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California Desert Trial Academy College Of Law

Writing Your Office Manual As A Sole Practitioner

Writing Your Office Manual As A Sole Practitioner

For sole practitioners, preparing and maintaining a manual of office policies and procedures is an essential part of any law practice. While it may not be the most compelling literary exercise, the alternative is unthinkable. Anything but a well-drafted manual makes a law firm susceptible to all types of legal claims while providing little guidance to employees regarding their important work-related responsibilities. Taking all the requisite time to formulate and draft an effective office policies and procedures manual avoids countless future misunderstandings, disagreements, and failures. Law firms that have a clear, comprehensive manual will create and facilitate the reliability of employees...

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Utilizing Support Personnel: The Interpreter

Utilizing Support Personnel: The Interpreter

Legal support workers assist lawyers in the many tasks that sustain the functioning of a law firm. There are also many “support” workers such as court reporters and interpreters that are typically independent contractors who assist lawyers as well. While court reporters are exclusively found in courtrooms and deposition rooms, interpreters are common in legal, medical, and immigration settings. However, interpreters who work in a legal context are set apart because of strict ethical and professional standards. Legal interpretation is divided into two main categories, judicial (court interpreting) and quasi-judicial (interpreting in other legal settings). Judiciary interpreters work in courtrooms and...

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Lawyers As Caregivers: Ensuring Client Satisfaction

Lawyers As Caregivers: Ensuring Client Satisfaction

Lawyers are hired to perform services for clients. Whether these services involve drafting a will, negotiating a contract, or providing representation in a criminal defense or personal injury matter, attorneys must do more than perform the task at hand, they must satisfy clients. Most clients perceive hiring an attorney as an act that has serious ramifications, thus requiring attorneys to possess skills that nurture clients over the course of, and often after, an attorney’s representation. Most people do not look forward to an office visit with an attorney. It is perceived as an experience that requires considerable valuable resources such as...

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The CDTA: Pushing Forward In 2020

The CDTA: Pushing Forward In 2020

The Fall of 2020 is here and the semester’s abrupt transition to distance learning is in full swing. Faculty and students are taking full advantage of the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law’s (CDTA) online learning platform, now in its ninth year of operation. Everyone at the CDTA has united to overcome the universal challenges that arise as a result of a forced emphasis on the virtual classroom. As a result, the CDTA is pushing successfully forward in 2020 as we approach our tenth anniversary. There are many students with limited access to online learning tools because the educational institution they...

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Time Management And Online Learning – Multitasking Should Be Avoided

Time Management And Online Learning – Multitasking Should Be Avoided

Many people believe that to be effective in their jobs, which includes managing time and using it efficiently, they must multitask. Since their time is so precious, students tend to cherish the ability to accomplish as much work as possible at any given time. With the new adventure of online learning currently unfolding, it is certainly a temptation for students at home to multitask to take full advantage of the situation. However, some believe that a key to online learning and managing time is the opposite approach and that multitasking should be avoided. The ability to multitask is considered a skill...

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Time Management And Online Learning – The Virtual Work Space

Time Management And Online Learning - The Virtual Work Space

Students forced to learn from home must make the most of their situation. A great place to start is the selection, organization, and maintenance of the location to be a student’s virtual workspace or office. While a virtual workspace permits students a great deal of freedom and flexibility in how and when they learn, a virtual workspace may be less efficient without the correct tools, resources, and protocols in place to achieve maximum success. A valuable, if not necessary, skill for students, especially online students, is effective time management. The better that time is managed, the more time that is available...

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Avoiding Malpractice: Office Staff Must Comply With The Ethical Rules

Avoiding Malpractice: Office Staff Must Comply With The Ethical Rules

In the last two decades, there has been a growing increase in legal malpractice cases directly attributed to errors made by support staff. Of course, poor relationships with clients are a contributing factor to legal malpractice actions. Support staff may also affect these interactions and must always be careful to observe the ethical rules. Even if a malpractice claim fails, the litigation of the malpractice matter itself causes an attorney and his or her staff to expend a substantial number of billable hours. Malpractice claims typically create stress, anxiety, distraction, and an uncomfortable work environment. An attorney’s support staff member is susceptible...

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Avoiding Malpractice: Mistake Vs. Negligence

Avoiding Malpractice Mistake Vs. Negligence

To some laypersons and even lawyers, acts made mistakenly and acts made negligently may seem similar. However, they are two entirely different things. Distinguishing negligence and mistake is important for purposes of determining professional malpractice. And, of course, no one is perfect, which is why every lawyer wants to minimize mistakes and ultimately avoid any allegation of malpractice. In performing any job, any person may make a mistake. And lawyers are no exception. When lawyers do make mistakes, they may have consequences, both severe and insignificant. Claims for legal malpractice typically rest on the facts of each case. There are some...

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Best Courtroom Movies – 12 Angry Men

One of the most significant courtroom movies of the 20th Century is 12 Angry Men made in 1957 and directed by Sidney Lumet. Interestingly, in 1982, Lumet would direct what many consider another classic courtroom film, The Verdict, starring Paul Newman. The film notably almost exclusively uses one set - a jury deliberation room - where all but three minutes of the film takes place. Cast: Martin Balsam as Juror 1, the jury foreman. John Fiedler as Juror 2, a bank worker. Lee J. Cobb as Juror 3, the owner of a courier business. E. G. Marshall as Juror 4, a stockbroker. Jack Klugman as Juror...

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Practicing Lawyers Must Consider The Americans With Disability Act

Practicing Lawyers Must Consider The Americans With Disability Act

The websites of lawyers, like any other business enterprise, are subject to the requirements and mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Attorneys must understand how to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities and prepare their websites for potential ADA scrutiny while avoiding wasting money chasing the illusion of “ADA compliance.” When first enacted thirty years ago, not surprisingly, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) did not include the term “website” as a form of Public Accommodation for Title III. It applies to physical buildings. The ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, originally became effective on July 26, 1990, predating...

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