Volume 33, Number 1
Member of California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA) Member of National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
Inside this issue: President’s Message ........................................................1 OCPA Net Worth ...............................................................2 OCPA Calendar.................................................................3 Article: Practical Pointers for Trial Binders ........................6-7 Article: 10 Toxic Characters Types You’ll Meet on the Job ................................................................9-10 Article: Environmental Law Offers New Opportunity for Paralegals.................................................10-11 CAPA News.......................................................................12 NALA News .......................................................................13 OCPA Board of Directors ..................................................11 OCPA New Member Statistics...........................................15 OCPA Corporate Sponsors, Sustaining Members.............16
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE The Orange County Paralegal Association’s January retreat was held on January 14, 2012 at Boomer’s in Irvine. The 2012 board of directors and volunteers had a blast not only planning all of our goals for the year but also in a rousing game of laser tag. Some of my 2012 goals are to continue with my 2011 goals, hold new member meetings and continue our partnership with the Orange County Food Bank. See the Orange County Food Bank article in this issue for volunteer dates for 2012. Also, don’t forget we will continue to collect canned goods at all of our General Meetings this year. Additionally, I will be working with board members to create a new format for the Compendium and emails that are sent out to everyone regarding upcoming events.
At the retreat, the board of directors voted to withdraw OCPA’s membership from CAPA, which is further addressed in the CAPA article in this issue. February Kick-Off General Meeting: On Wednesday, February 8, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Mari Frank, Esq. will discuss “Identity Theft: Protecting Yourself, Your Clients and Your Office” at the Radisson Hotel Newport Beach. The cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members and includes dinner and 1.0 unit of continuing ethics education. See the flyer for more details. Don’t forget this is your compliance year. You need 4.0 hours of general law and 4.0 hours of ethics by the end of 2012 to stay in compliance as a paralegal. New Member Meetings: Are you a new member of the OCPA who would like to find out more about the organization and all of its benefits? Please join us on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. for the first New Member Meeting of the year held at Masson & Fatini, LLP. See the website for more details and to RSVP. Volunteers: Would you like to volunteer and get more involved with the OCPA? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The articles contained in this publication have been prepared for and are intended to provide information useful to members of the Orange County Paralegal Association (OCPA) and the legal professional community, at-large. The information presented is not to be taken as legal advice nor do the views represent a statement of OCPA policy. Cover Art: Courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
General Meeting OCFB Food Drive
Identity Theft-Protecting Yourself, Your Clients and Your Office!
Radisson Hotel, Newport Beach
THANK YOU!!! And Let’s Do It Again! Contributed by Cynthia Mascio, ACP, CAS
OCPA Pro Bono/Community Service Chair As you know, the OCPA partnered with the Orange County Food Bank for 2011 in its efforts to stop hunger in Orange County. We gathered canned goods generously donated by our members at each of our General Meetings and several members experienced the joy of giving when we volunteered to help box food for Orange County senior citizens five Saturday mornings in 2011 at the distribution center of the Orange County Food Bank in Garden Grove. What an amazing experience to be a part of helping to feed the poor. At our Annual Meeting in November, OCPA raffled an iPad2 for the benefit of the OCFB. I am excited to report that we raised over $2,500 to donate to the Food Bank. Many thanks to those of you who participated in the raffle, and especially to several of OCPA’s loyal sponsors and friends of OCPA who donated money for the purchase of the iPad2. OCPA will continue its partnership with the Orange County Food Bank through 2012. Once again, we will collect canned goods at each of our General Meetings. We will also volunteer our time at the Food Bank’s distribution center on the following Saturdays in 2012: March 10, May 5, July 14, September 15 and November 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.. If you are interested in participating in the volunteer work days, please contact me at email@example.com. We are limited to 20 volunteers so sign up as soon as you can for the dates that you want to participate. If you are unable to help with the physical part of OCPA’s giving back to the community, OCPA has set up a “Virtual Donation” account with the OC Food Bank. The following link will take you to OCPA’s Virtual Drive. http:// vad.aidmatrix.org/vadxml.cfm?driveid=4949. Any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated. In addition to these activities, I am asking all OCPA members to collect travel size personal care items from hotels throughout the year. At the end of the year, I hope to be able to fill many baskets for the poor containing these personal care items along with other necessities for the homeless such as flashlights, batteries, etc. THANK YOU for all that you gave during 2011. Now let’s do it again and make our 2012 giving even better!!!
Practical Pointers for Trial Binders
trying to find something to present to the jury.
Contributed by Barbara Haubrich-Hass, ACP/CAS
The size of the binder will depend on the type of I haven’t met a litigation trial lawyer yet that doesn’t trial and the volume of documents, but it is very use trial binders. In fact, binderizing a complex case possible that more than one binder may be needed. If this is the case, it is helpful to make every binder from the date of inception is a great way to help the same size and color, clearly labeled on the exteyour attorney stay organized. rior of the content and volume number. It is also imWhat are trial binders? portant to label the binder with the attorney’s name and contact information, in the event the binder is A trial binder is a binder where various documents misplaced. are organized, properly tabbed, and indexed at the direction of the attorney. There isn’t just one way to On smaller trial cases, my trial attorney prefers one organize a trial binder; they can be as diverse as the binder to be set up in the order below. This seems personality of the attorney using them. like a lot, but organized it easily fits into one binder. Will any binder do? My attorney prefers, and I have always used, Bindertek binders. They are very sturdy and designed around law office functionality. Bindertek binders come in all sorts of sizes, colors, shapes, and number of hole-punches. I personally prefer the binders that have the two-hole punch on the left side. I find the two-hole punch binders easier to flip the documents, and less damaging to the documents that are placed in the binders. Other features that I like about Bindertek binders is the clamp that secures the documents in place, and the circular hole in the back making it easy to pick up or pull out of cabinets. When do you start to prepare the binders? In a typical trial case, I start organizing the binders the moment the case is set for trial. However, in larger cases, I will begin to organize the entire file in binders at the date of inception of the case. It all depends on the complexity of the case and the volume of documents that need to be organized. How do you organize the binder? There is not a right or wrong way to organize a trial binder. What works for one attorney, may not work for another. I cannot emphasize this enough: All binders that will be used by an attorney must be organized around the way the attorney thinks, not the way the paralegal wants to organize the binder. Never lose sight that ultimately it is the attorney who will have to find the documents in court. You do not want your attorney flipping through binders
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Notes Voir Dire Opening Statement Closing Statement Direct Examination/Cross Examination Notices to Appear/Subpoenas Damages
Plaintiff(s)’ Pretrial Documents, including separate tabs for the Statement of the Case, Witness List, Exhibit List, Jury Instructions, Motions in Limine, Briefs, and Orders. Defendant(s)’ 1; Pretrial Documents, including separate tabs for the Statement of the Case, Witness List, Exhibit List, Jury Instructions, Motions in Limine, Briefs, and Orders.
1. Plaintiff(s)’ K Expert Witnesses 2. Defendant(s)’ Expert Witnesses Deposition Summaries On moderate to larger cases, I will have multiple binders organized by groups of documents. For example, separate binders for:
1. Notes, Voir Dire, Opening Statement, Closing Statement, Direct Examination/Cross Examination by witness, and Notices to Appear/Subpoenas. 2. Pretrial documents (sometimes each party has their own Pretrial binder). 3. Expert witness exchange that includes the exchange and any supplemental exchange, CV and fee schedule for each expert, any reports generated by that expert, and attorney notes.
taining an expert binder is extremely useful, particularly when it comes time to designate expert witnesses.
4. Condensed deposition transcripts and deposition summaries. 5. Medical records. Discovery with each party having their own binder. My attorney does not like the pleadings placed in binders, but there are many attorneys that prefer the entire file be organized in binders. Again, you are organizing the binders around the needs of the attorney. If there are a large number of exhibits to be marked during the course of a trial, my attorney will ask that I make an exhibit binder tabbed in the order the exhibits will be marked during trial. I will then make an exhibit binder for all of the attorneys and the judge to use during trial. If your attorney is comfortable with computers, some attorneys prefer to useelectronic trial notebooks, with folders on a computer organized in the same manner that you would have had the documents been organized in a binder.
Barbara Haubrich is an Advanced Certified Paralegal in Trial Practices and Wrongful Death. She is also a California Advanced Specialist in Civil Litigation. Barbara is the creator and author of The California Litigator, a website that is designed to provide resources and facilitate discussions relating to California state civil litigation. The California Litigator includes a bi-weekly e-zine on all topics relating to civil litigation. Additionally, Barbara is the owner and creator of Deadline Direct, a downloadable deadline calculating gadget for your Microsoft 7 or Vista computers. Deadline Direct is a handy tool that gives you all the options you need in calculating deadlines and syncs a note field with the calculation to Microsoft Outlook as a task, calendar event, or email.
Other ways to use binders throughout a case include: In document intense cases, binders can be used to organize the discovery documents for use during deposition. In cases where a large number of depositions have been taken, binders can be used to organize condensed deposition transcripts, accompanied by the deposition summary or attorney notes. In cases where there has been a large investigation, placing the investigation material in a binder is extremely helpful to an attorney. This has proven very helpful when a CalOSHA investigation has been conducted or a large volume of photographs have been obtained. In cases where there has been large volumes of discovery exchanged, binders can be used to organize the discovery by party. In cases with large volumes of medical records, it is helpful to organize the records in binders by medical providers. Organizing subpoenaed records in binders makes for quick reference and location of documents. In cases with numerous expert witnesses, mainPage 7
10 Toxic Character Types You’ll Meet on the Job Contributed by Jeannie Sapp Johnston
Our friends over at TechRepublic have hit the nail on the head again with this wonderful offering by Alan Norton that can easily apply to Paralegals and law firms. No doubt you’ve run across the kid who doesn’t play well with others. There’s the kid who cheats in sports. There’s the neighbor who came up with bizarre ways to play Monopoly and claims “house rules” so he can win. Those kids eventually grow up and, unfortunately, may haul their interpersonal baggage with them. In a previous article, I listed 10 things that define a true professional. It is a pleasure working with professionals. It is a pain having to work with adults who behave like children and who are disguised as professionals. Think of the 10 toxic character types listed below as the antithesis of the true professional. 1: The poor sport Just like the kid who picks up the football and goes home, the poor sport sulks and runs away, or threatens to. He is angry and hasn’t gotten his way so what better way to punish those involved than to remove himself from the game? In this kind of game, everyone loses. 2: The spoiled brat The spoiled brat has always gotten his way in the past. He sees little need to put in his time to climb the ladder of success. Although he has little experience, he believes he has been mistreated because he has not been promoted. He resents those above him who tell him what to do. Good luck to the boss who has to ask any task of him. The spoiled brat is likely to have a temper tantrum unless and until he gets his way. 3: The wizard The wizard is knowledgeable and clever. He’s good and he knows it. Input from others is just a waste of his time. His hubris is so ingrained that
there isn’t the slightest possibility that he could be wrong — that kind of thinking went away with his humility long ago. He never explains how he accomplishes his magic because there is too big a risk that his mystical, wizard-like aura would be destroyed in a moment. He dare not allow reality to intercede and remove him from his lofty perch on the pedestal of misguided perceptions. 4: The dead weight Occasionally, a team member doesn’t want to perform to his full capacity. There are many reasons why a person could be unproductive. He could have problems at home, be overwhelmed with the task at hand, or simply be lazy. Whatever the cause, the whole team can be dragged down to the level of the lowest common denominator. It hurts morale when the other team members have to work extra hours to make up for the poor performance of another. 5: The righteously indignant The righteous person has been wronged, or believes he has been wronged, while on the job. He is unable or unwilling to forgive and forget. He has been unfairly treated and wants everyone to know about it by sharing his misery. Perhaps he has yet to learn that work, like life, isn’t always fair. After all, injustice can never happen to him. 6: The lone wolf Not only does the lone wolf prefer working alone, he would rather not share his thoughts or collaborate with his peers. Perhaps you know of the programmer who equates his code with state secrets. Heaven forbid that someone else should benefit from his work. 7: The anarchist Teams often have to choose a course of action from a number of competing ideas. When a decision is made, one or more team members may not have bought into the final decision. The anarchist revolts and follows his own agenda, even though it is counterproductive, because he is right and the rest of the team is wrong. He is too bull-headed and stubborn to accept the team’s plan because it
will only be a matter of time before he is proved right. The dissention that his actions breed within the team simply doesn’t matter to him. 8: The politician Usually a manager, the politician tells others what he thinks they want to hear. He has no problem promising project completion two weeks ahead of schedule. The politician makes promises he knows can’t be kept because he’s more interested in his wellbeing than in yours or the company’s. He doesn’t mind telling the influential how wonderful he is and has no problem taking credit for other’s work. 9: The debater A team member who plays the role of the devil’s advocate can be beneficial during group-think. The problem arises when the devil’s advocate turns into the debater and argues just for the fun of it. He knows the position he is arguing is not viable. He has just gotten so good at playing his role that he doesn’t know how to back down without his pride getting hurt.
dealt with, negative attitudes can quickly spread to others. Toxic behavior is most destructive in a team environment, but it can spread regardless of the offender’s role in the company. Humans seem to have a sixth sense that picks up the toxic behavior of those they come in contact with. Once picked up by their toxic behavior radar, their own behavior can become negatively affected. Toxic character types exhibit behavior that can lead to: • Lower quality and quantity of work • Bad attitudes • Lower morale • Discontent • Resentment • Dissatisfied clients • Increased turnover There is hope. Identify toxic character types and correct their behavior before they wreak havoc within your organization. Once the toxic behavior is removed, you may discover the professional hidden within. Other characters?
10: The bad apple The bad apple has a poisonous, negative attitude. The Osmonds may have opined that “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl,” but they were wrong. One rotting, disease-infested apple can spoil the whole bunch. A bad attitude in the workplace is as contagious as the flu and at least as damaging. Do you have a bad apple at your workplace? It’s hard, but try to inoculate yourself from the bad vibes and keep a positive attitude despite the desire to dwell on the negative. In this sense, all the toxic character types mentioned above are bad apples since their toxic behavior inevitably leads to negative attitudes in their peers.
Have you run into some of the character types described here? What other personalities would you add to the list? Source: TechRepublic Jeannie S. Johnston has been a Paralegal for over 18 years, has spoken at National Paralegal Conferences and is the Founder and CEO of Paralegal Gateway, Inc. a/k/a www.ParalegalGateway.com – the world's oldest and largest online Paralegal portal on the world wide web.
The bottom line These toxic character types share one thing: They make the job of their associates more difficult. Some managers are blind to toxic behavior. Other managers ignore it in the hope that it will go away on its own. It rarely does. If it’s not identified and Page 10
Environmental Law Offers New Opportunity for Paralegals Contributed by Jeannie Sapp Johnston
Mother Nature has a unique but simple way of taking care of herself—a sort of “no BS” attitude towards unnatural manipulation that has routinely come back to bite many people and corporations where it hurts. At the beginning of December, the EPA released a report saying that Monsanto’s program for monitoring suspected cases of resistance to their genetically modified corn is “inadequate.” Basically, this crop was developed by Monsanto to kill an insect called the corn rootworm, which devastates healthy corn by devouring its roots (clever name eh?). What happened, however, is that Mother Nature slapped Monsanto in the face: the corn rootworm is suspected of developing a resistance to the modified corn and is now considered a “superinsect.” Sounds like something from science fiction—except it’s very real. Monsanto denies the problem. Unfortunately, this seems to be a growing issue since the proliferation of genetically altered agriculture. On the plus side, however, the industry has also heralded a new era of environmental law. As “trendy” as it might sound to consider oneself a green lawyer or paralegal, there is actually an enormous need for individuals with knowledge and interest both in environmental science and in law. And especially with the rise in law school enrollment since 2009, there could hardly be a smarter choice than to combine a J.D. with something that will a) increase one’s likelihood of finding work, and b) help make the Earth a better place at the same time.
portunities in this niche within the coming decade. In fact, Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center recently released the Top 10 Environmental Watch List of 2012. Number one on the list reads: “With Republicans attacking the EPA, 2012 could be a turning point for environmental regulation.” All signs are pointing to a future of increased activity in this sector. With headliners like the BP oil spill, Monsanto’s dilemma, and smaller cases like this Arcadia man who was fined $7,000 for a pollution violation, the true reach of the web of environmental law is staggering. So if you’ve got an interest in policy and law, a love for the environment, and the ability to clearly articulate your thoughts, you should consider getting involved. The paralegal profession is a rich field that allows you to jump into the foray without having a law degree, so there are lots of possibilities for people who want to affect policy and positive change in this arena. It’s never too late— and Mother Nature will certainly thank you for it. Jeannie S. Johnston has been a Paralegal for over 18 years, has spoken at National Paralegal Conferences and is the Founder and CEO of Paralegal Gateway, Inc. a/k/a www.ParalegalGateway.com – the world's oldest and largest online Paralegal portal on the world wide web.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recently announced an internship program in conjunction with UConn’s Center for Energy and Environmental Law. The center was recently created to “prepare the next generation of lawyers and policymakers to shepherd technological innovations into actual practice and to build a vibrant and greener future.” There appears to be a rising trend in this type of thinking among notable law schools across the U.S., suggesting that there will be plenty of job opPage 11
CAPA News Contributed by Julia Hallsted
The Orange County Paralegal Association was originally formed in 1977 as The Paralegal Section of the Orange County Bar Association in response to the growing need for an organized professional association for paralegals. The California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (“CAPA”) was formed in 1976 by four local paralegal associations for the purpose of promoting communication, cooperation, and mutual assistance among the various professional organizations of paralegals and legal assistants within the state and to provide a vehicle for the representation of associations’ mutual interests. In 1986, The Paralegal Section of the Orange County Bar Association elected to become an independent, nonprofit corporation known as the Orange County Paralegal Association (“OCPA”). OCPA subsequently became a member of CAPA in 1987. At its annual elections, OCPA elects two Board members to serve as its representatives on the CAPA Board. Hosted by a local affiliated association, the CAPA Board meets twice yearly at various locations throughout the state. Further, one or more of the affiliated associations must volunteer to host the annual CAPA educational conference, with each affiliated association assigned various responsibilities associated with presenting the conference. In addition to committing financial resources necessary to send its representatives to CAPA events, each year the affiliated associations are required to pay to CAPA from membership dues collected from individual members, a per member fee of $3.00. As many of you may know, OCPA is celebrating its 35th year in 2012. This milestone represents the appropriate time to reflect on the past and determine a course for the future of OCPA. As a result of the cost, both financial and in volunteer hours, and in the spirit of better serving its paralegal members by holding to its mission of furthering the advancement of the paralegal profession through education, certification and ethical responsibility, the Board of Directors of the Orange County Paralegal Association voted to withdraw its affiliation with CAPA at its Board meeting of January 14, 2012.
Hello from NALA! Contributed by Maria Conzelman, CP
NALA’s 37th Annual Meeting and Educational Institutes This year’s Annual Meeting and Educational Institutes will be held on July 25-28, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. Planning is underway and NALA has not confirmed the entire schedule, but I am happy to report that Saturday’s program will focus on professional growth! NALA will present sessions on public speaking and how to promote your skills. Speakers will include Vicki Voisin, ACP, The Paralegal Mentor, and Vick Kunz, ACP, a former president of NALA with a great “how-to” in communications. This is going to be a great educational experience. Of course, I will continue to keep you updated as we count down to the Annual Meeting. Mark your calendars!
was initiated in 2009 as a way to give back to the paralegal profession and to help NALA members during a very tough economy. The $80 value of the certificates is equal to the member cost for a NALA Campus LIVE! course.
Also, do you know that Certified Paralegals may access their records of continuing education credits on-line, on a 24/7 basis at www.NALA.org? In addition, this access also works on smart phones and tablets. Now, information about your progress in accumulating the required 50 hours is at your finger tips! Go to NALA.org. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Spring classes offered by NALA Campus Live NALA started January off with another impressive program line up! The new courses include programs for preparation for the Certified Paralegal Exam, and advanced programs in real estate, intellectual property, administrative law, bankruptcy and litigation. The program brochure was published and available online in early January. Registration fees are $80 per course for NALA members, and $105 for non-members. Active members: your NALA CLE Gift Certificate will cover the cost of one course. Advanced Paralegal Certification Course Late last year, NALA announced a new Advanced Paralegal Certification (APC) course in Commercial Bankruptcy under Chapters 7 and 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. For those of you paralegals seeking advanced certification in this specialty practice area, it is now available.
CLE gift to active NALA members I am excited to report that all active NALA members, new members, charter members, and honorary active members are receiving gift certificates to apply toward any NALA educational program or Facts & Findings subscriptions. The NALA Board of Directors has decided to resume this benefit that Page 13
ORANGE COUNTY PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION 2012 Board of Directors Executive Committee President Vice President, Administration Vice President, Policy Treasurer Secretary NALA Liaison
Hilary Martin Julianna Hallsted, ACP Kai Williamson Vicky La Celle, CP Diana Tierney Maria Conzelman, CP
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Directors at Large Milady Cambare Elizabeth Ornelas Kerry Swancutt Janine Fountain Cindy Mascio, ACP Rafia Aleem Lorena Hughes Tanya Chopra Carolyn Yellis, ACP Susan Schwartz
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Contact information of board members and committee chairs published in the Compendium are subject to the policies of OCPA. Use of contact information of board members or committee chairs for purposes of solicitation for business, personal gain, or distribution of such information to third parties for the same is strictly prohibited.
FEBRUARY 2012 NEW MEMBERS Victor Barbara L. Colleen M. Denis Julito Julie M. Sara Jason Leila Daniel Lynne Rhea Danie P. Fawne
Barajas Hanken Johnston Joseph Madrigal Nakasaki Parker Peralta Rezanoor Shad Shea Tevlin Thach Wallace
Voting: 433 Student: 180 Associate: 83 Sustaining: 29 Total: 725
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COMPENDIUM - February 2012 Volume 33, Number 2 Committed to Excellence through Education, Certification and Ethical Responsibility Publisher: Orange County Paralegal Association Editorial Team: Tracy Hermans, Dawn Martin, Karlene Miller, Krystal Pazanti, Liz Spinazze, Tamira Stewart
The Compendium is the official publication of the Orange County Paralegal Association (OCPA) P.O. Box 8512, Newport Beach, CA 92658. Postage Paid at Newport Beach, CA. A subscription to the Compendium is provided as a member benefit of OCPA. For further information about all the benefits OCPA has to offer, please visit our website at www.ocparalegal.org. ÂŠ 2012 Orange County Paralegal Association
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