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                                              SNAP SHOT
  Sierra Nevada Association of Paralegals                               February 2007
     Visit our web site at
             Inside This Issue:
                                                    PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
   Editor’s Note ………. 2
   Paralegal Day News & Registration ……… 3
   Annual Seminar/Mock Trial News &           Let me start this month’s message to our
          Registration ………………………… 4           membership with a big “Thank You” to our new
   Getting to Know You-Amy Hodgson ……... 5    Governor, Jim Gibbons, and his staff. The
   NALA News …………………… 6                       Governor      has     signed         a    Proclamation
   Notary Class……………………….7
   Washoe Library Info. ……………….. 8
                                              designating February 20, 2007 as Paralegal Day
   SNAP Meeting Minutes …………………8              for the State of Nevada. You can view the actual
   SNAP Officers & Contact Info…………….12       Proclamation:
   Job Bank ……………………………………..13                02-20ParalegalDay.htm.

                                              Paralegal Day has become an annual event in
          SNAP Calendar-in-Brief
                                              Nevada and we look forward to celebrating our
   February 8, Thursday, 12 noon              profession on the 20th of this month.
   Executive Committee, McDonald Carano
   All members welcome                        As I reflect back on my professional career as a
                                              Paralegal, I always find myself thinking about
   February 20, Tuesday, 11:30-1:30
   Annual Paralegal Day Lunch Celebration
                                              the early days of our association and the
   Airport Plaza Conf. Center, Reno           creation of SNAP. We had some very exciting
                                              meetings prior to the official organization of
   March 6, Tuesday, 12 noon                  SNAP, but eventually we settled down into a
   Executive Committee, McDonald Carano       very effective group. Those meetings were very
   All members welcome
                                              difficult and emotional for many of us, but the
   March 30, Friday, 9-4:30
   SNAP Annual Seminar with Mock Trial                                     (Continued on Page 2)
   Second Judicial District Court, Reno

     ALERT! Send in your registrations ASAP for Feb. 20 Paralegal Day & for March 30
      Mock Trial Seminar. Flyers with registration forms are at
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE             (Continued from Page 1)

end result was just the beginning of many years of success for SNAP as Northern
Nevada’s organization for the support and promotion of the paralegal profession. I’d
like to extend a special “Thank You” to SNAP’s inaugural Board, and, in particular,
Janet Stoddard who organized those initial meetings in late 1988 and early 1989.

Along with the Presidency come certain liberties. Today I’m taking the liberty of
being the nag! Did you send in your Registration Form for Paralegal Day, February
20, 2007? This is going to be an exciting event with a completely new format, so don’t
miss out on this wonderful luncheon honoring our profession! Did you send in your
Registration Form for SNAP’s Annual Seminar featuring a Mock Trial? We have
limited seating. Links to both flyers with registration forms are right here:

so don’t delay! Print the forms, pick up your pen, complete them and send in ASAP, as
the seats are filling up.

January’s meeting was very informative and I’d like to send a special “Thank You” to
the speaker Darcy K. Houghton, Esq. for sharing her wealth of information and
knowledge about estate planning with us.

I look forward to seeing all of you on the 20th for Paralegal Day and again on March 30
for SNAP’s Mock Trial Seminar. As always, feel free to email me at any time with
thoughts or suggestions for SNAP activities. I can be reached at:

Laura A. Carlson, CP

Editor’s Note: Paralegal Exams – History & Test Tips

The current issue of Legal Assistant Today has a marvelous article on the various
paralegal exams (sort of compare-and-contrast), including test-taking tips. View
article at

The oldest exam is NALA’s CLA exam created in 1976. NFPA’s Paralegal Advanced
Competency Exam was created in 1994. NALS has offered various exams in the legal
field since 1960, and in 2004 added one specifically for paralegals – the Professional
Paralegal exam. The article discusses the exams and available study aids in great
detail and also addresses the apprehensions some may have about “Going For It!”

               DAY, Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons has proclaimed February 20, 2007 as Paralegal Day
for Nevada. SNAP invites all area attorneys and their Paralegals, Legal Assistants,
and Legal Secretaries to join in a celebratory luncheon.

Attorneys can publicly express their gratitude for the contributions of these valuable
people by:

      Submitting their names for publication inThe Writ, along with the attorney’s and
       firm’s name

      Submitting a brief account of how one of these valuable persons has “Saved the
       Day” for you and/or your clients to by February

      Inviting them to join you for lunch for Paralegal Day on February20.

                   Highlights of the lunch celebration

            Sharing of selected “Paralegal Saves the Day” stories

           Guest Speaker - The Honorable Judge Valerie P. Cooke

 11:30 – 1:30 at the Airport Plaza Conference Center, 1981 Terminal Way, Reno, NV
           Lunch price of $30 per person includes free Honor Roll Listing

  Mail the Registration Form (go to brochure with form via link below), with payment,
 indicating attendance, menu preferences, and names for the Honor Roll, by Feb. 10.

               FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007

                          A MOCK TRIAL
         Opening Statements to Verdict – Jury Trial of an actual case

              Presiding Judge: The Honorable Robert H. Perry
                Defense Counsel: William H. Ginsburg, Esq.
                 Plaintiff Counsel: Michael E. Sullivan, Esq.
             Jury will be comprised of volunteer SNAP members



                          9 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
                        75 Court Street, Dept. 9
                              Reno, NV

         SNAP Members $95 Non-members $125 Attorneys $150
            Payment must be included with Registration Form

  Register early – seating is limited. Download flyer with Registration Form:

             Getting to Know You …… Amy Hodgson
       When I was 21, I decided I would prove everybody wrong who said that I couldn’t survive
without Mom and Dad being nearby to bail me out. I moved from Reno to South Dakota, but after one
“mild” winter (Since when is -10 degrees considered mild?), I figured I had punished myself enough,
and moved back home.

       I enrolled at Morrison University, thinking I would major in computer information systems. I
needed a job while a student – preferably one that didn’t involve fast food, retail, or casinos. My
mother had a friend who knew of two attorneys who were looking for a receptionist. I was incredibly
nervous about the interview because all I knew about the legal profession was how to file and make
photocopies, which I had done as a child when my mom worked for an attorney. Keith Ching and
Louis DiDonato had a different approach. I had no legal experience; therefore I had no bad habits they
had to break me of! They could train me the way they wanted. After two weeks of answering the
phones, scheduling appointments and filing, I went to Mr. Ching and Mr. DiDonato begging them to
give me more to do. And so started my fascination with the legal system. I changed my major to
paralegal, and have never looked back!

       After working for Mr. DiDonato and Mr. Ching, I tried my hand working for personal injury
attorneys, but I realized this was not the type of law I wanted to work in forever. I quit my second
personal injury firm job because I was moving to Florida.

       In Florida, I got a job as a scheduling secretary for a law firm in Fort Meyers. The attorneys
primarily practiced workers compensation law. As time went on, I was able to start drafting some of
the reports for the review hearings for them. Later, I held various positions with Lee County’s
Guardian Ad Litem Program. I learned about the program and got to know the volunteer guardians. (In
Reno/Sparks/Carson City, the Guardian Ad Litem Program is known as CASA – Court Appointed
Special Advocates.) I became involved in the recruitment and training of volunteers. Of all the jobs
I’ve had, working for the Guardian Ad Litem Program was one of my favorites, and the one I found to
be the most fulfilling. I was (indirectly) making a difference in an abused child’s life. In my opinion,
nothing could be more important.

       In May 2001 I moved back to Reno, interviewed with Gary Silverman, and the rest is history.
After hopping from one type of law to another, at Silverman, Decaria & Kattelman I have found one I
truly enjoy – Family Law. Again, I feel that I am making a difference. My job gives me the
opportunity to help others through the roughest part of their adult life – the end of their marriage.

        Since moving back to Reno, I have met and married my Prince Charming, and we are expecting
our first child (a girl) in April.

                                                                   -----Submitted by Amy Hodgson

   Would you like us to Get To Know You better? You may volunteer a brief
 biography for the newsletter. Submit to Newsletter Editor, Gloria Jaureguy, at

                                     NALA NEWS

                    NALA Annual Convention in New Orleans

 The 32nd Annual Convention of NALA will be held July 11-14, 2007, at
Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.
   An ambitious agenda of educational programs, business meetings and
    social gatherings—along with the popular exhibition of vendors—has
  been planned by the NALA Continuing Education Council. For complete
           information go to

                                UPCOMING NALA DATES

                  March 23-24, 2007          CLA Exam
                  May 15, 2007               Deadline for application for
                                             July CLA Exam
                  July 11-14                 NALA Annual Convention
                  July 20-21, 2007           CLA Exam

                            Visit the NALA website

       View the latest issue of the Affiliates Brief at

    Please submit by the 28 of each month to your newsletter editor:

Check our website at for upcoming events, and links
to great legal sites.

                               NOTARY TRAINING CLASS

                   Friday, March 9, 2007
                        8:30 – 3:00
 Carson City Nugget, 507 North Carson Street, Carson City,

                                Registration form at

                           WASHOE COUNTY LAW LIBRARY
                       75 Court Street, Room 101, Reno, NV
                                  (775) 328-3250

                                      February            2007
                                          Library Hours
                             Monday to Thursday             8 am to 9 pm
                             Friday                         8 am to 5 pm
                            Saturday & Sunday               10 am to 5 pm

  Presenting Your Small Claims Case: Justice Court Procedures.
   Speaker is the Honorable Barbara K. Finley. To be held on
 Thursday, February 22 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm in the R.Z. Hawkins
 Conference Room at the Law Library, Washoe County Courthouse,
75 Court Street, Room 101 in Reno, Nevada. To reserve a space,
                     please call 328-3250.
CLOSED on all legal holidays listed in NRS 236.015 and on Easter Sunday. PARKING
on Virginia or Court Streets (metered parking), or use Gallery parking lot at
corner of First/Sierra (parking fee).

Check the website to find free programs available to
the public such as Legal Seminars, legal links, and much other information.

                                  MINUTES OF THE SNAP
                              GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
                                     January 16, 2007

The meeting was called to order by President Laura Carlson at 12:06 p.m. at Black Bear Restaurant in
Reno. A quorum was present.

President’s Report

President Laura Carlson announced that a Nomination Committee for new SNAP officers is being
formed. Nominees and committee members are being solicited.

Laura advised that the deadline for submitting payments for attendance at Paralegal Day will be
extended to February 10, 2007. Paralegal Day brochures will be distributed next week. Please
encourage your bosses to attend. Format changes were briefly discussed to streamline the event.

First Vice President Christi Saito was unable to attend the meeting.

Second Vice President/Website Manager Crystal Huss had no report.

Secretary Melissa Paschal reported that we have one substitute speaker for the Mock Trial seminar.
Nevada State Bar Counsel, Rob Bare, our ethics speaker, was recently appointed a judge in municipal
court in Las Vegas and is therefore unable to speak at our seminar. Acting Bar Counsel, David A.
Clark, Esq., has agreed to replace Mr. Bare. The flyers will have to be changed to include Mr. Clark’s
bio information and photo, so the flyers will not go out the first week in January as we had hoped, but
will be distributed as soon as possible.

Treasurer Jennifer Grundy reported that as of December 31, 2006 there is $12,448.75 in the general
fund and $5,565.49 in the scholarship fund.

Social Activities Chair Misty Taylor reported that Paralegal Day honorees’ names will be published in
the program for the event and not each individually announced. Paralegal Saves the Day stories will
also be published in the program. More submissions were encouraged.

Other officers’ reports were waived due to time constraints.

Gloria Jaureguy introduced the guest speaker, her former employer, Darcy K. Houghton, Esq., who
gave an interesting and educational speech regarding estate planning. Ms. Houghton encouraged
everyone to establish an estate plan regardless of the size of your estate. Up to 80% of your IRAs or
401K plans and 40% of your entire estate can go to taxes after your death with improper planning,
thereby reducing the inheritance of your children. Ms. Houghton also stressed that a durable power of
attorney for health care and a durable power of attorney for financial decisions, as well as a living will,
are important documents to include in your estate plan. Additionally, she recommended that you
discuss long-term care insurance with your family or an advisor. She distributed a helpful handout
entitled Basic Elements of a Good Estate Plan. Her e-mail address is if you
would like a copy emailed to you.

The minutes from the November 2006 general membership meeting were approved (there was no
December meeting, as we had the holiday party instead). There were no miscellaneous
announcements. With all business complete, the meeting adjourned at 1:07 p.m.

Melissa Paschal, CP

                                  MINUTES OF THE SNAP
                              EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
                                      January 3, 2007

The Executive Committee (EC) Meeting was called to order by President Laura Carlson at 12:07 p.m.
at McDonald Carano Wilson’s offices in Reno. A quorum was present. Those in attendance were:

Laura Carlson, CP, President
Christi Saito, ACP, First Vice President
Crystal Huss, Second Vice President/Website Manager
Melissa Paschal, CP, Secretary
Jennifer Grundy, CLA, Treasurer
Amy Hodgson, NALA Liaison
Kate Cline, CP, Parliamentarian
Gloria Jaureguy, Newsletter Editor
Misty Taylor, Social Activities Chair
Mary Ann Cushman, Student Liaison

President’s Report

President Laura Carlson advised that we had received a check from Sierra Legal Duplicating, Inc. for
the SNAP holiday party. It was discussed and decided to return the check to Evan as we had
previously voted to pay for any SLDI employees to attend the holiday party, since they do so much for

First Vice President’s Report

First Vice President Christi Saito reported that she is organizing the Northern Nevada Women’s
Lawyers joint meeting with SNAP for April 2007. She will request help as needed.

Second Vice President/Website Manager’s Report

Second Vice President Crystal Huss reported that we had received new SNAP membership
applications. She advised that she recently updated the membership roster and will forward it to
Melissa for the mailing labels for the Mock Trial flyers.

Crystal also sadly advised us that she will be resigning as website manager in the next SNAP election.
She has enjoyed her 2½ years as website manager, but can no longer commit the time necessary for the
position. She is hoping for several nominees at the next election.

Secretary’s Report

Secretary Melissa Paschal reported that we have one substitute speaker for the Mock Trial seminar.
Nevada State Bar Counsel, Rob Bare, our ethics speaker, was recently appointed a judge in municipal
court in Las Vegas and is therefore unable to speak at our seminar. Acting Bar Counsel, David A.
Clark, Esq., has agreed to replace Mr. Bare. The flyers will have to be changed to include Mr. Clark’s
bio information and photo, so the flyers will not go out the first week in January as we had hoped.
Melissa volunteered to do the announcements at the seminar and asked if any other SNAP officers
wished to fill that role. No one indicated their desire to announce the speakers and oversee the seminar
so Melissa will handle those functions. She will also type up the order forms for DVD sales.

The mailing list for the Mock Trial flyers was discussed again. Melissa indicated that she would type
the mailing labels for the flyers and include all the law firms on the Law Firms pages of the Washoe
County Bar Directory. She further indicated that each SNAP member would receive their own
personally addressed color copy of the flyer. The revised flyer will be emailed to Kate for PDF color
conversion and forwarded to Crystal to place on the website. Reno/Carson Messenger will deliver the
flyers to the law firms with which they have accounts. Laura indicated that the remaining ones will be
mailed using McDonald Carano’s pro bono account.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Jennifer Grundy will contact Nevada State Bank to see if they will waive the per-check
deposit fees.

NALA Liaison’s Report

NALA Liaison Amy Hodgson had no report.

Parliamentarian’s Report

Parliamentarian Kate Cline had no report, but agreed that yes, we should send our flyer to the Nevada
Paralegal Association (the Southern Nevada paralegal association) and invite them to attend our Mock
Trial seminar.

Newsletter Editor’s Report

Newsletter Editor Gloria Jaureguy had no report.

Activities/Social Chair’s Report

Activities/Social Chair Misty Taylor reported that Paralegal Day festivities were on track and we
discussed several ways to streamline the event. Drafts of the Paralegal Day brochures were distributed.

Librarian’s Report

Librarian Doreen Smith-Power was unable to attend the meeting.

Student Liaison’s Report

Student Liaison Mary Ann Cushman had no report.

New/Miscellaneous Business

The minutes from the 12/7/06 EC meeting were approved. Laura announced that McDonald Carano’s
pro bono account will pay for the postage for mailing the Paralegal Day brochures.

With all business complete, the meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

Melissa Paschal, CP

              SNAP Officers and Chairpersons for 2006-2007
                                           Laura Carlson, CLA
                                            McDonald Carano
                                            Phone: 788-2000

        First Vice President/Education:                          Parliamentarian:
        Christi Saito, ACP                                       Kate Cline, CP
        Washoe Legal Services                                    Sutton Place Limited
        Phone: 329-2727, ext. 123                                Phone: 348-0125                 

        Second Vice President/Membership/Job Bank                Social Activities:
        and Web Site Manager:                                    Misty Taylor
        Crystal Huss                                             Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw
        Attorney Marilyn D. York, Inc.                           & Ferrario
        Phone: 324-7979                                          Phone: 741-7330                        

        Secretary:                                               Librarian:
        Melissa Paschal, CLA                                     Doreen Smith-Power
        Steven J. Klearman & Assoc.                              McDonald Carano
        Phone: 323-3700                                          Phone: 788-2000                   

        Treasurer:                                               Student Liaison:
        Jennifer Grundy, CLA                                     Mary Ann Cushman
        Silverman, Decaria & Kattelman                           Phone: 232-4228
        Phone: 322-3223                                

        NALA Liaison:                                            Newsletter Editor:
        Amy Hodgson                                              Gloria Jaureguy
        Silverman, Decaria & Kattelman                           Phone: 887-0556
        Phone: 322-3223                                

SNAP Shot is an official publication of the Sierra Nevada Association of Paralegals (“SNAP”).
SNAP Address: Post Office Box 2832, Reno, Nevada 89505
SNAP Shot is published monthly. The 2006-2007 Editor is Gloria Jaureguy. Please e-mail Gloria at to submit newsletter information. Deadline for submitting articles for publication in the
newsletter is the 28 of each month.
Please note: SNAP does not endorse any specific education program. Information provided in the SNAP Shot is
to be evaluated by the reader. All editorial material is to be used at the discretion of the reader and does not
imply endorsement by the editor, SNAP, its officers or members.
SNAP may make members’ names and business addresses available to legal related entities without the direct
consent of each member. Members who do not want their information released must advise the Executive
Committee in writing.


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