Paralegal allegedly shoots three at law firm

Not a good start to the new year for anyone!

"One man was arrested in connection with the shooting that wounded three people inside a law firm Tuesday night.

"Bill J. Weir, 58, a Joshua Tree attorney, handyman Rocky Favorite, 50, and Dawn Croom, 25, were shot when a gunman opened fire just after 4 p.m. in Weir's law office in the 62700 block of Twentynine Palms Highway, said San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller.

[snip]

"Authorities arrested Joshua Tree resident Bernard Steppe, 66, in his car at the intersection of Sunburst Avenue and Cielito Drive near the law office.

"Steppe was being held on $500,000 bail at the Morongo Basin Jail on suspicion of attempted murder, officials said.

"Steven Goldstein, a longtime friend of Weir's, said Steppe had done some paralegal work [emphasis added] for Weir."

Estrin Legal Staffing

Estrin Legal Staffing specializes in helping exceptional professionals connect with amazing career opportunities. Click on the banner to take a look at our amazing career opportunities and call us to get more information.


"Paralegal charged in embezzlement"

Oh, this news is just sad. Particularly because the alleged thief used some stolen funds for her boyfriend!

"A paralegal at a Manitowoc law firm allegedly embezzled more than $200,000 to pay for vehicles, home repairs, medical bills, furniture and TVs, according to authorities.

"Debra D. Hardtke, 35, Kewaunee, will appear in Manitowoc County Circuit Court on Jan. 8. Hardtke is charged with theft in a business setting and two counts of forgery and faces up to 22 years prison and $45,000 in fines if convicted."

Estrin Legal Staffing

Estrin Legal Staffing specializes in helping exceptional professionals connect with amazing career opportunities. Click on the banner to take a look at our amazing career opportunities and call us to get more information.


"Law Office Closes For Mourning After Shooting"

A disgruntled former client apparently took out his anger over a patent case on the firm:

"The law offices where Friday's shootings took place are closed, but for those working elsewhere in the building, there was an eerie feeling upon their return.

"As CBS 2's Sylvia Gomez reports, on Friday, the squeal of sirens through the Loop was a sound that could only mean something horrible. The gunman opened fire on people whose only crime seemed to be standing in the wrong place. When the dust settled, four were dead, including gunman Joe Jackson, who truly believed he had reason to snap.

"Offsite grief counseling was underway Monday for those who worked in the law offices where the shootings took place – Woods, Phillips, Katz, Clark & Mortimer, on the 38th floor of the Citicorp Building, 500 W. Madison St. The offices are to reopen on Tuesday.

[snip]

"The only surviving victim was paralegal Ruth Zak Lieb, who was hit in the foot by gunfire and was recovering Monday morning."

Estrin Legal Staffing

Estrin Legal Staffing specializes in helping exceptional professionals connect with amazing career opportunities. Click on the banner to take a look at our amazing career opportunities and call us to get more information.


Paralegal fights identity theft

Read about this paralegal in an article titled "Good Cybercitizens Keep Watch Over ID-Theft Victims":

[snip]

"Janice Forster, 50, a paralegal in North Carolina, this year started FindMyId.com, a Web site devoted to educating consumers about ID theft. In the past week, she mailed more than 100 letters to North Carolina residents informing them that their personal information is available on the Internet.

"'I just want to make a difference,' says Forster, who had never before been involved in a grass-roots movement. 'In good conscience, I can't watch this happen to people.'"

You go, Janice!

Estrin Legal Staffing

Estrin Legal Staffing specializes in helping exceptional professionals connect with amazing career opportunities. Click on the banner to take a look at our amazing career opportunities and call us to get more information.


Paralegal & military lawyer ordered not to discuss Gitmo claims

We earlier noted this paralegal's actions in reporting abuse; now she's been told not to talk to the press:

"A paralegal and a military lawyer who brought forward allegations about prisoner abuse at the Guantanamo Bay detention center have been ordered not to speak with the press, lawyers and a military spokeswoman said Saturday.

"Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, who represents a detainee at the U.S. naval base in eastern Cuba, filed a complaint with the Pentagon last week alleging that abuse was ongoing at the prison. He attached a sworn statement from his paralegal, Sgt. Heather Cerveny [PDF link], in which she said several Guantanamo guards bragged in a bar about beating detainees, describing it as common practice.

"Muneer Ahmad, a civilian defense lawyer for Omar Khadr, a Canadian detainee whose military counsel is Vokey, said that Vokey and Cerveny were ordered Friday by the U.S. Marines not to speak with the press.

"Cerveny, reached by telephone late Saturday, said she disagreed with the order but also would abide it. She declined to comment further."

Estrin Legal Staffing

Estrin Legal Staffing specializes in helping exceptional professionals connect with amazing career opportunities. Click on the banner to take a look at our amazing career opportunities and call us to get more information.


Paralegal reports beatings by Gitmo guards

And to this news report, we say a hearty "good work"!

"Guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as common practice, a Marine sergeant said in a sworn statement obtained by The Associated Press.

"The two-page statement was sent Wednesday to the Inspector General at the Department of Defense by a high-ranking Marine Corps defense lawyer.

"The lawyer sent the statement on behalf of a paralegal who said men she met on Sept. 23 at a bar on the base identified themselves to her as guards. The woman, whose name was blacked out, said she spent about an hour talking with them. No one was in uniform, she said."

Estrin Legal Staffing

Estrin Legal Staffing specializes in helping exceptional professionals connect with amazing career opportunities. Click on the banner to take a look at our amazing career opportunities and call us to get more information.


"Coming soon to theaters: Paralegal saves the day"

You must read this article to learn how the case was won!

"The story sounds familiar, like the plot of a dozen movies: a legal assistant saves the case of a law office when she finds evidence everyone else - the prosecution, investigators and her bosses - overlooked.

"Days before David Redden's murder trial began, the legal team of John Heath Sr. and John Heath Jr. had a case much like hundreds of other murder cases Heath Sr. has worked in his 36-year career - his client's word against the prosecution's.

"Enter Julia Watson, a paralegal for the father-and-son law office. With jury selection three days away, Watson was working late Thursday, July 13, transcribing the dialogue from a videocassette that documented the scene of the killing. After most of the staff had left work, Watson sat in a brown wooden chair, next to a portable desk, and she began writing on a yellow legal pad. She realized there was no sound coming from the 50-inch television, but she watched the tape anyway, and what she saw surprised her."

Estrin Legal Staffing

Estrin Legal Staffing specializes in helping exceptional professionals connect with amazing career opportunities. Click on the banner to take a look at our amazing career opportunities and call us to get more information.


"We may be slow, but we're not stupid"

So said Patricia Glaser, a name partner at embattled Christensen Glaser when talking about a recent raise for associates:

"Two Los Angeles law firms recently raised their first-year associate salaries while facing key partner departures and a federal criminal probe into whether lawyers engaged in illegal wiretapping.

"Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger, whose top rainmaker, Bertram Fields, has said he is a subject of the criminal investigation, has agreed to raise salaries to $135,000. In the past month, the 90-attorney firm has lost about a dozen lawyers, including two members of its management committee.

"Separately, Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro boosted rates after seven associates left and as name partner Louis "Skip" Miller announced this month he would leave the firm. (The firm changed its name from Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro.)

Christensen Glaser's managing partner, Terry Christensen, is the only lawyer to be indicted in the wiretapping probe.

[snip]

"Patricia Glaser, a name partner at Christensen Glaser, said that the new salaries were effective in April, but she refused to draw a connection to the ongoing investigation or Miller's departure. 'A lot of other firms raised their base salaries,' she said. 'We may be slow, but we're not stupid.'

"But several former associates at Christensen Glaser said lawyers at the firm are sending out their resumes."

Estrin Legal Staffing

Estrin Legal Staffing specializes in helping exceptional professionals connect with amazing career opportunities. Click on the banner to take a look at our amazing career opportunities and call us to get more information.