Previous month:
September 2006
Next month:
November 2006

"Pillsbury Winthrop Faces E-Mail Pileup"

Why am I not surprised to read this: "[T]he challenge was getting lawyers to adapt."

"The exponential growth of e-mail for client-related exchanges has increased the potential for knowledge management and records management breakdowns. Today's information is spread out in personal inboxes that can't be easily accessed, leveraged, protected and properly stored. When e-mail that should be part of the client/matter file sits in an e-mail inbox -- an unmanaged repository -- chances are that the knowledge contained in the e-mail may never be harnessed or, worse yet, could be lost or deleted. Content that constitutes a record may never be properly declared as a record.

"Allowing e-mail to reside in attorney inboxes is a huge client service and risk management issue. E-mail systems are not storage tools; they were not designed as large capacity repositories. There are significant costs associated with maintaining large collections of e-mail data live, as well as resource expenditures spent searching through volumes of uncoded data (e.g., in response to a discovery request).

"At Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman our biggest hotspot is ensuring complete documentation and preservation for each matter. Indeed, two of the biggest risk culprits we faced were e-mail inboxes, and inbound and outbound lateral attorneys. PW has 900 lawyers in 15 locations, and we have particular expertise in capital markets, energy and technology. In June 2004, our 26-member professional responsibility committee, lead by Ronald Van Buskirk, recognized the importance of getting e-mail out of inboxes and into a managed system. So we established an electronic file subcommittee, comprised of five partners and three executives from the operations group, the IT group and the records department."

Very helpful description of the new email system & training are provided in the body of this article by Tanya Garig, conflicts, new business, & firmwide records manager at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, based in San Francisco.


Some Holiday Fun...

Have you ever wanted to make a pc-o-lantern? Or a mac-o-lantern? Sure you have!

"Look at this. We've [University of Arkansas Dept. of Computing Services/Help Desk] made a pumpkin into a computer."

"The Pumputer was conceived of to bring home the company's carving contest award for the Information Technology department. A 1990 Macintosh Classic computer was obtained and carefully dismantled. After insertion into a large pumpkin, it's peripherals were color coded to adhere to the Pumputer 1.0 model standards, and connected via VineBus, a very advanced serial connection."


"How to Turn Paralegals Into Franchisees"

I LIKE this idea! Nice follow-up to the post about independent paralegals, hmm?

"Since July 1986, Paralegal Services of Allenhurst has been matching freelance paralegals with New Jersey-area attorneys.

"Now, it wants to expand the business into a nationwide franchise system, essentially by giving paralegals working for firms a model to become independent contractors.

"Last month, the name was changed to Paralegal Services USA, and it now offers training, branded materials, advertising and other services for paralegals who want to go it alone.

"'Paralegals who have a freelance practice want to focus on their work instead of worrying about issues like marketing, human resources and advertising,' says Dorothy Secol, who runs the business along with her partner, Peggy Stalford."


'Ways to get along without lawyers'

Did you know that the CA Legal Document Assistants Association is now 20 years old & has 225 members?

"Ed Sherman started a revolution 35 years ago when he wrote How to Do Your Own Divorce in California. Since then, millions of people have found they needn't resort to the adversarial and expensive step of hiring a lawyer to reach a divorce settlement. A new industry — independent paralegal services — was born.

"Sherman, 68, an attorney since 1971 and co-founder of Divorce Helpline, which has an office at 615 Mission St. in Santa Cruz, is still going strong. The author of 18 books, he has a new one coming out to help couples stay together.

"He will be among the featured speakers at the annual conference of the California Association of Legal Document Assistants Friday through Sunday in Ontario. The group has 225 members and will mark its 20th anniversary this year."


"National Award to Paralegal For Work with Native American Community"

Congratulations! Love to hear this kind of news:

"The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to announce that Raylene Frazier, a paralegal with Dakota Plains Legal Services (DPLS) in South Dakota,  is the 2006 recipient of the Pierce-Hickerson Award.  Frazier will be honored during the NLADA 2006 Annual Conference Awards Luncheon on Friday, November 10 at the Westin Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, NC.

[snip]

"Frazier, who is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, handles cases in all areas of Indian Law. She has prevailed in many Tribal Court appellate cases and administrative hearings. Her vast experience and the training she received through the years from the American Indian Lawyer Training Program, the National Justice Center, the Legal Services Corporation and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy qualified her to head up a DPLS Department of Justice grant to provide basic trial skills training to attorneys and lay advocates practicing in Tribal Courts in South Dakota."


Paralegal quoted on identity theft

Excellent news -- paralegal advice now being quoted by the press!

"A 90-year-old Manchester woman is out $10,000 cash after falling victim to a Canadian lottery scam.

"Another area woman selling a motorcycle on eBay was lured into wiring $2,000 to British Columbia as part of a phony transaction.

"New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Richard Head recently got a fraudulent e-mail claiming to be from Paypal, but was really sent from an identity thief.

“'It’s a crime that’s affecting everybody,' said Michael Blanchard, a U.S. postal inspector who investigates identity theft crimes in New Hampshire. 'If you’re on the Internet, you’re affected by this.'

"Blanchard joined representatives from the New Hampshire office of the Attorney General and the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of New Hampshire & Vermont on Tuesday to talk to a dozen small business owners about how to protect their business and customers from scams mail.

[snip]

"But foreign lotteries are illegal in the United States, so there is no such thing as winning an Internet lottery, said Denise Costello, a paralegal with the attorney general’s office.

"So if you’ve won something, you shouldn’t have to pay anything, she added."

NY Trial Court Online Case Access

Legal Dockets Online describes new enhancements to New York State's case information databases:

"Supreme Court and County Clerk dockets, decisions, monitoring, and calendar access is finally consolidating and improving. If you practice in New York, be prepared to be impressed. Here is a summary of the state's major case information databases now available to the public:

"This system provides past, present and future case information for New York State Civil Supreme Courts. WebCivil provides online access to information about cases in Civil Supreme Court in all 62 counties of New York State. You may search for cases by Index Number or the name of the Plaintiff or Defendant, look up cases by Attorney/Firm name, and view Calendars for each court.

"Case Search - Find all New York State Civil Supreme Court cases by index number, party and firm name.

"Court Calendar Search - Find calendar information by county, justice and part.

"Attorney/Firm Calendar Search - Find calendar information for an attorney or firm.

"Document Search - Find published decisions by index number and county."

Find much more helpful info in the full article...


Paralegal enters 150-mile race through Egypt's desert

This article's title -- "You have to live on the edge" -- is perfect:

"Jacqueline Eastridge admits that, yes, she is a little crazy.

"Starting on Sunday, the 46-year-old senior paralegal for a Center City law firm will join 59 other runners in a week-long, 150-mile trek through the sands and dunes and the dry, relentless heat of Egypt's Sahara desert. The event was organized by the sports-adventure company RacingThePlanet.

"Eastridge will do it carrying only one change of clothing and all the food she will need in a pack on her back that she hopes will weigh no more than 15 pounds.

"'You have to live on the edge a little,' said Eastridge, of Wynnewood, who is making the trip alone at a personal cost of over $2,000 (her employer paid the entrance fee).

"From the sound of it, the 5-foot-6, 125-pound Eastridge is up to the challenge while at the same time elevating fund-raising for a cause - in this case Children's Hospital - to new extremes compared to the walks, runs and bike tours so common around the region.

"'It's fully in keeping with who she is,' said her boss, Michael Friedman, chair of the corporate and securities group at Pepper Hamilton L.L.P. 'She is energetic, she is enthusiastic, she is committed to quality, and she is committed to helping people.'"


"Former paralegal finds fulfillment working with 'tweens at library"

Charming story about the joys of being retired (not anytime soon for me)!

"When Jayne Morrison goes to work, she couldn't be happier.

"She loves every moment she spends in the children's department of the Boca Raton Public Library.

"'Being here is like being in a terrific garden,' she said. 'There's everything here.'

"Morrison talks about her job as if she's worked there for years. But she joined the library staff just four years ago, after leaving a long career as a paralegal two years earlier.

"'I was a paralegal for 25 years,' said Morrison, who lives in Boca Raton with her husband, Burt. 'I became a grandma, and my perspective of life changed.'

"This fall, Morrison started leading a monthly book discussion for 'tweens, youngsters ages 9 to 12 who are between childhood and adolescence."


"In-house attorneys in Minnesota are happy"

Good news -- more jobs for corporate paralegals (at least in Minnesota!):

"A new survey found that 95 percent of in-house attorneys in Minnesota are satisfied with their jobs.

"The highest paid in-house lawyers worked for health care companies, and attorneys in public companies were better paid than those in private corporations. The average salary for all in-house lawyers responding to the survey was $165,289; for chief legal counsels or general counsels, the average salary was $213,173.

[snip]

"The survey suggested there will be future demand for paralegals [PDF link] and in-house junior-level attorneys, because many companies are shifting away from hiring senior attorneys and general counsels."