Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I predict Big Legal Brain (http://biglegalbrain.com/), a new blog created by C. Hank Peters, aka "Chank," Gregory Luce (@gregoryluce on Twitter), and legal assistant and BLB unpaid intern No. 57, Amy Derby (@amyderby on Twitter), is going to be a big phat hit in the blawgosphere.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Some of my fond memories include:
- A paralegal gives away 22,000 pounds of chocolate to our troops (like you can keep that much in your desk anyway);
- The worst thing you can possibly get in a holiday gift exchange ('sides newts);
- Practical Paralegalism gives only the finest chocolate to its staff - and gets its 2009 Christmas card out early;
- Showing the legal staff a little [more] R-E-S-P-E-C-T during the holidays, or no wonder relations between some lawyers and their staff members are a lot like Wendy's Frosties;
- Grandma so did not get run over by a reindeer;
- Those folks at the North Carolina Bar Association give Elton John some holiday fashion tips;
- A legal assistant who wasn't charged with embezzlement, but with witchcraft instead;
- Erin Brockovich joining The Paralegal Voice (I was really nervous, and therefore very focused on what to wear during the podcast, like she'd actually see me. Um, yeah, I'm squirrely that way...); and
- Digging for that hidden treasure - the paralegal internship.
If you're like me, and can't read the fine print any more due to the rapidly accelerating aging process, the tag on the poop candy reads:
You've been naughty
So here's the Scoop
You're getting nothing
But Reindeer Poop!
"Little reindeer gifts" - why didn't I think of that? And this recipe is right up my culinary skill alley; you just throw a bunch of random chocolate together and melt it - or cheat and use chocolate-covered raisins.
Hey, Lady Jessop, I'm bringing Reindeer Poop Candy (the cheatin' kind) to the first meeting of PHCA (Paralegals- Who-Hate-Christmas-Association-mainly-'cause-our-trees-aren't-up)!
Monday, December 20, 2010
Wait. Take a deep breath. Count my blessings. Uh, thank you for snarky grammar blogs?
Source: Apostrophe Abuse
Sunday, December 19, 2010
And you thought label makers were just for file folders and people with OCD.
Think your Monday Before Christmas started out rough, and worried that the other paralegals will laugh at you, because you asked for an extension of time for Christmas Day, and didn't get one?
Yeah, me, too. But now you've got someone to feel superior to. Me.
Plus, I have a whopper case of sinusitis. And when I can't breathe, I panic. (Or is it when I panic, I forget to breathe? One of those. Definitely.) But this is me blogging, and not panicking.
Without [much] further ado, here's this week's recommended reading courtesy of Practical Paralegalism (who by the way is not having a holiday meltdown, blubbering under the firm Christmas tree in the lobby, whining something uber-whiney about, "Can I take this fully decorated tree and fake presents under it home with me - just for the weekend?" Nooooo, not me.)
- LinkedIn Profile Tips (About.com Job Searching) ~ Career expert Alison Doyle provides a detailed set of instructions for setting up a LinkedIn profile - with pictures. Too many legal professionals don't have LinkedIn profiles. If you aren't already using LinkedIn, getting started in January 2011 is a fine professional New Year's resolution that is free and relatively painless.
- Handling Unethical Attorney Conduct: An Example (The Empowered Paralegal) ~ Attorney, author and paralegal instructor Robert Mongue suggests consulting outside counsel if a legal staffer finds herself in the position of reporting alleged misconduct within the firm, especially if that reporting is ignored.
- Help Me Help You (The Paralegal) ~ Paralegal supervisor Ana Pierro blogs about the importance of clear communication between supervisor and employee, with the emphasis on how you can help your own supervisor better assist you.
- 10 Best Reading and Productivity Apps (PCWorld) ~ I digest a lot of written content every day, and some of these apps are new to me - but worth checking out. I've heard good things about SimpleNote, although I currently store most of my brain matter in Evernote.
- MacGyver Your Software: Necessity Reveals Useful Tools You Never Knew Your PC Had (ABA Journal) ~ Feeling like you're lagging behind in office technology updates, because the peeps on the paralegal listservs are all about Microsoft Office 10 and your firm is still so 2003? Dennis Kennedy takes a closer look at unused software features you may not be aware you have, including Word 2007's metadata scrubbing feature.
- Naked Mailman Just Looking to Cheer Up Woman on His Route (FindLaw's Legally Weird) ~ With holiday cheer like this, let's just skip everything until the 4th of July. If you live in Wisconsin's North Shore Post Office delivery district, you have my sympathy. The USPS assures us this dude is no longer delivering holiday cheer, er, mail. Although I'm stressed out, too, and the story did make me laugh...
P.S. My good Twitter buddy and new paralegal blogger, Karen Jessop (@mrsktj), sez there is a group for us (we know who we are): PHCA (Paralegals Who Hate Christmas Association). If the group gets a discount at Total Wine, I'm totally in.
She was still a teenager, only 18 years old, when she started working for the AG's Office, and served six attorneys general during that period. Five of them honored her with framed letters at her retirement party.
Her dad gave her career advice that she clearly took to heart: he hoped to see his children stay at their first job for at least five years.
Attorney General Chris Koster praised Wippermann's service and body of knowledge - and marveled at the many changes she has seen during her long career:
MaryAnn is a living library of the Attorney General's Office. It's amazing to think of all the technological changes she has seen in the workplace. She is an outstanding public servant, and we'll all miss her very much.
Wippermann is actually "pseudo-retiring" - she plans to continue working for the AG's Office two days a week.
Practical Paralegalism congratulates MaryAnn for her long and successful - and ongoing - career in the legal field.
Sources: KRCG; NewsTribune.com; Missouri Attorney General
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sing along; these lyrics are GREAT - 'specially if you're feelin' a little frustration at the office :)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Exactly ;) Thanks, Crystal, you made me laugh out loud!
We had vendor cookies and candy in an eye-boggling abundance - until today. Now all we have are empty boxes and tins full of crumbs, and the high school band pears I brought in to share. Fruit is no substitute when you're jonesing for a cookie.
So when I saw this was my sticky pad page of the day ("Stress Cure: Take two cookies and call in sick" if you can't read it), I just felt...robbed. Robbed and still stressed. And sort of legitimately sick.
So, help me, Jesus, I NEED a COOKIE!
Related Post: Help me, Jesus, I NEED a Snow Cone!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I'm sharing this quote, with Helen's permission, to show how paralegals can look like they're engaging in UPL without even knowing it. I thought Helen's immediate response was not only appropriate, but necessary - notifying the agency immediately of the error, and protecting both the firm and me from potential accusations that I held myself out as a lawyer. (To get the full effect, you have to read the quote out loud, using Helen's British accent.)
I have no idea how my name ended up on that order. In this particular case, I had little direct communication with either the agency or opposing counsel. Anything I sign identifies me as a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal, and I have never signed pleadings on an attorney's behalf, even though the North Carolina State Bar's 2006 Formal Ethics Opinion 13 says I can "if warranted by exigent circumstances."
I've been a litigation paralegal for over two decades and have never been mistakenly listed on anything as counsel. Since I don't see all of the incoming mail, I likely would not have seen this order for some time (or ever), had Helen not caught the error and brought it to the agency's attention.
Helen was a paralegal for eight years before becoming an attorney and is amazing to work with; you can see why.
Related Post: Ten Tips for Immigration Paralegals by Helen L. Parsonage, Attorney
Employer: Olive & Olive, PA; Durham, NC
Years of Paralegal Experience: 7
Education/Degrees: BA, Howard University
Specialty Areas: Intellectual Property; Trademark and Copyright Litigation
Career Highlight: A memorable career highlight for me was working on a case with the United States Product Safety Commission (CPSC), suing Walmart for failing to report safety hazards associated with Weider and Weslo brand home exercise equipment. Case result, Walmart was later fined $750,000 for its failure to report the faulty equipment. It was a highlight not only because it was a significant win for the everyday consumer and the first time a retailer has had to pay a penalty for failing to report a safety problem where the retailer was not also an importer or private labeler of the product involved, but personally, it was one of the first cases I worked on when I entered the paralegal field while working for the Department of Justice Office of Consumer Litigation in Washington, DC.
Paralegal Practice Tips: 1) Organize your emails at the beginning of the day and right before you leave. A messy inbox is a breeding ground for things to get overlooked.
2) Don’t keep files in your office (if you can help it). That’s what file rooms are for. Think of it this way, walking back and forth to the file room also promotes exercise.
Favorite Internet Resources:
In the life of a Trademark Litigation paralegal, I commonly use these sites as resources:
USPTO - TARR - to check Trademark Application status, http://tarr.uspto.gov/
USPTO – TTABVUE- to check TTAB Litigation status, http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue
Secretary of State (NC)- Company background information; confirm proper name and address to serve opposition (I encourage the use of the SOS website for any state; it’s a great resource for information), http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/thepage.aspx
Casemaker; it free to use for NCBA members and again, it’s a great resource, http://www.ncbar.org/membership/casemaker.aspx
Favorite Legal Software: Prolaw; case management, http://www.prolaw.com/
Do you use social media resources, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or blogs, for career and/or case development? No, but I should start.
Fun Facts: I’m a Durham County Guardian Ad Litem, I coach club volleyball (15 year old girls) and I married the love of my life in October.
One Gadget You Can’t Live Without: How about two? Android phone and Netbook Mini
Favorite Quote: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." – Robert Frost
Paralegal/Legal Association Memberships: North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division; Council Member- Ethics Chair, Women in Profession and Lawyers in the Schools Committee Liaison for the NCBA Paralegal Division; North Carolina Advocates for Justice Legal Assistants Division; Membership Committee member.
Professional Link: Olive & Olive Paralegal Staff
I met Stephanie through my current appointment to the NCBA Paralegal Division Council, where I'm currently serving as both the editor of the paralegal division newsletter and the technology chair. It's been an amazing opportunity to meet and work with some of the most active and influential paralegals in the state, including Stephanie. Many thanks to her for doing this profile - while planning her wedding!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Just Another Pain Event
Tonight I'm writing another post from my daughter's hospital room, as she suffers through a sudden and brutal sickle cell pain event. (I prefer the noun "attack" but the medical providers think it sounds more positive to describe it as an event. O. Kay.)
That the most recent pain crisis started as my mom and I drove seven hours through driving rain, heavy snow and shovelfuls of sleet from Tennessee, where we had been visiting someone very special to us who has received a diagnosis of Stage IV brain cancer seemed a little unfair, but you know, life happens. I just told our night nurse, "I know there are people here whose troubles are more serious than ours." Similar to the way we handle our demanding and sometimes stressful paralegal jobs, as parents and people, we deal with the cards we're given.
It's a Snake Eat Mouse World
For example, about nine days ago one of my young relatives in Tennessee gave an adorable white mouse to his baby python, Marvin, to eat. This snake feast works by placing the mouse and the python in the bathtub together. (The cards this mouse was given did not look good.) And normally, the python rapidly consumes his live snack. Only this time, the mouse was ignored. So the python and his intended prey were returned to the snake aquarium to allow nature to take its course in private.
Only the adorable white mouse remained uneaten. Marvin the python ignored him. My other young cousin became somewhat attached to the ridiculously cute rodent, and asked her mom if she could name the mouse and was told the mouse already had a name: Lunch.
By the time I got there this weekend and heard the tail (Lunch has a really long tail), my bleeding heart overflowed, and I begged to free Lunch, arguing he was a freakin' Christmas miracle to survive over a week in an aquarium with a starving baby python (who by the way, looked pretty awful. I mean, I look at a lot of medical records every day and may by now think I can play a doctor on TV - but that snake looked right puny).
Lunch Isn't on the Menu
But Lunch was destined for another encounter in the bathtub with Marvin. Figuring he was fulfilling his dismal destiny, the creatures were left alone for a bit this morning (because we have evolved from avid fans of bloodshed at the Roman Coliseum). Only when my relatives returned to collect Marvin, Lunch was sitting on top of him. My first cousin, a nurse, observed Marvin appeared to be dead. (See, I could play a doctor on TV, or at least a member of House's diagnostic team. "It's lupus!").
Lunch, the freakin' Christmas miracle, was freed, which would have been a better Christmas miracle if my young cousin's dog hadn't immediately grabbed him and carried him off to, well, only God knows where. (God, are you listening? Couldn't you give Lunch a break and hook him up with a field mouse who has a nice crib under the garage?)
So, others do have it worse than us. My youngest is gettin' great narcotics (I asked her what her name was a minute ago and she said it's "Wut?") And while Lunch may not be free (or even alive) he did have the glory of sitting atop a python.
If you're wondering where I am for a while, I'm trying to create a Christmas miracle - getting a tree up sooner than four days before Christmas, meeting litigation deadlines while caring for one relaxed kid in the hospital who thinks her name is Wut?, and wondering if Lunch is out there somewhere, telling a group of completely rapt field mice how he kicked a python's butt.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Alas, I have convinced maybe six to try it. (I realized today that I may not be a gifted salesperson when I discovered even my own best friend and co-worker did not know I designed a line of humorous items for paralegals).
But you can still follow your favorite Twitterers without actually joining Twitter, and share in their micro-blogging fun, which may consist of links to stuff you might want to read, funny observations on life in the legal field (or in my case, as mom to two, yes, I said TWO, 14-year old girls) or some of the hilarious online conversations that get started (when some of us, not namin' names, sit down at our computers after dinner with a glass of wine.)
So how do you Twitter stalk? Simply go to the Twitterer's page at Twitter.com. Find out if the object of your obsessive affections has a Twitter account simply by Googling him or her. For example, Google me, "lynne devenny twitter" or "@expertparalegal twitter" and you get to this link: http://twitter.com/expertparalegal. That's my Twitter page, stalkers. You can visit any time you want to see the inanities I spewed forth during the day, using 140 characters or less.
You can also never miss a tweet from your favorite Twitterers, again without signing up for Twitter, by simply finding the RSS feed button on their Twitter page, and clicking it to add all of their tweets to your RSS feed reader. That button looks like this (see below).
Now, go out there and Twitter stalk like the skilled legal professional and social media savvy expert I know you are.
Since it's the holiday season, and we paralegals really need good laughs more than ever, especially if peanut butter and banana sandwiches were served at the annual holiday party or your bonus was a $10 GameStop gift card your supervising attorney got in his stocking last year, start with @loadedsanta, who recently announced, "Prancer has the runs. That's what passes for news around here." Yes, the language is awful and political correctness appears in nary a tweet, but still, who doesn't giggle at "120 days till Christmas, kids! If you actually knew that, you're one nerdy-ass kid." It's hard to argue with that.
Twitter Stalking 101. You are so welcome.
Related Posts: Follow "Lawyer" Richard Prickman on Twitter; Why Twitter?; Twitter: It's NOT About What I'm Doing Right Now; Why I Won't Follow You Back on Twitter
Even doh we's live wit a vomitee kitteh, I stills finds I Can Has Cheezburger more funner 'n sillee stringy stuff, and now instead o' makin' my brane hurtz over de CLA exam, wanna learn to talk de kittehs and de goggiez. Luckees der is a skool: http://speaklolspeak.com/
- Wage and Hour FMLA website ~ http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla
- Wage and Hour USERRA info ~ http://dol.gov/whd/fmla.userra.htm
- EEOC ADA website ~ www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm
- Department of Justice ADA website ~ http://www.ada.gov/
EEOC Guidance Documents on Specific Issues
- Family Caregiving Issues ~ http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/caregiving.html
- Reasonable Accommodation ~ http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html
- Medical Inquiries ~ http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/guidance-inquiries.html
- ADA and Workers' Comp ~ http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/workcomp.html
- FMLA and ADA ~ www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/fmlaada.html
If anyone in your firm attends a CLE seminar, encourage them to provide some in-house education upon their return, including sharing helpful materials, and/or doing a written or live presentation of key points from the education sessions. It's a great way to keep your co-workers up-to-date on the latest legal developments and practice skills in your specialty areas - and to prove you were paying attention!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Employer: Levine and Stewart, Chapel Hill, NC
Years of Paralegal Experience: 13
Specialty Areas: Real estate closings, foreclosure work
Career Highlight: In 2006, when I came to my current job, it provides me the ability to learn as much as I can.
Paralegal Practice Tip: Be proactive, do not wait for things to come to you.
Favorite Internet Resource: LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com
Favorite Legal Software: I use Netronline a lot to search title; the link is http://publicrecords.netronline.com/
Do you use social media resources, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or blogs, for career and/or case development?
I use LinkedIn and Twitter, and I read several paralegal blogs weekly. I am able to get updated materials for the NCPA Forum and any information that is helpful to my career.
Fun Fact: I love to act crazy with my children, and I sometimes write poetry.
One Gadget You Can’t Live Without: The Internet; I need the connection.
Favorite Quote: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about getting out there and dancing in the rain” ~ Author Unknown
Paralegal/Legal Association Memberships: North Carolina Paralegal Association, currently serving as Interim District Director II and Articles Editor for the NCPA FORUM.
Professional Links: http://www.linkedin.com/in/crystallrobinson
I met Crystal through the North Carolina Paralegal Association, and I very much appreciate her taking the time to do this profile, because she's a very busy woman! Also, check out NCPA's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=33555502158.
Monday, December 6, 2010
- Her tips for getting into or making the change to corporate or health law
- How she got her start as a fiction writer
- How she balances working as a full-time paralegal with writing several novels a year
- Her tips for would-be writers
- Information re Book No. 6 in The Odelia Grey Mysteries due June 2011
Internet resources referenced in the podcast:
- Hooper Lundy & Bookman, PC - Health Care Lawyers: http://health-law.com/
- Sue Ann's website: http://sueannjaffarian.com/
- Babble 'n Blog (Sue Ann's blog): http://sueannjaffarian.blogspot.com/
- "To Maura Kelly and Marie Claire: I'm Fat. Deal With It!" (Babble 'n Blog)
- Sue Ann's books, The Odelia Grey Mysteries, Ghost of Granny Apples Mysteries, and Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries are available at bookstores, as well as http://amazon.com/
- Websites for some of Sue Ann's favorite authors: http://www.naomihirahara.com/; http://www.kellistanley.com/; http://www.jeriwesterson.com/; http://www.kathleenernst.com/
The Paralegal Voice also thanks its sponsors: Westlaw Deposition Services and NALA...The Association of Paralegals and Legal Assistants.
Please share the links to this episode of The Paralegal Voice with your friends and colleagues. If you have a request for a future show, or a question for us, you are welcome to contact us at TheParalegalVoice@gmail.com. Also, you can make sure you never miss a podcast by subscribing to any Legal Talk Network show, including The Paralegal Voice, by using the RSS Feed links or iTunes links at http://legaltalknetwork.com/rss-feeds/.
Er, a bit risque and NSFW, but really catchy, especially for those of you, like me, who remember religiously attending Rocky Horror midnight showings - in full costume and with all the props - during your college years in the, er, 80s.
This prickly paralegal (who is totally enamored of her own personal space) is traveling to Tennessee later this week - via good old-fashioned automobile.
Exchange from Practical Paralegalism's Facebook Page:
Ronald: "If I'm patted down by the same TSA agent more than once, are we common-law married?"
Practical Paralegalism: "Ronald, I'm 'fraid so. Try to get a cute one :)"
Sunday, December 5, 2010
- Nosh on trays of wannabe hors d’oeurvres from Costco, and chase them down with no-name brewskis. Okay, but only if the party starts at lunch.
- Hold an Elvis-themed party. I’m sorry, but peanut butter and banana sandwiches on paper plates would likely make me cry
- Hire a bus to take everyone on a tour to see the holiday lights in your locale. Snacks are suggested; booze was not mentioned. (As an experienced field trip mom, I know for a fact that charter buses will not allow sunflower seeds, popcorn, or almost any fun food on board.)
- Ask if any of the employees are caterers and/or
rock bandmembers. (Maybe specify that being a master of Rock Bandfor Wiior PlayStation doesn’t count. Or just invite everyone over to play Rock Bandand eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Oh, wait, this still makes me teary-eyed.)
- Have an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. My advice? Just don’t. I bet some of you, including Tim Gunn, are crying now.
- Skip a cheap party and allow employees to go home a little early – sharing the costs of the non-event among them as a kind of [an awful] bonus.
Seriously, there are actually some great ideas in this article if you’re the party planner, from negotiating restaurant rates to planning the firm’s participation in a charity event
If you could plan your firm’s holiday party this year, what would you really want to do? Please feel free to comment as Anonymous, The Grinch or even as Elvis-Lives-in-My-Basement to protect your identity and employment status.
Source: Wisconsin Law Journal Blog
The layoffs were confined to administrative and support staff and did not include lawyers or paralegals, co-managing partner Carl Schuster said in a statement.
He said the layoffs were part of a strategic plan to move toward a standard, three-to-one lawyer-to-secretary ratio, lower expenses and boost profits.
"Ruden McClosky continues to implement changes that are in line with today's law firm standards for best practices, which include maximizing efficiencies while enhancing the firm's technological capabilities," Schuster said. "We have taken steps to sustain the profitability of our offices across Florida."
Although the terminated employees were given severance packages and health insurance coverage for undisclosed amounts and periods, they were only given enough time to pack up their desks after receiving the news – and then were immediately escorted from the premises.
Times are still tough for legal staffers nationwide, including these Florida secretaries who lost their incomes right before Christmas – and for those left behind at the firm, who will be trying to figure out how to shoulder the extra work, while wondering if they are next.
I know. My Gawd. What a horrific and gruesome crime scene. I'm sorry if you urped up even a little of your Monday morning coffee.
What de heck? It's a headless Frosty the Snowman donut. And someone I work with is clearly a heartless psychopath.
Several of us did put our heads together and pretend that we were unrealistically attractive forensic squints and FBI agents for the renowned but fictitious Jeffersonion Institute.
Was it one of the guys?
Nah. They would have simply torn the head off with their bare hands, leaving harsh, jagged, doughy edges.
Do we have a cannibal in our midst? Are brains like the delicacy of donut snowmen?
Nah. Plus, we think serial killers are more turned on by ripping out the eyes of their victims.
There's only one conclusion. It had to have been a staffer. One of us obsessive-compulsive neat freaks clearly used a knife to cleanly sever the head from the body. (By the way, that's not blood. That's Frosty's *sniff* red wool scarf.)
It definitely wasn't me, though. I only like the bloody raspberry filled ones.
Mary enjoyed a 50 year career as a legal secretary, working for a number of attorneys before joining the war effort where she worked on classified government materials in Washington DC and later in Detroit. She finished her legal career with the McMurray law firm in Iowa City. She was a long time member of the First Baptist Church and held a variety of offices with the church, and the Iowa City chapter of the Association of Christian Women. Mary was an avid reader, and a talented craftsperson; taking great pride in her sewing, knitting, and quilting projects. She was also known for her large collection of hats, an accessory that she was seldom seen without.
Now you seldom see women wearing hats, which seems a shame, as they can be elegant and original fashion accessories. It seems fitting to close this post with a quote by Frank Sinatra, “Cock your hat – angles are attitudes."
1st Runner-Up of a Practical Paralegalism coffee mug of her choice: Alyssa Mozingo
2nd Runner-Up of a Practical Paralegalism coffee mug of his choice: Jay Moore (Jay, I know you're not actually a paralegal, but if you don't find a mug you like, I bet you have a few paralegal NALS colleagues who'd be glad to take your winning mug off your hands :)
I'll be sending an email to the winners telling them how to collect their prizes.
The contest ran from August 31 through October 31, 2010. Contestants who submitted a professional or paralegal profile or guest post within that time frame were entered in a drawing for the books and the mugs.
Many, many thanks to all who entered. I'll be announcing a new contest soon, and hoping to hear from more of Practical Paralegalism's readers, especially the ones who lurk, but then sometimes surprise me with the sweetest emails on days when it really raises my spirits to know that you're out there and you enjoy this blog.
Related Post: Practical Paralegalism Contest: Win the Odelia Grey Mysteries Series
Friday, December 3, 2010
Enjoy your weekend. Hopefully, Practical Paralegalism's computer issues will be worked out soon, and I'll be back to the regular business of celebrating legal staffers in the blawgosphere - and sharing a few spit-out-yer-coffee moments :)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
However, checking out the 100 blawgs selected is a good way to find new material for your RSS feed reader. After all, the ABA Journal considers these blogs to be the cream of the legal blog crop - and it's a pretty big crop at 3,000 blogs and counting.
You can also vote for your favorite blogs, although you'll need to register with ABAJournal.com if you haven't already.
I am happy to see several blogs that I've added to my RSS feed reader this year included: The Careerist, iPhone JD, and Tablet Legal. And I'm looking forward to checking out several new blawgs that I'm not familiar with.
Congratulations to all of the bloggers included in the 2010 ABA Journal Blawg 100 - it's a terrific recognition of hard work, original thinking and commitment to all of the lucky readers who have access to great quality - and free - content that makes us better legal professionals, too.
But when I saw this post, "22 Awesome WTF! Posters" from Creative Overflow, I felt this one in particular calling to me. I'm the fat little figure fleeing from my current discovery project - which feels like it is about to flatten me like a possum on the indifferent highway of life.
It's been one of those weeks, starting with a Monday call to Triple AAA after I left my auto lights on here at work (it was only four hours, peeps, whuck?) Then my laptop died at home (ergo, the reduced blog posts), The Cat projectile-vomited all over a wall in my living room, and I had an excruciatingly painful and humiliating experience after I idiotically rinsed a contact lens with that extremely caustic (but killer cleaning solution) Clear Care and then popped it into my eye, causing me to scream like a lady and believe for about 10 minutes that I had lost sight in that eye forever.
A reader left the following question at the post:
As a notary, I sometimes find myself in a bit of a sticky situation. I have a boss, an attorney and a notary himself, who sometimes demands that I notarize documents that are blank except for the client's signature, and even to make changes to documents that I've previously notarized. I would be interested in a post on how to deal with this issue.
Oh man, I hate to hear about notaries caught in these situations. The notary no-nos are patently obvious, but more important, what do you do if you're the poor legal staffer stuck in this situation? I hear frequent complaints from legal staffers who are asked to perform, er, at best, irregular notarizations all the time by supervising attorneys.
As a notary, you took an oath to abide by the laws governing your commission, but as an employee, you're trying to keep a roof over your head and buy groceries - at least until you can find another job where no one will ask you to commit notary stamp abuse.
I thought I would put this issue to my wonderful and experienced readers. How do you recommend that Anonymous deal with this thorny but not uncommon notary issue?