Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The PACE Standards Committee has approved a one-time amnesty period effective immediately through the end of April, 2009. During this limited time, any former RP who has not timely renewed can submit a renewal application without having to petition the PACE Standards Committee for a waiver. (click here)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gifts for Geeks

It is that time of the year again. Year-end reviews, meeting billing goals, crappy
weather, long lines, noisy kids, and shopping. Over the years, I have concluded that
geeks are surprisingly easy to shop for. There are never a shortage of cool gifts to give to that special geek (or nerd) in your life. The following is a list of some gizmos and gadgets as well as some old-time classics. (click here)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wake Up! - Alarm Clock Technology

I guess I do not have a hard time waking up in the morning. Do not get me wrong, I like to sleep in on the weekend as much as the next person. However, if I do not want to get-up, I simply do not set an alarm. That aside, I guess there are people out there who set alarms, but have a hard time (perhaps on some unconscious level) of actually getting-up out of bed when the alarm goes off. If you know someone like this, the following products may be helpful.

Sfera Alarm Clock:

This alarm is an orb that you mount on your ceiling to hover over your head. When the alarm sounds, the sleeper can hit the orb to activate the snooze. However, each time the user hits the snooze button, the cord will retract toward the ceiling and will get higher and higher forcing the person to eventually get-up out of bed to turn off the alarm.

...(click here to continue reading)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hello Google Chrome -- Goodbye IE7

Google is preparing to launch its debut in the internet browser market with an open source browser that is expected to compete with Firefox, Apple Safari, and of course Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (“IE7”). Several years ago I wrote an article that discussed IE7 and some of its promising features. I personally use IE7 at home and at work. I believe it is very good browser and I have no major criticisms of IE7. That being said, I’m getting my bags packed and preparing to go on a trip with Google’s new browser called “Chrome.” I believe that Chrome has a very promising future for the following reasons.

(Click here to continue reading)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Indiana Supreme Court rejects Regulation Rule 2.2

The Indiana Supreme Court has rejected the proposed Rule 2.2 to offer voluntary regulation of paralegals (click here).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

ABA Techshow 2008 – A Paralegal's Perspective

By: Courtney David Mills
IPA Technology Director, Chair of IPA's Litigation Section, and Litigation Paralegal at Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman, P.C.

I can finally put away my thumb drive lanyard, bluetooth earpiece and pocket protector for another year. The 2008 ABA Techshow has concluded : (

For those that have not attended yet, the ABA Techshow is considered the top legal technology conference in the U.S. The conference is 3 days of legal technology emersion and occurs during early spring each year in Chicago, IL. The conference features some of the top legal technology minds in the U.S. and even borrows some expertise from our neighbors to the North. The conference is designed for everyone (i.e., judges, attorneys, paralegals, office administrators, IT professionals, litigation support professionals, etc.). There are 4 sessions per day, with 7 available tracks per session to choose from. The tracks include, "Advanced IT/Security", "Records Management", and "Litigation" (to name a few). This year's confernece featured new tracks on "Going Green" (building sustainable and environmentally friendly legal practices), and "Mac Track" (featuring cool looking computers that do not work with any mainstream computer applications and are prone to crashing unexpectedly, j/k – Mac people are free to send emails to feedback@indianaparalegals.org). Below are some of the highlights from 2008 Techshow.

(click here to continue)

Saturday, March 15, 2008


IPA and IKON proudly announce that they will award the second annual PACE Scholarship in 2008. Applications for the IPA-IKON PACE Scholarship are currently being accepted. One scholarship will be awarded. The criteria for this scholarship are:


1. Candidates must be a voting member of IPA.


2. Candidates must be PACE-eligible in meeting education and experience requirements at the time of application.


3. Candidates must have exhausted other possibilities for funding costs associated with sitting for PACE, without incurring debt, including employer support, prior to making application for this scholarship.

.... (read more).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Let's Get Chumby

By: Courtney David Mills
IPA Technology Director, Chair of IPA's Litigation Section, and Litigation Paralegal at Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman, P.C.

During my browsing for a topic to write about, I came across a review for a “Chumby.” At first, I thought it was some kind of overpriced brick that you could use to decorate your home. However, after watching a short video on the product, the geek in me was seriously impressed. The Chumby is essentially a small linux-based wi-fi enabled miniature computer with a small touch screen and built-in speakers. The following are some features of the Chumby.

Alarm Clock: If nothing else, the Chumby makes a decorative and amusing alarm clock. The alarm feature can be set to wake-up to preset pictures, music, internet radio stations, podcasts, etc. The Chumby is connected to your home internet and can be programmed from any internet ready computer. Users can download different backgrounds and clock settings.

Picture Frame: The Chumby can also be used a nice looking quality digital picture frame. Again, you can either transfer pictures on to the Chumby’s internal memory or utilize a free online picture archiving website (i.e., Flickr, Photobucket, etc.). Users can set the Chumby to randomly display pictures at preset intervals or even show random video clips.

Games: Users can also download free games that utilize the Chumby’s touch screen and motion sensor. The games are referred to as “widgets” and can be previewed and downloaded from a computer and sent to your Chumby via your home network.
Messaging / E-Mail: The Chumby allows users to send other Chumby users (a.k.a. "chums") messages or access their email account (POP3 or Gmail). This is a great feature if you are awaiting an email and do not want to be tied to your home PC. The features also allow you keep track of your social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) and keep in contact with friends and family.
Misc.: This device has constant internet access through your home internet connection so it can keep track of Ebay auctions that you are bidding on or watching. Users can watch videos or set-up videos to play as a video frame (a great treat for the Harry Potter fans). You can have it set to update with constant sports scores or other news information from most news sites. You can keep up to date on podcasts, blogs, and even stream live internet radio to the Chumby (through the built-in speakers) and also connect your IPod or MP3 player to play music. Weather widgets are also available that act as quick weather forecast (very similar to weatherbug).

The Chumby is an interesting innovative product that is designed for just about anyone. It combines some very useful features ranging from simple (i.e. clock, digital photo frame) to more geeky features that allows users to wake-up to their favorite song and a quick summary of the overnight news. The content (including widgets, games, etc.) are free and are based on open-source code (which is designed for allow programmers to create free and innovative widgets for the device). The price of the product is $179.00 (free shipping). Considering all of the features, this is a bargain.

Websites of the Month:
Chumby.com: This website has all of the information on the product and is the only source for ordering the product. Users can also create a virtual Chumby online. It allows users to test different widgets, games, and see what the Chumby is capable of doing. http://www.chumby.com

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Indiana Gets on the E-Discovery Bandwagon

Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard says, when discussing court reform, Indiana is “rarely first, occasionally last, frequently early.” Well, when looking at the ediscovery rule amendments, Chief Justice Shepard was spot-on. As you may recall, in December 2006, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) were amended to include provisions governing the discovery of Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”). During 2007, many states followed suit and adopted some version of the amendments at the state level. In September 2007, Indiana formally adopted several sections of the amendments of the FRCP into the Indiana Rules of Civil Procedure ("IRCP"). The amendments to the IRCP went into effect on January 1, 2008 and effect most civil litigation pending in Indiana state courts. This article will briefly discuss the rule changes and their potential impact on civil litigation. The sections below in italics are the amendments to the IRCP...(click here).

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tips To Certification Success

How to Get Started and Take Off

First, decide to take the exam. Make a commitment.

Make an affirmation, telling yourself you can do whatever you set out to do.
Visualize yourself passing the exam.

Be optimistic--develop a survivor personality. Survivors remember that they are precious people first, and mothers, employees, or otherwise upstanding citizens second. Don't let outside duties keep you from meeting your goal.

Tell someone about your decision to take the exam. Hang out with positive people you know will encourage you to complete the test.

Don't let any unexpected event or fear stop you.

How to Take a Test

General rule: Break each question into the stem and the alternatives, understanding the stem first. Underline key terms and clue words in the stem.

Read the directions carefully. Some questions may be partly correct in themselves, but not when joined to the stem question.

If faced with vague terminology, define in your own words. Think of the correct answer and then look for it among the alternatives.

Don't guess too soon. You must select not only a technically correct answer, but the most completely correct answer.

Be wary of unqualified absolutes such as "never," "always," "is," "are," "guarantees," "insures." These words make the questions highly restrictive and very difficult to defend.

Be wary of the extra-long or "jargon-y option." These are often decoys.
Use knowledge of common prefixes, suffixes, and word roots to make intelligent guesses about terminology you don't know, e.g., hypertension has root word "hyper," referring to high, not low, blood pressure.

Use information and insights acquired in doing the exam to go back and answer earlier items that you weren't sure of. With the PACE exam, you can “mark” questions to pass and go back to and answer. Often, you will get clues throughout the exam that give you the right answer for those questions you have marked.
If you are not certain of an answer, guess . . . but do so methodically. Eliminate some choices you know are incorrect and relate each alternative back to the stem of the question to see if it fits. Narrow the choices, compare them, and make an informed guess.

If you have absolutely no idea what the answer is, and there is no scoring penalty for guessing, choose option B or C. Studies indicate that these are correct slightly more often than predicted by chance alone. Don’t leave the answer blank as that will be an automatic wrong answer.

Think the answer is wrong? Maybe you should change it? Studies indicate when examinees change their answers, they usually change them to the wrong answer. If you were fairly certain you were correct the first time, leave the answer as it is.
Finally, the best way to ensure selection of the correct option is to know the right answer. A word to the test-wise is sufficient.

Watch your time. Do easy questions or sections first. This will help calm your nerves, establish your concentration and build your confidence.

Mark where you should be after one hour or two hours to ensure you are not falling behind. Work at a fairly quick pace. Reviewing carefully may eat up your time. If you're behind after the first hour, you may have to choose between speeding up (and possibly making errors) or not finishing. Keep up your pace by working through the easy questions quickly, then coming back to the more difficult ones. Answer initially only if you are 100% certain of the answer; otherwise “mark” the questions that need more thought.

Process the question. Careless mistakes are often made when rushing through the "stem" or first part of the question, missing important information. Read the question carefully, noting key terms. Watch for negative or positive phrasing, or qualifying words that can drastically change the meaning of a statement.

Before looking at possible answers, try to recall the answer on your own. Then look at the alternatives to see which one best matches your answer. As you review the answers, mark off the ones you know are wrong to reduce your reading time if you come back to the question later. If none of the selections seems close, reread the question to see what you missed. If you still can't get it, go on. Something in another question may trigger your memory so you can recall the answer later.

Two similar answers? Often you must choose the best answer, which may be similar to the second best answer. If this is a problem, you may need to look at how you're studying. You may have concentrated on recognition of terms rather than understanding their significance. Or, it could indicate you need to study the material in more depth. If this is the case, you may have to carefully analyze your errors, possibly using a mock exam. Consider this option before you take the actual exam.

Internet Help

Here’s a great Internet site about taking tests with numerous links for certification purposes…check it out - www.4tests.com/resources/helpfultips.asp.
We've all heard the success stories from those we know who have been certified…a new-found respect at work, a realization that this is a great career, respect for the profession and caring more for the importance of the work we do and its positive effect for the attorneys' clients…the impact on our clients. Certification and what follows can and does create life changes.

Remember, just do it, or just say yes. Pass or fail, testing yourself is always an enriching, learning experience.

Additional websites that will help you improve your spelling and grammar include:

("How to Improve Your Spelling")

(Guide to Grammar & Writing)

(Online English Grammar)

Most of all, make this a positive experience and congratulate yourself for working on your own personal and professional development. The Indiana Paralegal Association is proud of your commitment to yourself and to the paralegal profession!!

By Debi Neale, RP
IPA PACE Ambassador
(with input from Mike Wallace, RP CCPA PACE Ambassador, Central Connecticut Paralegal Association)