Archive for » July, 2010 «

British actor Daniel Radcliffe at the London p...
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Daniel Radcliffe is set to play a solicitor, aka attorney, in the new film “Woman in Black“, per British Horror Label, Hammer Films.

There is question by some if Daniel is old enough to play a solicitor at the ripe age of 21, and that he might be more suited as a paralegal or law clerk.  Yes, this is not breaking paralegal news, but whatever the case may be, may I just tell you that I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I am not afraid to say it?

The J.K. Rolling series has done more in getting my grandchildren to read then I ever could, so I am grateful for this as I am an insatiable reader and can’t understand those that are not as passionate about reading as I am.

I have not read the book “Woman in Black” yet, but will before I ever see the movie.  From what I read in the article today, it sounds like it might be an interesting movie.

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I am honored to be named one of the Top 50 Criminal Justice Blogs for the content on my site!  There are several other Paralegals honored as well,  Practical Paralegalism, The Paralegal Mentor, The Empowered Paralegal, Paralegal Gateway Blog, Patti’s Paralegal Page, Paralegal How To, Paralegal Pie and The Estrin Report.  Be sure to check these blogs out if you haven’t already.

You can learn more about the Criminal Justice Degree School here.  

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Shawn Sutherland, Paralegal and Author

In 1988, two Carrollton teens went missing and the case quickly stalled.  Shawn Sutherland a Patents Law Paralegal, who grew up in Carrollton, decided last year to write a book about the missing teens, Stacie Madison and Susan Renee Smalley.  The book, This Night Wounds Time: The Mysterious Disappearances of Stacie Madison and Susan Smalley reopened the cold case.  According to Carrollton police Sgt. Joel Payne, “What this book did was push the full reset button, we threw out all the assumptions, and we started from scratch.”

With the case revived, investigators are re-examining theories dismissed long ago. There’s a heightened urgency to get anyone with information about the case to come forward.

The department and Payne, the lead detective, are throwing new resources into the case. The Denton County district attorney’s office also assigned an investigator after learning of a connection in its county.

There is a Facebook page, which gives more information on Stacie and Susan.  I am thrilled to learn that one of our own paralegal brothers is responsible for reopening this sad case.  I hope that the families of these two girls receive some closure.  Persons with any information regarding the Madison/Smalley case should contact the Carrollton Police Department at 972-466-3300.

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Paralegal Badge

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Why is it important for California paralegals to keep a compliance log of their continuing legal education?

B & P § 6450 requires a paralegal every two years to certify completion of four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in legal ethics, and four hours of mandatory continuing legal education ineither general law or in an area of specialized law.

The courts are cracking down on attorneys who do not require their paralegals to meet the requirements of B&P § 6450.  There are a number of court cases where paralegal fees were denied or disallowed by the court because the paralegal failed to meet the requirements of § 6450.

The amendment to CRC Rule 7.703 clarifies that paralegals performing services for counsel for fiduciaries in decedents’ estates, conservatorships, and guardianships must satisfy the qualification and continuing education requirements of B&P 6450 for counsel to be eligible for compensation for paralegal services from the estate of decedents for the estate’s extraordinary legal services.


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The Fifth District Court of Appeal case of Coito vs. Superior Court was granted review on 06/09/10. A new case just came out of the Fifth District Court of Appeal on the issue of whether a witness statement taken by an attorney is subject to discovery, and whether Judicial Form Interrogatory 12.3 can be objected to on a blanket basis based on attorney work product doctrine.  The holding of this case is that witness statements, even if taken by an attorney, are discoverable in most instances, and a blanket objection to 12.3 will not stand in the Fifth District.

Thanks goes to Barbara Haubrich, ACP/CAS for this information.  You can find more great information on her blog.

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Elena Kagan as Dean of Harvard Law School
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I don’t know about you, but I am excited about another woman possibly sitting on the Supreme Court!  I have been crazy busy and unable to watch the hearing, but I have been trying to read what is going on and found some of the opening comments made last week by Senator Klobuchar quite informative.

One such comment was “Solicitor General Kagan, there are always a lot of critics on the sidelines, but you have actually been in the arena . . . as a manager, as a teacher, as an advisor, as a consensus-builder and as a lawyer.  In every job you’ve had, you’ve worked very hard and done very well.  That is why you are before us today, being considered – in the words of Teddy Roosevelt – for this “high achievement.” ”

She further went on to say “It strikes me that it takes a pretty extraordinary person who, after working in the Clinton Administration, can still get a standing ovation from the Federalist Society… who inspires a group of 600 law school students to show up for a rally wearing “I love Elena” t-shirts… who is widely credited with calming the factionalism that had previously roiled your law school.  In several different jobs now, you have successfully managed lawyers, and worse yet, law professors – a group that can certainly be described as “fearless in the face of supervision”! In sum, you’ve had a lot of practical experience reaching out to people who hold very different beliefs, and that’s increasingly important on a very divided Supreme Court.  That must be, by the way, why you have all the previous Solicitors General from the past 25 years – under both Democratic and Republican administrations – supporting you for this job.  In the course of more than two centuries, 111 justices have served on the Supreme Court.  Only three have been women.   If you are confirmed, you will be the fourth, and for the first time in its history, three women would take their places on the bench when arguments are heard in the fall.”

I think it’s time we had someone on the bench who thinks about the consequences of how the decisions that are made affect the “real people” and their lives.  There are so many decisions handed down that just make no sense to many of us and have consequences on people’s lives that are not always for the better.  Having someone with the ability to state what those impacts could or would be, sitting on the bench might make a big difference.  It sure couldn’t hurt!

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