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Volume 31, Number 11

Member of California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA) Member of National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)

Inside this issue: President’s Message ........................................................ 1-2 OCPA November - December Calendar .......................... 3 OCPA Ethics Section Meeting .......................................... 4 OCPA Net Worth............................................................... 5 Notice of Increase in Filing Fees ....................................... 6 Letter to Renew Membership ............................................ 7 Continuing Log .................................................................. 8 OCPA 2010 Election & Holiday Party ............................... 9 OCPA 2011 Board of Directors Candidates ...................... 10-13 CLA/CP Exam Announcement .......................................... 14 Chat with OCPA Scholarship Winners .............................. 15-17 OC Courts: Traffic/Minor Offense Calendaring ................. 18 Article: Corporation Paralegals or Corporate Paralegals? ...................................................... 19-20 Article: Legal Research Tips & Tricks... ............................ 21-23 OCPA 2011 Annual Passport ........................................... 25 Article: Mediation Training: An Opportunity for Paralegals... ................................................................. 26-27 Article: The 5 Easiest Way to Boost Paralegal Productivity ....................................................... 28-30 California Assembly Bill 2284............................................ 31-34 CAPA News... ................................................................... 37-39 NALA News ...................................................................... 41 OCPA Board of Directors, New Member Statistics .......... 43 OCPA Corporate Sponsors, Sustaining Members ............ 45

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE This being the last issue of the Compendium for 2010, I am provided an opportunity to reflect on my last two years as OCPA President. What a wonderful, eventful year; I was extremely fortunate to be surrounded by a winning team of dedicated, dynamic and enthusiastic board members.

The following recaps some of OCPA’s 2009-2010 highlights and accomplishments: • On January 1, 2009 the website was revamped to reflect our forward moving profession; • OCPA revived two former sections- Estate Plan-

Nov-Dec. 2010

ning and Student Section- and the attendance reflected that these section meetings were missed; OCPA hosted the June 2009 CAPA conference which was the most successful conference to date—breaking all revenue expectations; OCPA exceeded its Advertising goals for both 2009-2010; OCPA exceeded its Promotional goals for both 2009-2010; OCPA is social networking by joining LinkedIn and Facebook; OCPA’s Job Bank continued to provide a strong benefit to members. 25 members over the last two years found jobs through its Job Bank; One of our most impressive accomplishments of the past two years is OCPA’s growing membership numbers. Membership is now at an alltime high. I must credit our exciting Student Section and Student Liaisons for putting us well over 750 members—and we’re still growing; OCPA’s Compendium continues to be one of the best paralegal monthly association newsletters in the nation. It is a standout in content and professionalism. And in 2009 the Compendium went green- we only distribute the Compendium electronically; The August General Membership meeting was a great success and OCPA exceeded Silent Auction revenue expectations in 2009;

OCPA held its inaugural Student Conference at Western State University College of Law and the students came out in respectable numbers to hear what paraprofessionals had to say about the legal industry;

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


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In September 2010 OCPA donated $8000 in scholarship money to eight deserving paralegal programs in Orange County; OCPA’s Annual Educational Conference in September was a major success. Attendees were able to take in a superb day of continuing education and networking. The positive feedback from attendees and vendors inspires us to keep doing what we’re doing. It also makes all the hard work the committee put into it worthwhile; In November OCPA rented a space large enough to accommodate our members and held a FREE Ethics Meeting. More than 200 members attended the meeting; In November OCPA made history by holding its Proxy Voting electronically for the first time. Most fortune 500 companies handle their proxy voting electronically—so why can’t we? OCPA will end 2010 by approving a comprehensive medical insurance plan that we’ll bring affordable medical insurance to our membership in January 2011; December 8, 2010, will bring our Annual Holiday Party and Elections Meeting where the new directors will be elected. I hope you are planning to attend, as it always proves to be a memorable evening of festive cheer. This holiday season, OCPA will support the Ronald McDonald House of Orange County. This is a local volunteer organization that helps parents stay close to the hospital when their child is sick and receiving care at CHOC-Orange.

awesome to me and my family and could use toys, snack food, and books for sick children. My daughter was thirteen when this happen and she celebrated her nineteenth birthday on November 16th. She’s one of the twins I’ve talked about over the last two years. She’s my little miracle child. Being OCPA President has been an exciting yet humbling experience. I have had the privilege of working with the most amazing paralegals on OCPA Board of Directors, and have enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship of individuals whom I would not have had the pleasure of knowing but for being OCPA President. I wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year. I look forward to seeing you at the Holiday Party on December 9th. Why not make a New Year’s Resolution to get more involved in OCPA?

On a personal note, my daughter has “Lupus” and the disease attacked her brain in 2005 and she spent three months in a coma. The Ronald McDonald House of Orange provided my husband and me with a room and three meals daily so that we could stay close to the hospital in case there were changes in my daughter’s condition. Furthermore, Ronald McDonald House also takes care of families of children receiving treatments (such as chemo) for several days or weeks and need a place to call home until treatments are complete. The organization was

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Kai Williamson


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NOVEMBER- DECEMBER 2010 CALENDAR November 3

Board Meeting Time: 6:00pm Location: TBD

November 9

Student Section Meeting Topic: Subpoena Laws Time: 6:00pm Location: Bremer Whyte Brown & O’ Meara, LLP

November 10

Ethics Section Meeting Topic: Ethical Issues in Business and Real Estate Litigation Time: 6:00pm Location: Radisson Hotel

November 18

Litigation Meeting Topic: Fundamentals of Concordance Time: 6:00pm Location: Merrill Corporation

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November 10

Technology Section Meeting TBD

December 8

Holiday Party/Elections Time: 6:00-8:00pm Location: Radison Hotel Newport Beach


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FILING FEES INCREASE! The following courts have posted notices confirming when they will start requiring the new fees:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Los Angeles County- Effective 10-22-10 Orange County (Family Law Only) - Effective 10-18-10 Santa Barbara County - Effective 10-19-10 San Francisco County - Effective 10-25-10 Ventura County - Effective 10-25-10 Sacramento County - Effective 11-1-10 Riverside County - Effective 11-1-10

Please submit old fees for courts not listed until further notice. Other courts have indicated they will increase fees as of 1/1/11. See the Court websites for the new fee list, which is several pages.

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OCPA 2011 BOARD OF DIRECTOR CANDIDATES Rafia Aleem (Incumbent) Ms. Aleem seeks a position as Director at Large. Rafia has 18 years of Business and Civil litigation experience with emphasis in construction defects and is currently employed with Green & Hall, APC. She has a B.A. and her Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Irvine. Rafia has served OCPA in the following capacities: 20042005: Litigation Section Chair; Board of Director and Pro Bono Chair; 2006: Served as Vice President, Administration; 2007: Served as President; 2008: Board of Director and Technology and Ethics Chair and Lifetime Achievement Award Chair; 2009: Board of Director, Technology and Ethics Chair. “I served as a President in 2007 and realized that OCPA has set high standards in providing the membership with continuing education and maximum networking. With the dedication and hard, we have achieved our goal. For the past years, I have done my part in continuously working towards enhancing our conferences and section meetings. I want to commit myself for another year of serving the membership and assist the Board in all aspects of organizational operations.” ****************************************************************** Tonya Anderson (Incumbent) Ms. Anderson is running as the Secretary of the OCPA for 2011. Tonya has three years of Civil Litigation experience, and approximately one year of construction defect and personal injury experience. She received her B.A. in Criminology, Law & Society and Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine and received a Paralegal Certificate from Coastline Community College in May 2010. Tonya has served as an OCPA Director at large and as the Student Liaison for Coastline Community College for the last two years. “I am currently running for Secretary because I desire to serve in this integral position. My goals for 2011 include being able to organize Board of Directors meeting information in a logical and timely fashion, promote OCPA to potential members in the community, and uphold the position of Secretary to the best of my ability.” ****************************************************************** Tanya Chopra (Incumbent) Ms. Chopra seeks a position as a Director at Large. Tanya has five years of experience in Corporate law, Uniform Commercial Code secured transactions, and is currently employed at First American Corporation. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Political Science from California State University Fullerton, and a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Irvine.

Tanya has been an OCPA Member for the past four years. She has served on the Board for the past three years, and has held the position of Secretary and CAPA Secondary Liaison. Tanya wants to continue to be a part of the OCPA Board and assume the position of a Director at Large in 2011. “After being an OCPA Board Member for the past 3 years and a corporate paralegal for the past 5 years, I feel that my background and work experience will be beneficial to the association. Playing an integral role will allow me to assist in all efforts in making 2011 another successful year for the OCPA.” ************************************************************** Maria Conzelman, C.P. (Incumbent) Ms. Conzelman is seeking a Director at Large position. Maria has 14 years experience as a paralegal specializing in Municipal law, Bankruptcy, and Litigation, and is currently employed with Best Best & Krieger LLP. Maria has a Bachelor of Science Degree, an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies, and obtained the Certified Paralegal designation in 2007. Maria previously served OCPA as a Director at Large, Salary Survey Committee Chair, Global Email Administrator, and has volunteered in many other capacities and committees. Maria has enjoyed serving the OCPA as a Board member this year and hopes to continue her service and involvement in this capacity. ************************************************************** Lisa Enoka (Incumbent) Ms. Enoka seeks a Director at Large position. Lisa has nearly 16 years experience in the legal field, working as a paralegal for seven of those years. She has specialized in Corporate law, Corporate Governance in working directly with a corporate board, and has experience as a public company corporate officer. She earned her Paralegal Certificate in 2005 from California State University, Monterey Bay and anticipates receiving her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Chapman University. Lisa has been a member of OCPA for the past four years and looks forward to serving the membership as a Director at Large. Lisa has enjoyed participating on the Board this past year and would like to continue her involvement through 2011. This coming year she anticipates being more involved in OCPA committees. ************************************************************** Janine Fountain (Incumbent) Ms. Fountain seeks a position as a Director at Large. Janine has two years as a corporate paralegal, and over four years in the area of bankruptcy, in which she currently works. Janine has an A.A. degree in Liberal Studies and received her Paralegal Certificate from Coastline Community College.

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Janine has been an OCPA Member since 2003, has served as the Vice President of Policy, the Hospitality Chair and Co-Chair, Bankruptcy Section Chair, and has served on various committees. Janine wishes to continue to serve on the board to represent the membership and to continue the goals of the OCPA. ****************************************************************** Julianna Hallsted, ACP (Incumbent) Ms. Hallsted is running for the Vice President of Administration and CAPA Secondary for the OCPA for 2011. Julianna has more than 25 years of Real Estate Law experience, 11 years of Corporate Law experience and 4 years of Intellectual Property Law experience. She attended Long Beach State University and Coastline Community College. She earned the NALA Certified Paralegal designation as well as Advanced Certified Paralegal designations in Trademarks and Contract Administration/ Contract Management. She previously served OCPA as Director at Large, IP Section Chair, and CLA Review Course Chair, Educational Conference Committee Member, and Corporate/Real Estate Section Chair. In addition, Julianna served as Coastline Community College Paralegal Advisory Committee member. Julianna’s goals are to continue to assist in implementing OCPA’s goal of providing substantive educational resources to its members and to encourage more OCPA members to become involved in the various sections to share their experience and expertise with others. ****************************************************************** Vicky LaCelle Vicky LaCelle is running for the positions of 2011 Director and 2011 Treasurer of OCPA. Vicky has been working in Corporate Law and Contract Law for the previous 4 years with Beckman Coulter, Inc. and has worked in Civil Litigation for the prior 12 years. She is also an Instructor at Freemont College. She obtained a B.S. – UC Irvine (1993); Paralegal Certificate – UC Irvine Extension (1994); CLA/ CP certification – NALA (2006); and Management of Business Contracts Certificate – UC Irvine Extension (2009). For the past 16 years, Vicky has been employed as a paralegal in Orange County and has been a member of OCPA for most of that time. Over the past few years, she has been involved in the OCPA, first by co-chairing the Litigation Section and then serving as co-chair for the 2008 Educational Conference and chair of the 2009 Educational Conference. She has enjoyed providing her colleagues with opportunities for continuing education and networking. Her goal for 2011 is to continue the success of the Orange County Paralegal Association as a “top-notch” paralegal association that provides quality educational opportunities and networking events to Southern California paralegals.

Hilary Martin (Incumbent) Hilary Martin is running for President of the OCPA for 2011 and would like your support. Hilary has six years of experience as a paralegal and office administrator in Family Law and is currently employed with the law offices of Masson & Fatini, LLP in Irvine. She has a Bachelors of Science in Finance, Real Estate and Law with a Minor in Business Economics which she received from California State University, Long Beach. She also received her Paralegal and Human Resources Management Certificates from the University of California, Irvine. Hilary is presently a member of the OCPA Board of Directors where she has served on the Executive Committee as the Vice President of Administration since 2008. Before that, in 2007, 2008, and 2009, Hilary served as Educational Conference Co-Chair, Criminal/Family Law Co-Chair, and the Compendium Coordinator. Hilary believes her attention to detail, excellent organizational abilities, and leadership skills make her an ideal candidate for President. As President, she would continue the goals of previous OCPA Presidents to raise the bar of our profession and respond to the challenges before us. Hilary wants to enhance the reputation of the OCPA in the community at large as well as the legal community by getting our new members to be more active in the OCPA and by becoming active in local charities and service groups. Hilary Martin would be honored to serve as OCPA’s 2011 President, and she would make you proud of your OCPA. ***************************************************************** Michele T. Pfeiffer, CLA (Incumbent) Ms. Pfeiffer is seeking a Director at Large position as well as continuing with representing OCPA at the CAPA level in 2011. Michele is a freelance paralegal with 13 years experience as a legal secretary and 20 years as a paralegal in the areas of complex litigation, criminal law (state and federal), construction defect, employment/labor law, and insurance defense. Michele graduated from Coastline Community College’s ABA Paralegal Program and passed the CLA exam 14 years ago. She has completed one year of law school at Western State (South Co.) and completed the DRPA training for mediators. Michele has had the honor of serving OCPA members for over 20 years on the board and has assisted with and/or held several committee chair positions including, School Liaison, scholarship, job bank, mentoring, various conference committees, CAPA Primary and Secondary, Bar Liaison, Vendor Mixer, and others. She has served on that Board of Directors, Executive Board, and Last year, she received the 2009 NALA Affiliates Award in San Diego, CA for her years of dedication to the paralegal profession at the local and state levels. She was has also served on the state CAPA board for the past 10 years and most recently served as the Vice President of Administration for the CAPA 2010 Board and CAPA’s MCLE Liaison Chair for the past two years. She is nominated as CAPA’s Presi-

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dent for the year 2011. Michele wants to continue as the Bar Liaison in search of attorneys for OCPA’s numerous section meetings, conferences, and MCLE. Michele wants to continue to represent the members and be mindful of their needs and to bring new issues, exciting ideas, and continuing education to our members. She continues to seek opportunities with OC’s local bar associations to join in our CLE efforts for OCPA’s Members. She continues to promote the OCPA to students at UCI when she speaks to new students entering the paralegal profession. She will encourage paralegals to obtain their CLE credits through OCPA, CAPA’s, & NALA’s continuing education classes, seminars, conferences, etc… and, of course, to encourage paralegals to sit for the CLA Exam. Through OCPA’s efforts and with our state CAPA affiliate associations, she will continue her effort to educate colleagues and their employers about the B&P Code Section 6450 for paralegals. But more importantly, her goal has always been to challenge each of you to continue to help OCPA become the best it can be as an association for its members. ************************************************************** Frances Prieto, CP (Incumbent) Ms. Prieto seeks a Director at Large position. Frances has two years experience in Post Foreclosure and Civil Litigation with an emphasis in Residential. Frances has earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from California State Long Beach, obtained a Paralegal Certificate from Santa Ana College, and is working on graduate coursework at the University of Phoenix. Recently, Frances has earned her Certified Paralegal designation. Frances served on the 2008 Educational Conference Committee; 2009 Educational Conference Co-Chair; 2010 Board of Directors; CLA Coordinator and Educational Conference Committee Member. Frances is seeking a director at large position to support the goals and future of the Orange County Paralegal Association. ************************************************************** Kerry Swancutt Ms. Swancutt seeks a Director at Large position. Kerry has two years experience in a variety of areas of law: corporate, maritime, employment, civil litigation and estate planning. Kerry also has experience in accounting and is currently employed with Cooksey, Toolen, Gage, Duffy and Woog. She has earned a BA in Business from Vanguard University and an ABA approved Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Irvine. Kerry has been a member of the OCPA since 2008 and has served as the Hospitality Chairperson for 2009 and 2010.

Kerry is interested in being a part of the OCPA Board of Directors because she has really enjoyed being part of the Hospitality Committee and would like to expand her involvement with the organization. Being a part of the Board would allow her to assist with the planning and organizing of continuing education and networking events. She would also be able to help the Board explore new ideas and make any changes based on feedback from members. Her goal for 2011 is to help the OCPA continue to serve a great group of members in any way necessary. ****************************************************************** Julie Thornton (Incumbent) Ms. Thornton is running for OCPA’s CAPA Primary position and a Director at Large position. Julie has 20 years of law firm experience in Litigation and is currently a contract paralegal. Julie received her Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Irvine. Julie has served as 2005-2007 Co-Chair OCPA Litigation Section, 2009 Hospitality Co-Chair, 2009 and 2010 Director at Large, and 2010 CAPA Primary representative. Julie’s goals for 2011 are to encourage and promote paralegal development through quality Continuing Legal Educational seminars and presentations. ****************************************************************** Diana Tierney Ms. Tierney is seeking a Director at Large position. Diana earned a B.S. in Sociology from the California State University, Fullerton and anticipates earning her Paralegal Certificate from Coastline Community College in December 2010. She currently has one year paralegal experience. Diana has served as the Coastline Community College Student Liaison and as the Special Speaker Committee Co -chair for the OCPA 2010 Educational Conference. Diana’s goals for 2011 are to assist students at the Student Liaison Section Co-chair by holding accessible student section meetings and creating topics that are interesting as well as beneficial to the students. Diana is running because she believes in the values this organization. ****************************************************************** Sheri Webb, ACP Ms. Webb is seeking a Director at Large Position. Sheri has a A.S. in Paralegal Studies, has over 5 years experience as a paralegal in civil litigation. Sheri has previously served as a Director at Large from 2005-2009; Secretary 2008; CAPA primary 2008-2009. Sheri is running for a position as a Director at Large because she enjoys assisting her association. She hopes to earn the votes of her fellow Directors to fill the Bar Liaison position, and she will present a proposal to the Board to add a line item to the OCPA’s budget to support membership dues to local Bar Associations, and possibly purchase exhibit space during the Bar Associations; and Legal Administrators’ annual conferences, allowing OCPA to reach out to more attorneys in our area. Finally, she plans to work with local Bar Associations and the OCALA to

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OCPA Compendium present an Ethics MCLE program to their membership, highlighting Business & Professions Code § 6450. ************************************************************** Kai Williamson (Incumbent) Ms. Williamson is running for the Vice President of Policy position for 2011. Kai has 17 years experience in corporate law. She is employed at Impac Companies. Kai is an instructor at the University of California, Irvine Extension in Corporate Law, Corporate Environment, and Introduction to Law classes. Kai’s educational background includes a B.A. in Legal Studies and a Paralegal Certificate. Kai has served on the Board of Directors five years, VP of Administration one year, Corporate/Real Estate Chairperson five years, Database Coordinator one year, Sustaining Membership Coordinator two years, Website Coordinator two years, and President of the OCPA two years. Kai also sits on the following Board of Directors: UCIParalegal Program, Fremont College Paralegal Program, and Irvine Valley College Paralegal Program. As President of the OCPA the last two years I’ve become very intimate with the policies and bylaws of the organization. I’d like to use my experience to help the new president be successful in maintaining the integrity of the organization.

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PREPARING FOR THE CLA/CP EXAM? CP Review Manual Third Edition (October 2010) NOW AVAILABLE In its Third Edition, this comprehensive manual thoroughly covers each section of the voluntary Certified Paralegal exam. Like the examination itself, this text is recognized in the legal field as denoting high standards of paralegal professionalism and excellence. Virginia Koerselman Newman has written this text specifically for legal assistants striving toward those goals. Please take a moment to review this brief overview of some of the features and order your copy today. Each chapter covers a different section of the examination and provides extensive outlines with summaries of the law, illustrative examples, sample questions with explanatory answers, and charts for review. Self-tests at the end of each chapter simulate questions on the actual examination. For example, the self-test for the Ethics section consists of 50 sample questions, in a variety of formats, covering various ethical problems. Answers to the self-tests are provided at the end of the text. The text offers extensive guidelines for effectively preparing for and taking the Certified Paralegal examination. Coverage includes: • Basic background information on each section of the exam including administrative policies. • Tips for efficient study including when, where, and how to study; effective study aids; and group study suggestions. • Suggestions for positive test performance including ideas for controlling stress; general observations on test questions; tips for answering specific types of questions and more. NEW LAND USE APC CERTIFICATION PROGRAM FOR REAL ESTATE PARALEGALS NOW AVAILABLE Visit Certification/Advanced Paralegal Certification at www.nala.org for details. This course provides an overview of zoning and land-use regulation. Zoning is a type of public control that places many limits on how land is used. Each city or county places all its properties into zones for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other uses. Land-use regulations vary widely from state to state, county to county, and city to city. Property owners can sometimes make requests for changes to the permitted uses and prohibited uses with applications for conditional uses, variances, zoning changes, or other requests. A paralegal can assist an attorney in many ways throughout the approval process for development projects or in challenging the uses or planned uses of land which have been raised by neighbors, governments, or business entities.

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CHAT WITH OCPA SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS Name: Karen Bury School: Fullerton College Why did you select a career path as a paralegal? I have a Bachelor's Degree in History, and love to research issues, find answers, and write about my findings. I also worked as a car insurance adjuster, and my favorite part of that job was negotiating injury settlements with personal injury attorneys. When I got laid off in 2009, it seemed like the most logical path for me to follow was one that would move me toward being a Paralegal. What area of practice would you like to go into? I'm very interested in Entertainment, Sports, and Probate. What would you prefer law firm or in-house and why? I believe I would prefer to work in a law office rather than in-house, only because I desire to take a step away from a corporate atmosphere. Working in a law office now, I really like the environment, and hope to continue working in firms from now on. Do you feel OCPA does enough for students? Absolutely! I'm very grateful for everything the OCPA offers students, and I think that the students who take advantage of their membership will find they have a wealth of resources well within their reach. How did the scholarship funds assist you with your education? I used the money to pay off the bill for my books, and to purchase a computer program for my home computer that I needed for one of my classes. **************************************************************

Name: Trudi Meyers School: Kensington College Why did you select a career as a paralegal? Wow…that is a tough question. I guess I just want to help people. I have been a volunteer court mediator in the OC Superior Court Civil Division for about 1 ½ years. Over the past 6 months, I have been completing my mediation training in family law. What I have found out is that many individuals just cannot afford to hire attorneys for their legal matters. In mediation, we cannot provide any legal advice nor can we help individuals’ complete legal documents. At this time, we often refer our clients to places like Legal Aid or the Public Law Center to provide this type of service.

In order to qualify for this type of service at Legal Aid or PLC free of charge, an individual’s income must be in line with the federal government’s income poverty guidelines. There are many individuals who do not fall within these guidelines, but still cannot afford an attorney. We then refer clients to the self-help centers, but many individuals just do not feel comfortable filling out and filing their own forms. I became a paralegal as I saw the necessity to be able to offer these individuals, free of charge, experienced and professional support in completing their paperwork/filings in order to have a satisfactory outcome to whatever their legal matters may be. Nonetheless, I hope to obtain a job as a paralegal, so that I can gain the experiences that are necessary to be able to provide this type of service. What area of practice would you like to go into? There are two areas of law I would like to be involved in. First, I would like to be involved in the family law arena. I have this passion to help others. Next, my former career and educational background is in the area of employment/employment law. I would like to be able to use my experiences working within the EEOC. This way, I can use both my mediation skills as well as my educational/legal background. What would you prefer law firm or in-house and why? I guess for employment law, I would prefer in house, as many government agencies handle their own legal matters. As for family law…probably a law firm, whose attorneys considers taking on some pro bono cases a couple times a year…as their way of giving back. Do you feel that OCPA does enough for students? What I have seen so far, OCPA offers great programs, training, and networking for students. How did the scholarship funds assist you with your education? I have been unemployed and I have used the money for my tuition/book costs. **************************************************************

Name: Kelly Gennaro School: Fremont College Why did you select a career path as a paralegal? My background is in office administration. I was unemployed and not having much luck finding a

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job, so I thought it would be the right time to further my education, making myself more marketable. I chose the paralegal field because I enjoy research and writing, and it seemed like a good way to incorporate the experience I already had in a business environment into a more challenging and rewarding professional career. What area of practice would you like to go into? I want to be in a professional business environment. I am interested in intellectual property, business law, contract administration - areas of law that are not as personal as family or criminal law. What would you prefer law firm or in-house and why? I would prefer a law firm, because I would be surrounded by law professionals that would be a great resource to allow me to build on my educational foundation and grow into the best paralegal I can be. Do you feel OCPA does enough for students? I think OCPA is an excellent resource for students to begin networking in the legal community. The guest speakers, student educational opportunities, and scholarships offered through my school augmented my coursework in a way that complemented the textbook and classroom experience to round out my education. OCPA has reached out to the students in many ways that demonstrate their genuine desire to assist budding paralegals in launching our careers, and I am very grateful for their support. How did the scholarship funds assist you with your education? I had to take out student loans to complete my education, and my scholarship funds allowed me to start out my career with less debt and lighten my burden of paying back those student loans. **************************************************************

Name: Altaf H Kothari School: University of California, Irvine Why did you select a career path as a paralegal? After receiving Bachelor in Business Administration in 1990, my desire was to go on with further schooling in Law. Unfortunately, my personal and economic conditions at that time were not conducive to attend law school. In 2006, I became one of the victims of massive layoffs that were facing the retail industry in which I had spent 17 years of my life. I knew that I needed to make myself marketable by pursuing advance education and it only took a moment’s thought to attend a law school. However, it

turned out that-even now- obtaining a JD will not be possible without carrying a huge burden of student loan. In the process of searching for a more viable and least expensive alternative to law school, I came across a Paralegal Certificate program offered by UC Irvine extension and I, finally, I decided to participate in it. What area of practice would you like to go into? Even though I had completed most of my required courses, it was not up until I enrolled in civil litigation III (Dennis was the instructor) when I made up my mind to go into civil litigation. Dennis’s enthusiasm about this field proved to be very contagious and I certainly was infected by it. What would you prefer law firm or in-house and why? Upon completion of my certification, my strategy is to work for a law firm which specializes in Real Estate Litigation. I believe that I will have a better job satisfaction working for a private law firm since I will be equipped with years of experience in sales, extensive knowledge in real estate and certificate in paralegal. Do you feel OCPA does enough for students? Definitely, OCPA has been doing a marvelous job of advancing the importance of paralegals in legal services area via implementing solid programs such as: scholarship funds, volunteer programs, education seminars, yearly conference etc. Furthermore, those who volunteer their time to OCPA deserve special recognition for excellent performance and whole hearted dedication to this organization. I look forward to devote my time to OCPA in days and months to come. How did the scholarship funds assist you with your education? My choice to have a paralegal certificate from UCI was the right choice, however, at times being unemployed for almost a year and unavailability of funds made it difficult for me to pay for courses. Scholarship funds were made available to me at the time when I needed it the most. If it was not for these funds, I probably would not have been able to attend any classes this quarter. I hope that OCPA keeps these funds flowing towards the needy students.

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Name: West Imboden School: Santa Ana College Why did you select a career path as a paralegal? Well, I have been interested in the legal profession since middle school. I have wanted to be an attorney since then, so once I got into college, I learned about the Paralegal profession and thought that it would be a great way to get experience in the field and to decide if I truly enjoyed what I thought I wanted to do. While I have not worked as a Paralegal yet, the courses I have been taking at Santa Ana College have kept me interested, and I’ve found that I enjoy doing homework for the courses. As an example, in a civil litigation overview class, we had to draft a complaint based on a fact pattern. I thoroughly enjoyed doing that. As this work is indicative of the type of work I will be performing as a Paralegal, I think I am going to enjoy working as a Paralegal very much. What area of practice would you like to go into? I haven’t really decided, but I’m sure I will be introduced to more areas of law throughout the rest of my classes here at school. I am currently thinking criminal, as my parents were O.C. Sheriffs and I have an interest in that field, or I might like to work for some corporation as part of an in-house counsel. What would you prefer law firm or in-house and why? Initially, I think I would prefer in-house counsel. My thoughts are that if I join a large legal department, I might have a better chance at receiving some training, and I might also have a more limited job where I would be able to gain experience, as opposed to immediately going from school to working for 3 attorneys and having to assist them with little to no training. Do you feel OCPA does enough for students? I certainly do! Providing scholarships is about the best thing you could possibly do for a student, aside from giving them a job right out of the program. OCPA also tries to help prospective students to choose a Paralegal program that is going to be beneficial for them in the long run. They have a link on the site regarding this. How did the scholarship funds assist you with your education? I have the funds set aside for next semester actually. It will pay for my classes and I should have some left over for books. That is a huge help to me, and I want to thank the OCPA for honoring me with the Page 17


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Corporation Paralegals or Corporate Paralegals? Contributed by Carolyn M. Saenz

Should I work for a corporation or should I work for a law firm? These are questions that are often asked by entry-level paralegals or persons who are considering the legal profession. Working for either entity would still involve dealing with legal issues, although one of the main differences is who the client is. Generally, paralegals who work for law firms are a part of the profit-generation of the firm and contribute a great deal of added value — literally in dollars and cents. Although a paralegal is prohibited by statute from negotiating and setting fees, and cannot be the recipient of financial rewards from a client, his/her value is derived from billings submitted to the client by the law firm for services rendered. Paralegals working in corporations are usually a part of the administration of the company, and they do not generate prospects directly. The value of a paralegal working in a corporation is realized when legal tasks which would customarily be sent to an outside law firm can be handled in-house. It appears that the actual tasks performed by law firm paralegals and paralegals working in corporations are very similar, although law firms deal with “outside” clients and corporations deal with clients within their own company. On that basis, the latitude given to paralegals working in corporations seems to be wider and the levels of responsibility are more diverse. Certain administrative statutes and court authority permit paralegals to represent clients, draft and submit pleadings to court, attend hearings and argue for their clients, without the need for a lawyer being present. A portion of my duties and responsibilities as senior paralegal at Western-Southern Life Insurance Company relates to unemployment compensation appeals, hearings, etc. I am permitted (in almost every state) by administrative statute to review rulings of the unemployment agency, submit pleadings for appeals and represent the company at any hearings. Such hearings are generally held before an administrative referee or judge. I may introduce witnesses, cross-examine

them, prepare and enter exhibits and make closing statements. The appeals process customarily moves through several levels, but if the former employee were to take an appeal through all levels up to the court of common pleas, then at that point I no longer represent the company and engage the services of outside counsel. My job often takes me throughout the country, to conduct investigations related to employment law. The majority of these investigations involve activity of Western-Southern employees and former employees. In this particular role, I work independently of a lawyer. I determine the persons to be interviewed, what questions I will ask them, the order in which I interview people, how I will write my report and what recommendations to make. Such reports do not enjoy the “attorney-client privilege,” so I need to be concise with my writing and also be cognizant that such documents may become a part of discovery in the event of litigation. On more than one occasion I have testified on behalf of the company in small claims court or at civil trial on an employment matter. In that role, I am the representative for the client and can testify, for example, as to my personal knowledge of the processing of a life insurance claim or defend the manner in which I conducted an investigation on an employment case. I do not believe that a corporate paralegal working for a law firm is permitted to testify for a client, but rather may assist the lawyer who actually represents the client. Paralegals working in corporations are a part of the management team and enjoy the benefits that are associated with this team. There also may be other career opportunities which are available throughout the company outside of the law department. Paralegals often work in areas of compliance, tax, human resources (within other departments) and are not necessarily under the direct supervision of a lawyer. In discussions I’ve had with other paralegals who work in law firms, particularly in the area of litigation, some thrive on the “peaks and valleys” that become a natural part of the cases they work on.

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Paralegals in corporations do not necessarily have the same urgency about their work, particularly as relates to court hearings and deadlines — we leave that job to our outside counsel! By the same token, my peers have stated that they would not want to work without the adrenaline “rush” from the deadlines and demands that typically go with litigation practice. One area that seems to be a great “relief” for paralegals working in corporations is the “luxury” of not having to bill their time. Most paralegals who work for law firms are obligated to bill a minimum number of hours each year, and bonuses and pay raises can be directly “tied” to this measure of their performance. Measuring a paralegal’s performance when it is not a direct part of the profit of a corporation can be a more difficult task, and I find myself trying to recollect each quarter what I accomplished and how efficiently the work was completed. My employer is very supportive of my professional activities, both within the legal arena and in the local community, and will gladly grant me “professional time off” during customary working hours to accomplish some of these activities. Some law firms also support their paralegals, while others mandate that paralegals “make up” any lost time, even if that time were devoted to pro bono public activities. If you are new to the paralegal profession and are not sure where you want to work, be sure to do your research before making any snap decisions. What’s right for one person is not necessarily right for another. As for lawyers — whether or not they choose to utilize the services of paralegals in law departments or in law firms is up to them. However, the smart ones have been doing this for years and are keeping pace with what’s going on in the legal profession. Carolyn M. Saenz has been working as a paralegal for 18 years, previously with U.S. Shoe and currently in the law department of Western-Southern Life Insurance Company. She is a member of the Cincinnati Paralegal Association, an associate member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, and has served on the board of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.

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LEGAL RESEARCH 101: TIPS AND TRICKS Contributed by Christina Koch, ACP

Over twenty years ago, I took my first steps into a law library. At the age of seventeen, my first impression was of awe as I was confronted by rows and rows of legal authorities, most of which would lead me to yet another legal authority. The biggest question in my mind on that first day was how I would determine not only where to start my research, but also the path I would follow to lead me to the absolute answer to my legal issue. I was doing research at that time for a legal research class I was taking and of course, my final fear was where my research would end. It was difficult as a beginning researcher to determine whether my research was complete. Had I done everything possible to reach the proper conclusion? Twenty years later, I am convinced that the end result of legal research is often a little like trying to find the end of the internet. You’re never quite sure if there’s more out there. Legal research can be as simple as finding the correct government agency in an administrative law case or so complicated you may not come to a clear conclusion until the case litigation has concluded. These days I find legal research to be a relaxing hobby and intellectually stimulating as a paralegal. Once you have determined that legal research is necessary on a case, you must explore your factual analysis to isolate your primary legal issue. Often there is more than one legal issue in a case and research is best done when it is focused on the primary issue. This entails examining the parties, the nature of the dispute, the legal basis that gives rise to the cause of action, any defenses to that legal basis, and what relief is sought. These facts will assist you in identifying your legal issues. Once you have determined how the law applies to the facts of your case, you are ready to begin your research. Whether you learned to research through the IRAC method (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion) or the old CARTWHEEL method (word association surrounding the legal issue by using the index and/or table of contents of law books), your goal will be to

find primary and secondary authority which the Court may rely upon in coming to a conclusion on its case. Primary authority is law (i.e., statutes, regulations, ordinances, or treaties) and secondary authority is non-law (i.e., legal periodicals or treatises). Mandatory authority is information the Court must rely on (primary authority only), however secondary authority is also referred to as persuasive authority because it is most likely a prior opinion the Court is not required to rely on, but may still find convincing or “persuasive”. For a Court opinion to be considered mandatory authority, the case must be “on point” or analogous and the opinion must have been written by a Court superior to the Court considering the opinion. In determining your primary authority, you should also consider the court jurisdiction, your regional area and your subject matter. You should use cases that are similar factually to your present case. Don’t forget to “shepardize” or “key cite” your cases to make sure the case is still “good law”. If you are performing your legal research through Westlaw, you can shepardize through their Key-Cite system. Lexis-Nexis provides Shepard’s online or via CD-Rom. If the case has been overruled, excessively criticized, or modified, you should not cite it as authority. Shepard’s will allow you to shepardize state or federal statutes, cases, Attorney General Opinions, Law Reviews, ALR Annotations, or legal texts. Make sure to check your case citations against the Uniform System of Citation “Bluebook” or ALWD Citation Manual (Association of Legal Writing Directors). You can also check citations online at http://legalcitation.net/ or http:// www.law.cornell.edu/citation/. Incorrect citation is a common mistake in legal briefs and a very important part of a paralegal’s job in the legal briefing process. Once you master the basics of legal research, you may want to expand your knowledge base to nontraditional means of research. There is an extensive list of legal research websites on the internet. Resources extend from your subscription services such as Westlaw or Lexis to the free websites such as Findlaw (www.findlaw.com) or Internet Legal Research Group (http:// www.ilrg.com). There are other fee-based services available such as LoisLaw (http://

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www.loislaw.com) and VersusLaw (http:// www.versuslaw.com); however, these services are not as comprehensive as Westlaw and Lexis. They will, however, be much more economical to a paralegal or sole practitioner. If you know your citation, both Westlaw and Lexis provide avenues to retrieve the case directly without searching terms. Additionally, they both use a search system based upon connectors to link related ideas. In either program, the asterisk (*) can be placed in the middle or at the end of a word to represent a variable letter or number. For instance, if you are searching for a case that relates to a certain statute subpart, you can list the number of the statute with an asterisk (*) behind it to retrieve cases which relate to that statute subpart. Likewise, the exclamation point (!) in both programs is used as a root expander placed at the end of a word to retrieve all versions of that word. Westlaw offers search options for a citation, natural language, terms and connectors or by title. Choose important terms to form your issue as well as alternatives. Lexis offers search options for a citation, party name, case brief, or formulation of words and alternatives to search your issue. Keep searching and you will find many avenues for your research. One of the best places to start your internet research is American Law Sources Online (ALSO) (http://www.lawsource.com/also/), as it is a well-organized list of references and links to legal research websites available on the internet. Another great site which offers bill search, resolutions, the Congressional Record, activity in Congress, Committee information, treaties and other valuable government resources is Thomas (http:// www.thomas.gov). Thomas has set up its search on the home page so it is extremely easy to use and contains detailed information. If you become familiar with the websites available, you will be able to do extensive legal research on the internet more efficiently and effectively. Most legal websites arrange information by subject, type of document or source. If you are looking for public information, start with your favorite search engine, such as Google (www.google.com) or its energyefficient equivalent Blackle (www.blackle.com). Courts, regulations and legis-

lation are often online and can be accessed through this type of word association. Law Review articles are available on the internet through http:// www.lawreview.org. You can even access the House of Representatives Law Library at http:// www.house.gov or the Senate Law Library at http://www.senate.gov. State and federal opinions can be located through http://www.lexisone.com/ legalresearch/lrfreecaselaw.html. LexisOne (http://www.lexisone.com) requires registration, but is free and is intended for small firms and solo practitioners. It provides the full text of all U.S. Supreme Court cases, as well as the last five years of federal and state appellate court cases, selected legal forms, and even an Internet Research Guide. Another great resource on the internet is www.nolo.com, where you can access a legal encyclopedia, legal dictionary, caselaw, statutes, and even calculators for number-crunching. The World Wide Virtual Library for Law can be found at http://www.law.indiana.edu/v-lib/ index.html. Many law schools also have helpful links on their websites. Some of the most useful and easiest to use are Cornell University Law School (http:// www.law.cornell.edu/), Emory University Law School (http:// www.law.emory.edu/LAW/refdesk/toc.html), University of Chicago Law School (http:// www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/law/), and Washburn University Law School (http:// www.washlaw.edu/). Drafts of Uniform and Model Acts can be found on the University of Pennsylvania Law School website (http:// www.law.upenn.edu/bll/ulc/ulc.htm). State or local bar association websites and the American Bar Association (http://mail.abanet.org/ archives/index.html) website are also excellent resources. The American Bar Association website also includes “LAWlink: ABA Legal Research Starting Points� (http://www.lawtechnology.org/ lawlink/home.html), which will lead you to various other helpful links. The Library of Congress (http://loc.gov/) can assist you in a guide to Fed

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eral, State, and United States Territories Law. Looking for a federal or state government agency? Try FirstGov (http://www.firstgov.gov/Topics/ Reference_Shelf.shtml#Laws) or FedLaw (http:// www.thecre.com/fedlaw/default.htm). Interested in a high-profile criminal case? You are likely to find information regarding the case at http:// www.courttv.com/archive/legaldocs/. Another great asset for legal research is the public list serves available to paralegals. My personal favorite is Paralegal Gateway (http:// groups.yahoo.com/group/ ParalegalGateway/). You can find other lists at “Lyo’s Law Lists” (http://www2.lib.uchicago.edu/ ~llou/) or through Yahoo Groups (http:// groups.yahoo.com/) by searching “paralegal”. Your biggest asset in research is your legal network, whether it is other paralegals, attorneys, court reporters, bailiffs, court staff, or vendors.

Christi Koch received her Paralegal degree in 1991. She is a trial paralegal, specializing in personal injury litigation. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and is a National Dean's List Scholar. Christi is an Advanced Certified Paralegal in Trial Practice and joined the firm of Inserra & Kelley in 2002. She is a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants, the Nebraska Association of Legal Assistants, and a paralegal affiliate of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America). She is originally from Orchard, Nebraska and has been working in the legal field for over 19 years.

Once you find that your research keeps leading you back to the same cases, and you have shepardized these cases and checked their citations, you can be reasonably sure you have done a thorough job researching the primary issue. The next step is to organize your Memorandum of Law and produce it to the attorney for review. A good format to use is Heading, Issue, Brief Answer, Facts, Discussion and Conclusion. You should format your Issue as a question and verify the issue with the attorney before beginning your research to avoid framing the wrong issue. The discussion should include an explanation of how the law relates to the facts of your case. Ultimately, the legal conclusion is something the attorney will determine and you should never share your Memorandum with the client as it could constitute legal advice. The purpose of the Memorandum is to provide information to your attorney. You should keep your Memorandum short and to the point. The attorney needs the answer to the question, but does not need to know the facts of every case that led you to that answer. In conclusion, legal research and writing is not complicated, but it does take practice and the more you research and evaluate your conclusions, the better you will be at it. The best way to learn is to dig in and begin researching!

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MEDIATION TRAINING: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PARALEGALS Contributed by Jennifer D. Grassini

The American legal system is overburdened with lawsuits. Paralegals spent countless hours doing legal research, drafting documents, and interviewing clients in preparation for a trial. However, there is an emerging movement that is challenging how we as a society handle disputes, and it is formally termed Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). One of the most common forms of ADR is mediation, where a neutral third party, termed a mediator, works with both sides of a dispute to have them agree on their own terms, without someone else deciding what is best for them. As more and more people choose this route over litigation, there is an increasing need for skilled mediators, and paralegals have a tremendous opportunity to fill this void by utilizing their analytical abilities and undergoing formal training in mediation. Why enter the field of mediation? First of all, mediation works. Given the opportunity and the means to form their own solutions to their problems, many disputants find that it empowers them and allows what could be a very complicated litigious process to be a lot simpler, more successful, and less cumbersome. Mediation techniques can be employed to solve several different types of disputes, including family matters such as divorce or child custody, owner/tenant or builder/ homeowner problems, community disagreements, or disputes in the workplace. Mediation can also save time and money. For instance, in a divorce/child custody case being settled by litigation, both sides might spend thousands of dollars in attorney fees. It might result in several court appearances and numerous phone calls back and forth between their respective law firms. In the end, a judge would decide the outcome and essentially seal their fate, whether the terms were acceptable to them or not. A similar case handled through mediation, however, can often be worked out through several sessions with a mediator, at a cost much more reasonable than if the case were litigated. At the conclu-

sion, the two sides draft what is termed a “Memorandum of Understanding,” which spells out the agreements between them and, unless positively outlandish, would be accepted by a judge at a final dissolution hearing, and allow their own wishes to be the ones that they follow. How can a paralegal become a mediator? Unlike therapists or attorneys, whose educational and licensing requirements are highly regulated by states, no such standards currently exist regarding the certification of mediators. This is likely to change in the future, as the role of mediators become more recognized as a profession, so when choosing a training program, be sure to follow these guidelines: •Find an accredited program. There are several types of accrediting bodies, but the best programs will offer college credit from a regionally accredited school. Schools with “regional” accreditation undergo stringent review processes to ensure quality, and their credits are more readily accepted by other colleges and employers, as opposed to credits from schools with “national” or “professional” accreditation. Do your homework! •Find a program that offers a practicum. Practicums can offer you real life experience as a mediator, and the more cases you are able to have a hand in mediating, the better your skills will become. •Find a program that offers more than one generic course in mediation. Since mediation is used for many different disputes, there is specialized knowledge that should be obtained for each. Look for a program that will teach you more than the basics. •Find a program with experienced mediators as instructors. Investigate how long the faculty members have been involved with mediation, and what types of disputes they have helped to resolve. As paralegals, our job description is always evolving, so it pays to continuously enhance our skill set. After undergoing mediation training, you, too, will be ready to embark on the amazing journey of helping other people help themselves, making them active participants in their own destiny.

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Jennifer D. Grassini is the Executive Assistant for IADR - The Institute for Advanced Dispute Resolution (http://www.advancedresolution.com), a school which provides in-depth specialized training in mediation. She earned her paralegal certificate through the Washington Online Learning Institute. She is passionate about the mediation process, and speaks to various groups regarding the benefits of alternative dispute resolution

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THE 5 EASIEST WAYS TO BOOST PARALEGAL PRODUCTIVITY Contributed by Gloria Koss

Today’s paralegal is looking to squeeze the most out of every workday minute—sometimes even weekend minutes—in order to stay on top of caseloads, contacts, and callbacks. With this fact in mind, there are some simple things paralegals can do to boost their work productivity even more. 1. Discontinue Disruptions For many paralegals, one of the main speedbumps to higher productivity is disruptions. Sometimes such disturbances cannot be avoided; for all others, there are some simple tactics paralegals can use to stay “in the zone.” Eradicate the Egress While this seems very common sense, it truly is surprising how many paralegals leave their office door open while they work. By closing the office door, co-workers know that they should come back another time. Close Calls Sending calls to voicemail or having another coworker take messages is another great way to stay in the flow and increase productivity. Set aside a specific part of the day to make and return telephone calls, and stick to that schedule. Internet Interlude There is no law anywhere that says paralegals must check, read, and deal with each email that comes through their inbox on an individual basis throughout the day. Try closing the email program and setting aside some time to specifically deal only with email, just like with phone calls. 2. Decrease Dawdling Procrastination really can be a paralegal’s worst enemy. Whether there is not enough free time, Page 28


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there seems to be no good place to start, or the task looks too daunting, there are ways to manage the seemingly unmanageable. Create Crumbs For tasks that will take a lot of time, instead of putting them off until there will be a large enough chunk of free time to complete them in one fell swoop, think about how to break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks that can be accomplished over a series of days. Chunk Chapters Work in small chunks. Break an already small task—which is ideally part of a larger job—down into smaller bits. Set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes, no more than half an hour, and work at the task. When the timer goes off, decide whether to stay on the current task or to pick another. Either way, tasks get worn down, one small chunk at a time. Separate Starts All large tasks are really the same; when cleaning a house, start with one room. When finished, move on to the next room. Before long, the entire house is clean. Caseloads and client files are no different. Start with one; when it is finished, move on to the next. One by one, until the entire task is complete. 3. Tap into Tools There is a plethora of tools available to today’s paralegal. Technology can help organize time, allocate resources, delegate duties, and more; making the best use of the tools at one’s disposal is perhaps the most important key to increasing productivity. ServeNow.com One of the duties that befalls paralegals is that of arranging for legal service. Many firms rely on third -party servers to deliver service, trace skips, conduct investigations, and other tasks. ServeNow.com provides firms with access to a vast network of trusted, pre-screened local process servers. This service saves paralegals the time required to hunt

down a worthy process server by doing all of the legwork for them. How easy! ServeManager Another service provided by ServeNow.com is ServeManager. This program gives paralegals the ability to assign, track, and manage serves, much like shipping companies provide one location to manage and track all packages. This is a very convenient way to save time and stay organized. Combined Contrivances By combining tools such as ServeNow.com and ServeManager, paralegals can ensure that all of their process serving information is in one place, and that with very minimal effort and time, they can find all of their service information in one place. 4. Open up to Organization Staying organized is a challenge for many individuals, not just paralegals. Whether it is the desk, filing cabinet, in/outboxes, or computer files, being organized saves time. A Place for Everything … and Everything in its Place Although an old saying, it holds truth to this day. By organizing the items on a desktop, a person’s mind creates a traffic pattern to the location of each item. By putting regularly used items in specific places and keeping them there, when a paralegal reaches for the item his/her brain learns the path to that item. Each time the action is carried out, that pathway becomes cemented harder and harder. Pretty soon, grabbing the stapler without looking, answering the phone while stapling, and grabbing a sticky note will all be second nature. Find a File Formula Client files can be a nightmare; organizing and keeping their contents organized can be even worse! Develop a pattern for case file contents. For instance, make it a rule to put the client informa-

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tion sheet in the bracket on the left side of the file, first item, followed by the retainer agreement on top, and any pertinent case opening documents from the court on top of that. On the right side, place discovery. Try filing the most recent additions to the front, so they are easy to find when preparing motions. After finding a succession that works, stick to it. Doing so will save time in the long run and eliminate lengthy searches for documents. Kick Clutter to the Curb Go through inboxes and outboxes, filing cabinets, and seldom-used desk drawers. Anything that is outdated, no longer used, or irrelevant, shred and throw away. Pens that no longer work, pencils without erasers, calculators with dead batteries: pitch ‘em. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a little spring cleaning year-round! 5. Find the Flow Great paralegals know how their office works, and how their lawyers work. Putting that knowledge to good use by creating a proficient flow-through system for handling documents will increase productivity in the office, guaranteed!

Repeat the Routine Once a routine is established, if it works, keep at it. Try not to deviate from the schedule unless absolutely necessary. This will help co-workers know when to stay out, clients to know when to expect an email response or phone call back, and the neural pathways will hum with efficiency! Boosting productivity is challenging, especially in the paralegal profession, because working diligently all day and feeling exhausted at the end of it must mean that a great deal was accomplished, right? In truth though, arriving back at the office the next morning reveals that very little was completed. Trying these simple ideas to streamline the office and the way work is done can help conquer such a defeating and vicious cycle. Gloria Koss is a former paralegal and a staff writer for ServeNow.com, which is a trusted network of local, pre-screened process servers. Learn more at www.ServeNow.com.

Copy Cornucopia Keep a good-sized stack of copies of a variety of regularly used documents readily at hand. For instance, if a firm requires a client intake sheet to be filled out for each potential client, having a tall stack of them copied and ready to grab on the way to a new consultation is extremely helpful. Promptly Prioritize Identify what tasks have to be done in what order, or what tasks must be completed by when. For paralegals who work with more than one lawyer, this can be tricky. Try keeping a weekly calendar that both lawyer and paralegal have access to in order to update meetings, hearings, and other items so that prioritization is always current.

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CAPA News Contributed by Julie Thornton

I was very excited to have had the opportunity to interview Carolyn Yellis, ACP. Carolyn is considered iconic to the paralegal profession and instrumental in getting Assembly Bill 1761 passed and enacted as Bus. & Prof. Code section 6450. Carolyn is proud to have served on OCPA’s Board of Directors in many capacities and she has been a welcome voice for paralegals. In 1999, as OCPA’s Primary Representative to CAPA, Carolyn grew tired of hearing horror stories from the public about rogue paralegals who were providing legal advice, filing the wrong documents, and making off with clients’ money. She knew something needed to be done to define and regulate the paralegal profession. So Carolyn got busy! She presented CAPA’s approved definition* to Assemblywoman Marilyn Brewster which defined a paralegal and became incorporated as Assembly Bill 1761. On September 10, 2000, Governor Gray Davis signed AB 1761 into law which was enacted as Bus. & Prof. Code section 6450. Actively involved in CAPA since 1995, Carolyn responded to questions about CAPA and the paralegal profession. When did you first become actively involved with CAPA and what positions have you held? · 1995 OCPA’s CAPA Secondary · 1996-1997 OCPA’s CAPA Primary and became a member of the Legislative Committee · 1998-1999 OCPA’s Primary and CAPA’s Treasurer · 2000-2001 CAPA President-Legislative Liaison California Assembly and Senate. · 2002-2003 CAPA’s Board Advisor Legislative Chair · 2002 to present CAPA’s Solo & Small Firm Liaison · 2005 to present CAPA’s Liaison to Solo and Small Firm Section and Legislative Chair What does the position of CAPA's Liaison to the California State Bar - Solo and Small Firm Section entail?

The CAPA Liaison position is the voice of paralegals to the State Bar of California. I served as a voting member from 2003 to 2006 and now serve as Secretary, an officer position. The goal is to educate attorneys on Bus. & Prof. Code section 6450, et seq. and the proper utilization of paralegals. I have spoken about this at the State Bar’s Annual Meetings since 1997. I attend three face to face meetings a year and participate in monthly telephonic meetings. It is at these meetings where things are discussed. I, of course, continue to educate those on the Executive Committee (which consists of the whole board). The liaisons are the voice of the paralegals directly to the attorneys. Why do you think it is important that CAPA maintain a presence with the State Bar of California? • It is extremely important to maintain the relationship with the sections of the State Bar because we are directly involved with the very persons who employ us. Much work still needs to be done, but the liaison position is one that requires dedication to the paralegal profession and the CAPA Board. It is important that CAPA Board members be led into a direction that promotes the profession. It is an honor to serve as a CAPA board member. What do you feel are CAPA's strengths? CAPA continues to be strong in its affiliation with the State Bar. CAPA sponsored AB 1761 which forever changed the paralegal profession. CAPA also continues to offer quality education to its members and other legal professionals and students. CAPA has strength in numbers.

Do you have any recommendations on how paralegals can become involved in the further adherence and promotion of Business and Professions Code section 6450? • Paralegals need to become more active in their profession. I have long stated that all paralegals, when making a declaration should add in that they are in compliance with Bus. & Prof. Code section 6450. This will have an effect on the cost bills. Also, it is the duty of every paralegal to educate his or her attorneys. Although there are unpublished cases on the matter, we need to have a published case. Even if their firm does

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not comply, they should bring their compliance papers to the office manager and/or attorney. Education comes with familiarity. Many are still unfamiliar. Anything you would like to tell our readers about CAPA? • CAPA is your statewide organization. Your representatives from your local associations, CAPA Primaries and Secondaries, are your bridge to promotion of the profession and information on what is happening state wide. California still continues to be the leader in the nation. Many states are modeling their regulation based on Bus. & Prof. Code section 6450. This should make everyone proud. If you are a local board member, you can aspire to become your local association’s primary or secondary so that YOU can make a difference. New blood is emerging and to be on the CAPA Board is such an honor. CAPA has fought to define our profession. Compliance is now the goal. Get actively involved! At the time of drafting AB 1761, each of CAPA’s representatives (two representatives from each of the 13 affiliate associations which comprise of CAPA) circulated CAPA’s paralegal definition to their local Board of Directors. Each association then brought back to CAPA's board their association’s comments and revisions to CAPA’s proposed definition. The proposed definition was then revised in accordance with the comments and revisions. The CAPA representatives then circulated the proposed version back again to their local Board of Directors for approval. CAPA had 13 affiliate associations and it took considerable time for a consensus of the proposed definition of a paralegal; however, in June 1999, a motion waso verwhelmingly carried by CAPA’s Board of Directors and the proposed definition was approved. OCPA would like to thank Ms. Yellis for her time and for providing the members of the OCPA an opportunity to learn more about CAPA and Bus. & Prof. Code section 6450. Carolyn Yellis is a Senior Paralegal at the law firm of Woodruff Spradlin & Smart in Costa Mesa, California. She is a regular public speaker for the State Bar of California, local bar and paralegal associations, California Alliance of

Paralegal Associations and National Paralegal Associations. Carolyn has served as the Co-Chair on several of CAPA’s Annual Conferences and continues to have an active role in the promotion of the paralegal profession. • To adequately provide you with Carolyn’s entire legal background would require many pages but I wanted to give you a brief view of her past with CAPA and her thoughts on the profession. I hope that Carolyn’s involvement with CAPA and the paralegal profession as a whole will inspire you to become actively involved with OCPA and/or CAPA. Both the OCPA and CAPA organizations are nonprofit and are run by volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me or any of the board members. Our contact information can be found on the CAPA and OCPA websites. Here’s what’s going on with CAPA! Membership: It’s that time of year again! Time to renew your membership to the OCPA. As a member of the OCPA you’re a member of CAPA and welcome to all the benefits that CAPA offers. You can visit CAPA’s website at www.caparalegal.org for information on the benefits. RECAP: The Fall 2010 CAPA newsletter “Recap” contains an article Ensuring Paralegal Fee Recovery Through Proper Billing Standards by Jacqueline S. Vinaccia. Vinaccia did an excellent job providing useful information on obtaining paralegal fees, avoiding disputes on paralegal fees, and case law. Recap can be found on the member section of the OCPA website. CAPA Board Meeting: CAPA is preparing for the upcoming board meeting which will be held November 6 and 7, 2010 in San Francisco. CAPA’s Nomination’s Committee has compiled the Slate of Nominations for election to the 2011 CAPA Board. In the next newsletter, I will provide updates from the board meeting. In the meantime, visit CAPA’s website for updates. Need MCLE? CAPA isn’t wasting time getting organized for 2011. Here’s your chance to obtain

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OCPA Compendium

November/December 2010

California. There will be a series of tracks where you can select the topics that interest you. The tracks consist of: Calendaring Risks, Social Security and Disability, Writing Tips, Domestic Partnerships, Excel Tips, Trademarks, Certification, e-Discovery, Immigration Laws, Bus. & Prof. Code section 6450, and Ethics. Visit the CAPA website and pull up the brochure which has details on the tracks and the speakers. The Holiday Inn at Fisherman’s Wharf will offer rooms at a reduced rate of $140 per night. You may want to book early to ensure availability. Not to mention San Francisco is a pretty gorgeous city!

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OCPA Compendium

November/December 2010

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OCPA Compendium

November/December 2010

Hello from NALA! As many of you already know, beginning September 2010, the CLA exam will be administered via computer at Act centers. NALA has made available an extensive booklet to describe the changes and administration of the test. Access the booklet here: NALA Certificate Booklet NALA has announced the fall 2010 Certified Paralegal Short Course for those preparing for the Certified Paralegal Examination or those interested in brushing up on professional skills and knowledge. Offered by NALA for several years, the Certified Paralegal Exam Short Course has become one of the most popular educational events of NALA. Course description and information are available here. The 2010 National Utilization and Compensation survey of paralegals is underway! Your input is vital to the integrity of the survey. To access the survey and include your information visit http:// www.nala.org/survey.htm The control number is 729843.

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OCPA Compendium

November/December 2010

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OCPA Compendium

November/December 2010

ORANGE COUNTY PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION 2010 Board of Directors Executive Committee: President VP Administration VP Policy Treasurer Secretary NALA Liaison

CAPA Primary

CAPA Secondary

Kai Williamson Hilary Martin Janine Fountain Kristen Martin Tanya Chopra Julianna Hallsted, ACP

ocpapresident2009@gmail.com hilary.ocpa@gmail.com jfountain1@sbcglobal.net ocpatreasurer@gmail.com tanyachopra1@aol.com hallstedjulie@gmail.com

Directors at Large: Julie Thornton Marie Conzelman, CP Coreen Mueller Michele T. Pfeiffer, CLA Rafia Aleem Michelle Manu Diane Triscari Lisa Enoka

jthornton@manatt.com maria.conzelman@bbklaw.com coreen.mueller@lennar.com Mtpfeiffer@aol.com raleem@greenhall.com manulegal@hotmail.com dianet127@hotmail.com lisa.enoka@jameshardie.com

Frances Prieto, CP

prieto_f@hotmail.com

Tonya Anderson

tonya.rose.anderson@gmail.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. 

New Members (November/December 2010) Colleen Kozohara Daniela Cano Kellie E. Davidson Kellie Fenner Rick Manzano Annett J. Smith

Cherry Sison Odetta Robinson Melissa S. Woo Sarah Zapiain Leigh Ann Clifford Sylvia Labeda

Member Statistics (November/December 2010) Voting: 421 Student: 214

Associate: 66 Sustaining: 36

Total: 737 Members

IMPORTANT MEMBER REMINDER: If your contact information has changed (i.e., address, telephone number, email address), remember to contact our Database Manager at ocpadb@gmail.com. Updating your records is our best assurance of maintaining an uninterrupted relationship with you. Page 43


OCPA Compendium

November/December 2010

OCPA CORPORATE SPONSORS Adams & Martin Group (714) 433-6860 www.adamsmartingroup.com ARIXMAR 800-423-0170 www.arixmar.com Atkinson-Baker Court Reporters 800/288-3376 www.depo.com Barkley Court Reporters and Trial Services (949) 955-0400 www.barkley.com Beach Court Reporting (888) 803-3443 www.Beachcr.com Ben Hyatt Certified Deposition Reporters (888) 272-0022 www.benhyatt.com

Davidson Legal Staffing (949) 955-3114 www.davidsonstaffing.com

Kelly Law Registry (310) 286-6426 www.kellylawregistry.com

Skyline Document Services (949) 872-5592 www.skylinedocservices.com

Deadlines On Demand (310) 557-5522 x2912 www.deadlines.com

Legal Network 949/752-8800 www.legalnetwork.cc/

Special Counsel (949) 261-2211 www.specialcounsel.com

Legal Staffing Group (949) 252-1133 www.Legalstaffinggroup.com

e-Docuplus 949/251-0071 www.e-docuplus.com

Maxene Weinberg Agency 800/640-1949 www.mwadepos.net

Evolve Discovery (714) 545-4900 www.evolvediscovery.com

Merrill Legal Solutions. (949) 743-4027 www.merrillcorp.com

The First American Corp. (800) 700-1101 www.eagle9.com

Parasec 888/272-5450 www.parasec.com

Fremont College 562/809-5100

Paulson Reporting & Litigation Services (714) 668-0166 www.paulsonreporting.com

Haggard Investigations (714) 423-9980

Bordwell & Associates (949) 724-1466 www.wedolegal.com

Ikon Document Services (949) 862-6500 www.Ikon.com

CT Corporation (213) 344-9384 www.ctadvantage.com

Integrity Legal (949) 296-1243 www.integrityegalcorp.com

Plaza Copy & Imaging, LLC. (949) 955-2679 www.plazacopy.com Sarnoff Court Reporters (949) 955-3855 www.sarnoffcourtreporters.com

Stevens Legal Staffing 949/706-6611 www.stevenslegalstaffing.com Thomson Reuters 800/747-3161 UCI Extension 949/824-1228 V-Corp (310) 417-1867 www.vcorpservices.com Veritext, LLC 714/432-1711 www.veritextllc.com West, a Thomson Reuters business 866/485-7226 www.west.thompson.com West Reporters (805) 368-0823 www.westcourtreporting.com

OCPA SUSTAINING MEMBERS Adams & Martin Group 714/433-6860

Hutchings Court Reporters 714/547-6169

Barkley Court Reporters and IKON 949/254-2241 Trial Services (949) 955-0400 Kelly Law Registry 714/703-1764 Bordwell & Associates 949/724-1466 Kensington College 714/542-8086 Corporate Creations International, Inc. Knox Attorney Service 561/694-8107 714/479-1650 CT Corporation Legal Reprographics, Inc. 213/344-9384 949/275-4618 Davidson Legal Staffing Legal Staffing Group 949/955-3114 949/252-1133 Esquire Deposition & NRAI Corporate Services, Litigation Support Services Inc 714/834-1571 (800) 562-6439 x 2233 Glenn M. Gelman & Parasec Associates 916/576-7000 (714) 667-2600 ext. 264

Plaza Copying & Imaging 714/556-2679 ProLegal Network 213/892-1400 Sarnoff Court Reporters 949/955-3855 Special Counsel 949/261-2211 Stevens Legal Staffing Group 949/706-6611 The Rutter Group 800/747-3161 x7026 Titan Legal Services, Inc. (800) 441-4107 UC Irvine Extension (University of California, Irvine) 949/824-5524

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Veritext 800/649-8787 Westwood College 714-938-6176 West Court Reporting Services, a Thompson Reuters business 805/368-0823 Western State University 714/459-1105

For more information about becoming a Sustaining Member, please contact Kai Williamson ocpapresident@ocparalegal.org


OCPA Compendium

November/December 2010

COMPENDIUM - November-December 2010 Volume 31, Number 11

Committed to Excellence through Education, Certification and Ethical Responsibility Publisher: Orange County Paralegal Association Editorial Team: Hilary Martin, Tracy Hermans, Elizabeth Root

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 or contact Hilary Black-Streeter, Membership Coordinator via e-mail at MembershipMail@OCPAralegal.org. Š 2010 Orange County Paralegal Association

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES ONLY For information about advertising, please contact Valarie Pitts at: ValeriePitts@ClevelandGolf.com

If you have any questions regarding publication requirements, please contact the Editor at OCPACompendiumEditor@gmail.com

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OCPA November/December Compendium  

Paralegal Newsletter

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