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The official blog of the NALS docket, used as a timely resource for sharing content from our email newsletter. This includes Grammar Nuggets, Career Corner, chapter and members spotlights, and more! Articles are written and provided by our own members, Resource Center Staff, and our community of legal professionals. All content and articles will be published directly to our NALS.org website and linked to the NALS docket newsletter. This email venue for NALS will inform you of upcoming deadlines and monthly education product highlights from our online store. Copy + paste this link to sign up for updates: https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin?v=001JH2FKM034UVKDAYd6vkCfwIybKDCjBA-5dH7wJhSTjXN-eWSgRsnK6Q_LdfewGHvnwcVoakgipMvhoKPHed-94e5siy7js7FrJp_sV9e8Aw%3D


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February 2020 Docket - Ask Eula Mae

Posted By Rachel Daeger, Thursday, February 13, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2020
How to Prioritize a Mess

Dear Eula Mae:

I work in a relatively small law firm with three attorneys and three legal assistants.  Two of the bosses were out of town today when one of the legal assistants was fired.  I was assigned the duty of getting her files and other tasks in order before her boss comes back.  It turns out that she was a real mess, disorganized and only did what she had to do and didn’t file anything back in the file room.  I even found unpaid bills!  I’m worried that I won’t be able to get all of this straight with the duties that my boss assigned me before he left.  Can you help?

--Afraid in Alabama

Dear Afraid in Alabama:

Sometimes you just have to face what has been given to you to handle.  I can tell you that it will probably take more thinking power than doing power to get things in order.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could get it done and ready for signatures by the time the attorneys get back? You can do it!   

To get started on tackling this mess is to put like items together before processing.  You will need a space to spread out the stacks of paperwork, some sticky notes and a pencil. Gather all the things that need to be done from the fired person’s desk and try to think about how you can group all of the documents and files into categories such as bills, documents to proof and sign, ready to file, ready to mail, etc. Write the category name on a sticky note and make room to build groups of like items. Pick up one document or file at a time, write the due date in pencil on the top right of the first page and place in the appropriate named category for processing. If there is no due date and it doesn’t fit in any of the categories and must be processed before going to the file room, make a separate stack for that. If there is no due date needed (not urgent), it will need its own stack too. This is the one that you will do last.

Then you will gather up each category in a stack for processing.  Pick up a stack and organize it in date order from oldest due date (on the top of the stack) to the newest (on the bottom of the stack).  Do that with every stack.  Look for the oldest date of all the stacks.  That is the category that you will complete first (urgent). Items for the file room are not as urgent and can wait a little longer.

The purpose of this process is twofold—you will feel like you are in control of the situation and you will only have to think about the steps for each task one time. There is something about repetition that will help you move through the stack with ease.  After you have completed your part of all items in that stack, then take it where it needs to go for the next step, which is usually the boss’s office.  

Next, look for the oldest date in the remaining stacks and start again with that one.  The stacks with no due dates are not urgent but still need to be handled.  For the one that still needs processing, assign a date to complete it.  For the final stack that needs to be filed in the file room, schedule 30 minutes at the end of the day on Friday to file these documents.

After you get a grip on the paperwork you inherited, it will probably make your job look easier. You will know exactly what to do there to get ready for your boss’s return.  Be brave.  You can do all of this and more.

Tags:  ask eula mae  office procedures  paralegal career 

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Migraines: The Best Treatment is Prevention

Posted By Dr. Steven Zodkoy DC, CNS, DACBN, Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dr. Zodkoy is the author of the popular book: Misdiagnosed: The Adrenal Fatigue Link talks about how prevention is the key to avoiding migraines.

I have been treating migraine patients from around the world for 25 years, and long ago realized that it was much easier to prevent my patients' migraines than relieve them. Utilizing a combination of clinical nutrition, state-of-the-art therapies, and hands-on techniques, I have been able to help thousands of patients relieve, and more importantly, prevent even the most severe and chronic migraines. While each patient may require personalization of their migraine prevention care, the basic is the same.

Migraines are a type of headache that refers to the location, symptoms, and cause, NOT the intensity. Migraines are usually located on one side of the face, and behind the eyes, a prodrome of symptoms often precedes them; a dramatic fluctuation causes flashing lights, nausea, hypersensitivity to smell and are caused by a dramatic fluctuation of blood flow to the head. Migraines are usually found in women, worse with menstrual cycles and triggered by food: alcohol, cheese, and nitrates. Migraines are among the easiest headaches to prevent because the underlying mechanism for their triggers is well known.

It is estimated that 40% of migraine sufferers have a genetic mutation at C677T, which means it is difficult for these people to utilize Folate. Folate is a crucial vitamin used by the vascular system for stability and by the liver to detoxify their body. I believe that the decreased liver detoxification causes toxins to increase in the blood and eventually leads to irritation of the compromised vascular vessels, which over-react and trigger a migraine. This premise would explain why menstrual cycles which increase hormone production by 400% and thus the need for liver detoxification are linked to migraines. The idea that the liver cannot handle the toxic burden would also explain why alcohol, chemical exposure, and food with nitrates also trigger migraines. The liver's burden is exacerbated by the OTC and prescription medications utilized to relieve migraines, all of which need to be detoxified by the liver. The chronic toxic load that medications cause is the reason for rebound headaches and their eventual loss of effectiveness. Strengthening the liver's ability and speed to detoxify the body is a key step to preventing migraines.

There are several steps to reduce the amount of endo- and exotoxins in the body. Lifestyle changes include increasing pure and alkaline water intake, exercise, meditation, and adopting a diet that reduces artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives. Avoiding concentrated chemicals in perfumes, cleaning products, body products, candles, and other household items will also relieve the detoxification burden on the liver. Lifestyles changes for migraines means living a more natural, active, and clean lifestyle.

Several vital nutritional supplements can also help improve liver function. Essential herbal supplements include: Milk Thistle, Artichoke, and Curcumin to accelerate liver detoxification. Vitamin B11 or Folic acid in the form of 5-MTHF (5-Methyltetrahydrofolate) is vital to help circumvent the genetic mutation common to migraine sufferers. Other nutritional supplements that have been proven helpful in liver detoxification are: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), Glutathione, Magnesium, CoQ10, and Omega oils. I strongly recommend using an all-natural, multi-nutrient as a base for your nutritional supplementation and adding in the liver detox supplements because the liver requires dozens of cofactors to function correctly.

The hidden reason why chronic migraine sufferers never fully heal has to do with the prolonged burden the mind-body has suffered. When I meet or speak with migraine sufferers from around the world, most of them have been suffering for decades, are toxic from their medications and emotionally and physically exhausted from their condition. Each migraine sufferer I have treated also needed to strengthen their adrenal glands to help with their energy, mood, and recovery. Often weakened adrenals are significant triggers. When in a weak state, adrenals exhibit symptoms including dizziness with rising quickly, fatigue, poor sleep, and decreased motivation. Weakened adrenals or adrenal fatigue makes it difficult for sufferers to deal with stress and is why stressful situations trigger many migraines. Nutritional supplementation with adrenal glandular and adaptogens are essential to rebuilding the migraine sufferer and providing long-lasting relief.

The hottest nutritional supplement on the market to help with the pain associated with migraines is CBD oil. While CBD oil will not prevent migraines like the suggestions above, it does have some unique benefits. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it will reduce the irritation in the blood vessels to minimize the migraines. It also helps people deal better with stress and anxiety, which are primary triggers. I recommend a full spectrum of CBD oil from an organic source that is tested for purity, and all CBDs are not the same.
Detoxifying and rebuilding the body to prevent migraines takes time. Most of phone-consult patients from around the world can dramatically reduce the severity and frequency of their migraines by the 8th week of care. By the 12th week of care, most patients are ready to speak to their doctor about stopping their medications if they haven't already. There are several treatments I use in my office to speed up this process and offer immediate relief.


  • LiteCure laser therapy uses the power and speed of light to relieve migraine pain nearly immediately. LiteCure laser therapy is unlike other laser therapies in the fact that you feel relief quickly, it is long lasting and promotes cellular healing to prevent future episodes
  • Applied Kinesiology is a hands-on technique that gently relieves muscle tension and strengthens the body's ability to detoxify and heal
  • Alpha-Stim uses a gentle electrical current to promote the relief of endorphins from the brain. Endorphins are the most potent pain relief mechanism known to man and Alpha-Stim has been proven in hundreds of studies to raise endorphin levels and keep levels higher over time immediately
  • Chiropractic care is also beneficial for migraines. Chiropractic care can help relieve muscle tension that triggers migraines and improve the biomechanics of the neck to enhance normal function. Chiropractic care has also been shown to stimulate the Endocannabinoid System, like CBD oil, which helps promote pain relief and reduce inflammation.
    Migraines can be a lifetime sentence of pain, BUT they do not have to be.

Dr. Zodkoy has 30 years of treating Migraines successfully at Monmouth Advanced Medicine in Freehold, New Jersey. You can contact him at szodkoy@hotmail or 732–308–0099



All content found on the NALS.org website, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Links to educational content not created by NALS, Inc., are taken at your own risk. NALS, Inc., is not responsible for the claims of external websites and education companies.

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Ask Eula Mae: Too Much Time on My Hands

Posted By NALS Editorial + Marketing Board, Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Updated: Friday, June 14, 2019

Dear Eula Mae:

I work in a small legal office and most of the time we are really busy with legal work. However, there are just a couple of times a year when I run out of things to do and I’m not sure how best to use this extra time or where to start.  It’s nice to have a breather when the boss goes on vacation or at Christmastime, but it is also boring, too.  I love legal work and love the daily routine.  It is stressful when the work is on a pause.  I would rather be doing something than sitting around all day waiting for the work to come rolling in again. Do you have any suggestions?


--What to Do in Delaware

Dear What to Do in Delaware:


This is really an easy problem to solve.  Just like any good Scout, the best thing you can do is be prepared.  Besides just basic cleaning tasks, there are many other thoughtful and useful odd jobs you could do in a relatively short time.  Starting today, make a list of all those annoying things around and in your desk, and if you work for one attorney, include the entire office.  This would be annoying things like how to corral all those loose pens, figuring out a schedule to keep enough copy paper handy, or keeping the scanning jobs going. 


Now is a great time to really clean and organize your desk and office area and the workroom. While you are at it, have paper and pen handy to make a list of office and other supplies that you might need and prepare an inventory of office equipment. Remember to include serial numbers and phone numbers.  Review any contracts that you have for the copier and the coffee and water service.  Is it time to have the copier and printer cleaned?  Just like a car, this will extend their usefulness.  This is information that should be included in your desk manual.


Is there anything that you need that would make your job easier?  Check to see that you have the latest reference books that you need. Make a list of professional goals and include educational webinars, classes and conferences that you wish to attend.  Does your town have a local or state NALS chapter that you could benefit from joining?  If not, get involved with the online classes, publications, and network. 


One of the most important tools that you have is the desk manual with information from your office, including policies and procedures, contact information for the office staff, court filing fee schedules, and document formatting information, et cetera.  Now is a good time to get it up to date. (Really, you should do this once or twice a year.)  Be sure you have the latest contact information of all the service companies and businesses that the office uses. 


Start with a list of items mentioned in this column and add your own ideas of monthly, semi-annual, and annual tasks to keep the office running smoothly.  This is a great list to keep in the front of your desk manual and add to it when you think of things.  There is always so much to do, and this list will come in handy to manage your area and your time—and you will never be bored.

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Don’t You Want to Be On the SAGES Team?

Posted By Paula Steffey, PP, CLP-SC, CWCP, Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2019

The name is catchy.  But maybe you’re not sure what it means or what this NALS task force does.  First, the acronym stands for “Someone Who Assists, Guides, Educates, and Schools.”  The goal of the SAGES Task Force is to develop guidelines, curriculums, and educational tools to help members further their certification goals and careers.  This task force also helps to fill the gaps between the Certifying Board and the Manuals Task Force.  

SAGES was formed after the 2017 national conference, and its first few projects were to review educational presentations and create vocabulary puzzles and other word games for an online study course.  Since that time the SAGES team has expanded its work by reviewing and updating the mock exams, beta testing new online exams, preparing PowerPoints and presentations for the Study Hall Live! Series, and assisting with proofing various certification-related items. 

At the time of the 2018 national conference in Phoenix, SAGES had only been around for a year, but the team had collectively worked hundreds of hours to help provide members with the educational tools they needed.  The goals for the upcoming year were discussed at the conference when the leadership teams put together vision boards.  Attached is the vision board developed for SAGES during that session.  The SAGES Task Force is best described as “a suburb of the NALS Community.” You can view our Leadership Vision Boards from 2018 here.

The members of this task force bring experience in certification and support to those who want to further their certification goals.  They are purpose driven and strive to focus on the basics that we all need.

This task force has many opportunities for anyone interested in volunteering their time.  Do you have a passion for a specific area of the law?  If so, maybe you would be interested in hosting one of the Study Hall Live! Events.  These sessions are open to everyone.  You can register online at no charge to exam registrants, but there is a small fee for those interested in participating who need CLE credit.

The possibilities of this task force are endless.  Not everyone’s learning styles are the same.  Some people are visual learners while others may be verbal or kinesthetic learners.  The ultimate goal of SAGES, as well as any NALS task force or team, is to help everyone better themselves and succeed in reaching their goals.  To help YOU define yourself through certification and education.

If you would like more information about the SAGES Task Force or would like to volunteer your time, please contact Helene Wood, PP, PLS TSC-RE, SAGES Chair (helene.wood@nortonrosefulbright.com), Anita Campbell, PP, PLS, SAGES Co-chair (anitacampbell59@gmail.com), or Maria Easterly, NALS Resource Center Certification/Education Manager (cert-edu@nals.org).


Paula Steffey, PP, CLP-SC (civil litigation, personal injury, and criminal), CWCP, has been a NALS member since 2014.  She is currently the Corresponding Secretary and Certification committee chair for her local chapter (NALS of Greater Kalamazoo); Certification committee chair and Publications committee chair for NALS of Michigan; and is on the Editorial + Marketing Board, Manuals Task Force, and SAGES Task Force for NALS.  She also has a secondary membership with NALS of Phoenix.  Outside of NALS, she is a full-time legal assistant to Garold A. Goidosik with Goidosik Morse Disability Law Group and has two other part-time jobs. 


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What Happens After You Reach The Top? A Career in NALS and Beyond

Posted By Allison Streepey, B.A., CRS, PLS, Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2019

Patti Infanti, PP, PLS, Legal Administrative Assistant for Ballard Spahr LLP, has been a legal professional most of her life and a member of NALS since 1995.   In this time she has served in high capacity in her local and state chapters and for all members through NALS national task forces and boards. You can see her natural talents coming out from her service to NALS. In her local chapter, NALS of Philadelphia, Patti served as President twice, First Vice President/Membership Chair twice, PLS Study Group Chair, Bulletin Editor, and Website Chair.  For the state chapter, NALS of Pennsylvania, Patti served as President, President-Elect, Parliamentarian, First Vice President/Membership Chair, Reporter Editor, and Website Chair.  For the national level of NALS, Patti Infanti has been President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, and Education Director. Patti says the highlight of her leadership service to NALS was winning the 2005 Award of Excellence and taking the oath of office as NALS 2010-2011 President.  The highlight of her career in NALS was “passing the PLS Exam and becoming a NALS member.”

Life has been full for Patti Infanti, and even though her NALS career is continuing, she somehow found the time to start her own daily money management business. “Though I have since closed the business, it was an interesting and enlightening experience.”  She also was the Managing Editor of the Paralegal Today magazine.  I had the good fortune of meeting Patti at one of the Regional Meetings and had a million questions for her.  Here is what she said recently:

NALS Career 

Why Did You Join NALS?

I was teaching an Adult Education Legal Secretary course and the textbook being used mentioned NALS and the PLS Exam. I contacted NALS and obtained information about the PLS Exam. I studied using borrowed books and passed the two-day, seven-part exam on the first try.  After that, I was invited by the Philadelphia Chapter to attend their annual Installation of Officers. I was so impressed with the leadership and professionalism of the officers and members, I joined. The rest is history. 

How does your membership in NALS assist you in your career?

Being a member of NALS and, in particular, attending national events has given me the ability to think beyond my little corner of the world and see the big picture. Being active in NALS can help you understand client issues and business decisions law firms make, how to think ahead and to be prepared for possibilities that could present during a case, and furthers excellence in the legal profession.

What has been your favorite event, service, task in the local and state NALS chapters?  

Website Chair for both NALS of Philadelphia and NALS of Pennsylvania, as well as Parliamentarian for NALS of Pennsylvania.  I also enjoyed being editor of the Bulletin for NALS of Philadelphia and the Reporter for NALS of Pennsylvania.

What were the best fundraiser and membership events?  

Breast Cancer Awareness Secretarial Tea; Secretaries Night Out networking events. 

How about networking – do you have NALS pals that you hang out with?  

Without a doubt, networking with other NALS members, no matter what the Forum, is my favorite activity.  There is a core group of NALS of Philadelphia members who participate in nearly every local and NALS of Pennsylvania event, so we all hang out together.  At national conferences, I catch up with many, many NALS members from across the country.

Who, in NALS, has been your role model? 

My first role models were Janet Greco, PLS, and Beth Cummings, PLS, here in Philadelphia.  They were my early mentors too!  Also, many of our past presidents who exude professionalism, showing me the way.

Do you have a favorite memory from a National NALS event? 

I have so many wonderful memories from NALS national events. Winning the 2005 Award of Excellence ranks as one; taking the oath of office as NALS 2010-11 President is another.  Other than those, (i) being dressed as W.C. Fields at the 2011 Conference in Irvine, California (individual members, chapters, states, or regions made donations to dress any member for a NALS Red Carpet Foundation event); (ii) traveling around Oregon on a bus to visit the Multnomah Falls and Mount Hood (and stopping at a cute little general store along the way); (iii) visiting oh-so-many regions, states, and chapters and meeting so many NALS members during my term as President; 

What is your greatest accomplishment in NALS, besides being President?

Early in my NALS “career,” I was the Philadelphia Chapter’s PLS Study Group Chair.  As Chair, I was thrilled to write an article about the benefits of NALS certifications and invite area legal secretaries to attend an information meeting.  The Philadelphia Chapter’s Study Group was structured in such a way that those studying could easily become members.  We had a large crowd at the information meeting, resulting in nearly 20 participants in the Study Group who also became members.  The Study Group was so successful that it won the Founder’s Award (Jett Awards) that year.  It was thrilling!

What has NALS given you?

A clear sense of my contribution to the legal services community; a real sense of professionalism; and a desire for excellence in my career and life.

What would you tell a new member of NALS?

NALS is the single most important, career-altering decision you will ever make for yourself, and getting head over heels involved with NALS is exhilarating and satisfying as you watch your hard work blossom to fruition.  Join and get involved!  

Professional and Personal Life

Do you have a favorite part of your job?

Don’t laugh --- I LOVE making huge documents “pretty.”  I know many people have difficulties understanding Microsoft Word, but I actually enjoy implementing styles to make documents look their best.

How do you spend your spare time?

I sing in my church choir (I am no soloist, but I love to sing); I am a Stephen Ministry Leader; I’m in the process of little-by-little cleaning out the clutter and updating my house.  I also love jigsaw puzzles which I play on my tablet – it’s so relaxing.

I love the Clan of the Cave Bear series of books by Jean Auel.  I have them all and re-read them periodically.

Who (a living person) inspires you the most? 

My sons inspire me.  They are so smart and interesting – I keep asking myself, “When did this happen?  When did they get so grown and wise?”

Do you do any volunteer work?

As I mentioned, I am a Stephen Ministry Leader tasked with building parish awareness of the Ministry, training Stephen Ministers, meeting with care receivers (those people who are ministered to), organizing the twice per month meetings, counseling the Stephen Ministers to keep everyone on track, and a host of other things that go along with that.  

Do you have a favorite project? 

Right now decluttering and updating my home is my favorite project.

Do you have interesting hobbies or plans for the future? 

I will do a little traveling soon, but currently, the church choir and Stephen Ministry is about all I can handle at this time.  

Patti has experienced many of the best and worst experiences that life has to offer.  2018 was a tumultuous year for her and her family.  Her childhood sweetheart husband, Mike, passed away in April.  Two months later, their son Anthony was ordained as a Catholic priest.  Just before Thanksgiving, their other son, Joseph, married Alexis—the daughter she always wanted. Note that, through it all, she continues her service to others through her ministry – in life and in NALS.


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