Give the Reporter a Hand to Get a Clean Deposition Transcript

by Julie Brook, Esq.

This material is reproduced from the CEBblog™, Give the Reporter A Hand To Get A Clean Depo Transcript, (http://blog.ceb.com/2014/12/15/give-the-reporter-a-hand-to-get-a-clean-depo-transcript/) copyright 2014 by the Regents of the University of California.  Reproduced with permission of Continuing Education of the Bar – California.  (For information about CEB publications, telephone toll free 1-800-CEB-3444 or visit our Web site, CEB.com).

give-the-court-reporter-a-hand-to-get-a-clean-deposition-transcriptWhen you’re taking a deposition, you know that ensuring a complete and accurate record is vital. So don’t take the person who’s dutifully taking down the proceedings for granted: Assisting the court reporter is not only polite, it might be the key to a clean depo transcript to use at trial.

Helping the court reporter starts even before the deposition begins by

  • Showing up early to organize documents for convenient reference and mark them as exhibits.
  • Giving the reporter a copy of the case caption so the transcript will include the correct case name and court number.
  • If the deponent is an expert, offering the reporter a written glossary of unusual terms that will be used during the deposition.

Once the deponent and other counsel show up at the deposition, you can help the court reporter by identifying everyone there, including the party each counsel represents.

During the deposition, help out the reporter by:

  • Spelling technical words or proper names into the record;
  • Controlling the examination so that two people aren’t talking at once (and if they do, ensuring that the reporter records the deponent’s statements before others’);
  • If you’re working with a relatively inexperienced reporter, making sure he or she understands that interrupting the examination to ask for an answer to be repeated is preferable to guessing at what was said;
  • If you are uncertain whether the deponent’s answer was recorded correctly, asking the court reporter to read back the last question and answer and, if the answer is incorrect, asking the deponent to repeat the correct answer;
  • Checking in with the reporter at a break about any transcription problems; and
  • During unusually long or technical depositions, occasionally asking if the reporter would like to take a short break.

New Appellate Decision on Deposition Time Limits May Benefit Defendants in Asbestos Litigation

by Sally Hosn

New Appellate Decision on Deposition Time Limits May Benefit Defendants in Asbestos Litigation

Asbestos has been linked to a number of serious problems in people who have been exposed to the material.

On January 8, 2014, the California Court of Appeal issued an opinion holding that the deposition time limits for certain cases may be extended past the seven-hour rule set by the California Code of Civil Procedure. Under Code of Civil Procedure1] section 2025.290, the deposition of a witness by opposing counsel must be limited to a total of seven hours of examination, except under certain circumstances, such as complex and preference cases. (§ 2025.290, subd. (a).)When a case is designated as complex, and a physician has signed a declaration that the deponent is unlikely to survive longer than six months, the deposition time limit may be extended to a total of 14 hours of examination. (§ 2025.290, subd. (b).) However, according to the recent California Court of Appeal ruling, the Court has discretion to allow depositions to extend any time limits imposed by section 2025.290.

In Certainteed Corporation v. The Superior of Los Angeles County (Jan, 8, 2014, B253308) __Cal.App.4th ___, the Court of Appeal responded to a trial court’s request to issue an opinion regarding the trial court’s authority to allow additional deposition time in asbestos cases, reiterating its earlier stance that such extra time is permitted on a case-by-case basis. In issuing its opinion, the appellate court analyzed the deposition time limits statutorily imposed by section 2025.290. In particular, the Court focused on the section of 2025.290 which states that “the Court shall allow additional time, beyond any limits imposed by this section, if needed to fairly examine the deponent.” (§ 2025.290, subd. (a).)

Traditionally, this has been read as only applying to the seven-hour time limit. However, in the opinion of the Court of Appeals the word “section” implies that the Court’s ability to extend deposition time limits applied equally to the seven-hour and 14-hour deposition time limits. The Court of Appeal held that “both the seven-hour limit and the 14-hour limit are presumptive only and are plainly subject to the discretionary authority of the trial court to allow additional deposition time.” (Certainteed v. The Superior of Los Angeles County, __Cal.App.4th__[p 4].)

This latest decision indicates that deposition time limits in asbestos cases have become much more flexible. This ruling from the Court of Appeal should greatly benefit asbestos defendants. Generally, asbestos cases involve many defendants and plaintiffs that are often both elderly and ill. Such factors severely limit a defendant’s ability to effectively depose plaintiffs within the time limits previously required under section 2025.290. However, going forward, upon a showing that such factors affect the ability to fairly examine a deponent, the Court may in its discretion, allow a deposition to extend beyond the time limitation previously imposed by section 2025.290.

Sally Hosn is an associate in the toxic torts department of Poole & Shaffery, LLP. Ms. Hosn’s practice primarily focuses on defending entities against toxic torts and chemical exposure claims.

Greening Your Legal Practice

By Carter E. Strang

Greening Your Legal Practice

What are you doing to ‘green’ your legal practice?

Economist Barbara Ward said “[o]ur only choice, whatever our dogma, is to protect the Earth. This is our common progress or our common ruin. There is nothing in between.”

It is incumbent upon attorneys to help protect the earth because we are part of the problem: The typical attorney uses between 20,000 and 100,000 sheets of copy paper alone per year, much of it wastefully, resulting in environmental harm and unnecessary expense.

However, something as simple as resetting printers to print documents double sided results in significantly less waste as well as cost savings. One firm that followed this practice reduced its paper use by 1,760,135 sheets, which saved 150 trees and 61,604 gallons of water and prevented the release of 97 tons of CO2 emissions. It also resulted in a yearly savings of over $13,000, a true “win-win” for the firm and the environment.

Discussed in this article are practical steps attorneys, their firms, corporate and government law departments, legal non-profits, and other law organizations (“firms/offices”) can take to “green” their practices by reducing office waste and costs.

Bar Association Programs

An ideal way to green your law firm/office is to take advantage of an existing bar association program. Various programs exist at the national, state and local bar levels, including the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge and Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Eco-Challenge.

Participation in a local (municipal or county) bar association green program is particularly advantageous because of the enhanced ability to work closely with bar staff and local attorneys in a way that enhances the local community. One such program, offered through the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, is profiled below.

Should participation in a bar association program not be practical, your firm/office can still implement any of the bar or individual firm/office green initiatives discussed in this article.

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Green Initiative

Launched in 2008, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Green Initiative (CMBA/GIP) may well be the most comprehensive local bar program of its type in the United States.

The CMBA/GIP is coordinated by its Green Initiative Committee, composed of a broad cross section of bar association members employed at law firms/offices, as well as non-lawyer affiliates (e.g., court reporting firms). The core mission of the Committee is to promote sustainable environmental practices at law firms/offices.

The CMBA/GIP capstone is the Green Certification Program which certifies law firms/offices which adopt environmentally responsible practices. Just shy of 50 Cleveland area firms/offices are now certified. The CMBA Green Certification criteria include firm/office recycling, responsible paper use, and energy saving efforts. The criteria can be found at http://www.clemetrobar.org/Green/.

Recently, CMBA added a Green+ Certification level for those firms/offices that demonstrate a commitment to the environment above and beyond that required for basic certification. Green Certified firms/offices proudly display the “CMBA Green Certified” or “CMBA Green Certified+” logo on their websites and other marketing materials.

Each year, a law firm/office that has adopted new and innovative green practices is chosen to receive the CMBA Green Innovation Award – an award made of 100% recycled materials.

The CMBA Green Committee also holds an annual “Greener Way to Work Day.”   On that day, all bar association members and affiliates are encouraged to take green commutes to work (public transportation, carpooling, biking, etc.). A luncheon program is held to honor those who are green certified and to present the annual Green Innovation Award.

The program includes participation by green vendors (e.g., recycling companies) which are provided booths in return for financial support for the luncheon. Local governmental entities have embraced the event, including the Regional Transportation Association, which provides discounted mass transit vouchers.

The CMBA Green Initiative Committee also created a Carbon Footprint Calculator for legal services organizations, which can be used to determine the carbon footprint per hour of legal services rendered.   The CMBA published the Calculator along with other useful information – including recycling information – in the bar journal and posted it on the Committee website.

The Green Initiative Committee has also partnered with local organizations and companies to promote green activities. One such effort is its partnership with OneCommunity and RET 3 Job Corporation to reduce a significant environmental hazard – e-waste. Their Green Computing program refurbishes computers for donation to local urban schools, reducing the “digital divide” between the quality and quantity of computers used in wealthy and impoverished school systems. What cannot be fixed is responsibly recycled, with nothing going to landfills.

The CMBA promoted the Green Computing program by encouraging local law firms/offices to donate their unwanted computers – and even assisted in collecting them.

Firm/Office Green Initiatives

Law firms and offices are required – as part of the CMBA Green Certification Program – to create their own green committees to implement the CMBA certification requirements and serve as a liaison to the CMBA Green Initiative Committee.

The firm/office green committees have served as incubators of sustainable office practices which go beyond the CMBA certification requirements and are worthy of duplication by other firms/offices. Below are some examples of firm/office initiatives.

  • Earth Day programs, featuring speakers, green vendors, raffles, and prizes for those that bicycle, car pool, or take public transportation to work that day. One law firm featured local grown/organic wine and appetizers at its program.
  • Bicycle clubs that promote recreational bicycling and the use of bicycling as transportation to work. One law firm arranged for the free use of showers for its participants.
  • Green programs in collaboration with other tenants of the same office building and the building owner. One firm’s efforts led to a building-wide recycling program and a green fair in the building lobby.
  • Screen saver modes for firm/office computers that remind personnel to turn off their computers at the end of the day.
  • Compost programs for coffee grounds and leftover office food.
  • Discontinuance of disposable cups and water bottles.
  • Adoption of a “single stream” waste handling program wherein all non-food office waste is put in the same container and is separated later by the waste handling company.
  • Green “give aways,” such as a reusable grocery bags/totes with the firm/office logo, a BPA-free water bottle, a solar calculator or flashlight made from recycled materials, etc.), along with information about the beneficial impact of their use.
  • Green newsletters and websites that include profiles of green activities and committee members, discussion of green practices in the home, and interactive postings. One firm posted a “freeboard” where unwanted personal items are offered at no cost for anyone that wants them (bikes, furniture, etc.), reducing solid waste disposal. The same firm also had an interactive posting site for ride sharing.
  • Workplace contests that promote green practices.
  • Educational environmental DVDs using firm/office personnel. One firm created a series of DVDs that promoted recycling and reductions in energy use both at the office and at home. The DVDs utilized firm personnel as actors in humorous but thought-provoking skits. The DVDs were shown at firm functions and posted on the firm website.
  • Merging “wellness” health initiatives with green initiatives, such as firm support of a local bike ride for charity, resulting in fewer visits to the doctor and possibly lower firm/office insurance premiums.
  • Reusing/repurposing/recycling litigation/trial binders.   One firm instituted a program to reuse as many binders as possible, repurpose those not suitable for reuse by sending them to local urban schools, and recycle those no longer in a condition for use by anyone.

A suggested “best practice” for a law firm/office green committee is to include representatives from each occupational group (partners, associates, of counsel, paralegals, IT personnel, and legal secretaries). Staff members in particular appreciate being included in a decision-making part of the firm. If your firm/office has multiple offices, include representatives from each office on the committee and conduct meetings via video conferencing.

Finally, remember that keeping your committee events fun and interesting will increase interest and participation.

Conclusion

In light of our recent (April 22) celebration of Earth Day, consider it to be a fitting time to green your firm/office and become part of “our common progress” rather than our “common ruin.” Adopting even just a few of the ideas discussed above will help protect the earth and improve your firm’s bottom line as well.

Carter E. Strang is a partner in the Cleveland offices of Tucker Ellis LLP. He is a member of the DRI Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Section and is listed in the Top Rated Lawyers Guide to Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Law. He is Immediate Past President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and a past president of the Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter. He founded the CMBA Green Initiative, served as chair of its Green Initiative Committee, and currently serves as a member. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Tucker Ellis Green Initiative Committee, upon which he also serves. The firm received the CMBA Green Innovation Award and is CMBA Green+ Certified.

Export Control Reform: Where Are We Now?

by Jon P. Yormick and Mark J. Sundahl

 

Export Control Reform: Where Are We Now?

New regulations involving the export of ‘dual use’ items are taking hold.

Five years have passed since the Obama Administration launched the Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR) in 2009.   This initiative was undertaken to remedy the complexity, ambiguity, and occasional absurdity of the existing regulations governing the export of military and dual-use items (i.e., items that have a civilian as well as a military application). While significant progress has been made in reforming this critical area of law, the project is not yet complete.

The primary thrust of the ECR effort is to move less sensitive items and technologies from the United States Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List (CCL). Items on the USML are subject to the strict controls of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which, with few exceptions, require a license from the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) prior to the export of the listed items (known as “defense articles”). Those items and technologies that are transferred to the CCL will be subject to less strict controls of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which regulate the export of dual-use commodities and technologies.

The other goal of the ECR is to transform the USML into a “positive” list, i.e.,a list that describes the controlled defense articles and technologies with specificity in order to enable companies to more easily determine when their products are subject to the ITAR. Unlike the CCL (which is a positive list), the descriptions of items on the USML have been notoriously broad. As a result, a manufacturer’s product may fall within the scope of the ITAR even if the item has no inherent military application. For example, prior to the ECR, all parts and components that were “designed” or “modified” for incorporation into a controlled item were subject to ITAR control. This was true even if the part taken by itself had no inherent military application, such as a screw that had been painted “army green” for use in a tank. This overly broad language of the USML has required a multitude of lower-tier manufacturers to be regulated under the ITAR with its annual registration requirement (even if the manufacturer does not export or only had a single transaction involving a defense article or technology), licensing mandates, and threats of severe penalties – civil, criminal, and debarment.

The proposed revisions to the ITAR (and those already in effect) fix this problem to a large extent by describing with specificity those items that are subject to the ITAR. Blanket categories, such as “spacecraft,” have been replaced by lists of technology with clear specifications that attempt to include only those items that are of true military value – and which therefore deserve the strict controls of the ITAR. Perhaps most importantly, the number of parts and components that are controlled has been significantly reduced and now generally exclude those parts that have no inherent military or intelligence applications. This has been achieved by subjecting to the ITAR only those parts and components that have been “specially designed” for use in a defense article. The new definition of “specially designed” excludes any fasteners (nuts, bolts, screws, etc.), as well as any part that has performance specifications equivalent to an item regulated under the lower tier of export controls of the EAR. It also sets up a “catch and release” structure so that articles and technologies that are initial caught under the new “specially designed” may nonetheless be “released” from the jurisdiction of the ITAR if the item is not specifically listed on the USML.

At the outset of the discussion of the ECR, there was hope for the eventual unification of the two regimes. If this is accomplished, we will have a single list of controlled items, rather than the existing bifurcated system based on the USML and the CCL, and this single list of items would be subject to a single set of regulations administered by one agency. At this point, a unitary “one-stop shop” approach to export controls is not likely to evolve within the near future. This goal may be realized in the next wave of reforms, but the current project will be restricted to the transfer of items from the USML to the CCL and the transformation of the USML to a positive list.

ECR Progress to Date

Last April, in these pages of the CMBJ, we wrote that the initial noticeable steps of the ECR had occurred in early March. At that time, we explained that the Administration had issued its first “38(f) notice” to Congress regarding USML Category VIII (Aircraft and Associated Equipment) and the newly established Category XIX (Gas Turbine Engines and Associated Equipment) and that the first transfer of items from the USML to the CCL would likely occur in October 2013. Despite a federal government shutdown last October, ECR forged ahead with the first transfers effective on October 15, 2013.

Since then, the Department of Commerce and the Department of State have been and continue to be engaged in transferring appropriate items on the USML to the CCL pursuant to the “38(f) process” as provided under Section 38(f) of the Arms Export Control Act which requires the President to periodically review the USML ‘‘to determine what items, if any, no longer warrant export controls under’’ the ITAR. Items moved to the CCL are now and will continue to be grouped under the new “600 Series” category that will also contain certain significant military items that are already on the CCL.

So how far along are we in this process? The process has moved forward methodically through the review and revision of each category of the USML. The amendments to the following categories have already gone into effect: Category VI (Surface Vessels of War and Special Naval Equipment), Category VII (Ground Vehicles), Category VIII (Aircraft and Related Articles), Category XIII (Materials and Miscellaneous Articles), Category XVII (Classified Articles, Technical Data and Defense Services Not Otherwise Enumerated), Category XX (Submersible Vessels and Related Articles), and Category XXI (Articles, Technical Data and Defense Services Not Otherwise Enumerated).

Amendments with respect to other categories go into effect in a few short months on July 1: Category IV (Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, and Mines), Category V (Explosives and Energetic Materials, Propellant, Incendiary Agents, and Their Constituents), Category IX (Military Training Equipment), Category X (Personal Protective Equipment), and Category XVI (Nuclear Weapon, Design, and Testing Related Articles).

We are still awaiting the publication of final rules with respect to two categories of the USML for which proposed rules have been published: Category XI (Military Electronics) and Category XV (Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment). The proposed changes to Category XV have been particularly momentous — and generated the greatest volume of public comments.   On May 24, 2013, the DDTC issued proposed rules that will transfer (for the most part) all but the most sensitive space technology to the CCL, thus restoring the appropriate level of control to civil space systems that existed prior to an unauthorized disclosure of controlled technology resulting from a 1996 failed launch of a U.S. satellite from China. Those items that would remain on the USML include satellites and spacecraft with significant military value, such as the ability to detect nuclear detonation, track missiles, destroy other satellites, or strike targets on Earth. However, some aspects of the proposed rule remain controversial, such as the retention on the USML of any hosted payload that is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (regardless of the payload’s capabilities), as well as any “man-rated” spacecraft, even if such spacecraft (such as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo) has no military application. The continuing debate over these issues could delay the issuance of a final rule for Category XV into next year.

As we also stated last year, companies that manufacture or export defense articles that are currently subject to the ITAR, but will be transferred to the CCL later this year will face a lighter regulatory compliance burden. Generally, although a license will still be required for items transferred to the CCL’s new “600 Series” category (unless the item is being exported to Canada), a number of license exceptions may permit export without a license. Of particular significance is License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA). Under specific circumstances and upon meeting certain EAR requirements, this license exception is available when products or technologies are exported to a NATO country and to those located in other allied countries, such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. If a license is required, the on-line licensing process under the Department of Commerce regulations are less complicated.

ECR is here. Companies that have not yet reviewed the jurisdiction (USML v. CCL) under which their products and technologies are governed under ECR cannot afford to wait any longer to determine how ECR affects their export compliance processes and procedures, and their customer relations.

http://www.yormicklaw.com/

Good, Better Best: Never Let It Rest

By Beth Hill

GOOD, BETTER, BEST, NEVER LET IT REST

Can you visualize where your law firm will be in five years?

A quote from George Burns says it best. “Get your good better and your better best.” This is good advice because there is no time to rest on one’s laurels. As paralegals, we are responsible for our own professional growth and career development. It is not up to our employers to nurture our knowledge. We must each take the tactical steps necessary to ensure continued growth.

The legal profession is on a course of constant change. Law firms, in particular, used to be able to count on client loyalty and a sizable retainer from clients who regularly provided the firm with work, which in turn helped to reduce certain costs, such as marketing costs. Today, however, clients shop around and demand top legal services at reduced costs. They can often change counsel on a case by case bases. In today’s uncertain market, it has become increasingly important for paralegals to develop a strategic plan to keep their careers on the correct paths.

How will your job be different in five years? What will happen with the firm for which you work? We really don’t know what the future holds, but what we do know is that change is constant. Succeeding in a demanding, changing workplace requires a strategic career plan. Employers want to retain employees who provide the best value. Look at yourself as a business with a product to sell, and create a strategy for marketing your work-place value. You can employ a strategic process of improving your worth and setting new goals for your career path.

How do we keep that competitive edge? Below are some important steps you can take today to furture-proof your career.

Remain Tech-Savey

The skills you have today may not be sufficient for tomorrow. Much of the change today involves new technology. Technological skills are some of the most sought after skills in the present legal market. You will most likely find yourself at high risk of losing your job if you are without the technological understanding and ability. Paralegals must make themselves proficient with a growing array of word processing, spreadsheet, telecommunications, database, presentation and legal research software. Force yourself to keep your technical skills current.

Knowledge Is The Key

Learn all you can in the area of law in which you work in to set yourself apart. Distinguish yourself with your knowledge. Invest in additional education; read books and magazines; take webinars; and attend seminars and workshops. Determine what you need to know and learn; and work to overhaul your professional image. Participate in professional development; become a member of your local paralegal association which promotes professionalism, ethics and eduction for its members. Becoming a valuable paralegal involves expense, tuition, time and effort. A little investment of your own funds and time will pay lasting dividends for years to come. Pay for additional courses and take exams such as the PACE to validate your skill set and knowledge.

Cross Training

While it’s important to know all you can about the area of law in which you currently work, it is just as important to realize that in a down-economy, the type of work you do may need to shift to another area in the firm. For example, real estate work may have been plentiful in the past, but today, bankruptcy, collections and foreclosures have increased, and your help may be needed in those areas. If you can demonstrate your knowledge and willingness to make the change, you are ahead of the game.

Develop Transferrable Skills

Continue to work on developing transferable skills that are universally sought by employers. Leadership, communication, innovation, stress management, and interpersonal skills are fundamental requirements.

Create A Success Journal

This is important to think about when you are not looking for a job. Be proactive and take inventory of what you do well. Track you duties, projects and results.

Develop Resilience

B ecuause we don’t know what the future holds, setbacks are inevitable. Those who will emerge successful are the ones with the ability to bounce back. We have to develop our resilience skillsand use that resilience to meet the challenges that have become a regular part of our work. Resilience is your capacity to deal with stress, aversity and uncertainty. When we practice resilience, we are in a better position to adapt to ongoing changes.

Be Proactive

Let’s face it: some attorneys do not utilize paralegals effectively. They just do not know what type of work to give paralegals. Take the initiative and seek out substantive work. Know all you need to know and understand about the area of law in which you work. This in turn will demonstrate your abilities, and the profitability for the firm will increase. Effective paralegal utilization equals increased profitability. Avoid limits on the scope of your position. Seek new assignments and challenges. Find a niche area of expertise and become that go-to person.

Communication

You cannot underestimate the importance of communication with the clients you serve. It is fundamental to the practice of law. Paralegals serve as an important liaison between clients, experts, vendors and other legal professionals. Keep communication with clients a top priority. Return calls promptly and keep clients updated on their cases. Happy clients also make happy bosses.

Work With Passion

Be passionate about your work and you will have the greatest chance of success. I believe paralegals are passionate people We believe in what we do, and we believe that our work makes a difference in the lives of others. It is that very passion that drives us to be the best that we can be. When we work with passion, we work harder, have more energy, get more creative and most of all we inspire others who work along side us.

With the New Year well underway, which promises to be filled with challenges and uncertainties, now is the time to focus on your personal strategic plan to future prof your career. As Judge Judy accurately declares, “The time to change was yesterday; the time to wake up is now.”

Beth Hill has been a paralegal for 26 years specializing in Estate Administration, Estate Planning, Tursts an Trust Administration. She is currently employed at the law firm of Burt, Blee, Dixon, Sutton & Bloom, LLP in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She currently serves as the Vice President and Secondary Representative of the Northeast Indiana Paralegal Association. She can be reached as hill@burtblee.com

The Importance of Networking and Growing Future Leaders

by Debra Hindin-King

The Importance of Netowrking and Growing Future Leaders

Networking can be an important part of your professional life.

How often have you heard that networking with other paralegals will enhance your circle of friends and make your life more rewarding? Paralegals routinely rate very highly the importance of networking within their profession. Numerous paralegals feel it is a top priority to enlarge their circle of friends, as well as a member benefit of their association. I have certainly found that to be true throughout my career, even today when I consider myself “seasoned” in the field.

My networking experiences have allowed me to become acquainted either virtually (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) or in person with so many talented and gifted paralegals across the country. Often times I am in need of a referral for a court reporter, process server or an office in which to hold a mediation outside my home state. Through my network, I routinely connect with my paralegal friends to request assistance with such matters. Getting a trusted referral is so much easier and quicker than having your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages or spending time surfing the internet!

Attending professional events such as conventions and CLEs will also allow you to widen your circle of professional acquaintances. Many of the exhibitors at a convention may be helpful to you in future projects. Even though you may not be the sole decision maker when hiring an exhibitor for a project, you familiarity with these vendors may make it easier in the future to reconnect when the need is ripe. Often times at CLEs, an opportunity to network with other attendees may allow you to expand your circle of resources. Get to know those who have similar interests and passions about the paralegal profession; no price tag can ever be placed on the value of this experience.

Consider joining a paralegal organization or another legal professional group. It is amazing how quickly you will get to know others with similar interests and passions. Don’t be afraid to take on a leadership role within the group. Working with others toward a common goal is extremely rewarding, not only for you but for the organization as well. At the end of the day, you will feel better about yourself, and that your time spent was worthwhile in helping the group to succeed. In addition, nonprofit legal organizations are always looking for committed volunteers and leaders, representing yet another resource to connect with people who may have similar interests!

Leadership Management Styles

Do you need a B12 shot to help you become an effective leader utilizing your newly acquired networking skills? Consider various styles of leadership. What differences exist among various generations of leaders, ranging from Baby Boomers right up to Generations X, Y and Millennials?

Typically, younger generations seek rewarding work, flexible hours, more vacation time, and continuous training—and they don’t like someone watching too closely to check their progress. These workers and leaders want a less structured approach to management, as opposed to climbing the hierarchy of the corporate ladder. Often, younger workers may be ready to leave one job and move into something better in a very short period of time. Compare that to Baby Boomers, who view long hours as evidence of hard work and loyalty, and who may prefer more structure within the work environment. Historically, Baby Boomers tend to be less likely to leave after just a few years with their employer.

Younger generations value teamwork and encourage collaboration on projects, which will hopefully lend itself to a more transparent and fluid management style as leaders in their respective organizations. Although technology plays a major role in all of our lives, face-to-face conversation continues to be one of the most valuable methods to convey ideas, exchange information, and formulate plans to allow organizations to pay forward the value of networking for future members.

Association Structure

The million dollar question is how to structure your association to ensure the new generation (“young hungry leaders”) want to stay. Consider some of these ideas: 1) offer ongoing leadership training; 2) increase benefits for those assuming leadership roles, (for example, provide greater recognition for an individual’s contributions by profiling emerging leaders in online association newsletters, local papers, or by sending a letter to a leader’s employer about his/her role in the organization, or by recognizing leaders at annual meetings and social events, etc.); 3) provide latitude in the decision making process; 4) gain the loyalty and respect from younger generations via transparent communication and ongoing support; 5) encourage all leaders and members to be “green” – we all want to protect our precious environment for future generations; and 6) grow and nurture talent by providing challenges to validate and show members loyalty.

Bridging the generation gap is and will always be a challenging situation as it relates to leadership within an organization. Effective leaders should encourage free thinking and sharing of opinions to ensure all members, particularly those in leadership roles, within the organization feel empowered, and are appreciated as valuable contributors. Successful leaders follow through on commitments and take ownership of their own actions, non-actions and mistakes.

Leaders are learners and like to help others succeed. As Dwight D. Eisenhower stated, leadership is “the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” A leader often times leads by example, whether he intends to do so or not. Does that sound familiar to you in your organization? And finally, as Henry Miller declared, “The real leader has no need to lead – he is content to point the way.”

The art of networking goes hand-in-hand with the development of the leaders of today and tomorrow. Seize the opportunities to retool your leadership skill-set to include the resource of networking with your peers – an experience that will provide you with a challenging path down the road in seeking leadership opportunities to pursue within your association.

Debra Hindin-King has been a litigation paralegal for 23 years specializing in oil and gas royalty and commercial litigation. She is currently employed at the law firm of Wheel Trigg O’Donnell LLP in Denver. She is member of the Advisory Council, Organization of Legal Professionals, Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association, National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Co-Chair of the Paralegal committee of the Colorado Bar Association and member of the Colorado Association of Litigation Support Professionals. She can be reached at hindinking@wtotrial.com

Reprinted by permission of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations www.paralegals.org

Reno Court Reporters are Ready to Provide Litigation Support

 

Reno Court Reporters are Ready to Provide Litigation Support

In Reno, lawyers are taking advantage of the experience of talented court reporters.

Reno court reporters have the experience and the technology to help provide the right solutions for the challenges of today’s legal work.

When attorneys are faced with work that takes them to different parts of the country, Nevada court reporters work with the National Network of Reporting Companies (NNRC) to help bring lawyers together with elements of their cases anywhere.

Connectivity can help facilitate a number of important tools like video conferencing and realtime reporting, which are crucial elements of remote depositions. Court reporting firms can help bring these elements together and help attorneys eliminate travel costs. They can work remotely with the confidence that court reporting companies here can make the technology happen.

When reporters do travel here, they can expect the same high level of litigation support that they demand in their own markets. They can work in comfort in fully equipped conference facilities that are the perfect venue for a variety of legal proceedings and meetings. Video and internet capability can also make staying in touch with a home practice simple.

This new technology has added a layer of complexity to the legal field, and today’s court reporters can help bring this technology to legal professionals as they work on a variety of different cases. Qualified specialists are ready to help make your legal work more efficient and effective.

Reporting in Real Time from Omaha Court Reporters

Reporting in Real Time from Omaha Court Reporters

Real time reporting is a powerful tool for today’s attorneys.

Court reporting, among several other benefits, provides the client with a transcript of the legal proceedings. This transcript, though created in court on the spot, often requires revision and finalizing after the fact to ensure accuracy and translate shorthand. This means that the client often does not get to read the transcript until after the day is done. In some situations, this can be too long a wait. This is where real time reporting from Omaha court reporters comes in.

This method of court reporting allows the client to read the transcript as it is being created. Stenograph machines have come a long way and now have the ability to stream content via wireless or by cable. Then the client can view it from their laptop, or even their tablet or smartphone. This gives them the opportunity to make notes and highlight important details for later reference. In court, accuracy is key, and having multiple eyes on the transcript at once can ensure this. The immediate access to important information allows the client to make the best possible decisions without any time wasted.

When all is said and done, the client is often provided with a final version of the transcript as well, allowing them to compare multiple copies. In a field where information is key, no useful resource should be ignored. As well as assisting in decision making, this service is also a great help to those with hearing difficulties, making the proceedings accessible to everyone. Real time reporting from Nebraska court reporters is an excellent resource for anyone who needs quick results.

San Diego Court Reporters Bringing Innovation to Law Firms

San Diego Court Reporters Bring Innovation to Law Firms

In San Diego, lawyers are benefiting from the work of talented court reporters.

In California, lawyers know about the types of valuable services provided by San Diego court reporters. In addition to the accurate transcripts and other documents, these firms now provide several important technical services that are making a difference for attorneys and their clients.

Using the connectivity of the internet, attorneys can now monitor live transcripts and even live legal video. This is allowing them to connect with depositions from their practices, which is saving time that was once taken in travel.

When lawyers do travel, they are often without the team that supports them. This connectivity allows them to consult with their support teams while they are still in the practice, bringing their very best to cases even though they might not be in the room with the attorney.

Traveling lawyers also can take advantage of online document storage, which is bringing a new convenience to the legal profession. Using the internet, attorneys can access transcripts, depositions, and other important documents, eliminating the need to carry paper documents on the road.

Each of these important assets provided by California court reporters can be a part of an effort to provide better services to legal clients. More support can often mean more success for attorneys in the courtroom both for local and visiting attorneys.

Portland Court Reporters

Portland Court Reporters

New technology can be a powerful asset in Portland.

Legal professionals are taking advantage of the services offered by Portland court reporters. Through the National Network of Reporting Companies (NNRC), legal professionals around the country can schedule depositions with these highly qualified firms.

Providing all of the important technical tools, Oregon court reporters can help legal professionals through their depositions with innovative solutions to meet any challenge. Internet connectivity has opened new doors t legal professionals, and it has also meant managing far more information.

Court reporting firms can also help attorneys by utilizing video technology to accommodate video conferencing and depositions. This is allowing law firms to work more efficiently by eliminating travel and time lost working on the road. However, when cases do take attorneys on the road, our fully equipped conference rooms can be a fully functional workplace for our visiting legal professionals. These conference facilities have internet access, video capability, and other tools that give the attorney all of the comforts of working in their own practice.

For local attorneys and those who visit the area from across the country, we can be your asset to the challenges of your work. We can help provide the litigation support and other tools that allow you to focus on your cases and your clients while we facilitate your work. This means that law firms can expand their reach both through new technology and through more effective travel. It also means that law firms can better serve their clients.