Legal Assistants Section
State Bar of Michigan
THE GROWING NEED FOR ELDER LAW
Linda D. Wallace, Program Coordinator, Oakland University
At the Oakland University Paralegal Faculty meeting last winter, the question was raised as to new
electives we could add to our ABA-approved paralegal program for the upcoming semesters. What area
of law do we need to expose our students to that will beneﬁt them as they enter the job market? The
general consensus was that Elder Law was a growing area due to the aging of the baby boom population.
According to the U.S. Census data as taken from the report 65+ in the United States: 2005,
commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA,) the U. S. population age 65 and over is
expected to double in size within the next 25 years.
The report goes on to state that by 2030, almost one out of ﬁve Americans (some 72 million people)
will be 65 years or older. The age group 85 and older is now the fastest growing segment of the U.S.
population. In 2000, nine states, including Michigan, had more than 1 million people age 65 or older.
People in the U.S. are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. The average life expectancy rose
from 47.3 years in 1900 to 76.9 years in 2000. Many observers expect a major wave of retirement in 2011,
when the ﬁrst baby boomers turn age 65.1 People are no longer dying within ﬁve years of retirement;
instead, many people will be enjoying 10-20 more years of living.
The legal needs of elders have grown, as has the need for attorneys to specialize. Mary T. Schmitt
Smith, Esq., the ﬁrst Certiﬁed Elder Law Attorney (CELA)2 in the state of Michigan, believes that
working with clients and their families involves a holistic approach. Her Bloomﬁeld Hills law ﬁrm,
known as the Theresa Law Center, P.C.,3 protects the interests of elders and their families as they navigate
legal issues associated with the aging process.
A case summary is completed on each client addressing the following elder law issues. The legal
issues listed below are also the category listings for the CELA task requirements wherein an attorney
must provide services in these areas prior to the short-term application process of becoming a CELA.
• Health and Personal Care Planning–giving advice regarding powers of attorney, living wills,
health care declarations, attorneys-in-fact, and families about medical and life-sustaining choices.
• Pre-Mortem legal planning–wills, trusts, durable general or ﬁnancial powers of attorney, real
estate, gifting, ﬁnancial and tax implications.
• Fiduciary Representation–seeking the appointment of, giving advice to, representing or serving
as executor, personal representative, trustee, guardian, conservator.
• Legal Capacity Counseling–how capacity is determined and the level for various legal activities.
• Advice on Insurance matters–life, health, long-term, home care, COBRA, medigap, long-term
disability, dread disease, burial/funeral policies.
• Resident Rights Advocacy–advising rights of patients and residents of hospitals, nursing homes,
and assisted living facilities.
• Housing Counseling–reviewing the options and the ﬁnancing of those options such as mortgage
alternatives, loan programs, life care contracts, and home equity conversion.
• Employment and Retirement advice–pensions, retiree health beneﬁts.
• Income, Estate, and Gift Tax advice.
• Counseling about tort claims against nursing homes.
Continued on back cover
Message From the Chair COUNCIL AND
THE VALUE OF VOLUNTEERS DIRECTORY
Vicki Voisin, CLAS
In the Message to the Section as she wanted. Every bit of en- firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Chair ap- ergy she gives the Section will be appreciated.
pearing in the Winter Many people assist the Section behind the CHAIRPERSON-ELECT
2006 issue of the scenes without actually serving on the Coun- Vacant
Michigan Paralegal, I cil. Margaret Lucas Agius, CP, keeps the ob
told you about a call I bank up to date. The scholarship committee EX-OFFICIO
got from an attorney is headed by Heather Hill, CP. Membership Kathleen D. Kasiorek, CP
with a question that I applications are processed by Kevin Gaziews-
could actually answer. ki, CLAS. Linda Jevahirian handles publicity
Denise E. Gau
Vicki Voisin, CLAS I liked that! and has been instrumental this year in having
Last week I got an May 3 proclaimed Legal Assistant Day. TREASURER
even better call, this The Section could not survive without KathyAnn Blunck
time with a question from Section member these volunteers.
Marianne Delaney, CP. Her question: “Does Running for office is important, also. COUNCIL
the Council need help with anything? I would Declaration of Candidacy forms for officers Susan M. LaFerier
love to help out!” and Council members for 2006-07 are in this Cheryl J. Nodarse, CLA
Many of you may know Marianne. She has issue. Please consider getting involved. You Jennifer M. Petty
been active in both the Section and LAAM. She will never regret taking that step. Tami R. Salzbrenner
Christine L. Welton
is a paralegal employed by Ford Motor Compa- If running for office is not possible for
Jaxine L. Wintjen, CLA
ny. If it were within my powers, she might also you, then do as Marianne did: offer to help
be elevated to sainthood as a result of her call. in some small way. You will find that your COMMISSIONER LIAISON
Marianne was volunteering to help the Sec- involvement in the Section will be welcomed. Michael S. Hohauser, Esq.
tion in any way she could. So many people shy I urge all of you to become involved. It is
away from volunteering, not realizing that the good for us to think beyond our jobs, to ex- STANDING COMMITTEES
amount of time they may have to give is mini- pand our horizons. I believe it was Shakespeare ANNUAL MEETING
mal. As little as 15 minutes a week will help get who said, “We know what we are, but know KathyAnn Blunck, Chair
much of the work done. The rewards they will not what we may be.” Involvement in the Sec-
reap are huge. tion will help you become what you may be. EDUCATION
The Section needs volunteers to carry out its Now is the time to explore and expand Denise E. Gau, Chair
programs and to guarantee its continued success. your professional horizons. Volunteer to work
As Marianne says, “I have always felt that an with the Section today!
Margaret Lucas Agius, CLA, Chair
organization such as the Legal Assistants Section
of the State Bar belongs to the people who join MEMBERSHIP
it, so why not make it what you want by becom- Vicki Voisin, CLAS, is chair of the Legal Kevin D. Gasiewski, CLAS, Chair
ing involved.” Assistants Section of the State Bar of Michigan
The bylaws of the Section were carefully and the Section’s 2000 Mentor Award recipient. NEWSLETTER
drafted to ensure that the same members do Vicki is also an active member of the National Tami R. Salzbrenner, Co-Chair
not continue serving the Section year after year. Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA). Jennifer M. Petty, Co-Chair
For instance, I cannot repeat my term as chair. She is a past president of NALA (1998-2000) POLICIES
This is good for me and for the Section. All as- and NALA’s 2003 President’s Award recipient. Kathleen D. Kasiorek, CP, Co-Chair
sociations need fresh ideas and the energy that Vicki is a nationally-known speaker on the topic Jaxine L. Wintjen, CLA, Co-Chair
new Council members bring. of ethics for legal support staff and will be a key
Running for office, though, is not the only speaker at NALA’s 2006 convention in Tampa, PRO BONO
way to serve the Section. Marianne called to Florida. She received LAAM’s first annual Vicki Kathleen D. Kasiorek, CP, Chair
offer help with anything. Anything? Yes! We Voisin Legal Assistant of the Year Award in
could use her help with the Annual Day of 2000. Vicki is a graduate of Central Michigan
Linda S. Jevahirian, Chair
Education. Yes! We could use her help with the University. In 1984, she achieved NALA’s Certi-
Michigan Paralegal. Yes! The Annual Meeting is fied Legal Assistant designation and, in 1992, SCHOLARSHIPS
being planned for September, and we will need achieved NALA’s Real Estate Specialist designa- Heather A. Hill, CP, Chair
help with that. tion. A practicing legal assistant for more than
Marianne could have her choice of jobs, 25 years, Vicki is employed by Running Wise & WEBSITE
and she could devote as much or as little time Ford in their Charlevoix office. Kathleen D. Kasiorek, CP, Chair
DECLARATION OF CANDIDACY
I hereby declare my candidacy for the position checked below:
2 year term as Chairperson, and Ex-Officio
3 year term as Chairperson-Elect, Chairperson, and
2 year term as Member of the Council
of the Legal Assistants Section of the State Bar of Michigan
and consent to the placing of my name and information about
me on the slate of candidates to be prepared prior to and in
conjunction with the elections at the Annual Meeting in
Ypsilanti on September 15, 2006.
Notice of Call for Declaration of Candidacy for Officers
and Members of the Section’s Council Member No.: __________________________________
To: All Members of the Legal Assistants Section of Employer: __________________________________
the State Bar of Michigan
Officers and members of the Council, listed below, will be
elected by the members of the Section, voting either by mail Telephone No.: __________________________________
or in person at the Annual Meeting in Ypsilanti on September
15, 2006. Ballots will be tallied by the Nominations and Email: __________________________________
Elections Committee prior to the annual meeting. Ballots cast
at the annual meeting will be tallied and added to this count Area(s): __________________________________
and the election results will be announced at the annual
meeting. A term year runs from the end of the Annual Meeting Statement of qualifications for office (100 words or less):
to the end of the following Annual Meeting.
The positions to be filled are:
Chairperson 2 year term
(1 year Chair, 1 year Ex-Officio)
Chairperson-Elect 3 year term
(1 year Chair-Elect, 1 year Chair, 1 year Ex-Officio)
3 Members of the Council 2 year terms
This is a notice of call for declaration of candidacy. Any
member of the Section who wishes to declare himself or
herself a candidate for an office or a member position on the
Council must complete and submit the Declaration of
Candidacy form. Excerpts from the Section’s Bylaws
regarding the duties of officers and members of the Council Signed: _____________________________ Dated: ________
should be reviewed before responding (a copy of which can be
found on the Section’s Web site at www.michbar.org).
I would like to serve on the following committees. CHECK as
The Section’s Nominations and Elections Committee, by many as you wish. You DO NOT need to run for office to
authority under the Bylaws, may nominate additional serve on a committee.
candidates. The Bylaws also permit other nominations for the
NEWSLETTER EDUCATION PRO BONO
same offices to be made from the floor at the Annual Meeting PUBLIC RELATIONS MEMBERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP
of the Section. If you have any questions, please call any
member of the Nominations and Elections Committee.
Return by July 15, 2006 to:
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
Vicki Voisin, CLAS
Running Wise & Ford, PLC
Vicki Voisin, CLAS (231) 547-8990 email@example.com
203 Mason Street, PO Box 490
Kathy Ann Blunck (231) 929-4878 firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlevoix, MI 49720
Kathleen Kasiorek, CP (616) 752-2264 email@example.com
Dated: March 20, 2006
ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR CHANGING FIRMS
Tami R. Salzbrenner, Legal Assistant; Joseph H. Spiegel, P.C.
Are you thinking about taking a job ing of the legal assistant would be required, implemented immediately upon hiring the
with another law firm? If so, you need to pursuant to MRPC 1.10(a),2 or disqualifi- legal assistant. In addition to the screening
consider issues of conflicts of interest and cation would be imputed to the firm. procedures, the firm hiring the legal assis-
confidentiality so that your new employer tant must immediately notify all courts in-
is not disqualified from cases you worked When Is There a Conflict? volved in the matters presenting a conflict.
on at your previous firm. The notice must indicate the screening and
A conflict of interest occurs when a
segregation procedures established with
paralegal was privy to confidential client
History: The Rules and Why They Ap- copies to all parties involved. The screen-
information and/or documents that are
ply to Legal Assistants ing procedures must remain in effect until
adverse to his/her current employing law
Michigan Rules of Professional Con- there is no possibility that the confidential
firm. Some courts have found that mere ac-
duct at 5.3(a) state that with respect to a information might be used against the
cess to such files does not create a conflict
non-lawyer employed by, retained by, or party or for the benefit of the new firm.
of interest sufficient to impute disqualifica-
associated with a lawyer, a partner in a law tion of the firm. However, State Bar Opin-
firm shall make reasonable efforts to ensure Who Is Responsible to Protect From
ion RI-115 states that even if the transfer-
that the firm has in effect measures giv- ring non-lawyer’s tasks at the former firm
ing reasonable assurance that the person’s were simply secretarial in nature, the mere The ABA’s Guidelines for the Utiliza-
conduct is compatible with the professional exposure to protected information, even tion of Legal Assistants at guideline 7
obligations of the lawyer. if it did not include analysis or substan- states that a lawyer should make reason-
The American Bar Association (ABA) tive cognition of confidential information, able efforts to ensure the conduct of the
has established Model Guidelines for the necessitates screening of the legal assistant paralegals they employ is compatible with
Utilization of Paralegal Services. These from any contact with material relating to their own professional obligations, includ-
guidelines should be used by attorneys the particular matter in order for the new ing the obligation to prevent conflicts of
when employing legal assistants and as- employer to avoid disqualification. interest resulting from a paralegal’s other
signing them tasks. The guidelines can be employment or interests. The guideline
located at http://www.abanet.org/legalser- Screening: What Is Considered also indicates that the paralegal should
vices/paralegals/home.html. The State Bar of Adequate? be instructed to inform the supervisory
Michigan has adopted similar guidelines The legal assistant moving to a new firm lawyer and the management of the firm of
(known as the Michigan Guidelines for the is immediately disqualified from any matter any interest that could result in a conflict
Utilization of Legal Assistants), which are in which there is a conflict of interest. To of interest or even give the appearance of a
located at http://www.michbar.org/opinions/ conflict. In this regard, the ABA recog-
avoid disqualification of the entire firm, the
ethics/utilization.cfm. nizes that the paralegal has a responsibility
transferring legal assistant must be screened
Requiring a non-lawyer’s conduct to to inform the attorney of any conflicts of
from any participation in the case. At a
be compatible with that of the attorney’s interest the paralegal might have.
minimum, screening must include the exclu-
obligations, the Michigan Rules of Profes- The Michigan Guidelines for the
sion of the disqualified legal assistant from
sional Conduct (MRPC) clearly applies to Utilization of Legal Assistants at guideline
legal assistants who switch firms. any participation in the action. In addition, 5, also states that in employing a legal as-
A law firm may avoid disqualifica- instruction must be given to all other lawyers sistant or assigning a legal assistant to any
tion for conflicts of interest in a case by and employees in the firm to not discuss the particular client or matter, a lawyer should
screening a new employee. The screen is matter in the legal assistant’s presence, nor take reasonable measures to ensure that no
sometimes referred to as a “Chinese wall.” may they allow the screened legal assistant conflict of interest arises out of the legal
If a legal assistant previously worked on or to view any documents or other material assistant’s current or prior employment.
acquired secret, confidential, or material relating to the action. No one in the firm is This includes the legal assistant’s business
information regarding a file or client that permitted to receive any information from or personal interests. These guidelines,
is adverse to the new firm, MRPC 1.91 the legal assistant concerning the matter. In as well as the Michigan Rules of Profes-
precludes that legal assistant from work- addition, all files pertaining to the matter sional Conduct, clearly state that it is the
ing on the file at the new firm without the must be moved to a physically segregated attorney’s responsibility to check for, and
client’s informed written consent. Absent area or marked with a special coding. protect against, any conflicts of interest.
that consent, timely and adequate screen- The screening procedure must be Continued on next page
Continued from page 5
Articles and columns that appear in the
Michigan Paralegal do not necessarily
reﬂect the oﬃcial position of the Legal
Conclusion Assistants Section of the State Bar of
As legal assistants, we have a duty to be candid about potential conflicts. This will Michigan, and their publication does
protect the firms we work for from disqualification arising out of a failure to be prudent not constitute an endorsement of views
regarding potential conflicts. If a paralegal is even remotely aware of a potential conflict that may be expressed. Publication
and editing are at the discretion of the
from an old firm or any other possible conflict, the paralegal must notify his/her supervis-
editor. The Michigan Paralegal encourages
ing attorney immediately. republication and dissemination of articles
It is far less costly for a law firm to create effective screening measures to use when they it publishes. For information regarding
hire new employees than it is to defend a motion to disqualify. permission to reprint articles, please
address inquiries to the editor.
Tami R. Salzbrenner earned her parlegal certificate from Oakland University. Tami has been
a paralegal with Joeseph H. Spiegel, PC for seven years. Editor's Note
The newsletter is published quarterly.
Endnotes The deadline for submission of items for
the Summer 2006 issue is June 14, 2006.
1 MRPC 1.9 relates to a conflict of interest as a result of a former client.
2 MRPC 1.10(a) states that while lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall Calendar Events/Items, Letters to the
knowingly represent a client when any one of them practicing alone would be prohib- Editor, and other special items: Please
ited from doing so under MRPC. send to Tami R. Salzbrenner, by e-mail
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or facsimile [(734)
Section News and Business (Message
from the Chair, Council News, Ethics
Corner, and Member Proﬁle): Please
send to Tami R. Salzbrenner, co-editor,
by e-mail (TamiS2335@aol.com) or
CLA CELEBRATION RECEPTION facsimile [(734) 761-9632].
Section Committee News/Reports
(Annual Meeting, Job Bank, Education,
In Recognition of Law Week Membership, Pro Bono, Public Relations,
Scholarship, Website, and Policies): Please
May 3, 2006 send to Susan M. LaFerier, assistant editor,
Legal Assistants Day by e-mail (email@example.com) or
facsimile [(734) 222-3019].
5 - 7 p.m.
National and International News (i.e.,
Baker College, Jackson Campus
AAPI, AAfPE, ABA, IPMA, LAT, NALA,
NALS, and NFPA, etc.): Please send to
Scholarship winners will be honored Jennifer M. Petty, co-editor, by e-mail
All legal assistants/pralegals welcome (firstname.lastname@example.org) or facsimile [(313)
State and Local News [i.e., LAAM, SBM
(non-section), DMBA, GRBA, MCBA,
NALS of Michigan, OCBA, and WCBA,
etc.]: Please send to Kathleen D. Kasiorek,
NEW MEMBERS CP, state and local news editor, by e-mail
(email@example.com) or facsimile [(616)
(as of March 17, 2006) Advertising: Please send to Christine
L. Welton, advertising manager, by e-
Alisha Alexander Timothy D. Gage mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or facsimile
Silverwood, MI [(231) 941-9568].
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Nicole M. Cook Sherry L. Orlik
Lansing, MI Grand Rapids, MI
MEMBER PROFILE: KIM M. CASTEEL
Area of Expertise: Elder Law
In 1990, I earned an Associate’s degree equivalent/paralegal certificate from Acad-
emy of Court Reporting. I have a B.B.A. from Northwood University. My 15 years
of paralegal experience includes eight years in family law and general practice and
seven years in probate/estate planning at Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss. I also maintain
a residential builder’s license.
Jaffe has close to 100 attorneys and 13 paralegals. Jaffe’s practice areas include
intellectual property and information technology, aviation, bankruptcy and insolvency,
business and commercial law, capital markets, criminal, e-commerce, electronic bank-
ing, labor and employment, environmental, estate planning and probate, family law,
financial services, insurance, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, mortgage banking,
public finance, real estate, securities, and tax law.
Professional Associations and Memberships:
• State Bar of Michigan, affiliate member
• Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, Legal Assistant Section
Kim M. Casteel, Paralegal • Oakland County Bar Association, Legal Assistant Section
Jaﬀe Raitte Heuer & Weiss • Residential builder’s license
• Gibraltar Recreation Committee member
My Responsibilities: • H.E.A.D.S. member/volunteer
• Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer
I assist three to four estate planning
and other attorneys as follows: extensive • Notary public
client contact, including initial interview, Preferred Resources
phone contact, meetings, etc.; trust fund-
ing; docket and follow up on court and Listing of resources I have found to be particularly helpful to me in the area of elder law:
other required dates; research asset and • http://www.icle.org - Institute of Continuing Legal Education
debt information, financial information, • http://www.socialsecurity.gov - valuable resource for information about all of Social
etc.; draft all varieties of probate and Security’s programs
estate plan pleadings, Medicaid applica- • http://www.medicare.gov - official U.S. Government site for information pertaining to
tions, and other associated documents Medicare
such as deeds, transfer documents, etc.; • www.hcam.org/search.cfm - Department of Human Services site for searching adult
file documents with various Probate foster care facilities (includes inspection reports, licensing information, etc.)
Courts; confer with attorneys, court • http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/brs_afc/sr_afc.asp - Department of Human Services site for
personnel, financial institutions, etc. searching adult foster care facilities (includes inspection reports, licensing informa-
concerning client matters/issues; perform tion, etc.)
assigned legal research tasks using all • www.aarp.org - official website for AARP containing useful information for seniors
available resources including libraries and and their families.
computer data systems. • www.cms.hhs.gov - official website for Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(formerly HCFA). CMS is the federal agency responsible for administering Medicare,
Medicaid, SCHIP and HIPAA.
How I came to be in the Elder Law field: Advice I have for becoming a paralegal in the field of elder law:
I work closely with an excellent elder Find a mentor (as mentioned above), sign up for the listservs, and attend as many
law attorney, Shirley Kaigler, who has continuing education classes as possible, particularly ICLE, seminars/classes sponsored by
mentored and trained me in the various local professional groups and local probate courts. Also peruse the various state and local
aspects of elder law. websites, which have a plethora of information on elder law.
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A Member of the MPS Group
the Seventh Annual
Legal Assistants Section's
Day of Education
Friday, May 5, 2006
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
State Bar of Michigan
Michael Franck Building
306 Townsend Street
The Legal Assistants Section of the State Bar of Michigan is planning an exciting day of eduacation
for legal assistants. With bankruptcy and litigation tracks, there is something for Legal Assistants in
every area of law. Registration information has been mailed to members. Remember to register for
the seminar as soon as possible, as space is limited.
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Vendors
9:00 - 9:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker: John T. Berry, Esq. - Executive Director, State Bar of Michigan
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Legal Writing in Plain English II: Jeanette Buttrey, Esq.
10:30 - Noon Breakout Session #1
• Litigation Track: Identity Theft – Mark Koerner, Esq.
• Bankruptcy Track: Credit Counseling – Jill Stroinski and Rachel Hood
Noon - 1:00 p.m. Networking Luncheon
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Breakout Session #2
• Litigation Track: Securities Law – Joseph H. Spiegel, Esq.
• Bankruptcy Track: Three-Paralegal Panel Discussion of Changes in Law
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Breakout Session #3
• Litigation Track: Eminent Domain – Michael Woodworth, Esq. and
Geoffrey Seidlein, Esq.
• Bankruptcy Track: 10 Things every Paralegal Should Know about Bankruptcy
under the New Laws – Stuart Gold, Esq.
Compiled and edited by Kathleen D. Kasiorek, CP
State and local news editor
Lunch meetings take place at the Smart sons to be learned from these unfortunate
Detroit Conference Center in the Penob- situations.
scot Building, Detroit from 11:45–1:15. The March meeting was held later
The trademark meeting is at the Wayne than normal (March 31) in order to take
State University Law School Auditorium advantage of the courtroom technol-
from 6 – 7:30 pm. Register at www.detroit- ogy training seminar being offered by
Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
(DMBA) lawyer.org. Or contact Chair, Vanessa Lozzi the United States District Court for the
at email@example.com; (248) 258-3857. Western District of Michigan. The section
http://www.detroitlawyer.org/ The DMBA offers associate member- used this unique opportunity by extending
The DMBA continues to hold lun- ship to legal administrators, legal assistants, an invitation to the Advanced Litigation
cheons on the fourth Tuesday of each and librarians. and the Computer Applications classes
month. On March 28, Mandi Ross from from Davenport University to attend this
Prism Litigation Technology and Timothy exciting event.
Piganelli of Legal Technology Consulting The GRBA legal assistants section is open
gave a presentation about trial software. to legal assistants and paralegals meeting its
Robert Half Legal will lead a presenta- membership criteria who are employed and
tion on leadership skills at the April 25 sponsored by an attorney member of the
luncheon. Members will learn how to GRBA. The section is currently led by Kath-
assert their leadership skills and apply them erine Mansfield, chairperson.
to their professional goals.
Michael Fishman and James Carpenter, Kalamazoo Bar Association (KCBA)
specialists from Rader Fishman, will discuss http://www.kalamazoobar.org
Grand Rapids Bar Association (GRBA)
trademark law at an evening panel discus-
sion on April 27. The quarterly discussion http://firms.findlaw.com/grbala/ Membership in the Kalamazoo Bar
is produced by the Networking and Career Association is open to legal assistants and
The legal assistant’s section of the
Development Committee and chairperson, paralegals who are members of the State
Grand Rapids Bar Association kicked off
Marilyn Hobbs. Bar of Michigan Legal Assistants Section
the 2006 year with two dynamic speakers
The May 23 luncheon will be a presen- and are practicing in an office in Kalama-
at its January and February meetings. Jeff
tation on effective visual aids by Theresa zoo County.
Dwarshuis, MSW, CSW spoke to the Sec-
Webster, Owner, Evidence Express. Theresa tion in January and shared his experience
has fused her legal assistant and graphic in clinical social work and the positive Macomb County Bar Association
arts talents to create a service to enhance (MCBA)
results he has experienced in the treatment
evidence presentations. of post-traumatic stress disorder by using http://www.macombbar.org/index.html
Eye Movement The MCBA offers associate member-
Desensitization ship to legal assistants and legal assistant
and Reprocess- students.
ing. Mr. Kevin
Toler of Ameri-
Services spoke in
February and not
only shared some Oakland County Bar Association
basic financial (OCBA)
planning strate- http://www.ocba.org/
gies, but also
The January meeting of the OCBA
some worst case
legal assistants committee featured a
scenarios of fi-
presentation by Ellen Brisson called “Just
Say NO!!” or “How to Graciously Let the
Vanessa Lozzi questions panelists Nicole Leﬀ, Linda Jevahirian and gone bad and the
Attorney You Work For Know You’ve Got
Christine Scurto about Career Advancement. important les-
Enough on Your Plate Already.” The Febru-
ary 16, 2006, meeting was “An Evening with
Milam PI” presented by private investigator
Linda Milam. Ms. Milam shared tips on find-
ing out the good, the bad and the ugly. The
March 16, 2006, meeting was the commit-
tee’s annual Royal Oak Brewery and Mark
Ridley’s Comedy Castle outing.
The April 20, 2006, meeting will be a
membership drive meeting at 6 p.m. at Butzel
Long, 100 Bloomfield Hills Parkway, Suite
200, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. It will be
an opportunity to meet the members of the
OCBA legal assistants committee and join at
the same time. Members who join or renew Michigan’s Premier Association of
their memberships at the April meeting will be
entered into a drawing to receive a free mem- Professional Process Servers
bership. Additional information is available by
contacting Denise E. Gau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The OCBA offers legal assistant mem-
bership to those who are qualified through For the most up to date list of Court Officers, Civil
education, training or work experience and Deputies and Process Servers visit:
employed or retained by a lawyer, law office,
governmental agency or other entity in perfor- www.mcodsa.com
mance of legal services not primarily clerical or -or-
secretarial under the ultimate direction and su-
pervision of a licensed attorney. Legal assistant
Call 800-99-CIVIL to request a printed directory.
members must be sponsored annually by an
OCBA member who certifies as to the above. Michigan Court Officer Deputy Sheriff and
The OCBA Legal Assistants Committee is Process Servers Association
currently lead by Denise Gau email@example.com 1000 W. St. Joseph Hwy, Suite 200
(chair) and Millie Sloan firstname.lastname@example.org Lansing, Michigan 48915
Don't forget about
the Job Bank!
The Legal Assistants Section
Washtenaw County Bar Association of the State Bar of Michigan
(WCBA) operates the Internet Job Bank
as a beneﬁt to its members and
the legal community. It is free
The Washtenaw County Bar Association's of charge to both paralegal
Paralegal & Legal Support Staff Section met job seekers and prospective
on March 14, 2006. Patricia Murray of Patri- employers.
cia Murray & Associates gave a presentation
If you are a prospective employer
on Visionary discovery management and trial
with a paralegal opening, send
presentation software. Ms. Murray showed
the posting by e-mail to: la_sbm_
demonstrations of the software and provided email@example.com
each member with a free CD of the software.
The WCBA offers a special reduced Members of the Section can
membership fee to students as well as other locate additional information at
member benefits. For further informa- http://www.michbar.org/
tion, please contact Judy Van Amburg legalassistants/ in the "links" area
at firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) of the section's web page.
Compiled and edited by Jennifer M. Petty
AAfPE Takes Formal Position Regarding NALA’s 31st Annual Convention &
Short-Term Programs Workshop
AAfPE’s Board of Directors has issued The National Association of Legal As-
the organization’s formal position regard- sistants (NALA) will hold its 31st Annual
ing short-term programs for paralegal Convention and Education Workshop
education. The position statement clarifies in Tampa, Florida, July 26-29, 2006.
AAfPE’s beliefs and concerns. This annual event is the nation’s largest
Use this link to read the full text: http:// gathering of paralegals. This event offers
www.aafpe.org/p_news/short_term.htm outstanding educational opportunities for
paralegals designed by paralegals.
AMERICAN ALLIANCE OF More information about the 2006
PARALEGALS, INC. (AAPI) INTERNATIONAL PARALEGAL MAN- Convention is available at www.nala.org.
http://www.aapipara.org AGEMENT ASSOCIATION (IPMA) Meanwhile, there will be a 2006 Con-
http://www.paralegalmanagement. vention Orientation Session Web Seminar
org/ipma/ on Wednesday, June 28, 2006, at 1p.m.
April 29, 2006
Central Time. Participants will learn details
AAPI is hosting a paralegal SkillWorks
The International Paralegal Manage- of convention activities, what to expect
One-Day Seminar with Advanced Training
ment Association, formerly known as the during the meetings, and answers to any
Workshops at the The Fairmont Hotel in
Legal Assistant Management Association, other questions they might have about
Newport Beach, California.
promotes the development, professional their participation. Questions should be
Go to www.careercoachesinternational.
standing and visibility of paralegal manage- directed to Krista Lower at NALA Head-
com to register.
ment professionals. quarters.
Annual Meeting IPMA plays an essential role in law
The dates and place are set!!! So, mark firm and legal department management. Advanced Paralegal Certification
your calendars now and save September IPMA provides a rich resource of infor- After 3 ½ years of study and research,
22-23, 2006, to attend the American mation, including current and up to date the new Advanced Paralegal Certification
Alliance’s Annual Education Seminars and topics in the area of legal assistant manage- (APC) program will be available by July
Meeting at the Comfort Suites; 420 River- ment. Find a wealth of knowledge and 2006. Visit www.nala.org for more details.
boat Row; Newport, Kentucky. links to subjects including legal industry The CLA/CP Advanced Certification
service providers, consultants and suppliers, programs are designed to provide first-class
information exchange from colleagues in continuing education courses for paralegals
the paralegal management profession, job in various specialty areas of the law. They
openings, industry reports, seminars, and also provide a certification process to recog-
much more. nize those who have achieved the CLA/CP
certification and successfully completed
advanced courses in specialty practice areas.
CIATION OF LEGAL
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR Vicki Voisin, CLAS, a member of the
PARALEGAL EDUCATION (AAFPE) APC board since its inception, was recently
appointed to a one-year term as chair of
the board. Ms. Voisin served as NALA
24th Annual Conference to be in New
Orleans, LA Oct. 11-14, 2006 president 1998-2000 and is currently serv-
May 13, 2006 ing as Chair of the Legal Assistants Section
While it’s too early to have any specifics
just yet, if you are interested in presenting is the deadline for of the State Bar of Michigan.
a program for this event, please download applications to take
the call for presenters guidelines and send the Certified Legal Assistant Examination NALA Elections 2006-07
your submission to Kathryn Myers, confer- in July 2006. Applications subject to a late Tita A. Brewster, CLA, of Las Cruses,
ence chair, at email@example.com. registration fee will be accepted through May New Mexico, has been elected NALA
31, 2006 for the July 2006 examination. president for 2006-2007. Ms. Brewster will
take office at the 31st Annual Convention for the audio portion, and participants credits, witness firsthand how NFPA
& Workshop in July. view slides and other visual examples via an policies are developed, share ideas with
Sharon A. Werner, CLAS, has declared Internet connection. other colleagues from across the country,
her candidacy as NALA secretary for Courses on NALA Campus Live! range learn about vanguard technology and
2006-07. That election will take place from online versions of the convention participate in an interactive trade show,
at the annual convention. Sharon is a Membership Exchange and Affiliated Asso- and discover one of world’s most exciting
member of the Section and has previously ciation presentations to in-depth educa- cities. Paralegals are urged to attend to tap
served on the Council. tional sessions. into their own potential this year. NFPA
Other Section members who serve on The dynamic environment of the promises that they will return to their jobs
the NALA Board of Directors are Kelly J. interactive NALA Campus Live! programs more knowledgeable and inspired about
LaGrave, CLAS (certifying board chair) is conducive to courses that merit timely their profession. More information is
and Marcy Jankovich, CLAS (Region 5 di- review and for discussion of new laws or available at www.paralegals.org.
rector). Kathleen J. Kasiorek, CP, is a mem- recent changes in the law. Section members Congratulations to S. Christine Farmer,
ber of the Continuing Education Council. Kelly A. LaGrave, CLAS; Jaxine Wintjen, NFPA President, who has been selected
Vicki Voisin, CLAS, serves as chair of the CLA; and Vicki Voisin, CLAS are all pre- Paralegal of the Year by Legal Assistant To-
Advanced Paralegal Certification Board. senters for this program. day magazine. Farmer is a senior paralegal
in the Dallas, Texas firm of Godwin Gru-
NALA Online Education Programs NATIONAL FEDERAL OF PARALEGAL ber. Second runner-up was Mary McKay
NALACampus.com provides top of Tampa, Florida. McKay serves as the
quality self study courses. These affordable NFPA liaison for the Tampa Bay Paralegal
continuing education programs are avail- Association. She is president-elect and
able on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week founding member of TBPA.
and allow for education on the participant’s The 2006 PACE (paralegal advanced
schedule at the participant’s convenience. www.paralegals.org competency exam) Ambassadors’ Confer-
To date, over 22,000 people have registered The National Federation of Paralegal ence will take place in Portland, Oregon
on this site. Go to www.nalacampus.com to Associations’ 2006 Annual Seminar and on September 16-17. This event is hosted
learn more about this innovative program Convention will take place May 4-8, by the Oregon Paralegal Association. Any
for continuing education. 2006, in Chicago. This year’s theme is paralegal interested in learning more about
Completion of a NALACampus.com "Lose Your Blues in Chicago." Attend- PACE is welcome to attend.
course will qualify for one unit of credit ees will earn continuing legal education
toward maintenance of the CLA credential.
Courses are now available on the subjects
of American legal system, alternative meth-
ods of dispute resolution, communications, Nominations for Legal Assistant Today's
civil litigation, contract law, intellectual
property, judgment and analytical analysis, Paralegal of the Year
legal ethics, legal research and real estate.
NALA also continues to offer innova-
tive NALA Campus Live!, using the power Due May 5, 2006
of the Internet to offer continuing legal
education seminars for paralegals and legal www.legalassistanttoday.com
assistants nationwide. These seminars may
be used for general continuing education,
to prepare for the CLA examination, to
support in-house training programs for law
firms and corporations, by certified legal as-
sistants to meet educational requirements to Oakland University
maintain the CLA credential, and to supple-
ment formal classroom instruction.
Paralegal Education Seminar
NALA Campus started offering live on- Meadowbrook Hall
line continuing legal education seminars
in September 2004. All that is required
to participate is a computer with Internet
May 19, 2006, 1- 4:30 p.m.
Explorer (6.0 or higher), a high-speed
Internet connection, and a telephone. The www.sba.oakland.edu/ce/paralegal/
program uses a telephone conference call
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
April 2006 July 2006 September 2006
April 20, 2006 July 11, 2006 September 15, 2006
OCBA Membership Drive DMBA: Quarterly Panel Discussion Annual Meeting
Butzel Long, Bloomfield Hills Mediation/Arbitration for Paralegals Legal Assistant Section
Smart Center, Penobscot Building State Bar of Michigan
April 25, 2006
DMBA: Monthly Luncheon July 15, 2006 September 22-23, 2006
Developing Your Leadership Skills Declaration of Candidacy Deadline American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc.
Smart Center, Penobscot Building Legal Assistants Section Annual Education Seminar Meeting
State Bar of Michigan Newport, Kentucky
April 27, 2006
July 25, 2006 www.aapipara.org
DMBA Quarterly Panel Discussion
Trademark Law DMBA: Monthly Luncheon October 2006
Wayne State University Resume Writing Tips October 11- 14, 2006
Smart Center, Penobscot Building AAfPE Annual Conference
April 29, 2006
Paralegal SkillWorks One-Day Seminar July 26-29, 2006 New Orleans, Louisiana
Advanced Training Workshops NALA Annual Conference www.aafpe.org
American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. Tampa, Florida October 26-28, 2006
The Fairmont Hotel www.nala.org CLA Review Course
Newport Beach, California Denver, Colorado
May 3, 2006
Legal Assistants Day
State of Michigan
May 4, 2006 — 6 p.m. Name(s): __________________________________________
Board Meeting Firm/Organization:___________________________________
Legal Assistants Section
May 4-8, 2006
NFPA Annual Seminar and Convention City:__________________________ State: _______Zip: ______
Chicago, Illinois Telephone: (_____ ) ______________________
Cost: Members $55; Non-Member $65; Student $35
May 5, 2006
Annual Day of Education Enclosed is check # ______________________ For $________
Legal Assistants Section Please make check payable to: State Bar of Michigan
Registration form at right
Please bill my:
May 13, 2006
Paralegal Enrichment Day
Baker College Card #:_____________________________________________
May 15, 2006 Expiration Date:_________________
Application Deadline for July Testing
NALA CLA Examination
www.nala.org Please print name as it appears on credit card:
May 19, 2006 ________________________________
Meadowbrook Paralegal Seminar
Oakland University Authorized Signature: __________________________________
May 23, 2006 NOTE: Parking available across the street for $8.
DMBA: Monthly Luncheon Cancellations must be received at least 48 hours in advance.
Effective Visual Aids
Smart Detroit Conference Center I wish to participate in the: Bankruptcy Track Litigation Track
June 2006 Lunch Options: Turkey Wrap Ham Wrap
Roast Beef Wrap Veggie Wrap
DMBA: Special Evening Event
Roostertail, Detroit Tuna Wrap
home contact us site map search
newsletter American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc., The Legal Assistants Section Job Bank
michigan legal assistant
American Association for Paralegal
print this page Education (AAfPE) Macomb County Bar Association
SBM general http://www.aafpe.org http://www.macombbar.org/
member directory American Bar Association Standing NALS
admissions, ethics, and
Committee on Paralegals http://www.nals.org
justice initiatives http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/paralegals/
opinions, research and NALS of Michigan
links Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association http://www.nalsofmichigan.org
programs and services
public policy resource
National Association of Legal Assistants,
publications EthicsBasics Inc. (NALA)
for the public
public resources Grand Rapids Bar Association National Federation of Paralegal
media resources http://www.grbar.org/ or http://ﬁrms.ﬁndlaw. Associations, Inc. (NFPA)
International Paralegal Management Oakland County Bar Association
Association (IPMA) http://www.ocba.org/
[Formerly Legal Assistant Management
Association (LAMA)] Paralegal Gateway
Legal Assistant Today State Bar of Michigan
Legal Assistants Association of Michigan, Washtenaw County Bar Association
Inc. (LAAM) http://www.washbar.org/
Legal Assistants Section of the State Bar of
Growing Need . . .
Continued from front page
• Counseling with regard to age and/or disability their parents are now residing in nursing homes.
discrimination in employment and housing. This also increases the awareness for the families/
• Litigation and Administrative Advocacy–elder caregivers that they need estate planning or need
abuse including ﬁnancial or consumer fraud, to update their own estate plan.” 4
ﬁduciary administration, public beneﬁts. Ms. Casteel stated that her responsibilities have not
changed at all. She continues to have extensive client
As you can see from this list, elder law now requires contact. She meets with them, gathers information needed
a combination of unique counseling skills approaching for the petitions and Medicaid applications, and prepares
Linda what might be thought of as social work law. The elder them for review by the attorney for ﬁling. Once ﬁling is
Wallace began law certiﬁcation process tests applicants on advance complete, Ms. Casteel then follows up with the court or
her career as a directives and end of life decision making, public beneﬁts, the Department of Human Services.
retirement planning, nursing home and assisted living As the role of the elder law attorney expands
middle school facilities residents’ rights, tax consequences of elder law and they take on more complex and sophisticated
English teacher planning, ﬁnancial abuse, and consumer law – areas of law clients, paralegals will now be required to meet these
and earned that go beyond the scope of traditional estate planning. responsibilities and demands to stay ahead of the learning
her paralegal curve. Continuing education and training seminars will
certiﬁcate from Paralegal Need be needed for those paralegals working in the area of
Oakland Uni- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, elder law to keep up their professional competency.
versity in 1984. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Occupational Outlook
Handbook; Job Outlook, 2006, “…the demand for Endnotes
As an instructor paralegals also is expected to grow as an expanding population 1 U.S. Census Bureau, 65+ in the United States: 2005.
in the parale- increasingly requires legal services, especially in areas such as
gal program at intellectual property, health care, international law, elder 2 (Earning the CELA designation states that the attorney has
met the rules and regulations promulgated by The National
Oakland since issues, criminal law, and environmental law. Paralegals
Elder Law Foundation (NELF) and has passed an examination
1987, she has who specialize in areas such as real estate, bankruptcy, designed to demonstrate their knowledge and skills of an elder
medical malpractice, and product liability should have ample law attorney. Because board certiﬁcation is not available in all
taught Roles of employment opportunities.” states, it is oﬀered through the NELF in association with The
a Legal Assis- Due to this inﬂux of seniors, has the role of the paralegal National Association of Elder Law Attorneys).
tant and Ethics changed in the legal arena? Have responsibilities increased? 3 The Center’s name is inspired not only by the founder’s
and Internship. Do paralegals need to become skilled in all the same areas middle name, but also in honor of the Theresa Foundation,
Since Decem- in which a CELA is knowledgeable? Kim Casteel, a probate a national organization recognizing those who provide
paralegal at Jaﬀe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss, P.C., in Southﬁeld community service and dedication to individuals with
ber 2003, states the following regarding elder law: disabilities. In 2003, TLC founder Mary T. Schmitt Smith
Linda has been “I have seen an inrease in the number of cases
was selected to receive the Theresa Foundation’s annual award.
the Parale- coming into the oﬃce, as many baby boomers 4 Helpful websites used by Ms. Casteel:
gal Program are taking care of their aging parents who do • http://www.socialsecurity.gov,
Coordinator, not have estate plans or who have not done • http://www.medicare.gov,
Medicaid planning. Many of the families need • www.cms.hhs.gov,
advising stu- • www.hcam.org/search.cfm
guardians or conservators for their parents or need
dents, manag- Medicaid applications prepared as one or both of
ing faculty and
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
LANSING MI 48933
PERMIT NO. 191