NALA has gone virtual for this year’s conference! Join hosts Carl Morrison and Jill Francisco and conference speaker Brian Moore as they discuss the session offerings, social events, and CLE opportunities available through the 2020 NALA Conference @ Home.
If you still need to register, click here!
Brian Moore is a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.
Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA, ServeNow, CourtFiling.net and Legalinc.
The Paralegal Voice
Get Ready for the 2020 NALA Conference @ Home
Jill Francisco: Hello everyone. Welcome to a special episode of The Paralegal Voice here on the Legal Talk Network. I am Jill Francisco, an advanced certified paralegal and President of NALA, the Paralegal Association and co-host of The Paralegal Voice.
And today is double the fun as you have both hosts of The Paralegal Voice today.
Carl Morrison: Should we warn our listeners that they have got two of us today, I mean?
Jill Francisco: Maybe we should have in advance.
Carl Morrison: I am Carl Morrison and I am your host also of The Paralegal Voice and today we are here reporting sort of as a precursor to NALA’s 45th Annual Conference that’s coming up. It’s also known as the 2020 NALA Conference @ Home. Due to the pandemic and to ensure the safety and health of our attendees of NALA, NALA’s Conference went virtual, which is a first for any Paralegal Association to do and I know we are really excited about this conference.
Jill Francisco: Yeah Carl, you know I am excited and I have been — everybody at NALA has been working hard for the 2020 NALA Conference @ Home and all I could say is you do not want to miss it.
I mean register today and you can register all the way up to the beginning of the conference, which is July 9th. There will also be a link to the registration posted in the notes to this show, but if you can’t wait, visit nala.org under the Education tab to register today.
So like Carl said, this is NALA’s first ever 100% virtual conference. It will be held July 9th through the 11th, all online, easy access from your home, office, wherever you choose to be, you know at the beach, I mean I don’t know, but there are so many options, there are so many options. And the price is right, $99 for NALA members, $149 for non-members.
I know Carl was giving that two thumbs up.
Carl Morrison: Four thumbs up, because that was like holy moly, what a deal. I mean you are getting about 11 hours, am I right Jill?
Jill Francisco: Yes.
Carl Morrison: And a CLE for it.
Jill Francisco: Yeah. And like Carl said, 11 possible CLE hours and actually there is 30 sessions to choose from, because we have sessions going on simultaneously, so something for everyone.
And here is just an example of some of the things we are going to have. If you are getting ready to take the CP exam, we are going to have nine CP review sessions, including the Essay Writing for the Skills portion of the exam, which is always welcomed I think, Skills of an Indispensable Paralegal, Dementia and the Courts, Being Secure in an Insecure World; I mean we all need that, Hot Issues in Employment Law, which we have — we are going to really elaborate on that today, Immigration and Human Trafficking and much, much more.
NALA is also offering free access to the business meeting, so if you don’t need the CLE for some reason, we would still love for you to connect and get registered and register for the free meetings, which would include the Annual Membership Meeting, the Annual Meeting of the NALA Affiliated Associations. We also are going to have two Board of Directors meetings and also it will be a celebration of the installation of the officers for the upcoming year for the Board of Directors. Those are all free to attend. So just visit NALA’s website to register, you will see a different link for that, but it’s very easy and we hope that if you don’t want the CLE that you will at least register for those free things.
We are also going to have, which I know that Carl is a pro at these already, I have been taking notes Carl, we also have the Social Happy Hour events, you know as soon as I was going to say that, you know what I was talking about. They are going to be held every day upon completion of the CLE sessions. And we want to try to provide platforms for the conference attendees to connect and network.
And speaking of connecting and networking, and I know this is a favorite, I know Carl has it downloaded, when you register to attend the 2020 NALA Conference @ Home you will get access to the Conference App, the Conference App is so awesome. Am I right Carl?
Carl Morrison: I will tell you the second I was able to download and get on the app I immediately started playing the game. The app has the whole gamification and unfortunately I am only 15 in the ranking, there are 15 people ahead of me, they beat me.
Jill Francisco: Darn it, you will be on it, you will be on it, it’s early. So that’s another platform that provides for attendees to interact with each other, to interact with our digital exhibitors and with NALA headquarters. The app will be very heavily used to keep conference attendees informed and connected.
So again, please don’t miss out on this wonderful CLE opportunity to see what NALA is about. This is going to be groundbreaking. Plus, let’s be honest, this is a tremendous value for high quality education from the leading Paralegal Association.
So Carl, I know you are registered and ready to go, but just in case I haven’t convinced our listeners to attend, please share with our listeners what you are looking forward to at the 2020 NALA Conference @ Home.
Carl Morrison: Well, I know that one of the things that if you didn’t register in time to get the Care Package, I mean because —
Jill Francisco: Sorry, because it’s awesome.
Carl Morrison: Sorry, unfortunately. I am still waiting for my Care Package, that’s what I am really excited besides the conference about getting. And I know there is all sorts of gadgets and gizmos and things in the Care Package and thank you to NALA for putting that together for the attendees, but even if you didn’t, if you haven’t registered yet get on and register today, I will tell you there are several sessions that I am so excited about.
I am relatively new to the employment law arena within the past three-and-a-half years working where I work today, that’s where I have started branching into and I love, love, love employment law and there are some sessions and our guest today is going to be speaking on employment law things; we will talk about that in a second, but there are other sessions like the cannabis law sessions that I can’t wait to do.
I live in a state, Nevada, that legalizes marijuana and I want to attend those sessions and hear more about some of the impacts from the federal level as well.
And a session that I am really, really excited about is the WILLOW Project. And I am not going to give anything away about the session, you need to get on, you need to register, you need to attend, if there is not any other session that you are going to attend, attend the WILLOW Project. So get on, you don’t want to miss that one.
I am excited to hear and know that we are going to be doing Social Happy Hours, Virtual Happy Hours. For those that follow me on social media you have probably seen me posting pictures about through the course of this pandemic being locked down at home, actually that’s how I have kept in contact with a lot of different people. I have actually been invited to other paralegal mixers across the country and I am excited to do this with being able to get with people that I only get to see once a year because of the NALA Conferences, but I will at least get a chance to still see them this year, may not be able to hug them in person, but at least I will get to see them virtually and connect with and who knows maybe I will set up my own little post mixer through Zoom and invite people to come.
So I think that this opportunity is amazing. I know that many people have registered, many, many people have registered and there is still plenty of room, so you really, really don’t want to miss this.
Again, this is like first time ever, so I know I am excited, I know Jill is excited, I know a lot of paralegals that are friends of mine and that have connected with me through social media that have just recently registered, they have never attended a NALA Conference before and they have done it because this opportunity is groundbreaking, right Jill?
Jill Francisco: Yeah, perfect. Well, and that’s it, we are making the best out of this situation and the opportunity that the virtual platform presents is unbelievable. I mean this is going to connect NALA’s education and just in general NALA’s impact on the paralegal profession to many, many paralegals that have not had the opportunity in the past to experience anything NALA.
So, yes, like Carl said, there is plenty of room, so come on down. We cannot wait. We are super excited. And for nothing else, just as a side note, there is going to be a recording studio that’s going to be set up in my house for the three days and I am going to be going live at certain times when I run the meetings and oh, you don’t even want to know what I have planned, it’s so much silliness and craziness that please just attend for the entertainment factor. It’s going to be worth it I can tell you.
Carl Morrison: I can’t wait. I can’t wait.
Jill Francisco: I know, I know.
Carl Morrison: All right. Well, I think we need to take a short commercial break at this moment. Jill, we are going to come back with our special guest, right?
Jill Francisco: Yes, can’t wait.
Carl Morrison: All right, stay tuned.
Jill Francisco: Stay tuned.
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Jill Francisco: Welcome back on The Paralegal Voice. We have a very special guest on today’s show. Today we have Brian Moore, a Partner of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, practicing in labor and employment law.
I have had the privilege of being Brian’s paralegal for the past couple of years, but we have known each other for many more. Brian will be presenting a couple of exciting sessions during the 2020 NALA Conference @ Home; Hot Issues in Employment Law and Interviewing Techniques Do’s and Don’ts, both sessions are a definitely can’t miss.
But today Brian is going to give our listeners a little teaser on what they can expect if they attend the session on Hot Issues and Employment Law.
Brian Moore: Thanks Jill and Carl. It’s great to be on the show and like you I am super excited for the first ever virtual conference. You mentioned Hot Topics in Employment Law and when I first agreed to be a speaker, it was way back in 2019, which seems like a decade ago now and here we are midway through 2020 and because of COVID-19 and everything else there is definitely a lot to talk about in terms of employment law.
Jill Francisco: Yeah, who would have known what we would have gotten ourselves into in 2020.
So yes Brian, you mentioned COVID-19, it’s definitely having an impact on the labor and employment law now and for probably a few years to come. I am sure your conference session includes information regarding the emergency temporary leave laws. Could you please talk to our listeners a little bit about these new laws?
Brian Moore: Sure. When this whole pandemic hit back in March one of the first acts of Congress was to enact some emergency sick leave laws to protect employees affected in some way by the virus. What is historic about that is this is the first time that there has ever been federally mandated paid sick leave; we did have the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, but it never mandated paid sick leave, it only mandated unpaid leave and it only applied to employers with 50 or more employees.
These new emergency sick leave laws apply to all employers with less than 500 employees. In sum basically Jill and Carl, it provides two weeks of sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons. It also provides up to 12 weeks of emergency FMLA leave for school related closures or loss of childcare providers due to COVID-19. These are temporary laws, they do expire on December 31, 2020, but they are going to continue to be very important throughout this year.
Jill Francisco: So quick question, I know I have applied for the Family and Medical Leave Act twice I guess; when I had my son JD, I used that in combination with short-term disability, and then when my husband broke his leg I did Family and Medical Leave Act. So do you go about the same way kind of applying for the new emergency temporary — the temporary leave acts or how do you go about applying?
Brian Moore: Yeah, you would apply in the same way, there is different documentation involved with the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act and again remember it applies to all employers, not just the 50 or more employee employers like the 1993 FMLA, but you are going to have to show documentation perhaps of a school related closure; in a state where there was an executive order closing schools, that’s pretty easy to provide that documentation.
Carl Morrison: So I work for a large corporation and that was a major thing that came out was this particular law and even a lot of companies and you can tell me otherwise Brian, but a lot of companies have even gone above and beyond what the federal law says in the way of providing the paid time off and giving even additional time on top of that. Are you seeing that with some of your clients that you work with or is that something kind of more on the West Coast out here?
Brian Moore: No, that’s absolutely true. I think in 2020 we are kind of in uncharted territory and even those new emergency sick leave laws, there are some exceptions to those, including perhaps the people who need it most, people working for health care providers and things like that, those providers can’t exempt their employees because they are essential and we can’t do without them right now. However, many of my clients I know have gone above and beyond even what the new law has said in making accommodations and providing leave to employees.
Carl Morrison: Like you said a minute ago, we are in uncharted waters right now and we are learning as we are going on a lot of different things in the employment law arena, and we will talk about a particular Supreme Court decision that came out recently in a minute, but kind of from the company side, the business side and I am sure your clients probably would agree, we are doing this every day, we are learning this as we are going and we are trying to apply these and we are trying to figure out how we can make sure that we ensure our employees are taken care of and are safe and so on and so forth.
Brian Moore: Yeah, I have been using the phrase “Best Practices” a lot because right now sometimes it’s hard to give definitive answers to people but we can engage in best practices in trying to promote safety and keep employees safe and things like that.
Jill Francisco: Yeah, I think that’s I was just going to say, just what echo what Carl said, I mean, it changes I think day by day it seems and to keep up on all that and what might even be a best practice today may not be, it may change in a couple weeks depending on what’s going on with the pandemic.
Carl Morrison: We as paralegals and the attorneys that we support and work for, we are all in the same boat, we are all swimming as frantically as we can to keep our heads above water with everything that’s happening on a daily basis. So it’s exciting times, I guess that’s bad thing — bad words to say, but it’s exciting times.
Jill Francisco: I was going to say it’s a heck of a crazy boat, I don’t know. Okay, well, I think we need to take another short commercial break and we will be right back with more from our special guest, Brian Moore.
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Carl Morrison: Welcome back to The Paralegal Voice. We are here with Brian Moore and you guys are probably listening and going, gosh, this is a great show and gosh, I got to register for a NALA Conference; but to be honest, Brian, I am really — I have to admit I am really, really excited about the Employment Law sessions that you are going to be speaking on and one of the areas that is a big thing is the LGBTQ Rights and specifically the recent Supreme Court decision that came down in the Bostok v. Clayton County, Georgia matter.
And for those that may not even recognize the case name, this has to deal with the Title VII decision regarding discrimination in the workplace, and basically on — specifically on sexual orientation — discrimination on sexual orientation.
Brian, with all the protests that’s been going around the country and racial inequalities, how do you think all these particular decisions that are coming down and what’s happening in our country, how do you think these recent developments have impacted companies and firms approach the diversity and inclusion initiatives? Do you think companies and firms are now really starting to take more stock and looking inward that they can provide better diversity and inclusion initiatives?
Brian Moore: Yeah, hopefully and I can’t speak for all companies out there, but hopefully people aren’t just going to talk, they are going to put some action with it, and I think we are going to see a lot more in terms of trainings and implicit bias trainings and things like that in the workplace. That’s just — the social upheaval in 2020 is just one more thing that it’s going to impact employment law I think for years to come. I mean this 2020 has been crazy as far as how I think employment law is going to change over the next few years.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, I agree, and it’s really amazing times that we are living in and to be able to learn as we are going and grow as we going especially when it comes to the diversity inclusion in our country and speaking specifically on the sexual orientation the particular Supreme Court decision that came down on dealing with Title VII, do you think that we have seen the last of the lawsuits regarding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
Brian Moore: Well, no, if I had to guess I would say at least for the next couple years will be even more lawsuits, because now with this — and make no mistake, this is a landmark decision, this will be remembered for years and years to come. And I was going to talk originally on this issue; however, we had no idea that the United States Supreme Court, we suspected they would rule in time for us to talk about it in July of 2020, but they did, and now it’s definitive that Title VII protects on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
So I think people who may have thought six months ago, I don’t have — maybe I don’t have a lawsuit; well, now they know, I definitely have a lawsuit. So I think that there will be an uptick at least for a couple years in lawsuits under this. As you say “new law”, it’s not really a new law, they are just interpreted into the existing law, that word “sex” which has been on the books since 1964.
This was the trend. I think that it’s not that much of a surprise the Supreme Court ruled this way; some Federal Courts had already ruled this way in the past. So it’s not a huge surprise, maybe it’s a huge surprise who ruled which way as far as the justices go.
Jill Francisco: Definitely.
Carl Morrison: That’s a great —
Jill Francisco: Let’s say “definitely”.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, and that’s a great follow-up question that I wanted to ask you about, when you found out Justice Gorsuch was the one that was the lead author on the opinion and one that everyone pretty much had considered to be a very conservative voice, were you — what was your take when the decision came out and you went, “Whoa, Gorsuch was the one that actually authored this opinion”?
Brian Moore: Yeah, I think like everyone else. I mean, there’s kind of two surprises there; one that he voted the way he did, and then two, that he wrote the decision and it may or may not as big a surprise with Roberts, so I think that was a huge surprise to everyone.
Carl Morrison: I about fell out of my chair.
Brian Moore: Carl, when I was in law school one of the first, I didn’t grow up with lawyers or around people who practice law or paralegals or anyone like that and when I was in law school, it was kind of a shock to me to see that you could kind of predict how Supreme Court decisions would come out based on political party.
So I think regardless of what side anyone is on, on any issue, it’s always refreshing to see decisions that you can’t necessarily predict —
Carl Morrison: Right.
Brian Moore: — who is going to vote each way.
Carl Morrison: Right, I agree, a 110%. And I’m happy to hear that you didn’t grow up in a legal family. I unfortunately grew up with a mother that was a legal secretary when I was a child and went back and became a paralegal and then went back and became a lawyer. So I grew up in the law. So —
Jill Francisco: Wow.
Carl Morrison: — I tried to run away from it, and here I am.
Jill Francisco: No, there was no getting away from that. There was no getting away from that.
Brian Moore: You didn’t have to have all those reality checks like I had.
Jill Francisco: I wanted to mention where Brian was talking about and I know Carl was mentioned who would have thought what was coming down the pike here in 2020, and back in October of 2019 I proposed to the Board of Directors that we form a taskforce to create a diversity equity inclusion aspect to NALA. I felt like that it was important, it was something that I personally wanted to see within the organization and when you were asking about companies and things like that, I mean I think that’s been the trend, that — I mean it’s even going to, like I said even be more emphasized and I think continue, but I think even back then you could see it was going that way and it was important and the Board approved me appointing a taskforce, and then in March of 2020, still before everything was coming to a volcano of 2020, we approved a committee that now NALA has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and we have — and we’re doing — we did a statement, we’re having, we’re doing heritage months, we’re getting things out in social media and also just being aware of the committee appointments and volunteers and different. We don’t all need to be the same and we don’t all want to be the same.
If you have a board or you have a committee that is all the same, all the same backgrounds, all the same social, I mean everything, it’s not going to be good and it’s not going to put NALA ahead of the curve and get us where we want to be in the future, and I know Carl has been following it and I’ve had so many positive comments about NALA forming that and I was just super-excited that we did it kind of ahead of the curves so to speak, and I know Carl, you probably attended, we had a free Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webinar and we offered that to all our members, because I’m sure Carl agree. It’s like didn’t you feel like we just, that’s the first thing in all this as education?
Carl Morrison: Absolutely.
Jill Francisco: I mean, you got to educate people about it.
Carl Morrison: Absolutely.
Jill Francisco: I mean, just like Brian is sharing information today, he’s going to share more if you sign up for conference and you hear his sessions. I mean, sometimes people just don’t even get it. They don’t even understand, they don’t mean to be behaving or saying a certain thing. You need to be educated sometimes, you just don’t realize.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, absolutely, I 110% agree with you on that, that it’s vitally important to be educated as often as you can, because it’s important to an association, to an organization to ensure its vitality and years to come, it’s life.
Jill Francisco: Exactly.
Carl Morrison: So I know we could keep talking about employment law all day and all the trends and the hot issues, but Jill, we can’t give everything away.
Jill Francisco: No.
Carl Morrison: This is not free.
Jill Francisco: No, that’s right. This is telling you, you better get signed up today, because Brian, like I said, he’s — you can already tell he’s got great information and his topics and his sessions will definitely not disappoint.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, and so if you haven’t registered, if you haven’t been paying attention, get on nala.org.
Jill Francisco: Right.
Carl Morrison: And register for the conference, get out there and do it. And I know we’re running out of time, and Brian, we really do truly thank you for taking the time out today to let us pick your brain on a couple of topics here. If the listeners wanted to reach out to you, how could they get a hold of you? What’s the best way to do that?
Brian Moore: Well, email is the easiest way, [email protected].
Carl Morrison: Thanks again, Brian; really truly, greatly appreciate it.
Brian Moore: Thanks for having me.
Jill Francisco: Yes, thank you so much, Brian; awesome.
Carl Morrison: So we’ve come to the end of the show and before we really formally end it, we would truly like to thank our sponsors.
First NALA; NALA is a professional association for paralegals providing continuing education, voluntary certification and professional development programs. NALA has been a sponsor of The Paralegal Voice since our very first show.
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And that’s it, that’s all the time we have today. If you have questions that you’d like to get to us, definitely feel free to email us. You can email to me, Carl Morrison, at [email protected].
Jill Francisco: Or me at j[email protected].
Carl Morrison: And who are you again?
Jill Francisco: Exactly.
Carl Morrison: It’s Jill Francisco.
Jill Francisco: It’s Jill Francisco. I am really sad, this is fun, this is like one of our first together shows and I’m sure first of many.
Carl Morrison: And I was going to say this is not the first and only, there will be more coming down and the listeners are probably going, “oh lord, help us all.”
Jill Francisco: Double the fun, double the trouble, wow.
Carl Morrison: That’s right, that’s right.
Jill Francisco: But anyway.
Carl Morrison: Stay tuned for more information and upcoming podcasts for exciting paralegal trends, news and engaging in fun interviews with leading paralegals and other leading legal professionals.
Thank you for listening to The Paralegal Voice produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network.
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