Archive for » December, 2009 «

First, let me say Happy New Year! I took a look at the California Labor Market Info today and found that paralegal jobs will increase over the next six years by 6,500, or 26.3% in California. As a paralegal, this is good to hear.

The other interesting tidbit in this research, was that there are over 60,000 employers in California who employ paralegals. Also of interest, is that paralegals earn on average $27.63 an hour, with the top hourly earnings of $33.60. These figures do not take into consideration benefits and employer taxes though.

As a paralegal who was laid off in 2009, I believe that employers are not going to be paying the high wages as California has one of the highest cost of living indexes. For employers to continue to use paralegals, and they must in order to succeed, I believe that contract paralegals or virtual paralegals will be utilized more and more by attorneys.

As many of you know, I began my own virtual paralegal business this year, Virtual Legal Consultants. Marketing and getting this business off the ground has been challenging and fun. I look forward to the new year and the growth and change of our legal arena.

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Every once in awhile, my Mother sends me an interesting e-mail. Today, this is what she sent along to me, so I thought I would share it with all of you. No, it is not paralegal-ish, if that is actually a word, but it is cute and interesting to watch. Enjoy!

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Category: Family Law  2 Comments

Lawyers don’t need to be jerks, they shouldn’t tell lawyer jokes, and they need to quickly inform clients when bad things happen. And they should consider keeping a diary to remember the war stories.

That’s the advice of Texas Judge Randy Wilson, who wrote a letter to his two children who are about to become lawyers and then shared it with Texas Lawyer.

Wilson says it’s important to tell the truth to clients when mistakes are made, and to courts when arguments are weak. All lawyers occasionally err, and they can learn from their mistakes.

“You’re going to be in this game for the long haul,” he writes. “There’s no shortcut that’s worth it—never. If you have a bad document, produce it. If your client is lying to make his case, fire him. Compromising your conscience just is not worth it. There will be other cases. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: A legal career is a marathon, not a race.”

It’s also important to follow the Golden Rule, he says. “There’s just no reason to be a jerk, and there are lots of reasons to be nice.”

If you treat opposing counsel with courtesy, they could end up referring some business to you, he says. And if you allow them an occasional extension, they may do the same for you. If you throw tantrums in the office, your staff can find plenty of ways to sabotage you.

Be proud to be a lawyer, Wilson says, and that means no lawyer jokes. You’ll accumulate real-life war stories—and you will wish you had written them down. So keep a diary, he says.

The above is good advice from someone who has been through it. I think as paralegals we also should listen to this advice. While there will be times when you are working with other offices you will find that no amount of kindness works, you can always say that you gave it your best and tried to kill them with kindness.

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Category: Family Law  One Comment

Don’t forget, many of the California Rules of Court are amended effective January 1, 2010.

To see the complete list of amendments, click here.

Also, many of California’s Judicial Council Forms will change effective January 1, 2010. To see the list of the new and revised forms, click here.

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All California attorneys must provide an e-mail address to the State Bar beginning Feb. 1, 2010, under a new rule of court approved by the Supreme Court. Inactive lawyers over 70 are exempt from the new requirement.

Under Rule 9.7, all members of the State Bar must create an online profile through the bar’s secure membership system. Currently, 150,000 lawyers already have done so and they need do nothing further.

But on Feb. 1, attorneys who move will be able to change their address and phone number only through My State Bar Profile. Online address change capability has been available for several years and is widely used. In 2008, 58,000 address changes were processed, 40,000 online.

Lawyers are statutorily required to keep their addresses updated within 30 days of a move.

The private e-mails will be recorded in the bar’s database and will be used only for official communications, such as courtesy reminders related to deadlines and updates of new regulations that affect members. Attorneys also will have the option to provide a public e-mail address, which will be available to the public on the bar’s Web site.

Notification of disciplinary or regulatory proceedings that may lead to a loss of license will continue to be sent through regular mail.

In addition to the 150,000 private e-mails the bar now has, another 30,000 lawyers have provided a public address. About 40,000 lawyers have not provided an e-mail address.

Although not required by the rule, the bar’s administrative policy will provide an exemption to inactive lawyers over 70. In addition, lawyers who do not have an e-mail address may apply for an exemption by completing a form provided by the bar.

The above article was posted in the California Bar Journal and is provided here as a reminder to all California attorneys, which means you the Paralegal will need to stay on top of this for your attorneys. After all, isn’t that part of your job? To stay on top of any and all information that affects the attorney you work for?

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In an article written by Andrew Longstreth in AM Law Litigation Daily, Kirkland & Ellis received $10 million in attorneys fees and costs in their recent lawsuit against Emigrant Savings Bank. This is $8 million more than the damages that were awarded. Check out the following link for the complete article.
Court Awards Kirkland Client More in Attorneys’ Fees Than Damages

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