In Brief - August 2017

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IN THIS ISSUE: From the President ..... 1 Save the Dates ............ 2 New CPs/ACPs ............ 2 Notice of Annual Membership Meeting .. 4 Annual Meeting Proxy . 5 Fall Seminar Agenda ... 6 Student Education Award Winners ............ 8 NALA News ................ 10 Spring Seminar.......... 12 NALA Convention ...... 14 Law Day..................... 22 Relay for LiFe ............ 24 A Day in the Life of a Paralegal ................... 26 Congress, Whitehouse Opt to Kill Broadband Privacy Rules ............. 28 Welcome to the Uprising ..................... 30

FROM THE PRESIDENT: TERI GIBBONS I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It has been a roller coaster as far as the weather is concerned. We are still getting settled after the storm on June 16th; however, things are looking up as we have a new roof. I hope you all survived the storms with little to no damage. This year has been a whirlwind as well. I can’t believe it’s already August. Several of us attended the NALA Annual Conference in Orlando in July. I was excited as this was my first NALA Conference other than the one we hosted here in Omaha in 2012. We were so proud that we had NePA members Kim Brown and Amber Roberts presenting at the Conference. This is the second year in a row that members of NePA have been selected to present at the NALA Conference. Many thanks to Kim and Amber for their efforts and proudly representing NePA. One of our big accomplishments this year is offering members the option of making payments online for luncheons and seminars. I have noticed several of you utilizing this new service. I welcome any feedback you have so that we make sure we are providing our members with the benefits they desire. I have noticed recently that attendance has been down at our monthly luncheons. I know that sometimes members have difficulty getting support from their offices to attend luncheons or seminars that do not specifically cover their practice areas. I would encourage you to discuss with your attorneys the value of having knowledge beyond your particular area of practice. So many times situations call for different practice areas to intersect for certain cases. Although I work in litigation, I feel it is vital for me to have some general knowledge of real estate law, corporate law, and even estate planning and administration for often times disputes arise in those areas that make their way into litigation. Having some general background knowledge is extremely helpful. Also, you never know when you might end up in a small office where you may be called upon to work in many different areas of law. Having a wellrounded knowledge of various types of law is essential and something you should do for yourself. Enjoy the rest of your summer and I can’t wait to see you all at our Annual Meeting and Fall Seminar on September 14 and 15.




Lydia House

Consider donating used business clothing in good condition to be donated to the Lydia House Work Net program. This program assists women in getting back into the work place with training and availability of appropriate business attire. You may drop off items through August 31st to Teri Gibbons at Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O, 1125 s. 103rd St, Suite 800, Omaha.


NePA Fall Seminar and Annual Meeting

The Thomson Center at UNO, Omaha September 14th & 15th 

Certified Paralegal Exam Deadline

The deadline to register for the January exam is December 1, 2017.

New CPs/ACPs Amber L. Coenen, CP Sandy Banks, ACP Commercial Bankruptcy

Lori Jones, ACP Trademarks

Madonna Burleigh, ACP Estate Planning

Amy Olson, ACP Discovery

Alison Barthel Jacobson, ACP California Advanced Specialty Discovery

Bridget Stuhr, ACP Business Organizations: Incorporated Entities

Courtney Pfeiffer, ACP Contracts Administration/ Contracts Management

Nicole Day, ACP E-Discovery



SAVE THE DATE: FROM THE NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS COMMITTEE Members: We hope your summer has been going well. It’s hard to believe it’s that time again, but yes, we are making our annual call for nominations for officers and directors of NePA. We encourage all eligible members of NePA to consider running for one of our many officer and director positions! Serving on the Board of Directors is a fantastic way to network with fellow paralegals, help make important decisions, make a difference in the association and learn more about how the association works. If you’ve been “stuck in a rut” and have only just come to NePA seminars and lunches, or if you’re a Distance Member and you’ve wanted to reconnect with the other districts, we especially welcome you to consider serving in one of these offices! Furthermore, if you’ve served on the Board of Directors in the past, we invite you to run again! The offices currently up for nomination are as follows: President-Elect Vice President Secretary Treasurer NALA Liaison Director, District 1 Director, District 2 Director, District 3 Director, District 4 Director, District 5 The deadline for submitting nominations has passed but remember that nominations can still come from the floor on the day of the annual membership meeting to be held on Thursday, September 14, 2017. Happy nominating! Sincerely, The Nominations and Elections Committee: Lauriel L. Nelson – Chair Anna C. Palmer, ACP – Member Janie M. Boswell, ACP – Member



NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING The Nebraska Paralegal Association will hold its Annual Membership Meeting for all members on Thursday, September 14, 2017, commencing at 10:00 a.m., in conjunction with the 2017 Recognition Breakfast, Fall Membership Meeting, and Fall Seminar. The meeting will be held at The Thompson Center, University of Nebraska Omaha, 6705 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE. Items to be considered at the meeting include: approval of membership applications (if any), proposed amendments to the By Laws (if any), nomination and election of Officers and Directors, and discussion of other new and old business. Please note: If you are an Active Member, please complete the enclosed Proxy and return it to Lauriel Nelson, Secretary by Friday, September 8th, to ensure that a quorum is present. VIA MAIL:

NePa - Proxy ATTN: Lauriel Nelson, Secretary P.O. Box 24943 Omaha, NE 68124

VIA E-MAIL: Lauriel Nelson - VIA FAX:

Lauriel Nelson—(402) 397-7824

Dated this 1st day of August, 2017.

/S/ Lauriel Nelson

NePA - Proxy Attn: Lauriel Nelson, Secretary P.O. Box 24943 Omaha, NE 68124



ANNUAL MEETING PROXY ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP PROXY I, ________________________, hereby constitute and appoint the following individual as my true and lawful proxy, to take part in the transaction of any and all business as may properly come before the meeting hereinafter described, as fully as if I were personally present:

Please choose ONE of the following options: _____ I permit this Proxy to be assigned to any NePA voting member present at the meeting to use his or her discretion in voting on issues presented. _____ I designate the following individual as my true and lawful proxy: Name of Proxyholder: Address: NOTE: Please send a copy of this Proxy to the designated Proxyholder. (1) Unless otherwise indicated, this Proxyholder may use his or her discretion in voting on issues: _______ Yes _______ No (2) If the above-named Proxyholder is not present at the meeting, please indicate if you permit this Proxy to be assigned to any NePA voting member: _______ Yes ________ No The above Proxy is given for use at the Annual Membership Meeting of the Nebraska Paralegal Association to be held on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at The Thompson Center, University of Nebraska Omaha, 6705 Dodge Street, Omaha, Nebraska. If the undersigned is present at said meeting, this Proxy shall be null and void. Dated: _____________________

_________________________________ Signature of Member giving Proxy Printed Name: Address: Address:

PLEASE SEND THIS ORIGINAL PROXY TO: VIA MAIL: NePA – Proxy ATTN: Lauriel Nelson, Secretary P.O. Box 24943 Omaha, Nebraska 68124 VIA E-MAIL: Lauriel Nelson – VIA FAX: Lauriel Nelson – (402) 397-7824



2017 Annual Membership Meeting and Seminar Thursday, September 14th Agenda 7:45 - 9:00

Recognition Breakfast Keynote Speaker: Honorable Laurie Smith Camp Chief United States District Judge

9:00 - 9:15

Fall Seminar Registration

9:15 - 9:30


9:30 - 10:30

Annual Membership Meeting

10:30 - 10:45


10:45 - 12:00

“The Importance of Sleep and Stress Management for Paralegals” Elise McHatton, MA, ACSM EP-C, NSCA-CSCS Director of Account Management, Simply Well

12:00 - 1:00


1:00 - 2:15

“UCC Searching and Filing - Best Practices and Common Misconceptions” Jennifer Woodrome Director of Operations, Capitol Services, Inc.

2:15 - 2:30


2:30 - 3:45

“The Ethics of Limited Scope Representation” Scott Hahn Attorney, Hightower Reff

3:45 - 4:00

Closing Remarks/Door Prizes



2017 Annual Membership Meeting and Seminar Cont. Friday, September 15th Agenda 8:00 - 8:15

Continental Breakfast

8:15 - 8:30


8:30 - 9:30

“Women’s Legal Rights” Sally Bisson-Best, J.D. Director of Paralegal Studies, College of St. Mary

9:30 - 9:45


9:45 - 11:15

“LGBTQ Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice System(s)” Dominique Morgan Adolescent Health Educator, Charles Drew Health Center

11:15 - 11:30


11:30 - 12:15

“It’s Your Career...Own It!” Amber Roberts, ACP Sr. IT Support Analyst, The Gavilon Group, LLC

12:15 - 1:15


1:15 - 2:30

“The Unicameral - Behind the Scenes” Senator Burke Harr Nebraska District 8

2:30 - 2:45


2:45 - 4:00

“Cyber Safety & Security - Tips to Keep Your Client’s Information Safe” Ronald Woerner Director of Cybersecurity Studies, Bellevue University

4:00 - 4:15

Closing Remarks/Door Prizes




Student Education Award Winners for 2017 Jennifer Hansen-Richmond—Doane College and Sydney Piccolo—College of St. Mary Each student received a $500.00 award. Ms. Hansen-Richmond has an anticipated graduation date of May 2018. She works at the City of Lincoln, as a Litigation Paralegal. Ms. Piccolo works at the law firm of McGrath North in Omaha as a runner/receptionist.

$500.00 Student Education Award Applicants must be Nebraska residents or Members of NePA admitted and accepted in a paralegal program at an accredited University, College, Community College or Business College located in Nebraska. Selection of scholarship recipients shall be made without regard to race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin or marital status. For more information on eligibility requirements and application procedures: Questions? Contact: Joyce at 402-319-7926







CONGRATULATIONS to Amber Coenen, 2016 CP Scholarship winner, who recently passed the NALA Certified Paralegal Exam!

Certified Paralegal Exam Preparation Program The CPEPP's objective is to offer resources to those planning to take NALA's examination to earn the CP designation. For more information about the CP exam, go to For more information about the CPEPP, call or email Michaela Seidl, CP, at 402-346-1132 or



NALA NEWS CONT. 2017 NALA Affiliate Award Goes To

Ruth A. Bahr, CP

We were greatly pleased to announce at the Mid-Year Membership Meeting this year’s recipient of the 2017 NALA Affiliate Award: Ruth A. Bahr, CP. Ruth has been a member of NePA since 1997 and is also a member of NALA. Ruth’s past roles and experiences with NePA include the following: Seminar Committee Member: 2000—2016 Treasurer: 2002—2004 Nominations & Elections Committee: 2005 - 2007 Name Change Ad Hoc Committee Member: 2007 District 1 Director: 2011 Student Services Committee Co-Chair: 2012 – 2015 Website Administrator: 2016 Ruth has contributed greatly throughout her 20 years as a NePA member, but it is her latest effort as NePA’s Website Administrator that really speaks volumes about her dedication to this organization. In July 2016, the Board approved the implementation of online credit card processing to allow members the option to pay for lunches, seminars and dues with a credit or debit card. Initially thought to be a fairly simple addition, the project turned out to be more time consuming than anticipated. Ruth did not complain or give up, however. She was instrumental in revamping the website, creating various price points, and performing behind-the-scenes technological tasks necessary to create a seamless payment option for members while ensuring proper reconciliation of those payments for NePA’s “back-end” records. In November 2016, NePA’s current web host suddenly announced it was closing its doors for business, potentially leaving NePA without a web host and further stalling the implementation of credit card processing. Ruth and other members of the Website Committee worked together and were able to find a new web host quickly, getting the project back on track. NePA members now have the ability to pay for seminars, luncheons, and dues via NePA’s website, all thanks to Ruth and her efforts to see this project through to completion. This award is not only well-deserved, but timely as well. Ruth, a paralegal for Baird Holm, LLP, retired on June 30, 2017 after a long and successful career. NePA is grateful to have a member like Ruth who is not only dedicated to the association and its future, but to the future of the technologically-savvy paralegal. It is with appreciation, warmth, and just a smidge of envy that we wish Ruth all the best in her post-retirement years and congratulate her for receiving this award!



SPRING SEMINAR - MAHONEY STATE PARK Bridget Stuhr (President Elect), and Caryn Redding (Treasurer) posing for a quick picture during break. Bridget led a great committee this year to put on the Spring Seminar. A big thank you to the committee members for all their hard work!

Teri Gibbons, our fearless leader, getting the Mid-Year Meeting off to a great start!

Mick Wagoner, Staff Attorney and Executive Director of the Veterans Legal Support Network is speaking on “Veterans Treatment Court in Nebraska." We learned good information including what we as paralegals can do to help. First and foremost, make sure our attorneys check in criminal proceedings to see if clients qualify for Veterans Treatment Court.

Katie Wibbels did a fantastic job again with the centerpieces for the Spring Seminar.

Moving on to our 2nd session of the day with Ronald C. Jensen, a Partner at Baird Holm LLP. His topic was "Estate Planning Fundamentals" and we learned about estate plan techniques that can be used to mitigate financial risk, including Elder Abuse which is so prevalent today.




A big thank you to Konica Minolta for your support of NePA!

A big thank you to D4 for your support of NePA! Had a great lunch break with lots of networking and catching up with old friends.

“Sex Trafficking in the Heartland” from Anna Brewer, Training Consultant with the Woman’s Fund Omaha. As a parent, these statistics are frightening! It's good to know, however, that Creighton and other entities are doing what they can to get relevant statistics and information to find these sex trafficking survivors and get them help.



NALA CONVENTION - ANGEL YOUNGER, ACP Hundreds of paralegals attended the 42nd Annual NALA Convention in Orlando, FL July 19th- 21st, including 11 from Nebraska. The convention was held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive, which is centrally located with several restaurants and theme parks nearby. NALA formatted this convention differently than the last one I attended in Tulsa, OK. Everything was still paperless, but here, you simply scanned your badge when entering a session to automatically receive attendance credit. I also enjoyed being able to attend a variety of sessions rather than being restricted to one area of law. NALA removed the Early Bird Reception, however, which was a little disappointing because I always enjoyed networking at that event. Keynote



Wednesday was a full day of meetings and exhibitor booths. There were many exhibitor booths this year and they had some great swag. Legalinc Corporate Services passed out really cool t-shirts with #legalrockstar on them. Capital Services had a representative from their Florida office, Kevin Roberts, and he graciously invited a few of us to dinner at a wonderful restaurant. The keynote speaker, Denise Ryan, was fantastic! She related motivation to chocolate and provided tips on how to help each of us get more out of every day. She even handed out chocolate to all the attendees, and we participated in a chocolate tasting (think wine tasting with CHOCOLATE!), which was terrific. We even found out that the secret ingredient in Hershey’s chocolate is none other than cheese! During the Affiliated Associations Meeting, we heard from many associations on what they’ve accomplished in the past year and I was honored to accept Ruth Bahr’s Affiliate Award on her behalf. NePA members Amber Roberts and Kim Brown presented “Not Your Typical Newsletter: Communicating with Members in the Digital Age.” It was a great presentation and the other associations found it quite helpful. It was such an honor to be chosen two years in a row for the Affiliate Exchange.

Angel Younger receiving Ruth Bahr’s Affiliate Award

There were roundtable discussions during lunch on Wednesday with several topics from which to choose. After lunch, we attended an Ethics CLE that was open to all attendees. And presented by Tom Pokladowski, Esq., who was fantastic. We discussed several ethics-based scenarios with our tablemates. Not only was it fun, but a wonderful way to meet and inter-



NALA CONVENTION CONT. Kim Brown and Amber Roberts presenting the Affiliate Exchange

act with attendees from around the county. We set up our Affiliate booth at the Opening Night Reception. This was organized a little differently than I had seen in the past, but very well attended. We handed out mirrored lip gloss compacts and everyone loved them. I even caught a few people coming back for more! Almost every person who came to our booth noticed our Relay for Life traveling trophy and awards. I think we should be very proud of this accomplishment and Teri Gibbons deserves most of the credit! As usual, many of the affiliates showed up with some great swag, but I think ours was the best! Thursday was a full day of CLE sessions. I attended sessions on The Paralegal’s Professional Responsibilities, An Introduction to Estate Planning and The Basics of Trust. They had so many great sessions it was difficult to choose.

Angel Younger and Teri Gibbons manning our Affiliate Booth

We also had an All Convention Luncheon on Thursday. The Florida associations sold raffle tickets, and other associations and attendees made donations for the duration of the conference. By the luncheon on Thursday,



NALA CONVENTION CONT. they had raised $6,883 for Base Camp, which is a children’s cancer foundation. This may have been the most I have ever seen raised for the selected charity of the convention, which was amazing. Friday was another day of CLE. I attended sessions on 2017 Employment Law Updates, CP Review-Written Communications and Raising Capital and Crowdfunding. Again, they were all great and very informative. They closed out the convention on Friday evening with a reception and the Installation of Officers. Overall, Orlando was a great convention and I met many paralegals from around the country who are as passionate about their careers as we are. I’m looking forward to the convention next year in St. Louis, MO. Mark your calendars for July 11-13. I hope to see many NePA Members there. It has been my pleasure to serve as NALA Liaison this year. Please contact me at with any questions you may have regarding NALA.

Janie Boswell with current NALA President Cassandra Oliver

Kim Brown and Janie Boswell with former NALA President Karen Greer-McGee

Karen Greer-McGee swearing in the NALA board for 2017-2018: Cassandra Oliver, Jill Francisco, Melissa Hamilton, Debbie Overstreet, Jane McKinnon, Debbie Sawyer, Annette Brown, Jaye Koch, Melissa Klimpel, Michelle Pfeiffer




We arrived during Florida’s rainy season I guess. It made the heat more bearable at least!

This is what we arrived to on Tuesday afternoon!

Several of us ate at Chuy’s, a popular Elvisthemed Mexican restaurant nearby the hotel. There were pictures of celebrities wearing different Elvis outfits.

The hotel had some beautiful landscaping




Kevin Roberts of Capitol Services met up with some of the NePA ladies for dinner. A big thanks to Capitol Services for all of your support of NePA over the years!

North Carolina’s booth. They had a scrapbook!

Amber Roberts, Teri Gibbons, Bridget Stuhr and Angel Younger

Greta Zeimetz, NALA Executive Director



NALA CONVENTION - PICTURES SAY A THOUSAND WORDS All convention luncheon. It was an interesting buffet this year of hotdogs and hamburgers.

Amber Roberts with her 2015 LEAP group. It’s so nice to meet up with old friends at conference each year. Janie Boswell and Kris McMahon can be seen in the background on the left.

For me, a good friend is someone you might only see once or twice a year but each time it feels as though you’ve just seen them last week.” ~ James Herbert




NALA has used a revamped app at the last 2 conventions making it much easier to schedule your agenda for attending events and sessions as well as get to know other attendees. They even have a Leaderboard based on those who post pictures and updates as well as do reviews of events and speakers. Here is a picture of the top 3 leaders from 2016 including Amber Roberts in the #1 spot. The leaderboard for 2017 was much crazier with more people vying for the top. We still had one of our own in the top 5, however!







LAW DAY LUNCHEON The Law Day Luncheon was held on May 2nd at the Marriott at Regency. We were very pleased to have Sandi Armstrong, CP, District I Director, seated at the head table to present the winners of this year’s contest! This year’s theme:

"The 14th Amendment – Transforming American Democracy"

1st Place: Alexa Hall Pine Creek Elementary 2nd Place: Maxwell Elwood Pine Creek Elementary 3rd Place: Asal Mohammadi Brownell Talbot




A note from OBA Executive Director, Dave Sommers, thanking NePA for our participation in the Poster Contest and Law Day

Keynote speaker – Danielle Conrad Executive Director ACLU of Nebraska

Sandi Armstrong representing NePA

NePA Members: Tom Tilden, Mindy Ware, Laurie Vik, Kim Hansen



RELAY FOR LIFE - TERI GIBBONS The Legal Beagles participated in the American Cancer Society Sarpy County Relay for Life event held on June 2, 2017, at Falconwood Park south of Bellevue. This was our 10th anniversary for participating in this event and honoring and remembering our family and friends affected by cancer. The new setting was really beautiful. It was a lovely evening, slightly warm, but - in contrast to past years - no rain. The night was filled with great 50’s music befitting the theme of this year’s event. There were many participants sporting their 50’s attire, along with kids’ games, and a bounce house that was extremely popular. The luminary ceremony closed out an evening of fun and fundraising which will benefit many struggling with cancer. For the third year, we held a fundraising event at the Corky Canvas which provided a night of tapping into our inner Monet and raised $216 for our team. Four of our team members were there to the bitter end. As a result of the efforts of our team members, the Legal Beagles raised over $2,500 and won the trophy for the top fundraising team in the Business Team category. We also took second place in the Top Online Fundraiser Category, and Amber Roberts won the individual prize for Top Online Fundraiser. Teri Gibbons and family with Amber Roberts showing

The Legal Beagles made a great showing at Relay this year. off NePA’s award for top business fundraising team! The winners of our drawings were: Apron – Sue Fields; Wine Basket – Alva Butler; and Shawl – Joni Hickey. Great job Legal Beagles!!

Amber Roberts with daughter Lyri

Thanks to our anonymous donor, NePA had two large Luminaria on display at the event. One was honoring our survivors and the other in remembrance of those who fought but lost their battles. Our hope is that one day, there will only be survivors!






A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PARALEGAL - KERRIE KOCH Paralegals know, there is no typical day in the life of a paralegal. This is my favorite part about being a paralegal. No day is like the one before. It’s the complete opposite of the movie Groundhog Day. My day generally starts between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. with generous amounts of coffee. I initially check my emails to see if any new ones have arrived since checking it from home the night before. That is because occasionally an attorney will work late into the night or come in early and assign duties that are due as soon as possible or a client sends a panicked email needing a response or documents as soon as possible. I like to plan my day, but that plan is revised and adapted at least ten times a day...and I am probably grossly underestimating that number. After checking email, I go through my deadlines and my to-do list, which is probably the most important document I work with, by far. If that document was lost or misplaced, I would get in my car and start driving with no destination. Yes, I have it backed up in multiple locations and on multiple devices. I adjust what projects need to be moved up or down on that list according to adjustments in deadlines. I also function as the office manager and IT tech “guru” in our office. That entails a large variety of tasks, including human resource requests, broken computers – my favorite phrase is “I don’t know how it got that way, I wasn’t doing anything, I just pressed some things, but not sure what I pressed and I closed out some warning screens” - and staff-related management. As long as no computer problems or staffrelated issues have surfaced (those generally occur on Mondays and I blame Garfield), then I am ready to dive into paralegal work. Yay! I generally have multiple sets of outstanding discovery responses at one time. I follow up with Client A to find out that Client A has not even started her discovery answers in draft. We schedule an appointment in two days to meet to draft answers together. I follow up with Client B to find out she has her answers completely ready to go and is forwarding me her draft answers in Word, along with PDF attachments of any exhibits. Both clients are great, but given my workload, I have to say I really like Client B and I should send her balloons or flowers or chocolates or all of the above. By mid-morning, a couple of the attorneys have stopped by to let me know about projects they need either immediately, that same day, or the next day. I work those into my to-do list. No problem, right? I have been known to eat lunch at my desk and possibly still be working some evenings, but I have decided that I prefer to call it dedication, rather than craziness.



A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PARALEGAL - KERRIE KOCH Many times I will have to set one project aside to work on a project with a tighter deadline. This can be stressful sometimes, and a welcome distraction at other times. I shift focus from a divorce file and follow-up on medical records for a personal injury case. Next, I call Medicare (help, someone save me or at least cut the phone line or bring me snacks) to try to understand why a case is still open according to Medicare, but should be closed. After 55 glorious minutes on the phone, I reach someone who knows how to fix my dilemma. As lunch approaches, I will decide whether or not my schedule requires me to work through lunch. On this particular day, due to project deadlines, I eat lunch at my desk. This is peppered with interruptions from attorneys who happen to be working over the lunch hour or taking a late lunch. I forge ahead and attempt to find the top of my desk. After lunch I finish up a couple of letters that need to be drafted/sent, email discovery responses to opposing counsel, e-file with the Court, and meet with an attorney regarding outstanding projects. It’s


3 pm and I need to get on the road to meet with a client about an hour away to go over her discovery answers. I do not meet with many clients at their home, but this client is a wonderful lady in her 80s and it is difficult for her to get to town. Did I mention she is organized with any document I need (great, right?!!) At her home, we prepare a draft of her answers. I am on my way back to town, arriving after 6 pm. I could go back to the office but I decide not to tonight, and catch the CWS game on television instead. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. - Kerrie Koch is a Paralegal at Stratton, DeLay, Doele, Carlson & Buettner, P.C., L.L.O, in Norfolk, Nebraska. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Wayne State College. She has been a paralegal for over 16 years. Her primary focus is on civil litigation, family law and personal injury.



CONGRESS, WHITE HOUSE OPT TO KILL BROADBAND PRIVACY RULES On March 28, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to kill broadband privacy rules that would have required Internet service providers (ISPs) to get permission from consumers before collecting their sensitive data. The Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules was approved by a vote of 215-205 that fell largely on party lines, with the Republican majority supporting the motion. The previous week, the U.S. Senate approved the bill on a similar party-line basis. In April, President Trump signed the bill into law. The Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules will roll back the legislation passed in October by the Federal Communications Commission that would have given consumers more control over how ISPs can use their sensitive data. The policy defined sensitive data as any information related to a user’s finances, health, information from children, precise geolocation data, web browsing history, and app usage history. ISPs could still collect information not considered to be sensitive, but they would have had to offer customers the ability to opt out of the collection practices. Additionally, the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules would have established new requirements for ISPs to report data breaches that may have harmed consumers or put their information at risk. They would have been required to notify customers of a data breach within 30 days of identifying it. The protections for user data were scheduled for implementation in December 2017. The stricter rules for data breaches were set to go into effect in March, but the FCC under Trump appointee Ajit Pai chose to place a stay on the rules. “ISPs are the only ones with full access to everything you do online, every site you visit, every path and choice as you move between sites, and the full array of apps and services you use,” Dane Jasper, the CEO of Bay Area internet service provider Sonic, told International Business Times. “Service providers are the one entity that knows where all the traffic came from and went to. It’s a disturbing amount of information and gives companies a lot of info about the consumer.” Michael Capuano, a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, blasted the bill on the House floor. “I have a simple question,” the Congressman said, “what the heck are you thinking? What is in your mind? Why would you want to give out any of your personal information to a faceless corporation for the sole purpose of them selling it?” Nathan White, a senior legislative manager at Access Now, told International Business Times in a statement: “If President Trump was serious about his campaign promises to stand up for the rights of the individual over the powerful special interests in Washington D.C., then he would veto this bill.” The Internet and Television Association spoke positively of the vote. In a statement, the organization called the FFC rules "misguided" and said the repeal “marks an important step toward restoring consumer privacy protections that apply consistently to all internet companies," arguing ISPs have a "proven record of safeguarding consumer privacy."  Reprinted with permission from ARMA International,

The Washington Policy Brief is an online advisory that contains brief summaries of recent legislative and regulatory issues that may affect the records and information management profession.






WELCOME TO THE UPRISING, ETHICAL PARALEGALS . . . AND THOSE WHO AIN’T When the time to stand up and fight presents itself to a person who is called to a cause: the soldier picks up his rifle; the boxer, his gloves; and the paralegal blogger, her keyboard. And we do not stop, until we have either silenced our opponent, or there is nothing of ourselves left to give. That time is today. The keyboard is locked and loaded. The House of Collins’ banner flies on high in the legal sector. The stallions stand at the ready. People are flocking to the streets holding poster boards boasting brightly colored glitter (well, they will be soon, anyway). Buckle up, people. Grab a beverage. Take a seat and grab your breakfast bar. It’s. About. To. Go. Down. (And if you just sang that, you earned a coveted spot on the front lines to my right, along with a virtual fist bump from the fearless founder. I’m not playing around today.) “A single whisper can be quite a disturbance when the rest of the audience is silent.” ~ Anthony Marra

My message, only a whisper. I am but one. My voice rings out as the one I am, into the darkness, before giving way to silence. But, I have the ear of many all across the nation: respected leaders, seasoned paralegals, impassioned educators, hard-working newbies, and aspiring paralegal students. Together, that one voice has the power to rise up. Together, we can become a unified voice of many. One loud voice, echoing out, no longer falling into silence. And that unified echo, no longer quiet, now loud, begins to stir and fills the corridors and hallways of law firms and social media sites all across the county. And together, we are better for it. Together, we begin to shift the paradigm. Together, we take a stand. Unified, we speak out. Together, our voices rise up, becoming one strong voice, as we lift with it, the profession we each hold dearly. (Even on the bad days.) Welcome to The Uprising, my friends! By the time you get to the end of today’s post, you will be asked to decide whether you’re in, or out. The choice is yours. The Uprising is here. The time is now. Here’s the deal, I love what I do as a paralegal. I learned my way in to this profession and solidified my place with beads of sweat upon my brow, gripped in moments of utter internal panic, environmentally-induced chaos, accompanied by esquire-driven work-related terrors, and deadlines & demands galore. I was a wide-eyed, 20-year-old-lady in search of a career path, when I landed my first job answering phones at a law firm. I worked my way up in the years that followed. There was so much to learn along the way. It’s been an epic journey so far. I’m proud to be a paralegal. I’m proud of the arduous climb that carried me here, in heels, hungry for more, and clothed in dignity, hilarity, and professionalism.



WELCOME TO THE UPRISING, ETHICAL PARALEGALS . . . AND THOSE WHO AIN’T And I’m honored to now run this blog, where so many of you congregate to read these posts, discuss important topics, and learn from one another. I take what I do seriously. I take this profession and my role within it seriously. As a blogger, I feel a certain sense of obligation to say the things that matter to ALL of us that must be said. It’s serious business. (As serious as an attorney with a statute at 5:31 p.m. on a Friday.) I love the topic of paralegal ethics. I served on NFPA’s Ethics Board for two years. I’m currently the Ethics Director of the Indiana Paralegal Association. I’ve blogged about six years now. As a paralegal in the field, I don’t feel we are seeing nearly enough articles written about paralegal ethics, or what constitutes an utter lack thereof. It’s a fundamentally imperative topic getting far too little coverage. In recent months, I cannot even begin to tell you the number of discussions I’ve seen on social media sites involving “paralegals” brazenly doing things that appear to not only be unethical, but also likely rising to the level of the Unauthorized Practice of Law (That’s UPL, to the experienced peeps among us.) I’ve come across some students who are obviously not being properly educated or trained on paralegal ethics, out there attempting to do things they should not do. Now, upon noticing these glaring public displays of paralegal ignorance occurring outside my own jurisdiction, my initial default setting was simply to ignore it, as most of us, as human folk, do. It didn’t involve me. Or did it? It wasn’t my problem. Or was it? That is a question I really had to stop and turn inwardly to ask myself. Is another paralegal doing something REALLY stupid, unethical, and potentially illegal my problem? The answer to that question is YES! It took me a few months to arrive there, but you better believe it’s my problem. Guess what? It’s YOUR problem, too. Whether you’re happy to hold that professional obligation, or not, does not make a bit of difference. It’s still yours to carry. We toil in the legal trenches. The Internet continues to run. The sun rises and sets. Still, these rogue types solicit their “legal work” to members of the general public without non-lawyer designations, and in states where they are not allowed to do so (which is darn near all of them). They write “articles” and “books” (I’m using both terms incredibly loosely here, folks) to encourage others to do the same. They prominently place things on their ridiculous “paralegal business” websites that undoubtedly rise to the level of ethics violations, and likely UPL. (The freelancers I know and love are careful, diligent people who would never do such a thing. They have disclaimers out the wazoo and market themselves appropriately.) And while I do believe this to be a rather small faction of “paralegals” doing these types of things, they are a glaring problem for the profession, at large. Experienced paralegals will occasionally comment on these types of discussions on social media sites, here or there, to tell these rogue types they are engaging in unethical conduct. They try to advise students they are misinformed or not properly educated about ethical matters. Still, I read these discussions. Almost. Every. Single. Damn. Day. And yes, I am slowly being driven into a state of self-professed insanity. (This one, ethics driven, not attorney-driven. It’s shocking, I know. I couldn’t believe it, either.) SO today, I am here to officially announce the launch of a brand spankin’ new social crusade for paralegals we’re calling, “The Uprising.” Yes, THE UPRISING. [Cue the dramatic paralegal with something important to say here.] Our key demographic is paralegals with ethics, integrity, and vision. We want you on our “team.” Yes, YOU! We want you to become the next ride-er-die paralegal to fly alongside the fearless founder and countless others who give a damn about our profession as a whole, our collective reputation, and our ability to do more cool things in the future, as paralegals. As the individuals of professionalism and integrity we CHOOSE to be. As steadfast members of the paralegal community: leaders, experienced paralegals, newbies, educators, and students, alike. We are THE UPRISING.



WELCOME TO THE UPRISING, ETHICAL PARALEGALS . . . AND THOSE WHO AIN’T Let me be clear. This movement may not be for you. If you feel okay seeing unethical discussion on social media sites, this movement isn’t for you. If you are conducting yourself, as a paralegal (with no non-lawyer designation and not in the state of California) and operating your paralegal business in an unethical manner, trust me, this movement is NOT for you. If you choose to intentionally remain blind to pertinent ethical issues plaguing paralegals, this post is NOT for you. If you are a student who does not want to learn the ethics that apply to you, this movement is NOT for you. If you are totally pleased with how little you see currently being promoted on paralegal ethics in the legal world, this movement is NOT for you. And lastly, if you are a Dark Cloud a/k/a Keeper of the Misery masquerading here on The Paralegal Playground and dwelling among the rest of us friendly folks slinging paper and glory in the legal trenches, this movement is totally NOT for you. In recent weeks, I’ve been flying on Facebook with Jacqueline King, one of our Contributing Writers here on TPS (you may remember her recent posts, always spot on and entertaining). She and I now pop onto discussions we see on Facebook pertaining to unethical issues to post insightful comments. (At this point we aren’t sure who’s Batman and who’s Robin under this fun scenario. The jury is still out. I assure you we each are both desperately dying to utter the words, “I am Batman…”) But nevertheless, we contribute, and we make one heck of a pseudo-ethicsimplementation team. It’s empowering to be aligned with another paralegal professional who cares about other paralegals as much as I do. There’s a spirit of commonality. The desire to make a difference for all of us. There’s a bit of magic in it.

You know what I’ve noticed? With just TWO of us entering these discussions on Facebook—a whopping TWO—it has already shifted the dynamic of these discussions. Students and newbies see us telling others this stuff is unethical. They read our diplomatic advice. Heck, who knows, maybe they even go look the stuff up to confirm we’re actually right. Perhaps they stalk our social media profiles for pictures to print out and place onto dart boards; who knows. But they see our comments. People who may not otherwise know better and realize this stuff to be unethical and/or UPL, uh, and even those who totally SHOULD and DON’T seem to care—can see the EXPERIENCED paralegals on these discussions, loud and proud, saying the question being asked or work being proposed is believed to be…[wait for it]…yep….cue the drum roll….UNETHICAL. Because IT IS. Not maybe. Not it could be. It is unethical. You can see it from a mile off, okay, maybe even farther, if you’re being chased by an esquire hopped up on a triple shot of espresso, with a 38-page brief in his hands, and inadequate respect for the weekend, when you, the paralegal, are holding a one-way ticket to Hotel de Bye-Bye, an all-inclusive hot spot, with a bottle of margarita mixer, and a broken dream. So what can YOU, my fabulous paralegal reader, do to join the movement? That’s an excellent question! You can PLEDGE to help us snuff out this type of unethical behavior online by personally and publicly pledging to aid in our efforts as THE UPRISING. By joining us on social media discussions. When you see people seeking advice that constitutes UPL, or seems to be unethical, you say something. You can do so using kind words. It can be 100% professionally stated. You don’t have to check your respect at the door, people. In fact, we recommend that you bring it to the reality check party. If you’re WITH us—and we mean really and truly WITH us—“PLEDGE” to join us by hitting that comment button, conveniently featured on this post, to declare your intention of joining us in this new ethical movement for paralegals, THE UPRISING. Do so, to state that you agree that you will sit idly by no longer. Not one more day. That you will remain a professional paralegal with ethics, integrity, and vision. That you will cover your own corner on social media to provide insightful advice to the rogue types, as warranted—and for the love of all that is legal—you will help us to educate others on the important topic of ethics, or an utter lack thereof. “I, Jamie Collins, do hereby solemnly pledge that I will no longer sit idly by while any paralegal in my midst on social media is engaging in unethical conduct. I have a personal and professional obligation to educate other paralegals and students about unethical conduct. When I see it, I will say something about it.”



WELCOME TO THE UPRISING, ETHICAL PARALEGALS . . . AND THOSE WHO AIN’T The only question is: Will YOU? If so, hit that comment button. Pledge your support. Join THE UPRISING. (My husband called the title of our new movement “dramatic.” You bet it is! It’s a dramatic title for a dramatic movement we hope will shift the ethical paradigm all across the nation.) Sign me up! We’re paralegals. The proud. The insane. The over-worked. The under-caffeinated. The brave. The called. The crazy. The professional. The mindful. The organized. The diligent. The droves of legal tactical assault ninjas standing desk-side, firm-wide, and nationwide. Paralegals with ethics, integrity, and a bright vision for the future. And today, we’re taking our profession back. We’re standing in the ring to go a few rounds. And then a few more. One ethics discussion, one comment, one posted ethics article, and one paralegal at a time. Together. Join the movement… PLEDGE. “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.” ~ Albert Einstein “When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.” ~ Abraham Kuyper “I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. Henceforth, I will repeat these words each hour, each day, every day, until the words become as much a habit as my breathing, and the action which follows becomes as instinctive as the blinking of my eyelids. With these words I can condition my mind to perform every action necessary for my success. I will act now. I will repeat these words again and again and again. I will walk where failures fear to walk. I will work when failures seek rest. I will act now for now is all I have. Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure. I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay, success will become wed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person.” ~ Og Mandino THE UPRISING HAS BEGUN. THE CHOICE IS YOURS. We are THE UPRISING. The whisper, the voice, the echo, the movement. Only one question remains: Are you in, or are you out? Reprinted with permission from The Paralegal Society™ (https://, a social forum created to educate, motivate and inspire paralegals. Be sure to check it out!