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					     PARALEGAL PÛBLICUM
        Paralegal Pûblicum                     Volume 2011 Issue 4

                                                        Issue 2011 Volume 1
                                               Issue 2011 Volume 4


     A MISSISSIPPI PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION, INC. PUBLICATION


      SPRING 2011
                             WINTER ISSUE

     In this issue:
     ♦ Different Types of USA Visas

     ♦ Four Situations Elder Law
       Lawyers Can Help With

     ♦ Plastic Surgery and Legal Issues
In this issue:
     ♦ 3 Key Differences Between
⇒   Common Accidents in Public Places
       Wrongful Death Attorneys &
⇒      Criminal Lawyers
    What Does It Take To Be A Medical Expert
    Witness

⇒    ♦ Are You Reactive or Proactive?
    Is your Career Stuck in the “Someday”
    Trap?
                                                 Find the Gavel
⇒   Do you have “Foot in Mouth” disease too?

⇒   When You Die, What Does a Will do?
                 Paralegal Pûblicum                                        Volume 2011 Issue 4



                 Contents                                       Winter 2011
                 From the desk of the Editors            3

                 Message from the President              5

                 Letters to the Editors                   7

                 2012 MPA Elections                       8

                 Different Types of USA Visas             9

                 Legal Quotes                            10
                 Overheard in Court
                                                              Announcements                      28
                 NEW Advanced Certification from NALA    11
                                                              MPA’s 30th Anniversary             29
In This Issue:




                 Messages from Regions II & V            13   Give-a-way
                 Director, and the
                 Secretary                                    Members Network New Forum          30

                 Your Life and Money Series              14   Member’s Corner                    33

                 Did you Know……?                         15
                                                              3 Key Differences Between
                 TIPS AND TRICKS                              Wrongful Death Attorneys &         34
                                                              Criminal Lawyers
                 Holmes Association of Legal             16
                 Students                                                                        35
                                                              “Stuff the Trucks”
                 Message from the Region I Director      17
                                                              Are You Reactive or Proactive?
                                                                                                 37
                 Messages from the NALA Liaison and      18
                 Treasurer                                    201 Fall Seminar and Vendor Fair 39

                 Student Liaison and Vice President of   19   Message from the Vice President 40
                 Established Membership                       of Education

                 Four Situations Elder Law Lawyers Can   20   Message from Mississippi           40
                 Help With                                    College

                 Messages from the CP/CLA                     NALA’s Visit to MPA                42
                                                         21
                 Coordinator and Vice President of New
                 Membership                                   Student Essay Contest Winners      43 - 48
                 Highlighting Paralegal Blogs                 Advitisers
                 Weird Laws and Facts                    22                                      50 - 52

                 MPA 2011 Calendar                       23

                 Plastic Surgery and Legal Issues
                                                         24
                 Paralegal Member Spotlight              25

                 Paralegal Student Member Spotlight      26
  Paralegal Pûblicum                                                                     Volume 2011 Issue 4



  From the Desks of the Editors:
  Darleen Dozier, CLA
         And
  Sarah L. O’Neal, ACP
       As the end of another year approach-                                   MPA members have been in-
es, the natural tendency is to reflect on the                          volved with various community ser-
previous year’s activities. Sometimes this                             vice projects throughout the year.
reflection brings sadness for those we lost                            On November 17 & 18, members
or dreams we didn’t see come to fruition.                              worked with the Mississippi Young
Other times, this reflection brings great joy                          Lawyers Association in a continu-
in additions we’ve had to our families, ac-                            ing project of providing various le-
complishments we’ve seen, and happy times                              gal services to low-income families
with friends and family. As editors of the                             in Mississippi.
Paralegal Publicum, we would like to reflect
on the past year with MPA.                                                    On December 2, members
                                                                       helped “Stuff the Truck” for the Sal-
                                                                       vation Army’s Angel Tree project.
       The first and most noticeable change                            It’s very important paralegals re-
for MPA has been the change from our                                   member that part of being a profes-
newsletter, The Assistant, to our eZine, the                           sional is giving back to the commu-
Paralegal Publicum. Not only has this                                  nity and MPA provides various op-
change been an improvement in the way we                               portunities for members to be ac-
relay associational business and infor-                                tive.
mation, but it has given us a better forum to
reach more people across the country to let                                  MPA’s continuing              education-
them know what Mississippi paralegals are                              al opportunities have               been very
up to!                                                                 successful throughout                the year.
                                                                       Monthly luncheons                    continue
                                                                       (continued on page 4)
       In July, MPA was represented in a
very positive way as we were chosen to pre-
sent the Affiliates Report during the 2011
NALA Annual Convention. Sarah O’Neal,
Gwen Burgess, Bridgett Breithrupt, and
Zenda Hefner showcased the many ways
MPA is using technology to further the goals
of MPA. They showed how we Skype our
monthly meetings to members who can’t at-
tend and we demonstrated our new method
of electronic voting for Board members and
bylaw changes.
  Paralegal Pûblicum is a publication of the Mississippi Paralegal Association, Inc., Post Office Box 996, Jackson,
  Mississippi 39205 in conjunction with the Newsletter, Public Relations, and Professional Development

  Pûblicum—(pûblicus m.) (feminine pûblica, neuter pûblicum); first/second declension of or belonging to
  the people, State, or community public, general (substantive) a public officer, magistrate)

                                                          3
Paralegal Pûblicum                                             Volume 2011 Issue 4

to provide CLE opportunities for                   Sarah ran for Region III Director, and
CP’s and interesting topics for             although she was not elected, we were
those who aren’t certified yet but          very proud of her showing on behalf of Mis-
who want to enhance their                   sissippi. Darleen Dozier was appointed to
knowledge of certain areas of law.          the Continuing Education Committee for
Seminars in the spring and fall pro-        NALA for a 3-year term. The CEC is re-
vide CLE topics that affect all para-       sponsible for NALA Campus Live!, Facts &
legals, as well as specialized areas        Findings, and the annual convention. The
that are useful to learn about. A           hope of Darleen being placed on this com-
special guest we were honored to            mittee is to bring more speakers and writ-
have this year was Karen McGee,             ers from the southern areas of the country
President of NALA. She spoke dur-           – so members, step up and be thinking
ing our October luncheon certifica-         about your areas of concentration and how
tion, continuing legal education and        you can contribute on behalf of Mississippi.
professionalism. Karen was also
able to visit with paralegal students              As the year comes to a close for
at Holmes Community College,                MPA, a new Board has been elected and
where she encouraged them in their          we move to the future. However in looking
educational and professional goals,         back and reflecting on MPA’s accomplish-
and with administration at Missis-          ments throughout 2011, we should be very
sippi College.                              proud. As an organization we have made
                                            advancements that will prove not only to
       Students enrolled in parale-         promote the paralegal profession, but to
gal programs throughout the state           assist individual members in enhancing
of Mississippi participated in MPA’s        their own professionalism. We look to see-
Annual Student Essay Contest. Stu-          ing what 2012 has in store for MPA!
dents were to choose an area of law
in which they would like to work, de-
scribe the type of tasks a paralegal
in that field might perform, and dis-
cuss the difference in working for a
plaintiff or defendant in that area.
This years’ winners were Kimberly
Blackstock (1st place; Holmes Com-
munity College), Nicole Puckett (2nd
place; Holmes Community College)
and Rachel Lowry (3rd place; Uni-
versity of Southern Mississippi).
Each winner received a cash
award, free membership to MPA for
one year, and a free subscription to
Facts & Findings for one year. We
are very proud of this years’ win-
ners.

      Co-Editors, Darleen Dozier
and Sarah O’Neal, have been active
on behalf of MPA with NALA this
year.                                   4
Paralegal Pûblicum                                        Volume 2011 Issue 4



                        Message from the President
                                  of the
                          Mississippi Paralegal
                            Association, Inc.
                                 (“MPA”)

                                   Donna Alderman, ACP
As I am writing this, we are in the middle of the holiday season. I am
thinking of all the things I have to be thankful for. I have a beautiful and
loving family, a great job that I love and many friends that I adore. MPA is
a big part of that. I have so many friends I have met through MPA that I
depend on.

I am also blessed to be a paralegal. I have worked hard through experi-
ence and education to get where I am today. I would not want to do any-
thing else. It is not often that someone finds a career that suits them per-
fectly, but I have found that. It has not always been easy, but it has al-
ways been worth the trouble.

I have enjoyed serving as the 2011 President of MPA and look forward to
serving in the same capacity in 2012. Your Board of Directors has done
accomplished so much this year! We have many more things in the
works for next year that I think you will like.

As always, I welcome any suggestions, ideas or criticism that you may
have. I can be contacted at donnna.alderman@us.army.mil.




                                     5
  Paralegal Pûblicum                        Volume 2011 Issue 4


                         Advertiser




The Mississippi Paralegal Association is very proud of our
vendor sponsors. Please show them you are reading our
eZine by visiting their websites or by using their products
and services.




                             6
  Paralegal Pûblicum                           Volume 2011 Issue 4




  Le ers to the Editors:
                                   “Editors, you did a terrific job on
                                   this issue of Paralegal Publi-
                                   cum! No, I'm not surprised, but
                                   I'm always delighted to see a job
                                   well done on behalf of MPA.”
                                   Gwen Burgess, CLA




                                  “…Great newsletter!”


                                  Lynne J. DeVenny, NCCP
                                  Blogger at Practical Paralegalism,
                                  www.practicalparalegalism.com




Your comments are welcome. Let us know what you
like, don’t like, or even if you spot an error. We want to
hear from you!




                              7
Paralegal Pûblicum                                           Volume 2011 Issue 4


        MISSISSIPPI PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION, INC. (“MPA”)
                   2012 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

         President                                 Donna Alderman, ACP

         Secretary                                 Emily Grace

         Treasurer                                 Kathy Mangum

         Vice President of Education               Rachel Nesbit

         NALA Liaison                              Sarah L. O’Neal, ACP

         Student Liaison                           Darleen, Dozier, CP

         VP of Membership                          Bridget Breithaupt, CP

         Central Region Director                   Zenda Heafner, CLA

         Northern Region Director                  Suellen Johnson
                                                   [Appointed by MPA Board
                                                   of Directors]

         Southern Region Director                  Lisa Taylor

         Parliamentarian                           Steven J. Jones
                                                   [Appointed by MPA Board
                                                   of Directors]


  The 2012 Proposed Budget was approved.

  Proposed Bylaw Amendments were approved; will take effect January 1, 2012:

  1.     Combining the MPA Board of Director office positions of Vice President of
  New Membership and Vice President of Established Membership as one office
  position being Vice President of Membership.

  2.     Changing the current configuration of MPA Region Districts from the current
  five (5) Region Districts to three (3) being the Northern District, the Central
  District, and the Southern District.


                                       8
 Paralegal Pûblicum                                                                    Volume 2011 Issue 4



Different Types of USA Visas
September 7, 2011

       Not everyone needs to learn about an H1B Visa. Many
have never even heard of it. Nevertheless, for a person looking
to work in the United States (US) or an employer ready to hire
them it is important.
       An H1B visa is a way for US employers to hire as well as
recruit workers. These individuals could be International profes-
sional or students. This visa helps the employer hire the worker
for a specified time. It could allow the worker to provide occupa-
tional services for up to six years. The H1B visa is highly sought
because it is considered a “duel intent” visa, which many nonim-
migrant visa categories don’t provide. Having “duel intent”
means the visa is not denied because the person wants to become a US resident.
       Also, for an H1B visa it must be documented in detail about the occupation
they will be doing. The employee has to have appropriate credentials pertaining
to the job as well. The employer even has to verify the visa worker is paid a cer-
tain wage for performing the job. Another important element is to indicate that the
foreign worker doing the job is not harming the US worker conditions. When it
comes to qualifying occupations for a H1B visa these include: computing, teach-
ing, IT, scientific research, all types of engineering, accounting, healthcare or
medical, finance, networking, legal, accounting, marketing, banking, telecoms,
advertising, business, public relations, management, recruiting and sales.
       When it comes to the length of time for the H1B visa often employers indi-
cate three years or less for the project when the person is needed. Then it can be
extended once for an additional three years if needed. This means that the H1B
visa is available for up to six years in total. Other elements to consider are the em-
ployee working part-time, if the time required at first by the employer is remarka-
bly less than three years and if the employee is working for several US employers
during the same time they are in the US.
       Usually the number of HIB visas issued in a year is decided by the US Con-
gress and as per the recent decision it is at 65,000 while the students studying in
US can also be granted this visa. The limit for the students that graduate as an
MBA and other higher studies to work in US companies is at 20,000.
       There are numerous documents that need to be submitted for qualifying for
an H1B including the US sponsor company’s job offer, college degrees, employ-
ment verifications certificates, current CV with relevant work experience and
identity proof.
       Another element to consider with an H1B visa is the worker’s family. These
individuals, including the visa holder’s spouse and children under 21, are also
welcome to join the worker while in the US. They need proof they are related,
such as marriage and birth certificates. Nevertheless Free Web Content, they are
not permitted to work on an H4 visa. They must have their own H1B visa to work in
the United States of America.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: For the latest information on immigration lawyers and visa attorneys visit the usvisalawgroup.com
information pages.
                                                         9
Paralegal Pûblicum                                                      Volume 2011 Issue 4



                                               Legal Quotes
                                                   “…”
  ♦    Ignorance of the law, which everybody is supposed to know,
       does not constitute an excuse.
       Legal maxim
       From the Latin 'Ignorantia juris quod quisque scire tenetur non
       excusat'.

  ♦    No one can be judge in his own cause.
       Legal maxim
       From the Latin 'Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa'.

  ♦    Equity follows the law.
       Legal maxim
       From the Latin 'Aequitas sequitur legem'.
  ♦    Source: http://www.allgreatquotes.com/law_quotes.shtml




                                Overheard in Court
Uh Oh!
Judge: I know you, don't I?

Defendant: Uh, yes.

Judge: All right, tell me, how do I know you?

                         Defendant: Judge, do I have to tell
                         you?

                         Judge: Of course, you might be obstructing justice not to tell
                         me.

                         Defendant: Okay. I was your bookie.
                                                                10
http://overheardincourt.com/from-the-bench/
Paralegal Pûblicum        Volume 2011 Issue 4




                     11
Paralegal Pûblicum        Volume 2011 Issue 4




                     12
Paralegal Pûblicum                                    Volume 2011 Issue 4


Regions 2 and 5 Director:

Darleen Dozier, CLA

I can’t believe another year has come to a close. I
want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you
during 2011. Our hope on the MPA Board is to find
ways to include those of you outside the Jackson
area in the association. With the new regional
structure, we anticipate to accomplish this goal in
the upcoming year. We are always looking for
ideas and suggestions so please do not hesitate to
send them to us. I hope each of you made your
billable hour quota this year and get all the
bonuses I know you deserve.




Secretary:

Kathy Mangum

Thank you for another great and exciting year.
It has been a joy getting to know all of you.
Thank you for taking advance of the
opportunities that MPA offers. Please
continue to share with your colleagues the
great things that are happening with MPA and
encourage them to join us in 2012. Again,
thank you for allowing me to service as your
Secretary.




                                 13
Paralegal Pûblicum                                               Volume 2011 Issue 4



                     YOUR LIFE AND MONEY
                               An ongoing series.


  Ten Unconventional Saving Money Tips
                              by Rob Bennett

I’ve learned a lot about effective money management in my six years
of posting in the Financial Freedom Discussion-Board Community.
Here are ten unconventional but powerful
saving money tips.

Unconventional Saving Money Tip Two:
Add back in the income tax when
determining how much it costs you to
buy things.
The sales tag on the leather jacket you want says
that it costs $1,000. You know to add in the sales
tax to determine the full price, which is perhaps
5% higher, or $1,050. But even that is not the true
full price.

You can’t buy the leather jacket by earning $1,050.
You need to have $1,050 in take-home pay to buy
it, and that means that on a pre-income-tax basis,
you need to earn a good bit more, perhaps $1,250.

                             It’s true, of course, that the money that goes to
                             income tax is not yours to spend or save.
                             Refraining from buying the leather jacket will
                             not get it back for you. The other side of the
                             story is that paying income tax hinders your
                             effort to win financial freedom early in life as
                             much as paying sales tax. Mentally adding
                             back the income tax helps you appreciate how
                             many hours of labor it takes to obtain a jacket
                             with a nominal price tag of $1,000.
                                           http://www.passionsaving.com/money-saving-tips.html

                                      14
Paralegal Pûblicum                                                             Volume 2011 Issue 4




Did you Know……? Legal Pad, smart idea!
Thomas W. Holley, a paper mill employee from Holyoke,
Mass., invented the legal pad in 1888. He used paper
scraps and rejects from the mill where he was working
and had employees cut the scrap paper down to a uni-
form size, printed rules/lines on the paper and stitched the pages into a
notepad. Once invented, he started his own business and ran it from the
room of a small building on the town's main street. Because the product
became        successful quite rapidly, he was able to expand his busi-
ness soon after starting it. One of the local judges requested that Hol-
ley make the pads larger to make note writing easier. This is how the le-
gal pads began to take on their trademark "legal size."

The initial pad design story, and the judge's request, are the facts as
AMPAD tells them, but it's interesting to note that Holley never filed a
patent for the invention of the legal pad and no other company has ei-
ther. AMPAD has never fully explained why yellow seems to be the
standard legal pad coloring because Holley's original pads were
thought to be white. Yellow paper is also more expensive than white pa-
per, and Holley was very thrifty, so he likely never used yellow paper.
The only prerequisite for a pad to be declared a legal pad is that the
margins be 1.25 inches from the left edge, as requested by the judge.
http://www.ehow.com/facts_7222967_legal-size-paper-invented_.htm




                                                          TIPS AND TRICKS

                                                Printing in Excel
                                                Make your printouts
                                                fit the page width

                  When you print a worksheet, do you want
                  it to fit the width of the paper and take as
many sheets of paper as required to print all the data? On
the File menu, click Page Setup. Under Scaling, click the
Page tab. Click Fit to, and select 1 page wide. In the second
Fit to box (for how tall you want the data to be), delete the
number so the box is blank.
                                                                   15

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/tips-and-tricks-for-excel-HA001055227.aspx
 Paralegal Pûblicum                                                  Volume 2011 Issue 4

         Holmes Association of Legal Students
The Holmes Association of Legal Students (HALS) continues its mission
of helping paralegal students become integrated into the legal commu-
nity. Students participated in several community and professional ac-
tivities that exposed students to what it means to be a professional.

Throughout each semester, HALS members attend MPA luncheons and
seminars. We understand the importance of continuing legal educa-
tion, as well as networking. In October, students welcomed Karen
McGee, President of NALA, as a guest speaker. Karen discussed the
importance of education and certification with the students and shared
her thoughts about professionalism. Also in October, students met and discussed ethi-
cal situations they encounter in their various legal jobs. In November, HALS sponsored
its 2nd Annual Paralegal Assembly, and was very excited to have Alan Lange, co-author
of Kings of Tort, as our guest speaker. Mr. Lange discussed his experiences and
knowledge obtained in the writing of this book. All HALS educational meetings are ap-
proved by NALA for CLE credits. Any MPA member is welcome to attend our meetings.

HALS students also gave of their time this semester in helping our community. In No-
vember, several students worked with the Mississippi Volunteers Lawyers Project
(MVLP), continuing their work with the “Calls for a Cause” project. Students organized
files, made phone calls, drafted follow-up letters to clients that the MVLP assist with
various legal matters. In December, students worked with the Salvation Army in their
Angel Tree project to “Stuff the Truck” with toys for underprivileged children in the
Jackson area. Members of HALS learn the importance of community service and pro
bono work in the legal profession.

HALS was very proud to have the 1st and 2nd place winners in the 2011 MPA Student Es-
say Contest. Kimberly Blackstock won first place and Nicole Puckett won second
place. Both students are very active in HALS and have represented the Holmes Parale-
gal Technology program well.

Holmes Community College continues to offer classes to reach anyone who desires a
paralegal degree, regardless of their location or ability to come to campus. In response
to a high increase in online students, we hired four new adjunct instructors for the
Spring 2012 semester. All adjuncts have impressive educational and experience back-
grounds and all are active in MPA. Kathy Mangum will now teach the online Law Office
Management class. Suzanne Faison will be the new online instructor for Introduction to
Law, which is taught year-round. Kristie Droge is taking over the Civil Litigation I and II
online classes. And Ammi Gates is the new online Family Law Instructor. Tricia Nelson
continues with us as the online Real Property I and II instructor. Lea Ann Robertson
continues as the online Legal Writing and Legal Research instructor.

All Holmes CC online courses offer voice podcasts and other interactive tools to engage
students who are unable to come to campus for classes. We are proud of the efforts
made by our instructors to ensure students receive a world-class education through
online methods. If you have any questions about the Paralegal Technology program at
Holmes Community College, please call Darleen Dozier at 601-605-5279 or ddozi-
er@holmescc.edu.


                                             16
Paralegal Pûblicum                                       Volume 2011 Issue 4


                          HAPPY HOLIDAYS fellow MPA members! I
                          have truly enjoyed serving as the Region I
                          Director this year. With the assistance of the
                          full board, we have accomplished a lot of good
                          things this year. Our attendance at the NALA
                          Convention in July was noticed by all. I be-
                          lieve MPA’s presentation for the Affiliates
                          Exchange session was well received. The
                          presentation focused on our use of technology
                          to get and retain members.

                            Our use of Skype to broadcast the monthly
Region I Director           meetings and Facebook and Twitter to an-
                            nounce upcoming events has created a furor
Bridget Breithaupt, CP of conversation among other NALA affiliate
                            groups. The MPA website has received a
                            much needed face lift. I hope you take the
                            time to check out all of the new changes. As
                            always, keep following us on Facebook and
                            Twitter. In September we had our largest Fall
                            Seminar and Vendor Fair ever. Lots of
                            interesting topics were discussed along with
                            some wonderful door prizes given away to
                            lucky participants. Karen Greer McGee,
                            President of NALA visited during our annual
                            October meeting to invite MPA members to
                            think about joining the national association
                            and to commend MPA on their great work.
Also at the October meeting, the election of the Board Directors
occurred. This is the first year that MPA’s elections were entirely
electronic. Thank you for everyone who participated. I want
to give you a heartfelt thank you for electing me as the Vice Presi-
dent of Membership for 2012. I look forward to serving in this ca-
pacity next year. Before the year ends, MPA has one more event
scheduled -- the third annual “Stuff the Trucks” Toy Drive for the
Salvation Army Angel Tree program. I hope everyone can
found the time to participate in this worthy event.




                                    17
Paralegal Pûblicum                                 Volume 2011 Issue 4



Wow, what a year MPA has had! MPA gave the Affili-
ate presentation at the NALA Convention, celebrated
our 30th Anniversary, and had a visit from NALA
President, Karen Greer McGee, ACP. We are the
Mighty Mississippi Paralegal Association and that’s
how we roll. The new and exciting things will not
stop with 2011; there are BIG plans underway for
2012. We will have a new meeting place at the Hilton   NALA Liaison
Garden Inn (the old King Edward Hotel) on Capitol
Street, new CLE opportunities, and more Pro Bono       Sarah L. O’Neal, ACP
activities. Make no mistake, NALA has noticed us
along with a host of other NALA Affiliate Associa-
tions. They are taking note of how we do things
and what we are doing for the benefit of our
members. It is an exciting time to be a paralegal
and be a member of MPA. Stay tuned to see
what MPA will be doing next!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS.




                     Treasurer

                     Kimberly Pierce


I want to Thank you for allowing me to serve as
your Treasurer this past year. I am proud to have served in this
capacity with such a Great Board. I know that 2012 holds much
excitement for MPA as the Association strives to grow, incorporate
additional CLE opportunities and continue to work for the Convention
to be held in Mississippi.

I look forward to seeing you at the monthly luncheons and wish every-
one a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

                                  18
         Paralegal Pûblicum                                              Volume 2011 Issue 4

       Well, believe it or not, December is  I hope you all can make it to the
       here and we are winding down 2011.    meeting and please be sure to
       I simply can't believe how fast this  introduce yourselves to and
       year has flown by!                    congratulate our winners.
                                             Congratulations! To Darleen
       Once again, MPA, Inc. has enjoyed a Dozier as our first and second
       stellar year of accomplishments. The place winners are her students
       Board worked faithfully and tireless- and congratulations! Also to
       ly to bring outstanding speakers to   Subrina Cooper as one of her
       us each month and put together the students was our third place
       contest for the beautiful necklace we winner. We appreciate your
       gave away in honor of our             dedication and commitment to
       Association's 30th anniversary.       your students of paralegal
                                             studies, to our profession and to
                                                                               Student Liaison:
       I learned a lot this year serving as  our Association. Again, thanks to
       Student Liaison. As you know by       all of our contestants who
       now, we announced our 2011 Stu-       participated in this year's con-  Janie Boyd, CP
       dent Essay Winners last week. We      test. We couldn't have the con-
       will have the opportunity to meet     test without you! Thanks again
       them at our January 2012 member-      for the opportunity to serve as
       ship meeting and luncheon.            your 2011 Student Liaison.
                                             Merry Christmas and Happy New
                                             Year 2012!
                  Well since the last time I
                  wrote my words to you, I       With all that said, I have to say good-bye
                  had to put my walking          as your Vice-President of Established
                  shoes on and get out the       Membership. You were kind enough to
                  GPS. I am now in Char-         keep me in this position for two years,
                  lotte, North Carolina on       and now it is time to move on.
                  another project. A good        You have kept me on for another year as
                  thing though – I’m still in    Region I Director. That’s a good thing, I
                  the South. The fall leaves     think. It has been an honor and pleasure
                  were     absolutely     gor-   serving you and sitting on the Board. I
                  geous! And, it is a small      appreciate all your support and confi-
                  world… one of my fellow        dence in me. I will try my hardest to con-
                  LEAP team member’s             tinue to serve you as the Region I Direc-
Vice President
                  lives in Charlotte. All that   tor – Central Mississippi; even though it
Established
                  travel talk aside, Missis-     will be long distant. I will only be a phone
Membership:
                  sippi and MPA are still on     call or e-mail away.
                  my mind. It has been a
Zenda
                  good year for MPA. The         Thank you again for your continued sup-
Heafner, CLA
                  Board has made some            port. I look forward to 2012 and all that
                  great moves to better our      the Board has in mind for MPA. I wish you
                  organization     and     the   joy and happiness, and most of all a safe
                  membership was behind          Holiday Season.
                  us, and we continue to
                  strive and grow.               Merry Christmas and a Most Prosperous
                                                 New Year!!
                  Not very far though!            19
      Paralegal Pûblicum                                                         Volume 2011 Issue 4




Four Situations Elder Law Lawyers Can
Help With
August 25, 2011

Elder law lawyers can help with many different
situations, from drawing up a will to creating a
medical directive. If you're unsure about how el-
der attorneys can help, contact one today.
Elder law lawyers can help with a number of situa-
tions that have to do with caring for seniors and
their families. If you’re unsure what elder attor-
neys can do for you, consider these four common
situations. This is by no means a comprehensive
list however, so it's a good idea to consult a lawyer if   On the contrary, if someone else in your
you have further questions.                                family contests a will, you can hire one of
                                                           these attorneys to help defend the docu-
Elder Law Lawyers Can Help Plan For Long-Term              ment.
Care
Long-term care is expensive and many families don't        Lawyers Can Draw Up An Advanced Medi-
have the means to pay for it entirely by themselves.       cal Directive
Talking with elder attorneys to formulate a plan be-       Most people will require some sort of med-
fore it's needed is an excellent idea for any family. A    ical care toward the end of their life.
lawyer who practices in elder care law knows how to        There's a chance that at some point you
legally transfer assets to help someone qualify for        may not be able to make medical deci-
Medicaid and how to preserve assets to protect             sions for yourself and this is where an ad-
spouses and provide them with money to live on. A          vanced medical directive is useful. Before
long-term care facility can cost anywhere from $100-       working with elder law lawyers and creat-
$500 a day, which works out to be nearly $40,000 to        ing one of these documents, make sure to
well over $150,000 a year. Even wealthy families can       talk to the person you want to name as
have problems affording this type of ongoing medical       your healthcare proxy. You want to make
treatment and this is where an attorney can help.          sure this person is comfortable making
                                                           life and death decisions for you and that
Attorneys Can Draw Up Wills                                they'll be able to follow your wishes re-
A will is another important aspect of elder care law.      garding life-saving measures.
Having a will in place before you pass can ensure that
family members don't argue about where your assets         These attorneys are specially trained to
go when you're gone. An attorney that specializes in       assist older clients and their families, but
wills can help you determine how to pass on assets         they're not limited to helping seniors. If
while minimizing the tax liability that your heirs may     you're interested in drawing up a will, de-
encounter.                                                 termining guardianship for children or
                                                           outlining what should happen if you're un-
Attorneys Can Contest Wills                                able to make medical decisions for your-
Sometimes it can be necessary to contest a will. This      self, contact an estate planning attorney.
could be done for a number of reasons. Perhaps the
document was drawn up when the person was under            Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com ABOUT
the influence of someone else or maybe the will indi-      THE AUTHOR: Kerry Peck is a writer and managing part-
                                                           ner of Peck Bloom, LLC, a firm that specializes in elder
cates that the deceased was in a compromised men-          care law in Chicago. The firm has a number of elder attor-
tal state. If you're concerned that a loved one's will     neys in
doesn't represent their true feelings, consider con-
testing the document.
                                                    20
        Paralegal Pûblicum                                             Volume 2011 Issue 4


        CP/CLA Coordinator:

        Darleen Dozier
        ddozier@holmescc.edu

        While we are all approaching the end of yet another year,
        there are 5 MPA members who are coming to the end of an-
        other mark…they are the members who have participated
        in the CP study group throughout the last few months. And
        as January approaches, they are spending the last days in
        preparation for taking the CP exam. Three have made the
        commitment to test in January and I look forward to sharing their results with
        you during the spring. I would like to encourage those of you who are not yet
        certified to consider joining a new study group which will start up in February
        and will begin preparing for the May testing window. You can always study on
        your own, but there’s nothing like the support of colleagues and friends as you
        travel the path of becoming certified. If you would like more information on the
        CP exam, go to www.nala.org and look through the “Certification” tab. If you
        would like more information about the upcoming study group, please contact
        Darleen Dozier at ddozier@holmescc.edu.



                       Merry Christmas to all!!!! I hope everyone was well prepared for the holiday
                       season. It seems like it was just Thanksgiving yesterday and now we are
                       preparing for Christmas. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a healthy
                       New Year.

                 In addition, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone for allowing
                 me to serve as your Vice President of New Membership for the last two
                            years. It has been an enjoyable time working with all of our MPA
                            Board members as well as the overall organization. We finished
MPA VP New Membership this year out with 35 newly approved MPA members. Congrat-
                            ulations to all of our new members. I hope you will find MPA, Inc.
                            to be a great asset to your paralegal career, and I look forward
    Steven J. Jones
                            to working with you all in the future.

        For 2012, I have been appointed to serve as MPA’s Parliamentarian. I would like to
        thank the MPA Board for this appointment, and I pledge to work closely with each of the
        board members to uphold the MPA Bylaws and Standing Rules. One of my goals as
        Parliamentarian will be to closely examine our Bylaws and Standing Rules to assure
        accuracy. I plan on publishing an updated version of both after working with the Bylaws
        Committee and seeking approval of any changes from the Board and/or the MPA
        members. Should any of our members have any questions regarding the Bylaws and/or
        Standing Rules, I welcome your questions or concerns.

        Again, I hope everyone has enjoyed 2011 and welcome 2012. Merry Christmas and
        Happy New Year to all!!!!!
                                                 21
      Paralegal Pûblicum                                            Volume 2011 Issue 4


Highlighting Paralegal Blogs We like:
Practical Paralegalism
A blog celebrating paralegals - and shar-
ing a few cautionary tales.

Lynne J. DeVenny, is a North Carolina State
Bar Certified Paralegal, currently employed
as a senior paralegal at Elliot Pishko Morgan
P.A. in Winston-Salem, NC. She is a nationally
recognized writer, speaker and advocate for
the paralegal profession. She has over 24
years of legal experience, and specializes in
workers’ compensation, serious civil injuries
and wrongful death cases. She has also pro-
vided litigation support for medical malprac-
tice and employment cases, including sexual               Weird Laws and Facts:
harassment and class action wage and hour
cases. She manages plaintiffs’ serious injury
cases from A-Z and reviews, investigates and              Delaware: It is illegal to
evaluates claims; analyzes and summarizes                 wear pants that are “firm fit-
voluminous medical records in every case,                 ting” around the waist.
including identifying evidentiary and causa-
tion issues; and prepares cases for settle-
ment, mediations and hearings, including                  Arkansas: The Arkansas
calculating damages, completing case                      River can rise no higher than
evaluation forms, preparing                               to the Main Street bridge in
demand packages, and                                      Little Rock.
drafting briefs.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/expertparalegal               North Dakota: It is illegal to
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/
lynnedevenny
                                                          lie down and fall asleep with
Email: lynne.devenny@gmail.com or                         your shoes on.
TheParalegalVoice@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Practical-
Paralegalism/44954125655blank.



 Check out MPA on Facebook and
 Twitter.
 http://www.facebook.com/
 MSParalegals?ref=ts&v=wall

 https://twitter.com/MSParalegals

                                                     22
Paralegal Pûblicum        Volume 2011 Issue 4




                     23
   Paralegal Pûblicum                                               Volume 2011 Issue 4


Plastic Surgery and Legal Issues
Health Articles | September 16, 2011


Doctors that perform plastic surgery are the
most likely physicians to get sued.
In the United States of America, it’s no
secret that we live in a very legal society in
which one person is bound to sue their
neighbor at the drop of a hat. The amount of
money tied up in legal proceedings and
exorbitant judgments handed to claimants
fuels this process across the country and in
many places around the world.
Unfortunately, the medical sphere of prac-
tice is not immune from these legal proceed-      There are many things that can – and
ings, legitimate or otherwise. It doesn’t seem    do – go wrong. If your physician does
to help that there is no current cap on many      not do an adequate job of warning you
of the types of medical malpractice trials that   about all of the side effects and risks,
are brought to court. Some patients               he or she may legally be on the hook
genuinely deserve to be compensated for           for results that you do not like. Fu-
their suffering. But many are simply out to       ture medical bills or revisions are
make a quick buck at the expense of a             often left up to the patient. In turn,
physician’s malpractice insurance.                they may try to be compensated for
Plastic surgery is no different than any other    these extra expenses by taking the
form of medicine in the legal courtroom these     physician and their malpractice
days. In fact, a recent study by Modern           company to court.
Medicine indicated that physicians who per-       And yet, no matter what specialty you
form elective cosmetic procedures are much        are inArticle Submission, there are
more likely that other physicians to be sued      several fundamental principles that
by their patients.                                help all physicians avoid being sued.
The data was filed from a major national          One of the first and foremost is the
                                                  development of a positive and open
malpractice insurance company and
                                                  relationship with your patient. A
indicated that plastic surgeons have a 99%        relationship in which the patient feels
chance of being sued by the time they retire      their concerns and questions are
at age 65. Other fields of medicine that are      being heard as well as addressed is
highly sought after in court cases include        one in which the patient is less likely to
neurosurgery, thoracic cardiovascular             sue for plastic surgery gone wrong.
surgery, general surgery, and orthopedic
                                                  Article Tags: Plastic Surgery
surgery. These top five sued specialties          Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFacto-
represent very high-risk areas of medicine,       ry.com ABOUT THE AUTHOR Looking to en-
                                                  hance your figure? Contact a Baltimore plas-
but also areas in which satisfaction with         tic surgery professionalwho is experienced in
results can often be subjective. Such is the      giving patients satisfied results. Take a look at
case of plastic surgery gone wrong. The           before and after photos from one professional
                                                  here: http://www.rottmanplasticsurgery.com
risks of adverse events or irregular results
with this type of elective cosmetic surgery is
about as long as you arm.                    24
    Paralegal Pûblicum                                              Volume 2011 Issue 4

                         Paralegal Member Spotlight
                               Suzanne Faison
How long have you been a working Paralegal?

  I began working in the legal field in 1985. I worked for about 25 years as a
  paralegal. In 2010, I decided to stay home for a while and that lasted about 14
  months. I accepted a position as a senior legal secretary in August 2011. A lot of
  my duties are paralegal in nature.

What gets you excited for work and/or what do you enjoy most about your job?

  I really enjoy helping people.

What activities do you spend the majority of your time on during most work days?

  In the past, I traveled to trials and depositions all over the country. It was a lot of
  hard work, but I did enjoy traveling to places I had never been…at least I can say,
  I’ve been there. Most days it consisted of traveling from the airport, to the hotel,
  to the deposition, to the airport. However, it was fun to say I had been there.
  With my current position, it’s just me and two attorneys so I do a little bit of
  everything.

What advice would you give to Paralegals who are just starting out in their career to
help them be successful?

  A great paralegal told me one time that if I was absent one day and someone else
  could walk up to my desk and pick up where I left off then I was successful. It has
  taken me years to digest what she meant. I think she meant the following: (1) be
  organized; (b) be methodical; (c) be willing to help others and more importantly,
  accept help from others; and (d) be professional.

What surprised you most about working as a Paralegal that you did not expect
when you first started in this field?

  I was amazed at how many pieces of paper can relate to a single subject.

What advances or technology do you feel will impact the future of the Paralegal
profession?

   When I started out, I had a Selectric 2 typewriter and used carbon paper to
   create copies of documents. The first word processing machine I saw took up
   space which is the equivalent of a cubical now. I remember attending a MALA
   seminar on this thing called the internet and how everyone at the meeting was
   doubtful that would be useful. Technology will always impact the delivery of
   legal services and paralegals must always stay apprised of the latest and
   greatest!
                                             25
Paralegal Pûblicum                                              Volume 2011 Issue 4

               Paralegal Student Member Spotlight
                Eliot Sanford—Mississippi College
Why did you decide on paralegal studies?
My senior year at Mississippi State University, I grew increasingly interested in
going to law school. I graduated from MSU in the spring of 2011 and took the
LSAT in June. I didn’t get a high enough score to gain entrance into law school.
I wanted to confirm whether I truly wanted to become a lawyer, and at this
point, the paralegal field came to my attention. In job outlook surveys, I saw that
paralegals are high in demand for the years to come, but more importantly, I
saw becoming a paralegal as helpful toward my long-term goal of becoming a
lawyer because of the exposure to the law and the income I could gain before
going to law school. I prayed about the decision and sought advice from profes-
sors, family, and friends. Still a little unsure, I joined the program at MC with the
idea that I would take it a week at a time, and I have yet to regret my choice.
This semester has been the best I’ve ever done in school, and it has been the
most motivated and most mature I have ever been with my studies. I’m hoping
to complete a 4.0 semester this next week. I’ve found my purpose and calling
from the Lord, and I’m so thankful for the support from my loved ones.

What area of law would you like to work in and why?
I know of a few areas that I would not want to engage in, such as divorces and
medical malpractice, but nailing down one specific area is still tough for me. I
don’t know exactly what I want to go into currently, but with some experience I
think I will gain a better understanding. One area that is very interesting to me
is public interest. I would love to work as a public interest paralegal or lawyer.
Even though the pay might be tremendously lower than other areas of law, I
have a passion to help the marginalized, especially the indigent versus the af-
fluent. My values that I developed in my childhood taught me that it is the duty
of those with skills and affluence to help those less fortunate. Whenever, I see
needy people being exploited by anyone, I naturally run to help those exploited
people. If people are in legal troubles and don’t have a proper way to defend
themselves, then I would love to help that person in need however I possibly
can. I thrive in situations where I know that the work that I do goes to help peo-
ple in need. As Luke’s Gospel can attest, to whom much has been given, much
is expected. I don’t want to look back on my life with the regret that I could have
done more for my neighbor.

If you could ask a working paralegal one question, what would you ask?
I suppose I would direct my question to paralegals and lawyers, but it would be
similar. If you could start over your education and legal career in the position
that I’m in today with the difficulty many lawyers and paralegals face job
searching, would you still go to paralegal school and/or law school? I’m finding
that some paralegals and lawyers wouldn’t go to legal schools if they were in
my shoes because finding a job has been so tough. Plus, many graduates are
now up to their eyes in debt for the next 40 years. I want to know how I can pur-
sue my goals without going into debilitating debt.

                                         26
                                                                          Continued on page 27
Paralegal Pûblicum                                              Volume 2011 Issue 4

                   Paralegal Member Spotlight
               Eliot Sanford—Mississippi College

Where do you see yourself in the paralegal field 10 years from now?
If I became a lawyer, then I may not be in the paralegal field per se, but I would
love to work for a defense firm that either allowed me to work as much pro bono
as possible or at all times be focused on worthy defense cases. Once I find the
area that intrigues me, then I’ll move into that area, but for now, I’m leaving that
unknown open to be figured out in the near future. I would love to be working at
a fun and fast-paced firm. No matter where I end up, I want to make a positive
impact in people’s lives through the legal services that we provide.

What innovation do you think will transform working paralegals daily tasks?
I have had a wonderful opportunity to work as an intern under Public Infor-
mation Officer Beverly Kraft, and the experience has provided me connections
with many wonderful people at the Supreme Court of Mississippi. I learned
about innovations of the court first hand from Chief Justice Bill Waller, and I
know that the electronic filing system in this state will forever revolutionize the
collaboration among the state courts. Any legal professional will benefit greatly
from the seamless access that will be available. The technology will only contin-
ue to improve and soon a research project that would have taken days or even
weeks to track down a file or a case, might take a few clicks of a mouse. Yes,
there will be some hiccups and growing pains along the way, but it’s an exciting
time for digital filing.

Lastly, I would personally like to thank Chief Justice Waller and Dean Jim Ros-
enblatt at Mississippi College School of Law for the opportunity to intern at the
Administrative Office of Courts. The hands-on experience of my internship
taught me more than any traditional classroom could have ever taught me.
Dean Rosenblatt challenged me to follow up with the Chief Justice for the posi-
tion. With that challenge, he sparked a determination in me that had been lack-
ing. I’m truly appreciative of these two people, and even happier that I followed
up.



                                         Left to right: Eliot Sanford, Tricia
                                         Nelson, ACP (Director at Mississippi
                                         College), Karen Greer McGee, ACP
                                         (NALA President), Barry Campbell,
                                         J.D. (instructor at Mississippi
                                         College).




                                         27
   Paralegal Pûblicum                                                 Volume 2011 Issue 4




                        Announcements
         The University Club will be closing its doors on December
         31, 2011. Therefore, MPA will be moving its membership
         meeting location. Our 2012 MPA membership meetings will
         be held at the The Hilton Garden Inn (formerly the King
         Edward Hotel), 235 W. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201.
         We are excited and delighted to have the opportunity to have
         our meetings at this facility. Mark your calendars! Our first
         membership meeting will be Thursday, January 26, 2012 at
         the Hilton Garden Inn (formerly the King Edward Hotel), 235
         W. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201. See you there.



   The Paralegal Pûblicum has a new game in this eZine
   edition called “Where’s the Gavel” . It works similarly to
   the game, Where’s Waldo; the first person to spot the
   Gavel and e-mail the editors gets a free MPA monthly
   membership luncheon.

   Find the Gavel today!                                             Congratulations Christy
                                                                     Roberts!
                                                                     She was the winner of the
   E-mail your answer to the editors Darleen        Dozier, CLA or   MPA 30th Anniversary
   Sarah L. O’Neal, ACP at ddozi-                                    Diamond Give-Away.


                                       If you have an
                                       items you
                                       would like
                                       announced ,
                                       please send
                                       your notice to
                                       the editors.

Paralegal Pûblicum will be publishing a special edition eZine entitled MPA Heritage.
If you have any information, pictures, insights, or snippets to share, please e-mail
the editors Darleen Dozier, CLA or Sarah L. O’Neal, ACP at ddozier@holmescc.edu
or sarah.oneal@youngwilliams.com.
                                               28
Paralegal Pûblicum                                      Volume 2011 Issue 4



                     MPA’s 30th Anniversary
                      Diamond Give-Away
                            Winner




                     Long-time MPA member, Christy Roberts,
                     was the winner of MPA’s 30th Ammiversery
                     Celebration Diamond Necklace Give-Away.




                                       29
   Paralegal Pûblicum                                                   Volume 2011 Issue 4

 MEMBERS NETWORK
 NEWS FORUM
 By: Cindy Mohon, CP, Wyatt,
 Tarrant & Combs, LLP
Pro Se, eh?

Pro se: For one’s own behalf; in person.
Appearing for oneself, as in the case of
one who does not retain a lawyer and ap-
pears for himself in court. Black’s Law
Dictionary, Abridged Sixth Edition

Does that sound like a good idea? Having        Additionally, they are more inclined to ask the court if
not had a lot of experience working with        they may proceed in forma pauperis. In so doing, the
pro se litigants prior to my current job, I     case becomes less expensive for them and they are
have found it very interesting, to say the      even more inclined to appeal if they lose.
least, dealing with individuals who have        Five tips on dealing with pro se litigants
chosen to represent themselves.
                                                Evan Loeffler of The Law Office of Evan L. Loeffler, in
Some pro se litigants do have a legal back-     his GPSolo Law Trends & News article, “Dealing with
ground, and others do not. Some have            Pro Se Litigants” stated, “Those who believe they
spent hundreds of hours studying the law        may simply run over a helpless pro se litigant will be
and may know more than a younger asso-          unpleasantly surprised by the results of the strategy.”
ciate. Some have made the choice out of         Loeffler follows five guidelines when his opposition is
financial necessity. Whatever the reason,       a pro se litigant.
the Courts often show some leniency to
pro se litigants because they are not as        Always be polite and respectful. Loeffler emphasizes
well-versed as attorneys with regard to         civility in all communications, even when a pro se is
proper procedure.                               rude or nasty. “The enraged pro se will be incented to
                                                file motions for sanctions, bar grievances and ap-
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 520 (1971)           peals,” he warns, noting that responding to these mo-
Plaintiff-inmate filed pro se complaint         tions takes up valuable time and resources.
against prison seeking compensation for
damages sustained while placed in solitary      Many lawyers assume that pro se litigants are incom-
confinement. In finding plaintiff's complaint   petent. “This is a dangerous and frequently incorrect
legally sufficient, Supreme Court found         assumption,” warns Loeffler.
that pro se pleadings should be held to
"less stringent standards" than those           Make your role clear. The pro se may ask questions—
drafted by attorneys.                           What should I say if I want to fight this? How do I re-
                                                spond to the summons and complaint?—that cross
That being said, pro se litigants are to        the line into asking for help. While lawyers can dis-
abide by the same procedural rules appli-       cuss the merits of a case, they should steer clear of
cable to those individuals represented by       discussions of civil procedure. Loeffler offers a sug-
an attorney. We have found that Mississip-      gestion for response:
pi District Court Judges vary in their will-
ingness to answer questions or help clari-      “My ethical duty as a lawyer requires that I make very
fy/ format a complaint. The “less stringent     clear my role in this matter. I represent the other side,
standards” which are sometimes applied          not you. I cannot and will not give you legal advice.
often depend on the Judge presiding over        You should get a lawyer. I will not refer a lawyer to
the case, but should not impede on the dig-     you.”
nity and respect that is required in the        30
courtroom.                                                                        Continued on page 31
Paralegal Pûblicum                                   Volume 2011 Issue 4


Don’t rely on using courtroom procedure to win the case. While pro
se litigants should be held to the same standards as lawyers, judges
often do not rigorously enforce the rule. “Judges are aware of the
high likelihood of pro se litigants appealing,” explains Loeffler.

They want the record to show that the case was resolved on the
merits despite the procedural irregularities caused by the pro se
party’s acts and omissions.”

Get everything in writing. Lawyers generally keep records of all their
communications relating to litigation, but it is especially important
when dealing with a pro se. “The lack of trust, coupled with the fact
that the pro se usually does not understand all the legal concepts
behind waiver, makes it difficult enough to settle,” says Loeffler.

“Proving that there was, in fact, a meeting of the minds by following
up with a letter or signed agreement makes a record the lawyer was
not ‘playing lawyer tricks.’”

Don’t take the pro se lightly. Many lawyers assume that pro se liti-
gants are incompetent. “This is a dangerous and frequently incor-
rect assumption,” warns Loeffler, indicating that pro se litigants can
be of varying degrees of competency. “Many pro se litigants are a
hell of a lot smarter and more experienced than you would think.”

“Dealing with Pro Se Litigants” appeared in the fall 2010 issue of
GPSolo Law Trends & News, a newsletter of the General Practice,
Solo and Small Firm Division.
                            ----------------------------------
                            He who is always his own counsel[or]
                            will often have a fool for his client.
                            [1809 Port Folio (Philadelphia) Aug. 132]

                            -What do you think?-

                            Cindy Mohon, CP
                            Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP




                                  31
Paralegal Pûblicum               Volume 2011 Issue 4



                Attorneys…law firms…
                      businesses
                   …take notice….

*MPA JOB BANK IS AVAILABLE*
                      TO YOU
The MPA Job Bank is only viewed by
MPA members. Instead of paying for
expensive advertising to attract quali-
fied paralegals and assistants, why not
advertise with MPA. Let MPA post your
job openings and contact information
on our Job Bank. Qualified applicants
will contact you and you can begin the
process of choosing your next employ-
ee. Give us a try!
Contact Darleen Dozier at
ddozier@holmescc.edu with
the information you want
posted.


                         32
Paralegal Pûblicum                              Volume 2011 Issue 4



                     MEMBER’S CORNER
         What is happening with MPA members?
                                          September’s Meeting




                                         October’s Meeting




                                33

      Did you “spot” yourself in a picture?
      Paralegal Pûblicum                                                                    Volume 2011 Issue 4


3 Key Differences Between Wrongful Death Attorneys & Criminal Lawyers
August 9, 2011

                       Did you know that a wrongful death attorney can win a case against the
                       same defendant who went unprosecuted as a murderer? Most families who
                       have lost loved ones due to criminal negligence don’t. Find out the
                       distinctions between wrongful death lawsuits and criminal murder trials.
                       Among the differences between cases tried by wrongful death attorneys
                       and those with criminal attorneys defending those accused of murder are
                       these three key features: the type of trial, the burden of proof, and the
                       determination of verdict and subsequent sentencing.

Type of Trial
While a murder or manslaughter investigation takes place in a criminal trial, wrongful death
attorneys deal with lawsuits in civil trials. A main difference between these two kinds of
cases is the prosecution. In a criminal trial in which the defendant is accused of any number
of criminal charges related to loss of life, such as murder, homicide, or manslaughter
(voluntary, involuntary, or vehicular). While criminal cases are brought to court on behalf of
a state or the United States, in civil cases, the prosecution is usually the victim’s family.
Regardless of the outcome of such a criminal case, the same defendant may be held
accountable in a civil case; the reason for this disparity is based on differing burdens of
proof.

Burden of Proof
In any criminal trial in the United States, the defendant is presumed to be innocent until
proven guilty. As a result, many jurors hang their heads as they deliver verdicts of “not
guilty,” not because they truly believe that the defendant is innocent, but because guilt has
not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. By contrast, in civil cases, the standard of
proof is more flexible, based on a “preponderance of the evidence,” which boils down to a
decent likelihood or more than a 50% chance of guilt. What is being proven is different, as
well: Wrongful death attorneys aim to prove that someone’s carelessness or conduct have
caused or contributed to a person’s death.

Determination of Verdict
The premise of a criminal murder trial is that if someone has committed murder, justice
should be served, in the form of jail time and/or the death penalty. If jurors determine the
verdict of “guilty,” the sentencing is up to the judge. By contrast, civil suits are based on the
premise that a person whose negligence or intentions have in some way contributed to a
death should, in some way, compensate the family or others who are suffering. The result in
such a case is not jail time but monetary reparations, and both the verdict of “responsible”
and the amount of compensation are set out by the jury.

Even though wrongful death attorneys and criminal lawyers may try the same person for the
same death, both the verdicts and the results of their time in court may be quite different,
indeed.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Take further action of your deceased loved one's death by hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney cleve-
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                                                             34
 Paralegal Pûblicum                                   Volume 2011 Issue 4


                      Second Annual Paralegal Day
                                 at
                         “STUFF THE TRUCKS”
                                 with
                                US 96.3
                                for the
                           Salvation Army’s
                          Angel Tree Program

MPA is excited to announce that we teamed up with Scott Steele and
US 96.3 again in 2011 for the Second Annual PARALEGAL DAY with
“Stuff the Trucks” Toy Drive for the Salvation Army Angel Tree
program. This is the third year for the “Stuff the Trucks” Toy Drive.
Paralegal Day “Stuff the Trucks” was held on Friday, December 2nd
from 9 AM to 8 PM. MPA’s truck and table was at the Toys R Us on
County Line Road in Ridgeland, MS.


For those of you that may not know about “Stuff the Trucks”: In 2009,
the Salvation Army parked an 18-wheeler in front of a different store
each day. Volunteers signed up to set up a table in front of each store
with stacks and stacks of Angels to be adopted. The volunteers
greeted shoppers, assisted people in finding the right Angel to adopt,
explained the Angel Tree program, and when the Angels are adopted,
and shoppers are finished shopping for their adopted Angel, they
bring their information and gifts back to the table to be loaded on the
truck!

MPA had many volunteers for the 2-hour shifts.
Holmes Community College MPA Student Members
were great! They have signed up to work from 9:00
AM to 1:00 PM. MPA and its volunteers helped
many Angels be adopted this year. They are sure
to have a great Christmas season thanks to MPA’s
efforts and its volunteer’s time and energy.


Happy Holidays to all!


                                   35
                                                                    Continued on page 36
         Paralegal Pûblicum                                          Volume 2011 Issue 4


                              Second Annual Paralegal Day
                                  at
                                  “STUFF THE TRUCKS”
                                          with
                                         US 96.3
                                         for the
                                    Salvation Army’s
                                   Angel Tree Program


                                                                  Darleen Dozier, CP
Rachel Nesbit MPA VP of Education, Julie                          Director of the Paralegal Studies
Craft and Melissa Summers with Baker                              At Holmes Community College




                                                              Volunteer Students from Holmes
 Volunteer Students from Holmes                               Community College
 Community College
                                           Dunbar Moore, Nes-
                                           bit kids, Stevie and
                                           Rusty, and Corgan
                                           Green



                                             MPA Sponsor—Merril
                                             Corp Rep and US 96.3
                                             Bryan



                                              36
 Paralegal Pûblicum                                         Volume 2011 Issue 4



Are You Reactive                                     Checklists must be updated
                                                     frequently, adding anything that
or Proactive?                                        was missed so it won’t be
                                                     forgotten the next time.
By: Vicki Voisin, ACP                                3. Goals. Proactive people hold
                                                     planning sessions with
The question is: are you                             themselves and set specific
reactive or proactive?                               goals for the future.
Reactive people have a tendency to              They not only put them in writing,
respond to things that happen, rather than      along with deadline dates, but they
making them happen. Their responses are         schedule time in their planners to
hasty. A term that might apply to their         actually work on them.
responses is "knee jerk".                       When you do this, you create your
Proactive people are always looking             own future rather than allowing
ahead. They focus on future activities,         unplanned events to dictate your
projects and events and then anticipate         future...to plan your future for you.
needs, problems and possible outcomes.          4. Long-range planning. Proactive
                                                people recognize that it’s never too
It is, of course, much better to be proactive   early to plan and that planning too
than reactive. Here are five tools you can      late results in crises and time
use to be proactive in almost any situation:    critical situations.
                                                You’ve heard it said that if the
1. Your Planner. Proactive people use           Titanic had turned sooner, it never
planners the way they are supposed to be        would have hit the iceberg. Small
used: to record future events and               adjustments made early avoid
scheduled activities.                           having to make big adjustments at
When you are able to view future events,        the last minute, possibly when it's
you can anticipate possible problems and        too late.
act before they occur. Just looking at an       5. Attitude. Proactive people
event, such as a meeting, in writing sets       recognize that attitude is their most
your mind thinking about things you will        important weapon in the battle to
need for that meeting. It doesn’t matter if     remain proactive.
you use an electronic planner or a paper        You have to have the right attitude
planner. What is important is that you use      or mindset to respond proactively.
it.                                             This means you don’t resent the
2. Checklists. Proactive people use             work you must do ahead of time to
checklists for all repetitive events or         be successful.
activities. Checklists are especially           For instance, proactive people jot
important for recurring activities you          down items for discussion before
encounter at work, such as performing           they make a telephone call or make
discovery, preparing for trial, and handling    a list of the things they need before
a real estate. They actually work well for      going to the supermarket. They
anything you do, including meeting              consult a map before taking a trip
planning, travel, conferences, workshops        and read the instructions before
and interviews.                                 assembling a book case.
                                       37

                                                Continued on page 38
      Paralegal Pûblicum                                                       Volume 2011 Issue 4



 Your challenge: "Proactive" means to act beforehand. Taking action in the pre-
 sent will influence things in the future, perhaps even the future itself.
 Practice those habits exhibited by proactive people: Think ahead. Set goals.
 Schedule time for activities. Plan daily. Use checklists. Review results. And
 continually make adjustments to improve future outcomes. Remember, there is
 power in being proactive.

 Dedicated to your success!
 Vicki
 Vicki Voisin, ACP
 Your Paralegal Mentor
 Ethics Expert, Speaker, Author
 Author of the forthcoming book Excellence Is An Attitude
 Contact me: support@paralegalmentor.com
 My website: www.paralegalmentor.com
 My blog: www.paralegalmentorblog.com

 Vicki Voisin, "The Paralegal Mentor", delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals
 to create success and satisfaction by achieving goals and determining the direction they will take their
 careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethics issues, and other areas of continuing
 education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes a weekly ezine titled
 Paralegal Strategies.




We want to hear from you. If you have an idea for
an article or a feature you would like to see in fu-
ture editions of the Paralegal Pûblicum, contact
the editors.




                                                            38
          Paralegal Pûblicum                                Volume 2011 Issue 4
                            2011 Fall Seminar and Vendor Fair
                                   In Partnership with the
                      Mississippi Association of Legal Administrators

2011 marks the largest Vendor Fair in
MPA history.




                                           39
Paralegal Pûblicum                                      Volume 2011 Issue 4
                     Vice President of Education

2011 was a                          Rachel Nesbit
phenomenal year
to be VP of Education! We have had some great
speakers and interesting topics this year and I am
thrilled to have been elected as VP of Education
again for 2012! Thank you for your continued
support. The Board is already at work lining up more
exciting CLE opportunities for 2012!

Thanks to all who participated in the Salvation Army “Stuff the Trucks”
event this year! Darleen Dozier and her paralegal students worked all
morning and afternoon shifts from 9am through 1pm! Julie Craft and
Melissa Summers with Baker Donelson showed that “Baker Cares” by
working the afternoon shifts and even staying late to help with the
tremendous response we were getting from those adopting angels.
Adam Jones with the Merrill Corporation, and Dee Haas and Ammi Gates
with Dubar Moore pressed through the chilly temperatures in the evening
getting angels adopted and loading that truck with gifts. Just so you all
know what a difference one person can make, please read the following
note of thanks from Scott Steele:

“On behalf of the Salvation Army, please accept my sincere thanks for
your time and efforts during the 2011 Angel Tree Toy Drive. “Thank You”
just seems so small compared to the miracle you helped provide. Thanks
to the time you spent in the rain, cold, and snow – every Angel was adopt-
ed and provided for. Not only was every Angel provided for, the Salvation
Army had such an over abundance of toys and clothes, they are able to
provide for the Vanguard House, a battered women’s shelter, and an
additional 300 foster children that weren’t even on the Angel Tree rolls.
Above and beyond the extra “Angels” the Salvation Army will provide for,
several law enforcement agencies have contacted the Salvation Army
this week to report domestic dispute situations where children were
being displaced. Those children are also being provided for.”

“The bottom line is this: You were part of a miracle. Thank you and may
God pour out his richest blessing on you and your family.”

Best regards,
Scott Steele, US 96.3 Country

What a tremendous outpouring of love our community has shown to these
underprivileged families. 2012 is going to be a great year for MPA, and I
am honored to be a part of it again for another year.
                                    40
Paralegal Pûblicum                                             Volume 2011 Issue 4


Mississippi College’s New
Online Options

Most of you are familiar with the Paralegal
Studies program at Mississippi College’s Clinton campus but few of you may
realize that the program now has some new online options.

Beginning in the fall of 2011, MC began offering the post-baccalaureate certifi-
cate (27 hours) in online. The program will continue to be offered in the tradi-
tional format with day and night classes and now there is the additional conven-
ience of online courses.

The main reason the program is able to offer more online classes is because
the program chose to drop its ABA accreditation. According to Tricia Nelson,
director of the program, most students attend Mississippi College because it is
a Christian environment, has a good reputation in the community and is close
to home (most students live within 80 miles of Clinton).

After consulting with MC’s ABA-accredited law school and other ABA approved
paralegal programs, the program chose to forgo the expense. “The reality of it
is we were gaining little to no benefit from being accredited. Other than label-
ing us ‘approved’ and charging us thousands of dollars per year and a lot of pa-
perwork, there was nothing. I can’t justify the expense in a normal economy,
much less the current economy”, stated Tricia Nelson, program director since
2009. Tricia has been teaching online courses since 2000 when the first online
classes were developed for community colleges through the Mississippi Virtual
Community College (MSVCC). “The ABA is behind the times, failing to recog-
nize the need for online courses in paralegal education. I need to offer stu-
dents what they need while maintaining MC’s known standard of excellence”.

In addition to offering the certificate in an online format, the Bachelor of Sci-
ence (B.S.) degree will also be offered in an optional online format beginning
fall 2012. The program will continue to offer traditional day and night classes
but with the addition of online classes the program will be able to meet the
needs of students who work and have families to care for.

“We’re thrilled to offer these new options in our program. We are now able to
target not only the traditional students but also individuals who are working in
law firms who want to take advantage of obtaining a B.S. in paralegal studies
and those who already have a four-year degree in another field who want to ob-
tain a paralegal education.”

For more information about the program, contact Tricia Nelson, ACP at 601-
925-3812 or e-mail TNelson@mc.edu.


                                        41
Paralegal Pûblicum                                  Volume 2011 Issue 4




                     NALA’S VISIT TO MPA
 By Lisa Taylor,
 Chairmen of the
 MPA Convention Committee

 The Mississippi Paralegal Association’s 30th Anniversary celebra-
 tion was a great success. We were honored to have Karen Greer
 McGee, ACP, President of NALA, as our special guest. Karen
 came to Mississippi and met with several members of the MPA
 Board and NALA Convention Committee for dinner on Wednes-
 day, October 26, 2011. The following day, Karen started out by
 visiting with Darlene Dozier and students at Holmes Community
 College. The students were excited to hear Karen’s news about a
 student scholarship program sponsored by Delmar Learning.

 Ms. McGee’s next stop was to speak at our annual luncheon. She
 specifically discussed how advanced our organization is with re-
 gard to membership, leadership and technology. She pointed out
 that we have one LEAP graduate (Sarah ONeal) and one going in-
 to the new year’s training program (Zenda Heafner). She pointed
 out that our leadership excels and represents our organization
 well – something that NALA has taken note of. She suggested
 that we keep the momentum going and work towards helping oth-
 er organizations grow. Karen also drew names for our 30th Anni-
 versary prizes. Longtime member, Christy Roberts, won the dia-
 mond necklace.
 On her final stop, Karen visited Tricia Nelson Easley, ACP and the
 students and Mississippi College. She continued to spread the
 message of NALA, MPA, and the news about a student scholar-
 ship program sponsored by Delmar Learning.

 On a final note, a dignitary of NALA has never before visited MPA.
 It is an honor and privilege to have been chosen for a visit. MPA is
 doing great things on behalf of its members, paralegals, the State
 of Mississippi, and the nation. We are very proud, we are Spread-
 ing Enthusiasm Fever everywhere we go, and to everyone we
 meet. “…and that’s the way we roll!”

                                 42
       Paralegal Pûblicum    MPA’s 30th Anniversary              Volume 2011 Issue 4

                                  Celebration!!

                            NALA’S VISIT TO MPA
                                             October 2011




   Lisa Taylor, Chairman of the MPA
   Convention Committee and Karen
   Greer McGee, ACP, President of
   NALA
                                             Back row Left to Right: Kim Pierce, CP, Kathy
                                             Mangum, Darleen Dozier, CP, Janie Boyd, CP, and
                                             Rachel Nesbit.
                                             Front Row Left to Right: Karen Greer McGee, ACP,
                                             Christy Roberts, Donna Alderman, ACP, and Bridget
                                             Breithaupt, CP.




Left to right: Eliot Sanford, Tricia
Nelson, ACP (Director at Mississippi
College), Karen Greer McGee, ACP
(NALA President), Barry Campbell,
J.D. (instructor at Mississippi
College).                                             Dignitaries from Holmes Community College
                                                      along with Darleen Dozier, CP, Karen Greer
                                                      McGee, ACP, President of NALA, and Jackie
                                                      Watkins.
                                        43
     Paralegal Pûblicum                                            Volume 2011 Issue 4



                                Student Essay Contest Winner

                                                  First Place

           Kimberly Blackstock—Holmes Community College
                                          Family Law
Introduction
Family Law consists of legal principles that define relationships, rights, and duties within
family units such as those created by marriage. Next to Criminal Law, Family Law is becoming
one of the more violent areas of law. There is an awareness that volatile emotions often exist
within families undergoing disintegration. People who perceive themselves as victims are at
times capable of lashing out against anyone involved in what they irrationally feel is an
unresponsive legal system. Attorneys and their staffs are not immune to this. To work within a
family law practice, a person needs compassion, flexibility, skill, and most importantly the
ability to handle a wide diversity of problems. While some cases are straightforward and
simple, many are not. Due to the perpetual change in society, anyone employed within the
scope of family law needs to become an expert in many areas of law and not just this one.
Plaintiff or Defendant
Deciding which side to work on in family law is not as easy as choosing plaintiff or
defendant. Most of the time it's which one walks through the door. I think that most people
employed in family law would like to think they are on the side of the victim but that is not
always the case. In divorce cases, it can be as easy as a joint complaint for irreconcilable
differences, which of course makes the attorney's and his or her staff's jobs a lot easier.
However, in other cases, divorce can get nasty. Just because one part initiates the divorce
does not mean they are the victim. In most cases, both parties see themselves as the victim.
When children are involved, it can make the case more problematic. Divorce is only one of the
many issues addressed in family law. For an attorney and his or her staff, which side of the
case they represent can vary from case to case.
Duties of a Paralegal
The duties of a paralegal can vary depending on the case and the attorney they are
working for. Generally, the paralegal's responsibilities are to assist the attorney through all
phases of the case, including drafting pleadings, investigating, assisting in discovery, and
most importantly to maintain a close relationship with the client. That is not where it ends for
most paralegals. A lot of times the paralegal conducts the initial Interview or will be present
with the attorney while he or she conducts the interview. This can be a very emotional and long
interview. A paralegal should show compassion and strength at the same time. This lets the
client know that the paralegal understands and cares about how he or she feels. It also shows
that the paralegal has the strength to assist the attorney in providing competent representa-
tion. A paralegal must be able to assess his or her bias and they need to be willing to listen to
the client. A paralegal should be objective when listening to a client and should be able to show
empathy. A paralegal can do just about anything the attorney can do; however, they cannot
give legal advice, cannot accept clients, cannot set fees, and cannot speak in court.
My choice to work in family law
I want to work in family law most importantly to help people. Choosing this area of law
                                             44
                                                                           Continued on page 45
   Paralegal Pûblicum                                               Volume 2011 Issue 4



is not about money for me; it's a personal choice based on my own life experiences. I
have met two different attorneys that have influenced my decision greatly. The first at-
torney had a very negative impact on me. He never listened to my story. He spoke to me
with contempt and reprimanded me like I was a child or an unintelligent adult. This of
course discouraged me from going forward with my case. The second attorney, howev-
er, had a very positive influence on me. I consulted with him on getting a divorce. I was
soon to find out that he was more interested in saving marriages then ending them. He
listened to my story and showed great compassion. This attorney gave me so much
more than just legal advice; he gave me hope of saving my marriage and reminded me of
my faith. Some people that know my story and all that I have been through argue that I
could not set aside my own bias and be objective. I completely disagree and intend to
prove them wrong. I think that everything that I have experienced has made me stronger
and more objective. I know to never judge a book by its cover and that everyone has a
story. Linda Ellis said it best in the "Dash" poem; "It doe s not matter how much we own;
the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend
our dash." She goes on to say, "if we could just slow down enough to consider what's
true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel." When all is said
and down it's not going to matter who you know or what you have it's the little things that
will make the difference. We never know how much of a difference we can make just sit-
ting and listening to what someone has to say.
Conclusion
Everyone choosing to work in the legal field has their area that is of interest to them.
Anyone considering family law does not need to go into it blindly. They need to be aware
of the toll it can take on anyone working within a family law practice. With everything I
have been through, all that I have seen and with all that I have learned my choice to seek
employment in family law grows stronger the closer I get to graduating. I am looking for-
ward to this new adventure in my life.

                           Student Essay Contest Winner

                                Second Place
                Angela N. Puckett—Holmes Community College
         The decision to work in the area of civil litigation just seems right for me.
Choosing the defense side would give me the opportunity to fulfill my passion of
helping people who have been falsely accused. Investigating and researching
are what I enjoy. I am a puzzle-person who enjoys searching for clues and
connecting the dots. Helping people receive justice and be treated fairly gives
me great satisfaction and self-worth. Some people don't like paperwork but that
is something I enjoy. My gift of organization is something I put to use in every
area of life. A protective spirit increases my attention to detail and lessens my
tendency to skip over issues. Putting my efforts into finding evidence and
witnesses to disprove allegations brought against a client is what I want to do.

                                                                       Continued on page 46
                                            45
     Paralegal Pûblicum                                               Volume 2011 Issue 4



         Becoming a paralegal will give me an opportunity to volunteer my time to people
who need legal assistance but don't have the means to pay for those services. Offering
my services will help me give something back to the community that will make a differ-
ence in the lives of others.
         As in any field, paralegals are a valuable asset to the attorney for which they work.
Paralegals coordinate the needed tasks, along with having many
other responsibilities. Investigation includes interviewing witnesses, taking statements,
gathering evidence, and creating facts chronologically. Expert testimony from witnesses
is needed and this is an area where a paralegal's personal contact skills are put to use.
As a paralegal, confidentiality and ethics playa major role in all cases accepted by the
office.
         Working on the defense side, the paralegal would work with the client by
investigating allegations. A paralegal spends much of the time indexing discovery, gath-
ering information from factual, relevant sources, and reviewing and analyzing docu-
ments and readying them for presentation during trial. Communication and organization
are invaluable skills for a paralegal at pre-trial. Being an effective contact person be-
tween the client and other parties involved in a case is an important responsibility a par-
alegal must master.
         When a case goes to trial, the paralegal is the right hand for the attorney.
Paralegals organize exhibits, documents and evidence, assist in preparing witnesses,
and research prospective jurors. A paralegal must be willing and able to assist the attor-
ney with any duties that arise during the trial. Anything I recognize as something I can do
to assist the attorney to save time is being a team player.
         Many television shows portray a courtroom trial as dramatic and intense. Civil liti-
gation tends to be less dramatic and emotional and more of a presentation of facts. Many
civil litigation cases are settled out of court with both parties coming to an agreement. A
skill in mediation is extremely valuable in this field. Where the settlement is concerned, a
paralegal is involved in creating appropriate drafts and releases, and preparing all nec-
essary information for the attorney and client. Appeals are not always sought but appro-
priate identification of issues need to be provided for an appeal.
         Not only are my professional skills in the work environment a reflection on my em-
ployer, but also is the manner in which I conduct myself outside the office. I would strive
to become an invaluable asset to my firm and work to the best of my ability to achieve
the desired results for the clients we represent.

                                                                               About.Com.LegaICareers
                                                                                           Civil Litigation
                                                                         http://LegaICareers.about.com
                                                                               About.Com.LegalCareers
                                                                     The Role of the Litigation Paralegal
                                                                         http://LegaICareers.about.com




                                               46
     Paralegal Pûblicum                                              Volume 2011 Issue 4



               Student Essay Contest Winner

                  Third Place
      Rachel Lowery-University of Southern Mississippi
       There are many areas of law in which paralegals become associated with. An
area of law that can be very compelling, heartfelt, and difficult to be a part of is family
law. Family law is affiliated with many issues such as divorce, child custody, child
support, domestic disputes and abuse, and very hard situations such as child abuse,
child advocacy, and fostering. My main interests if I were to work for an attorney who
handles mostly family matters would be child abuse and treatment. In family law,
paralegals will face many different challenges when it comes to certain cases, but in a
child's case, it must be handled more gently. There are many reasons why a child may
enter a courtroom, but if a child is abused, neglected, or maltreated in any way, parale-
gals must understand to treat them differently than any other client because being
abused as a child can be detrimental to the rest of their lives. It is the job of paralegals
as well as attorneys to they seek the best treatment for children and to do their best to
reduce the growing statistics of abused children.
       According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration
for Children and Families website, millions of children are physically, emotionally, and
sexually abused, neglected and maltreated around the United States. Physical abuse
can include any unnecessary means of punishment that cause an over excessive
amount of pain and suffering that may amount to bruises, scratches, whelps, or any in-
juries that are detrimental to a child's well-being. Sexual abuse can be sexual exploita-
tion or actual contact such as touching and fondling. Emotional abuse can be a variety
of things, for example, name calling, and it can also be a form of neglect that may
cause depression or sadness and can make children feel unloved or unwanted. Many
abused children are in need of foster care, and other children who may not be abused
but are just orphaned are also in need of foster care, but because of such heavy work-
load, the system is subject to moving very slow at times (Sebelius). Children also have
a different perception of time as adults do, so in order to care for the children and give
them what they need most to escape harmful situations, the court system must move
as fast as possible. If a child is being abused in the home and they are awaiting trial, for
example, it may seem like years go by when a child is in desperate need of escape.
       According to Albright v. Albright, 437 So.2d 1003, decided by the u.s. Supreme
Court in 1983, the goal of family law when it comes to children is to protect the "best
interest of the child." Children need to be protected because they are vulnerable; they
need love, care, affection, shelter, food, clothing, and support. By law, children need
positive parental guidance. When a child is not receiving any of these factors, it is the
courts responsibility to provide this for them when given the chance. There are ways in
which the court can insure the protection of a child including the appointment of a
guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is typically an attorney who represents a child
and acts a best interest attorney for the child; however, a guardian ad litem does not
have to be an attorney, and can simply act as a child advocate. A guardian ad litem will
investigate a child's situation such as investigating their home and school to figure out
                                              47
                                                                    Continued on page 48
      Paralegal Pûblicum                                                        Volume 2011 Issue 4


what is in the child's best interest. The guardian ad litem will report to the Court, and many times
the guardian ad litem will find that the child may need foster care if situations are extreme to
where the child is unsafe in his or her own home. Many times the Court hopes for reunification
with the child and the parents or guardians if they have received proper treatment or rehabilita-
tion successfully, but other times the next step is to find the child a permanent foster home. In
any case, the goal is to protect a child's best interest, and child advocacy is an excellent way to
insure that children are getting the proper care they need even it means placing them with new
parents. Some children are dependent children who do not have a parent or guardian, and they
too have the right to a guardian ad litem to help them find a permanent home (Nored 2.2-2.25).
The objective is to remove children from abusive homes and place them in good homes with
good parents, and to find good homes for children who have no home at all.
        There are many responsibilities for paralegals who choose this area of law. Many of these
tasks can be very difficult but very rewarding especially dealing with children. Paralegals may
draft legal documents, investigate cases, talk to children, prepare motions, discoveries, or mem-
orandums, prepare for trial, summarize depositions, conduct research, and anything necessary
to assist the lawyers working on cases. Paralegals are very important in this area of law and they
must surpass competence and confidence to better their capability of insuring that clients re-
ceive the best treatment especially in a child's case which is to do what is best for that child. I
also would like to work for both the plaintiff's side and the defendant's side in order to educate
myself of what both sides are going through. If it is child custody case and the mother and father
are both seeking custody, if there is an abuse or maltreatment issue, I would absolutely not want
to defend an abuser, but if both parents equally love and care for the child properly, then I be-
lieve it is truly hard to choose who gets sale custody and they both deserve an equal defense. I
would also not want to be on the side that is defending a parent who uses drugs or alcohol, or
does anything to put a child in harm in any way. This is where paralegals can help investigate the
case and conduct research to provide all the information needed to help the Court decide what
is in the best interest of the child. This is also one of the main reasons why I am interested in this
area of law and this particular issue of children because I believe children should have a choice
and a chance to be free of an abusive home. I believe children should not have to be stuck in a
home with parents or guardians who do not care for them which is why children need an
advocate to help them find a solution.
        Abusing a child is one of the worst things a human can do in this world, and we all should
help and become involved in some way to insure that children are protected and are receiving
the proper care they deserve. There are many acts in which the Law attempts to insure child
protection such as the Child Abuse Protection and Treatment Act that was enacted in Mississippi
in 1974, along with many others. CASA volunteers also help the process of representing children
and help them free themselves of harmful situations. A paralegal could be a CASA member, who
is Court Appointed Special Advocates, and there are members all around the United States. Chil-
dren are abused, neglected, and maltreated every day and we must find some way to help to re-
duce these statistics. Child abuse will never disappear, but if we can find great homes for the
children we can help, that will be one less abused child. Paralegals in this field have many diffi-
cult responsibilities and job tasks but it can also be very rewarding especially if we can help a
child to be happy again and let them know that they will have a bright future.


Works Cited
1. Nored, Lisa S. Child Advocacy in Mississippi: Mississippi Practice Series.
ThomsonlWest: 2005,2.2-2.25.
2. Sebelius, Kathleen. U.S. Department ofHealth and Human Services.
"Administration for Children and Families." Date accessed: 7 October 2011
http://www.acf.hhs.gov./programs/cb/pubs/cm04/index.htm.




                                                                  48
Paralegal Pûblicum                                     Volume 2011 Issue 4



               We welcome articles on legal topics!
All articles should be no more than three pages in length in a 12
point font; preferably in Word (version 1997-2003), and sent via e-
mail to the editor.

Publications: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

By submission of any articles written, you grant approval to publish
in the MPA Newsletter and notification will be provided if the article
will publish in the issue prior to the publishing of the Newsletter. No
guarantees are made to publish articles submitted.

Any questions, articles or comments may be submitted to the Editor
via e-mail to ddozier@holmescc.edu or sa-
rah.oneal@youngwilliams.com.


               New study now available materials for the
                      Certified Paralegal Exam:




                                   49
Paralegal Pûblicum                              Volume 2011 Issue 4




                     CT & ASSOCIATES
                         TOM THOMASON

            Process Server for greater Jackson area
            * same day or next day service available
            * reasonable prices
            * no mileage charge for workmen’s comp
            * no mileage charge within Jackson city limits
            * five years experience
       Email: cta1@bellsouth.net Cell: 601-826-0658
       CT & Associates is an affiliate of Mississippi
       Paralegal Association, Inc.




                         Advertisers




                               50
Paralegal Pûblicum                 Volume 2011 Issue 4


                     Advertisers




                          51
Paralegal Pûblicum                                             Volume 2011 Issue 4




                 Advertising Opportunities
                              Business Card
                        $25 Per Issue. $75 Per Year.

                                  1/8 Page
                        $35 Per Issue. $105 Per Year.

                     1/4 Page-Bronze Level Sponsorship
                        $45 Per Issue. $135 Per Year

                     1/2 Page-Silver Level Sponsorship
                       $55 Per Issue. $165 Per Year.

                      Full Page-Gold Level Sponsorship
                     $65.00 Per Issue. $180.00 Per Year.




New 2012 MPA Membership Regions Map


                                             Northern Region




                                             Central Region




                                            Southern Region




                                     52
Paralegal Pûblicum                                          Volume 2011 Issue 4




                                MPA REGIONS


NORTHERN REGION: Attala, Bolivar, Carroll, Choctaw, Clay, Grenada, Holmes,
Humphreys, Leflore, Lowndes, Montgomery, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Sunflower,
Washington, Webster, Winston, Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Coahoma,
DeSoto, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Marshall, Monroe, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss,
Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Tunica, Union and Yalobusha
counties.

CENTRAL REGION: Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Copiah, Franklin, Hinds, Issaquena,
Jefferson, Kemper, Lauderdale, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Neshoba, Newton, Pike,
Rankin, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Warren, Wilkinson and Yazoo counties.


SOUTHERN REGION: Clarke, Covington, Forrest, Jones, Jasper, Jefferson Davis,
Lawrence, Lamar, Marion, Perry, Walthall, Wayne, George, Greene, Hancock,
Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, Clarke, Covington, Forrest, Jones, Jasper,
Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lamar, Marion, Perry, Walthall and Wayne counties.



                     2011 MPA Board of Directors

         Donna Alderman, ACP          President
         Rachel Nesbit                VP of Education
         Kathy Mangum                 Secretary
         Kimberly Pierce, CP          Treasurer
         Steven Jones                 VP New Membership
         Zenda Heafner, CLA           VP Established Membership
         Sarah L. O’Neal, ACP         NALA Liaison
         Janie Boyd, CP               Student Liaison
         Bridget Breithaupt, CP       Region I Director
         Darleen Dozier, CLA          Region II Director
         King Farris, CP              Region III Director
         Sharon Gowan                 Region IV Director
         Darleen Dozier, CLA          Region V Director




                                      53
Paralegal Pûblicum                                              Volume 2011 Issue 4

Paralegal Pûblicum is the official publication of the Mississippi Paralegal
Association, Inc. (“MPA”). It is designed to serve the needs and interests of
paralegals in the State of Mississippi. Paralegal Pûblicum is edited for the
members of MPA. Publishing and editorial decisions are based on the editors’
judgment of the writing, the timeliness of the articles, and the potential interest
of the readers.

The views and comments expressed in Paralegal Pûblicum are those of the
individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of MPA. No
endorsement of those views should be inferred unless specifically identified as
the official policy of MPA.

Paralegal Pûblicum exercises reasonable care in accepting advertising from
reputable firms and individuals. However, information concerning the products
and services advertised is provided by the advertisers. Paralegal Pûblicum
makes no representation as to the validity of the information or the suitability of
advertised products and services for particular uses. Paralegal Pûblicum
and MPA are not liable for misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints in
the advertisements.

Paralegal Pûblicum is published quarterly with issues in the Spring, Summer,
Fall, and Winter.

Editorial:
Mississippi Paralegal Association, Inc.
P. O. Box 996
Jackson, Mississippi 39205

Editors:
Darleen Dozier, CLA
Sarah L. O’Neal, ACP


Contributing Committees:
Newsletter
Public Relations
Professional Development



To submit an article for publication, send it
to the editors Darleen Dozier, CLA or
Sarah L. O’Neal, ACP at ddozier@holmescc.edu or
sarah.oneal@youngwilliams.com. Reprints of any
content contained in this eZine is prohibited except by
MPA permission only.



                                          54

				
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