San Francisco Paralegal Association

News

  • 09/22/2014 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    If you’re a litigation paralegal pursuing a role in e-discovery, or simply need to develop skills to open new career doors, this is the conference for you.
    Boost your skills, make connections, attend live or online. Take initiative in your professional development!

    October 21-22, 2014 - Westin - St. Francis, San Francisco, California.

    For more information go to:  http://www.ediscoverysummit.com/

     

  • 09/21/2014 11:59 AM | Ian Elkus (Administrator)

    Every year, the San Francisco Paralegal Association awards a $1,000 scholarship to a student member of the Association who writes an essay about an issue important to the paralegal profession in California. This year's prompt is as follows:

    Identify and discuss some of the ethical considerations unique to a paralegal acting as an independent contractor under California Law.

    To be eligible to receive the $1,000 scholarship, a student member must write a 500-word, double-spaced, 12-pt. font size essay and submit it to the Board of Directors at
    info@sfpa.com no later than Saturday, October 18, 2014. The winner of the scholarship will receive the award at the Association's Annual Meeting, to be held on Friday, October 24, 2014 at the San Francisco Bar Association at 301 Battery Street in San Francisco, CA. If you have any questions about the scholarship, please send your questions to president@sfpa.com We look forward to receiving your essays!

  • 06/30/2014 9:53 PM | Ian Elkus (Administrator)

    An update from my previous memo to the board:  by Michele T. Pfeiffer, CLA

     

    As of this writing there have been two more State Bar meetings: one on May 28th in LA and the second on June 18th in LA:

    The May 28th meeting, I have attached an extensive report from Fran Chernowsky who also attended and forwarded to us by Barbara Liss.  It is very detailed and I will only hit the highlights so you can read the report for yourself. 

    The Task Force is made of several non-lawyers and/or lawyers involved in community services who are not associated with the State Bar.  One of the 3 State Bar Members is the Pres. Luis Rodriguez, who will hopefully be re-elected to see this continue once he steps down at the State Bar Meeting. 

    They formed 3 groups and will begin working together and brainstorming at the June mtg.:

    ·         Legal Services Now – what’s already in place that they can draw from and collaborate with

    ·         Legal Services Future – what are short / long term goals, what needs to change, how, etc.

    ·         Student Group – addressing the many law school students, education, training, debt, jobs, etc.

    Most of the speakers appear via Skype or online.  Judge Jonathan Lippman, The Chief Judge of NY State/ Chief Justice of the NY Court of Appeals (similar to CA Supreme Crt) spoke about the problems of access identified in NY which are applicable to CA & many other states.  It increased access in these ways:  

    ·         Mandatory pro bono;

    ·         Obtaining grants for non-profit legal services;

    ·         Developing a “Court Navigator” program using some non-lawyers to help individuals during court trials and hearings.

    o       CN’s is new and intended to only assist litigants with legal process, help them communicate with the Judge and/or vice versa during hearings, among other procedural tasks by “paralegals” who have graduated from good school and law students. 

    o       Some are volunteers and some are paid

    ·         Judge felt they could so much to assist people without worrying about UPL

    ·         Unlike the CA State Bar who are looking to redefine UPL, they were not willing to tackle at this time.

    ·         They started in areas of housing issues and consumer credits

    o       If successful will expand to family law

    ·         State a properly trained non-lawyer who had concentrated in certain areas would be far more effective in delivering services than a lawyer who was a generalist.     

    ·         Wants to expand into all types of help for indigent and those with modest means who could not afford a lawyer. 

    ·         Dismissed British system which permits non-lawyers to provide some legal services

    ·         Felt bar shouldn’t be involved due to conflict of interest

    ·         Was different that WA by taking matters into their own hands without going to the legislature 

    ·         He did an articles about this program. 

    NEXT Speaker was Stephen R. Crossland, Chair of the LLLT Board (i.e., Triple L Technicians) gave history and implementations of the program, the regulatory scheme, and a flow chart entitled “Pathway to LLLT Admission”, which included a grandfather clause. 

    ·         Felt the program should be under the auspices of the Judiciary and tot the Bar to avoid conflicts of interest and anti-trust. 

    ·         Board consisted of no fewer than 4 non-lawyers and one educator. Others to include lawyers. 

    ·         Current board includes the former President of the WA Paralegal Assoc., the director of a paralegal program, and a law school educator. 

    ·         Initially focused on creating licensing for family law practitioners, yet ultimately to add other areas.  Unlike Judge Lippman, WA did have a definition for the practice of law and hat LLLT Program was actually an authorization of non-lawyers to engage in the practice of law. 

    ·         State that in Ontario, Canada, many paralegals have been engaging in UPL went out and got licensed as soon as that program was established. 

    ·         Differences between law school and training for LLLT, there were some controls in place to prevent the cost of educational programs to become and LLLT to become alike the costs of law school. 

    ·         Training was not to exceed $15K in the two year program in tuition yet should be academically rigorous” and that part of the statewide community college program and to collaborate with law schools. 

    ·         Crossland is in a remote area and thus understands this situation and thus, wanted to make sure that there are LLLT’s throughout WA to fill the gab where there are few lawyers as well as few affordable ones. 

    ·         Considered using ABA approved, but switched and will create its own approval program.  Some classes will be online to give access to everyone. 

    ·         When fees were discussed as to not be charging what attorneys would, he stated not an issue because if they had the option to choose a lawyer for the same price they would have gone to one. 

    o       On the other hand, they will not govern what ant LLLT’ can charge.

    LLLT program will go into effect in 2015 and LLLT’s can work with or w/out lawyers, or go into business with lawyers. 

    The Robin Hood Foundation spoke about their program which is involved in funding legal services in the NYC and fighting poverty.  Work with bilingual law students and paralegals who are empowered to assist with some immigration, criminal, or other legal needs issues in the community

    Next were speakers involved with developing consumer-oriented legal technology. 

    ·         Margaret Hagen of Legal Tech & Design is involved in designing various programs to make the immigration system more user-friendly, redesigning legal notices, and the fine print to make consumers more aware of what their rights and obligations are, etc.

    ·         Colin Rule was developing his conflict resolution technology called MODIA (Modular Online Dispute Resolution Internet Application) to legal applications after having sued it for managing dispute by EBay and PayPal users.  Focusing on small disputes which don’t meeting minimum jurisdictions of the courts.  Applications are meant to be free or very low costs, and allowing two people to mediate, negotiate, and settle online.  Feels it will work for family law i.e. divorce; landlord-tenant ad no-fault accident situations such as they have in some states.  Software is now used by several sates for property tax appeals. 

    It was mentioned that the Mtg. in August will be during high convention and to book rooms now

    JUNE 18, 2014 MEETING IN LA:

    CIVIL JUSTICES STRATEGIES TASK FORCE -

    Chair’s Oral Report consisted of his statement that the report would not be ready for the September Annual Meeting of the State bar.   The dates for the next meetings: August 26th in San Francisco, October 10 in Los Angeles, and November 13 in Los Angeles.   The initial draft of the Committee’s Report would be prepared by the October meeting, and the final report would be submitted to the State Bar in November.  There were no public comments.

    IDEAS FROM SCHOOLS TO ASSIST STUDENTS, LOWER DEBTS, OBTAIN JOB TRAINING AND FINALLY JOBS: 

    La Verne’s Flat Rate Law School Tuition Program was presented by Dr. Dean Gilbert Holme.  What they are doing to keep tuition down is to only charge students (all students and no scholarships) $25K their first year and based on their performance may get their tuition underwritten then through scholarships and grants.   Hoping this will result in more affordable tuition and less debt and allowing them to go into public law service since they won’t have huge tuition to owe. 

    UC-Santa Cruz/Hastings College of Law Accelerated Law Degree Program (3+3) was provided by Kelly Weissberg of UC-Santa Cruz (substituting for Morris Ratner at Hastings).  This allows students to do their 4th yr. of college at Hastings while doing the law curriculum of a 1st yr. law student.  Thus, finishing in 6 yrs. instead of 7.  Not only does this result in less education expenses/less debt when starting the student’s legal career, it allows students to seek employment by the Peace Corps or other social justice agencies.  Two conditions of the program is that there are no electives in the last year of school and no double majors. 

    The Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform Status Update Report by Jon Streeter related to the subject of increasing admissions to the California Bar and increasing access to justice through more pro bono work.  Further discussed the new rules and changes to go into effect for 2016 and 2017, as well as recommendations. 

    Judge Laurie Zelon presented the last topic of the morning called “Access 3-D”.  This Plan is posted on the Judicial Council’s web site:   http://www.courts.ca.gov/partners/documents/Blueprint_Final.pdf

    One of the important goals of this program relating to the management of the court system in CA due to budget cuts is to increase technological access to the Courts particularly by the public, needed due to the current court closures.  The court web sites and forms are to be available in several languages, not just English (no language availability means no access). 

    The branch courts are to increase access by “partnering with the private bar” (to require more pro bono work by non-public sector lawyers), and meet with Legal Services groups to increase access.

    Further stated, access issue was perhaps the issue of continuity (or a continuum) of services.  Which means not all cases require a lawyer and perhaps non-lawyers could do it.  I.e., custody situation, you might not need a lawyer, but you do need a judge.  Perhaps a social worker would know better about the best interests of the kids.

    It was later suggested that there could be self-help systems in the courts such as technology centers or that lawyers at the court house can do triage (deciding if one needs a lawyer or some other help), could be done by non-lawyers (i.e., similar to the Court Navigators).  

    The three section broke out into groups.  The 3 of us attended the Future of Legal Services head by Hernan Vega.  We listed the programs now in place and further examined LLLT’s roles & Crt Navigator’s roles.   They are monitoring the programs out there and see what is happening as time goes on.

    LLLT’s:  discussed requirements, governing body I.e. not State Bar, better maybe Consumer Affairs, academic/educational requirements, testing, monitoring, disciplining, etc.

    Court Navigators:  was discussed what they can and cannot do

    Also discussed, challenges to address:

    ·         Short term

    o       Underfunding of courts and legal services;

    o       Allocation of funds

    §         Open remote courthouse and more accessible

    §         Lawyers to serve more for moderate incomes

    o       Ancillary services – when people get an Order, they may have no ability to fulfill it due to:

    §         Language barriers, no interpreters or lack of, or costly;

    §         No access to facilities or too far away

    §         No transportation, etc.

    §         If they get a default judgment and can’t do anything, then it accumulates interest they can’t pay either.

    o       Who’s the actual proper resource that person needs to resolve their issue

    Then we brainstormed for ideas, suggestions, etc. anything to just get it out onto the table:

    ·         The future also consists of advanced technology:

    o       Short/Long term goals

    o       judicial counsel’s website will soon be in multiple languages,

    o       using Skype like services to allow indigent litigants to make appearance for lack of transportation, locations, etc. the same as is offered to lawyers.

    ·         Program already in place need to improve,

    o       lawyer referral,

    o       more funding for pro bono programs,

    o       more marketing and getting info to the public about services available to them all in one location, i.e., like 911 or 411,;

    o       more funding for clinics and services of non-profits already up on running. 

    ·         Review Summit Report by LSC – Legal Services Corp.

    ·         Better security systems and face time, because now it is costly about $86 and need a way to confirm who is present is the person who needs to be there;

    ·         Europe has a fundamental right to legal aid when in need for effective access to justice which we don’t have yet.          

    ·         Relax the UPL definition, procedures and practice and reduce (i.e., local local rules that those outside the legal community have no idea about);

    ·         System Re-engineering issues – in technology, how and where court rules decreased/increased where necessary

    ·         Alternative Business structure i.e., similar to Australia where co.’s have infra structures, this should be monitored and studied to see if it will work here

    ·         Prepaid legal insurance – needs to be affordable

    ·         ABA is working on a manual for Judges on what authority they do have (by State) and what discretionary power they have for specific issues

    ·         What are other state’s doing and is it costs effective to expand

    We need to remember that what we look for when putting something together are we reaching a larger percentage of the population and actually addressing the issue of access to justice versus just a few.  We need to see the greatest areas of impact by who, what, when and how. 

    Ideas that were presented from the other sessions: 

    Contributions to the Justice Gap Fund” of the State Bar to which only 4-5 % of lawyers contribute funds, discussed incubator programs (experienced lawyers matched with students), etc. 

    Judicial Counsel advocacy program was discussed yet limited due to budget considerations; increase in availability of interpreters though this is a long haul due to union issues, yet if no access to interpreters no access to justice, same growth of technology, but if indigent people don’t have private access to computers they have not access to justice.

    Improving self-help technology located in the courthouses or online, improving forms to be more user friendly and to be able to fill them out and file it with the courts.  Many ideas came out of each of the roundtable discussions for over an hour and a half. 

    Of course, we ran out of time briefly discussed everyone’s meetings and set the meeting for August to continue discussions and finding solutions to recommend to the Task Force committee to review.

    I met with Fran and Barbara after the meeting and we discussed several items, however, we are in agreement with the fact that they are noticing us, allowing us to participate (since they are now getting familiar with who we are), being much more transparent, and truly listening to the public and those involved in the legal community.  Felt we made some headway though our participation and how LLLTs or Crt Navigators (similar to LDA’s) might be implemented in CA.  It is starting to get noticed that paralegals, in fact, are the best group to move into that role, keeping in mind this would be an advancement of the paralegal profession as long as they are not called paralegals or LDA’s, etc.  Barbara felt that our voices changed some of the direction in which the task force was going with regard to lay advocate licensure versus had we not participated.  And we all had discussions with some of the members who were in our group and expressed their thoughts on our contributions as being valuable.  I was approached as well. 

    Everyone agrees that showing up may be tedious, time consuming, and costly in some ways, yet it does and is making a difference and will affect the outcome.  Even Stacey Hunt (past CAPA Pres.) stated she appreciated all our efforts to make a difference when these important decision makers hear from reps from our profession.  And appreciates all our efforts and hard work. 

    As stated by the others, this task force clearly wants to implement a stronger more effective LLLT system to enable non-lawyers to provide some legal advice to the public, so long as proper protections are in place.  How to implement those protections is the core of its focus and it’s casting about for ways to come to consensus on the crux of that issue.  Barbara repeated the information that she gave them at the last meeting with regards to NPFA’s model licensure plan and a copy of BPC 6500 – the Professional Fiduciary Act, which established a division for the Department of the Consumer affairs to regulate and control fiduciaries (whose threshold requirement should be a standard/mirror for this new category of service provider), and not fall under the State Bar.   I will continue to report on the upcoming meetings.  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please discuss them with us at the board meeting or please come talk to me, I am happy to share my thoughts, enthusiasm, and all the other things the State Bar has on their plate from MCLE’s, AB 888, etc. 

  • 06/01/2014 12:26 PM | Ian Elkus (Administrator)
    Ed. - Ms. Chernowsky is a former executive director of the California Association of Paralegal Associations and former president of the Los Angeles Paralegal Association, also sat on the State Bar’s Public Protection Committee in the mid-1980’s and has followed the regulation of paralegals and legal document assistants for many years.  She is an independent contractor paralegal and continues to support and lobby for the ability of professional paralegals to provide direct services to the public as part of an overall program to improve access to justice and the courts for those who cannot afford a lawyer or who elect not to employ one.


    Subject: Access to Justice Task Force Meeting 5/28/14

     

    Feel Free to Circulate this Report.  

     

    It appeared to me that  the Task Force was made up of  several non-lawyers or lawyers involved in community service who are not associated with the State Bar.  I noticed only 3 or 4 State Bar officials were on the Task Force of which included Luis Rodriguez, the current State Bar President and chair of this task force. Three of these State Bar people are on the Board of Governors and also on the UPL Committee.

     

    Mr. Rodriguez indicated that he will be stepping down from the bar and that Craig Holden, who is running unopposed for State Bar President, and a member of the task force, will be elected in July and will take office in September.   It was suggested by one of the State Bar lawyers (I think it was David Torres) that is likely that Mr. Rodriguez may be re-appointed by Mr. Holden to chair the Task Force - thereby enabling continuity.

     

    At the beginning of the meeting, the chair,  Luis Rodriguez, indicated that the members were divided up into 3 working groups and that at the next meeting more detail about the work of each subgroup will be discussed:

     

    One group, called the "Legal Services Now" group will be involved with increased access with respect to legal services presently provided (including pro bono work and work by "Legal Aid"- type groups.  John Atkins is the chair.

     

    The second group was called the "Legal Services Future" group which likely is the group for us to watch:  Members include Donna Ford, Ana Maria Garcia, James Meeker, Marty Omoto and Laurie Zelon.

     

    The third subgroup is the "Student Group" who will be concerned with law students and associated issues.

     

    I got a chance to talk only with Committee Member  Marty Omoto of the California Disability Action Network.  Marty actually approached me and we exchanged cards.  He was very friendly. Since Marty is on the "legal services future" committee that we should likely want to watch closely, I'm glad he made himself so accessible.  I will keep in touch with him and perhaps he can introduce me to others on the "future" committee with whom those interested paralegals and LDAs can interact, educate, and perhaps "lobby".

     

    In addition to me, the non-lawyer visitor/observers from the Paralegal and/or LDA community consisted of Kerry Spence (Gerry Spence's daughter) who does both "traditional" (under the supervision of lawyers) paralegal work and LDA work,  and David Merino from SDSLA (San Diego Legal Secretaries Association).  David is also a traditional paralegal as well as a legal secretary.

     

    There was a court reporter at the meeting and I got her business card.  She did not know if the transcript of the meeting was going to be distributed or posted online.  I will contact her in a couple of days and find out if the transcript will be available for a reasonable price or free distribution.

     

    The meeting consisted primarily of speakers who were in other cities or states who where "Skyped" and appeared via tv screen.   The first speaker was Judge Jonathan Lippman,  the Chief Judge of NY State and the Chief Justice of the New York Court of Appeals (the equivalent of the CA Supreme Court).  He spoke and answered questions for more than an hour about the problems of access identified in NY which are applicable to CA and other states.  I am providing only the main points with emphasis on those areas which relate to us non-lawyers.

     

    In NY, the judicial system recently concerned itself with increasing the access to justice in several ways as follows:  (1) mandatory pro bono; (2) obtaining grants for non-profit legal services groups; and (3) developing a "Court Navigator" program using some non-lawyers to help individuals during court trials and hearings.

     

    The Court Navigators program is just starting up and intended not only to assist litigants with the legal process but  also to help them communicate with the Judges and/or to answer questions by the Judges during hearings.   The first group of  Navigators are presently to be made up of non-lawyers (described as "paralegals who graduated good

    colleges")  and law students.  Some Navigators are volunteers and some will be paid.  The judge felt that there were numerous more things that could be done to increase access including using non-lawyers who he felt could be trained to do many tasks without worrying about the issues of UPL.  In fact, he reiterated that it was probably not possible to define the practice of law and that it was not something that NY wanted to concern itself about.

     

    Judge Lippman thought that if the Navigator program was successful, then it would be broadened to many areas such as family law (presently, the Navigators are being trained to work in the areas of housing issues and consumer credit).   He said that he thought a properly trained non-lawyer who had concentrated in a certain area would be far more effective in delivering services in that area than a lawyer who was a generalist.  He hoped that the Navigator Program (which is only pilot program to be evaluated in a couple of years) would be expanded to provide all types of help for indigent and those with modest means who could not afford a lawyer.

     

    He seemed to dismiss without elaboration,  the British system which permits nonlawyers  to provide some legal services, leaving the impression that only the judiciary should train and oversee non-lawyers.  He thought the bar should not be involved because of a conflict of interest.  He indicated that unlike Washington that developed the statutory LLLT (Limitied Licensed Legal Technicians), the NY Judiciary took matters in their own hands without going to the legislature.  I think an offhand comment illuminates that the use of non-lawyers for increasing access is not his preferred vehicle:  he talked a great deal about mandatory pro bono programs and referred to help by non-lawyers as "low bono".   I don't know if the "low" pertains to low cost or low quality.

     

    The next speaker was Stephen R. Crossland, who is the chair of the LLLT Board.   He provided handouts about the LLLT (called Triple L Technicians) including slides showing the history and implementation of the LLLT program, the regulatory scheme, and a flow chart entitled "Pathway to LLT Admission" which includes a kind of grandfather clause.  (I will scan them and e-mail them separately to you if you are interested - it's quite a lot of stuff.)

     

    Mr. Crossland indicated that the history included numerous attempts over the years to institute this program which the Bar opposed at first.   He also stated that those involved in the development of the concept of the LLLT agreed that the program should be under the auspices of the Judiciary and not the Bar (to avoid conflicts of interest and anti-trust).  He emphasized the make up of the Board was to require no fewer than 4 non-lawyers and at least one educator.   The remaining members of the LLLT Board can be lawyers but there is no requirement that lawyers outnumber non-lawyers.  The current board includes the former president of the Washington Paralegal Association, the director of a paralegal program, as well as a law school educator.

     

      The LLLT program was to initially focus on creating licensing for family law practitioners but ultimately they hoped to add other areas.  Unlike Judge Lippman,  Mr. Crossland said that Washington did have a definition of the practice of law and that the LLLT program was actually an authorization of non-lawyers to engage in the practice of law.   He

    indicated that in Ontario, Canada, many of the paralegals who had been engaging in what some considered unauthorized practice of law went out and got licensed as soon as that program was established.

     

    When discussing the differences between law school and training to become an LLLT, Mr. Crossland indicated that there were some controls in place to prevent the cost of educational programs to become an LLLT to become like the cost of going to law school. Specifically, he said that the training was not to exceed two years and the cost could not exceed $15,000 in tuition.   He did say that they wanted the training to be "academically rigorous" and that the programs be part of the statewide community college program and to collaborate with law schools   Since his legal practice is in remote part of the state which is served by fewer lawyers than in the cities, he wants to make sure that there are LLLTs throughout the state to fill in the gap where there are few lawyers as well as few affordable ones.   At first, they wanted the schools to be ABA-approved but now the LLLT Board will create its own approval program.  Some classes may be streamed live around the state to help those who do not have access to nearby schools or who are otherwise not mobile.

     

    Asked what was to prevent LLLTs from charging the same amount as the lowest paid lawyers charge,  Mr. Crossland said that this was unlikley because a consumer would chose a lawyer if the fee was the same.  He also said it was not the LLLT's Board province to determine what fees the LLLT should charge, especially since there are lawyers on the LLLT Board (thus creating a conflict of interest and/or anti-trust concerns).

     

    The LLLT  program will go into effect in 2015.   The business model is that LLLTs can work without lawyers, can also work with lawyers, and/or might go into business with lawyers.

     

    The last three  speakers were from The Robin Hood Foundation (involved in funding legal services in NYC and fighting poverty) , and two who were involved with developing consumer-oriented legal technology.   One of the projects of the Robin Hood Foundation was to help fund the Immigrant Justice Corps which is comprised of bilingual law students and paralegals who are empowered to assist with some immigration issues and also sometimes with criminal issues and other legal needs in the community.  They would be supervised by non-profit legal services providers.

     

    The first legal technology speaker (Margaret Hagen of Legal Tech & Design) is a Stanford Law student or recent graduate who is involved in designing various programs to make the immigration system more user-friendly, redesigning legal notices and the fine print to make consumers more aware of what their rights and obligations are, and elder law programs, etc.

     

    The second legal technology speaker ( Colin Rule) was developing his conflict resolution technology called MODRIA (Modular Online Dispute Resolution Internet Application)  to legal applications after having used it for managing disputes by Ebay or PayPal users.  His focus was on small disputes that consumers might have but which don't meet the minimum jurisdictions of the courts and are even too small for small claims.   The applications are to be free or very inexpensive and allows two people to mediate, negotiate and settle online.  He thinks this could be a good tool for divorce mediation, landlord-tenant and no-fault auto accident situations such as they have in some states.  The software is currently used by several states for property tax appeals.

     

    *******

    The next meeting of the Task Force is June 18th.  It will also be in L.A.  I will be glad to go.   In August, the meeting will be in S.F. but due to the existence of large conventions there'll be no hotel rooms available at a reasonable price.  He is starting the meeting at 10:30 and suggests people fly in very early and expect to leave town that

    evening.   Meetings in October and November will follow August.   No meeting in September (the State Bar usually has its convention then).
  • 05/07/2014 6:15 PM | Ian Elkus (Administrator)
    Attached is the summary just issued/published by the State Bar, stating that there is no opposition to AB 852.  AB 852 renews the State Bar’s attempt to gain civil penalties for pursuing all non-lawyers for the unauthorized practice of law, not merely rogue immigration consultants or foreclosure scam artists, as addressed in the summary.  Once again, the language of AB 852 is broader than the bar’s stated intent.

    Link to summary:AB 852 Summary.pdf
  • 04/06/2014 10:44 AM | Ian Elkus (Administrator)
    Click link to register
    http://sdparalegals.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=45125412b94ed6f7fb1061ccc&id=520cb4b8cf&e=b33c230855


    DEDICATED TO EDUCATING, PROMOTING, AND STRENGTHENING THE PARALEGAL COMMUNITY.
    At the Sheraton Hotel & Marina, San Diego

    The 2014 Educational Conference Program/Curriculum is centered around skill building, however, you are not limited to the institute you choose, you may pick sessions from all institutes.

    Litigation Support Institute

    • Session 1: Assessing Your Case from Inception to Trial
    • Session 2: Database / Evidence Management
    • Session 3: Evidence Presentation & Electronic Data
    • Session 4: Techno Ethics

    Corporate/Transactional Institute

    • Session 1: Business Basics: Entity Formation and Licensing
    • Session 2: How to Maximize Your Securities Fraud Investigation
    • Session 3: Merger/Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring
    • Session 4: Ethical Responsibilities

    Social Justice Institute:

    • Session 1: Reentry into Employment When You Have Convictions
    • Session 2: Marriage Equality
    • Session 3: Immigration - Removal/Withholding/Hardship
    • Session 4: Ethics: Elimination of Bias and Cultural Sensitivity

    Professional Development Institute: (NON-MCLE)

    • Session 1:  Stress Management (NON-MCLE)
    • Session 2: Creating Bios with an Impact/Legal Writing (NON-MCLE)
    • Session 3: Mentoring your Career - On Course or Without a Rudder (NON-MCLE)
    • Session 4: Practical Ethics (MCLE Approved)

    Early Bird Registration to April 30, 2014:  $85 Students, $125 Members, $135 Non-Members
    Registration after April 30, 2014: $85 Students $135 Members $150 Non-Members
    If you are a Member of any CAPA Affiliate, you are also a CAPA Member and can register for the member price.

  • 04/01/2014 6:49 PM | Ian Elkus (Administrator)
    New jobs have been added to the Members' Only Career Center, and more jobs are in the pipeline. For those interested in joining in the Association, this is one of many benefits of becoming a member of the San Francisco Paralegal Association. If you would like to become a member, please visit our Join page.
  • 03/16/2014 9:19 PM | Ian Elkus (Administrator)
    SFPA is working with the Eviction Defense Collaborative!

    The EDC is the principal organization in San Francisco helping low-income tenants respond to eviction lawsuits. Volunteers conduct intakes with clients, draft pleadings, prepare for/shadow attorneys at settlement conferences and more. Our office could not function without an incredible team of dedicated volunteers. Please see 
    evictiondefense.org or email volunteer@evictiondefense.org for more information.
  • 03/11/2014 8:19 PM | Ian Elkus (Administrator)
    Members:  to all those who sponsor MCLE events, here are some guidelines and things to know for 2014

    Submitted by Michele Pfeiffer, CAPA

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    With new representatives throughout the year, here are the guidelines with bullet points so you have a checklist.  If we follow the same format we can meet our due diligence in providing timely, relevant meetings, and be in compliance. 

    • As soon as you have a speaker, bio, topic and handouts/outline, etc., send them to MCLE chair for approval, otherwise, your flyer needs to say MCLE Pending approval; once done you can start advertising the event;
    • For examples of flyers contact MCLE Chair, it must State To All Attorneys, Paralegals & Legal Professionals” on the flyer; state amount of MCLE credit and statement re Providership on all promotional material
    • Print out the State Bar MCLE forms to be used (either using State Bar forms & typing in the info and copying or creating exact verbatim replicas prepared by CAPA MCLE chair, which can then be copied);
    • There are three forms:  The Official Record of Attendance; The Speaker Evaluation Sheet (must include speaker(s)’ name at bottom); and the Certificate of Attendance for CA MCLE Credit sheet;
    • All pertinent information should be completed as required, including the speaker's name(s), topics, etc. (please refer to brochure or flyer, if you have questions re this), assuring that the ‘wording’ is not altered from the State Bar forms when typing up the forms; Be sure to mark if its Ethics or General credit
    • CAPA’s MCLE providership number is 10628 (or use your own association’s or speaker’s);
    • A few fully completed sign in sheets for each section should be available based on attendance (20 signatures per page).  It's better to have more than run out.  (Note: I saw in the past that names were signed to odd pieces of paper and attached without any of the proper headings on the paper, this is improper and must be avoided (it could give the State Bar reason to not approve a program);  
    • Also be sure to fill out and prepare the NALA Certificate of Attendance; I have a blank copy (not for CA MCLE);
    • Also, if your association is a member of NFPA, be sure to fill out and prepare their form as well (as above);    
    • Please make arrangements to have someone available that can sign for the credit for NALA/NFPA members at each session (not for CA MCLE requirements);  
    • Please assign a volunteer(s) that is in charge of making sure everyone signs in, passes out the speaker evaluation sheets, welcome the speaker(s), collects the evaluation sheets/forms, thanks the speaker(s), passes out the CLE certificate at the end of the meeting on their way out as they turn in their evaluation sheet, and, finally can sign the forms for NALA/NFPA; this will make each program run more smoothly and professionally;  
    • Speakers must sign in on the same form as the attendees and can receive the same Certificate of Attendance, there is no longer a requirement that they receive a different and/or separate form;
    • Also please remind your speaker(s):  (1) if they have presented this program before, they only get the hour (and/or actual speaking time, i.e., 1.5), they cannot double bill for ‘preparing’ for same; they only get the preparation time when a program is presented for the first time; and (2) if there are a panel of speaker(s) they only get a portion of that time divided by the number of speaker(s) (i.e., if it is an hour program and there are three speakers, they only get credit for 20 minutes each for speaking and 40 minutes for attending, yet the attendees do get the full hour; if you have any questions, please contact me;
    • Once completed let the volunteer(s) know who is collecting the packet(s), so they can get it back to either your MCLE chair or if it is for CAPA, then get it to me;
    • Until further notice from the State Bar, please assign an attorney to attend each breakout session and keynote speaker program for conferences and this includes individual 1.0 hour programs.  Please be sure to confirm with them the day before.  Please note:  if no attorney is present at our co-sponsored events, then that session cannot be counted towards CA MCLE credit, but will suffice for NALA/NFPA credit.  (NOTE:  I also noticed in the past that an attorney had signed in and then just wrote in "attorney", instead of using their State Bar No.  This is not acceptable.  Please remind the volunteer(s) in charge, to check and make sure that the attending attorney(s) actually write in their State Bar No. correctly;
    • Be sure to follow-up with the speakers by including a thank you letter, send them copies of all the Evaluation Forms, and if they forgot to pick up their Certificate of Attendance, be sure to include one for their records; and
    • If you feel I have left something out, please let me know, I welcome your comments. 
    Only attorneys, judges, DA, or the like & already approved MCLE providers can be automatically be approved; all others including paralegals, teachers, &  most vendors must be sent to State Bar for approval; please get all forms to MCLE chair at least 1 month prior to event for approval and before you advertise the event (unless it can be automatically approved); 

San Francisco Paralegal Association • 1 Sansome St., Ste. 3500 • San Francisco, CA 94104-4448 • (415) 946-8935 • info@sfpa.com