Friday, September 30, 2011

Men are underappreciated sometimes!

We all know working moms have quite a schedule, and sometimes I think about how we are able to add a full-time work schedule to our full plates at home without dropping a single ball.

It takes a lot of determination and refusal to accept failure. In fact, failure simply isn't an option, so you make it work. I am lucky enough to have an awesome husband ("TDH") who works harder than I do to maintain our life.  Swimming upstream is so much easier with him.

Last week, TDH was out of town on business and I had the luxury of the single mom experience. I was in late to work all week because I needed to take my kids to school and daycare. So, I emailed my department at work to let everyone know. Half way through the week, I had a brief conversation with B-Dub in the elevator on our way out the door to leave for the day. After some chit chat about my week and TDH's absence, he made this comment:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy short story to start your day (and mine!)

The attorneys at our office are allergic to giving feedback. You would swear they thought feedback (positive or negative) would create world peace and societal niceness and they would be out of a job, and money.

We have lots of newbies at our firm. After receiving a nomination request survey the other day from my local paralegal association, I sent out several emails with compliments to four support staffers. After reading my emails, each of them came to me tearfully and explained how my timing was eerie.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's all about the mustache!

Looking for some off the wall courtroom giggles from good ol' fashioned People's Court?

Check out this weird video.  It's all about the mustache! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Losing momentum

People in a law office can be classified as people who react, or people who elicit reaction. Those who know how to elicit reaction are able to stay one step ahead of their competition and keep momentum in their cases.

Friday, September 23, 2011

CYA notes are important!

Here is an important blog to read from Paralegal Hell. She points out the importance of good note-taking and how to save yourself from potential/ probable future troubles.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some things should not be said at a deposition

Here's an awesome video excerpt example of what you shouldn't say at a deposition.  This guy looks strangly familiar...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

Every so often, attorneys have good ideas. Here is one that I am especially fond of:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Defending your billings: critiques happen!

It is never fun (or billable) to defend the time you spent on a particular project. However, we all have to do so from time to time. Clients or attorneys may ask you to explain an extraordinary amount of time spent on a particular project, and you need to be able to defend your entries quickly, so as not to lose too many precious billable hours.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Using Requests for Admissions Effectively

Great Requests for Admissions (called RFAs in my state) are works of art, finessed to corner your opponent into admitting facts, and potentially winning the case on admissions. They can also be used to win certain motions in limine, among other things, if they don't obviate pretrial resolution.

If your state follows general guidelines for RFAs, you are limited to a particular number of requests, making the choice of words all the more important. Also, making each RFA about one simple fact is vital. Compound requests are easily denied if any one part of the request isn't true.

Getting started with your draft is often the most difficult part for newer paralegals. Remember, the complaining party usually has the burden of proof (excluding successful Res Ipsa Loquitor jury instruction arguments), so if you can prove or disprove the allegations of the complaint, the case can be won or lost.  Here are some good starting places:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Trial Tool: The Incredible Notepad

So often, we all get caught up in the latest gizmos and gadgets that we forget to utilize those battery-less, user-friendly, cordless tools: good old fashioned yellow lined notepads. They are not just handy to memorialize meetings and telephone calls, but also a real tool to use at trial. Lawyers often use notepads to record thoughts, and once those thoughts are recorded, they are typically as useless as, well, the attorney's thoughts. They are disregarded as waste, only taking up space on counsel table.

I am here to tell you, my friends, that yellow-lined recycled tree is my closest friend during trial. It sits in my lap in the courtroom, and I carry it with me day and night. For those of you that have your tablets and laptops and swear by them, I submit to you that my yellow abacus-age tool has never crashed, died, or had a techno-glitch of any kind.

For those of you who may not understand how a bound mound of notes can truly be so helpful, I will share with you my system:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A letter to my readers and anonymous commenters

Thank you to everyone for your supportive emails and comments.  I've also had not-so-nice comments, and one with some constructive criticism (thanks, Julie Hunt).  Throughout the week, I read all your comments and emails, and I have done a lot of thinking.