Podcast category: Legal Support

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Gideon’s Promise: Do Low Pay and Heavy Workloads Undermine the Right to Counsel?

In its landmark 1963 decision Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court mandated the right to counsel in federal and state criminal proceedings. Fifty-one years after that unanimous decision, some question whether Gideon’s promise has been fulfilled, as public defenders struggle against heavy caseloads, limited resources and low pay. On this episode of Lawyer2Lawyer, hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams interview Jonathan Rapping, founder of the Atlanta-based public defender training program Gideon’s Promise, and Dawn Porter, director and producer of the documentary Gideon’s Army. Together they discuss the daily rigors faced by public defenders in the south, their personal beliefs about unequal access to justice, and their ideas about how to better deliver on the promise of Gideon.

Jonathan Rapping is the president and founder of Gideon’s Promise, a training and support group for public defenders in the south aimed at creating greater access to justice for indigent defendants. He is also the director of the Honors Program in Criminal Justice at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, where he teaches criminal law and criminal procedure. Rapping is the former director of public defender training programs in the District of Columbia, Georgia, and Louisiana. He is the recipient of the Lincoln Leadership Award from Kentucky’s Department of Public Advocacy, the Sentencing Project Award from the National Association of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists, and the Gideon’s Promise Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights.

Dawn Porter is a lawyer and the founder of Trilogy Films. She was the director and producer of the award-winning Gideon’s Army, a documentary about public defenders associated with Gideon’s Promise, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO Documentary Films. Prior to beginning her film and television career, Porter worked as an attorney at Baker & Hostetler and ABC Television Network. Among her many projects, she directed “Spies of Mississippi,” a documentary on PBS about celebrity Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli; produced “Serious Moonlight” starring Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton; and produced “The Green,” an independent feature starring Cheyenne Jackson (from 30 Rock) and Emmy-winning actress Julia Ormond.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Paralegal Voice

Paralegals: What If Your Client Claims Innocence?

Despite US notions of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, many innocent people have been sent to prison for lengthy to life sentences. Common reasons for these wrongful convictions are faulty eyewitness accounts, use of “junk” science as evidence, and informants with conflicts of interest. On this episode of The Paralegal Voice, host Vicki Voisin interviews Professor Marla Mitchell-Cichon from the Cooley Innocence Project at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Together they discuss the Innocence Project and the Post Conviction DNA Testing Statutes that opened the door for exoneration of the innocent around the country. Furthermore, we discover how the convicted innocent have less help than guilty parolees upon their release. Tune in to learn more about coerced confessions, bad actors who cause false convictions, and what remedies the wrongfully convicted have.

Professor Marla Mitchell-Cichon began her teaching career in 1986, following service as a public defender. Her clinical teaching includes post-conviction, criminal defense, general civil practice, elder law and externship. Professor Mitchell began teaching in Cooley’s Innocence Project in 2002. She serves as the project’s co-director. In 2006, Professor Mitchell received the Justice For All award from the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan for her Innocence Project work. Professor Mitchell’s litigation experience includes practicing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Ohio Supreme Court, and trial and appellate courts in Ohio and Michigan. Professor Mitchell’s publications are in the areas of criminal law, elder law, ethics, and clinical teaching.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and ServeNow.

Ringler Radio

Special Needs Trusts or Pooled Special Needs Trusts

 

A special needs trust is designed to financially support a disabled individual, providing many benefits to the individual with long-term financial stability. Join Ringler Radio host, Larry Cohen and co-host, Mike Zea, as they join Will Lindahl, MBA, CLPF, National Enrollment Director for CPT Special Needs Trusts, to discuss the process of setting up a special needs trust, when an individual should consider setting one up the cost and the difference between an individual special needs trust and a pooled special needs trust.

Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.

The Digital Edge

Headlines from ABA TECHSHOW 2014

Breaking all of its previous attendance records, ABA TECHSHOW 2014 will certainly go down as one of the most successful. True-to-form, many of the attendees were from small firms and solo practices. With the introduction of How-To sessions, lawyers will be getting more out of ABA TECHSHOW for many years to come. On this episode of The Digital Edge, hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview this year’s ABA TECHSHOW Chair Natalie Kelly. Together, they cover the highlights of the 2014 show plus take a look into the future Planning Board. This year’s hottest topics: the re-emergence of paperless, the Cloud, and iOS. Tune in to hear about the Solutions Lab, Exhibits, and much, much more.

Natalie Kelly is the Chair of this year’s ABA TECHSHOW. She is the Director of the State Bar of Georgia’s Law Practice Management Program where she provides extensive practice management and technology consulting to members of the Georgia Bar. Kelly is a Certified Consultant and Trainer for AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, PCLaw, PracticeMaster, Tabs3, Time Matters, Billing Matters, and TimeSlips software applications. She also speaks and writes frequently on these topics. At home, Natalie is a hard-working wife and mother of 3 daughters.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.

Paralegal Voice

The Limited License Legal Technician: Washington State’s Paralegal Law Practice

In reaction to rising legal costs and decreased access to legal services, Washington State has authorized paralegals to practice law on a limited basis through its new Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) program. Soon paralegals will be able to practice in specific areas of law. To learn more about this developing field, tune into this episode of the Paralegal Voice, where host Vicki Voisin interviews NALA President Ann Atkinson, ACP, as well as attorneys Steve Crossland and Thea Jennings of the Washington State Bar Association. Together, they review the licensing, permissible scope of practice, and continuing education requirements for these new LLLT Paralegals.

Ann Atkinson is the current President of the National Association of Legal Assistants and Senior public finance paralegal at Kutak Rock, LLP. Ann has also served on the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Paralegal Association and is a former adjunct professor for Metro Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a prominent author and presenter in matters paralegal.

Steve Crossland has been a practicing attorney for nearly 40 years. He is the former President of the Washington State Bar Association and has been dealing with the unauthorized practice of law and access to justice for 21 years. He is also the recipient of WSBA’s Award of Merit and the current Chair for the Limited License Legal Technician Board.

Thea Jennings is the LLLT Program Lead and Staff Liaison to the LLLT Board at the WSBA. She began her career at the WSBA in 2008 as a paralegal in the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the disciplinary body that prosecutes ethical violations by Washington attorneys. In 2006, she received her post-baccalaureate certificate in paralegal studies from the University of Washington, where she also received her undergraduate degree in English and French studies.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and ServeNow.

Paralegal Voice

Public Speaking: Conquer Your Fears, Deliver Your Message, and Change Lives

“Say something to make them put down their salad fork,” public speaking coach Deb Sofield said. The window of opportunity to engage an audience is small, and your introduction is a key factor in success. In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Paralegal Mentor Vicki Voisin hosts a lively discussion with Sofield covering public speaking basics, how to conquer fears of public speaking, and general standards to advance your career and daily life.

Sofield is a public speaker, author, and coach. Her goal is help her clients find their voice and deliver their message so that is is impactful and it is heard. She frequently presents on the basics of how to succeed in public speaking worldwide.

Special thanks to our sponsor, NALA.

Paralegal Voice

The Soft Skills Every Paralegal Needs

Hard skills can be taught in school – things like speaking a foreign language, earning a degree or certificate, or the ability to type efficiently. Soft skills are more complicated to master. Examples of soft skills are critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and flexibility. A valedictorian may lack a necessary soft skill for a role, and this could be the deciding factor of hiring someone else. In this edition of The Paralegal Voice, host Vicki Voisin invites Ann L. Atkinson, ACP and Elizabeth H. Nellis, ACP to discuss the necessary soft skills and specific programs where paralegals can learn them.

Atkinson is the president of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). She is an Advanced Certified Paralegal in the public finance department of her firm, Kutak Rock LLP. Bringing significant experience to the table, Atkinson has been a paralegal for more than thirty years.

Nellis is an Advanced Certified Paralegal with NALA. Her work is concentrated in private practice and litigation. She is a co-founder of the Oklahoma Paralegal Association and is a member of the Professional Development Committee for NALA.

Special thanks to our sponsors NALA and ServeNow.