PA R A L E G A LVO I C E A
P U B L I C AT I O N
AT T O R N E Y S
I N F O R M AT I O N
E X C H A N G E
G R O U P
/ M A R C H 2 0 2 1 / Q U A R T E R LY J O U R N A L F O R A I E G PA R A L E G A L S
Meg Hartnett, Paralegal Subgroup Chair
MEET THE PA R A L E G A L O F THE YEAR Reina Trucchio Williams Brittany Freeman & Monica Heuman Kelley | Uustal
Those who know Reina Trucchio Williams, know a paralegal with vast knowledge and a desire to see others in her field succeed. Reina is never shy about sharing knowledge, and she continually lifts those around her to
Meet the Paralegal of the Year
My First Paralegal Symposium & Synergy
Surviving Case Photos for the Faint of Heart
My Experience with the SmartDrive Player
do better and be better. Co-workers describe her as a role model, someone who is very loyal with a positive attitude and willingness to jump into any task or project. But Reina is not just a phenomenal paralegal and advocate for the injured. She is a wife, a mother, a friend and someone one knows they can count on. Meet Reina Trucchio Williams, the 2021 AIEG Paralegal of the Year! Reina grew up in Hialeah, Florida, and is the oldest of three girls. She attended American Senior High School, where she met her future husband, Ray, in
Reina with Kelley | Uustal law partners Bob Kelley and John Uustal.
their freshman year art class. She found her way into
she could immediately locate it. If a witness said
the legal field the summer before her junior year. At
something, she would often hand the attorneys a
that time, she started as an office clerk at George
document they did not even recall existed. After this
Hartz Lundee Flagg & Fulmer, a large insurance
case, she passionately continued to work on product
defense firm in Miami.
defect matters and handled all aspect of her team’s litigation inventory.
After graduating from high school, she joined George Hartz full-time as a junior secretary. While working
Her success in working with Mr. Kelley and Mr. Uustal
there, she obtained her paralegal certification from
helped Reina and Ray move to Southwest Ranches,
Florida International University. Her focus soon
where they still live today. Ray is an electrician at
became high volume mass tort cases, including
his own company, and the couple have two girls,
asbestos and tobacco cases.
Carly and Emmy. Carly is interested in filmmaking and will study neuroscience in college, and Emmy is
In 1996, Reina switched to plaintiffs’ work as she
a cheerleader who also has her own business as a
began working at Sheldon J. Schlesinger, P.A. She
nail tech. Dash, their chihuahua, sometimes makes
was hired by Robert W. Kelley and joined his team
an appearance in Reina’s Zoom background if she is
with associate John J. Uustal. During Reina’s first
on team meetings from her kitchen.
year, she handled her first trial with Mr. Kelley and Mr. Uustal, a six-month long battle against General
Reina enjoyed working with Mr. Kelley and Mr. Uustal
Motors. The client they were fighting for was one
so much that in 2006, she helped them build their
of Reina’s teachers from high school. John Uustal
new law firm, Kelley | Uustal. While continuing to be
recalls Reina being so proud to tell her old boss that
an advocate for the injured and assist the attorneys
she was working 20 hours a day and barely getting
in every aspect of litigation, Reina also plays a critical
any sleep. In the courtroom, they had hundreds of
administrative role. She created, implemented and
thousands of documents that General Motors had
continues to train employees on the “KU Way,” the
produced. Reina not only knew where every piece of
firm’s systems and processes. Reina constantly looks
paper was, but she also knew each document inside
for ways to work more efficiently, including seeking
and out. Whenever the attorneys needed something,
feedback as to what the legal staff feels is and is not
working. She does not let the firm’s systems and
effort, is contagious. Reina’s passion influences
processes get complacent, especially when it comes
everyone she touches and makes us all better at
to client experience. Reina continuously implements
what we do.” This is most exemplified by her being
new and improved ways to give the clients the best
awarded the Kelley Uustal Straitjacket Award, a firm
experience during one of the most difficult times of
distinction for a team member who does something
truly “insane” for a client (she was literally given a straitjacket as her trophy!). Leading up to this award,
As Kelley | Uustal moved into the remote world, Reina
Reina had spent many late nights at the office
worked with each team and took in all the input she
fighting for a little boy with a closed head injury. She
could to ensure the transition was smooth and as
missed plenty of family dinners during this time, but
easy and user friendly as possible. She is the one
she would not stop—could not stop—and in the end,
who all turn to when they are frustrated, confused
it was worth it. Reina helped save the little boy’s life.
or having an issue.
Helping those who most need help is her favorite part of the job.
Attorney Peter Spills shared the following regarding Reina: “Reina is the emotional soul of our firm. Her
Outside of the firm, Reina is part of AIEG. In that
compassion for our clients, and her dedication to
role, she has spread her knowledge about litigation,
doing right by them, no matter the cost in time or
best practices and systems and processes. She is also a Mentor for the Broward College Paralegal Program. Through this program, she provides resources, guidance, and knowledge to the next generation of paralegals coming into the work force by teaming up with a paralegal student each semester. One of Reina’s least favorite things is when she is stressed and feels like she isn’t getting anything done. To help combat stress and feelings of unproductivity associated with that, Reina loves doing yoga and enjoys anything that allows her to be out in the Florida sun. Her family goes to Fort Wilderness at Disney every year. Reina appreciates opportunities to be out in nature and disconnect from her phone and the crazy world back at home. Reina has two younger sisters whom she helped raise, and who now have daughters as well. Reina calls her family her “Girl Tribe.” She also sees her work family as her “K|U Tribe.” She will do anything for her tribe, whether it is the one at home, or at work. John Uustal
Reina and her family (Ray, Carly & Emmy)
fondly said about Reina: “She is insanely loyal to her ParalegalVoice
people, so once you get accepted into her circle, you
questioned on an expert’s phone number or case
are very lucky. She will sacrifice so much to help you.
description just on the tip of one’s tongue, Reina can
She does this for everyone on her team. And she can
remember it immediately, even if the information
go crazy on people outside her team who threaten
was from 20 years ago.
her people. When she was younger, people would say that it was Reina going nuclear. You better hope
Reina Trucchio Williams exemplifies all the qualities
she never goes nuclear on you.”
an AIEG Paralegal of the Year recipient should have – compassion, selflessness, and steadfast
Everyone at Kelley | Uustal knows Reina will fight
determination to continue to learn and share
for them. Her door is always open, and attorneys
knowledge with all.
and staff know they can always turn to Reina and
mother, a friend and a mentor. Those who have had
her knowledge. Her office is the place to go when
the opportunity work with her, hear her speak, and
there is an issue with the case management system,
learn from her are undoubtedly better paralegals and
or when someone is stuck and in need of a friendly
people as a result. At the same time Reina stands
smile and sounding board. No one ever leaves Reina’s
ready to create a whirlwind to help her tribe on
office feeling discouraged. Quite the opposite; one
everyday emergencies, she also serves as the zen
feels empowered, encouraged and reminded of who
at the office; she has the calming energy, the deep
they are fighting for. Reina never lets anyone give up.
breaths, and the reassuring mantra that all have
Beyond her commitment to help others, her ability to
come to recognize and embrace: It’s all good. It’s
recall information is impressive. For example, when
gonna be good.
Reina is a leader, a wife, a
Congratulations to Reina Trucchio Williams:
2021 Sharon T. Russell Paralegal of the Year! Reina was nominated by her peers and awarded this honor during the 2021 Virtual Paralegal Seminar on Feb. 4, 2021. Thank you, Reina, for everything you do for AIEG!
My First AIEG Paralegal Symposium
and "Synergy" Cynthia Garcia Tinsman & Sciano
recently attended my first AIEG Paralegal
The Webster’s dictionary defines synergy as “a
Symposium. I gained useful knowledge from
mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility
the speakers and paralegal community eager
of distinct business participants or elements (such as
to share their ideas and experiences. The
resources or efforts.)” The AIEG paralegal symposium
word synergy came to mind when I reflected
offered advantageous elements specific to paralegals.
on the symposium and how AIEG promoted that
Professionals in various roles (attorney, nurse, paralegal)
synergy. Synergy and AIEG is what my article is about.
imparted knowledge and answers to questions we may
"Attending an AIEG symposium is another opportunity to gain knowledge and resources from distinct speakers. The AIEG paralegal symposium promoted synergy by raising the bar of our legal career." or may not have thought about. The legal field is a
realized who the introverts and extroverts were in my
relatively easy career to get into. Hands-on learning,
life. I learned different ways to approach the introvert.
mentors, and collaborating with seasoned paralegals
Tamara’s presentation was an eye opener. At the end
in the field are just a few ways to becoming a key
of her segment, Tamara invited the attendees to take a
player to your attorney and team. There are lots of
test which determined our “why” as in why we do the
questions in the beginning and, no doubt, throughout
things we do. This was called our Enneagram. I enjoyed
your career. If the attorney you work for is a great
watching the chat room light up with people posting
teacher (they do exist), you are in luck and will go far in
about their Enneagram type result. I am a Type 7 which
your career. Attending an AIEG symposium is another
is an Entertaining Optimist. Just call me the law firm
opportunity to gain knowledge and resources from
distinct speakers. The third area in which the AIEG Paralegal Symposium The AIEG paralegal symposium promoted synergy
promoted synergy was in promoting an opportunity to
by raising the bar of our legal career. Attorney Kevin
help others. Jamie Schiesler with the Furguson Law Firm
Smith and Nurse Paralegal Cynthia Mazzuto from Lytal,
spoke on auto and trucking accidents. Listening to her
Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath spoke on being armed
experiences from past cases helped me tremendously.
with knowledge and I wholly agree. Knowledge is
Jamie exemplified this concept by sharing forms, her
power, but what we do with that knowledge is key. Mr.
email address, and what she has learned along the way.
Smith spoke about being armed with knowledge when
One of my many take-aways from Jamie’s talk was
you get a referral and most importantly, never pass up
her statement “the early bird gets the worm” and the
a referral. Arm yourself and be prepared ahead of time
example she provided was on point.
by having an outline ready. Mr. Smith said you never know when your next referral will turn into your next
The final area AIEG Paralegal Symposium promoted
big and prestigious case. So, be ready.
synergy was in elevating the paralegal community as a whole. There was something to be gained from each
The second area in which the AIEG Paralegal
speaker. I walked away from the symposium with new
Symposium promoted synergy is in intellectual
knowledge which elevated my role as a paralegal. I
knowledge — about ourselves. Tamara Brininger with
highly encourage you to attend the next symposium or
Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy spoke on working
seminar and engage in the synergy that is AIEG.
with introverts. While I was listening to her speak, I 6
Surviving the Case Photos for the Faint of Heart
Surviving the Case Photos for the Faint of Heart Ashley Bosch Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Harrington, P.C.
started telling myself I had an aversion to unsightly imagery at the age of 16. It all started with a sack of potatoes. I reached my hand in and pulled out this seemingly healthy-looking potato covered in sprouts. I instantly dropped that potato as the cold sweats came over me and the nausea set in. This probably seems like an exaggerated overreaction to handling slightly aged potatoes. It was not the handling that got to me, it was the sight of sprout shaped appendages growing where they did not
belong. The feeling could only be described as a mix of utter disgust and terror. I never wanted to experience it again.
Ever since that day I have gone out of my way to avoid
it until I realized that is just how it looks, and it is natural.
the trigger. For some reason I have not been able to completely avoid potatoes with sprouts and each
I think my original observation that I had an aversion to
encounter has triggered the same reaction. First, I feel
unsightly imagery was a more accurate description of
hot, then freezing cold as the sweat starts to pour. Then
my issues. With the potatoes, it was something about
I feel sick to my stomach and unsteady on my feet. The
the way those knobby sprouts were growing where
feeling always passes quickly, basically as soon as the
they did not belong, that just made me feel ill. To me
potatoes are out of sight.
this was unsightly, but if I could convince myself it was not unsightly, then I could get over it. I did this by
A few years back a photo of a lotus seed pod
reminding myself that these are just potatoes that are
superimposed on human body parts started trending
past their prime and have gone through some changes,
on social media. Lotus seed pods appear to be a disk-
and this is exactly how they are supposed to look at
shaped plant with clusters of round seeds that cover
this stage. Rationalizing the image in that way made
the face of the plant. I unwittingly stumbled upon it
me feel like I should be fine with looking at it and the
and had a familiar unpleasant reaction. I started doing
irrational feelings I used to have subsided.
a little research at that point. I needed to know why I had such an overreaction to these odd images and why
This sort of desensitizing mechanism I developed for
was someone trying to torture me on the Internet?
myself continued to be useful as I entered my career as a paralegal. One of the main reasons I don’t feel like
The answer to the second part of my question is most
I fit the mold of the Trypophobic is that I’m also highly
likely that someone came across images known to
sensitive to images of blood, injuries and medical
trigger Trypophopia and thought it would be funny to
procedures etcetera. This type of aversion seems to
make a bunch of us queasy. The answer to the first part
be unrelated and lends one to believe that maybe I am
was that, and at the risk of sounding like I self-diagnosed
just a little on the sensitive side. Whatever you call it, I
myself, I may have suffered from Trypophobia.
needed to get over the distress that came with viewing unsightly images. I worked at a personal injury firm,
Trypophobia is not an officially recognized phobia
and I was going to see some things. Now I have done
and I would only go so far as to say I had some similar
no research on whether this is a legitimate method of
reactions to the common triggers. Healthline defines
coping with my issue, it just simply works for me.
it as “The fear or disgust of closely packed holes.” I did have the same sort of physically ill feeling response to
I convince myself the same thing about the injury
the lotus seed pod as I did to the sprouted potatoes, but
photos as I do with the sprouted potatoes. What I am
I think it was mostly because the image reminded me
looking at is natural, and real, and looks exactly the way
of sprouted potatoes and the feeling that comes along
it should, given the circumstances. An intraoperative
with it. I realized quickly that the more I read about
photo of a dog bite victim is supposed to have blood
Trypophobia, the more I was just trying to convince
and bone and flaps of skin. My physical and emotional
myself I had it. I started to look at the lotus seed pod
reaction to it though, does not have to be one of
more and tell myself, “It’s just a plant.” The computer
disgust or fear. I can disassociate my initial reaction to
images started to feel distant and less shocking. When I
the image and mentally mark it as non-provoking and
would see one in nature, I would force myself to stare at
continue with my day.
Carmen Scott Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball
recently had encountered a case wherein I had
operating a Company vehicle. It also records for one
to become familiar with a SmartDrive Player.
hour after the ignition is turned off.
A SmartDrive Player is a video-based safety program. Some trucks and/or tractor-trailers
Our case surrounds a delivery truck driver running over
have in-cab inboard and outboard cameras
a pedestrian and failing to stop and render aid. Our
that record audio-videos of events. The system records
client died and as a result, we have sued the driver and
when it is activated and triggered by G-forces, speeding,
the company for wrongful death damages and claims.
erratic movement, or the manual button. If a driver hits
When you open the SmartDrive player, it displays
the manual button when an event occurs, the camera
three tabbed menu items to the left side of the screen,
will record 10 seconds prior and 10 seconds after the
“Event Properties”, “Event List” and “Review.” The Event
event. Companies use it to facilitate the assessment of
Properties tab shows you the Event ID by listing out a
vehicle operations as well as hazards associated with
Camera Serial Number. The Event List tab shows you ParalegalVoice
what particular video file is being viewed and/or played.
Player. The videos were produced in what appears
The Review tab lists out any items that happened during
to be an Adobe Acrobat format. Although, you can
that 30-second time frame. The SmartDrive Player also
only open the files through the SmartDrive Player.
has a horizontal split-screen. The top of the screen
The SmartDrive video files are named in such a
shows you your videos. You can change the settings
way they show Camera Serial Number, 4-digit
to review one camera at a time or up to four cameras
year, 2-digit month, 2-digit day, 6 digit time, 4
depending on how many cameras your particular truck
digit sequence number, the letters CDR and with a
has. There is a scrubber bar that allows you to play/
file extension “.sde.” The file name looked like this:
pause the video. It will also let you play the video at 1X,
2X, or 3X speed. The SmartDrive Player also shows a
down you have: ABCD = Camera Serial Number; 2019
dashboard panel that shows safety system information
= 4-digit year; 01 = 2-digit month; and, 01 = 2-digit
from the vehicle which includes: brake, ABS, ATC,
day. The 6-digit time was time listed within the file
throttle, Eng Load, PTO, Engine, RPMs, MPH, and the
time video clip but it did not represent the actual
trucks forward/backward side-to-side orientation.
start time and/or end time. We were also produced
The bottom of the screen shows a “Map” tab which is
extracted files during our defendant driver’s shift
a Google map of the truck’s location during that time
which had a four-digit prefix, a dash, and a four-digit
frame of the video clip and the second tab next to the
ending. What I found in our case is that the video files
“Map” tab is a “Chart” tab which displays any two of
were not in sequential order. They appeared to be by
the following options at a time: Speed, Acceleration,
the ending sequence number but they were not in
RPM, Throttle, Active Safety. To the right of the screen,
order. As for the extracted files, these files were also
it shows a file folder icon button which will allow you to
inverted according to time. I organized, according
retrieve files to play through the SmartDrive Player. You
to time, over 2,700 videos. Each video provided
can select several videos to play at once by highlighting
to us was in 30-second increments. I inserted the
them and selecting “Open” but you will have to hit a
beginning time and ending time in front of each
right arrow next to the file icon to play the next video.
named file to see exactly what we had by moving the
It does not automatically play the next video unless it is
scrubber bar to the beginning of the video clip and
asked to do so. There is also an icon next to the folder
moving it to the end of the video clip. It displays the
icon which will allow you to view the full screen.
time in the hour, minute, and second and millisecond
format (i.e. 3:10:42.00 am). I had to insert the actual
There is a settings button located at the top right of
beginning time and end time to each of our files to
the screen which looks like a gear icon. It has several
see exactly what we had and what we were missing.
different display options. From the actual display,
For example, I renamed my files to read: 3104200-
resolution, vehicle speed, and gauges. There is also a
3111200. This represented [3:10:42.00 a.m. -
view button under that which allows you to watch the
3:11:12.00 a.m.]. Because we cannot use special
video side-by-side or one on top of the other. Once
characters to name a file in MSWord, I omitted the
again, depending on how many cameras your truck has,
colons and millisecond time divider.
you can watch 1-4 videos at a time. This was something I found perplexing and interesting In our case, defense counsel produced various
and hope it helps you in your paralegal endeavors if you
videos that can only be played through a SmartDrive
ever have an encounter with the SmartDrive Player.
AIEG Book Review Series #5 By: Tamara Brininger and Paralegal Contributors I hope that everyone who attended the AIEG virtual paralegal conference, from the baby paralegals to those senior paralegals, all realize how important it is to continue to grow personally and professionally. The conference reminded us all that this group is passionate about doing just that. What better way to grow than to read or listen to a good book. See the following for a few book reviews to inspire you.
The Fall of the House of Zeus written by Curtis Wilke Review by Reina Trucchio Williams The Fall of the House of Zeus is a true story about a prominent and successful trial lawyer in Mississippi, Mr. Dickie Scruggs. He’s known as “The King of Torts”, having handled mass torts cases long before other firms were involved. His brotherin-law was the majority leader of the US Senate. Early in his career, Mr. Scruggs represented shipyard workers who were diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos. Later on, he played a key role in the dream team who first went up against Big Tobacco on behalf of the states to recover health care costs associated with smoking-related illnesses. Even later in his career, before things went off track, Mr. Scruggs represented the people who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina, whose insurance claims were being denied. He found a couple of whistleblowers who revealed the insurance companies were altering documents to reflect a different cause of all the damage, which provided a way for them to deny coverage. How does Mr. Scruggs end up being indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, you’re wondering? I don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s just say it happens around the time the lawyers start disputing how to split the millions of dollars in fees resulting from the Hurricane Katrina settlement. So many stories within the main story! So many relationships intertwined between the lawyers and politicians, and other shady characters. It’s just plain scary what money and greed can do. If you’re interested in hearing more about Zeus, you may want to join our virtual book club on April 1st at 6pm EST. Curtis Wilkie is joining us and we expect it’ll be a great discussion. Paralegals are welcome to register! Just email email@example.com.
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in World that Can’t Stop Talking written by Susan Cain Review by Tamara Brininger The author, Susan Cain, is an introvert and an attorney, in a world that overstimulates and drains her. Her book lays the foundation for why introverts struggle in a world bombarded by noise, the need to multitask, networking and being social. She argues that extraverts, as the more talkative and asserted group, are overwhelmingly promoted to supervisors, leaders and to political positions. She rallies through her novel to explain why it is the introverts who are the most creative, innovative and have a unique ability to be a calming force. Her book is cited repeatedly by many other books that have been written since Quiet was published and it has become the go-to source to understand the root of introversion. Whether you are an introvert, who better wants to understand yourself, or you are an extrovert hoping to better understand a friend or co-worker who is an introvert, take the time to absorb this must-read book. I also recommend Creating Introvert-friendly Workplaces, How to Unleash Everyone’s Talent and Performance, by Jennifer Kahweiller, Ph.D. and The Power of Opposites, also by Jennifer Kahweiller. 12
The Nightingale written by Kristin Hannah Review by Doreen Lundrigan This is a historical fiction novel that brings to life the story of two sisters and their struggle to survive the German occupation of France during World War II. Told while alternating between present time and the past, it is gripping. The story covers a time span of a number of years and their progressively challenging lives. Despite their individual challenges, the sisters find in themselves the courage to resist the occupation, and fight for their countrymen and for France. The book was very thought-provoking. I was intrigued by the descriptions of the German occupation, which was something I knew very little about. This was a #1 New York Times bestseller and has won multiple awards. It is also a movie in the making, scheduled to be released by Sony Pictures in 2022. After reading The Nightingale, I have been seeking out other books set during this important period of history.
The Spendid and the Vile written by Erik Larson Review by Stella Vargas The title of this book may be off-putting to some. But read it anyway. The title kept me from reading it for a while but, because it would not go off the best-seller list and was being touted by others I finally picked it up and read it. The book is very appropriate for these times during a pandemic (I don’t think the author, Larsen, could have planned it like this). There are many things one can identify within this book, even though it takes place almost a century ago and is about one year of the blitz in England during World War II. The fact that people were dying horribly, and one could not say with confidence who might be next, and who may be spared, is a feeling that captured my attention and to which I could relate. One can identify with this book and it adds to my understanding of why those of our fellow man still carried on in spite of the danger of being caught in a bombing strike or being exposed to covid, especially the younger set. We are, after all, at our base, only human animals and need the togetherness and camaraderie, to nurture our spirits our souls, our love of life. This book looks intimidating because it is quite lengthy, but never fear, it will keep you engaged, especially if you are a history buff and like learning little-known snippets, i.e. gossip about well-known leaders and their families. The author, ParalegalVoice
Larson, did a lot of work for this book, and the fact that he was given access to people’s diaries for goodness sake… there is some good scoop in there and you’ll have to read the book (or someone else’s review) to get the dirt. The entire book is only about the year of the blitz, so yes, it gets into great detail of these lives (from their candid diary entries). What I learned about Churchill is this: he knew how to put a team together to get things done. He knew how to work with FDR to get him to come around. His team knew how to respond to his quirks, of which he had many. And he knew what words to use to rally a country around to persevere in the midst of utter chaos that was the blitz. The title of the book will make lots of sense when you read the part in the book where the term is used, and most will agree with the description. If you are still not convinced to read this book, read Bill Gates’ review of it. Published in 2020 this book was a #1 New Times best seller and was nominated as one of the best books of the year by multiple organizations.
Afterlife written by Julia Alvarez Review by Stella Vargas Antonia Vega, newly retired from teaching English at the local college in Vermont is suddenly having to learn to live without her partner in life, her husband, a doctor who has died suddenly, leaving her a widow. She tries to soothe some of her grief by reciting lines of her favorite poetry. She tries to make decisions by determining how her husband would approach a problem to solve it. All this gets to be too much some days. Dealing with her neighbors and friends, some who are treating her differently, some who avoid her entirely, sets her into a quandary. Then upon coming home one night, she finds a young girl at her home in the garage. The girl is from Mexico, having been brought over by a “coyote” and is obviously pregnant. Who paid the coyote to bring her? Do you trust your neighbors on the farm next door? Needless to say, there is an argument and Antonia somehow finds herself caught in the middle. Antonia’s life is complicated further when one of her three sisters, goes missing. Yes, sometimes the day is just too full of complications. But Antonia must find a way to make the right – no - the best decisions for herself, since that is the only way she will then be able to help anyone else. This is a good book and can be read in one day. This was a Time Magazine must read book in 2020.
AUTHOR BIOS Brittany Freeman is a paralegal at the Kelley |Uustal law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is on a team whose primary focus is tobacco and other product liability cases, and often joins trial teams to run research for voir dire. She attended American University in Washington, DC and graduated from Florida State University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Outside of work, Brittany enjoys practicing yoga, reading on the beach, and backpacking as a solo traveler. Monica Heuman is a paralegal at Kelley | Uustal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, focusing primarily on litigation and pre-litigation catastrophic personal injury cases. Monica was born in Berwyn, IL, and moved to South Florida as a young girl with her parents and older brother. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts, major in English. Monica is married with two sons. When she is not working, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Cynthia Garcia was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She is a litigation paralegal with the law firm of Tinsman & Sciano, Inc. where they specialize in personal injury trial law. Her career in the legal field began at the age of 23. She has remained in the legal field for the past 30+ years. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, with Honors. She also earned a Minor Degree in Legal Studies, along with a Certificate in Legal Reasoning, from the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Law and Public Affairs. Cynthia is also a member of the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division and the San Antonio Paralegal Association. She enjoys playing golf and has a bucket list to play golf in all 50 states in the US. Ashley Bosch is a paralegal at Fieger Law, P.C., a litigation firm based in Southfield, Michigan. She started her career as a paralegal in the Army in 2009 and wanted to continue working in the legal field when her Army career ended in 2014. She has a four-year-old son named Brody, whom she loves to take skiing in the winter and boating in the summer. Carmen Scott works at the law firm of Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball, LLP. She knew when she heard the word "litigation" in the claims department at American National Insurance Company, that was something she wanted to learn about. A couple of years later, she went to a business school in Houston, Texas and they got her in the door working for a law firm. Upon entering the legal field, she was assigned to data entry, entering attorney timesheets. She did a six-month job in approximately three months. She quickly became very familiar with legal terminology and soaked it all in through the timesheets. The attorneys were so happy with what she had done for them, they asked her if she would like to learn more. She was elated, ready and willing to learn. She has been working in the legal field since 1996 and has continued to work in the field of personal injury litigation. She has been fortunate enough to have worked for some of the most knowledgeable lawyers and is thankful every day for them entrusting her to serve on their teams. Carmen is the mother of two beautiful children: Heather Marie and Michael, who have both served in The United States Navy. She is a very proud Navy Mom. Her daughter graduated from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 2014, and her son is a pandemic graduate of 2020 from Texas A&M University, Galveston. Her daughter’s husband is also in the Navy so she guesses you can say they are a Navy family now. She is also the proud grandmother of two fairly new grandbabies, Carter and Prescott. Carter will be two soon and Prescott will be four months old at the end of March. Carmen's hobbies include cooking, watching cooking shows, gardening, traveling and listening to audiobooks on the way to and from work. Currently, she is listening to “To Kill a Mocking Bird" and says it really is an eye-opener with the state of our nation. She highly recommends it if you haven’t read or heard it in a while. She loves how the book opens, too… “Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.” - Charles Lamb. ParalegalVoice