Sierra Nevada Association of Paralegals November 2006
Visit our web site at www.snapreno.com
Inside This Issue:
Editor’s Note - 2
SNAP Calendar - 3 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Getting to Know You - 3
Supreme Court News - 4
NALA News - 5
Continuing Education - 6
Washoe County Law Library - 7
The weather is changing rapidly and the leaves
Nov. Meeting Reservation Form - 8 are falling. The clocks are all set back and,
December Celebration Flyer - 9 hopefully, all of you took advantage of the extra
SNAP Meeting Minutes - 10 hour on the clock over the weekend. I’m sure all
SNAP Officers & Contact Info. - 11 of you used it for work – another billable hour!
Job Bank - 12
Treasury Report - 13
The trick-or-treaters, all dressed so cute, came
by on Halloween. Gone in my life are the
SNAP Calendar stressful days of getting the kids all decked out
(Details on Page 3)
in costumes. Those days have been replaced by
November 7 Executive Committee planning our group theme for our office
Halloween Party. The paralegals at McDonald
November 14 General Meeting Carano Wilson LLP were successful again this
year in winning the best group costume theme
December 5 Executive Committee
at our annual party. We were Trolls, all dressed
December 14 Holiday Gathering in bright wigs and funny Troll attire. I would
include a picture, but I don’t want any of them to
stare me down in the hallways.
(Continued on page 2)
Tuesday, November 7, is Election Day! Voting is a citizen’s right
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE (Continued from Page 1)
Your Board is looking forward to an enjoyable Holiday Event on December 14th.
Please mark your calendars for an early evening gathering.
Nevada’s Annual Paralegal Day for 2007 has been proposed, but not yet confirmed,
for February 20. Our current Governor would like to wait for the approval of the
incoming Governor, who will be decided by the upcoming November 7 election. We’ll
keep you updated.
I recently read an on-line article regarding paralegals, entitled “Best Jobs in
America.” Money Magazine and Salary.com rate careers on salary and job prospects.
Yes, paralegals were listed at 27 of 50. The grades received for our profession were:
Stress=C; Flexibility=C; Creativity=D; and Difficulty=A. Average pay was listed at
$61,204. Top job in the field is a Patent Agent II. Here’s the website for further
Coming soon: Information on our 2007 Annual Seminar. Melissa Paschal is working
diligently on bringing you a wonderful program. You won’t want to miss this one.
I look forward to seeing all of you at our General Meeting on Tuesday, November 14,
2007, at noon at the Black Bear Diner in Reno. Please note that the Board has moved
the meeting up a week (from its normal 3rd Tuesday of the month) to avoid the
Thanksgiving week “crunch” with all our schedules.
Please feel free to email me at any time with thoughts or suggestions for SNAP
activities throughout the year. I can be reached at:
Laura A. Carlson, CP
I recently ran across an interesting analysis of the paralegal profession and how it is
defined in the various states of this country. It was a doctoral dissertation and can be
As of 2002, the date of the document, paralegals were defined by statute in 7 states,
by court rule in 9 states, by court ruling in 6 states, and by bar association in 15
states. 13 states had no formal definition.
Nevada is one of those states where “Paralegal” is defined by the state bar
association. The definition can be found in Article I of the Bylaws of the Legal
Assistants Division of the State Bar of Nevada. It reads as follows: A legal assistant
(also known as a paralegal) is a person, qualified through education, training or work
experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, governmental
agency, or other entity in a capacity or function which involves the performance,
under the ultimate direction and supervision of an attorney, of specifically delegated
substantive legal work, which work, for the most part, requires a sufficient knowledge
of legal concepts that, absent such an assistant, the attorney would perform the task.
November 7, Tuesday Executive Committee Meeting, 12 noon at
McDonald Carano Wilson, 100 W. Liberty, 10th floor
All members welcome
November 14, Tuesday General Meeting, 12 noon at Black Bear Diner
Speaker: Kate Knister, Silver State Fair Housing Council
Reservation Form on Page 8
Please bring items for our holiday donation to Committee to Aid Abused
Women (CAAW), in time for us to deliver before their holiday event.
Needed are baby diapers, baby wipes, baby powders, lotions and soaps, adult
hygiene products, cleaning items, etc.
December 5, Tuesday Executive Committee Meeting, 12 noon at
McDonald Carano Wilson, 100 W. Liberty, 10th floor
All members welcome
December 14, Thursday SNAP Annual Holiday Celebration, 5:30-7:30 pm
Best Western Airport Plaza, Reno
Flyer & Reservation form on Page 9
January 16, Tuesday General Meeting
Getting to Know You …… Irene Duggan
When asked to submit a piece for this section, what came to mind was answering the question of
what I wanted to be when I grew up. Well, when my youngest son was ready to leave for college,
my husband, Jim, came home with pamphlets from a nearby community college, describing an
ABA-approved paralegal program. That September, my husband and I and our two sons were
all in college!
The following year, Jim and I went to St. John’s University in New York to complete our
Bachelor of Science degrees in Paralegal Studies. With our degrees in hand, we drove across the
country and started a new life here in Reno.
Initially, I was a little worried about the pace in Reno, compared to Long Island, but I have
always been busy and the pace has been full speed ahead. After working a few temp jobs, I was
lucky to work for an attorney who taught me a lot in the area of securities and corporate law.
Not being afraid of trying something new, I then went to work in the area of bankruptcy. When
work in that specialty slowed down, I jumped into litigation. I’m always juggling many hats, but
my job has never been dull. I’m proof that it’s never too late to start a new career, and there is
always something new to learn.
When arriving in Reno it was wonderful finding such a great paralegal association as SNAP.
Again, I tried on more hats: Parliamentarian, Website Committee Chairperson, Newsletter
Editor, and last year I served as 2nd Vice President. What a great way of meeting people!
And, for fun, I love taking photographs of outdoors. Luckily I have a great husband who will
stop the car anytime and anyplace so I can capture that “shot.”
Keep coming to meetings and supporting your association.
Would you like us to Get To Know You better? You may volunteer a brief
biography for the newsletter. Submit to Newsletter Editor, Gloria Jaureguy, at
U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING BENEFITS INJURED PLAINTIFFS
THE U.S Supreme Court handed injured plaintiffs a significant victory on May 1, 2006, ruling
unanimously to limit state Medicaid agencies’ claims for reimbursement, to the portion of any
tort settlement attributable to past medical expenses. Ark. Dep’t of Health & Hum. Servs. v.
Ahlborn, 126 S. Ct. 1752 (2006). Agencies may not claim any part of a plaintiff’s recovery for
lost wages, pain and suffering, or other non-medical damages.
Heidi Ahlborn was a 19-year-old college student when she was involved in a serious automobile
accident that left her severely and permanently disabled. The Arkansas Department of Health
and Human Services (DHHS), the state’s Medicaid agency, paid more than $215,000.00 for her
When Alhborn recovered $550,000.00 for her injuries through settlements with various auto
insurers, the agency sought full reimbursement of its Medicaid payments, even though, the state
acknowledged, the settlement recovery amounted to only about one-sixth of her total damages.
Ahlborn then brought a declaratory judgment action to limit the agency’s reimbursement to the
portion of the settlement attributable to her past medical expenses.
The federal Medicaid Act requires Medicaid recipients to “assign [to] the state any rights …. to
payment for medical care from any third party” and to “assist the state in pursuing any third
party who may be liable to pay for care and services available under the [state Medicaid] plan.”
The Supreme Court rejected Arkansas’ argument, supported by 30 other states and the U.S.
Solicitor General, that these statutory provisions entitled DHHS to full reimbursement out of any
settlement. Moreover, the Court ruled, the state could not itself adopt more expansive
reimbursement rules, because any reimbursement out of funds paid to the plaintiff for claims,
such as lost wages and pain and suffering, would contravene the anti-lien provision of the
Medicaid Act. The Court reasoned that any rule granting “absolute priority” to the state’s
reimbursement claim “might preclude settlement in a large number of cases.”
---------- submitted by Melissa Paschal
UPCOMING NALA DATES
December 1-2, 2006 CLA Exam
January 15, 2007 Deadline for application for
March CLA exam
March 23-24, 2007 CLA Exam
May 15, 2007 Deadline for application for
July CLA Exam
July 20-21, 2007 CLA Exam
Visit the NALA website www.nala.org
View the latest issue of the Affiliates Brief at http://www.nala.org/Aff-Brief.pdf
NALA ADVANCED PARALEGAL CERTIFICATION (APC) IS NOW ONLINE!
Take your NALA certification to the next level! After three years of development, the APC
program is now on-line with three courses currently available. These areas are Discovery,
Contract Management/Contract Administration, and Social Security Disability. For further
details and course descriptions visit NALA’s APC website at
Saturday, November 4, 2006
CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR NEWSLETTER 9 am to noon
ANNOUNCEMENTS Sponsored by TMCC
ARTICLES Fall CLE-Administrative Law
SUGGESTIONS $40. Sierra 117, Dandini Campus
NEW TOPICS For more information, contact Katherine
WHATEVER…………….. Berning at email@example.com
Please submit by the 28 of each month to
your newsletter editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check our website at www.snapreno.com for upcoming events, and links
to great legal sites.
WASHOE COUNTY LAW LIBRARY
75 Court Street, Room 101, Reno, NV
Monday to Thursday 8 am to 9 pm
Friday 8 am to 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
Parking: Sierra Street is now open. You can park on Sierra and nearby streets to come to the Courthouse. The
law library is also open evenings and weekends for easier access to building.
Check their website www.washoecounty.us/lawlib/ to find free programs available to the public such as Legal
November 30, 2006 - Free seminar “Representing Yourself in Family Court.” Speaker
will be Muriel Skelly, Esq. 5-7 pm in the R. Z. Hawkins Conference Room of the Library.
Limited space – please sign up ahead of time by contacting the Library at 328-3250
Legal Quote of the Month
This may have appeared in an earlier issue of SNAP Shot, but I am going to recycle.
Not only is a person innocent until proven guilty, but “The law presumes every man to be sane
until there is evidence to the contrary.”
Community Loan & Investment Corp. v. Bowden, 12 S.E.2d 421 (Ga. App. 1940)
SNAP GENERAL MEETING
Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 12:00 noon
SPEAKER: Kate Knister, Executive Director, Silver State Fair Housing Council (SSFHC)
She’ll discuss the Fair Housing Act and SSFHC’s activities in this community
SSFHC’s website has more information www.silverstatefairhousing.org
PLEASE REMEMBER to bring items for our holiday donation to CAAW –
Committee to Aid Abused Women: baby diapers, baby wipes, baby powders,
lotions, soaps, adult hygiene products, cleaning items, etc.
PLACE: Black Bear Diner
2323 So. Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada
COST: Members & Guests $18.00
Student Members $15.00
Work Phone: __________________ Home Phone:_____________________
Member: ________ Guest: _______ Student Member: __________
Please select one luncheon item (no substitutions please):
Tri-Tip Dip (Steak), covered in grilled onions,
mushrooms, Swiss, on grilled French roll with fries
Garden Burger with fries
Broiled Chicken and Avocado Club
with bacon, lettuce, tomato, Swiss with potato salad
Grilled South Western Steak Salad
with ancho-cilantro ranch dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jack & cheddar cheeses,
guacamole, multi-colored tortilla strips
Mail your check and reservation form to SNAP, P.O. Box 2832, Reno, Nevada 89505. Your prepaid reservation
must be received by Friday, November 10, 2006. Sorry no refunds.
You are Formally Invited to
Sierra Nevada Association of Paralegals’
Annual Holiday Celebration!
An hors d’oeuvre reception will be held
When: Thursday, December 14, 2006 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Where: Best Western Airport Plaza, Lear Room
1981 Terminal Way, Reno, Nevada 89502
Cost: $25.00 per person and a cash bar will be available
Donation: A donation to CAAW is greatly appreciated and should be brought to our November
general membership meeting to be delivered before their holiday event. Items
needed are: baby diapers, baby wipes, baby powders, lotions and soaps, adult
hygiene products, cleaning items, etc.
RSVP: Please RSVP as soon as possible by e-mail to email@example.com.
Mail payment with RSVP form below.
Can’t wait to see you there!
SNAP Holiday Party RSVP
Number attending: ___________ @ $25.00 = Total $ _______________ enclosed
Mail payment to: SNAP, P.O. Box 2832, Reno, Nevada 89505 by December 5, 2006.
MINUTES OF THE SNAP
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
October 17, 2006
The meeting was called to order by President Laura Carlson at 12:10 pm at Black Bear
Restaurant in Reno. A quorum was present.
President Carlson announced that the November general membership meeting was moved from
November 21, 2006 to November 14, 2006 due to Thanksgiving. Further, there will be no general
membership meeting in December, as we are having the SNAP holiday party instead.
Nevada Paralegal Association, the Southern Nevada paralegal association (“NPA”) has
confirmed they will do a joint event with SNAP for Paralegal Day. We are still waiting for
confirmation from the Governor’s office on the date for Paralegal Day this year.
Laura will meet with the board of NPA in April 2007 and May 2007 to discuss other possible
joint events that SNAP could do with NPA.
SNAP information was given to student liaison Mary Ann Cushman to distribute to paralegal
students at TMCC.
NALS is having their national convention in Reno this year and is offering a free ethics course on
10/26/06 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. See Christi Saito for a sign-up form.
Other officers’ reports were waived due to time constraints.
First Vice President Christine Saito, ACP, introduced the guest speaker, Rebecca Bruch, who
gave an interesting and informative speech and power point presentation regarding how to help
your company avoid a wrongful termination and/or sexual harassment lawsuit. Ms. Bruch
indicated that employee manuals are absolutely crucial, even in small companies. She offered a
copy of her power point presentation to anyone who wanted to provide their e-mail address.
There were no miscellaneous announcements. With all business completed, the meeting
adjourned at 1:08 pm.
Melissa Paschal, CP
SNAP Officers and Chairpersons for 2006-2007
Laura Carlson, CLA
First Vice President/Education: Parliamentarian:
Christi Saito, ACP Kate Cline, CP
Washoe Legal Services Sutton Place Limited
Phone: 329-2727, ext. 123 Phone: 348-0125
Second Vice President/Membership/Job Bank Social Activities:
and Web Site Manager: Misty Taylor
Crystal Huss Nevada Divorce & Paralegal Services, Inc.
Attorney Marilyn D. York, Inc. Phone: 322-5357
Phone: 324-7979 firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Paschal, CLA Doreen Smith-Power
Steven J. Klearman & Assoc. McDonald Carano
Phone: 323-3700 Phone: 788-2000
Treasurer: Student Liaison:
Jennifer Grundy, CLA Mary Ann Cushman
Silverman, Decaria & Kattelman Phone: 232-4228
Phone: 322-3223 email@example.com
NALA Liaison: Newsletter Editor:
Amy Hodgson Gloria Jaureguy
Silverman, Decaria & Kattelman Phone: 887-0556
Phone: 322-3223 firstname.lastname@example.org
SNAP Shot is an official publication of the Sierra Nevada Association of Paralegals (“SNAP”).
SNAP Address: Post Office Box 2832, Reno, Nevada 89505
SNAP Shot is published monthly. The 2006-2007 Editor is Gloria Jaureguy. Please e-mail Gloria at
email@example.com to submit newsletter information. Deadline for submitting articles for publication in the
newsletter is the 28 of each month.
Please note: SNAP does not endorse any specific education program. Information provided in the SNAP Shot is
to be evaluated by the reader. All editorial material is to be used at the discretion of the reader and does not
imply endorsement by the editor, SNAP, its officers or members.
SNAP may make members’ names and business addresses available to legal related entities without the direct
consent of each member. Members who do not want their information released must advise the Executive
Committee in writing.