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Extradition: Bringing Bad Guys Home

Posted By Charlene Sabini, PP, CLP, ALP, Monday, February 19, 2018
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018

“Extradition refers to one state or nation giving over an individual to another state or nation for purposes of criminal trial or punishment. Within the U.S., federal law, as complemented by state laws, governs the extradition of fugitives from one state to another. Treaties between nations and groups of nations govern international extraditions.”1  “The Extradition of Fugitives Clause in the Constitution requires States, upon demand of another State, to deliver a fugitive from justice who has committed a ‘treason, felony, or other crime’ to the State from which the fugitive has fled. Title 18 U.S.C. § 3182 sets the process by which an executive of a state, district, or territory of the United States must arrest and turn over a fugitive from another state, district, or territory.”2


In this country, a state does not have authority over someone found in another state. If someone is wanted for a crime committed in Oregon and is found in Montana, for instance, legal arrest can only be made by Montana law enforcement personnel. To make a legal arrest of a person wanted for a crime, and who is found outside the state where the crime was committed, there must be legal cooperation between the two states involved. This a two-step legal process. The first step is the issuance of an interstate arrest warrant. The second step is extradition. 3


Title 18 U.S.C. § 3182 provides the following requirements for interstate extraditions:


  • An executive authority demand to the state to which a fugitive from justice has fled.
  • The requesting executive must produce a copy of an indictment found or an affidavit made before a magistrate of any state or territory.
  • Such document must charge the fugitive demanded with having committed treason, felony, or other crime.
  • Such document must be certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate of the state or territory from whence the person so charged has fled.
  • The executive receiving the request must then cause the fugitive to be arrested and secured, and notify the requesting executive authority or agent to receive the fugitive.
  • An agent of the executive of the state demanding extradition must appear to receive the prisoner, which must occur within thirty days from time of arrest or the prisoner may be released.
  • Cases of kidnapping by a parent to another state automatically involve the U.S. Marshal.

The U. S. Supreme Court has held that the Extradition Clause applies to felonies, misdemeanors, and even some petty offenses. In the event a state chooses not to surrender a wanted individual, a federal court may order such surrender to the demanding state. 4


On another level, international extradition is a process regulated by treaty and conducted between the federal government of the U.S. and the government of a foreign country.  It is not a judicial function; it is an executive function under the U.S. President’s power to conduct foreign affairs. The Extradition Clause of the U.S. government only applies to interstate extradition.  International extradition can only be based on international comity or extradition treaties between nations.5 “Extradition treaties are binding on federal and state courts. When an extradition treaty is formed, the parties to the treaty provide the offenses for which an individual can be extradited. Treaties can be given the force of federal statutes even where there is no implementing statute because the U.S. constitution considers treaties as law of the land. . . . Our judiciary, however, can dismiss a foreign country’s extradition request if the charges the foreign government levels against the captive are not crimes in the U.S. The judicial branch can also dismiss an extradition request if the captive has a reasonable fear of facing cruel and unusual punishment or has a reasonable fear that he or she would not face a fair trial.” 6


The following website lists some of the countries with which the U. S. has extradition treaties: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_extradition_treaties

The following website lists some of the countries with which we do not have extradition treaties:



Historically, the first US extradition agreement was with Great Britain in 1794. It was not a full treaty but a single article in a broader treaty which sought to settle outstanding issues between our countries that were left unresolved since American independence. It mentions only the crimes of murder and forgery. The U.S.'s first modern treaty was signed with Ecuador in 1872, according to Douglas McNabb, an expert in U.S. federal criminal law and international extradition. 7

“Ingrained in most international extradition laws is the ‘political offence’ exception," according to McNabb. "It allows the requested state to refuse extradition of those accused of political crimes or where that state believes the real motivation for the request is political rather than criminal. . . . The first British Extradition Act of 1870 declared that no one could be surrendered if their offence was one of a political character. Many refugees fleeing Europe at the time—Including Karl Marx—were offered shelter in the UK.” . . . “Embassies have long given refuge to those fighting extradition. Under international law, diplomatic posts are considered the territory of the foreign nation. But authorities take different views on this. When Wikileaks editor Julian Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in 2012, for example, the British government considered invoking the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act (1987) allowing for the revocation of a building's diplomatic status if the foreign power occupying it ‘ceases to use land for the purposes of its mission or exclusively for the purposes of a consular post.’" 8


Bars to international extradition may include:

  • When extradition is sought it must constitute a crime punishable by some minimum penalty in both the requesting and the requested states.When most countries refuse to extradite suspects of political crimes.
  • When some countries refuse extradition on grounds that the extradited person may receive capital punishment or torture. A few also include all punishments that they themselves would not administer.
  • When some will not allow extradition if the death penalty may be imposed or carried out.
  • When jurisdiction over a crime can be invoked to refuse extradition.
  • When some countries forbid extradition of their own nationals. 9


A country’s refusal to extradite suspects or criminals to another may lead to strained international relations. Often, the country to which extradition is refused will accuse the other country of refusing extradition for political reasons (regardless of whether or not this is justified).10


Meanwhile, as of 2014, all states except Missouri and South Carolina have adopted the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. The Act includes rules for both the state demanding extradition and the state holding the individual. While there are minor differences in the versions the individual states have adopted, according to David Shestokas, the primary requirements remain the same. Under this Act, if extradition does not occur within 30 days, the state holding the criminal has the right to release him.11


Moreover, while states have the right to demand extradition of an individual, they do not always make the request. According to a USA Today editorial, there are over a million suspects and approximately 186,000 felons that states have determined not worth the time or cost to retrieve. Some suspects are designated as immune from extradition because police and prosecutors don't want to spend the time or money to retrieve them. Even if suspects are picked up in another jurisdiction, authorities where they were initially charged won't come get them.12   ///

  1. Extradition, n.d., retrieved April 8, 2017, http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/extradition.html (last visited April 8, 2017).
  2.  Extradition Law in the United States, (January 9, 2017), retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_law_in_the_United_States (last visited April 8, 2017).
  3. David J. Shestokas, (December 4, 2013), Interstate Extradition in the United States, http://www.shestokas.com/general-law/interstate-extradition-in-the-united-states/ (last visited April 8, 2017).
  4. Ibid.
  5. International Extradition, n.d., retrieved April 8, 2017, https://extradition.uslegal.com/international-extradition/ (last visited April 8, 2017).
  6. Ibid.
  7. Kathryn Westcott and Vanessa Barford, 10 Things about Extraditionhttp://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23029814 (last viewed April 8, 2017).
  8. Ibid.
  9. Extradition, (April 5, 2017), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition (last visited April 8, 2017).
  10. Ibid.
  11. Which states do not practice extradition?, n.d., Retrieved April 9, 2017, https://www.reference.com/government-politics/states-practice-extradition-50660194da95b2c4 
  12. Editorial Board, Unwanted Fugitives Next Door: Our View, (August 12, 2014)  https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/08/12/fugitives-next-door-police-prosecutors-extradite-editorials-debates/13975379/ (last viewed April 9, 2017)

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Leadership Discussion Series: Find the Financial Guru In You!

Posted By NALS Leadership Identification Committee, Friday, January 19, 2018
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018

The NALS Leadership Identification Committee (“LIC”) is tasked with identifying potential future leaders for service on the NALS Board of Directors and assisting leaders in finding other leadership roles within the Association as committee and task force chairs and/or members.  Pursuant to the LIC Operational Plan for 2018 – 2019, potential NALS Board of Directors candidates will be assessed on the talents, abilities, and vision they demonstrate.  NALS and the LIC values and seeks diverse leadership as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, area of law, professional level, etc.  The LIC has identified a number of desired attributes that will be a part of the selection process for new board members.  We will be presenting a series of articles and hosting Zoom calls to discuss each of the competency areas we have identified as essential for the success of the organization.  In this article, we will discuss NALS’ need for a future board member who is a financial guru and has the demonstrated ability to generate revenue for NALS.


NALS cannot continue to exist and thrive in the current market solely from the dues paid by members, the profit from the products and services we currently provide, and the generous support from the NALS Foundation.  While these revenue generators are essential to the stability of the organization, the industry is constantly changing and demands more from our Association—which requires more money.  The future of the Association depends on creative individuals who have demonstrated their ability to actively raise funds and think of innovative ways to generate revenue to step up and lead the Association. 


Future board members who possess the financial guru skills will be able to leverage community partner, sponsor, and vendor relationships for the financial benefit of the Association.  They will have their finger on the pulse of the value proposition for the membership—what do the members receive in return for their financial commitments and is the price point the right one?  A financial guru will be able to discuss whether or not there are additional member benefits that can be added to increase the value proposition.  In addition, financial gurus will be able to identify and capitalize on the strengths of the Association to put those strengths to work for the organization's bottom line, including how to tap the staff and volunteer resources within the organization to increase revenue.  How do we raise capital from multiple revenue stream sources?


If you have an identified goal to serve on the NALS Board of Directors, learning how to become a financial guru and highlighting your success at fundraising and revenue generation would be beneficial to your success as a candidate.  If you do not have expertise in this area, there are opportunities for you to develop this attribute.  You may consider joining a networking group outside of NALS focused on nonprofit fundraising and business building.  Research funding strategies by reading articles, books, and other financially focused material, and put those principles to action in your local and state chapters.  Once you have been successful at raising capital, be able to describe the steps taken to achieve financial success and how you can duplicate that success nationally.


Whether you are already a financial guru or you are honing your revenue generating skills, the NALS Leadership Identification Committee is here to support you in your climb to the top.  If you have an interest in being a part of a community and making a contribution to NALS on the national level, we can help you find the best place for you to put your talents and strengths to work.  Please contact the LIC by sending an email to LIC@nals.org.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Our Financial Guru Zoom call will take place on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/5:00 p.m. Pacific via Zoom meeting.  Simply click here or type https://zoom.us/j/5553235829 into your browser on PC, laptop, tablet, or phone and follow the prompts to get logged into the meeting.


On each call you will hear from an LIC member who cares about and is invested in the future of the organization and you will be able to ask questions about where you can help.  The meetings will be brief—under 30 minutes for those who will need to join over a lunch hour—and informative.  If you believe you are a leader, want to become one, or have been told you have what it takes, we hope you will join us.


If you have questions, please contact us (Brandi Hobbs, ALP; Kerie Trindle Byrne, PP, PLS, CP; Sherry Baran; Cathy Zackery, CLP; and Charnice Rollie) at LIC@nals.org.


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Working for a Young Lawyer or a Seasoned Attorney. . . Challenging or Rewarding?

Posted By Paula Steffey, PP,CLP-SC, CWCP, Friday, January 12, 2018
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Young or Old LawyerFrom my perspective, the answer to this question depends on how you view your own career.


Seasoned attorneys are typically older, possibly having started their law career without computers or with minimal technology, did most of their research at the law library, and worked for a firm with other attorneys while they were mentored and learned their chosen area of law inside and out. They attended seminars in person for their continuing legal education.  The internet was either not around or just beginning for these attorneys. Networking was done the old-fashioned way--a personal phone call or a handwritten note. Building up a clientele took time and patience, and referrals were an important part of their practice.  They took pride in their work and built their reputation.  Success came after they put in the hard work. 


It seems like today’s young lawyers who are fresh out of law school have computers and cell phones attached to their hip at all times.  As close to paperless as possible is their preference.  Continuing legal education can be done via a webinar that they watch during their down time in the evening or weekends.  Networking is done via a text or an email.  Because many young lawyers do their own typing, and therefore feel they do not need any legal support staff, they set up an office as a sole proprietor and do everything themselves including the legal support staff roles and managing the day-to-day business.  They want instant success and some try to practice in many different areas of law rather than learn a chosen area of the law inside and out.


Working for the seasoned attorney can cause frustration when they just can’t get rid of that paper calendar even though you keep their calendar current on the computer.  They attempt to send an email or do their own edits to a letter, but you end up cleaning up the document or even coaching them along until they hit send.  Paperless offices do not exist, but they are trying by at least scanning documents even though they keep the hard copy too.   You may even begin to wonder what you will do for a job when they retire. 


You can turn the challenges into rewards and help secure your career in the future.  I personally have found that the seasoned attorneys want to leave their legacy behind.  They are willing to mentor young lawyers, but also mentor support staff–even if you do not work for them.  I have experienced this first hand when attorneys in other firms have gone above and beyond to help me in my career. If you show an interest in their chosen area of law and make a dedicated effort to improve your skills, these attorneys will mentor you too. They will not only take the time to help you understand what needs to be done, but will help you understand why something needs to be done a certain way.   The more you learn and truly understand, the better you will be and the further you will go with your career goals.  Anyone can fill in a form or transcribe dictation, but understanding why you need to do what you are doing, and the consequences if it is not done correctly, makes for a great legal assistant.   


You can also have a rewarding experience working for or with a young lawyer.  Chances are you have been a legal assistant for a longer period of time than the young lawyer has been an attorney.  You may know what forms need to be completed or what documents need to be sent to the court even if your attorney does not.  You can mentor a young lawyer in many ways and help them be a better attorney.  You can help them build their reputation by making sure the work you do is to the best of your abilities.  Remember, what you do and how you do it is a reflection on them.  They are learning just like you had to learn and they may not thank you now, but they will remember you when they are a seasoned attorney.  And you never know, you may still be working for or with that same young lawyer when he or she becomes a seasoned attorney.



Paula Steffey, PP, CLP-SC, CWCP has been a member of NALS since 2014.  She is currently the chair for the Certification Committee and the Attorney Directory project on the Ways and Means Committee for NALS of Greater Kalamazoo in Michigan.  She is also very active at the state level and is currently serving as the Vice President of Membership and Marketing, and the Marketing Committee chair.  At the national level she is on the Editorial + Marketing Board and S.A.G.E.S. Task Force.  To learn even more about NALS she has a secondary membership with NALS of Phoenix and NALS of Philadelphia.   Outside of NALS she is a full-time legal assistant to attorney Garold A. Goidosik with Goidosik Morse Disability Law Group and has two other part-time jobs. One of those part-time jobs is her own crafting company where she sells her hand-crocheted items. Besides work and NALS, she is married with two children of her own, a stepdaughter, and a very spoiled golden retriever who is a retired show dog.


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Listen to Choose an Appropriate Article

Posted By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS-SC, ACP, Friday, January 12, 2018
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Grammar Nuggets: ArticlesRemember how your fourth grade teacher taught you to use "a" before a consonant and "an" before a vowel? Times have changed and that method—by itself—is no longer a valid way to decide whether to use "a" or "an." Today’s grammar rules indicate that use of "a" or "an" depends on the sound of the next letter, not just whether it is a consonant or a vowel. For instance, the word "hour" starts with a consonant but sounds like it begins with the vowel “o” sound, so it would be "an hour." There are a couple of letters that can be tricky. First, where there is a long u sound (as in “union”) and o with the sound of w (as in "one"), you use "a". Just think of the long u sound as “yoo” (starting with a consonant sound) and the w sound in “one” as a “w” (consonant sound). Just remember it is the sound of the letter that tells you which to use.

One word that is confusing is "historic." The way you pronounce it determines whether it is "a" or "an." Following our rule, it should be “a historic.”

The same rule will apply when you are dealing with abbreviations and acronyms. It will depend on whether you pronounce it letter by letter or as a word. For example, "a PPO insurance plan." The acronym "PPO" is pronounced letter by letter and the first letter—P—is pronounced as a consonant. Another example would be "an "M.B.A." degree." The abbreviation M.B.A. starts with “M” which sounds like "em", so use "an."

When you stop long enough to sound the questionable word out in your head, the decision is pretty easy. Just stop, pronounce, and listen. You will get it if you take the time to hear it.

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Ask Eula Mae: Feeling Underappreciated

Posted By NALS Editorial + Marketing Board, Friday, January 12, 2018
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ask Eula MaeDear Eula Mae:


I’m a legal secretary in a large and very busy law firm in Manhattan and even though I am the “go to gal” for all kinds of tasks, I’m starting to feel more like an invisible robot than a person.  I have great skills in answering the phone, managing people in lobby, completing on time what my bosses ask me to do, I type really fast at 120 wpm, and make a great cup of coffee.  I’m happy to be in my job and serve people, but sometimes feel ignored or used or really like the low man on the totem pole.  Everything is so fast and everyone is so busy, and I’m proud to be a legal secretary and fill in on the phones and glad to learn new things. I just feel like nobody sees me and the good work that I try to do.


 --Feeling Underappreciated in New York City


Dear Feeling Underappreciated:


Please understand that your role in the office is very important.  Every person in the office has different skills.  It is not really that they don’t see you, it is that most people are focused on their cases or their clients or on what they have to do in a day.  Being a legal secretary is a great job and a great career.  You may be more personable than most people and that is why you are able to work with the general public and your boss.  Not everyone can do that.  What I’m saying is to be proud of what you do anyway. Enjoy your job and the people you work with and serve.


The other part of this situation is knowing what it is you really want.  Do you want to be more than a secretary?  Moving up in a career may create less work-life balance, so you really have to know yourself.  Remember with a high-stress position there is less personal time. There are ways you can grow in your skills and confidence and know how far you want to go with a legal career.  Take it one step at a time.  First, stay involved in your local and state chapters of NALS and set a goal of attending an Annual NALS National Conference.  Visit the NALS website and look in the Library for publications, webinars, and online classes.  Watch for a NALS Basic Legal Training Course to attend in your area toward being certified. If there is not one, you could access NALS Online Study Hall, including study materials, in various formats.  Visit with your office human resources person to see if the firm is able to pay for some of your legal education and certification.  There are three levels of certification with a natural progression of education about the law: ALP/ALS, PLS/CLP, and PP, with a Specialty Certificate in many areas of law.  ALP/ALS is the Accredited Legal Professional/Accredited Legal Secretary; PLS/CLP is the Professional Legal Secretary/Certified Legal Professional; and PP means the certified Professional Paralegal.  Specialty Certificates are for PLS/CLPs and PPs whose careers are focused in various areas of law, such as real estate, family law, criminal law, etc.   It is a good idea to investigate what is required of each so you will know exactly what your plan will be.  The best part of a legal career is that you can learn more and more about the law.  Some Professional Paralegals have gone on to become attorneys. 


Being a legal secretary takes a special person with special skills and you are about to take the best journey of your life in discovering each step of growing your own career in law.


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more Calendar

3/21/2018 » 9/15/2018
NALS Traveling Gavel Challenge

3/21/2018 » 3/21/2019
NALS 2018 Online Leadership Course + Discussion

4/1/2018 » 6/30/2018
NALS Foundation Full Circle 5K

4/16/2018 » 4/16/2019
Online ALP Exam

Amylyn Riedling PP PLS-SC2018 NALS Board of Directors
Nakia A. Bradley-Lawson2018 NALS Board of Directors

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