Paralegal for Late Husband, Criminal Defense Attorney
Assisted with courtroom calendar (including case status), financial records, and other office management problems; kept equipment up to date and working; prepared contact letters, pre-trial motions and briefs; transcribed dictated police reports and other matters. Performed considerable legal research on criminal defense issues; worked nights and weekends as needed. Explained court procedures and options to his clients who phoned. Dealt with many arrest-prone clients. Reported case status to Travis County on TCAMS system. Took care of terminally ill husband until he was admitted to hospital and placed in hospice care. Probated will and managed estate.
- 1972 - 2000 Private practice of law, self-limited to civil litigation, family law, and bankruptcy, all involving substantial lengthy litigation at multi-court levels -- many temporary and final divorce hearings. All cases involved interviewing willing and reluctant witnesses, tracking down parties and witnesses, taking and transcribing statements and depositions, and preparation of pleadings and courtroom exhibits. Organized and outlined witness' statements, legal issues, pre-trial forms, motions, and briefs
- Tried complex contested divorces and other cases (estimate 10/year major trials X 20 years = about 200 cases lasting one day or more, involving numerous witnesses, depositions, required mediation, preparation of witnesses (including experts - physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists), pleadings, exhibits, courtroom exhibits, and final documents. Organized all trial documents in folders or notebooks
- Tried shorter contested cases involving fewer witnesses (estimate 2 a month for 10 months = 20/year X 15 years = 300 cases
- Family law practice included representation of clients owing and owed child support. Drafted briefs, motions, orders, subpoena requests, letters, and calculated child support arrearages. Filed motions to modify and enforce child support and visitation. Responded to numerous discovery requests and organized voluminous files.
- Dealt with emotionally disturbed clients and violence on a regular basis, referring same to psychiatrist and social workers
- Represented clients and attended mediations; served as Arbitrator for American Arbitration Association; completed basic mediation course
- Worked with co-counsel as required to present case in best light
- Supervised staff, ranging from 1 paralegal at times to many others as Chapter 7 Trustee due to volume of cases involved (at least 30/month X 20 months = approximately 600 cases)
- Responsible for acquisition, maintenance and upkeep of all office equipment and supplies and payroll. Learn new computer programs easily.
- Purchased at great expense one of the original IBM 10 mg computers and printer. Have always updated software. One of the original users of on-line legal research programs and used them when available only for DOS. The advent of the computer modernized the practice of law. I was quick to take advantage of this.