Blog Archives

In case you were out this week and missed the new fee increases,  (lucky you if you are), I am attaching the new Statewide Fee Schedule for your reading pleasure.   Of course, you should check with your county to make sure when the fees increase there, I know they did in the county in which I work effective July 2nd.

In reviewing the new fees for my county, I was shocked to learn that the fees for the filing for a Complaint and an Answer in Civil, a Petition for Dissolution or Legal Separation or First Paper Fee in Family, and Petitions in Probate all increased from $395 to $435.

Be sure to check out the other increases, such as filing motions, delivery of a will to the court, court reporter fees and child custody evaluations.  Also, don’t forget that your local rules may have changed effective July 1st as well.

Stay safe and have a wonderful Fourth of July!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published their new handbook in March 2012 regarding Paralegal and Legal Assistants wages along with the anticipated growth in jobs from 2010-2020.  For a quick summary I have attached their quick facts summary below.

Summary

Paralegals and legal assistants perform a variety of tasks to support their attorneys.
Quick Facts: Paralegals and Legal Assistants
2010 Median Pay $46,680 per year
$22.44 per hour
Entry-Level Education Associate’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2010 256,000
Job Outlook, 2010-20 18% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change, 2010-20 46,900

To see the Handbook, click here.

O’Net Information on Paralegals

O’Net shows a difference in the projected job openings during this same 10 year period  of almost  almost double.

National

Median wages (2011) $22.47 hourly, $46,730 annual
Employment (2010) 256,000 employees
Projected growth (2010-2020) Average (10% to 19%) Average (10% to 19%)
Projected job openings (2010-2020) 83,400
Top industries (2010)
In California, O’Net shows a projected increase of 18% in job openings from 2010-2020, from 28,300 jobs to 33,800.  The median wage in California for a paralegal now is $58,100 with a high wage of $90,100.
O’Net also has extensive information regarding the tasks that paralegals perform as well as the tools and technology paralegals use, the knowledge needed, the skills, abilities, work activities,  and work context.  To see more of O’Net’s information, click here.
According to both the Bureau of Labor Statistics and O’Net, the increase in jobs in the paralegal field is in the average range.  Good news for those who are considering the paralegal field!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

I can’t believe that this last month has flown past without a post from me.  It has been a busy one for me, both at work and personally. My oldest granddaughter, Anikka, gave birth to my first great grandchild, Lexi Jo. She was born on March 20th, and weighed 6 lbs. 2.4 oz. She is a tiny little bundle and cute as can be! My oldest son is now a grandfather and he and his family were down for a visit this last week and we were lucky enough to get a 4 generation picture while he was here, thought I would share it here.

Lexi Jo, great grandma, grandpa and mom

We are hoping to get a 5 generation picture soon when my mother comes to visit us in California. I am also hoping to get back to posting for all my paralegal friends!

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

I know, this has nothing to do with paralegal’s but I had to share a couple pictures of California’s Yosemite Glowing Waterfall that were in my local newspaper, The Press Democrat. This happens only once a year at Horsetail Falls, and is absolutely gorgeous! As a California native, I love to show off the beauty of my state.

This marvel of celestial configuration happens in a flash at sunset in mid-February — if the winter weather cooperates. On those days the setting sun illuminates one of the park’s lesser-known waterfalls so precisely that it resembles molten lava as it flows over the sheer granite face of the imposing El Capitan.

Hopefully you will see the beauty that many photographers gather each February in Yosemite to get that awesome picture.

Horseetail Falls

Horsetail Falls, lava look

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

Karen Tynan, an employment law specialist who counts local wineries among her clients, represents Los Angeles-based porn stars, producers and talent agencies in their bid to make sexually explicit movies without using condoms.

Ms. Tynan is a Sonoma County attorney who flew out of Sonoma County to Las Vegas for the annual porn industry’s convention where she will be on a panel discussing workplace safety issues.

English: Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County

Image via Wikipedia

One might think this female attorney and mother of a teenage girl would never be caught working to assist the porn industry who are often accused of being sleazy and demeaning to women but she has no problem reminding people that porn is a legally protected form of expression. She also says that encouraging teenagers to practice safe sex and advising adult performers are two different things.

Ms. Tynan has plenty of support at home and counts people such as District Attorney Jill Ravitch as a friend. She’s a past leader of Sonoma County Women in Law.

Sounds to me like a very interesting woman with a very interesting practice.

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

John Parker, a paralegal in Hempstead, NY, has been facing tough times since paid with a fraudulent check when he worked as a security guard for what he thought was a friend. This story caught my eye and I had to share it. 

John took a part-time job during the Summer of 2010 to help supplement his income as a paralegal when his new son was born. Seems the check he received was fraudulent, unbeknownst to him. He used the $4,600 paycheck earned over the summer to pay bills and school supplies for his daughter from another relationship.

The bank contacted him about the check but he was unable to pay it back right away and then the police showed up at his work to arrest him. His then employer helped him out by paying the money back to the bank and John paid semi-monthly payments to his boss to pay back the loan. John’s luck continued in a downward spiral and he eventually fell behind on his rent due to the high payments to his boss and eventually received an eviction notice. John managed to find another part-time job, but still was not able to catch up.

John eventually found F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System, a beneficiary of UJA-Federation of New York, one of the seven agencies supported by The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund. This agency, along with his annual bonus from his paralegal job, helped John catch up on his rent and paid of the loan to his boss and then his landlord raised his rent.

When John received a rent increase he moved to a cheaper apartment and he learned in September that he and two co-workers were going to be laid off. Despite all of this, with the determination of all of us in this legal profession, John is determined to care for his children during these tough challenges even it it means he goes without food so that they do not.

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

The Northern District of California recovered $346,983,000.30 in civil and criminal cases during fiscal year 2011, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. Of that amount, $309,685,106.50 was collected in criminal actions and $37,297,893.80 was collected in civil actions, Haag’s office reported.

Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $6.5 billion in criminal and civil actions during fiscal year 2011, surpassing $6 billion for the second consecutive year.

The $6.5 billion represents more than three times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for fiscal year 2011.

“During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever,” U.S. Attorney Haag said. “The hard work of the attorneys and staff has helped return millions of dollars to the U.S. treasury and victims of crimes, while ensuring that the criminals who wrongfully took the funds were put behind bars.”

To read more about the monies collected, see the article with the Lake County News, here.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share
Category: Court Info, Legal News  Tags: , , ,  Comments off

An inmate in a California prison, has filed a lawsuit requesting that the state pay for her sex reassignment surgery, based on her diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder.  Lyralisa Stevens, who was born a male but lives as a woman, is serving 50 years to life for killing a San Bernadino County woman over a dispute for clothing.

Stevens began taking female hormones before incarceration and had silicone injections in her breasts and hips prior to incarceration.  The state has been providing Stevens with her hormone injections because a federal court found in a 1999 case that failing to continue treatment for inmates who were on hormones before coming to prison amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

A ruling in Stevens’ favor would make California the first place in the country required to provide reassignment surgery for an inmate, according to lawyers for the receiver appointed to oversee California’s troubled prison health system. They argue that the state should be required to provide only “minimally adequate care,” not sex-change operations that cost $15,000 to $50,000.

Stevens is also requesting to be transfered to a women’s prison after the surgery claiming that she is under constant threat of sexual assault in the men’s facility.

I have mixed feelings on this one.  While I understand that Gender Identity Disorder can be devastating to individuals, the State of California is in financial ruin and cutting programs for our children and elderly, not to mention those without jobs.  This will be one to watch, that is for sure.

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

A lawsuit was filed last August charging Deutch with engaging in “a heartless scheme that swindled people with tax problems,” according to then-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr.  “She promises to significantly reduce their IRS tax debts, but instead preys on their vulnerability, taking large up-front payments but providing little or no help in lowering their tax bills.”  Ads claim Deutch’s success rate in dealing with the IRS is as high as 99 percent, but the percentage of clients whose tax bills Deutch actually reduces is a mere 10 percent.

California’s new Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, filed an application in Superior Court asking that Deutch, an attorney, be held in contempt, charging that she has repeatedly violated the court’s orders.

“Deutch is an officer of this Court and a member of the Bar, which only serves to magnify the seriousness of Deutch’s violations of the Court’s orders. If anyone can be expected to respect and follow this Court’s orders, it should be those licensed to practice as attorneys before the Court. The harm caused by Deutch’s contempt is worthy of the most severe sanction,” Harris said in her court filing.

It seems immediately after Deutch had been ordered to “take reasonable steps to preserve every document” that might have a bearing in the case said Harris, “the very next day after the [court issued the order], Deutch conducted a purge of law firm documents that resulted in the shredding of nearly 2,000 pounds of the firm’s documents, or about 200,000 pages.”  Harris is asking the court to fine Deutch $1,000 and imprison her for five days for “each and every separate contempt” — $1,000 and five days in jail for each of the millions of pages of documents destroyed and each refund not issued.

Deutch also ignored a preliminary injunction that requires her to return all unearned fees to clients within 60 days and admitted that she has over $400,000 in refund requests that are older than 60 days, Harris said.

 

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

Ioana Petrou, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District, was formally sworn in as an Alameda County judge last night at the Claremont Country Club in Oakland.

There was no shortage of people wanting to say nice things about the newly minted judge. Attendees included Northern District Judge Marilyn Patel, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, former U.S. Attorney Joe Russoniello, and Berkeley criminal defense attorney Cris Arguedas.

Arguedas told the story of meeting Petrou for the first time to discuss the government’s case health care fraud case against her client. She said she was blown away after hearing Petrou converse fluently and openly about it, drawing from fields like pharmacology and economics. “I went back to the office and assigned two more lawyers to the case,” Arguedas said.

Alex Tse, a former AUSA now with the San Francisco city attorney’s office (who worked alongside Petrou on the off-label drug marketing case of InterMune CEO Scott Harkonen), advised lawyers who appear in front of Judge Petrou to be prepared. “You have to be on your toes,” he said. “She’s not going to stand by and she’s not going to wait for you, either.”

A couple of the speakers also gave the tip that Petrou loves good food – so if you ever have lunch with her, let her pick the place.

It is always great to learn about our new California judges, especially what to expect from them on the bench.  For those of you paralegals who have attorneys who practice in Alameda County and will be going before Judge Petrou, you might want to let them know to be well prepared and ready to go when they walk into her courtroom!

Enhanced by Zemanta
GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share