Friday, January 26, 2007
By: Lauren K. Jones, RP
Lauren K. Jones, RP continues her articles on Paralegals and the Unauthorized Practice of Law – Where is the Line Drawn?
In making such determination, we begin with Rule 5.3 of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct, which sets out an attorney's responsibilities regarding non-lawyer assistants:
(a), (b) A...lawyer...shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the... [paralegal's] conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer
(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for the conduct of...[the paralegal] that would be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if engaged in by a lawyer if:
(1) the lawyer orders or, with the knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or
(2) the lawyer...knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
Comment : Paragraph (a) requires lawyers...to make reasonable efforts to establish policies and procedures designed to provide reasonable assurances that non-lawyers in the firm will act in a way compatible with the Rules of Professional Conduct.
What services can a paralegal perform in Indiana?
Guideline 9.1 through 9.10 of the Ind. Rules of Professional Conduct provides specific guidance for the use of paralegals:
9.1: A non-lawyer assistant shall perform services only under the direct supervision of a lawyer authorized to practice in the State of Indiana...A lawyer...should take reasonable measures to ensure that the non-lawyer assistant's conduct is consistent with the lawyer's obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct. Note the key words here are: only under the direct supervision of a lawyer. Although Indiana expressly places the responsibility for supervision of paralegals upon lawyers, some states have concluded that a paralegal is not relieved from an independent obligation to work directly under an attorney’s supervision. (ABA Model Guideline for the Utilization of Paralegal Services, 2003 Revisions.) The Supreme Court of New Jersey has held that a “paralegal who recognizes that the attorney is not directly supervising his or her work or that such supervision is illusory because the attorney knows nothing about the field in which the paralegal is working must understand that he or she is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.” (In Re: Opinion No. 24 of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 607 A.2d 962, 969 (N.J. 1992).)
9.2: *...a lawyer may delegate to a...paralegal any task normally performed by the lawyer; however, any task prohibited by statute, court rule, administrative rule or regulation, controlling authority or the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct may not be assigned to a non-lawyer. Note that the scope of a paralegal’s work is only limited to (1) any task normally performed by a lawyer (so long as lawyer is responsible for work product; and (2) those tasks not specifically prohibited).
Next Issue: What Tasks are Prohibited by Statute, Court Rule, Administrative Rule or Regulation, Controlling Authority or the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct?
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I have no idea how I have made it this far in life without a phone that features facial recognition software as a security safeguard, a visual privacy filter so that the person sitting next to you can't see your screen, and you for all of you entomophobiatics (people with an morbid fear of insects), it has a built-in super-sonic mosquito repellent. Wow!!
I have no idea who this phone is marketed to, but before you get too excited, it is apparently only available in Japan. That is really just a shame. I don't know how I will manage. (click here) to see more.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
By: Courtney David Mills
IPA Technology Director and Litigation Paralegal at Hoover Hull LLP
Internet Explorer 7 (“IE7”) is the latest version of Microsoft’s popular web browsing utility. Web browsers are programs created that allow people to browse the internet. The most popular web browsers are; Netscape, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, AOL, and Opera. During the earlier part of the past decade, Microsoft had been accused of monopolizing the web browser market by bundling Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system. In the early years of the internet revolution, Netscape was the most popular web browser. In 1995, Microsoft introduced its own web browser, Internet Explorer, and a fierce battled ensued between Microsoft and Netscape over market share in the web browsing market (this period became known as the browser wars). In 1998, the Department of Justice filed a case against Microsoft
alleging unfair business practices. The crux of the allegations against Microsoft are based on their practice of bundling their operative system and web browser together. Following the end of the browser wars in the late 90s, other web browsers entered the market and gained market share. This move towards alternative web browsers was due in large part to ongoing security concerns with previous versions of Internet Explorer, new features of web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, and Opera, and the less obvious factor of increased bandwidth speed available to
consumers (one reason for the fall of Netscape is that the program had to be either purchased or requested on a CD because it was too large for most computers to download over dial-up connection). Both Firefox and Opera introduced new features to the public, including tabbed browsing, and built-in RSS readers. These features are now for the first time included in Internet Explorer via IE7.
One of the most noticeable aspects of IE7 is the tabbed browsing feature. Tabbed browsing essentially allows you to have multiple web pages open within the same Internet Explorer window. With previous versions of Internet Explorer, if a user had five web pages open at the same time, they would have either five buttons on their toolbar, or would have one button and a stack of buttons (this feature is called grouping and is part of Microsoft Windows XP). With tabbed browsing, you can have multiple web pages open within the same window and switch between the web pages by clicking the tab. If you need a new tab open, you just click the shortened tab to the right of the regular tab, and a new tab will open.
Built-in RSS Reader:
Another feature of IE7 that is sure to draw attention is the integration of a RSS reader. When I wrote an article about RSS Readers in June 2006, I explained that RSS readers were essentially a tool used to subscribe to websites so that updates are made to a particular section or page of a website, you are notified of same (see the Technology Archive on IPA’s website for more information regarding RSS readers). IE7 features a built-in RSS reader that can be accessed under the favorites tab (in IE7, your favorites can be accessed by click the star on the left side of the tool bar). Once you click on the star, you will see separate tabs for favorites and feeds. The
feeds list is similar to your favorites list, but includes all RSS feeds that you have subscribed to. RSS feeds that have been updated since you last visited them are indicated in bold font.
If you have not already seen IE7, it is definitely worth a look. If you are already using Internet Explorer as your default web browser, then it may be time to upgrade. IE7 is free to download, and features optional add-ons, that are nearly identical to Firefox’s extensions. The optional add-ons add new features to IE7 and most are free, although some are not. If you have automatic update feature turned on (you know, that annoying yellow shield thing in the bottom right corner), you have most likely been prompted to download IE7. If you do not have automatic updates turned on, you can visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.mspx to access the free download. IE7 will also be included with Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows Vista, due to be released in early 2007.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
A Success Story (Yours)
I read an article recently in Positive Living where Dr. Norman Vincent Peale reminded us of the power of positive thinking. In the article, Dr. Peale was quoted as saying:
Start Your New Year Right!
1. Want this year to go right? Make things right, right now. List all your
debts (not only money, but debts of gratitude) and pay them off. List any
wrongs and make amends.
2. Practice the art of forgetting. Don’t lug resentments, frustrations,
disappointments and regrets into the new year. Let the past go and forge
3. Each day, expect great things. Have high hopes and great dreams.
Believe that life is good, that it is going to be better and that the best is yet
to come. You know something? You’re likely to get just what you
Dr. Peale’s words of positive intention certainly sound like a great plan for growth and success in 2007, even when it comes to PACE. Professionally, one of the best ways to put that plan into action is to make a commitment to fulfill your hopes and dreams ~ make things right for you professionally ~ make a positive statement about your own professional worth. Don’t let this year come and go with regrets or disappointments because you didn’t take that step necessary to work on your professional development…especially, when IPA is here to offer tremendous support and assistance.
As I have expressed to several IPA members, it has been such a blessing to be able to
help members of IPA achieve their hopes and dreams of becoming PACE Registered
Paralegals. In just a few short months, numerous paralegals have contacted me about
helping them get qualified to take PACE ~ or have requested study material information ~ or have requested one of IPA’s new PACE Candidate Survival Kits because they have purchased the Study Manual and are serious about taking their career to the next level. We even have one “RP in Waiting” who has taken PACE and received word at the testing site that she passed, but is now waiting for official notification from NFPA (stay tuned for the big announcement!!) ~ and we have still another IPA member who will take the test within the next 45 days. Another RP told me she took a recent letter from IPA congratulating her on her PACE accomplishments to her Human Resources Department to have added to her personnel file. As an oldtimer, it is absolutely thrilling to see all of these paralegals work towards further professional development ~ to watch their hopes and dreams coming true ~ to watch these Success Stories being told.
If you haven’t done so, please take the time to read some of the PACE Testimonials which we have been posting on the IPA PACE web page. There are more coming, so check often for updates. Every paralegal who sat for PACE was motivated for some reason to take the examination. It is inspiring to read their Success Stories ~ what prompted them to take this step in their professional careers ~ what this accomplishment has meant for them professionally ~ what they learned in the process ~ what they hope for future PACE RP’s.
PACE is not for everyone, but if you have been on the fence, you couldn’t pick a better time to get on the PACE Track. NFPA has started the process of updating PACE with goals to have revised examinations available by the NFPA Annual Meeting in October of this year. It has been suggested that as the PACE item writers (persons who write the test questions) become more experienced and as the paralegal profession becomes more proficient, through specialization, regulation or otherwise, that quite likely the examination will contain tougher questions. Undoubtedly, the revised exams will contain more questions on technology, changes in the Bankruptcy Law, new Federal rules, and other changes with which we are somewhat less familiar.1
Indiana is one of the leaders nationwide in helping to develop the paralegal profession. We rank near the top in the number of PACE Registered Paralegals practicing per state on a national level. Courtney David Mills has put us on the map as the first paralegal organization to develop a Blawg. Our Board is proactive in its efforts to obtain regulation for Indiana paralegals. Undoubtedly, that day is coming. Indeed, how the paralegal profession has changed since a cluster of us met to form IPA! Don’t let 2007 come and go without seriously considering if PACE is right for you. This not only helps you personally and professionally, but it helps the entire paralegal profession.
Yes, PACE is exactly what Dr. Peale speaks to ~ a great way to make things right (right now), forge ahead with high hopes and dreams ~ and free of disappointments and regrets. With positive thinking and the expectation of great things, you CAN “believe that life is good, that it is going to be better and that the best is yet to come.” If you expect to be successful, you’re well on the way!
IPA is here to do whatever we can to help you proudly achieve your goal of successful completion of PACE. Maybe it is time to add one more Success Story to our PACE Testimonials………YOURS!
By Debi Neale, R.P.
IPA PACE Ambassador
The fourth in a series of
PACE Ambassador Reports
1 Also, be mindful of the fact that PES (the testing administration center) only does scoring runs twice a year now – in June and December. So, if you are informed you passed following completion of the exam, you cannot officially be considered a PACE RP until PES completes its scoring run and you are officially notified from NFPA.
2007 PACE ONLINE REVIEW COURSE DATES:
January 22, 2007
March 5, 2007
April 16, 2007
June 11, 2007
July 23, 2007
September 10, 2007
October 22, 2007
The cost of the course is $395. The student must purchase the PACE Study Manual
before the 7 week class starts. Contact Debi Neale, R.P. at firstname.lastname@example.org or
www.paralegals.org for more information.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Buying technology is often the easy part for law firms. Implementing the technology...well, that's another story.
I have found that law firms are often quick to buy technology, especially software, but typically very slow to implement the technology. I think that a major factor in the paradigm is that law firms often neglect to factor in implementation and training costs into the equation of whether to purchase new software and to a lesser extent, new hardware. Here is a great article from Law Practice Today entitled Hardware and Software: You Bought It, You've Got It—Now Use It!
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Fios releases its winter e-discovery webcast series. (click here).
The International Legal Technology Association ("ILTA") will hold its upcoming meeting on January 11, 2007, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to discuss Video Evidence Presentation System (VEPS). (click here).
Monday, January 1, 2007
This is a great article discussing the issues surrounding whether a string of emails should be considered a single document or several documents. Such a decision has an important impact on privlidge logs and descriptions of email strings which contain both privlidged and non-privlidged communication. (click here).