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Tisha Delgado

Tisha Delgado is a senior litigation paralegal and e-discovery specialist at Golan Christie Taglia, where she maintains complex databases...

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Carl Morrison

Carl H. Morrison, PP-SC, AACP, is a certified paralegal with a specialty in civil litigation where he concentrates in...

Electronic filing (eFiling) is changing the court filing game across the nation. In this episode of the Paralegal Voice, host Carl Morrison talks to Tisha Delgado about how eFiling works. While some may be hesitant to shift to eFiling from paper filing, Tisha shares the advantages to this electronic system from saving time and energy to being able to file last minute. She also shares tips for using the PACER system and provides resources for those interested in learning more about eFiling. Stay tuned to the end for Listener’s Voice, Carl’s recurring segment featuring audio questions or comments from a listener. To send in your own question, email Carl at [email protected]

Tisha Delgado is a senior litigation paralegal and e-discovery specialist at Golan Christie Taglia, where she maintains complex databases and assists clients in collecting and exporting electronically stored information and social media. She is also a member of the Illinois Paralegal Association and presently serves as its Vice President and Litigation Section Chair.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NALAServeNowThomson Reuters Firm Central and CourtFiling.net

Transcript

The Paralegal Voice

How to Prepare for eFiling

11/02/2018

Laurence Colletti: Hello Legal Talk Network listeners, this is Executive Producer Laurence Colletti. Before we get started we’d like to welcome our new sponsor CourtFiling.net. eFile court documents with ease in California, Illinois, Indiana and Texas. To learn more, visit CourtFiling.net to take advantage of a free 30-day trial, and now onto the show.

[Music]

Carl Morrison: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Paralegal Voice, here on Legal Talk Network. I am Carl Morrison, a certified paralegal, devoted to law, and your host at The Paralegal Voice.

I am a certified paralegal and paralegal educator and I am devoted to not only the paralegal profession, but to all legal professionals, from legal support professionals to paralegals to those whom we support attorneys.

I am devoted to helping others enhance their passion and dedication for the paralegal profession through entertaining and engaging interviews.

Today, my guest is Tisha Delgado, a litigation paralegal and eDiscovery specialist in Chicago, Illinois and we’re going to be speaking on eFiling and some tips and tricks for paralegals and legal support professionals. So we’re going to have a great show and thank you Tisha for joining me today.

Tisha Delgado: Hi Carl, thanks for the invite.

Carl Morrison: Before we begin, we would like to thank our sponsor.

Thomson Reuters Firm Central, cloud-based legal practice management that streamlines your day and automates non-billable administrative tasks, so you can accomplish more with less.

And also NALA; NALA, the paralegal association is a professional association for paralegals providing continuing education, and professional certification programs for paralegals at nala.org.

NALA is a force in the promotion and advancement of the paralegal profession and has been a sponsor of The Paralegal Voice since our very first show.

And finally, ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted prescreened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high-volume serves, who embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit serve-now.com to learn more.

So definitely I want to say thank you to Tisha for agreeing to be my guest on today’s show, and of course, before we get into the nitty-gritty of eFiling and sharing with the listeners, tips and tricks, tell the listeners a little bit about yourself, Tisha.

Tisha Delgado: I have been a litigation paralegal for 22 years and I’m currently employed at the law firm Golan Christie Taglia, here in Chicago, where I manage the e-discovery department and help clients collect their electronically stored information and social media.

I am a proud member of the Illinois Paralegal Association and I presently serve as its Vice President and Litigation Section Chair. I’m also a contributing editor at CourtFiling.net working to help attorneys, paralegals and other legal professionals better understand the new state court eFiling system rules and procedures that we have going on here in Illinois.

Carl Morrison: Fantastic and eFiling and a lot of times we have a lot of listeners that are new to the legal industry and so eFiling or also known as electronic filing is a big deal nowadays.

So why don’t you tell the listeners what is eFiling in the grand scheme, the 30,000 foot view, what is eFiling?

Tisha Delgado: Well, the courts have this electronic case management system. It allows registered attorneys to electronically upload their court documents online and the technology lets the courts be more efficient and paperless.

We don’t need to carry over an original document plus three copies to the court clerk’s office anymore, we just efile them, efile the court documents and all the parties in the lawsuit can immediately have access to the documents and download them directly from the court system.

The court system is available 24/7 which is handy for attorneys especially those last-minute attorneys who want to wait till the very last minute to e-file something, but no more mad dashes to make it to the courthouse before the doors close and more importantly for people like us here in Chicago no having to go through feet of snow in the wintertime.

A common challenge is teaching people how to navigate the system, how to upload the documents and to learn the technical parts of eFiling like what a PDF format is or what OCR is.

Carl Morrison: Right.

Tisha Delgado: So that’s a big challenge for us.

Carl Morrison: And if you can believe it and we’re going to talk about federal versus state and eFiling, but if you can believe it there are many jurisdictions out there across the country at the state level that don’t have eFiling nowadays, we’re in the year 2018 going on 2019 and there are still jurisdictions that don’t have it.

(00:05:09)

So you mentioned doing last-minute filings that attorneys waiting to the last minute back before I switched over into the corporate arena works for a major national law firm that attorneys did wait to do that last-minute filing, because it’s really easy to wait to that last second to get something filed. So what are some of the advantages to eFiling?

Tisha Delgado: It is easy access. Most jurisdictions you do have until midnight, the day that your filing is due you have until midnight as your court deadline. So again, you can be here at the office late, you don’t have to rush out or make it to the courthouse by 5 p.m. You do have that extra comfort level so the attorneys can take more time usually after 5 people are leaving, they don’t get as distracted anymore and they can focus on what they need to do to finish up the document whatever they need to e-file, and plus we’re global now. A lot of the times attorneys have to wait for clients in different areas of the country or the world to get back to them to say it’s approved, go ahead and e-file it. So that’s a big convenience as having that up until midnight timeframe to e-file something.

The only downside is that paralegals or their staff needs to stay and wait for them to finish so that they can have the documents ready to e-file.

Carl Morrison: Not to scare any of the new kids out there listening to this podcast but there have been many times and you probably can attest to this also, Tisha, that it’s 11:45 and you are still putting together a motion for summary judgment and all the exhibits to get right under that wire to try and get it filed at 11:59, I don’t know how many times I’m clicking the Submit button at 11:58 or 11:59 so —

Tisha Delgado: It’s scary too. When we first went to mandatory filing in state court here in Illinois, the one thing that I was training and teaching my attorneys here and the staff was to not come up against that midnight deadline. It was so rough. I made sure to find case law where attorneys did wait to the last minute and there were technical difficulties and they did not get it in on time and their cases got dismissed, their appeals did not go through because it’s a technical difficulty and that technicality there’s nothing you can get around it.

We’ve had our Illinois Supreme Court has already ruled, so attorneys didn’t believe me. Oh, Tisha, you’re just trying to scare us. I was so happy to show them the first case that came through this Illinois Supreme Court where they said, hmm, attorney was filing and they didn’t upload all of the exhibits by that deadline, and their appeal was denied.

Carl Morrison: Oh my gosh.

Tisha Delgado: And it’s like, oh my gosh, yeah, talk about getting scared.

Carl Morrison: Right.

Tisha Delgado: So we have that buffer now and it’s kind of like an internal rule. We are not waiting until midnight to e-file something at the very latest where it’s 5 o’clock. People here are leaving, they are not required to stay, so it’s very rare that we have a late filing and people know about it, so there’s lots of support well in advance.

Carl Morrison: That’s great, that’s fantastic.

Tisha Delgado: Yeah.

Carl Morrison: We’re talking a little bit about the state and we’ll get more into the state aspect of eFiling; federal-wise, the federal courts do electronic filing, correct?

Tisha Delgado: Correct.

Carl Morrison: And so, it is called PACER; so, let’s talk about the PACER system. Can you explain to the new kids out there and for those that may have not really worked with it much or segueing from corporate into a law firm world, what is PACER, and what does the acronym stand for? What is the PACER system all about?

Tisha Delgado: Sure. PACER stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) and it is a centralized public access service that allows users to get case information online from federal appellate courts, district courts and bankruptcy courts and this is nationwide. It’s available to anyone who registers for an account and that even includes data collectors, researchers, the media and the public. You can use a PACER case locator, it’s part of the system to search for cases. You can search for a plaintiff or a defendant nationwide. You could find out whether — how many lawsuits Google has against them where Google is a defendant?

(00:10:03)

You can actually put in those criteria into the PACER Case Locator and find out how many cases they have actively going or that have been settled. You could find out if your company or your client has filed bankruptcy in a different jurisdiction, you could run their name through the PACER locator system to see what other lawsuits they might have. This is really helpful.

So when we have new clients, that’s one of the first things that we might do is to research them to say, well, what kind of business are they bringing in, do they have cases in certain jurisdictions or are they global, I mean, what’s — not global but it’s nationwide, so it’s in the United States that we can access PACER information. But there’s a lot of information that you could find out about businesses, individuals and this is a public access, this is public filings, they’re available that are out there. There’s no confidentiality information, these are public records.

Carl Morrison: Be the same as if you just went to the Federal courthouse and asked to see a filing, it’s public access that the public can access it.

Tisha Delgado: Exactly.

Carl Morrison: So, do you think PACER is a difficult system to navigate, to utilize?

Tisha Delgado: It’s not but if you have never seen any kind of electronic filing system it can be intimidating, but it is really fairly easy to navigate. You do have to have an account. You have to have a login and a password, but it’s not terribly difficult to navigate.

Once you have logged into the system you can access, again, the PACER Case Locator or you can sometimes e-file into the system as well. PACER is doing its own updates and upgrades as well too, they are updating before we had to have all of our attorneys have an individual login.

So, my attorneys here had to have a federal court login for Illinois, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Florida, wherever they practiced law they had to have an individual PACER account for all of these different jurisdictions.

Well, PACER is now upgrading their system, it’s called the NextGen system. So that it just will change your password and log in to be a single eFiling login. So, one password, one login credential can access multiple jurisdictions for you now.

So, those are coming through and they’re getting updated as we go through. Not all of the courts of the federal courts are on that system yet, but as they come online we all have to renew our PACER account and make sure that the attorneys that e-file have that new connection as well too.

Carl Morrison: How wonderful is that now that you can actually have one login because I worked at a firm where I worked for six to seven different attorneys and they worked in different jurisdictions and I had this running sheet of login; so how fantastic that PACER is now going to NextGen.

If you wouldn’t mind give our listeners maybe five or six different tips that you would use or say to someone in navigating and utilizing the PACER system?

Tisha Delgado: Sure. I mean, the first thing if you’re ever tasked with helping your attorney e-file in a federal court, the first thing that you want to know is what are you filing, are you filing a motion, are you filing a response, and you need to know where you’re filing, which court, which jurisdiction are you going to be filing into.

If you have documents that need to be filed in another state, does your attorney need to be admitted to that particular court so that you can e-file? They usually do. Does your attorney have to be registered to e-file in that court? They usually do. You need to research that. Find out what the needs are, what needs to be done for each court to allow your attorney to even e-file.

Most of those applications or registrations are on the court’s websites. Each court has their own procedure for filing certain types of documents, setting up hearings. So, if you know that you’re filing a motion — for example, if you’re filing a motion in an Illinois Federal Court, we set up hearings differently from anywhere else. I learned that the hard way. I moved up here from Texas. I had been eFiling in Texas and New Mexico Federal courts. Came up here and Illinois completely does their hearings and sets up their hearings totally different from everyone else.

So, it’s important that you know where you’re filing, what courts are going to be in and look at the rules. You have to look at their rules, their local rules and check that judge’s website if they have one. If they have a specific website, some judges do. You have to find out what their specific procedures are. Do they appear certain kinds of motions on certain days or only on certain days of the week at certain times? How much notice do you have to give to an opposing party? If you don’t follow any of the rules your motion may not be heard.

(00:15:11)

You also need to know if there’s any exhibits that need to be filed? Do any of those exhibits have sensitive information that needs to be redacted, and for those of you who may not know what a “redaction” is, it’s a black box that gets put over the data on your document and wipes out your Social Security Number or your date of birth, financial account numbers, if it’s any kind of sensitive, confidential, personal information, it has to be redacted, that’s part of the federal rules as well too.

If any of those exhibits have to be redacted you have to prepare those in advance. Make sure that they’re ready to go so that by the time you’re eFiling you have the final version of all the documents that you need and everything is already prepared. So when you are eFiling it makes your process go a lot faster.

Carl Morrison: Exactly, exactly right.

Tisha Delgado: Right? And just one last point that I wanted to make was to make sure that you are complying with the technical aspects of your filing. There’s usually a file size limit that limits what size document that you can upload. You have to make sure you know what that limit is and that you know what the file sizes of what you are eFiling.

Carl Morrison: Tisha, these are all great tips and I’m sure we could go on for another 30 minutes on tips, and I know there’s a lot of good resources out there too that help explain some of these types of tips that you’re talking about, so definitely this is great information.

Let’s take a short commercial break and when we come back we’ll continue our show with Tisha Delgado, so don’t turn 16:46.

[Music]

Laurence Colletti: This episode of The Paralegal Voice is brought to you by CourtFiling.net, your solution for electronic filing in California, Illinois, Indiana and Texas. CourtFiling.net provides a better eFiling experience you could spend more time helping clients, because we know that work sometimes happens after hours, CourtFiling.net offers 24/7 phone, email and chat support. Visit us at CourtFiling.net to receive 30 days of unlimited free electronic filings, and see how you too can e-file court documents with ease.

[Music]

Carl Morrison: NALA offers continuing education, professional development and voluntary certification for all paralegals. The Certified Paralegal credential has been awarded to more than 19,000 paralegals. The Certified Paralegal Program is also the first paralegal certification program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. NALA works actively with all those in the legal field to promote the value of paralegals and to advance paralegal professionalism. Learn more about NALA at www.nala.org.

[Music]

Carl Morrison: Welcome back to The Paralegal Voice. I am Carl Morrison, and we are speaking with Tisha Delgado, a litigation paralegal and eDiscovery specialist from Chicago, Illinois, and of course, before the break we were talking about PACER and the Federal Court system and kind of a little bit of an overview.

So, Tisha, if a paralegal, legal secretary, law clerk, whomever, if they want to learn more about eFiling at the Federal level, are there resources out there?

Tisha Delgado: There are. PACER does have an e-file section on their website and there is a training on their menu. There is a training section to learn how to use it. They do have videos, they have specific videos on maybe filing a new complaint or filing a motion, plus each individual federal court also has training videos and training areas.

So if you are a California paralegal and you’re like Illinois, because I never have to file in Illinois why would I go there, you can. You can go to your jurisdiction in California and look under the eFiling section and find training videos. Some of them also have or you can practice on documents and actually pretend e-file. Push all the right buttons, upload fake documents and practice. It’s a really helpful. I know Illinois does that, so I always teach paralegals through Illinois’ website, so that you can actually get the feeling of uploading those documents.

Carl Morrison: I know that when I first got acclimated to eFiling I worked at a firm that one of the senior secretaries actually went through some pretty intensive training and learned from her as well as going on to the website and doing the videos, reading through so on and so forth, and I’ll never forget the very first time I went to e-file, I thought I was going to have a heart attack because I was thinking, oh my gosh, am I doing this right? What happens if I don’t do it right?

(00:20:04)

Tisha Delgado: Exactly. And that’s why you try to do it over and over and over to allay those fears. I am going to break something, I am going to push the wrong button, it’s going to be destroyed, people think the worst case scenario and it’s like no, just take advantage of those free services that are out there, become familiar with that court’s process, absolutely.

Carl Morrison: Over the 25 years that I have been a paralegal I have learned over time that it’s okay, you learn when you click the wrong button and you get the wrong response, you go, oh, don’t do that, so definitely.

Tisha Delgado: Exactly.

Carl Morrison: So let’s talk a little bit about state court eFiling-wise. Jurisdictions, many jurisdictions offer electronic filing in their state, respective state, do you know by chance, do most jurisdictions require only eFiling or do some jurisdictions do both? Talk a little bit about both paper filing and electronic filing.

Tisha Delgado: So I know, I think we have got about 46 states that have an eFiling program in place, but that does not mean that every county in that state is eFiling. Your state might be eFiling only in certain counties, but other maybe smaller counties may not have that available.

Here in Illinois, we do have paper filing available, but it is for the pro se plaintiffs. It is for those people who are not able to afford an attorney and they are representing themselves, they have to e-file.

There are computers in our court clerk’s office to help pro se individuals file their documents. They can file electronically if they wish to, but they do also accept paper filings as well too, they do it both ways, or the clerk will accept the paper filing and will need to scan the documents and get those on to the docket as well. So it does work both ways.

There for a while when we first started eFiling in Illinois, in state court, in Cook County, here in Chicago, we did have a backup plan to e-file in paper, because everybody was so uncomfortable with eFiling for the first time when it was mandatory in the summer in July, we had problems; of course there’s technical problems. You have a new system, system is going to crash, and we have so many people filing at the same time and sure enough it did. So we were still sending our court runner down to paper file documents, so that was the backup plan.

But we have got it humming along now and I don’t believe they are accepting anymore paper filings except for maybe the pro se people.

Carl Morrison: That’s a good tip to share with those that may be in a jurisdiction that they are just now coming online in the way of doing an eFiling system is, be patient and understand that of course most jurisdictions, courts they are going to have that what I call grace period, so that if you are trying to file electronically, they aren’t going to necessarily make it mandatory raw off the bat. There is still going to be kind of that transitionary period that you are going to have to put it online, but if it doesn’t work you can go send your runner down to file it in person.

So Tisha, if I was moving to a different state and working for a law firm in my new home state that I moved to, what are some tips and tricks that you would recommend on learning, discovering all I could about eFiling in that new jurisdiction?

Tisha Delgado: First and foremost, always, reading the rules, read your local rules, read the rules that are in that new state. As paralegals we are familiar with the procedures and the processes. I mean we live and die by the rules, I sure do. I am a rules girl. I need to see where is the law, where is the statute that says I am supposed to do it that way.

I want to make sure that I am doing it correctly and properly. And when you move to a new jurisdiction, you need to know how they run things. Everybody is different. And if you don’t even know the basics, if you are not even reading up on the rules and you are trying to figure out well, how do we do that? Well, what does the rule say, because that’s where you go first. If the rules are not clear, then you can branch out from there, but always, always read the rules.

Carl Morrison: I teach paralegal students and I always talk about when I moved from Oklahoma to Nevada that I hadn’t even landed my job yet, I was working on it, getting job, lining it up at the firm that I worked for and I got the rules, got online and read the rules. I knew I was going to be doing litigation. I knew the area that I was going to be working in, so it was like okay, what am I going to do, I am going to learn the rules, because it’s going to guide me on what I need to do and understanding, especially eFiling, what was the eFiling system here in Las Vegas/Clark County.

(00:25:02)

And while I am not a big fan of the eFiling system here in Clark County, it’s not that user-friendly, but there are resources. So yeah, you learn your rules when you are moving to a new jurisdiction, so that’s great.

Tisha Delgado: Yeah. And also jumping in on that resources as well too, so here in Illinois when we are state court filing, PACER, when we are online and filing with federal court, we can kind of do it ourselves. People have been using PACER for a while and it hasn’t really changed, I mean at least the past 18 years we have been filing with PACER.

So the state courts are new and the state court platforms are different and different from PACER. So everybody always compares it to PACER and they say why can’t we just use PACER? We have attorneys who cry and complain and it’s just like you have got to learn the state court system, it’s okay.

But we have service providers. We have eFiling service providers and they are the ones that help us. So we talk about needing a free platform where we don’t have to pay for eFiling or pay for additional services or costs. Well, guess what, these service providers, they are amazing. Their helpdesk, they know, they work with the court systems directly, they find out how to do things and how to troubleshoot so that you don’t have to.

So if you are a paralegal and you are so overwhelmed with eFiling and you can’t even think of managing it with the rest of your workload that you have got to do, consider hiring a service provider. Most of them charge $2 or $3 per filing, but what is really the value of that cost? If you think oh my gosh, I can’t even afford $2 or $3 of filing, that’s too much. Well, what is that cost versus the cost of your paralegal going crazy or spending five hours out of their day to try and troubleshoot the new eFiling system? I mean free is not free.

Carl Morrison: Correct.

Tisha Delgado: So you weigh the differences and use the service providers. They are phenomenal.

I know with our Illinois Paralegal Association, we had several demonstrations. We invited them all. Any and all service providers that were coming online to help us out here in Illinois, we were having demonstrations from them. They were demoing their products so that we could figure out which one was going to work best for our firms, what the cost was, what the differences were.

Paralegals have to research that software. Paralegals have to research that new technology. We are the ones making that recommendation in our law firms as to which service provider we could use and that’s exactly what we offer to them as well too.

Carl Morrison: And that is the sign of a great paralegal is understanding and discovering those resources out there to help the paralegal become more efficient and more effective in their job. And it’s important to investigate, so belonging to an association and going to association meetings where you have got service providers like that definitely will set yourself apart from the others in your firm and help your firm grow and evolve. So definitely, that’s a great tip.

I was mentioning that teaching paralegal students and I always teach the importance of grammar, reviewing, editing, proofing when you are drafting your pleadings and of course other legal documents that you are doing, but Tisha, wouldn’t you agree with me that when it comes to eFiling, those skills are even more important?

Tisha Delgado: Absolutely, it’s that attention to detail. That is the one thing that you see on any job description for any paralegal, it’s that attention to detail. Do you have that attention to detail? And that’s what you need. It’s the proofreading. It’s making sure that your paragraphs are numbered sequentially, the page numbers on your documents are numbered correctly, the formatting is correct. When you have that attention to detail, you elevate your standard.

Again, when you are doing well, you get more work, that’s just the way it is as a paralegal, but you know you are doing a great job when you get lots of work. And when attorneys come to you and say, I want you to e-file that for me, I want you to proofread that for me because you have got that eye, you have got that attention to detail and you are giving a fresh view of what they have been spending days and nights on, so that if something is weird or something doesn’t sound right, having that fresh pair of eyes to catch that before it gets filed with the court is invaluable.

I have had attorneys thank me numerous times just for finding an extra period, finding an extra space. They get very persnickety and they want to find those mistakes, to clean it up, to make themselves look professional to their work product. You want to make sure they look good too.

(00:29:57)

Carl Morrison: Well, on that issue the fact of making sure that your attorney has referenced the correct exhibit number or letter. Nothing is more horrible than your attorney in hearing before the judge citing to the wrong exhibit, and the judge is flustered and frustrated because you’re spending time trying to get to the right one, your attorneys trying to get to the right one and things as simple as the wrong exhibit number or letter can mean the difference.

And so it’s vitally important for a paralegal to understand and hone in on those proofing and editing skills because it can mean a lot for your firm and your client.

Tisha Delgado: Absolutely.

Carl Morrison: So I am going to throw you a curveball. So hang on.

Tisha Delgado: Uh-oh.

Carl Morrison: Uh-oh. If you had to give one tip, I am going to force you to only give me one tip, and the listeners one tip about eFiling, what would it be? I know that’s a hard question.

Tisha Delgado: Well, I mean, it’s definitely just reading the rules because if you have got that mastered you’re on the road to the right path. eFiling can get pretty complicated and it can get very overwhelming, but if know how it’s supposed to go, if you’ve read your court rules and you know how the procedure is supposed to go, then you can figure out what to do when it’s not going that way.

Carl Morrison: Definitely that’s vitally important. Without your rules as I always call my rule book although there you don’t have books anymore, you look at them online.

Tisha Delgado: Right.

Carl Morrison: But your rule book is kind of your Bible, it is what you adhere to in order to ensure that things go the way they’re supposed to go for your clients. So definitely it’s a great tip.

Well, Tisha, we’re running out of time, and like I said we could talk about this all night all day.

So, thank you so much for a great interview. I know I’ve learned a lot and sure our listeners have learned a lot as well.

If someone wanted to pick your brain or pose a question to you about eFiling or eDiscovery, which you and I could probably have a whole another two or three shows on eDiscovery, because I love eDiscovery, how can they get in contact —

Tisha Delgado: Let’s do it, Carl; let’s do it.

Carl Morrison: All right, all right, let’s do it. I am signing you up. How would they get in contact with you?

Tisha Delgado: Probably the easiest way is LinkedIn. You can Google me, Tisha Delgado Chicago Paralegal. Find me on LinkedIn. It’s probably the easiest way to get a hold of me and this way my spam blocker won’t block you if I give you my firm name or my firm email, so you can DM me on LinkedIn, you can find me through the Illinois Paralegal Association. Yeah, I think LinkedIn is the best way.

Carl Morrison: Okay, perfect, and definitely you mentioned that you also do a blog, is that right?

Tisha Delgado: Yes, I’m a contributing blogger for the CourtFiling.net. Since we have so many filing issues here in Illinois when we’re coming online, we just came online mandatory eFiling started in July this year. We’ve had to really troubleshoot and get up to speed. Cook County is our largest county here in Chicago, in Illinois, Chicago is the city and Cook County is the county and it’s a huge undertaking and we’ve had lots of issues coming online in working with the eFiling manager, Tyler Technologies and with the court clerk’s office, that’s just trying to make them all work together and things have been changing as we go along. It’s like every week they’ve been updating the system and doing something new.

So, yeah, just trying to blog and trying to as we learn the solution on how to do a specific thing, I’ve been writing blog articles about it and helping people to figure out, oh, so that’s how you do it, that’s how it works. And we’ve been getting really good feedback, really positive responses. I even have attorneys that are emailing me and finding me through the blog to say, wait, how do you do that? So that’s always nice.

Carl Morrison: Fantastic.

Tisha Delgado: Yes, because there’s just not enough information out there to help people with eFiling here.

Carl Morrison: Well, definitely, our listeners can definitely check out the blog as well and follow you there, and definitely we’re going to have to have you come back. We’ll need to talk a little bit more about the struggles with jurisdictions coming online as we’re a very tech savvy country and industry and definitely have to have you come back and talk more about this topic.

Tisha Delgado: Anytime.

Carl Morrison: Perfect. Tisha, thank you so much. That’s all the time we have for today’s podcast, so be sure and tune in to next month’s episode and when we come back we will follow up with our Listener’s Voice. Stay tuned.

(00:35:06)

Carl Morrison: Firm Central, cloud-based legal practice management software for solo and small law firms provides a single online location for all of the tools you need to manage client files and perform client work and offers unrivaled integration with Westlaw. With Firm Central you can securely store and organize documents and case files, manage time tracking and billables and collaborate with clients through a secure client portal from anywhere there is an Internet connection.

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Carl Morrison: Welcome back. Come to the segment in the show called the Listener’s Voice, which I have to admit is my favorite part of the show. This is an opportunity for you as a listener to send me an email with any of your questions, your career celebrations, anything going on with your Paralegal Association and I’ll read through them and then I’m going to select those to read on air, and if there’s a particular topic or a question that you’d like for me to answer or maybe a prior guest on the show that you want an answer from, send them to me and send them to me via email and make your voice the listener’s voice known and heard. You can send your email to [email protected]

Today’s question comes from a legal professional that I’ve known and she did not allow me to give her name, so we’re going to call her former teacher in the heartland.

Hi Carl, I need your expertise and tips and tricks. I just finished my eighth week from transitioning from the academic arena to hands-on working as a paralegal. I seem to be spending way too much time trying to keep up with organization programs, which include Pipedrive for potential clients, MyCase for the actual clients, Dropbox for documents we are trying to go paperless, and a tracker program for bankruptcy filings. It seems way too much and too many programs, is this the norm? Do you have any tips on a program that does it all? Signed former teacher in the heartland.

So, former teacher, let me tell you that really there’s not a one program does it all type of program out there. Every area of law is really specific. You working in bankruptcy, of course, you’ve got a system as it relates to bankruptcy filings, but then there are systems that deal with tracking of clients and potential clients doing conflict check, things of that nature, to those systems that deal with your accounting for your firm to document management.

There are many systems that will cover most of those areas, so like Clio will track clients and potential clients, it will deal with your accounting aspect, it will deal with your document management, calendaring, docketing things of that nature.

Because you work in a specific area of bankruptcy you’re going to have to have at least more than one system to navigate it all, but I think sounds like you probably work in an area that you could streamline it a little bit more and make it a little bit more efficient and have maybe just two systems, system for your bankruptcy, system for all the rest of what I call client management software.

I hope that helped. I know that there are many others out there that probably have a litany of systems that you can probably look at and investigate. There are a lot of different software providers out there that can streamline and help you with that.

So, good luck, former teacher. I know you can do it.

That’s all the time we have for today’s show on The Paralegal Voice. If you have any questions please email them to me at [email protected], and stay tuned for more information in upcoming podcasts, for exciting paralegal trends, news and engaging in fun interviews from leading paralegals and other leading legal professionals.

Thank you for listening to The Paralegal Voice, produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network.

If you like more information about today’s show, please visit legaltalknetwork.com. Find Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn or download Legal Talk Network’s free app in Google Play and iTunes.

And reminding you that I am here to enhance your passion and dedication to the paralegal profession and make your paralegal voice heard.

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Outro: The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, or subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

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Episode Details
Published: November 2, 2018
Podcast: Paralegal Voice
Category: Best Legal Practices
Podcast
Paralegal Voice
Paralegal Voice

The Paralegal Voice provides career-success tips for paralegals of any experience level.

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