website Administrator. Nicole previously worked at the law firm of Schaefer Shapiro, LLP where she assisted with personal injury claims. She is a member of the First Central Congregational Church where she volunteers in a Community Meals Program and with the Youth Group. In her spare time, she is an avid collector and reader of fiction. Among her favorite authors are Neil Gaiman and Dean Koontz. She also loves to cook and spend time with family.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS 1. How did you get involved in NePA? When I was a student at Metro, Jo Wandel helped me find an internship for one semester. She referred me to Loretta Phillips, Paralegal for the City of Omaha’s Legal Department. Anyone who has already met Loretta knows that she has been an active member of NePA for many years. She took me under her wing and helped me to get involved by making sure I turned in registration forms on time, gave me rides to lunches, introduced me to other members, and helped me join committees. 2. What made you accept the office of Website Administrator? I accepted the office of Website Administrator because the previous Website Administrator assured me that this position was not very time consuming. This is normally true, except for when the website is undergoing a revamp which we started working on the month following my appointment. 3. What has been the biggest benefit of being a member of NePA? NePA membership helped me in the past with networking. Not only in finding job opportunities, but definitely for the References section of my resume! Now that I have found my paralegal job “home,” NePA membership has helped me to pursue continuing education opportunities. Just this year, as a recipient of the CLA/CP scholarship, I took and passed the certification exams. 4. What one piece of advice would you give to the next generation? Never stop learning! The legal system in the United States is constantly growing and adapting. Good attorneys and paralegals are continually doing the same. Each new case presents new issues as each party to the case has his or her own fingerprint – so too are the issues for each case that keep molding case law. The more I work in this field, I not only strive to continue my education in the field, but also to be a more well-rounded person. I enjoy developing my hobbies and personal interests as well. An active and healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically, will make you a more productive employee anywhere and help you to avoid burnout.

(Continued on Page 9)


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 5

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR OFFICERS - LAURIE VIK, ACP Laurie earned her Associate in Applied Science Degree – Paralegal Studies from Metropolitan Community College in 1995. Additionally, she earned the designation of Certified Paralegal in May of 2000 and Advanced Certified Paralegal - Business Organizations: Incorporated Entities in August of 2012. Laurie is active with charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and the Nebraska Humane Society. Laurie also sits on the Steering Committee for the UNO Claussen-Leahy Run & Walk. Laurie has been a member of NePA for a number of years and currently serves as Vice President, having served as Parliamentarian in 2011 and 2012, as well as serving as District I Director in 2009 and 2010. She has also served on the seminar committee numerous times. Laurie has a total of 36 years legal experience beginning as a Legal Secretary. Her area of focus is corporate law and she has been employed with the Kiewit Corporation for the last 23 years, working as a paralegal since 1995. Laurie works within the Corporate Legal Department and supports two corporate attorneys.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS 1. How did you get involved in NePA? I do not recall exactly – it’s been that long ago. I initially saw ads for seminars and went to a couple of those. I sat by Stephanie Henson at lunch one seminar and she encouraged me to get more involved. 2. What made you run for office? Loretta Phillips played a big role there! I was on the seminar committee and District 1 Director was vacant so I ran. 3. What has been the biggest benefit of being a member of NePA? Meeting fellow paralegals and networking. Working for in house attorneys I did not have exposure to other paralegals in the Omaha or Lincoln legal communities until I joined NePA. Continuing education is a big benefit as well. I have also made some great friends. 4. What one piece of advice would you give to the next generation? It sounds like such a cliché, but do get involved. Start out on a committee and get your feet wet and then expand. I initially volunteered to be on the mentoring committee and then the seminar committee. Sitting at those seminars when I was first exposed to NePA I could not picture myself being in front of that audience and speaking or introducing a speaker. But, it’s addictive! When people say they will help you, they truly mean it and it does not have to take a lot of your time. 5. What is/was your favorite job and why? I really love my current position with NePA of Vice President. There is a fair amount of paperwork, but I like the system of it and exposure to new members. 6. What is/was one of your professional weaknesses that you struggle(d) to overcome? To keep reinventing myself and my skills. It is great to become a “veteran” at what you do, but I’ve learned along the way that you need to be flexible and change with the times as well.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 6

PLATINUM SPONSOR


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 7

TECH TIPS - BY AMBER ROBERTS, ACP I’ve got a paper problem...and I’m not afraid to admit it! In fact, I’ve been shouting it to anyone and everyone who will listen lately. My company is preparing to move to our new headquarters in a few short months and the new desks and layout will not allow for the same hoarding of paper that has been tolerated over the last 20 years or so. Our solution? Go paperless, or at least as paperless as it is possible to go in this day and age. When going paperless, there are many things to consider but we identified the following as extremely important: Software, Legal Requirements, and Enforcement. We ended up choosing to upgrade our 2007 Sharepoint environment to 2013. We made the decision based on many factors, including the cost we already invested in Sharepoint, the increased capabilities in 2013, and the wish to avoid yet another software added to our ever-growing list for IT to maintain. There were some considerable hurdles that we needed to overcome with this choice as well. Our 2007 implementation was not the best in many regards and a good majority of the company has no idea that we use Sharepoint or what it can do. We are severely underutilizing it and in many cases it is a very expensive file share. We needed to make sure that this time around we would do things right. To that end, we built several full-time employees into our project funding whose responsibility it would be to keep the Sharepoint environment running smoothly and continue to develop business applications to help our business units get more efficient and automated. We also intend to add QA, Development and Production servers instead of doing everything in Production and make sure that Governance is documented and enforced this time around. In addition to the software, we’ve also had to be extremely careful about what is allowed to be kept in electronic copy and what must be kept in hardcopy original form. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) has simplified this to some extent as it allows most records to be kept in electronic form and for those to be enforceable under most conditions (other laws or variations may apply in individual states). The issue then became

to examine the exceptions to the act, including if it wasn’t adopted in a state that we do business in. Outside counsel was the perfect resource to track these down for us and give us a fairly comprehensive list of exceptions to watch out for. Finally, our concern was how to get people to adopt usage of the new system and give up the paper. Surprisingly, the one person in the company I thought was going to put up the most fight jumped on board right away when I explained what his work environment could be like with a little trust on his end and the willingness to work with our team. He was the first one to start chucking outdated and duplicative information and can’t wait until we get his team’s Sharepoint site up and running. We know that it won’t be this easy for all of the groups, but we’ve got a few other things in the works to bring over even the true disbelievers, which include shutting off the ability to add new documents and emails to shared drives, potentially automatically deleting information from the shared drives after an agreed upon period of time, and making sure that those holding official copies of records open up access to those who need it so that it doesn’t have to be duplicated over and over again. We realize that we have a long way to go in a short period of time, but we’re also excited to start this journey which has far-reaching benefits to the employees and company as a whole.

Keyboard Quickies Alison Barthel Jacobson

Excel If you want to see all of the formulas used in a spreadsheet, hold down the Ctrl key and hit the tilde (~) key (far left key on the number row, next to the 1). The view will change to show all formulas. You can print from this view. To return to the regular view, just do Ctrl+~ again.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 8

PLATINUM SPONSOR


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 9

WEIRD LAWS!!!!! Alaska 

While it is legal to shoot bears, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.



It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.



No one may tie their pet dog to the roof of a car.



It is illegal to string a wire across any road.



Persons may not live in a trailer as it is being hauled across the city.



A person may only carry a concealed slingshot if that person has received the appropriate license.



Owners of flamingos may not let their pet into barbershops.

Wyoming 

All new buildings that cost over $100,000 to build must have 1% of funds spent on artwork for the building.



If one is drunk in a mine, he or she could land in jail for up to a year.



Using a firearm to fish is strictly forbidden.



It is illegal for women to stand within five feet of a bar while drinking.



You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR OFFICERS CONTINUED 5. What is/was your favorite job and why? My current job as paralegal in the Civil Division of the Douglas County Attorney’s Office is by far my favorite job. Douglas County is a very good employer that offers great benefits. Most importantly, I love the people that I work with and the areas of law that are practiced in the Civil Division. The attorneys that I work for are wonderful and we have awesome working relationships. Every day I do something new so I never get bored at work, but instead am continually challenged and praised for my efforts. 6. What is/was one of your professional weaknesses that you struggle(d) to overcome? Paying attention to details!! Double, and sometimes triple, check your work and be able to account for the work that you have done. During the short time so far that I have been employed as a paralegal I have learned to take my time when it counts and better prioritize my work. It is very embarrassing to the paralegal and the attorney when work goes out of the office with any errors. Coming to find the law firm that is the right fit for me with the people and the type of law practiced has helped me with that a lot. Also, I have developed a better sense for where I need to double check my work. Most importantly I am becoming more self-confident as I continue to develop and sharpen my job skills.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 10

HIPAA FINAL RULE TIGHTENS DATA SECURITY REQUIREMENTS On March 26, the final rule to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) went into effect, ending the more than threeyear effort to overhaul the provisions of the 1996 law. Most of the changes were required by the 2009 HI TECH Act, which incentivized the implementation and use of electronic health records and prompted the development of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for the exchange and use of electronic health information. The new rule expanded the definition of “business associates,” requiring more entities to take a more proactive role in complying with HIPAA. Previously, the law required healthcare providers and other “covered entities” to contractually require that any organization that handles protected health information (PHI) on behalf of the covered entity (business associate) also to comply with HIPAA. Under the new rule, the business associate must take full responsibility for ensuring it complies with HIPAA’s data security and privacy rules. This means that business associates will also be subject to annual civil penalties for each HIPAA violation, which could be as much as $1.5 million per violation. Breach notification requirements were also addressed in the new rule. The proposed rule defined a data security breach as the “acquisition, access, use, or disclosure of [PHI] in a manner not permitted [by the Privacy Rule] which compromises the security or privacy of the [PHI].” It went on to say the standard should be whether there was a “significant risk of financial, reputational, or other harm to the individual.” The final rule, however, requires that the entity trying to avoid breach notification obligations conduct a risk assessment that considers the

following; 1. The nature and extent of the PHI involved and how easily it is or could become identifiable 2. The unauthorized person who accessed the PHI 3. Whether the PHI was actually acquired or viewed 4. Whether and to what extent the risk to the PHI has been mitigated If it can be shown that there was a low probability that the protected information was compromised, it would not be considered a breach. If that can’t be proved, the breach notification requirements must be met. The other area addressed by the final rule limits the sale of PHI for marketing purposes. Bottom line is that protected information may not be sold or used without the individual’s consent. Additionally, the covered entity or business associate must disclose the nature and extent of its relationship with the third party. The compliance deadline for the final rule is September 23. Contracts entered into before January 25, 2013, that complied with the previous HIPAA Data Security and Privacy Rules will be considered compliant until September 22, 2014, as long as the contracts have not been renewed or modified during the grandfathering period. This article first appeared in the May/June 2013 issue of Information Management, ©2013 ARMA International, www.arma.org. Reproduced with permission.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 11

2013 FALL SEMINAR The Fall Seminar is not to be missed this year! Teresa Barnes, ACP, President-Elect and the chair of the seminar committee has been working extremely hard with the committee members over the past months to bring us an all-star lineup of talented speakers. On the agenda for September 19th and 20th at the DC Centre are: Leslie Kuhnel, MPA, MSHCE of Alegent Health — “Ethics, Advance Directives, and Other Challenging Conversations” Judge Vernon Daniels — “Current Issues in Juvenile Justice” Christopher J. Tiaden, Esq. of Gross & Welch, P.C., LLO — “Ethics and the Tripartite Relationship” Andrew J. Wilson, Esq. of Gross & Welch, P.C., LLO — “Social Drinking and Nebraska Law” Kevin West, Esq. — “Patent Prosecution after the America Invents Act (AIA)” Rick B. Allan, Esq. of the Nebraska State Bar Association — “Life Can Be Difficult, Misery is Optional: Taking Responsibility and Finding the Solution Within” Jackie Pueppke, Esq. of Baird Holm — “Commercial Real Estate Acquisition and Development”

BRONZE SPONSOR

BRONZE SPONSOR


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 12

MEMBER NEWS Our deepest sympathies go out to Joyce Buller, CP and her husband, Stephen. Their son, Henry, born March 26th, 2013, died unexpectedly on May 18th. Please keep their family in your prayers. Memorials are suggested to the family or a donation in Henry’s honor to Essential Pregnancy Services.

Carla Larson, ACP is so happy to announce the arrival of her grandson Liam Todd Theis. He arrived 6/28/2013, weighing 7 lbs 12 ozs and 21” long. He had a rough start requiring aggressive resuscitation, but he’s a beautiful little boy and they are so glad he’s here. Parents are Ben and Stephanie (Larson) Theis of Hastings, NE.

BRONZE SPONSOR


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 13

CSM STUDENT PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION - MOLLY BLACKWELL Participating in the Student Paralegal Association (SPA) at College of Saint Mary (CSM) this past year has enabled members to expand on what they’ve learned in the classroom by facilitating involvement in the surrounding community. The events we’ve participated in and progress we’ve made as an association during the 2012-2013 school year have sparked an interest in many of our members to improve as an association and as individuals. The 2012 fall semester started out slowly for SPA as we were just getting our feet wet. At our first meeting we chose officers and each subsequent monthly meeting we discussed possibilities for events and projects. We decided on a t-shirt design to represent the association and the shirts have gone over very well. In the spring we really got down to business and started enacting some of our plans. During February we attended the NePA District I luncheon and three NePA members attended our monthly meeting to speak about the paralegal field and what their workdays consisted of. In April we did our first service project and collected donations of personal hygiene items (e.g., shampoo, soap, feminine products) for the Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Shelter. This was a great success and we donated roughly 250 items to help victims of domestic violence. Also, a few of our members participated in CSM’s annual Spirit of Service day as a group. This is a day when classes are cancelled and students are encouraged to volunteer at local charities. Members of SPA went to a local church that runs a food pantry and we put together meals and handed them out to the visitors. The service project and Spirit of Service day were both very humbling and fulfilling experiences that we will repeat this coming year. Our final accomplishment was the creation of a Facebook page in May to keep the community updated on our association’s activities and plans. This coming year we will get the ball rolling on our activities much sooner so that we can participate in more events and projects. We plan to have a booth at the fall and spring involvement fairs at CSM in order to recruit more members to SPA and attend at least one NePA luncheon as a group each semester. In addition to collecting items for the Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Shelter, we plan to do another service project in the fall. There are several other opportunities which members have shown interest in pursuing such as attending events put on by the Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NADP) as well as volunteering at the Nebraska Bar Association’s Barrister’s Ball or at its annual meeting in October. We hope to participate in many events and activities that will achieve the goals of CSM while furthering our members’ knowledge of the paralegal field. We are excited about the year ahead of us and welcome any feedback or opportunities that will help us on our journey to becoming paralegals. Molly Blackwell is from Logan, IA and transferred to College of Saint Mary in Fall 2012 from Iowa Western Community College. She is the current president of the Student Paralegal Association, a member of the Speech Team, and will graduate in May 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in pre-law/paralegal studies. Molly works as a pharmacy technician while attending school and volunteers at Iowa Legal Aid in Council Bluffs as a paralegal intern. She is looking for an internship this spring in a corporate setting but also interested in family law and mediation. She is considering law school as a next step but plans to get more work experience before making a final decision.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 14

LEGAL TALK NETWORK - BY LORI FROISTAD, ACP I took some time to peruse the web site of Legal Talk Network which claims to be “The Premier Online Legal Media Network.” The site currently offers approximately 20 legal related Podcasts that may be subscribed to for free. Most of the Podcast shows are released once a month with some more frequently. You may subscribe to the master feed and receive all of the programs or you may select only those that are of interest to you. The Podcast that immediately caught my attention was “The Paralegal Voice” by Vicki Voisin. A few of the program titles currently available are “Paralegal Writing Skills,” ”Paralegal Hiring Trends,” “Maneuvering Your Paralegal Career from Start to Finish,” and “Surviving the Workplace Transition – Tips from NALA.” Each program runs approximately thirty minutes. In “The Paralegal Voice” podcasts, Ms. Voisin invites guests to participate in discussions regarding timely topics important to individuals in the paralegal profession. I listened to the Podcast entitled “Communicating with Clients.” The discussion addressed the increasing use of email and texting in place of formal letters and some of the ethical obligations and challenges with privacy and maintaining attorney-client privilege when using these forms of communication. While email may be the quickest method of communication, “an email sent is not necessarily an email read,” and sometimes nothing is better than a personal phone call. One suggestion made by guest, Beverly Michaelis, president of Oregon Law Practice Management, was that every new client should receive a “Welcome Message” via email to confirm that the client’s email address is correct and whether the client is agreeable to using email communication. Another topic addressed was the necessity of being very clear with clients about access to their legal team, the methods of communication that are available, hours of availability, and timeframes in which clients may expect a response. Setting and following clear parameters and keeping promises goes a long way toward establishing and maintaining good relationships with clients even though you will not be available to them 24/7. I found the Podcast to be interesting and not too long. I intend to listen to several other programs of “The Paralegal Voice.” I also spent some time looking at program topics from Podcasts titled, “New Solo,” “Digital Edge,” “Lawyer 2 Lawyer,” “Legal Toolkit,” and “Boston University School of Law,” and found them to cover a very wide range of topics including technology, new laws, criminal cases in the news, practice tips, becoming a lawyer, etc. There definitely is something for everyone here and I would encourage you to do a little exploring of your own on legaltalknetwork.com.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 15

COMMITTEE CORNER LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE This committee might be for you if:  You have a background in education or curriculum development  You like motivating others and get excited by learning new things  You’ve got a few hours a month to devote to the committee This committee is responsible for the development of a leadership program specifically for NePA members. It was inspired by NALA’s LEAP program and Carla Larson, ACP is the committee chair and a graduate of that program. Please contact Carla at CLarson@remboltlawfirm.com or 402-475-5100 if you’re interested in joining and being involved in this momentous program that will have a lasting effect on all NePA members.

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE This committee might be for you if:  You are enthusiastic about NePA and want to shout it to the world  You like meeting new people and making everyone feel welcome  You have a couple hours a month to devote to the committee This committee is responsible for maintaining and increasing membership in NePA. It recently accomplished the milestone of 200 members after a big push from the committee and is now working on the next one. It is also responsible for welcoming new members and orienting them to NePA and all it has to offer. Laurie Vik, ACP is the chair of the committee as she’s the Vice President. You can reach her at laurie.vik@kiewit.com or 402-943 -1321 if you’d like to join the committee. The committee is always looking for fresh ideas on ways to attract members.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 16

PLATINUM SPONSOR


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 17

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A COLLECTIONS PARALEGAL - JOE CARNEY 9:00 - Arrive at work. 9:30 - Make first call to a payment customer, the usual response “Check is in the mail.” 10:00 - Process VISA payments received the previous day. 10:30 - Call next victim….I mean customer…, the response is different, “I thought I made that payment.” I think to myself….obviously not….or I wouldn’t be calling now. 11:00 - Next call; the response...you guessed it, “ Check is in the mail.” 11:30 - Lunch 12:30 - Called Small Claims Court to see if we obtained service on a person we sued last week. Service obtained; those Constables are great at finding people! 1:00 - Received call from upset customer who was served with a complaint. He asked, “Why did you sue me? The check was in the mail.” I get off the phone and laugh myself silly. 1:30 - Next call, no answer but must leave a message: “Sorry we did not receive your payment yet, call me as to when we can expect to receive same.” Surprisingly, they never call back. 2:00 - Spoke with outside counsel on two judgments obtained and the process of finding some assets to execute on or employment/garnishment prospects. 2:30 - Worked on the location of a couple of my late payment customers. I like to use Facebook and TLO to find people; using the regular Internet search usually returns dated information that is not usable. 3:00 - Received call from my teenage son. He needs some money to buy another golf club; I told him “The check is in the mail!” It’s nice to use it myself for a change. 3:30 - Another collection call, but this time the debtor wants to set up a payment plan. I get excited until I realize that he will probably make one payment and then disappear. It’s a win for the time being, however. 4:00 - Prepare for a Small Claim case I have tomorrow. I expect a no show, as usual, but I have to be prepared as though she will appear. 4:30 - Leaving early to go to Golf Galaxy and buy a new golf club for my son. I know, I know…I’m so easy!!!


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 18

NALA CONVENTION - CARLA LARSON, ACP 300 individuals registered for the 38th Annual NALA Convention, Institutes & Exhibition from across North America, including Canada and the Virgin Islands. Nebraska was well-represented with 14 of us enjoying the clean, pretty, eco-friendly host city of Portland, known as the City of Roses. Tuesday, July 9th My convention journey began at 5:00 a.m. in the Lincoln Municipal Airport. I had a bit of a debacle with the 300 Hershey SUCCESS bars and other materials packed for our NePA Affiliate Booth display as it all weighed 72 lbs! I stepped aside to redistribute some weight to the other carry-ons to no avail as the luggage still exceeded the weight limit. Fortunately, the airline representative did not have time to process my payment, so she let my overweight suitcase go into the baggage transit for free! My husband, Scott, came with me this year but I would not have traveled alone for long as we met Loretta Phillips on the connecting flight from Denver to Portland and Kim Brown, ACP and Kim Hansen at the Portland Airport. We enjoyed a delicious seafood lunch at The Beaches airport restaurant and then boarded the shuttle with other paralegals headed for the convention. Conversation buzzed with growing excitement. We made the Early Bird Reception, hosted by the Alaska Paralegal Association and Pacific Northwest Paralegal Association, which featured delicious hors d’oeuvres, lovely fresh rose centerpieces strewn with seashells and Alaskan wildflower seed packets. Wednesday, July 10 At 9:00 a.m. we convened in the Grand Ballroom for the welcome by NALA’s President (NePA’s own Ann Atkinson, ACP) and opening remarks by Keynote Speaker Glenn A. Leier. It was an energy-packed presentation with frequent shouting of, “We are Awesome!” and “We love NALA!” His closing recommendations included:    

Join a group; attend meetings; get into leadership roles Say “yes” whenever asked Participate in group discussions because they lead to great ideas Put paralegals on committees so things will get done

He suggested that “legal analysis” is as simple as identifying similarities and differences between documents, and he challenged us to help attorneys by learning how to reduce differences and similarities to a single sentence. Next on the agenda was the start of the three-day Educational Institutes followed by the Affiliate Roundtable Discussions. The candidates for contested positions shared why they sought the office, described their visions for NALA, and fielded questions from the floor during the Candidates’ Forum and then it was time for the opening night event, “The Dinner Detective.” This was an interactive mystery theatre presentation in which the audience was asked to determine who had committed the “murder.” It was an action-packed evening.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 19

NALA CONVENTION CONTINUED Afterwards, several groups of paralegals went to The Portland City Grille, a 30th floor restaurant recommended by our hotel concierge. Through the spectacular restaurant windows we watched the golden sun setting on Mount Hood and other snow-capped mountains surrounding the city while enjoying more seafood Portland is famous for. Thursday, July 11 After attending day two of the institutes we headed to the All Convention Luncheon, during which vendor door prizes were announced as well as the Cengage Learning Scholarship (see page 24 for more information on the winner). Loretta Phillips won a $100 gift card to Nordstrom’s, Kim Hansen won a red leather handbag, and I won a $10 gift card to Subway. After lunch it was time for the Member Exchange Presentations: 90 Apps in 90 Minutes or Going Paperless in the Legal Office. I brought back some great tips for my employer!

Left to Right: Kim Brown, Loretta Phillips, Kim Hansen, Carla Larson and Scott Larson

During the Affiliated Associations Annual Meeting I cast NePA’s vote as its Designated Voting Representative. Debby Sawyer, ACP was elected as our new Affiliated Associations Director. Our NALA Region VI Director remains Melissa Klimpel, ACP (Region VI contains 490 NALA members from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota). This meeting was followed by the Affiliates Exchange presentation by high-energy paralegal Kristine Custodio, ACP of the San Diego Paralegal Association. It was titled The Leaders of Today,

The Innovators of Tomorrow: Creating Dynamic Leaders and Taking Your Association to the Next Level and Beyond. She was entertaining and had some good suggestions, many of which are al-

ready being implemented within NePA, so as an association we are very much on the right track. Kim Brown receiving Affiliate Award

The Annual Affiliated Associations Awards Presentations followed. President Ann Atkinson presented the Affiliated Associations Outstanding Contribution Award to Valarie Hall, CP of the Tucson Paralegal Association and Affiliate Awards to paralegals for different

services to their organizations including our very own Kimberly Brown, ACP for leadership.

Thursday evening Scott, Loretta and I caught the bus up the mountainside to visit Portland’s incredible International Test Rose Garden, planted with scores of meticulously groomed beds and arbors of 7,000 rose plants, representing more than 200 varieties. Portland’s dryer air, rich soil content, lack of frost heaving and mild temperatures provide ideal rose growing conditions that inhibit disease. It was a once-in-a-lifetime pleasure for me.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 20

NALA CONVENTION CONTINUED Friday, July 12 We finished up the last day of the institutes and tore down our affiliate booth over the lunch hour. The SUCCESS bars were a big hit with convention-goers (see page 24), so thankfully there were none left to haul back with me to Nebraska! Next was the Annual Meeting of the NALA Membership where among other business the board approved a dues increase for next year. During the meeting, recipients of the NALA Founders’ Award (Jimmie Murvin, ACP) and the NALA Presidents’ Award (Christine Porter, ACP) were presented with plaques and roses. Ms. Murvin was described as a visionary and Ms. Porter was recognized for her relationship building strengths. Both of these prestigious awards recognize long term remarkable contributions to NALA by members, but both recipients were quick to share credit for their achievements with many other NALA members and family supporters. Ms. Porter especially acknowledged her mother’s sense of humor and frequent reminder that she was “no better and no worse” than any other member. She also thanked her husband for giving her the “gift of possibility” in encouraging her to pursue dreams for herself and the organization. It was a wonderful week packed with great information, meeting new people and reconnecting with friends from across the country, celebrating what it means to be a paralegal, and coming away fully motivated to continue growing in my chosen profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the paralegal field is expected to grow by 18% in the next 10 years. What a great time to be part of NALA, which encourages personal and professional growth! I am looking forward to the 39th Annual Convention, Institutes and Exhibition in Charleston, South Carolina: July 23-25, 2014 and hope Nebraska will again bring a strong showing!

ROUND TABLE AT NALA CONVENTION - LORETTA PHILLIPS The Nebraska Paralegal Association was selected by NALA to present the NePA Work Flow Series as one of the Round Table discussion groups at the NALA Convention in Portland, OR. NePA’s NALA Liaison, Carla Larson, ACP, and Loretta Phillips, Co-Chair of the Student Services Committee and Parliamentarian educated the attentive audience on this unique NePA program designed to assist paralegal students in launching their new careers. Topics included resume writing, workplace etiquette, tips for interviews, workplace attire, and professionalism – all geared to help make that transition from student to working paralegal successful. The Work Flow powerpoint presentation was then provided by email to each attendee in hopes that the affiliate associations will utilize the program in their states to assist student paralegals with their induction into the legal arena. It was an honor and privilege to share the Work Flow Series which was developed by Stephanie Henson, ACP, and implemented by Stephanie, Laurie Vik, ACP, and Carla Larson, ACP beginning in 2011. The presentation is offered to Nebraska colleges and student paralegal clubs by the NePA Student Services Committee.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 21

RELAY FOR LIFE - AMBER ROBERTS, ACP Relay for Life was held at Papillion-La Vista South High School this year on June 8th and the theme was “Fighting Back through the Decades - 100 years of More Birthdays.” I was extremely excited to attend my first one and I have to tell you, the emotional aspect is just as important, if not more so, than the walking, talking, and other activities. NePA’s Legal Beagles chose the 60’s and we had a range of hippies and go-go girls in attendance for our team. On the agenda that night, despite the weather not cooperating and moving the event inside, was the Relay Mall where the teams could sell items to raise more funds toward their goals. There were shirts, yard art, raffles and baked goods (this was ours). We took in quite a bit of money, mostly due to the rampant late night munchies that hit around 10 p.m. There were events for the kids as well from a bounce house and face painting to games of all kinds. Those closed down fairly early, however, and left room for the Miss Relay contest. We didn’t have an entry this year, but it was hilarious nonetheless and all of the contestants really strutted their stuff to win! As the lights went out and the luminaria were lit up with the word HOPE showing prominently, I was very moved, but the two things that really had my tears rolling were the Survivor and Caretaker Laps at the beginning. When you see all of the people that have been affected by cancer and those family members and friends who have stepped up in total support of their loved ones, you know what true love is. It made me hopeful that the world will one day be a better place and it will start with the smallest acts of kindness. We all took turns walking throughout the night and always tried to make sure that at least one member of the team was on the “track” at all times. The hallways made for an interesting walking experience versus being outside, but it was very inspiring to read all of the names on the bags and spend time finding the luminaria that each member purchased for their family members, either in honor of a survivor or in memory of someone who lost his or her battle. The final event of the night was the Fight Back Ceremony. Teri Gibbons and I were the only two survivors of our team left at 12 a.m. but we got a great kickboxing workout as we “fought back” against cancer. NePA’s team took home 2nd place for most money raised by a business and overall the event brought in over $92,000! I’m extremely excited to join in the fight against cancer again next year as this is something that affects just about every person out there in one way or another. I also want to say a big THANK YOU to Teri for chairing the committee and organizing our team!


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 22

PLATINUM SPONSOR


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 23

ISO MOVES FORWARD ON E-DISCOVERY STANDARD A technical committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has approved moving ahead with a standard for e-discovery, as reported last month in Law Technology News. The official title for the standard is “ISO/IEC 27050, Information Technology - Security Techniques - Electronic Discovery.” The work is being coordinated under ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC27 (IT Security Techniques). Several other ISO committees have liaison relationships with this sub-committee - including ISO TC46/ SC11 (Archives/records management). Once completed, the new guidance standard will provide an overview of e-discovery and electronically stored information (ESI), define terminology, and address the technological and process challenges associated with e-discovery. This will be the first release in what’s expected to become a multipart standard that provides requirements as well as guidance. The new standard will reportedly incorporate elements from the U.S. Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program, The Sedona Conference®, various statesponsored best-practice guidelines, and contributions from other experts in the field. It is not intended to supersede or contradict local laws and regulations. Several countries’ ISO delegations support the project, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Mexico, Belgium, Singapore, Norway, South Africa, Italy, and the Republic of Korea. Comments and contributions on the working draft will be due by mid-September and processed at the technical committee’s meeting in October. For those who may be unfamiliar with the ISO process, the following information may be useful. Now that the project has been approved, the initial development work will be done within the committee itself. When the committee has finalized a committee draft, the draft international standard will be released for balloting among the national member bodies. This ballot period will allow for additional input from the member countries of ISO. BRONZE SPONSOR

This article first appeared in the May 22, 2013 NewsWire, ©2013 ARMA International, www.arma.org. Reproduced with permission.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 24

NALA NEWS - CARLA LARSON, ACP Cengage Learning sponsored a scholarship this spring to allow for one paralegal nationwide to study for and take the Certified Paralegal exam offered by NALA. The winner was announced at the NALA Convention held in Portland, OR this year. We are so pleased to announce that our very own Lori Chapman was selected out of all the applicants to receive this prestigious scholarship. Scott Chrysler of Cengage presented the award and had the following to say of Lori: “This year’s winner was Lori Chapman, a paralegal working at a law firm in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lori was nominated by the Nebraska Paralegal Association, who noted Lori’s love for learning, compassion, and unswerving commitment to others. Lori is not only an experienced professional, but is also active in her community, as a past volunteer firefighter and a current volunteer for a local outreach kitchen; she is also a foster parent to her grandchildren. The Nebraska Paralegal Association wrote of Lori: “Although Lori does not yet need to earn CLE credits to maintain a credential, she frequently chooses continuing education opportunities out of thirsty curiosity, a desire to continually build her knowledge base, strengthen networking relationships and expand her professional horizons…She exhibits tensile strength in her determination to persevere no matter what the odds are, yet she is also a well-rounded combination of head and heart.” An attorney at her firm also noted: “Simply put, she is an important part of our team that has been successful thanks to her intelligence and strong work ethic.” Lori truly exemplifies the paralegal professional and we are proud to award our scholarship to her. As the winner, she will receive free copies of our Exam Review materials. Cengage will also pay for her application fee for the CP Exam, which she plans to take soon. Unfortunately, Lori couldn’t make it to the convention this year, but please join me in congratulating her, and the Nebraska Paralegal Association, on this win—with a round of applause!”

A great big thank you to the following friends of NePA, who wrapped 300 Hershey candy bars in 2 hours and 51 minutes on Saturday, June 29: Deb Reichert Jan Wigodsky Michelle Falgione Carla Larson, ACP Scott Larson

Kim Hansen, Loretta Phillips and Carla Larson

These bars, wrapped in SUCCESS bar advertiser sheets promoting NePA’s upcoming leadership development course, were NePA’s giveaways from our affiliate booth at the 2013 NALA convention in Portland.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 25

DID YOU KNOW?    

       

A crocodile can't stick its tongue out. A shrimp's heart is in its head. People say "Bless you" when you sneeze because when you sneeze, your heart stops for a millisecond. In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand. A pregnant goldfish is called a twit. If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over a million descendants. It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere. The cigarette lighter was invented before the match. A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why. Most lipstick contains fish scales.

Disclaimer: These facts have been pulled from http://bootstrike.com/LaughterHell/Misc/miscs13.php and have not been verified in any manner. They are for entertainment purposes only.

BRONZE SPONSOR

BRONZE SPONSOR


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 26

MEMBER BENEFITTS Did you know that NePA posts job openings on its website under the Careers link? The Website Committee receives notices of openings and posts them right away. They also check the postings every couple of months to make sure they haven’t been filled so that you’re always looking at the most up-to-date information we have. Check out the current postings at http:// www.nebraskaparalegal.org/Careers.aspx. Website Committee Report Nicole Day, CP, the Website Administrator, presented a proposal to the membership to amend the budget for a one-time expense regarding the website revamp at a special meeting on June 26, 2013. The membership unanimously approved the expense and the committee has been working closely with Omaha Video Solutions since then to develop the new website. The key areas that we’re looking to improve are the layout, search, and making the website more user-friendly and appealing. So far, we have worked out the new hierarchy on the layout and added in more capabilities regarding posting to the site. For instance, the In Brief will be embedded on the website instead of in the normal PDF format and it will resemble a magazine and read in a double-page layout. All previous issues will remain available in the archives. Our goal is to have the new website ready for the membership to review at the Fall Seminar in September. The website committee has also been working with the Board to determine if we’ll be changing our overall look on the website and In Brief with regards to branding efforts. We want anyone who sees our logo, website, newsletter or any other information from NePA to instantly recognize it as coming from us. This effort requires us to be consistent through all our media efforts, including letterhead and flyers.

Anyone interested in this process is encouraged to join the website committee, if only temporarily. Questions or comments with regards to these efforts can be sent to Nicole Day at Nicole.Day@douglascountyne.gov or 402-444-4311.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 27

THROUGH THE MIND OF A SLEEPY FATHER - JAMES TEWS My wife, Jennie, and I were blessed to add another child to our family last year. In November, little baby Savhannah joined her big sister, Elyssa, as a part of our treasured brood. Little Savhannah weighed a petite 3 pounds, 12 ounces, but her appetite and capability for letting us know when she needed attention were anything but petite. During “Squawk’s” first few weeks home from the NICU, I had the privilege of trying out all the things a father has in his arsenal for pacifying a newborn, including pacing back and forth with Squawk cradled in my arms during the early morning hours, when no human should be awake. A lot crossed my foggy mind during some of those late night paces, including how to be sure Jennie and I are doing our best to protect our growing family. Here are some of my thoughts, as best as I can recall… “Hush little baby, don’t you cry. Daddy’s gonna sing you a lullaby…” I wonder if we have enough life insurance in place. If something should happen to me, would there be enough money so Jennie could work part-time and raise the kids? If something should happen to both of us, would there be enough funds for our kids to live comfortably and pursue college or other career options? “Row row row your boat…” If something happens to Jennie and I, who should be responsible for raising our kids? Who would raise our daughters in a healthy household and with at least somewhat similar religious and moral beliefs as ours? And who should be responsible for handling the trust that would be created to hold our kids’ inheritance until they are old enough to have it? Speaking of which, when would our kids be old enough to have their share of inheritance from our trust? “Twinkle twinkle little star…” term or permanent disability, what to sell our house? And what about is forgoing a job to raise the kids enough for our family?

Maybe we should look more into disability insurance. If I had a longwould happen after our emergency fund is depleted? Would we have then trying to save for the kids’ college and for our retirement? Jennie now, but if she had to go back to work, would she be able to earn

“Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall…” Do we have the best rate we can get on our home mortgage? Maybe we should talk to our mortgage broker about possibly refinancing at the current low rates. Speaking of credit, we should pull our credit reports to be sure they are accurate. Oh yes, do we have enough protection through our homeowners, auto, and umbrella insurance policies? There are a lot of un- and underinsured drivers…do we have enough coverage in case we are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver? “Oh Squawk, don’t ever grow up!” It can be easy to avoid thinking about topics like those above, but implementing a good plan might be the best thing you do for your children. Be sure to take some time (even if it is not while pacing around with a newborn) to consider how best to protect your family’s financial and legal well-being. James A. Tews, a partner with Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP, focuses his practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration, guardian and conservatorships, Medicaid and special needs trust planning, real estate law, and corporate and business law. James has also developed a special emphasis on estate planning for families who are parenting or caring for a child with physical or cognitive challenges. James serves on the Visiting Nurses Association board and authors estate planning articles for local publications.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 28

NALA Certifying Board Announces New Examination Specifications

EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 2013: The NALA Certifying Board has announced new specifications for the Certified Paralegal examination effective with the September 2013 testing window. These modifications are based on a careful and detailed analysis of the findings of the 2012 Job Task Analysis study conducted by the Board in consultation with PSI Psychometric Consulting Services. The new examination specifications call for minor adjustments to the number of points per topic within all sections of the examination. No new topics were introduced in any examination area. The most significant modification is the elimination of several practice area tests under the Substantive Law section. The Job Task Analysis study demonstrated that, on a nationwide basis, a low percentage of paralegals utilize the knowledge and skills tested by these practice area examination sections on a regular and routine basis in the workplace. In addition, the option to test in certain specialty practice areas will no longer be available to examinees. All examinees will take the same Substantive Law section of the examination, as is the case with all other sections of the Certified Paralegal examination. Effective with the September 2013 testing, the Substantive Law section will consist of questions on the following subjects: American Legal System Civil Litigation Business Organizations Contracts With these modifications, the Certifying Board listened to member and nonmember paralegals, and applied findings of the Job Task Analysis study to the exam specifications. The Certifying Board strives to link the Certified Paralegal examination directly to the day to day duties and responsibilities of paralegals in the workplace. The modifications announced for the September 2013 examination are a continued effort to ensure the Certified Paralegal examination remains an accurate and relevant reflection of the duties and responsibilities of today’s paralegals. A detailed list of specifications for the Certified Paralegal examination may be found on the NALA web site under “Certification/Certified Paralegal Exam Description” as well as a more detailed statement of these modifications. Please contact NALA Headquarters or Carla Larson, ACP, our NALA Liaison, at CLarson@reboltlawfirm.com if you have any questions.


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 29


VOLUME MMXIII, ISSUE 3

PAGE 30

PLATINUM SPONSOR

Profile for Amber Roberts

In Brief - August 2013  

This is the e-zine of the Nebraska Paralegal Association (NePA).

In Brief - August 2013  

This is the e-zine of the Nebraska Paralegal Association (NePA).

Profile for amb8103
Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded