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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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I AM EULA MAE: Individualism

Posted By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS-SC, ACP, Monday, February 19, 2018
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018

The next piece of this series on the Spirit of Eula Mae (stolen from the Disneyland Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln display) is Individualism.  The definition of individualism is “a view that stresses the importance and worth of each person.” 


I imagine that in Eula Mae’s time, being a working woman was much tougher than it is now. She had hurdles we can’t even fathom. According to an American History USA article1:


. . . [W]ith the rise of the corporate office, a number of other types of jobs opened up. Typists, filing clerks, stenographers, and even some secretarial roles all became possibilities for the ambitious young woman. In an era with absolutely nothing in the way of mass data storage, entire floors of office buildings were filled with the sound of typewriters and filing drawers.


In most offices, desks were lined across a central room in rows, with no cubicle walls and often not even a window. Tasks consisted of things like listening to dictations and typing their contents, of creating and updating ledgers, or of creating bills and sending out requests for payment.


I imagine it is hard in a sea of typists to let your individualism shine, but I have a feeling Eula Mae did that. She took the advice of a court clerk and used that to make herself and her peers better legal professionals.


It is possible to be an individual in a sea of other office workers. Only you can decide that you will be the best you can be. Only you can use your time to learn more about your career. Only you can do whatever you can to make youself better at your career of choice. Only you can use your money, your time, your energy, and your desire to be what some might call the cream of the crop of legal professionals.


You spend so much of your lifetime working that you should spend it doing something you love. If you spend your energy being good at it, it should pay off for you.


NALS helps its members develop their own individualism through CLE, networking, and certification. Having the knowledge and resources to answer questions and solve problems for your firm and your co-workers with information you’ve learned at a NALS conference, meeting, webinar, or printed article help make you part of the “cream of the crop.” Being able to get the name of a process server, get a judge’s specific likes and dislikes for an out-of-state court, or setting up a conference room with people that you’ve met through your NALS membership shows that you are working at this like it is your career.


Studying and sitting for a certification exam is a true show of individualism. The percentage of legal support professionals who are certified is small, so if you are certified, you definitely stand out from the crowd and are showing your “importance and worth.” Will being certified guarantee that you will see an increase in pay? No. But I can tell you that when you obtain certification, it shows your employer or potential employer that this is your career and that you are proving that your interest in learning as much as you can about it. It proves to your co-workers that you are learning as much as you can and can help them learn it too. It proves to you that you are worth it and that you are making a huge difference in your own life. It shows your individualism in improving your knowledge, your network of like-minded peers, and your position in your field among a sea of average legal support professionals.


How do you show your individualism to prove that #IAmEulaMae?

  1.  https://www.americanhistoryusa.com/working-voting-women-1920s/

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How To Present a Problem to the Boss

Posted By NALS Editorial + Marketing Board, Monday, February 19, 2018

Dear Eula Mae:


I’m a legal assistant who works for two attorneys in a small office that has a receptionist, paralegal and office manager.  I’ve only been here for six months, but as time goes on, there are more surprises that crop up nearly daily.   I’m not so sure how to deal with these problems and not very comfortable with interrupting the attorneys to ask about solutions because I don’t want to waste their time. Although it is a small office, it is a busy one.  Do you have any advice?


--Hesitant in New Hampshire

Dear Hesitant in New Hampshire:


This is a very important question.  You know bosses don’t really like problems, but they are asked to solve them every day.   The issue of presenting problems is really about planning and management.  There are different types of problems and each requires different solutions.  Problems could be urgent, priority, or your work problems.  An urgent problem must be dealt with immediately and, typically, this would need to be solved by the attorney boss. A priority problem is important but can be dealt with later.  Your problems on the job are also important, but you will need to do the thinking toward a solution first, then present to your boss if needed.  First, we will think this out and then prepare for a conversation with the boss.


To begin preparing for how to present problems to the boss, think about situations that you have had on your job or that could possibly happen. What do you consider urgent and immediate?  What are some examples of problems that are important but could be solved later?  Do you have ideas about problems on your job that affect your performance?  Write these down in the three categories and prepare to have a conversation with your boss on how the boss would like to handle these issues and consider these questions:  What if they are on their way to work, or in court, or going to the airport? What if they are in a meeting at the office? Is there someone else in the office that could manage the problem until the boss is available?


Now, how to manage your problems, issues, or concerns?  One wise boss said, “Don’t just bring me problems, bring  me solutions.”  When you have an issue, think about three solutions to it.  This takes a lot of thought, maybe some research, maybe visiting with the office manager or other legal support people who might have had the same problem.  Remember, this cannot be specific to any client, just a problem in general.  When the boss is receptive and has the time, present the problem and solutions.  The boss will give you a wise choice of a solution and you will both have peace of mind toward a successful outcome.


Having this conversation with your boss could save you both a lot of grief later.  Start by considering a time most convenient for your boss to talk about this and when they might be most receptive.  Do you need to schedule a meeting with them or do they have a more open-door policy?  Be thoroughly prepared for this meeting and you both will have a greater understanding of working together.

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We Appreciate Proofreading Tips Each and Every Day

Posted By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS-SC, ACP, Monday, February 19, 2018

Use of the phrase each and every is really duplicative. Each really means the same thing as every. They both mean “a single thing.” You should use either one of those words but not both of them together:

  • Jeff brings his lunch every day.
  • They clocked in each day at 8:00 a.m.
  • Each worker worked 50 hours last week.
  • Every car in the lot was stuck in the snow.

Another issue people seem to have is every day and everyday. Everyday means commonplace or ordinary as in an everyday occurrence.

  • Cooking dinner is an everyday occurrence in my house.

Every day means something that happens every single day or each day. In fact, if you can add the word single between every and day or replace every day with each day, then every day should be two words. If not, then you use everyday.

  • She stopped at Starbucks every [single] day.
  • The chaos of getting ready for school with five siblings was an everyday occurrence. [you cannot replace everyday with each day so it is one word]
  • Her Starbucks stop was an everyday habit.
  • Someone was crying every [single] day while getting ready for school.

So here’s hoping writers will stop using “each and every” and practice adding single or replacing with each day to determine the proper usage of every day v. everyday. One can hope!

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Keep Your 'Self-Limiting' Beliefs in Check

Posted By Tashania Morris, ALS, Monday, February 19, 2018
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us

By Mariane Williamson


Recently I was having a mini attack. I had all these self-limiting beliefs floating around in my mind.   I thought about the lofty goals I had set for myself, disappointments I encountered along the way, and failures I thought I was never going to bounce back from.  For a brief moment all I wanted to do was lay in a fetal position, cry, and feel sorry for myself.  “My goals are really scaring me,” I thought, “ how am I ever going to achieve them?”   Earlier that day I had applied to a program I was hoping to get into and by doing so, all of the sudden I was on  an emotional rollercoaster.  This was the challenge I needed to take my ideas to the next level and for the first time I was scared by the idea of both success and failure all at the same time.  Listed below are some of the thoughts that popped into my mind.  

  • Maybe I am not smart enough
  • Maybe I am not  good enough
  • Maybe this is just out of my league
  • What were you thinking?
  • What made me think I could do this?
  • This was not a good idea

Later that day, while attending a networking event, I was reminded by two different individuals, a friend/mentor and someone I had met the night before, just how truly awesome I am.  As I stood there and listened to both their stories, I realized I wasn’t in this alone, that my career wasn’t going to end simply because I decided to take another path.  I was reminded that:

  • I am smart
  • I am enough
  • This is within my league and, as a matter of fact, it felt silly to think otherwise
  • I was thinking about my son and leaving him a legacy
  • I know I can do this
  • This was a great idea

In that moment I decided I needed to create an I AM AMAZING file accompanied by a picture frame to act as a constant reminder of how amazing I am.  An I AM AMAZING file is a folder that has all my achievements, both personally and professionally.  It reminds me of all the amazing work I have already done, it also has the goals that I hope to achieve in the future along with deadlines and strategies of how they will be achieved.  I also have a picture frame that says “YOU ARE AMAZING.”  We are sometimes our harshest critic, forgetting how amazing we truly are.   


Things to put in the I AM AMAZING file


It should be separated by both your personal and professional accomplishments.  By doing this, you can easily provide documentation of your work to a potential employer, if needed.

  • Any achievements or certifications received
  • Emails received from a boss or client stating that you are doing a great job
  • Projects you have created detailing the impact you have made at work or in the community
  • Cards and letters received from friends, family, clients, work—anything that makes you feel fuzzy on the inside


Remember everything being placed in the file is supposed to remind you of your successes—not your failures.  Be very deliberate about what goes in there. 


Work on overcoming your limiting beliefs  


By nature I am a jovial person and an optimist—I try to see the good in everything and everyone until shown otherwise.  I don’t often dwell on failures or regrets.  I am extremely self-aware and can tell you what my strengths and weaknesses are at the drop of a dime.  For others, it might be a bit harder.  Some people see the glass as half full while others might see it as half empty.  I recommend replacing the negative feelings with positive ones.  You have to be honest with yourself about your capabilities and believe you can do it in order to convince someone else that you are capable of getting the job done.  Exuding a certain level of confidence is essential for people to buy into what you are selling. 


Sample—sometimes writing things out makes gives more clarity


Negative Thoughts


Replaced by positive thoughts

I can’t do it

I can do it

I am not good at my job

How can I get better at my job


Most of us would never talk to other people the way we speak to ourselves so I challenge you to be nice to you.  Create an I AM AMAZING file accompanied by a picture frame to act as a constant reminder of how awesome you are.  Take the steps you need to become self-aware so when these limiting beliefs resurface, you are able to decipher fact from fiction.  Be careful of the stories you tell yourself, Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I just found 10, 000 ways that didn’t work.”  Don’t ever forget how amazing you are.  

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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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Amylyn Riedling PP PLS-SC2019 NALS Board of Directors
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