Posts Tagged ‘Elwell’

Let’s eat Grandma.

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Teachers use the classic example of the difference between “Let’s eat, Grandma” and “Let’s eat Grandma” to illustrate the importance of a comma to the meaning of a sentence. (Just yesterday I saw it posted on a professor’s bulletin board at the University of Maine School of Law.) However, Celia C. Elwell, The Researching Paralegal recently called a real-life example to our attention by posting a link to a Washington Post article
Ohio appeals court ruling is a victory for punctuation, sanity” together with some of her own commentary. It turns out that there is a difference between a “motor vehicle camper” and “motor vehicle, camper.” Of course, we all know that, but apparently the people who wrote the ordinance did not, thus providing us with another entry in the Consequences of Sloppiness category. So, I join Celia in celebrating Judge Robert A. Hendrickson, of the Twelfth District Court of Appeals in Ohio and this victory for punctuation.

The Researching Paralegal: “This Is So Wrong on So Many Levels”

Monday, April 6th, 2015

I’ve often posted here about attorneys’ obligation to supervise paralegals, arguing that they owe that duty to the paralegals as well as the public. So, I’ve been intending to write about the story of a paralegal and lawyers involved in the case of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, but have not found the time and energy to do so. Fortunately, my procrastination has paid often as Celia E. Elwell, The Researching Paralegal,” has not only posted a link to Tom Feher’s good post about the story, but has added commentary that raises both the supervision issue and the need for ethical education of paralegals. She also gave her post a title that I could use here, making my job even easier. So here’s the basics of the the story from Feher’s post on Lexology.com, “Florida lawyers face disciplinary charges after representing ‘Bubba the Love Sponge Clem’”:

Reports at the time suggested that, on the evening after the media-focused defamation trial started, the defense firm’s paralegal spotted plaintiff’s counsel at a local bar near his home. She contacted lawyers at her firm, returned to the bar with a friend, and sat down next to opposing counsel. Over the next two hours, the paralegal is reported to have lied about where she worked, flirted with opposing counsel and ordered drinks, including buying defense counsel a vodka cocktail and shots of Southern Comfort. She also stayed in touch with the three lawyers from her firm, sending them more than 90 texts and emails over the course of the evening. Later, opposing counsel’s lawyer stated that it was clear that the paralegal was in an undercover role and was making sure “all the parties knew exactly what was transpiring virtually every minute.”

Shortly after she first reported what was going on at the bar, a call was made by one of the lawyers to an acquaintance in the police department and an officer was posted outside the bar to wait for the plaintiff’s lawyer’s departure. When he eventually left, the paralegal convinced him to drive her car several blocks from a parking garage to a new parking space. As he did, he was arrested for DUI. The next morning, defense counsel touted the arrest to the media. Bar charges (a disciplinary complaint, not the tab for cocktails) accused the three lawyers of being involved in what appeared to be using the paralegal to set up opposing counsel.

The attorneys’ ethical violations didn’t end there as you can discover with a full reading of Feher’s post via the link provided above. But out focus is on the paralegal. That’s where I’ll let Elwell take over with an excerpt from her commentary “This Is So Wrong On So Many Levels:”

There has been a long, ongoing discussion in our profession about whether paralegals should have a certain level of paralegal education or whether it is sufficient to have experience alone. This article makes a good argument that, one way or another, in-depth education in legal ethics is critical for paralegals and all support staff. This subject deserves, and needs, special attention.

Celia Cites Citation Blog

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Celia C. Elwell blogs as The Researching Paralegal ~ Articles and Research for Legal Professionals, one of the most useful blogs for and by legal professionals these days. She frequently provides links to other helpful blogs and sites. Here, for example, is today’s:

Citing Legally Blog, by Peter W. Martin and Jane M.G. Foster, Professor of Law, Emeritus Cornell

If you have any interest in the fine points of legal citation and legal writing, this is the blog for you. Citation masters and Professors Emeritus Peter Martin and Jane Foster have created a forum to discuss and elaborate on citations as they are used by counsel and the court.

This is a “must bookmark” for anyone interested in legal writing, cite-checking, or how to cite properly. Please click on “About – Scope and Purpose” to read more about the authors’ intent for this blog. -CCE

I agree that the Citing Legally Blog is a must for those interested in legal writing, but my point is that Celia’s blog is a “must bookmark” for all of us. If it’s not in your RSS feed, it should be.

The Researching Paralegal

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

During an exchange about my new book Cecil C. Elwell, RP, informed me of her relatively new blog, The Researching Paralegal. Lot’s of good information there already. Here’s one as an example:

Peter Martin’s Introduction to Basic Legal Citation — An ALWD and Bluebook Cheat Sheet

31 Thursday Oct 2013

Posted by Celia C. Elwell, RP in ALWD, Citations, Legal Writing, The Bluebook

ALWD Citation Manual, Bluebook, Legal Information Institute, Peter W. Martin

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (online ed. 2013), by Peter W. Martin, Cornell Legal Information Institute
http://perma.cc/0SUwL6Xvva7

This guide can be used for both the 4th Edition of the ALWD Citation Manual and the 19th Edition of the Bluebook. CCE

(See also Citing Legally Blog, http://citeblog.access-to-law.com/.)

I’m adding this blog to my blog roll and RSS feed for sure!