Adriana Linares and Renee Thompson interview Liz McCausland, Melanie Griffin, and Barbara Leach about maintaining successful careers while being involved with Bar committees. The interviewees talk about mentoring young lawyers, encouraging and helping potential leaders, and expanding community service within the legal field. While all three lawyers use technology to help with time management, they emphasize that being involved with the Bar is essential for their careers. Whether you are a private practice or in government service, you can build friendships, mentorships, and networks that progress your practice.
Liz McCausland started her career as a civil litigator and now does bankruptcy and mediations in Orlando, Florida. Previously on the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Board of Governors, she is now a member of the Leadership Academy Committee.
Melanie Griffin is a partner at Dean Mead and practices in the firm’s commercial litigation department. She served as president of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers in 2011-2012 and President of the YLD Board of Governors in 2013-2014.
Barbara Leach practices family law, consumer bankruptcy, and civil litigation at Barbara Leach Law in Orlando, Florida. She is also a former president of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers and is a current member of the Leadership Academy Committee.
Paralegals and paralegal students often have difficulty developing their writing skills to the level expected from legal industry. The legal professionals rely heavily on both verbal and written communication, and writing is an essential necessity for both lawyers and legal secretaries. Because the other employees in a law firm will not tolerate inadequate writing skills, all paralegals need to learn to write in a concise and precise manner with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. But how should they get started?
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Virginia Koerselman Newman, lawyer and paralegal teacher, about why proper legal writing is important for paralegals and how they can get started on improving their skills. Newman suggests that paralegals and legal assistants start by writing down everything they can think of regarding the case then choose only the important facts later to adapt to a legal framework. She suggests taking classes on structure, grammar, and punctuation, buying the book The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, and simply practicing. Use a practice textbook, edit mistakes in a magazine, and keep a daily journal. She concedes that learning to write is particularly difficult, especially because technology has made us complacent, but it is better to improve your ability now than struggle through your paralegal career. Newman finishes the podcast by mentioning how to show off writing skills through a resume, cover letter, and a developed portfolio.
Virginia Koerselman Newman, Esq. graduated from the Creighton University School of Law and practiced for many years in banking and commercial litigation in Omaha, Nebraska before she “attempted” to retire in South Carolina. Before Law School, she worked as a paralegal for a number of years and was the first CLA in the state of Nebraska. Koerselman Newman is a frequent speaker at seminars and workshops and has authored, co-authored, and edited several other paralegal texts, study guides, and instructor manuals. She teaches communications, legal research, estates, and legal analysis at NALA school for paralegals.
Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and Serve Now.
Since 1956, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, better known as GTLA, has worked tirelessly to ensure that everyday citizens, Georgia families and small businesses are never deprived of their constitutional guarantee of access to true justice. Ringler Radio, host Larry Cohen along with colleague, Bill Wright, and special guest, Linley Jones, the 59th President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, talk about membership, mission, current issues in the legal community today and the power of giving back.
Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.
The ABA TECHSHOW is an annual legal technology conference in Chicago, sponsored by the Law Practice Division of the ABA. The goal of the conference is to educate lawyers, legal professionals, and law firm employees on using technology in their practice. The 2015 conference will be held April 16th through the 18th, and will feature many new and recurring educational topics that are trending in legal technology. Want to find out if this conference will benefit your practice?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview the Chair of the ABA TECHSHOW Board, Brett Burney, about the 2015 conference, what attendees can expect, and why attendance is useful to almost anyone working in the legal field. The people who should attend, Burney says, are solo and small firm lawyers, government lawyers, members of corporate legal departments, and big firm lawyers. Additionally, law firm employees such as paralegals, legal assistants, CIOs, IT professionals, law firm administrators, office administrators, litigation support professionals, and many others will benefit from the educational value of the ABA TECHSHOW. He talks about this year’s legal technology topics such as cloud computing, a paperless office, digital security, and many others, and how the board selects speakers of quality and relevance. Burney discusses how having vendors and exhibitors at the conference can help users, why a legal professional should attend for the first time, and what’s new and cool for the 2015 conference. The ABA TECHSHOW comes highly recommended by past attendees for legal professionals at any level of tech experience, from novice to expert.
Brett Burney is the Chair of this year’s ABA TECHSHOW Board and is also the Principal of Burney Consultants LLC. He focuses the bulk of his time consulting on e-discovery and litigation support topics. He also works with lawyers who want to integrate Macs, iPhones, and iPads into their practice. Burney is a frequent contributor to Legal Technology News and speaks around the country on litigation support, e-discovery, Mac and iOS-related topics.
Every new year brings a new opportunity to “start fresh” and get something done that you might not have accomplished in the previous year. As we look ahead to 2015, we start to think about our legal technology resolutions for the coming year. There are often new technologies for lawyers that did not exist in the previous years and new ways of automating or organizing their lives. What are some specific, measurable, actionable, and realistic legal tech goals that can be made for the coming year?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss their personal legal technology resolutions for 2015, how to get started making your own technology resolutions, and how last year’s resolutions have turned out. The hosts first suggest some general resolutions including turning on Find My iPhone, going paperless, using a password manager, and backing up in 3 different ways. They then talk about their own resolutions. Kennedy aspires to prune down his data intake from things such as podcasts and rss feeds, look into automating as many repetitive tasks as possible, revisit old systems which might be improved by 2015 technologies including the cloud, broadband access, increased storage, or processing power, and to simply try something new. Mighell is looking to learn new Microsoft Office skills in Access, Excel, and Project, start creating more content for his blogs, try a new platform with Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and also automate repetitive tasks using If This Then That and other tools. Both hosts express that it is important for lawyers to increase their technology experience each year and resolutions are a useful way to structure and inspire new learning.
In the second half of the podcast, Kennedy and Mighell review and analyze the legal technology resolutions they set for 2014. Mighell wished to learn about his new Mac and be able to work on multiple platforms and get his certification in privacy. Kennedy aspired to revamp his website, become a successful Evernote user, and take his backup to the next level. Tune in to hear whether they achieved their goals.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is often overlooked as a part of workers’ compensation because it does not involve injury. The FLSA was a job creation bill passed in the 1930s that requires all employers in the United States to pay employees time-and-a-half, or 1.5 times their normal rate applied to every hour worked in overtime. As probably every worker knows, overtime starts after 40 hours of work per week. This is a federal statute that applies in every state to every worker, although 29 states have their own Wage and Hour laws. Who is exempt from the FLSA, how is this law enforced, and what related issues arise?
In this episode of Workers Comp Matters, host Alan Pierce interviews Michael Galpern, a workers’ compensation lawyer who specializes in the Wage and Hour area of the law. Together they discuss the importance of the FLSA, what types of managerial positions are exempt from the law, and how the Departments of Labor enforce the law. Galpern explains the issues that arise with tipped employees and cash methods of compensation. If an employee has suffered an infraction or violation of the FLSA, he urges them to find a lawyer. The attorney will know what questions to ask of the employer and what documents to require for discovery. Furthermore, the defendant must pay for the attorney if the case is ruled in favor of the plaintiff. Galpern gives an example of a case, Stillman versus Staples, in which Staples had classified many of their assistant managers as managers and claimed them exempt from the FLSA. Tune in to hear the exciting verdict. Overall, Galpern emphasizes that every job in the United States is covered under the FLSA; some jobs may be covered and exempted, but all are initially covered.
Michael Galpern is the Co-Managing Partner and Chairman of the Wage and Hour department of the Locks Law Firm in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Galpern is also the new president of the Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) and the past president of the New Jersey Association for Justice. Galpern has also been an invited lecturer on numerous occasions, speaking on subjects related to civil litigation and complex torts.
There has been a rapid growth in electronically stored information that is potentially useful for e-discovery in litigation. Because more data storage means higher costs, organizations are searching for new ways to store their information efficiently and cost effectively while at the same time not limiting access throughout discovery, a process which can sometimes last for months or years. It is important for litigators and large companies to understand what their options are for data storage and hosting cost flexibility. A process called “nearlining” provides a relatively simple solution to this problem of expensive data storage.
On this episode of the ESI Report, host Michele Lange interviews discovery product director Andrea Gibson and civil litigator Brian Calla about data storage costs, the nearlining process, the formatting of data storage, and other innovations in document review. Gibson explains that data access is not necessarily to all data, but to the appropriate data for any point in time, which can change throughout the life of an investigation, regulatory review, or litigation. The challenge lies in keeping volume of information reduced while maintaining access to what’s important. Nearlining, she says, is a capability by which you can store data that isn’t currently necessary, making the active data footprint smaller and greatly reducing electronic information storage costs. Calla, who often deals with e-discovery, discusses how nearlining works with his clients’ needs. Often, they wish to collect too much data initially. In this case he uses predictive coding to weed out unnecessary data and nearlines it for potential later need. When a project or review is finished, he will nearline all documents that are coded not responsive. Gibson and Calla finish by discussing other data storage innovations they each use to reduce costs including reformatting, predictive coding, and automatic redactions.
Brian Calla is a member at Eckert Seamans in Pittsburgh, PA. He concentrates his practice in general civil litigation with a particular emphasis on e-discovery, mass tort litigation and products liability. Calla serves as an Electronic Discovery Special Masters (EDSM) panel member for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Andrea Gibson is the Director of Product for Discovery Solutions at Kroll Ontrack, specifically working on the ediscovery.com Review product line. She has more than 10 years of direct experience as a litigator and legal consultant.
As we reach the end of 2014, it’s time to look back at the world of legal technology and some of the best advancements, worst fails, popular trends, and developments of the year. Using this information, trends and events can be predicted for 2015. What are the odds that two or more state bar disciplinary groups will issue rules about lawyers using technologies that will baffle lawyers that actually use that technology? It’s time to answer this and other questions about the way lawyers are interacting with new technology.
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell adopt the ESPN “Pardon the Interruption” approach to take a fast-paced, broad-based look at the past year, contribute a few thoughts on 2015, and give lawyers some ideas of what they can be doing with legal technology.
In their first section, “Toss Up,” Kennedy and Mighell each take opposing sides of such debates as:
Phones or Phablets?
Passwords or Advanced Security Techniques?
To Cloud or Not to Cloud?
Is more/better innovation coming from outside or within the legal service provider market?
Was 2014 a big year for new technologies?
What’s the Word
In the second section, “What’s the Word,” the hosts analyzes the way lawyers are interacting with technology. They consider subjects such as human document review versus predictive coding, how lawyers use social media, the impact of the Windows Surface Tablet, bring your own device (BYOD), and lawyers facing technology choices.
The third section of the podcast, “Odds Makers,” is about the predictions of legal technology stories in 2015. Kennedy and Mighell hypothesize the chance that certain events will happen over the next year. The following questions are approached:
How many lawyers will discuss their appreciation for WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS?
How likely is it that a lawyer’s next computer will be a Mac?
What are the odds that a lawyer will attend a conference about legal technology?
Will the new “killer app” for lawyers appear in 2015?
Play along with the hosts as they give their predictions and let them know your take on legal technology for 2014 and 2015!
As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast end.
There are numerous sources in the legal world claiming that lawyers need to work on building and growing their networks in order to gain referrals. But with hundreds of connections, how is a solo lawyer able to build and develop proper relationships with everyone? Maybe lawyers should be thinking about the quality of their connections rather than the quantity. What should a solo or small firm attorney do to build a good referral network?
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews family law practitioner Lee Rosen about forming strategic partnerships and setting up a basic referral network. Rosen actually rejects both of those phrases and explains that he thinks of an effective referral network as a collection of close friends who provide value to each other in multiple ways. Lawyers should build relationships with around twenty other lawyers and people in different professions who have the opportunity to provide referrals. Also, he says, you need to LIKE these people, because they will be your friends for the rest of your practice. Once you have found the right twenty connections, use things like social media to maintain these relationships. At the end of the podcast, Rosen explains three important takeaways for solo lawyers: be interested in the other people, be deliberate and calculating when you choose connections, and pick up the phone and start calling people today. He believes this form of networking will grow your practice and make you happy.
Lee Rosen has practiced family law for more than 20 years, with four offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He served as the Law Practice Management editor of the ABA Family Advocate for more than a decade and received the ABA James Kean Award for excellence in elawyering. He also served as chair of the Law Practice Management Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He’s a frequent speaker, often sought out by media as a source of family law insight and commentary and the publisher of DivorceDiscourse.com, a widely popular daily advice blog about law firm marketing, management, and finances.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.
As lawyers, we hear a lot about the technological advances in e-discovery and information governance. How do you describe the current state of e-discovery from an opportunity and growth perspective, and how does this market opportunity impact the pulse rate of mergers, acquisitions, and investments? For lawyers purchasing e-discovery packages, there are several types of vendors and pricing models, and they need to be asking the right questions. What does the data governance solution need to do, how much does it cost, what are the time constraints, and how complex is the system?
In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview technology marketer Rob Robinson about the current and future trends in data governance, how to choose an e-discovery provider, and events that will influence e-discovery and information governance in 2015. Robinson explains that the combination of software and services that make up the worldwide market for e-discovery in 2014 is just over 6.2 billion dollars and is growing at a consistent rate. He breaks the market down into three categories: developers who create and sell proprietary technologies or services, integrators who package and resell available services with custom development, and aggregators who combine and resell the technologies and services developed and purchased from others. Going into the future, Robinson discusses his excitement over advances in predictive coding, visual classification, and enhancing e-discovery processing. Also, due to corporate pressure for time and cost compression, these e-discovery solutions should continue to become cheaper and more time efficient. At the end of the podcast, Robinson discusses his use of social media to research trends in the information governance market.
Based in Austin, Texas, Rob Robinson is a proven technology marketer who has held senior leadership positions with multiple top-tier legal technology providers. Currently he is a managing partner with technology marketing consultancy ComplexDiscovery Solutions. With a strong interest in eDiscovery, information governance, and social media, Rob writes and posts regularly on technology and marketing topics on his highly referenced ComplexDiscovery blog.