The Paralegal Profession: 5 Must-Have Qualities for Success

I especially like the most important quality:

“Exceptional reading and writing skills are necessary in the field of law. It is top priority for a paralegal to do their job accurately and communicate clearly. Ninety percent of your day may consist of proofreading court documents, reviewing medical records, and writing pleadings that are filed with the court. The tiniest mistake on a document, or a mistake in document review could cost a client their case, anger a judge, or have your boss screaming at you.”

– See more at:


No Longer the Tail Wagging the Dog – but Tax-Wise Estate Planning is Still Important in 2014

Great Estate Planning Article from Walker Lambe!

Since the introduction of an unlimited marital deduction in 1981, coupled with higher and higher estate tax exemption amounts, probably every competent estate planner could and would offer prospective clients potentially dramatic tax savings from “Bypass” (or “Credit Shelter,” or “A-B”) Trust planning, facilitating maximum use of two exemptions (and getting the clients to “first base”). These potential savings could be pretty easily quantified, translating into a pretty easy “sell” for many, many families. The so-called Bush tax cuts of 2001 phased in dramatic new increases in the exemption amounts, from $675,000 in 2000, to $3.5 Million (pre-repeal) in 2009; this may have reduced the number of families with interests in more “advanced” planning measures to minimize or avoid exposure to estate taxes (getting to “second base” and beyond), but “first base” was still an easy, and for many, even more valuable planning goal.

Things are a bit different now. After the year of repeal in 2010, and another two years of dancing, since early 2013 we’ve had a “permanent” (until Congress acts affirmatively to change it) $5 Million estate tax exemption (adjusted for inflation), including a $5 Million lifetime gift tax exemption, and a $5 Million generation-skipping tax exemption, and we also have a new rule that makes a deceased spouse’s unused exemption “portable” – and therefore usable by the surviving spouse (so that getting to “first base” is no longer an obvious goal for every client whose family’s assets might ever reach $5 Million).

Trademarking a Blog – Great Info!

You should trademark your blog name if…

If you spend a lot of time creating unique, original, and valuable information to share with readers on your blog, you may have thought about trademarking your blog name already. You’re not alone. Many bloggers large and small have already taken this step.

For example, the AOL-owned blog THE HUFFINGTON POST is a registered trademark, as is the niche independent blog NOM NOM PALEO. How can you decide if your blog is worth trademarking? If any of the statements below are true for you and your blog, you might want to consider starting thetrademark registration process:

You share unique, original information on your blog that readers can’t find anywhere elseYou use your blog to communicate messages about your business/brandA large amount of readers/visitors/subscribers regularly come to your blog for the valuable information you provideYou are starting to find other blogs that look and sound a lot like yoursYour personal blog has evolved into a business opportunity

If you’re still unsure about whether your blog is worth trademarking, consult with a trademark attorney.

Back to Basics: Focusing on Patent Quality to Fight Patent Trolls

Back to Basics: Focusing on Patent Quality to Fight Patent Trolls

Indeed, IP attorneys have always appreciated the role that quality plays in patent applications. For one thing, strong applications can lead to more defensible patents. The legal standards of utility, novelty, non-obviousness and written description are and should be the fundamental determinants of a patent grant, and only those applications that meet the criteria should be allowed. But we know that things haven’t quite followed that carefully scripted logic. A renewed emphasis on patent quality acknowledges several factors that have contributed to the rise and influence of trolls and the current state of the patent system in general.

Jess Paralegal ~ Intellectual Property Law Paralegal

ImageIntellectual property, often known as IP, allows people to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property. The owner of IP can control and be rewarded for its use, and this encourages further innovation and creativity.
The ever increasing level of piracy and counterfeiting costs U.S. businesses substantial revenue annually. As such, a business has to be as vigilant in protecting its intangible assets as it would be in protecting its tangible property. Intellectual property law is a means to combat the widespread theft of a company’s most important assets.

Jess Paralegal ~ Intellectual Property Law Paralegal Duties:
• Coordinated trademark prosecution, foreign and domestic.
• Performed trademark searches.
• Received and docket all trademark mail.
• Provided back-up support for Patent Paralegal.
• Prepared and file patent applications, foreign and domestic.
• Processed and draft replies on own initiative or from attorney’s dictation or notes.
• Prepared formal documents for inventors’ signatures.
• Drafted non-disclosure agreements, applications, and responses.
• Coordinated travel for clients, associates, and attorneys.
• Processed incoming and outgoing mail, including docketing deadlines.
• Performed Time Entry and billing.
• Maintained and updated docket.
• Maintain client database.
• Request instructions from clients and authorize as appropriate.
• Maintain docketing system, including running weekly and monthly docket reports.
• Prepared and filed U.S. and foreign patent and trademark correspondence.
Freelance Certified Real Estate Paralegal & Writer.
• Completed Intellectual Property tasks such as docket management, organization of transaction documents and file preparation.
• Answered product submission inquiries by phone or correspondence.
• Prepared special reports or information into PC generated reports and checks them for accuracy, including international licensee and intellectual property summaries.
• Performed research of files and routine computer research as required.
• Coordinated administrative function with contracted clients with regard to records retention.
• Investigated and researched factual evidence of a transaction or case and prepares exhibits or schedules.
• Assisted in the preparation of legal documents such as trademark applications, renewals, contracts, leases and closing documents.
• Obtained due diligence materials such as real estate and title information and securities filings.
• Performed research and maintained data base of organizational activities.
• Prepared and submitted expense reports, arranges for travel and certain other administrative duties that are reasonably associated with the above essential functions of the job.

International Trademark Association,
• U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
• Careers in Intellectual Property Law, ABA,
• Appendix to Careers in Intellectual Property Law, ABA,
• Intellectual Property Today magazine,
• National Association of Legal Assistants Advanced Paralegal Certification, Trademarks