Friday, September 28, 2007

The Plain English Table

Using another "legalese" phrase? Stop, print out this table, and keep it posted by your monitor.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Paralegal Sworn in to Military on 9/11

On September 11, 2007, Tamara Brackins was sworn in as a paralegal in the U.S. Army National Guard.

Brackins first joined the military on September 11, 2002. After the attacks on the United States, she watched recruitment advertisements for the Marines and knew she wanted to be a part of the Armed Forces.

Not everyone has encouraged her in her dreams, often telling her she could be sent to Iraq.
But she said she isn’t scared.

"If I was scared I would have never joined," Brackins explained.

Her mom, however, has always been supportive and was especially pleased to hear her daughter would be a paralegal.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Paralegals Prepare Wills for Area Heroes

The Pro Bono committee of the Cincinnati Paralegal Association wanted to give back to the firefighters, policemen, and EMTs for the sacrifices they make every day. CPA created Wills for Heroes, where volunteer lawyers and paralegals prepare wills, living wills, and health care proxies for first responders and their spouses free of charge.

The next Wills for Heroes event will be for the Butler County Sheriff's Department on Oct. 27 during Make a Difference Day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Queens College Launches Paralegal Program at Lehman

FLUSHING, N.Y. -- Residents of The Bronx can now receive a good paralegal education without the commute. The Queens College/CEP Paralegal Program has received approval from the American Bar Association to provide a paralegal program at the Lehman College campus. Lehman's program closed last June.

The first four Queens/CEP Paralegal courses at Lehman, held in pairs of back-to-back sessions on Saturdays and Sundays, will begin the weekend of October 13, 2007, and continue through early to mid-December, depending on the class. The schedule includes Introduction to the Law and Ethics, Legal Writing for Paralegals, Legal Research, and Litigation I. These classes are essential for paralegal certification, which involves completion of five required courses and seven electives.

For more information, visit the Queens College Web site at

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Roundup: Paralegals in the News

The Executive News and Noteworthy sections of newspapers used to be confined to lawyers and business executives. Recently, paralegal promotions are being hailed as newsworthy, too.

In Charlestown, S.C., Christine Santelli has joined Barnwell Whaley Patterson and Helms as director of intellectual property administration. She has more than 22 years of experience as a paralegal, most recently as senior paralegal for Innophos Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals/Sandoz Inc. She attended Montgomery Community College in Pennsylvania and holds a paralegal certificate from Taylor Business Institute in Manasquan, N.J. (Source: Charleston Post Courier)

The Indiana Paralegal Association named Pamela S. Retherford of Bingham McHale as its New Member Paralegal of the Year. (Source: Indianapolis Star)

Joan Kraft, who served for more than 20 years as a Cavaleras County, California paralegal, finished her last day on Monday. On Tuesday, Kraft was recognized for her two decades of work by the Board of Supervisors. She was presented with a plaque and the board adopted a resolution in honor of her service. (Source: Calaveras Enterprise)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kitchens New LLC Announces New Hires

In addition to announcing a new attorney, Kitchens New LLC in Atlanta announced the hiring of paralegal Sharon C. Semmens in a recent press release. Semmens brings 25 years of paralegal experience in estates and trusts, corporate, premises liability, labor and employment issues to the table.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Paralegal Could Replace Lawyer on Three-Lawyer Team

In Cook County, Illinois, Alderman Howard Brookins officially has tossed his hat in the ring to replace outgoing State Attorney Richard Devine. As part of his platform, Brookins suggested replacing one lawyer on the three-lawyer courtroom teams with a paralegal. This would free up resources to investigate politicians and police officers, he said.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

IPA Blawg: Get Ready For a Whole New Vista on E-Discovery

Because the amendments to the FRCP and e-discovery aren't challenging enough, Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system has entered the fray to keep paralegals on their toes. In IPA Blawg: Get Ready For a Whole New Vista on E-Discovery, Courtney David Mills demystifies the impact of Bitlocker, shadow copies, and file formats on EDD.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Grammar: Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them (Part 20: Its/It's Error)

For my last grammar series entry, I present you with my pet peeve: the its/it's error. "Its" is a possessive pronoun. "It's" is a contraction for "it is."

Don't confuse it's with its. It's is a contraction for it is. Its is the possessive. If you're having problems, replace the form of its you're using with it is. If it doesn't fit, use the other form of it's.
It's a smart cat that tolerates its humans.