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MARCH 2014

IN THIS ISSUE: From the President ..... 1 From the Editor ........... 2 Letters to the Editor .... 3 Getting to Know Your Officers ........................ 4 Student Spotlight ........ 6 Tech Tips ..................... 7 Keyboard Quickies ...... 7 Weird Laws ................. 9 New Members ............. 9 My NePA Journey ...... 10 Leadership Development Committee................. 11 Seminar Committee Report ........................... 12 Save the Dates .......... 13 Website Committee Report ........................... 13 Relay for Life ............ 16 Replacing Litigation Support Technology .. 17 Member News ........... 18 Social Media, Facebook and eDiscovery - Are You Prepared? ......20-22 Did You Know? .......... 23 NALA News ...........24-25 Leadership Development Course Agenda .......... 30

FROM THE PRESIDENT: TERESA BARNES, ACP In reviewing NePA’s listed objectives and purposes in its bylaws, next on the list is NePA’s commitment, “To support and carry out programs, purposes, aims and goals of NALA”. What are NALA’s programs, purposes, aims and goals? Why should you consider joining another professional organization when you have already joined NePA? Well, I could fill up the entire In Brief with reasons but instead I will share just a few on why I think you should seriously consider it. As stated on its website, NALA’s mission is to provide CLE and professional development programs to all paralegals. NALA has several major programs that work towards that mission and one of them is a nationwide selfregulating credentialing program that was established in 1976. In conjunction and as an affiliate associated with NALA, NePA recognizes, promotes and supports the value in attaining professional certification by offering the CP Review Course, awarding scholarships to help defray the cost of attaining the credential and holding seminars that offer NALA-approved CLE credits necessary to retain the credential. NePA promotes NALA’s live web-based and self study CLE programs with brochures and printouts provided to us by our NALA Liaison Carla Larson, ACP. NALA offers many opportunities for continuing legal education and Carla does an outstanding job of keeping us connected and informed about NALA and its events. As part of her duties serving as our NALA Liaison, she also informs NALA on a regular basis on what NePA is working on to encourage growth in our profession at a local level. NePA encourages attendance and participation at the annual conferences which helps keep the Nebraska Paralegal Association nationally recognized as a progressive professional organization that works diligently in assisting paralegals in their professional development and growth. This year the annual conference will be held in Charleston, South Carolina, July 23rd through July 25th. We have had and currently have NePA members serving in prominent positions with NALA (Ann Atkinson, ACP is the current NALA President). As members of NePA you should be proud of the roles your fellow NePA members have served in working to promote our profession nationally. We should applaud their vision and foresight in strengthening the paralegal profession.



FROM THE EDITOR: AMBER ROBERTS, ACP I was recently surfing Facebook and adding posts to the NePA page when my attention was pulled to a post from one of my friends. It was a link to a letter. It was from a father to his daughter about all he wants for her in life and how he wants to help her grow into a beautiful person inside and out. It got me thinking about what I want for my young daughter and I started thinking about what I would tell my younger self if I could go back in time. I came up with lots of advice (some more relevant than others…I mean, you don’t need to hear about making sure your shoes match before you leave the house!) but three key things that I think apply to every situation are listed below. BE BRAVE. Don’t be afraid to show others who you really are. Don’t worry about those who don’t like you, for whatever reason they may have. I’ve found in my environment at work that you get more recognition and respect by putting yourself out there and expressing your opinions, especially when asked. Good examples of this are when you have a presenter who has just finished and asks the group if there are any questions or when someone in a meeting asks for ideas regarding a particular subject. I’m sure you’ve been in the situation where there is dead silence. It’s awkward for everyone, but especially the speaker! Be brave and ask the question that’s on your mind or offer the first suggestion. In most cases, it will make others comfortable so that more questions then come or brainstorming starts to really take off. BE CONFIDENT. This is one of the few times I think it makes sense to “fake it ‘til you make it.” There is something about confidence that leaks out to those nearby and not only makes us want to be like the confident person walking by but makes us

listen to what he/she has to say. Have you ever met a C-level executive who did not have confidence? It is one of the key factors to getting up the proverbial “ladder.” If you’re looking for someone to listen to an idea or to make a change based on your recommendations, then you’d better exude confidence about the topic. Others will respond more favorably. ASK. It’s rare in this world that good things just happen to us (no matter how much we might deserve them). You can work for years in the same position and be completely overlooked or others promoted before you (some that you might have even trained). It’s been my experience that people who get ahead (or seem to move up the ladder faster than others) are those who make certain that their bosses (and anyone else who will listen) know what they want out of their career and position within the company. If you have a passion for something, then make it known and see if there is any way that you can cross-train for the responsibilities, or ask to take on a project that is in an area you want to move into. A recent example for me was asking to take on more records management responsibilities. I had been tasked with revamping the records retention policy but didn’t have any background in that area. I asked to join a records management organization (I many groups do I belong to, right?), attend meetings, take classes, etc. Then, as I explored more of this area and found a strong correlation to my passion for technology, I made a case to increase my job responsibilities in those areas, especially where they overlapped. This ended with a happy result of rearranging job duties throughout the department to allow me to focus on areas I am passionate about which makes me more focused on meeting goals and objectives for those areas. I’m extremely happy with how my life has turned out so far, but I do think that if I’d spoken up sooner, showed confidence (which I’ve really only recently been any good at), and asked for what I wanted earlier, I’d be further along than I am today (not in the C-suite, but higher up the chain).



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR “Thanks. You have again outdone yourself with the In Brief!! It is great.” - Laurie Vik Do you like what you’ve seen in this issue? Do you have questions or comments? Notice an error? Please let us know at:

Publications Committee: Amber Roberts, ACP - Chair Shannah Portwood Kim Hansen Jill Lorkovic Joanna Deever





GETTING TO KNOW YOUR OFFICERS - STEPHANIE HENSON, ACP Stephanie is the current Parliamentarian. She received her paralegal training at Metropolitan Community College and obtained her CLA in 2003 and her ACP in Business Organizations: Incorporated Entities in 2008. She received her Real Estate license in 1978 and has been a paralegal for twenty-seven years. She is employed with DP Management, LLC (formerly The Dial Companies) in Omaha, Nebraska and was promoted to Administrator of Corporate Legal Services in 2004. She works primarily in real estate and is the Corporate Compliance Officer for over 340 subsidiary companies. Since her affiliation with NePA in 2001, she has served as Seminar Committee Chair, NALA Liaison, President from 2004-2006, Past President, Co - Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee, Co-Chair of the Nominations Committee, Official Publications Editor and currently serves as Parliamentarian. She received the NALA Affiliates award in 2009. Stephanie was widowed in 1991 and has no children or siblings. She loves to cook and bake and makes wedding cakes as a hobby. Her music tastes run from opera to Bob Seger and ZZ Top, and of course, old movies are the best.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS How did you become involved in NePA? I joined and attended an annual meeting. When they asked for volunteers to assist with the next year’s seminar committee, I volunteered. Why did you decide to run for office? After working the seminar committee, I found there were few volunteers. I was nominated from the floor for the NALA Liaison position and accepted. I was probably the worst Liaison in Nebraska history. I was so out of my element, but soon learned how helpful everyone at NALA was and I learned a great deal about NePA in the process. What has been the greatest benefit of being a member of NePA? The incredible growth opportunities – not only professionally, but every time I am at a luncheon or a meeting. It is amazing how I learn at least two new things and I get to meet new people. The friendships I have formed are very special to me and I wouldn’t trade one experience for anything in the world. What one piece of advice would you give to the next generation? Volunteer. Even if you don’t think you have anything to contribute, volunteer anyway. You’ll be very surprised at how being with other members on a project stimulates your creativity. You learn without realizing it. I knew no one when I joined, but soon found out that all you have to do is ask, either directly to a board member or by e-mail. There is always someone to willing to help. What is/was your favorite job? Bartending. That was my second job that paid for school. As for being a paralegal, probably the one I have. I’ve been with Dial over 14 years and do a wide variety of things. Like any job, it has its days and can be very challenging. I have one attorney boss who is self employed, and I have a corporate boss. Since the legal office works for all 350 companies, there can be conflicts of interest. What is/was one of your professional weaknesses that you struggle(d) to overcome? Proofreading my own work.





STUDENT SPOTLIGHT - KRIS PRONSKE Kris is originally from Fremont, Nebraska. She graduated from Dana College with a Bachelor’s in Marketing, Business Administration and German. Since then, she has primarily worked in customer service/ finance roles. Last year Kris decided to make a career change and is now enrolled in the College of Saint Mary’s post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate program. In her spare time, Kris loves to read and would like to travel more frequently.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS What is your secret talent? I have a tendency to retain random, useless trivia. You never know when you might need that ridiculous piece of information! What are you looking for in an employer? I have yet to decide what type of law I want to be associated with when I graduate. I know as graduation gets closer, I will narrow my preferences down. What made you join NePA as a student member? I joined for the networking opportunities. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to attend any of the luncheons! I do follow the Facebook page and check out the website regularly. What advice would you give to those looking to go to school for paralegal studies? Do your research. Make sure the program you choose is the right fit for your career goals and your lifestyle. I chose College of Saint Mary’s postbaccalaureate paralegal certificate program because I was able to build upon my Bachelor’s degrees, complete the program in less than a year, and graduate with a degree that is ABA approved. It hasn’t been easy, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Do you plan to take the CP exam when you graduate and if yes, what do you hope to gain from it? As I am in the middle of my certificate program, it is difficult to comprehend studying for the CP at this time. I do envision taking the exam in the near future, however. I think it is important to strive to become the best you can be at your craft. Successfully completing the CP would show I have the desire to excel as a paralegal.



TECH TIPS - BY AMBER ROBERTS, ACP Have you ever noticed that there are many different languages being spoken at your office when everyone is supposedly speaking English? There are at least three languages in my office (Legal, IT, and Commercial). We all understand the words coming out of each others’ mouths, but not the meaning. I found it quite funny the other day when my boss asked me to coordinate a call to the help desk because the two attorneys involved weren’t having any success getting a very simple task accomplished in Outlook. She said something to the effect of, “I need someone who can translate. They know what they want but I don’t think they can get the point across to IT in the right language.” I laughed out loud! It’s always a good feeling when people praise your skills, but to be called in to “translate” when the language everyone speaks is English is just funny. It did make me think about all the miscommunication that does occur in the different departments, however, and the value of having the skills to put instructions or explanations into the terms that others understand. From a legal perspective, we often get caught up in “legalese” as the terminology we use is prevalent in the work environments we’re in. Having the necessary skill, however, to talk to clients in words they understand is not only valuable but I believe it to be an essential component of being successful. From an IT standpoint, you'll be able to get more of what you need if you can “speak geek.” This comes pretty naturally to me as I’m big on technology and so is my husband. I’m not ashamed to admit that we geek out sometimes and really get excited about new technology (hardware, software, games - we like them all. Ask me about SharePoint sometime and you’ll get the idea). So, how do you go about learning this new language? You could visit a comic book store on the weekends and listen as the

From an IT standpoint, you'll be able to get more of what you need if you can “speak geek.” guys talk about the latest CPU and RAM that is available or discuss the benefits of cloud versus on prem. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re really brave! What I would recommend, however, is using Google to brush up on your geek speak and taking the time to read through some of the IT language definitions. There are plenty of sites out there which serve as translators and will explain what widgets, SMS, blogs, wikis, social media features, servers, and virtual interfaces are. Take a look at http:// to get a quick start and expand from there. One big bonus of doing a little research in this area is that you just might be able to speak some of the foreign language your teenager does. I mean, most of us know what ROFL is but how about “AYS? 2GTBT but just .02. BHL8 CUL8R.”?

Keyboard Quickies Alison Barthel Jacobson

Quick web address Type the name of a web site such as “omaha” into your browser's address bar and press CTRL+Enter to automatically add http://www. and .com and be taken to the site.






WEIRD LAWS!!!!! California Film producers must have permission from a pediatrician before filming a child under the age of one month. It’s unlawful to let a dog pursue a bear or bobcat at any time. In San Jose and Sunnyvale, it is illegal for grocery stores to provide plastic bags. You may only throw a frisbee on the beach in Los Angeles County with the lifeguard’s permission. Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship. Sunshine is guaranteed to the masses. It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale. Women may not drive in a house coat. No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour. Peacocks have the right of way to cross any street, including driveways. Nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool. A Belvedere City Council order reads: “No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.” You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows. It is illegal to spit, except on baseball diamonds. Disclaimer: These laws were pulled from They are for entertainment purposes only and have not been verified in any manner.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!!!!! Shelley R. Bumpus - Active Katie Burley - Active Amanda Erwin, CP - Active Vicki Carpenter - Distance Lee H. Briggs - Associate Diane M. McCoppin - Student Tonisha Thorpe - Student



MY NEPA JOURNEY - STEPHANIE HENSON, ACP When I joined NePA in 2001, I didn’t know anyone, and when I attended my first seminar I was disappointed there were no introductions, no social networking, and very little in the way of volunteerism. I thought it would be great if things could be tweaked a little. I volunteered to be on the Seminar committee and found I was on my own. I did my first seminar alone, and sadly it was not as I had hoped, but I learned a great deal from the experience. I started attending the monthly luncheons, got acquainted with some of the members and had a committee for the fall seminar of that year. What I learned was that no one person can do it alone, and to get volunteers, you have to at least show appreciation (I think it bordered on begging), and somehow make the job a little fun. I was then elected as NALA Liaison. I was totally clueless, but again my acquaintances became friends and mentors and I started to really enjoy being a member. It was at that point I had gained great friendships and wanted to continue in NePA. I have remained on the Seminar Committee and continued making centerpieces to later use as door prizes for the event, designed name tags, and made notebooks with professional design covers and dividers; always trying to add as much professionalism to the content as possible. I had a one-day stint as President-Elect. When the President decided not to do a second year I got to be President. I was really hoping for a year of experience first, but I jumped in with both feet. With the help of the most supportive people in the world, my Presidency was the most rewarding experience of my life. I wanted to make sure that everyone knew who I was, that I was approachable for any reason, and that being in this organization could be fun and educational. The association has come a long way in the past few years. We now have professional standardized letterhead, a fabulous website, pamphlets for students, and terrific seminar notebooks. We have always had a good newsletter, but since we are now able to send it via e-mail and cost is not a factor, it can be as many pages and have as much impact as we can imagine. I am particularly proud of this and the wonderful job being done by our new editor. I just want everyone to be as excited about NePA as I am and discover the same rewarding experiences. It all comes down to being a part of something meaningful and wanting to show the world that we are important to our profession and to each other.



LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE NePA’s inaugural Leadership Development Course entitled “Get R.E.A.L. with NePA” is scheduled for May 31, 2014 at College of Saint Mary. This one-day course will be presented in fast-moving, 45-minute sections on various topics related to leadership including conflict resolution, dealing with difficult personalities, understanding multi-generational perspectives in the workplace, and how to be assertive. Those members who attended the last District II Luncheon got a great preview from Carla Larson, ACP of what to expect. Participants will leave the day with reference materials and a CD for further study. Registration details will be coming out soon so check the website and Facebook for updates. See page 30 for the tentative agenda.





SEMINAR COMMITTEE REPORT The seminar committee is working hard to get ready for the Mid-Year Meeting and Seminar which is scheduled for May 2nd at Mahoney State Park. The current topics include International Corporate Law, Trademark Law, Healthcare Law, and Ethics. The committee anticipates offering CLE credits, including at least 1 ethics credit (pending final approval from NALA). The event is free to NePA members, $50 for non-members, and $30 for non-member students. The committee will also be offering free head shots for those participants who do not have a professional photo or one not taken recently. This is a wonderful opportunity to work on your professional persona including updating your photo on LinkedIn or other professional social media sites. Visit the website at the first part of April for more details and to download the registration forms. You won’t want to miss this annual event full of information, networking, and door prizes!


May 30th 8:30-11:00 AM Omaha/Douglas Civic Center Room 702




SAVE THE DATES March 11th - Board Meeting (Gross & Welch) March 26th - District I Luncheon (Olivia Gerrell, Pendo Legal Solutions) April 9th - District II Luncheon May 2nd - Mid-Year Meeting & Seminar (Mahoney State Park) May 28th - District I Luncheon (bring goodies for the bake sale)

Website Committee Report The Website Committee has been busy working on the social media aspect of its responsibilities. We’ve been focusing on making sure the Facebook page is updated weekly with interesting news and links to relevant articles. We also have a couple posts out there looking for YOUR feedback. If you haven’t visited before, search for Nebraska Paralegal Association and like us. You can then see the content of the page and participate in discussions. Of particular note is a call for feedback regarding a weeknight event for those who are unable to attend the monthly luncheons and one for Paralegal Pet Peeves to be used for an article in an upcoming issue of the In Brief. You can follow this link to join in the conversation: https://!/pages/ Nebraska-Paralegal-AssociationNePA/101739993223184? hc_location=timeline.

May 30th - Bake Sale (City/County Bldg - Room 702) May 31st - Get R.E.A.L. with NePA (College of Saint Mary) June 7th - Relay for Life (Papillion-LaVista South HS) June 10th - Board Meeting June 25th - District I Luncheon August 12th - Board Meeting (Budget meeting) August or September 13th - District II Luncheon September 18-19th - Fall Seminar (UNO Thompson Alumni Center)



A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A LITIGATION PARALEGAL - ALISON BARTHEL JACOBSON, ACP to fill in the spreadsheet (yes - spreadsheet Word tables are sooo 2009) index of exhibits, adding cross-references and hyperlinks.

*names have been changed to protect the alleged perpetrators… Ah, Tuesday morning. This is going to be a productive day - I can feel it! Hmm…I am pretty sure I left my desk clean last night…. Let me take a quick peak at my email - oh only 75 new messages since last night - delete, delete, delete, save, forward, delete, delete. My plan to tackle my to-do list for the day is already off to a rocky start. Attorney Ted left a new stack of deposition exhibits with no note - which means - please reconstitute, organize, index, scan and be sure they are placed into my ever-growing paper file that I will probably only look at when there is no one else here that can pull copies for me. After 15 minutes of trying to piece together which page was supposed to be the last page of the 85 page exhibit, I head to the copy machine to scan. Now what was the file number again? Auto-feed, here I come! Darn it missed that hidden staple - because we all put two staples in the bottom right corner, right? Oh well - back to my desk to get them saved where they need to be. What is that? A streak across every page? Stupid piece of fuzz on the scan bar. At least I hadn’t put back the staples yet. Round two looks much better! Okay, time

All right. Original exhibits indexed and handed over to the secretary for safe keeping - in that dusty paper file. Time entered. Now - on to my original to-do list. Oops - there’s another email. Attorney Ted needs all of those exhibits sent to the other counsel that were at the deposition. Lucky for them, they are all scanned and ready to go. Oh wait - did you say you want them mailed? Like Pony Express mail? But we have this handy dandy website where I can upload everything and they download it and it takes about 5 minutes and no extra postage or Fedex or paper costs. Attorney Ted relents. Files zipped. Upload successful. Time entered. Download acknowledgements filter in. All is good in deposition exhibit land. Now, back to the original to-do list. Time to try to reach that client to go over responses to discovery requests. I sure hope that she read them over and made her own notes as I suggested in the letter. The client picks up on the second ring. She received the envelope, but hasn’t opened it yet. I schedule a time to call her back in two days. Let’s add that to the to-do list for Thursday. Time entered.

Ring ring Alison: Hello Attorney Kim - sure, I have a few minutes - what can I do for you? Attorney Kim: We have some discovery due today. It is just a few pages. Can you get it ready to go? Alison: Sure - I’ll be up to get it.



A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A LITIGATION PARALEGAL– CONTINUED Fifteen minutes later…well, I guess if War and Peace is a quick read, then this is just a few pages, not to mention the electronic documents that are saved out somewhere in the document management system - as attachments to emails - that are not labeled. Oh - and there is a protective order, and some personal information, and some social security numbers - no problem - have it whipped up in a jiffy! Does “today” mean “in the mail” or with the runner for the 2 p.m. run? Ahh… breathing room - today means 5:59 p.m. so the runner can get it to the post office in the last drop! Okay…documents converted, organized, redacted (Adobe Pro is the best thing since sliced bread!), now for the Bates numbers. Yes - we are using Bates numbers. Attorney Kim: Go ahead and start with SMITH00001. Alison: Will do. Two minutes later (shhh - don’t tell them it only takes 2 minutes) - all done. Attorney Kim: Wait - I don’t like that - can I change my mind and go with DEFS10001 to start? Alison: Sure, no problem (did I tell you how much I love Adobe Pro?!?). Alison: So we are producing these on a disk, right? Oh, you want paper? You do realize that will be about 2 boxes worth - per party - in this 6 party matter. Attorney Kim: Well, when you put it like that, I guess we can do disks, but please print a paper copy for my file. Alison: Sure, no problem. Disks burned, envelopes to the runners (with 10 minutes to spare), original paper back on the attorney’s chair, and trees scheduled to be killed tomorrow. Time entered. One last check of the email. Good - nothing that can’t wait until morning. Desk cleared off as much as it can be. I guess I’ll get to the rest of that to-do list tomorrow. Time to shut down so I can go home and catch up on the day’s events in the world outside of the law office.



RELAY FOR LIFE It is once again time for Relay for Life! NePA’s team, the Legal Beagles, will hold its annual Bake Sale in the City/County building downtown. It will be on May 30, 2014 from 8:30-11:00 in room 702. Mark your calendars now and come early to get the best selection of goodies! We will be taking donations for the bake sale at the District I luncheon on May 28th or at the bake sale itself. We will also be holding a trivia game contest to raise funds in the fight against cancer. The prizes will be on display at the next few luncheons as well as the Spring Seminar and Bake Sale. Entries are $1 each for a chance to compete in the trivia contest. We will be selling Luminaria as well. These are $10 each and you can purchase one (or more!) in honor of a survivor or in memory of a lost loved one. The event is on June 7th this year from 6pm-12am at Papillion-LaVista South High School. It is a memorable occasion that you will not want to miss. If nothing else, you’ll see lots of superheroes as that is the theme this year. Please feel free to contact Teri Gibbons ( or Amber Roberts ( if you’d like to buy trivia entries or Luminaria or sign up for the team. You can also visit (http:// to sign up and/or donate to the team. Our goal is $3000 this year and I know we can exceed that if we put some effort into it. Go Legal Beagles!!!




REPLACING LITIGATION SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY - OLIVIA GERROLL Due to all the recent technological advancements, expanding demands that corporate clients are placing on their outside counsel, implementation of eDiscovery products within corporations to help govern their information from inception to disposition, and the increasing risk of appropriately managing electronic materials, there is a great flurry of activity within organizations to take a close look at the suite of technology that supports their electronic discovery activities. What should be replaced and what should replace it? The suite of technology usually ranges from processing options, early case assessment or early analysis, to review and production products as well as adjunct packages that support case timeline creation, deposition software, simple conversion tools, and so on.

My advice at the start is to always ensure that all relevant stakeholders from litigation support, IT, and legal are adequately represented.

The challenges with the selection process often start with what department is driving the question. If IT is leading, then often the legal staff’s needs are not fully addressed and visa versa. My advice at the start is to always ensure that all relevant stakeholders from litigation support, IT, and legal are adequately represented. You don’t want to replace one bad tool with another because the right questions were not asked and answered early in the process. I have come up with a relatively simple formula that when correctly executed should result in a good decision and implementation outcome – understanding that you can’t please all people all the time. You should be able to at least address all the stakeholder issues and provide for a complete and accurate evaluation and selection process that will allow all voices to be heard.

Once you have the correct criteria, it is important to rank each requirement based on current and future needs (rankings range from critical path requirements to “nice to haves”). Each requirement gets a weight for grading purposes. It is important to factor in all requirements which could include how user friendly the interface is, the specific requirements the product must support as well as the IT specific requirements. The outline then goes to all stakeholders to ensure that the product will be matched against all needs.

Step 1 – Fully Identify and Categorize Criteria Before any steps are taken, it is essential for the firm to completely understand what the scope of the product should cover. Years ago the questions covered were pretty straightforward (can the product easily TIFF electronic documents, can searches be performed using Boolean logic, can you redact documents easily, etc.). These days the questions must cover more complex criteria such as foreign language requirements, analytic capabilities, internal vs. external processing support, integration demands with other products, support for social media data, etc. Often the challenge results in staff not

knowing what they don’t know and not knowing the right questions to ask. How do they truly know what requirements should be including in this phase and if listed requirements are complete? Using outside experts is one answer; another is to charge certain members of the project team to research all the options available in the market to ensure that the right questions will be compiled as part of the initial criteria outline.

Step 2 – Generate The RFP For OBJECTIVE Grading RFP’s have been around, and used, forever but the big challenge is being able to correctly evaluate and grade each product against the firm’s criteria which was identified in Step 1 and then against comparable products. Technology offerings are very different in the way they are designed and interact within themselves, with other technology products, and how they respond to the user community in order to deliver the required services to the user population. It is critical to design the RFP in a way that asks clear, concise questions relating to the firm’s requirements in a way that requires a simple yes/no answer as much as possible – it is very difficult to grade open ended responses. The RFP must be complete enough to ask about each requirement.

(Continued on Page 27)



MEMBER NEWS Laurie S. Vik, ACP, left Kiewit Corporation after 23 years to join HDR, Inc.’s Legal Department as an International Corporate Paralegal, on September 3, 2013. We wish you luck in your new position Laurie! Kris McMahon celebrated 30 years of service with Mutual of Omaha on February 11th. Kris is photographed with her attorney, Steve Fisher, in the second photo and with her manager, Janie Boswell, in the third. Congratulations Kris!

Teresa Barnes, ACP has big news; she’s getting married! The lucky man is Ron Semerena who works for the State of Nebraska as a DD Service Coordination Supervisor, Community-Based Services. They have been dating for 6+ years. Ron proposed at Lisa’s Radial Café where Teresa moonlights as a waitress (or more like “break of dawn light” since it is breakfast) on the weekends for her friend Lisa. Why there? Because the jeweler called that morning to let Ron know the ring was ready and he could not keep the secret any longer. It was a surprise! Tentative wedding plans will definitely be after Teresa’s term as NePA president. She’s considering asking Mindy Ware and her seminar committee to assist with wedding plans since they are doing such a grand job for NePA’s seminars. Joanna Deever started a new position as a Contract Associate at Gavilon Global Ag Holdings, LLC. She was previously an intern at Gavilon working through her last year at Metro Community College. She graduated at the end of February and is excited to start this new phase in her life.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. - Abraham Lincoln






Social Media, Facebook and eDiscovery: Are You Prepared If Asked to Produce Content?

sons who know of any discoverable matter.”

It is estimated that by the end of 2012, Facebook will have one billion active users. Twitter and LinkedIn, the second and third most popular social media sites, have close to 400,000 million active users combined. Newcomer, a site that allows users to “pin” items they like to virtual boards and then share with others, has over 10 million active users. It is possible that as you are reading this article, a new social media site has popped up and overtaken any of these extremely popular sites.

The above says it all. Content on Facebook and other social networking sites (SNS) is discoverable if it is relevant to the claims or defenses in the case and not a confidential communication between, say, a lawyer and client. A claim of privilege may be difficult given that the mere posting of information to a social networking site means that the user’s “friends” have access to it the entire purpose of a social networking site is sharing with others!

Change happens quickly in the social media world and it is no surprise that personal data continues to move to the cloud. This movement has caused some organizations and individuals no small amount of angst, especially when it comes to the discovery phase in litigation—the phase in which parties to a case exchange documents and information and take depositions. That’s right: Social media post-

It is important to remember that not all content is likely to be relevant so it may be a waste of time requesting everything on a person’s Facebook or Twitter account. The request should be specific and ask for all postings, communications, photos, etc. that are related to the claims or defenses of the matter. In that sense, a request for social media content is just like any other discovery request.

ings, comments, and photos are fair game in discovery. Says who? As it turns out, it is right in the Federal cedure (“FRCP”) (the rules pects of litigation and trial under Rule 26(b), entitled and Limits”:

Rules of Civil Progoverning all asin federal courts) “Discovery Scope

“(1) Scope in General. Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense – including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of per-

A few recent cases highlight social media as an integral part of the underlying disputes in which social media content was sought in disOrganizations and individuals covery.

must be aware that data on social media sites must be preserved and produced if relevant and requested in legal proceedings. In Lester v. Allied Concrete Company, the at-

torney for the plaintiff encouraged his client to delete photos that he believed may have been less than helpful for the case. This was a really bad move. The plaintiff’s award was cut in half as a result of this egregious act, and the attorney was fined $522,000.



SOCIAL MEDIA, FACEBOOK AND EDISCOVERY - CONTINUED If you think social media posts are private, cess used to collect, may be the most efficient think again. In Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, way to quickly get what you need. the court held that a person who voluntarily posts photos or information to a socialnetworking account has no reasonable expectation of privacy that would prevent discovery of their information.

Always remember that the person who preserves the data may be the one who has to testify about it in court. If you are faced with a need to preserve social media content, ask yourself whether the person performing the collection is qualified to do so and would make a good witness. There are third party vendors that employ forensic professionals who specialize in the collection and preservation of social media evidence.

In McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway, a motion to compel production of social media content was issued by defendants. The plaintiffs’ objected but the court opined that the requested information was not confidential nor subject to the protection of any privilege and ordered its production to defendants’ attorneys within 15 days. Regardless of the method used to preserve data The Judge also ordered the plaintiffs to preserve from a social networking site, it is important to all information on their client’s social networking remember these key points: accounts. 1. Document your process so you can defend it So how do you preserve social media con- (dates, times, who captured the information, tent? Until recently, the best way to capture so- etc.) This is true of any preservation and colleccial media evidence was to take screenshots and tion endeavor. then separately document the process used in- 2. The person who collects may be the person cluding the date, time, and identity of the person who has to testify about the process in court. taking the screenshots. Not surprisingly, there was a need for a more consistent and defensible 3. Really understand the tool or method being process and commercially available software that used to collect social media content and be can access and preserve an entire Facebook, aware of any pitfalls of the application or proTwitter or LinkedIn account has finally come on- cess. to the market. 4. Use built-in collection tools such as the Facebook “Download a Copy” utility in order to better What does this mean for discovery? These understand what you get and don’t get during new software applications collect not only the collection. content but all metadata associated with the preserved social media account. The additional 5. Don’t gain access to an account illegally or information may be helpful if it aids in the au- deceptively. thentication of the evidence at, or in preparation 6. Don’t assume an account belongs to someone for, trial. Does this mean that screenshots are just because it says it does or has that person’s not valid or cannot be used to authenticate evi- name on it – take steps to verify all accounts if dence? No, it means there are currently more necessary and if possible! efficient and thorough methods available to par7. Don’t assume anything about pictures (i.e. ties to collect and review social media content. where, when or by whom they were taken). VerNonetheless, if the goal is to grab only one ify sources if necessary and if possible! tweet from an individual’s account, a screenshot, along with defensible documentation of the pro-




Poor judgment has now shifted from e-mails to Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. Until recently, e-mail was the medium used by employees to pass along dirty jokes or make inappropriate comments about co-workers. Poor judgment has now shifted from e-mails to Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. Evidence from social networking sites has become fodder for lawyers involved in litigation. All parties involved in a matter – attorneys, litigation support professionals, IT professionals and clients - need to be aware that social media is fair game and just one more source of electronic evidence to consider when litigation rears its ugly head. This article first appeared in the November 2012/January 2013 issue of Litigation Support Today. Reproduced with permission. Maureen Holland is a vice president at D4, advising clients on the eDiscovery process, and consulting with them on the evaluation and selection of litigation review tools and on the development of workflow policies and procedures. Maureen is experienced with litigation support

tools including Concordance, Concordance FYI, Summation, Relativity, LiveNote, DocuMatrix, Sanction and most online review tools such as Prevail, iConnect, Inference and a variety of others. Peter Coons is a senior vice president at D4, providing eDiscovery and digital forensics consulting services to clients. Peter is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), an EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE), an Access Data Certified Examiner (ACE), and a Certified Computer Examiner (CCE). He belongs to various digital investigation and information security based organizations. Peter holds a master’s degree in Digital Forensics Management from Champlain College and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Oneonta.

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. - Bill Cosby



DID YOU KNOW? Sound travels almost 5 times faster underwater than in air. Toilets are responsible for 35% of indoor water use. 90% of an iceberg sits under water. The average human brain contains around 78% water. Sponges hold more cold water than hot. Giraffes and rats can last longer without water than camels. When water freezes it expands by 9%. The WD in WD-40 stands for Water Displacer. An iguana can stay under water for 28 minutes. The Atlantic Ocean is saltier than the Pacific. You begin to feel thirsty when your body losses 1% of water. Hot water freezes quicker than cold water. Niagara Falls could fill 4,000 bathtubs every second. Rain contains vitamin B12. After Hawaii, New York is the state surrounded by the most water. Cucumbers are 96% water.

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



NALA NEWS - CARLA LARSON, ACP Are you interested in attaining the CP (Certified Paralegal) credential but don’t know where or how to start? The CP review manual and study materials are available for purchase at under the Certification tab; some paralegals borrow pre-owned materials, but be sure to study from the most current edition. Some paralegals prepare independently while others form small study groups. NePA offers a CP Review Course annually in the fall at Metropolitan Community College. The next step is to register with NALA to take the exam. NALA will provide you with a password that you will need to register at a PSI testing center ( There are currently two Nebraska cities identified with testing centers: Omaha and Sidney. The PSI website also lists fees for each individual exam section. The CP exam itself includes true/false, multiple choice and matching forms of questions requiring knowledge of the subject and reading comprehension skills. Analytical skills are further tested by an essay question on the Judgment and Analytical Ability section.





NALA NEWS CONTINUED Sections of the CP examination are:    

Communications Ethics Legal Research Judgment & Analytical Ability  Substantive Law  American Legal System  Civil Litigation  Contracts  Business Organizations The breakdown of what comprises each exam section is to the left. Certification is a hallmark of many professions, and it is recognized as a national standard of minimum competency. Certification is currently voluntary in Nebraska. NePA encourages and supports its members who choose to pursue their CP credential.

Believe you can and you're halfway there. - Theodore Roosevelt





REPLACING LITIGATION SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY - CONTINUED Vendors are used to them so don’t be intimidated about the length of the RFP; ask for all the information you need. I never provide the criteria rankings to the vendors as part of the RFP process; I want them to answer the questions in an unbiased fashion. Knowing what is important to the firm often provides a skewed set of responses. The basic outline for the RFP includes: 1. What you are looking for and what you expect the responding vendor to provide. 2. Overview of the requesting organization – give the vendors a good outline of your organization so they have the necessary information in order to respond. 3. RFP schedule for delivery dates, timing for questions, submission information, etc. 4. Core RFP: a. Company Profile b. Process support  Integrated technology  Third party integration c. Purchase and hosting options d. Functional requirements – break these down into clear sections for ease of use e. Training and Support f. Pricing – this is often very challenging as the vendors will generally push back on providing their pricing at this time. There are some great resources available to develop these RFP’s and many experts have resources that can cut the timing down on this process. Step 3 – Evaluate the RFP Scoring the RFP should be based on a mathematical algorithm that allows you to objectively score each vendor’s response against the criteria set during the Step 1. If you set up the RFP correctly, the process should be unbiased and will allow for several products to drop out as well as a few to rise to the top. You want the evaluation of the products to truly be based on the product offerings – you want it to be objective and not subjective in nature. I have had to defend the results of an RFP to senior management and being able to provide the objective numbers takes away the subjective results that can be misleading based on who is scoring the results.

RFP “grades” are calculated by taking the criteria rankings provided by the firm and multiplying them by the vendor responses. (Example: if product integration has a 50% ranking in importance then vendors who offer product integration by answering Yes get 50 added to their score out of 100; 0.5 x 100 = 50). Done correctly, you can put up each vendor’s response next to the others and see how it matches up. Applications such as Excel, Access, or other products that allow for calculations and filtering are my “go to” delivery methods. Step 4 – Vendor Demonstrations Once the top products have been identified, the next step is to have on-site vendor demonstrations. I always ask the vendors to load test data from the client as this results in more relevant demonstrations that reflect the client’s needs. Having a vendor come in and do a canned product demonstration does not really tell you anything other than what the vendor wants you to see and fully vet as far as product functionality. I also provide vendors with an outline for the demonstration. Again, the vendors have their scripts and often times it does not match the needs of the client – you want a vendor to focus on the real needs of the firm and demonstrate how their product directly responds to those needs. We all know that time is money in a law firm; getting the vendors to deliver directly on core requirements of what the firm is looking for is very important. I sometimes split demonstrations so that the vendor spends an hour with the legal staff really focusing on their needs and then the rest of the time with the IT folks and the support staff. This can be challenging but it provides a better result and each stakeholder group is able to get its questions asked and answered without wasting others’ time.

Knowing what is important to the firm often provides a skewed set of responses.



Replacing Litigation Support Technology - Continued Providing each stakeholder group with a questionnaire before the demonstration is also a good tool to capture reactions to seeing the product. I use these questionnaires to capture information that determines which product is the best fit for the firm’s environment. Don’t make these questionnaires overly complex or long – you want the audience to really look at the product, participate in the demonstrations, and ask questions. IMPORTANT NOTE HERE: The product evaluation effort cannot, and should not, be done without understanding the firm’s litigation and eDiscovery workflow. Throughout this process you must understand how the firm supports its litigation department, what types of matters it supports, what the day-today processes that must be factored in are, what the matter volumes are, and what the risk appetite of the firm is (to name a few). Step 5 – Product Testing It is important to determine what the testing protocol will be ahead of time and limit the products that you decide to test. My experience is that more than 2 products will be very difficult to fully test. Setting up a test environment within the firm’s environment can be challenging but it is essential to fully ensure that the product will perform as expected. If you are testing on a hosted environment, this can be accomplished fairly easily, but always send a test data set to your hosting vendor. Gather a group of testers from the stakeholder groups including support staff, legal staff, and IT. Give them enough time to fully work through a testing script. Make sure that part of the testing phase includes some training from the product vendor. I cannot tell you how many times a product fails during this phase because the testers are convinced they don’t need any training and then fail the product because they cannot accomplish certain tasks. I

do not let any products get tested unless there is some basic training that addresses the functionality that needs to be tested. Other Considerations Support and Training: As part of a product selection it is very important to understand the support system that the vendor provides and its training models. Do they have certification courses? Do they provide on-site or web-based training options? What are their levels of support? Do they have 24/7 support or some other model? How do issues get escalated? There was a product I loved to work with but the support was dreadful – it made me think hard about referring it to a client for possible selection. Cost: What are the costs involved in implementation of a new product? You must fully understand the entire cost of ownership of a new product:  Core Software?  Third party licenses?  Hardware?  Additional staff needed to support?  Annual licensing vs. ad hoc costs?  Training? Market Presence: I always ask the vendors about their market presence, especially in light of new product offerings, product purchases, takeovers, etc. You really want to be sure that you trust where the vendor is positioned, where it is going and how invested it is in a product’s future, and how long it has delivered the products/services to the industry.

My experience is that more than 2 products will be very difficult to fully test.



Replacing Litigation Support Technology - Continued Conclusion If I had to summarize this advice into one sentence, it would be “Do not short cut the process and get help as you start!” Things I have learned over the years: 





The process takes time and will demand time away from your billable activities – this must be anticipated and accommodated from the beginning. People are used to doing things the same way and will get caught up in weighing how a new product will do something based on their current experiences. People get invested in certain likes and dislikes and it is hard to get them to really look at new products in a neutral light. Using an outside expert to help manage the process and move the project along can be cost effective in the long run and ensure that a truly “neutral” approach is used. Understand that change is hard and even if you go through the process correctly and allow for everyone to provide input and be involved you will never get full consensus.

Before you even start – know your support process. Understanding where the product is going to be used and how really helps in the process (Will the product be centralized or distributed? Where will you need installations – domestic only or global?) There is a lot of information available to you and a lot of experts that can help cut down some of the time – don’t be afraid to reach out.

“Do not short cut the process and get help as you start!”

Olivia Gerroll brings over 21 years of experience and recognition in leading global litigation strategy and management initiatives. Recently she formed her own consulting company, Pendo Legal Solutions, where she is dedicated to leveraging her experience and focus by providing the most effective solutions in all aspects of litigation practice management, including strategy, operations, project management, technology, and large litigation project best practices. Olivia works with many of the world’s leading law firms and corporations to develop and manage litigation processes, including the implementation of her widely recognized best practice litigation process management workflows and methodologies and supporting documentation. She has extensive knowledge of the litigation support and electronic discovery technology landscape, with a proven record of accomplishment through solution development, automation, system selection and implementation, and data management. She leads global, high profile engagements in a number of areas including Litigation Support Technology Assessment and Implementation, Service Model Development, Process Workflow and Best Practice Development, Litigation Readiness Services, Litigation Strategy and Case Management Services, Litigation Hold Process and Automation Development, Education and Training. Olivia has held numerous positions in which she developed and promulgated much of the industry’s thought leadership, including Managing Director of Litigation Strategy and Management, Director of Litigation Services and Shareholder/Practice Group Director for leading national legal consulting organizations Hyperion Global Partners, eSentio Technologies and Baker Robbins & Company, National Director of Litigation Services for Heller Ehrman, a global AmLaw 100 law firm, Managing Director of eDiscovery Solutions for Continuum Worldwide, a leading service provider, and Litigation Support Manager at both Anderson Kill and Dewey & LeBoeuf. Olivia is a published author and frequent speaker at many legal professional conferences. Contact: 402-614-7279



NePA’s Leadership Development Course

“Get R.E.A.L. With NePA!”

(R = Relationships; E = Education; A = Attitude; L = Leadership) Saturday, May 31, 2014 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. College of St. Mary Omaha, NE Speaker slate and topics: “Motivating and Inspiring Your Team” Diane Battiato Douglas County Register of Deeds

“Conflict Resolution”

Sally Bisson-Best, J.D. Professor, College of St. Mary

“How to Recruit and Retain Volunteers in a Nonprofit” Paul J Strawhecker Associates

“Assertive Communication Techniques” Carla Larson, ACP

“Soft Skills in the Workplace” Ann Atkinson, ACP President of NALA

“What the Leadership Books Don’t Tell You: Lessons We Learn the Hard Way” Susan Joslin, Ph.D. Director of Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, College of St. Mary

“Succeeding in a Multigenerational Workplace: 5th Generation on the Horizon” Sue Schlichtemeier-Nutzman, Ph.D. Affiliate Faculty, Interdisciplinary EdD Program in Leadership at Creighton University

“Mechanics of Leadership: Best Practices”

for effective speaker introductions, chairing meetings/committees, recording minutes, etc. Current NePA Leaders

In Brief - March 2014  

This is the e-zine for the Nebraska Paralegal Association.

In Brief - March 2014  

This is the e-zine for the Nebraska Paralegal Association.