In Brief - November 2013

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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 New Members ............. 9 Member Spotlight ..... 10 Leadership Development Committee................. 11 The Adventures of Super Paralegal ................... 13 The Benefits of Volunteering ..................14-15 Student Spotlight ..... 17 District II Report....... 18 Wyndam Stands Up to FTC in Data Breach Case........................... 19 Fall Seminar ........20-23 Board of Directors ..... 21 Did You Know? .......... 25 NALA News ................ 26 Termination as a Good Thing ....................27-28 Website Committee Report ....................... 28 An Estate Plan for the Young Couple ............ 29 Medical Device Manufacturers Tackle Cybersecturity ......................... 30

FROM THE PRESIDENT: TERESA BARNES, ACP Happy New NePA Year! Our new year began on October 1st and with the beginning of a new year, it is customary to reflect on what one hopes to accomplish in the upcoming year and make resolutions to help stay focused on attaining those accomplishments. Recently I was at a social gathering and met a woman who told me she worked as a paralegal. I asked her if she belonged to NePA. Not only did she not belong….. she had never heard of us! I promptly gave her a brief overview and invited her to check out our organization by coming to a monthly luncheon as my guest. Her response was “And tell me why would I want to do that?” I was somewhat taken aback and really not expecting to be challenged as to why I thought learning more about NePA and joining NePA was a great idea. I came up with the usual responses I hear such as the “networking and continuing legal education opportunities” but I felt like I fell short of truly conveying to her the reasons that joining NePA was a great investment of time and money. I wanted her to understand that she could expect a very rich and fulfilling return on her investment if she would just participate. I decided maybe it was time to go back and review what our organization’s purposes are so that next time I could be more persuasive in my response. Did you know that our bylaws have six objects and purposes? Our resolutions are already in place in our bylaws. We just need to review them and renew our efforts so that we can continue growing and evolving into the best organization we can be. Let’s start at the beginning: Object and Purpose #1: “To establish good fellowship among NePA members, NALA and members of the legal community”

Individually we have many different types of jobs, skills, and goals but as a group identified as “paralegals” we have a commonality that binds us enough to have joined this fellowship that we call NePA. NePA members gather for monthly luncheons, break bread together, and listen to community leaders share information that affects our members’ jobs and/or personal lives. NePA members share contact information, knowledge, and career opportunities with each other at these luncheons. (Continued on Page 13)



FROM THE EDITOR: AMBER ROBERTS, ACP I want to take a few moments to thank Carla Larson, ACP for passing on our newsletter to other associations and those who were interested in receiving it after attending NePA’s round table at the NALA Convention this summer. Thanks to her efforts, our publication is getting national exposure and I couldn’t be more excited. Take a look at Letters to the Editor (next page) to see how far we’ve reached! We’ve even had a request to republish our articles which indicates to me that others are finding them relevant and interesting. On a different note… As I sit down to write this column, I’m amazed by the lack of new volunteers over the past year. We’ve increased our numbers to over 200 which is wonderful! We haven’t increased our volunteers, however, by the same percentage as we should have with such a large membership. It makes me wonder what is needed to get some of you to take the next step, pick up the phone, or send the email that will move you forward on this journey. I know, I know…I sound like one of those radiothon hosts but I have to tell you, I sometimes feel like one. NePA’s Board of Directors takes on the responsibility of moving our association forward and keeping it current. It’s not easy and lack of volunteers is one of the main killers of these goals.

pieces, or simply editing the finished product before it’s put in its final form and released. The latter would take approximately 2 hours every 2 months. On the plus side, you get to read the news before anyone else! I think there is a misconception about the level of commitment you’re signing up for. You can agree to help during a busy season for a committee, like in October/November for the Sponsorship Committee when they need help to send out mailings. Or you can join one of the Scholarship Committees that prepares flyers and other material to spread the word about the availability of scholarships but doesn’t get too busy until April (for the Student Scholarship) and August (for the CLA/CP/ACP Scholarship) when the submission deadlines have passed. Typically, these committees do not require a great deal of time at all. Excuse #2: I don’t have any ideas that others want to hear!

Response: Says who? I spend several hours writing pieces for the In Brief which is published every 2-3 months. Now, there may be many of you who do not appreciate my dry humor or witSo, in an effort to increase our volunteers, ticism, however, who’s to say that we won’t enplease read below and let me know if your ex- joy your unique voice. Our organization cannot cuses still hold up or if you have others I just grow and better itself without members willing haven’t thought of yet. to speak up. Excuse #1: Too many other things going Excuse #3: on in my life to volunteer! There’s nothing Response: Did you know that many committees in it for me so why participate! require less than 1 hour a month of your time? There are many different levels of participation. For example, you could join the Publications Committee and commit to writing an article, (Continued sending out emails and collecting information for Page 12)




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR “The In Brief is beautiful! Your creative stamp on it is refreshing and fun.” - Nicole Day, CP “Wow, … you rocked it again! … I loved your article on your grape juice – you are a fantastic writer! Joe Carney’s article put me over the top – :) THANK YOU!!!!” - Loretta Phillips “Another great job, ma'am! Kudos to your team!” - Kim Brown, ACP “The In Brief looks fantastic and the articles are great!” - Ann Atkinson, ACP “I love the online magazine format and that it is also available as a PDF via the website (some of us like to archive in our own systems).” - Alison Barthel Jacobson, ACP “I haven't had a chance to read the NePA In Brief yet. I just glanced through it. I'll read it soon. It looks fantastic. Top-notch! Thank you for your hard work on it (I don't know if you have a newsletter team or if it's just you -- the word newsletter doesn't adequately describe what you've created). Cheers on a job very well done.” - Chris Villarreal “You have a couple of interesting articles in your newsletter - any objection if we copy to PAF's newsletter and of course, appropriate credit would be given to NePA.” - Patricia DeRamus, ACP, FRP (President of the Paralegal Association of Florida) “It is nice to keep up-to-date with other associations around the country.” - Mary Sedillo, CP (Las Vegas Valley Paralegal Association) “I thought the sections on getting to know your board and the SPA, were great ideas. If you don’t mind, I will mention them to my organization, APA – Arkansas Paralegal Alliance.” Anne Marie (AM) Walsted “Thank you for [the] NePA e-newsletter. I am going to share it with the Sierra Nevada Association of Paralegals here in Reno, Nevada.” - Anna M. Buchner “LOVE the new format for the In Brief! Looks so good. I also really enjoy the Weird Laws and Joe Carney’s Day in the Life… Thanks Joe! This edition was packed full of so much information! Thanks for all your hard work!” - Caryn Redding, CP

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




GETTING TO KNOW YOUR OFFICERS - KIM HANSEN Kim has been a paralegal since 1995, beginning with Stuart Entertainment, Inc. d/b/a Bingo King as a Legal Assistant before taking on regulatory compliance duties. She has been with the Omaha WorldHerald Company (“OWHC”) since 2001 where she works in the areas of contract, corporate, intellectual property, and mergers/ acquisitions. OWHC is a subsidiary of BH Media Group, Inc. which owns 30 daily and 41 weekly newspapers in AL, FL, IA, NE, NJ, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA. Kim received her Bachelor of Arts degree (with a minor in Business Administration) from Creighton University and her legal training at Nebraska College of Business (n/k/a Kaplan University). Kim previously chaired the 2006, 2009, and 2012 seminars and served on the NALA Convention Committee in 2012. She was Vice President from 2009-2011, President-Elect from 2011-2012 and President this past year. She is currently the Past President. In her “spare time,” Kim enjoys working on Wall Street Journal crossword puzzles, participating in musical activities, and spending time with her dog, Ginger - the world’s most lovable Airedale terrier.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS How did you get involved in NePA? Linda Hess, ACP asked me to join the Seminar Committee which I thoroughly enjoyed. I ended up chairing the 2006 and 2009 seminars because there wasn’t a President-Elect and because I was the President-Elect in 2012! But don’t be like me and wait for a NePA Committee Chair or Board member to ask you to be involved in NePA. Jump in with both feet! Your membership is far more valuable to you when you are an active participant. What made you run for office? Loretta Phillips asked me to run for Vice President. How can you say no to Loretta? What has been the biggest benefit of being a member of NePA? The educational and networking opportunities are so beneficial, but the friendships I’ve gained over the years are priceless. What one piece of advice would you give to the next generation? This sounds like a broken record, but with the prevalence of social media in our lives, be very careful what you post on Facebook and other forms of media. It really can come back to haunt you and harm advancement opportunities in employment as well as affect your personal life. What is/was your favorite job? I’m a “journeyman” musician - accompanist for singing groups and local theatres, church organist, vocalist/ organist/pianist for weddings, and a member of the Omaha Chamber Singers. It’s a great outlet from work and all the frustrations that come with it! What is/was one of your professional weaknesses that you struggle(d) to overcome? Delegation. Being President of NePA tamed some of my “control freak” tendencies. The Board members are all outstanding women and they were completely responsible for all of the various projects we had going on this past year.



GETTING TO KNOW YOUR OFFICERS - CARYN REDDING, CP Caryn is a paralegal at Whitmore Law Office. She graduated from the Denver Paralegal Institute in 1993 and worked for Thomas Whitmore from 1993 to 1998. After a 5 year break, she decided to go back and just celebrated her 10 year anniversary with the firm. The law firm primarily focuses on corporate, estate planning, probate, and guardianships. Caryn focuses on probate and guardianships. Caryn has been a member of NePA since 1995 and a member of NALA since 2010. She obtained her CP designation in 2011. She was a legal secretary for 6 years prior to graduating from paralegal school, working mostly in litigation, and also has experience in personal injury and family law.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS How did you get involved in NePA? I joined NePA in 1993 and attended luncheons periodically, but I didn’t get really involved until 2008. What made you run for office? Christina Koch, ACP asked me for a couple of years if I would consider it. I always had an excuse, but she wore me down. What has been the biggest benefit of being a member of NePA? Meeting new people, making friends, networking. These are invaluable whether you’re new to the profession or have been around for a while. What one piece of advice would you give to the next generation? I’m not sure I can narrow it down to one thing. I would say never stop learning and get involved in your local association. I’ve found that attending a seminar that may not be in your work field is still valuable information. You never know when you might need to use what you’ve learned. Also, get involved! Working together with fellow paralegals, getting to know others, and making lifelong friends are just a few of the benefits of getting involved. As I’ve said many times, it’s not as scary as you think! You may even like it. What is/was your favorite job? My current job is my favorite. It makes a world of difference who you work for and who you work with. When you have a great boss and co-workers, you’ll enjoy your job, and never want to leave. I’ve work for Thomas Whitmore now for 15 years (5 years in the late ‘90s, and currently for the last 10 years). What is/was one of your professional weaknesses that you struggle(d) to overcome? Time management is my biggest weakness right now. Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in working in a file, I lose track of the time. At times, I’ll set an alarm on my phone or a pop-up reminder on my computer to keep on schedule.






TECH TIPS - BY AMBER ROBERTS, ACP I never met a problem

couldn’t fix!

come up as to how to format something, or unlock a file, or remove protections that change track changes to Author when saved. Nearly all of these questions have answers out on Google. The trick is to type in the correct words/phrases that will pull relevant and useful answers. This may take time if you’re not familiar with how Google searches, but it can be learned and practice will make you much better at this process.

If you try a phrase and it doesn’t help, then try stating it a different way. For instance, instead of typing “Word formatting” try “right justification in Word 2010.” The more specific about the problem you can get in a few words, the better. It’s helpful as well to indicate which version of the product you’re working on as there are differences in how they look and the steps to folIn my experience, calling the help desk for sup- low. port is typically a painful endeavor that never gets me an answer in a timely fashion. Part of And remember, if at first you don’t succeed, try, the reason is that help desks, like all of us, are try again. You won’t be perfect at the outset, swamped with requests and don’t have the time but you will get better with practice. And the necessary to devote to non-critical issues so plus side to all of it is that you have a fallback if those get put on the backburner. The first ques- you can’t find the solution yourself. The help tion I typically get asked is “Is this preventing desk will always be there if you need it and with you from working?” If the answer is no, then it fewer people making requests that Google can answer, the more time they’ll have to spend on gets moved to a pile to be looked at later. your issue! My solution over the years, especially when I realized that the support staff was using Google, was to try that method first Alison Barthel Jacobson before I even contact the help desk. The ACCESS A FREQUENTLY USED FOLDER USING results? At least 9 out of 10 times I’m “FAVORITES” able to find the solution and implement it (Windows 7 operating system) myself. It’s a win-win as I don’t have to wait for an answer and the help desk has one less request in its queue. The re-  Open the folder you regularly access by clicking StartComputer, then the drive and then the folder. maining times when I’m unable to fix the  On the left side of the screen, on the top of the list is problem myself usually involve a patch or Favorites. download that I’m not authorized to do  Right click on Favorites. based on our company’s policies.  Select “Add current location to favorites.” Did you know that Help Desk Specialists use Google as one of their main resources when assisting internal customer and figuring out issues? They of course have many resources to help them, but Google seems to be the tool of choice when they don’t know the answer right off the bat.

Keyboard Quickies

As an example, I’m frequently using Mi- The frequently used folder is now listed under “Favorites,” crosoft Office products and when in the and with one click you can access it, instead of searching middle of using Word, a question will through the list of folders.






WEIRD LAWS!!!!! Arizona There is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus. It is illegal to manufacture imitation cocaine. When being attacked by a criminal or burglar, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon that the other person possesses. It is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water. Any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony.

Wisconsin Butter substitutes are not allowed to be served in state prisons. Whenever two trains meet at an intersection of said tracks, neither shall proceed until the other has passed. At one time, margarine was illegal. It is illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without cheese. While all cheese making requires a license, Limburger cheese making requires a master cheese maker’s license. Disclaimer: These laws are for entertainment purposes only and have not been verified in any manner.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!!!!! Chantel Chaney - Active Joshua Howell - Active Marie Huston - Active Kelley Nelson - Active Kimberly Nelson - Active Nancy Pont - Active Kathleen Stastny - Active Deborah Vath - Active Kathy Bass - Student Molly Blackwell - Student Joanna Deever - Student Stacey Hankins - Student Gwendolyn Smith - Associate Karyn Spencer - Associate



MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - TOM TILDEN, ACP Tom grew up in a suburb of Chicago (Western Springs) and attended Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, IL. He went to Carleton College in Northfield, MN where he met his wife, Janet. They have been married 32 years and have 2 children: Jon is 26 and lives and works here in Omaha; Philip is 14 and a freshman at Creighton Prep. Between college and now Tom has worked in the insurance industry, taught junior high and high school history and social studies, and been a paralegal in many fields including collection, compliance, and IP.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS What is your secret talent? I am a deacon in the Orthodox Church. I preach sermons sometimes and teach classes. What are your hobbies? I like to swim. I usually swim a little over a mile each day before work. I also enjoy reading. What was/is your favorite job and why? The one I have right now – IP paralegal. I love intellectual property law and in this job I am able to work independently most of the time – and I like that. What is your favorite thing about yourself? I love to learn and I enjoy teaching. I am passionate about the things that are important to me. What one piece of advice would you like to pass on to the next generation? All the different work experiences you have will benefit you. And, look forward to and embrace the opportunities and challenges that come your way in life. How did you get started in the paralegal field? A friend helped me. He is a lawyer and he made it possible for me to change careers from teaching to legal work



LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Sally Bisson-Best, J.D. provides invaluable experience and perspectives to this committee, as well as connections with potential speakers and access to assessment tools. Our budget is limited so we need free meeting space: Sally is pursuing possible free classroom use at College of St. Mary in Omaha, but if that is not available, we do have a free room commitment by Kaplan University in Lincoln. Course launch is still on target for spring, 2014 – the actual date will be locked in as soon as we confirm venue and coordinate speaker commitments. Keep watching the In Brief and website for updates!





FROM THE EDITOR (CONTINUED) Response: You are sadly mistaken if you think that participating will not help in your career, personal, AND professional life. A few personal examples: By joining NePA and participating in events/ committees, I’ve been able to bring back untold benefits to my employer which has not gone unnoticed. I was rewarded both monetarily and with more responsibilities. My employer also granted me freedom to explore areas of interest to me as I’ve proven that this exploration provides only benefits my company. By joining the Website Committee during this past year, I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible regarding web design and administration. Typically, you wouldn’t think these skills would be helpful in my personal or professional life, but I’ve found myself understanding conversations that I previously would have been uncomfortable participating in and even offering intelligent insights. This has gained me respect among my co-workers and other peers, including an invitation to join the Board of Directors of another unrelated organization looking for a Webmaster. By saying yes to volunteering on the Publications Committee and offering ideas when asked, I was in a position to join the Board of Directors for NePA when the Editor position came open. This provides me with a creative outlet that I never knew was important to me until I tried it and I’ve been able to get my name out in the legal community. How do you think this will look on my resume in the future? Not to mention if a future employer is looking for a writing sample!

Excuse #4: Fear of commitment…in other words, procrastination! Response: If this is your excuse, then you’ve got a personal and professional weakness I’d be happy to help you work through and conquer. I’m of the opinion that we put things off in our lives for a few different reasons. One of them is fear of the unknown. My answer to this: What is the worst thing that could possibly happen by moving ahead? Can I live with that? What is the best thing I might gain? If the answer to the first question is embarrassment (as I find it typically is) and the answer to the last question is just about anything (more money, more confidence, a better self-image, more selfrespect, new friends, increased understanding, etc.), then I go for it. Barring a potential for injury to myself, I’m up for just about anything. And I will probably jump out of that plane when I’m older and don’t have to worry about leaving my kids without a mother at a young age! My hope is that the responses above will motivate you to take that first step...and that I don’t sound too preachy. Don’t wait for someone to ask you to join in. The board members’ contact information is all listed on the NePA website under Contacts and I encourage you to take advantage of it. We are all extremely accessible and willing to answer any questions you have. Please…don’t stand on the sidelines for another moment…jump in and start getting the benefits of membership!




FROM THE PRESIDENT (CONTINUED) NePA members assist with bar association activities such as the Barristers Ball and Law Day which promotes good fellowship with the local legal communities. NePA, as an organization, stays actively involved with NALA, our national affiliate, which promotes continuing education and professional development. By doing so NePA also stays abreast of how our profession is growing and evolving in legal communities across the nation. NePA members grow together and make a difference at their jobs, in their communities, and for the profession. Many of us make lifetime connections and friendships that never would have happened without our participation in an organization that resolves to establish good fellowship. Together we are a force to be reckoned with! Who would not want to be a part of that?? Talk about empowerment! Let’s renew our resolve to continue good fellowship amongst ourselves, NALA, and members of the legal community especially the paralegals who ask, “Why would I want do to do that?” They should at a minimum be making an educated decision. Let’s go NePA!


What problem will Super Paralegal face next? Stay tuned for the continuing saga...



THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING - KIM BROWN, ACP For seasoned or new paralegals, volunteering in  Developing a presentation relating to what we the community, at a school or church, or in a learned throughout the course with a group of professional organization, provides many personthree other paralegals around the country (by al and professional benefits. Volunteering may telephone conference, collectively editing a be hard work, but by working smarter, not harder Google docs presentation, late night emails, (something I learned working at a camp during etc.). college), and giving a little effort, it provides one  Presenting our ideas before NALA’s Board of with a great sense of satisfaction and an avenue Directors at the national convention. for connecting with others. Working with other paralegals on our project NePA’s Board of Directors and its members sup- proved to be challenging, yet very exciting! Prior port volunteering at local and national levels to the LEAP program, I had never worked on a (especially for our own organization and the Na- project that required such collaboration from tional Association of Legal Assistants, our national across the country. We certainly enjoyed putting affiliated organization, “NALA”). I have had the our presentation together over Google docs pleasure of serving at both levels. NePA mem- (Have you seen the Hall and Oates commercial? bers currently serving at the national level are: That was exactly what it entailed!). Our group Ann Atkinson (President), Janie Boswell, CLAS developed an issue late in the game, when one of (Certifying Board Chair), Christina Koch, ACP, our participants discovered she could not attend MBA (NALA Campus Live presenter, LEAP gradu- the national convention and we had to fit her into ate), and me (LEAP graduate, CEC Member, and our presentation somehow or risk losing points. Chair of the 2014 National Convention). NePA We used skills learned in the program to overmembers who previously served NALA include come our obstacle and used video to stream her Connie Kretchmer, ACP (Past President), Linda into the presentation. Hess (Certifying Board Chair), and Carla Larson, ACP (LEAP graduate, Chair of NALA's 2011-2012 Following participation in the LEAP program, I received a surprising call from the President of Nomination and Credentials Committee). NALA, Karen Greer McGee, ACP. She invited me NePA is extremely proud to have three members to join NALA’s Continuing Education Council who have completed NALA's LEAP program. Par- (“CEC”). I could not believe that she actually ticipating in LEAP (Leadership Enhancement and called me! I was pleasantly surprised, but at the same time, I had just stepped off two other volPreparation) included, among other things: unteer organiza Reading many articles and a book relating to tions to devote leadership and serving professional organiza- more time to my tions. (Extracurricular reading takes some cre- family. Ultimately, ative time management skills!) I decided to ac Learning to work well with others (something I cept the invitation thought I mastered in elementary school, but to the Council, which took on a new meaning during the LEAP knowing that it class) and put aside personal thoughts and was an opportunifeelings on a subject in order to move forward ty I could not pass toward a common goal. up! I have been  Actively participating in monthly calls with lucky as it has not other paralegals in the LEAP class and the par- jeopardized family alegal and professional mentors. time.



THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING CONTINUED The CEC has two sub-committees for the National Convention and NALA Campus Live. Each CEC member sits on one of the sub-committees and we all solicit articles for NALA’s Facts & Findings magazine. While it sounds quite daunting, by holding each other accountable and committing to deadlines, we deliver time and again. Last year, I served on the NALA Campus Live subcommittee and this year, I have the pleasure of chairing the National Convention sub-committee. This includes developing topics and soliciting speakers for the National Convention Educational Institutes (with the help of the committee members, of course!). I am happy to report that the Council has secured the institute topics and speakers for the 2014 Convention. The next task is to obtain each speaker’s course descriptions, outlines, presentation materials, biography, and professional photo for the promotional materials and the convention itself. NALA’s 2014 National Convention is in Charlotte, South Carolina from July 23-25 and we hope to see you there. Throughout my participation at the local and national levels, I have learned that in order to make a wheel turn, it needs each and every one of its spokes. If one spoke is out of place or does not pull through, the wheel does not turn. An organization does not run on its own. It takes many volunteers, whether it be those chairing a committee or working in the background. I have also learned that committee members are not only your fellow committee members, but your friends and mentors who will cover a presentation for you, attend a meeting on your behalf, or help solve a problem. If you have ever wanted to join a volunteer organization, but do not believe you have time, do not believe you have what the organization needs, or do not think that others believe in you, take a second look. So many volunteer and non-profit organizations need what you have to offer. Take that first step and see what you can do for an organization, not to mention reaping the benefits you will get in return!

If you have any questions about volunteering for NePA or NALA, please contact me. I am happy to answer questions or will refer you to someone who can. "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin Kim Brown is a paralegal in the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Section of Baird Holm LLP. Kim received her Bachelor of Science Degree (Criminal Justice, with Minor in Business Administration) from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 1993. She also spent a year abroad at the University of England - Lancaster studying psychology and marketing. She earned her CP designation in 2009, and her ACP designation in July 2010. Kim previously held NePA offices of District 2 Director, Secretary, Web Site Administrator, and National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Liaison. Kim also served on the Fall Seminar Committee, the CLA Scholarship Committee, the Web Site Committee, NePA's Ad-Hoc 2012 NALA Convention Committee, the Ad-Hoc Sponsorship Committee, and the Law Day Committee. Kim graduated from NALA's 2011-2012 Leadership Enhancement and Preparation (LEAP) class and serves as a member on its Continuing Education Counsel ("CEC"). She will serve a three-year term from 2012-2015 and will serve as the 2014 Chair of the CEC's NALA Convention subcommittee. In her free time, Kim spends time with her husband and two children and also enjoys photography and golf.






STUDENT SPOTLIGHT - JOANNA DEEVER Joanna Deever is a student at Metropolitan Community College and will graduate in February 2014 with an associate’s degree in legal studies. She is currently an intern at Gavilon Global Ag Holdings, LLC and works in their legal department handling input of contracts into the contract management system using Sharepoint. She has recently expanded her role to add in drafting of executive summaries and different projects from helping the team go paperless to getting control of the real estate records. Joanna truly enjoys the corporate setting but is also interested in other fields like litigation and immigration. Outside of work and school, she enjoys cooking, reading, piecing together her family’s genealogy and running.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS 1. What is your secret talent? Baking. 2. What are you looking for in an employer? Honesty and competence in a genuinely human environment. 3. What made you join NePA as a student member? It seemed prudent for purposes of broadening knowledge and contacts within the paralegal community, and it is highly encouraged by instructors. 4. What interests you about the paralegal field? It’s intellectually challenging and there is a broad range of areas where paralegals can work. At the beginning of school, I only thought “litigation” but now that graduation is near and I have some work experience, I see that there are many opportunities for paralegals. 5. What advice would you give to those looking to go to school for paralegal studies? Be certain the legal profession genuinely interests you. Also, patience, attention to detail, and organization are essential. 6. Do you plan to take the CP exam once you graduate and if yes, what do you hope to gain from it? Yes. I hope it sets me apart as a legal professional.



DISTRICT II REPORT- MISTY COWAN, ACP Thank you for re-electing me as your District II Director for another year! Below are upcoming events and news. In August, we held our quarterly lunch and learn meeting at a new location - Kaplan University. Attendance was modest, but the classroom setting proved to be successful and much more conducive to networking and interacting with the speaker. We plan to use the same facility for our November meeting! Sam DelSenno, Omaha Legal Services spoke on Managing a File: A Case Study At our November 13th meeting, we heard from Wendy Wussow, Agency Legal Counsel at the Nebraska State Patrol. She presented an Overview of their legal division and what it is they do.

QUILTERS NEEDED We’re looking for quilters to donate their time to create quilts which will be auctioned off for Relay for Life fundraisers. Please contact Amber Roberts ( if you’re able to help or know a quilter.

A reminder to all that Nebraska Wesleyan University has a new Baccalaureate degree that they offer to working adults: a BS in Criminal Justice. Contact program director Melissa McCoy for further details at (402) 465-2330 or Wesleyan is very excited to offer this new educational opportunity for NePA members and students. Is there a topic you want to learn more about? Are you interested in serving on the committee for District II to help coordinate meeting details like topics, speakers, venue? Please be sure to contact me at Watch the NePA calendar and your email for more details.

SAVE THE DATES: February 12th: Carla Larson, ACP will speak on Leadership Development & Assertive Communication Skills for Professional Growth May 14th: Stay tuned August 13th: Stay tuned BRONZE SPONSOR



WYNDHAM STANDS UP TO FTC IN DATA BREACH CASE Hotel operator Wyndham Worldwide Corp. is fighting back in a data breach lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last June against the company and three of its subsidiaries. The lawsuit alleged that Wyndham failed to implement reasonable information security measures and consequently experienced three major data breaches in two years. Hundreds of thousands of credit and debit card accounts were ultimately compromised, and there were fraud losses of more than $10.6 million. The FTC accused the hotel operator of unfair trade practices and of deceiving customers into thinking their cardholder data was adequately protected. Other companies facing similar charges have opted to settle with the FTC, accepting fines of as much as $10 million (as in the case of ChoicePoint) and comprehensive bi-annual audits. Wyndham has chosen not to go quietly into that good night and instead has questioned the FTC’s authority to sue companies on behalf of consumers for cybersecurity breaches and lax or misleading data security policies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations joined the battle by seeking permission to file for a dismissal, accusing the FTC of holding breached entities like Wyndham to unfair and arbitrary standards. ComputerWorld reported that the groups also alleged that the FTC is forcing businesses into lengthy data breach settlements and imposing costly fines for violating security standards the agency hasn't even formally promulgated. A federal court judge in New Jersey agreed to allow the groups to file for the dismissal. This is the first time the FTC has had to go to a federal court because a breached entity refused to settle. At this point, a variety of opinions exists: the Chamber of Commerce et al. contend that the agency routinely punishes businesses for failing to have reasonable security standards in place, yet it has never specified what constitutes reasonable standards. On the other hand, Chris Hoofnagle, director of information privacy programs at the University of Cali-

fornia Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, says that Congress empowered the FTC to hold companies accountable for failing to protect consumers’ data and so has the power to determine what is unfair and deceptive. Others call for formal rulemaking to give companies clear guidance regarding security standards. Michelle Cohen, an attorney with Ifrah Law and chair of its e-commerce practice, noted in InsideCounsel that if the FTC went through formal rulemaking proceedings, businesses and other stakeholders would have an opportunity to participate by submitting comments, and at the end of the proceeding there would be actual rules to follow. Although it’s difficult to predict the outcome, one thing is sure – information governance professionals face daily situations where they must decide how to protect and secure information in their custody. They are the ones that will have to respond if there is a data breach that requires the organization to respond and take additional measures. In most respects, this is a risk management decision that should be made after balancing a variety of risk factors. It should determine:

How much and what types of information does the organization hold? For how long does the organization actually need the information? Is there a reasonable point in time where customer information could be disposed of, once the business need for it is met? What impact would a data loss have on the organization’s reputation and future relationships with customers and shareholders? Rather than waiting for new regulations to be issues, organizations should answer these questions and take appropriate actions now. Much more is at stake than the risk of not being in compliance with a potential new regulation. This article first appeared in the September 22, 2013 Newswire, © 2013 ARMA International, Reproduced with permission.




Hon. Francie C. Riedmann

The Fall Seminar and Annual Meeting were held on September 19th and 20th at the DC Centre in Omaha. Thursday started with the Recognition Breakfast coordinated by Caryn Redding, CP (District I Director) with help from Misty Cowan, ACP (District II Director). The breakfast was a special recognition of all members who have willingly given their time and effort over the previous year to serve on committees and volunteer for the association as well as for those who have achieved their Certified Paralegal/Advanced Certified Paralegal status or received awards or scholarships. Our keynote speaker, the Honorable Francie C. Riedmann, was truly inspiring as she was a paralegal in another life and understands the challenges we face on a daily basis.

After the speaker, Kim Hansen (President) presented awards to the scholarship and achievement award winners. Mandy Lozier won the Student Scholarship. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha and attending Metropolitan Community College (MCC) to obtain her paralegal certificate so she can pursue a career in Estate Planning. She volunteers for the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska and the American Red Cross as well as working as a case manager for the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging and the Salvation Army.

Lori Chapman

Shannah Portwood received the CP/ACP Scholarship and is currently attending the CP review course offered at MCC. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky as well as College of Saint Mary. She currently works for Infogroup Inc. as a corporate paralegal and plans to take the CP exam during the May 2014 testing window.

Mandy Lozier

Lori Chapman received the Cengage Learning Scholarship which was announced at the NALA convention this summer and will take the CP exam in the coming year. Kim Brown, ACP received the 2013 National Affiliated Associations Achievement Award for her outstanding work and dedication to NePA over the years. Kim Brown The award ceremony was followed by the Annual Meeting where a new board was elected (see next page). The Website Committee unveiled the new website to much enthusiasm from the members. The new site offers members and other legal professionals a revised format that is user Leslie Kuhnel friendly and convenient. In the future, look for links to view our luncheon and seminar presentations online.

Following the Annual Meeting, the Fall Seminar speakers got underway. First on the agenda was



FALL SEMINAR REVIEW CONTINUED Elected Officers (Left to Right) - Caryn Redding, Misty Cowan, Teri Gibbons, Carla Larson, Laurie Vik, Mindy Ware, Teresa Barnes, Anna Palmer, and Kim Hansen

Special thanks to our Sponsors: D4 Discovery Kutak Rock LLP The Daily Record Omaha World-Herald Company Weyant Reporting Associates Baird Holm LLP Omaha Legal Services, Inc. (now D4) Fraser Stryker PC LLO Capitol Services Koley Jessen Attorneys Batza & Associates Gross & Welch, P.C., L.L.O. UNәMed Corporation Matheson-Taulborg-Denny-Schleife, Court Reporters

2013-2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Teresa Barnes, ACP Gross & Welch, PC, LLO

Parliamentarian Stephanie Henson, ACP DP Management, LLC

Past President Kim Hansen BH Media Group, Inc.

NALA Liaison Carla Larson, ACP Rembolt Ludtke LLP

President Elect Mindy Ware, ACP UNMC/UNeMed

District 1 Director Teri Gibbons Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O.

Vice President Laurie S. Vik, ACP HDR, Inc.

District 2 Director Misty M. Cowan Rembolt Ludtke LLP

Secretary Caryn Redding, CP Whitmore Law Office

Website Administrator Nicole M. Day, CP Douglas County Attorney’s Office

Treasurer Anna C. Palmer, ACP Union Pacific Railroad Company

Publications Editor Amber Roberts, ACP Gavilon Global Ag Holdings, LLC



FALL SEMINAR REVIEW CONTINUED Leslie Kuhnel, MPA, MSHCE of Alegent Health who spoke on “Ethics, Advance Directives, and Other Challenging Conversations.” This topic was especially helpful to those who were looking for guidance on how to setup advanced directives and the different options involved. Next we took a break to enjoy lunch and while no cheesy biscuits were to be found this time, the chicken salad sandwiches made up for this oversight. All attendees were enthusiastic and many great conversations were had, including feedback on the new website and suggestions for future changes. Check out the Website Committee report on Page 28 for more information on upcoming changes. Judge Vernon Daniels was next and he discussed “Current Issues in Juvenile Justice.” Judge Vernon Daniels This was quite the eye-opener for me as I work in the corporate world and was completely unaware of the issues facing our young people today. Judge Daniels did a wonderful job of taking this serious topic and providing humorous examples from the bench that he’s seen over the years. The last speaker of the day was Christopher J. Tjaden, Esq. of Gross & Welch, P.C., LLO. Christopher Tjaden His presentation entitled “Ethics and the Tripartite Relationship” was very informative and spoke to the difficulties associated with determining who the client is and honoring his/her decisions when an insured and insurer are involved and the insurer hires the defense attorney. Friday morning began with a continental breakfast where I tried to avoid the bagels and stick to the fruit, without much success. After a few announcements, our first speaker was Andrew J. Wilson, Esq. of Gross & Welch, P.C., LLO. He spoke on “Alcohol and the Law,” specifically regarding minors in possession, procuring alcohol for minors, and DUIs. Andrew Wilson This was a very lively presentation filled with anecdotes from Mr. Wilson’s practice as well as practical advice on the procedures to follow if you ever have a client in a similar situation. Next we heard from Kevin West, Esq. of Advent IP who discussed “Patent Prosecution after the America Invents Act (AIA).” Mr. West discussed the different types of Intellectual Property and a history of how patents have been handled domestically and globally in the past. He then described the purpose behind the changes enacted by the AIA and the implications we can expect to see in the years to come. Rick Allan, Esq. of the Nebraska State Bar Association spoke to the attendees on extremely difficult situations that attorneys and others in high stress professions sometimes find themselves in from alcohol addiction to gambling problems. He gave real world examples and techniques to use in

Rick Allan



FALL SEMINAR REVIEW CONTINUED order to avoid these situations in the first place but also advice on how to help others you find in your workplace or home life who exhibit symptoms of these diseases. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the individual who has to make the decision to change, but others can help along the way and support positive changes. Our final speaker of the seminar was Jackie Pueppke, Esq. of Baird Holm. Her presentation entitled “Top Ten Tips for Commercial Real Estate Acquisition and Development” was enlightening to those of us who do not practice in this area on a regular basis and a good refresher for those in the field. Ms. Pueppke also provided copies of Checklists and examples of Title Commitments for reference. All in all, it was another wonderful seminar put on by Teresa Barnes, ACP and the Seminar Committee. The wide variety of speakers from different practice areas set a high bar for future seminar chairs but also made for a very informative and interesting time spent with fellow members. I’m looking forward to next spring and what it will bring! Jackie Pueppke






DID YOU KNOW? The name Wendy was first used in JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. Merit-Ptah (2700 BC) of Ancient Egypt is the world’s first known female physician. A Duke is the highest rank you can achieve without being a king or a prince. The British royal family changed their surname (last name) from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, the name of their castle, in 1917. Julius Caesar was known as a great swimmer. When Alexander Graham Bell passed away in 1922, every telephone served by the Bell system in the USA and Canada was silent for one minute. Orville Wright numbered the eggs that his chickens produced so he could eat them in the order they were laid. Burt Reynold’s father was the chief of police in West Palm Beach, Florida. On October 5th, 1974, four years, three months and sixteen days after Dave Kunste set out from Minnesota, he became the first man to walk around the world, having taken more than 20 million steps. Queen Isabella of Castile, who dispatched Christopher Columbus to find the Americas, boasted that she had only two baths in her life – at her birth and before she got married. Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other simultaneously. Thomas Jefferson wrote his own epitaph without mentioning that he was US President. Winston Churchill was a stutterer. As a child, one of his teachers warned, “Because of his stuttering he should be discouraged from following in his father’s political footsteps.” Napoleon reportedly carried chocolate on all his military campaigns.

Disclaimer: These facts have been pulled from and have not been verified in any manner. They are for entertainment purposes only.



NALA NEWS - CARLA LARSON, ACP An Affiliate Exchange Proposal, entitled “Branding in 2014 and Beyond,” was submitted on behalf of NePA to NALA in advance of the October 1, 2013 deadline. It is based upon the purpose and process of implementing recent dramatic changes to our website, e-zine the In Brief, and all associated logos and visual depictions of who we are as a professional organization. If NePA’s Proposal is the one NALA selects for presentation during the 2014 Convention in Charleston, SC, in addition to continued national exposure for NePA, it will be a wonderful opportunity to help other affiliates learn and grow. We should hear back the middle part of December.





TERMINATION AS A GOOD THING - HEATHER BUSSING, ATTORNEY Nobody likes getting fired. And nobody likes firing one. If nothing happens to change that, the employpeople. (Well, maybe weasels and sociopaths.) But ee and his problems hold everyone else hostage. ending an employment relationship that isn’t working By allowing that employee to stay, you make your is better for everyone. company a difficult place to work for everybody who The trouble comes when people think they need to has to deal with that person, fix his screw-ups, and be angry, or righteous, or at the end of their ropes pick up the slack. By getting rid of him, you will be before it can happen. It’s the blaming that causes decreasing everybody else’s workload and increasing problems. Each side thinks it is the victim of the oth- morale. It’s important to deal with problem people for the sake of everybody who is doing a great job. er. And the seeds of a lawsuit are sown. Why would you allow anything to interfere with great Yet, making a change sets everyone free. work? Making an employment change is a big deal. It’s Consider the Company– Eliminating people, prohard, even when it’s voluntary, because we have so cesses, and obstacles to the company’s success much of our identities wrapped up in what we do. shows you see the big picture and and that you care. So here are some things to remember when you are Termination Doesn’t Have to Involve Congetting ready to fire somebody. flict. – The best way to fire someone is to simply accept that it is not working out, and that both you The Company Is the One With Power — You, or and the employee are not happy with the situation. at least your company, chose this person, invited her When you arrive at this decision depends on the in, and are responsible for her success or failure. company’s approach to second chances. But it will always be later than it should be. This is true even if she doesn’t do the work, doesn’t show up when she needs to, and does a bad job Then take responsibility for your part in it. Don’t when she gets around to it. The company allowed blame. Be compassionate. And keep it short. For an that to happen — for far too long. And that means excellent step by step approach, as well as great inthe company didn’t do its job, or show up when it sights into the difficulties of ending employment relaneeded to either. So before you give in to the frus- tionships, see Jay Shepherd’s Firing At Will. tration, notice your part. The Company is the one in charge, and the one with the power to make changes. Too often, the problems arise because managers let things slide until they become a crisis. Holding people accountable is hard work and sometimes uncomfortable. But it is way easier to do from the start, by giving clear feedback and letting people know what happens if they can’t, or won’t, do the work the way it needs to be done. Consider Your Other Employees — When you have an employee who creates drama and who is not doing the work well, it affects every-



TERMINATION AS A GOOD THING (CONTINUED) Pay Severance in Exchange for a Release– Severance gives the person time and resources to find a new position where she will be happier. It should be enough to really help the person through the transition. Employers are often worried about appearing too generous. They are scared that employees will think they are rewarding people for poor performance. If people are looking for ways to get fired, you want them out anyway.

This article was first published October 7, 2013 at Reproduced with permission. Heather Bussing has practiced employment and business law in California over 25 years. She would rather prevent legal problems at work instead of try them in a courtroom.

Severance saves money. The company no longer has to pay someone who is not helping the company. And severance in exchange for a complete release of claims will save legal fees and lost productivity in dealing with lawsuits. Severance is always worth it because it allows the company to focus on doing great work instead of managing the risk of lawsuits. Make life better for your employees, not your lawyers.

Website Committee Report The website committee has been working extremely hard with our vendor OVS to deliver a modern, professional website that incorporates our branding and other association initiatives. The result? The new website was launched at the Fall Seminar on September 19th. While we’re excited about our new website and the extra functionality that we have to post pictures and blogs of our events as well as incorporate ties to LinkedIn and Facebook, we’re not done yet. Over the next few months, as the Distance Membership Committee gets more live-streaming under their belts, we’re working with them to be able to view these luncheons and seminars on our website by either posting the presentations or linking to where they are housed. In the future, we’ve also got our eyes set on doing electronic registrations for events and perhaps even having a NePA online store to order NePA swag from. Currently we’ve added the capability for an RSS feed regarding blog entries. Stay tuned for information on how to set this up through your email!



AN ESTATE PLAN FOR THE YOUNG COUPLE - JAMES TEWS Couples sometimes consider estate planning shortly after marriage. Most of the time this process is expedited with the arrival of the first child. Estate planning for young couples often does not require a significant amount of time or cost and a properly prepared estate plan can eliminate obstacles and be incredibly helpful should an unfortunate event occur. One of the first items young couples tend to consider is who should be the guardian of their minor children, should both spouses die or become incapacitated. This guardian nomination is made in a Will. In summary, the guardian of a minor child makes the decisions that the child’s parents would have made for the child, including where the child will reside and attend school, the child’s medical care, the extent to which the child practices a religion, and the child’s daily routines. Typical nominees include a sibling or parent of one of the spouses or a family friend who shares values similar to those of the couple. Young couples also may be concerned with keeping assets out of the hands of their children until they reach a more “mature” age. This can be accomplished through use of a Trust. As an example of a basic estate plan, Dagwood’s Will would direct that his assets pass to Blondie at his death. When Blondie later dies, her Will would direct that the couple’s assets pass into a Trust rather than directly to their children, Alexander and Cookie. The couple’s assets then would be managed in the Trust by the “Trustee” solely for the benefit of Alexander and Cookie. For example, the Trustee could have discretion to pay Cookie’s college expenses or for Alexander to buy a car. Dagwood and Blondie also could require in their Trust document that once a child reaches age 25 the Trustee would distribute onehalf of a child’s remaining share of inheritance to him or her, with the rest being distributed to him or her at age 30. Another important document for young couples to consider is a Power of Attorney. This is a document in which the person who signs it (known

as the “Principal”) delegates authority to another person (known as the “Agent”) to make decisions and take actions on the Principal’s behalf. The Principal can allow the Agent to handle the Principal’s financial affairs, such as paying bills and signing tax returns. The Principal also can allow the Agent to attend to the Principal’s health care matters when the Principal is unable to do so. For example, if Dagwood is involved in an accident and is temporarily sedated, Blondie could use his Power of Attorney to address his financial matters, including paying his bills and handling auto and health insurance matters. Blondie also could have the legal authority to consult with Dagwood’s medical care providers and make decisions regarding his health care. Just like buying a first home, purchasing insurance, and starting careers, young couples also should consult with a competent attorney to develop an estate plan for their young family. 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.



Medical Device Manufacturers Tackle Cybersecurity It appears medical devices are not immune to the risks associated with cyber attacks. After all, many medical devices contain configurable embedded computer systems that can be vulnerable to breaches. Although the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is not aware of any targeted devices or of any injury or death as a result of a cyber attack, it said it has become aware of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and incidents that could directly impact medical devices or hospital network operations. “Over the last year, we’ve seen an uptick that has increased our concern,” said William Maisel, deputy director of science and chief scientist at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The type and breadth of incidents has increased.” He said officials used to hear about problems only once or twice a year, but “now we’re hearing about them weekly or monthly.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is working with the FDA to reduce these vulnerabilities, recently received reports from two researchers that found potential weaknesses in 300 medical devices produced by about 50 vendors, an official told DelawareOnline. The FDA has been working closely with DHS and other agencies and manufacturers to identify, communicate, and mitigate vulnerabilities and incidents as they are identified, but the agency is asking device manufacturers to do more. Specifically, the FDA recommends that manufacturers “review their cybersecurity practices and policies to assure that appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized access or modification to their medical devices or compromise of the security of the hospital network that

may be connected to the device. The extent to which security controls are needed will depend on the medical device, its environment of use, the type and probability of the risks to which it is exposed, and the probably risks to patients from a security breach.” The FDA has similarly requested that healthcare facilities evaluate their network security and take steps to protect the hospital system. That includes restricting unauthorized access to the network and networked medical devices; ensuring appropriate antivirus software and firewalls are up to date; monitoring network activity for unauthorized use; and working with the device manufacturer if they detect a security problem. The FDA is working on guidelines—be available this year—that will allow it to block approval of devices if manufacturers don’t provide adequate plans for protecting the devices and updating their security protections over their commercial lifetimes. This article first appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of Information Management, © 2013 ARMA International, Reproduced with permission.