The Discovery Update E-Letter Articles

01May2014

Smile (For Credibility and Affect)

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By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm
Your face is probably blank as you read this. So just as an experiment, right now, smile. Now, even if your smile is forced, goofy, or pasted on, hold that smile for at least 20 seconds or so. If you’re like most, you should feel your mood lifting almost immediately.
09Apr2014

Technology Impacts the Duties of Legal Secretaries

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By Kaija Wilkinson, New Orleans City Business
The main duties of legal secretaries used to be taking shorthand, transcribing dictated documents and entering the hours billed by their attorneys into time-sheets. But technology is rapidly transforming the legal business, and what it means to be a legal secretary. Odile Arregui has been a legal secretary for 30 years and now works at Jones,
11Dec2013

Document Services

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The most usual service that we provide is connected with handling the exhibits of oral depositions. In addition to handling the usual black and white documents, we also handle the duplication of x-rays, MRI films, color photographs, blueprints, maps, audiotapes, videotapes and CD’s. In patent and copyright cases, we get to handle everything from chocolate bars to high-frequency portable communication devices.
11Dec2013

Competition and Quality of Service

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It’s not easy keeping ahead of the competition. As a litigator, you’ve probably long since lost count of the extra hours you’ve put in trying to keep one motion ahead of your opposing counsel. CJRA Plans and “fast track” systems give you less time than before to prepare your case for trial.
11Dec2013

The Changing Face of the Law

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Although the law thoroughly relies on precedents going back to the Magna Carta, it is far from a static subject. New classes of causes of action are constantly retesting and redefining our interrelationships in our quest for a more civil society. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of employment law,
11Dec2013

Cleaning Up Our Act: Change Toward Higher Standards

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There is generally plenty to complain about in the way the federal government carries out its duties. The “War on Crime”, “War on Poverty”, “War on Drugs” and “War on Illiteracy” all have shown costs and results similar to another war we fought a few decades ago in Southeast Asia. In cleaning up the environment,
09Jun2012

Teamwork: Helping You Succeed

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Once a quarter the Atkinson-Baker Newsletter, Discovery Update,TM features those topics that shape the law itself and its practice. We address a broad variety of topics such as: copyright laws, unpublished opinions, discovery rules, employment law, evidence, expert witnesses, deposition practices, handling of exhibits and many, many more.
28Mar2012

Learning from Experience Tried and True

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One of the best parts of attending conventions is hearing the war stories told around the dinner table by seasoned veterans. Some of these tales involve how they outwitted the opposition, but there are also those of the “I’ll never do that again” variety. It’s the combination of these experiences, both good and bad,
01Mar2012

Staying Productive When You’re Unmotivated – 4 Tips

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By Ali Hale, Aliventures: Getting More From Life
We’d all like to fit more into the day. Whether we’re chasing a promotion at work, hoping to ace a class in college, or trying to get our small business up and running, we want to pack as much as possible into every hour.
01Aug2011

Advice for lawyers looking to buy a new iPad

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By Jeff Richardson, iPhoneJD.com
I cannot count how many times an attorney at my law firm has told me that he or she wants to get an iPad and wants advice on what to get and then what apps and accessories to get. With over 250 lawyers at my firm,
01Jul2011

Increase in Smartphone Use for Lawyers

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2011 ABA Technology Survey suggests around 300,000 U.S. lawyers use an iPhone, around 130,000 use an iPad
Every year, the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center conducts a survey to gauge attorney use of legal technology.  Continuing the trend that the ABA saw in last year’s report, this year’s survey reveals that the number of lawyers using smartphones continues to increase. 
01Apr2011

Something for Nothing? Not Really

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By Cassie B. Hanson, Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility
Sir Roy Harrod, the English economist, once famously opined, “The most basic law of economics is that one cannot get something for nothing.” The principle that nothing comes for free may be a fundamental tenet of economics, but marketing wizards know that “freebies” are one of the most widespread and effective marketing tools for business solicitation,
01Feb2011

Risk of Rewards

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By James DeCrescenzo
Everyone loves something for nothing. Marketers invest a lot of time and effort trying to appeal to that trait. A recent trend in the legal arena has seen an explosion of so-called “Rebates” programs and expensive gifts and rewards to attorneys or their staff for scheduling depositions.
01Feb2011

Using an iPad to Recreate a Scene in a Deposition

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By Jeff Richardson
As technology advances, paralegals get more and more in tune with software which can assist us, personally and professionally.  Paralegals are consistently looking for ways to streamline our organizational structure with technology, from word processing to trial presentation software.  As technology advances, society continually looks for the smaller,
17Nov2010

An Unprecedented Challenge: Reporter Supply vs. Demand

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While the legal profession is dealing with non-precedential opinions, we in the court reporting industry are also dealing with an unprecedented situation: that of a diminishing supply of deposition reporters. According to the National Court Reporters Association, the number of students enrolled in NCRA-approved court reporter training programs went up following years of steady decline.
01Nov2010

Embracing the Technological Age of Document Management

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Paralegals spend enormous amounts of time dealing with organization, discovery, and other methods of trial preparation. As technology advances, so does the need for increased organization, planning and focus in litigation. Our role continues to evolve with the development and implementation of case management software. The key to case management success is acknowledging that managing each case is similar to managing a complex project and demands the same attention.
01Jul2010

Stenographer Makes Case for Rewards of Court Jobs

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By Heidi Morrison, The Statesman, Austin, TX
With the recent economic turmoil affecting so many jobs, the search for high-demand careers has reached a new intensity. According to two local professionals, recording legal proceedings is an occupation with a great deal of potential. Donna Wright is a freelance court reporter in Austin,
23Aug2009

The Six Billion: The Importance of Every Individual

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William Sydney Porter wasn’t an attorney. He did have some experience with criminal law, spending three years in a federal penitentiary for embezzlement. But it is not his legal experiences that made him famous, it is the short stories he wrote using the pen name “O. Henry.” One of those stories,
01Jun2009

Technology Evangelist Keeps Faith in Legal Aid

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By Maria Kantzavelos, Chicago Lawyer Magazine
When Ronald W. Staudt was born, the term digital computer could have only meant: One who counts on his fingers. By the time he was a 10-year-old boy growing up as the big brother to four sisters in Springfield, Ohio — where he skipped the fourth grade because he was good with math — the first of the modern computers were the size of a large room.
01May2009

Empowering Communities: One Man’s Legacy in Community Lawyering

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Ronault L.S. Catalani, community lawyer, is well-known among his beloved Oregon’s ethnic enclaves as an advocate for families. Polo – as he is best known among readers of his long-running opinion column in The Asian Reporter – is at his best when he is empowering ethnic communities to draw from the wisdom of traditional cultural values in solving community problems.
01Dec2008

Peter Bibler: 2008 Chicago Bar Fellowship Recipient

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By Barbara Lynch, Staff Writer
“Thirty-seven million Americans — more than 12 percent of the population — live in poverty. Lawyers can help them avoid unwarranted evictions, escape abusive relationships, retain custody of their children, obtain or preserve desperately needed benefits and services, challenge policies that discriminate against the poor and fight employment discrimination.
11Aug2008

Coping with Change

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America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement.” Nearly two centuries have passed since Alexis de Tocqueville made the above comment in his treatise Democracy in America, and we still haven’t begun to slow down. While people may disagree on whether “every change seems an improvement,”
09Jun2008

Technology and the Legal Profession – A Perfect Match

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By Jane Muder, Featured Legal Author, Articlesphere.com
The law offices of yesterday were what are now known as “paper offices.” News stories, briefs, testimonies, and attorney billable hours were all recorded and displayed on pieces of paper. In today’s digital age, we know that paper systems can cause money,
01Jun2008

Musings on Meet and Confer

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By Craig Ball
It’s More Important for Lawyers to Ask the Right Questions than Know the Right Answers I cynically describe Rule 26(f) “meet and confer” sessions as “two lawyers who don’t trust each other negotiating matters neither understand.” In the unlikely event where there’s a face-to-face meeting, it’s something of a drive-by event with no substantive exchange of information.
09May2008

Lawyers are from Mars and Paralegals are from Venus

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By Cheryl J. Leone, CEO, Catalyst Group, Inc.
One thing I have learned during my 42 years of law office management is this: Lawyers and paralegals don’t talk the same language and they don’t think the same way. They live on different planets, breath different air, and they even have different customs.
09Apr2008

Avoid Office Burnout: Strategies for Legal Professionals

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In today’s economy, law firms are striving to achieve maximum productivity. Employees are taking on a heavier workload than ever before. This environment offers legal administrators at all levels a wide range of exciting new opportunities that provide the potential for significant intellectual and financial rewards. Accompanying this dynamic environment are increased pressures —
16Feb2008

Teamwork: Helping You Succeed

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As it is every year, having a great quarterback was essential to winning this year’s Superbowl. With his 336 yards passing and 60% completions, there was no doubt that John Elway deserved the unanimous vote to receive the trophy for most valuable player. In the next day’s papers, the commentators were debating whether he or Joe Montana was the best quarterback ever to play the game.
11Jan2008

Evolution of the Legal Secretary

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By Caryn Tamber, St. Louis Daily Record
The era of the legal secretary who deciphers handwritten drafts of pleadings, takes dictation and keeps her boss’s calendar is drawing to a close. Between the advent of computers and the advent of lawyers who grew up with them, the job of a legal secretary has changed.
01Jan2008

One Long Road: Forty Years Working for The Same Attorney

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When legal secretary Lorrie Orchard and San Francisco lawyer John Browne, III, first started working together, court hours ran from 10 a.m. to noon, and 2 to 4 p.m. Three-martini lunches were the vogue. “During the days of the long lunches, Lorrie was smart enough to know that if any decisions had to be made or anything needed to be signed,
11Aug2007

Creating Time

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We all know what it means to plan ahead and be organized, but getting there is a different story. In this article, we will take a look at planning as a way to increase efficiency and organization, while also increasing profits.
Symptoms of Disorganization One does not have to look far to find quarters which could be better organized.
01Sep2005

Growing Over the Summer: Service Expansion

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With the arrival of Labor Day and the start of the school year, it is traditional to start off with a report on what you’ve been up to the last three months. It gives you a chance to fill your classmates in on what you’ve been doing and serves to emphasize that summer is truly over and it is time to buckle down and work hard until Memorial Day rolls around again and you are granted another three months of parole.
03Oct2000

How My Legal Experience Changed Lives

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Looking back over my last 27 years in the legal field, I can see clearly how instrumental my legal experience has been in my life and how it has changed others’ lives for the better.
Because of my own experience with a closed-head injury and how later I helped my husband through his,
13Jul2000

Independence: We’ve Come a Long Way

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Each July we celebrate that day when a group composed largely of attorneys met in Philadelphia to “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Many of them did lose their lives, their homes, their business and their children before the war was over. But they also achieved the freedoms we have enjoyed ever since.
11Dec1999

The Law and Peace on Earth

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Millions of words have been published this year about the greatest advances of the past century or millennium and what the next holds in store for us. While much has been written about computers, space flight and other technological advances, I would consider the greatest advances to be those which bring us closer to making peace on earth something more than just a phrase we see on Christmas cards.
07Nov1998

Keeping Your Team Informed: Complex Litigation Tools and Tips

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To effectively manage a case, or group of cases, you will need to provide for rapid, reliable exchange of information with members of your litigation team, with opposing counsel and with the courts. Electronic Filing Sites A number of courts have set up sites, either for a specific set of cases or for general use,