Greetings fellow members of NePA! I am so excited to be serving NePA in the capacity of President for the 2022/2023 fiscal year. Being on the board and committees for the past few years has been a truly rewarding experience. I have met and worked with so many wonderful, smart, helpful, and resourceful ladies which has enhanced my experience of serving NePA. I encourage each and every one of you to get involved as much as you can in one way or another.
Seasons Greetings! I hope all of
you had a Happy Thanksgiving and didn’t pack on a lot of pounds enjoying all of the good foods and desserts that go along with the holiday. Speaking of packing on the pounds, can you believe Christmas is almost here? Here comes more good foods, desserts, and treats. Here at Burlington Capital, a lot of our sponsors and business partners shower us with goodies at this time of year. They send cookies, Bundt cakes popcorn, candies, and the list goes on! I love this time of year because it puts everyone in the giving mood whether it be monetary or volunteering. I tried to do both as often as I can. This past weekend we handed out gifts to the inmates and Corrections Officers at the Douglas County Correctional Center here in Omaha. The smiles that we received were priceless. As a bonus, we got in over 6,000 steps! My point is that you will never know how much your simple act of giving will touch someone’s life. It may seem like nothing to you, but mean the world to them.
Now that the leaves have turned colors, fallen off the trees, and the weather is getting a bit cooler, I hope that you make sure that you take time out of your busy schedule and take care of you. Don’t get wrapped up (pun intended) in the hustle and bustle the Christmas holiday brings. Schedule time to do the things that relax you and make sure that your “me time” doesn’t only happen when you’re at the grocery store or doing some other chore by yourself. Please stay safe, enjoy, and cherish the important things, and be blessed!
IN BRIEF-VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 IN THIS ISSUE: From the President ..... 1 From the Editor ............ 2 Save the Dates ........... 2 NALA News ................. 3 District I News.............. 4 District II News ............. 6 Get to Know .................. New Members ...... 7/15 Article: ........................ 8 Article: COVID .......... 16 DECEMBER 2022 NEBRASKA PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 IN BRIEF-VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 IN THIS ISSUE: From the President ..... 1 From the Editor ........... 2 Diversity Event Info .... 3 Relay for Life ............... 5 NALA Upcoming Webinars ............................. 9 Student News ........... 11 Student Education Award News ............. 12 MCC Student Forum Recap ....................... 13 Fall Seminar Recap . 16 Board of Directors Announcement ............ 21 District I/II Updates .. 23 Save the Dates ......... 23 CP & ACP Scholarship Winners ..................... 24 New Membership Information ....................... 24 Paralegal Humor ...... 32 DECEMBER 2022
PRESIDENT: Andria Bell, ACP
REGISTER FOR EVENTS AT:
UPCOMING BOARD MEETINGS
January 11, 2023
March 2, 2023
June 6, 2023
August 1, 2023
October 10, 2023
FROM THE EDITOR
Fall and Winter are seasons in which I reflect on my year and remember all of the wonderful people and things in my life for which I am grateful. Sometimes, in “the daily grind” we forget to do so. A list that may help you get started on finding your gratitude: Find something that smells nice, tastes delicious or makes a nice sound. Find something that reminds you of your friends or family.
Find something that you like to do outside.
Find something that you can share with others.
Find something that you can use to make someone else smile.
**If you’d like to attend a board meeting, contact Andria Bell at President @NebraskaParalegal .org for details.
One of the things I am grateful for is patience. This year I have struggled with numerous personal issues from aging parents and their failing health to a very busy schedule with my daughter’s softball journey. The Board has been so patient with the lack of In Briefs for 2022, and I am dedicated to provide better service to NePA in 2023. Thank you all for your patience.
We are always striving to improve the benefits of your membership, and our publications are no exception. If you have an idea for an article or story, or would like to write an article for the In Brief, we welcome your input!
As always, feel free to reach out to any of our board members with questions, suggestions, or concerns. If you have corrections regarding this issue, please forward them to me at email@example.com.
PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Kim Brown, ACP - Chair; Casey Grennan, CP; Kim Hansen; Amber Roberts, ACP, Carol Powers, Susan Willis
Page 2 IN BRIEF-VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE
2022 OBA / NEPA DIVERSITY EVENT WE CAN DO IT! GENDER DIVERSITY IN 2022
NePA and the Omaha Bar Association held its annual Diversity event at the Scott Conference Center on June 14, 2022, from 11:30-4:45. We had four energetic and informative speakers:
Megan Belcher, Esq.—Finding Your Authentic Way to Take the Stage as a Woman Leading in the Legal Industry. Megan serves as the Chief Legal & External Affairs Officer and Corporate Secretary for Scoular’s Leadership Team and Board of Directors. Megan’s energetic presentation covered: 1) The story of me (Why do I care?); 2) The story of us (What is the landscape we inhabit?); 3) The story of now (What is the unique intersection of events that create opportunity for us today?); and 4) The story of the future (What vision could we achieve if we designed it and acted?). Megan brought forth unique and insightful morals of every story. Megan also shared four suggestions for women in the legal industry (and to be honest, anyone for that matter): Commit to doing just one thing both for yourself and for women in your legal community, Make a long-term plan but take it in 90 day short bites, Plan time to invest in yourself and your future, and no one is going to deliver your starring role for you. Megan reminded us that it’s time to make it happen and to stop waiting for a rainy day!
The late Deborah Gilg, Esq.—Why Gender Diversity Matters and How it Affects You. Deborah was the owner of Fearless, Fierce, and Forward, L.L.C. after spending many years as the United States Attorney for Nebraska (the first woman to hold this position). Her organization provided women with empowerment training in the areas of gender pay parity, negotiation skills, surviving domestic violence, and professional development. Deborah passed away on November 16, 2022 after a short but courageous battle with colon cancer and will be deeply missed by the legal community. Deborah provided statistics regarding the still existent gender earning gap in the Midwest, statistics of unequal interruptions at the U.S. Supreme Court level during oral arguments and statistics on workplace discrimination claims. Deborah reminded us that we are our best advocate when dealing with these inequities.
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 3
2023 OBA / NEPA DIVERSITY EVENT
Kathleen Neary, Esq.—Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Legal Update. Kathleen is a trial lawyer who has practiced with Powers Law for 24 years and represents persons in personal injury, wrongful death, civil rights, and employment and housing discrimination matters. Kathleen is a former president of the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys and the Nebraska Employment Lawyers Association. Kathleen gave an informative and robust legal update on laws and recent cases in the United States.
Angela Cooper—The Power of the Unconscious Mind: Demystifying Bias and Embrace G.R.O.W.T.H.
Angela previously served as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Mutual of Omaha. She is currently the Founder and Principal Consultant of Mindpower Strategic, LLC. (www.mindpowerstrategic.com) Angela started her presentation by showing the ever famous Always commercial, “Like a Girl” which showed various individuals doing an activity (running, throwing, etc.) when asked to do it “Like a Girl.” It was amazing to see the mind shift when some of the participants were asked a second time to do the activity “Like a Girl.” Angela then went on to share the aspects of diversity (what we see and don’t see), the intersectionality of one’s identity, the meaning of inclusion, the difference between equality and equity, unconscious and implicit bias, and why making a commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is not only the right thing to do for companies, but it gives companies a competitive edge for their future.
All four presentations were well received by the 84 in-person and virtual attendees. This year was the first year we were “back in person” after the COVID pandemic and we were happy to see everyone in person! We hope that in the future the in-person numbers continue to grow; however, with the virtual option available to all legal and human resource professionals across the country, we will continue to provide that option to all attendees.
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 4
SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 2023 NEPA / OBA / Midlands Bar Association Diversity Event JUNE 14, 2023—SCOTT CONFERENCE CENTER AGE / GENERATIONAL DIVERSITY
2023 RELAY FOR LIFE
Each year, NePA supports the Omaha area Relay for Life. Long time NePA member, Terri Gibbons, a paralegal at Koley Jessen, fearlessly leads our Legal Beagle Relay for Life team. Teri holds this position very near and dear to her heart as one of her coworkers many years ago fought and won the battle with breast cancer. NePA also lost one of its beloved, Stephanie Henson, to cancer years ago. Stephanie was our seminar centerpiece designer for many years and also was an amazing chef! We all have been impacted in one way or another by breast cancer and would love to see you in July 2023 at the next Relay for Life event to celebrate with us those who have won the battle and remember those who have not. Each year we raise funds through direct donations, “Jeans Day” at work, tulip sales (in February), and the luminaries in memory of those who have lost the battle. The homemade paper lanterns are decorated with the names of loved ones. Each luminaria is in honor or remembrance of a life touched by cancer, accompanied by a moment of silence for those we’ve lost. When you make a donation for a luminaria, it helps the American Cancer Society continue to fight cancer on all fronts. Enjoy the pictures from this year’s event and let’s show up in numbers in 2023!!!
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 5
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 6 2023 RELAY FOR LIFE SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 2023 RELAY FOR LIFE JULY 8, 2023—STINSON PARK 2285 S 67th Street Omaha, NE Parade to kick off the event!
Bra Decorating Contest to raise money for the event!
NALA-THE PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION - UPCOMING WEBINARS
1, 2023, 12:00pm
CST Excel Your Career, Excel Tips and Tricks for Paralegals
Join us for an interactive webinar discussing how to use Excel to save time and wow your colleagues and clients:
Lesson 1: Sorting/Filtering/Flash Fill
Lesson 2: Cross-Referencing
Lesson 3: Ways to Find Duplicates
Lesson 4: Pivot Tables
Lesson 5: Intro to Macros
April 5, 2023, 12:00pm CST
Ethics and Professionalism for Paralegals
This webinar will review the NALA Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and other rules and guidelines related to paralegal and legal-assistant ethics. It will also cover the tasks a paralegal generally may perform without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, issues around protecting client confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege, and considerations for responsible use of social media and electronic communications by law firms and their clients during litigation.
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 9
SAVE THE DATE: 2023 NALA CONFERENCE & EXPO July 12-14, 2023—The Westin Copley Place—Boston, MA
NALA-THE PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION - NALA CONFERENCE RECAP
This year marked the first EVER NALA Hybrid Conference, and It. Was. Amazing. With the last two years having the conference held virtually, everyone that attended the conference in person was so excited to see friends and colleagues from all over the United States. The vendors seemed to be eager to be back in person as well, and the atmosphere had a great energy to it.
It wasn’t just the energy at the conference that was exciting, either. There were really intriguing sessions presented by engaging individuals that had so much information to offer, it was hard for me to choose which ones to attend. Luckily, with the hybrid format, since they were recording, an additional perk offered to all in-person attendees, was the option to view all sessions for no additional cost!
I would have to say my favorite session was the session on internet searches. While this may sound like a pretty routine part of our job, and it is something I do on a regular basis, I had no idea certain sites could be so useful in finding information on people. It was actually a little scary when the presenter had us searching information on ourselves and the website showed how many profiles on each social media site contains my name (it’s a bit harder to weed out
really common names).
There were also sessions on how information from social media can be used to help or hurt a client’s case, how to start a business as a freelance paralegal, a couple sessions on environmental and water law, and cases against governmental employees.
Thursday night held the Affiliated Associations Showcase, and it was amazing to have a night to mingle with associations from around the country and see what they do.
Friday was the installation of NALA officers (congrats to Bridget Stuhr on her new role as Affiliated Associations Director!!) which was great to attend and see the new Board of Directors take their oaths. Debra Overstreet is now the President of NALA with Cheryl Nodarse as the Vice-President, Peonca Grier as Secretary, and Debby Sawyer as Treasurer. Congratulations to all those ladies!
I had such a great time, learned a lot of new information, and met some really great people. I highly encourage anyone who has a chance to attend a NALA seminar to go.
~by Jessica McArdle, CP, 2021-2022 NALA Liaison
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 10
Do you have any STUDENT NEWS? Please send any news to Kim Brown, In Brief Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
College of Saint Marry
December 12-15—Finals Week
December 16—End of Fall Semester
December 17—Fall Commencement
January 23—Undergraduate Day and Evening Classes Begin
January 25—Last Day to Drop/Add/Late Registration
March 6-10—Registration for Fall 2022
March 13-17—Mid-Term Week
Questions about the Paralegal Program at College of Saint Mary’s? Visit the site here
Metropolitan Community College News Academic Calendar
December 21—Last Class Day before Holiday Recess
December 24-Jan 2—Holiday Recess/College Closed
January 16—Martin Luther King Recess/College Closed February 27—Classes End
March 9—Classes Begin April 8-9—Spring Recess
Questions about the Legal Studies & Paralegal Program at MCC? Visit the site here
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 11
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 12
METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE PARALEGAL FORUM RECAP
Thank you to all who attended NePA’s Fall Paralegal Forum at Metropolitan Community College! Approximately 25 students attended the evening’s forum. The evening began with pizza, desserts, and soda provided by NePA to all attendees, then a fun ice-breaker game, followed by the panel of paralegals answering questions posed by Moderator, Amber Roberts, ACP. The panel consisted of Andria Bell, Sara DeFrancesco, Katie Gabriel, and Kim Brown. NePA also provided gift-cards to students who attended and participated in the ice-breaker game!
All of the panelists gave a brief introduction of their history, and also answered questions such as:
If you could go back in time, is there anything about your career journey you would change and why?
What are the benefits of being a member in NePA and getting involved?
What are a few key skills you think are imperative to being a great paralegal?
Do you have formal education to be a paralegal? Has it helped you in your career and if so, how?
What are the benefits of being a member in NePA and getting involved?
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 13
METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE PARALEGAL FORUM RECAP
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 14
Andrew Sagaartz, JD—Former MCC Paralegal Program Director
MCC Student Association President
Each of these students graciously provided a recap of their internship to the attendees
FALL SEMINAR RECAP
Thank you to all who attended NePA’s hybrid 2022 Fall Seminar on September 14-15, 2022 at the Scott Conference Center. We had 38 in-person and 24 virtual attendees each day! THANK YOU to the CLE Committee for planning the Seminar and making it a fun event for everyone! Our speakers were top-of-the-line and entertaining!
Erin Tangeman, Assistant Attorney General covered the Criminal Appellate Brief Process.
Maegan Woita, Assistant Attorney General & Joshua Dethlefsen, Assistant Attorney General covered recent changes in Environmental Law.
Kris Krupka, Paralegal at Baird Holm, LLP, presented a topic she is personally passionate about: When Personal Harassment Bleeds into the Workplace.
Tara Paulson and Mark Fahleson, attorneys from Rembolt Ludtke covered an entertaining topic, Internal Investigations entitled: Nancy Drew Meets Elle Woods: Practical Tips for Conducting Workplace Investigations.
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 16
FALL SEMINAR RECAP (Cont.)
Nathan Patterson & Beau Morgan covered Estates and Trusts 101.
Joy Suder, Director of the Juvenile Justice Legal Clinic at Creighton University covered a sensitive yet informative topic: Representing Youth in the Legal System.
Ryan Sothan, Outreach Coordinator presented—Protect the Good Life: The 2022 Nebraska Scams and Fraud Education (SAFE) Update
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 17
FALL SEMINAR RECAP (Cont.)
DAY TWO (Cont.)
Amber Roberts, ACP presented Quiet Quitting: Mental Health & Setting Boundaries
Jennifer Bear Eagle introduced the unique aspects of Tribal Law, particularly as it relates to Federal cases.
Rick Jeffries gave the most recent update in eDiscovery, Overbroad and Unduly Burdensome: Discovery in the Gigabyte era.
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 18
FALL SEMINAR RECAP (cont.)
As always, we couldn’t do what we do without our wonderful sponsors. We enjoyed having Tom Woodrome of Capitol Services back in person with us at the Scott Conference Center NePA gave away gift cards as door prizes and gave away our centerpieces to those who attended in person. Finally, Tina Mauch of Great Plains Reporting had two wonderful prizes: tickets to the Luke Combs concert and a beautiful Kate Spade bag for two of our lucky attendees! A huge THANK YOU to our sponsors.
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 19
FALL SEMINAR RECAP (cont.)
NePA also held its Annual Membership Meeting and installed the new Board of Directors. If you missed the meeting and would like more information regarding the business conducted, please contact our President, Andria Bell, at email@example.com. Here are some pictures of the Annual Meeting!
Long time NePA member and Past-President, Janie Boswell inducting the current board of directors. This is the first year in at least 27 years that NePA will have a District IV Director! Welcome to the Board Briana! Thank you for stepping up and volunteering for NePA!
(See the next page for an introduction of the Board Members.)
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 20
Angel Younger, Past-President, conducting the business portion of the meeting.
FALL SEMINAR RECAP (cont.)
2022-2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
In order from right to left: Janie Boswell, Andria Bell, Jessica McArdle, Amber Roberts, Bridget DeLeo, Deb O’Brien, Angel Younger, Jayce LaFayetteDymakek, and Briana Stelling
President: Andria Bell, Burlington Capital, firstname.lastname@example.org
President Elect: Jessica McArdle, Koley Jessen PC LLO, email@example.com
Past President: Amy Maduka, ACP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership Director: Deb O’Brien, Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, email@example.com
Secretary: Bridget DeLeo, Legal Aid of Nebraska, firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Amber Roberts, ACP, Kiewit Corporation, email@example.com
Public Relations Director: Kayleigh Mashek, Rembolt Ludtke, firstname.lastname@example.org
District I Director: Caryn Redding, Whitmore Law Office, email@example.com
District II Director: Jacye LaFayette-Dymakek, firstname.lastname@example.org
District IV Director: Briana Stelling, Toschall & Sholes PC, LLO, email@example.com
Publications Editor: Kim Brown, Baird Holm, LLP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Technology Director: Smith Pauley LLP, email@example.com
NALA Liaison: Angel Younger, Kutak Rock, LLP, firstname.lastname@example.org
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 21
August 23, 2022 Ramzi Hynek –What Happens When You Die Without a Will – Celebrity Edition
By Karen M. Rowe
On August 23, we heard from Ramzi J. Hynek with Rembolt Ludtke LLP in Lincoln. Ramzi spoke about intestacy matters and what happens when people die without having a Will. Some of the interesting facts were that according to a 2016 Gallup poll 44 percent of Americans don’t have a Will, the older a person is, the more likely they are to have a Will. Along with age, annual household income is another comparison 55 percent of Americans with annual incomes of $75,000 or more have Wills compared to 31 percent of those with incomes of less than $30,000. One other comparison is that 61 percent of Americans with postgraduate education have a Will compared to 32 percent of those with a high school education.
Using fun information on celebrities who did not have Wills when they died as examples, Ramzi gave information for some of the reasons people die intestate (without a Will) including perceived lack of assets, misinformation about the of importance of post death distributions, indifference and cost. Along with some terminology, we learned that there are several problems that come with intestacy including family conflict, loss of choice of guardians for children and personal representative, and assets going to people the deceased would not have chosen.
April 14, 2023:
Mid-Year Meeting and Spring Seminar
June 14, 2023: Diversity and Inclusion Event (Scott Conference Center) (CLE)
July 8, 2023: Relay for Life (Stinson Park) September 20-21, 2023: Annual Meeting and Fall Seminar (Scott Conference Center) (CLE)
VOLUME MMXXII, ISSUE 2 Page 23
DISTRICT I & II UPDATE