In the wake of divorce, many families find themselves emotionally and financially devastated. If you’re in the heat of a legal battle, it’s easy to go to far and create acrimony with your ex-spouse which can poison any chance at a cordial future relationship–and drain both sides’ bank accounts to pay for attorney fees. But what if if didn’t have to be that way? In this month’s Asked and Answered, moderator Stephanie Francis Ward speaks with Rebecca Love Kourlis and Melinda Taylor, who hope to change the way people approach the divorce process through the Honoring Families Initiative.
Legal Talk Network was at the 2015 Winter Meeting for the Florida Bar in Orlando. This was the perfect time to sit down with Bar leaders and discuss what they’ve been working on, future conferences, member benefits, and online resources.
In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares interviews Florida Bar President Greg Coleman about the Practice Resource Institute (PRI), member benefits focused on solo and small firms, and the Clio Cloud Conference happening during the Annual Florida Bar Convention in June 2015. Coleman discusses creating the PRI to fill the gap in technology resources provided to lawyers in small firms without tech departments. It is comprised of materials on PC and Apple computers, apps, practice-specific software, general practice software, practice management tools, and anything else a new lawyer, young lawyer, or a lawyer who wants to leave a firm needs to know. Several practice management products and other legal technology tools were vetted and are now provided as member benefits.
Coleman and Linares discuss the Florida Bar’s day-long technology program, which will be presented on June 24th, just before the Annual Florida Bar Convention. Tune in for a preview of what will be included.
Coleman closes the podcast with a discussion of the Florida Access to Civil Justice Commission, created by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga on Nov 24th, 2014. This commission addresses the issue of people who cannot afford or are unable to obtain legal aid. As a member of the commission, Coleman plans to engage the business community in order to think of creative solutions to the problem.
Greg Coleman, partner at the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman and President of The Florida Bar, has been practicing law in Palm Beach County for more than two decades. He joined the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman in 1995 and was named partner in June of 2000. In June 2014, Coleman was sworn in as President of The Florida Bar. His focus is complex commercial litigation, insurance bad faith, employment litigation, professional malpractice defense, personal injury, and wrongful death.
Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares interviews Peter Sweeney, Deputy City Attorney of Palm Bay, Florida, at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. As the chairman of the Member Benefits Committee of the Florida Bar, Sweeney discusses adding technological tools like Clio and Rocket Matter to member benefits and the vetting process of these tools. Also a member of the The Unlicensed Practice of Law (UPL) Committee, he examines the problem of people needing legal aid and how to adequately meet these needs within the confines of the law. In addition to being Deputy City Attorney, Peter Sweeney is board certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar.
Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares interviews attorney Joseph Corsmeier about technology competency for lawyers at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. Corsmeier discusses being a member of the Vision 2016 Commission: Technology Committee, CLE requirements for technology and minimum competency with regard to legal ethics, and how he is assisting lawyers with digital security, practice management, and maintaining legal standards. Joseph Corsmeier, a sole practitioner out of Clearwater, represents lawyers in defense of Bar disciplinary matters and proceedings before the Florida Bar and advises lawyers and law firms throughout Florida about ethics and professionalism.
Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares interviews attorney Renee Thompson at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. Thompson explains how to become a member of a Bar committee, why a lawyer should come to the meetings, and the benefits of getting involved in leadership. She also discusses the future of the Practice Resource Institute and how it will help solo and small firm attorneys. Renee Thompson is a civil litigator at Mateer Harbert law firm in Ocala, Florida. She serves as the fifth Circuit representative on the Florida Bar Board of Governors, chairs the Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy, and serves on the Special Committee on Technology and the Board of Governors Vision 2016 Technology Committee.
Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares and Florida Bar Board of Governors member Renee Thompson interview Jennifer Kuyrkendall at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. Kuyrkendall discusses her role with the Young Lawyers Division (YLD), the video series Mentoring with the Masters, the General Practice Solo and Small Firm Technology Conference, and how she became involved with Florida Bar leadership. Kuyrkendall is the child support hearing officer for the Third Judicial Circuit in North Central Florida, presiding over Title IV-D cases, the Third Circuit representative of the YLD Board of Governors, conference chair of the General Practice Solo and Small Firm Technology Conference, and a member of the Vision 2016 Commission.
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.