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Volume XIV | Issue 3



Greetings from the Chair

Greetings New Lawyers!

The New Lawyers Section of the MSBA (“NLS”) has had its final meeting of the 2011-12 bar year.  But we’ve still got some great events to look forward to before the year officially comes to a close on June 30.  And in addition, we’ve got a lot to look forward to during the 2012-13 bar year under our soon-to-be Chair, Sam Edmunds. Read more...


Tips from the Clerk:  Four Rules You Cannot Afford to Ignore as a New Attorney
By Jenna Paananen, Esq.

Between keeping track of filing deadlines, general rules of practice, and standing court orders, the district court can be a very scary place for a new attorney.  This daunting task often promotes learned Judges to publish articles giving sage advice on how to make this process run smoothly for young or inexperienced attorneys.  These articles almost always have the same piece of advice within.  That is, to always treat the judge’s clerk well.   But what does this really mean?  As a law clerk in the state’s busiest judicial district, I can tell you what that means.  The following article is dedicated to providing helpful tips in building a reputation of esteem with judicial staff. Read more...


By Katrina L. Smeltzer

Written discovery is an important initial step in any personal injury case that enters into litigation.  Whether representing a plaintiff or defendant, an attorney’s goal when drafting Interrogatories and Requests for Production is to determine what witnesses to depose and what documents to exchange.  This is the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ of the case. Read more...

Maximize Value for Clients by Navigating the America Invents Act
By Li Zhu

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”) was signed into law last year on September 16, 2011. It represents the most significant overhaul of the United States’ patent system since 1952, and has been widely advertised as a “long-overdue reform” intended to modernize the U.S. patent system by increasing transparency and certainty for patent owners, businesses, and entrepreneurs alike. The AIA itself, however, is hardly transparent—it contains 37 separate sections covering a variety of changes to prosecution practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”), contesting issued patents, and various procedures at the PTO. Read more...

The Battle Over the Fourth Amendment … Continues
By Kaarin S. Nelson

In January, the United States Supreme Court held that police must obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS tracking device to a person’s property for the purpose of obtaining information.  The decision was predicted to have far-reaching consequences for privacy in a technological age.  If the Government could constitutionally monitor a person’s day-to-day travels over a long period of time, the Government would have unfettered access to our most personal, non-criminal, affairs, including, for example, our religious affiliation, our participation in programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, our appointment at an AIDS clinic, our banks, our children’s schools, etc.  While the unanimous decision in United States v Jones appears to be a victory for pro-privacy advocates, the dialogue between the majority and concurring opinions suggests the holding, and future Fourth Amendment decisions, may not be.  At best, the future is unclear.  This article seeks to unwrap and untangle the holding and future implications of the Supreme Court’s most recent Fourth Amendment decision, United States v Jones. Read more...


Know and Follow the Procedural Sanctions Rules
By Rachel R. Myers, Esq.

The mere sound of the word “sanctions” scared you in law school, but now you find yourself threatening sanctions in practice (and maybe even taking pleasure in doing so).  What happens when the mere threat of sanctions isn’t enough to persuade the opposing party or counsel to change its conduct?  Do you know what to do when a partner in your law firm comes to you and says, “Let’s file a motion for sanctions”?  Before you call the court for a hearing date, you must be aware that strict procedural rules govern a motion for sanctions in civil actions.  If you fail to follow those procedural rules, your sanctions motion likely will be denied, and you may even be sanctioned for your ignorance of the rules.  The purpose of this article is to educate you on the procedural rules that govern sanctions motions. Read more...

Wading Into The Murky Waters of Mobile Marketing : The FCC Clarifies The Requirements for Consumer Consent Under The TCPA
By Sondra R. Levine

As consumers are becoming more reliant on technology, and the costs of traditional print advertising and mailing are increasing, savvy businesses are turning to more contemporary methods of advertising to reach consumers.  At the same time, savvy consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of consumer protection laws aimed at curbing abuses of consumers’ privacy rights, and have established a new battleground for litigation in the 21st Century. Read more...

Making your billable hour goal – 8 Tips FOR Avoiding write offs, write downs and non billable time when working with shareholders and partners
By Sarah R. Jewell

The following article provides tips for associates in law firms on how to develop their communication skills when working with shareholders or partners in order to avoid having your work written down or written off by the partner or shareholder once you have completed the assigned project.  The article provides examples and tips both from my own hard lessons learned as well as tips and suggestions I received from my law firm mentor and helpful shareholders in the law firm. Read more...


By Nick Dolejsi

The decision to go to law school and become a lawyer is a personal decision.  And the reasons justifying this decision vary wildly.  With that said, there is one common thread that unites nearly all of us.  Once we endure three years of law school, and then spend months studying for, and eventually passing, the bar exam, the practice of law becomes, for better or worse, our main – and more often than not sole – source of income.  For that reason, securing payment for legal services is vital to those of us in private practice. Read more...


Working With Your Parents (or Grandparents):The Multi-Generational Workplace
Kay L. Wallerich & Wade H. Abed II

The legal workplace has never been more generationally diverse than it is right now.  Four generations are working in the same office, shoulder-to-shoulder, solving the nation’s legal woes, with the fifth generation quickly approaching.  Working across generational lines can present a unique set of problems for younger lawyers.  The rapid advance of technology and progressive social change in the last 50 years has created some distinct differences and expectations from generation to generation.   This article examines the generations and offers some advice and practical ways to interact in your multi-generational workplace. Read more... 


Hearsay Editors:

Christina M. Weber

Munazza Humayun


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Thursday, June 7, 2012
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