Preparing for Trial Success: A Paralegal's Role & Essential Strategies - Highlights from the NCADA Seminar

26 Oct 2023 3:45 PM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

by Nathan Hewitt, Hamlet Law
Vice Chair, NCADA Paralegal Division

The 2nd Annual NCADA Paralegal Seminar is scheduled for Thursday, December 14th, 2023. As we await this year's event, let's take a look at some key takeaways from the first seminar held last year from our all-star speakers!

In the first segment, "The Rules of Engagement: Primer on Federal and State Court Rules," Bobbie Kullman of Amwins and Kellie Myers, Trial Court Administrator for Wake County, discussed important topics such as where to find applicable rules, the most frequently used rules, recent changes to rules, and how to find local rules and customs.

Next was "Who's Who? How to Effectively and Efficiently Research Jurors," presented by Scott Addison of Lincoln Derr. Using the films The Judge and Runaway Jury, Addison presented ethical ways to research juror information, how to determine which information is relevant when selecting jurors, and the best formats for organizing juror information for the trial attorney.

In "Social Media – Discovery, Ethics, Evidence & Sanctions," Damon Beaty of Veritext Legal Solutions presented on how advancements in technology have transformed the practice of law, blurring the lines of public and private identities. Beaty discussed ethical considerations, recent case precedents, and specific techniques and tools to identify and collect evidence from social media sources.

Amy Smith shared her "Tips and Best Practices for Assisting with Document Review & Production" in the next segment, focusing on document collection, organization, standardization, review, and production from both parties and non-parties. She also discussed how to withhold privileged documents from production.

Finally, Christie Herding of Pettey & Partrick, LLP, shared tips on "A Paralegal's Role in Trial Prep and Trial." Her presentation emphasized the importance of proper trial preparation, including assigning tasks, compiling case/trial notebooks and exhibits, reviewing local rules and procedures, predicting exhibits and witness testimonies, and preparing physical equipment and technology.

As we reflect on the first NCADA Paralegal Seminar, we are thrilled to see the positive feedback from attendees. Here are some reviews from participants:

  • "All topics applied to my everyday duties as a paralegal. I appreciated the experience and expertise of the speakers."
  • "All the presenters gave us very useful, practical information. Thank you for putting together a great seminar."

We are delighted to hear that the seminar resonated with paralegals and provided valuable insights. We believe that the 2023 Paralegal Seminar, scheduled for December 14th, will be even more insightful and beneficial. We encourage paralegals to attend again this year and take advantage of the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in the field. Program details are forthcoming!

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