Isolation Office

Well, it has been over a month now and I think I have fully settled into my daily COVID isolation home office routine. Since my 45 minute drive into the office is unnecessary, I can roll out of bed around 8:00 a.m., put on some makeup (on even days only), drag a brush through my hair (ok, my fingers), grab some coffee, and sit on the porch with my business partner, my dog Charlie. We watch the birds and squirrels play in the palm trees around my pool and my horse and chickens eating breakfast, until it is time to log on at 9:00 a.m. Alright, I will be honest, I do not start working until 9:30, but I am a part-time contract paralegal (did I mention I gave up benefits for this freedom?) and I only get paid for the time I bill out on my cases. That is a very fair trade, if you ask me.

Once I am online, it is game time. I can access my desktop remotely and my office phone transfers to my cell phone through an app. All of the case files are managed through ATO document management system and every document is accessible. It seems like I am right there sitting in my old office again until reality hits, and Charlie barks at the Amazon guy knocking on the door to let me know I have a package. My attention refocuses after this brief interruption and my workup on a file is moving smoothly until a cardinal starts ramming its head into my office window (“office” meaning front bedroom with my desk and printer in the closet with doors removed). Why do cardinals throw themselves into windows? Back to my isolation office story… My day goes by so quickly I almost forget to take a lunch break. With such a wide array of food choices, it is sometimes difficult to make a quick decision but luckily my husband is kind enough to tell me what to make for both of us. Charlie gets a few ball tosses and it is back to work. I send emails to the attorneys throughout the day to make sure they know I still exist.  I realize my productivity seems so much higher without the interruptions I usually get throughout the day (did I mention I am within earshot of my attorney’s office?). The day is finished by 5:00 p.m. and I feel very accomplished.

If I handle this home gig too efficiently, I can’t help but think I may have to relinquish my office to a full-timer after all of this is over. For some reason, that does not sound like such a bad thing.

For now, it is back to reality. We are not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. This is just temporary. I will someday have a real-life, face to face lunch hour with my office buddies I miss so much. The downside is that I may not have an office after this is over.

Expert Witness Bootcamp 101 – Tips Every Expert Needs For Success

On October 1, 2019, at 2:00pm (ET), The TASA Group, in conjunction with FRP, Shelly Zambo will present a $35, one-hour, interactive webinar presentation, EXPERT WITNESS BOOTCAMP 101 – TIPS EVERY EXPERT NEEDS FOR SUCCESS. This webinar is strictly meant for EXPERTS ONLY.

You have the background and skills in your area of expertise that sets you apart from the others.  You are ready and able to face the task at hand of conducting your analysis of the facts and presenting the data supporting your opinions.  You are ready to go head-to-head with opposing counsel with all the confidence you need to defeat the opinions of their expert.  But, wait!   Do you know the requirements for production of draft reports, email communications, work product, notes?  Is this a state or a federal case?  Do you have all of the elements contained within your expert report? Do you know what questions to ask of the retaining attorney?  How are you maintaining your files?  Do you have records of the materials you have received?  Do you know how to properly word your billing entries?  These are just a few of many questions that will be covered in this comprehensive webinar.  Experts in every field of expertise need to attend. 

Our webinar presenter is Shelly Zambo, FRP, who is a Florida Bar Registered Paralegal.  Ms. Zambo was recently appointed to The Florida Bar’s Paralegal Enrichment Committee, which was created to enhance the paralegal profession and bring educational programs to paralegals and paraprofessionals.  Ms. Zambo has over 30 years of experience as a litigation paralegal working with some of the largest law firms in the nation.  It was through her experience and recognition of the importance of the expert’s role in litigation that she developed SZ Paralegal Services, LLC.  Shelly brings to this teaching session her years of experience in working with experts from the initial retention phase through litigation.  You can find out more about SZ Paralegal Services, LLC by contacting TASA.

Shelly Zambo featured by Florida Bar

Shelly Zambo was featured in a recent Florida Bar newsletter for her article on the future of Florida Registered Paralegals. Ms. Zambo was recently appointed to serve on the Florida Registered Paralegals Enrichment Committee, an honor that reflects their dedication to the betterment of the Florida legal profession. Ms. Zambo’s featured article is as follows:


The future is bright for Florida Registered Paralegals. The inaugural meeting of the Florida Bar’s newly-formed Florida Registered Paralegal Enrichment Committee was held at the Bar’s Winter Meeting on January 18, 2019 in Orlando. The mission of the Paralegal Enrichment Committee is to bring more awareness to the legal community as to how valuable Florida Registered Paralegals are to the legal profession. The Committee members consist of 40 FRP’s throughout the State of Florida who have been appointed by Florida Bar President, Michelle Suskauer, based upon each individual’s background and experience as a Florida Registered Paralegal and interest in promoting the paralegal profession. The meeting was also attended by Wendy Toscano, Esquire, Hilary Creary, Esquire, Frank Digon-Greer, Esquire, and Terry Hill. Attorney Wendy Toscano sits on both the FRP Eligibility and Compliance Committee and the FRP Enrichment Committee. Attorney Hilary Creary has been appointed as the Board of Governor’s Liaison. Assistant Director of the Programs Division Frank Digon-Greer is the staff member appointed to the committee by The Florida Bar. Terry Hill is the Division Director of the Programs Division at The Florida Bar where he leads a team of 5 department heads and 65 staff members.

Committee Chair, Lori Spangler, and Co-Vice Committee Chairs, Wendy Toscano and Margo Valenti, formed the following four Sub-Committees whose members chose the chair for their committees: FRP Awareness Committee Chair: Patricia C. DeRamus, ACP, FRP; Communication Committee Chair: Margo Valenti, FRP; CLE Committee Chair: Michelle M. Arty, ACP, FRP; and Special Project Committee Chair: Laura Zaharian, FRP. Members of the Enrichment Committee were asked to choose their Sub-Committee and they broke out into their respective groups to create their mission statement and goals to accomplish their mission. The purpose of the Sub-Committee formation is to better serve the legal community and to bring awareness to legal professionals as to the benefits of becoming a Florida Registered Paralegal.

The mission statements were defined for each Sub-Committee. The FRP Awareness Sub-Committee will create and promote awareness of the Florida Registered Paralegal Program and its benefits through outreach among the legal community. The Communications Sub-Committee will convey the objectives of the FRP Enrichment Committee and its appointed Sub-Committees through various forms of communication pursuant to the guidelines of The Florida Bar. The CLE Sub-Committee will organize and coordinate meaningful CLE seminars directed to the overall enrichment of the paralegal profession. The Special Project Committee’s primary focus is to plan and present a special CLE program and reception at The Florida Bar’s Annual Convention. Please be on the lookout for an email blast to register for the June 2019 Annual Convention in Boca Raton at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

Expect to see more from the members of the FRP Enrichment Committee as they strive to increase awareness and promote the benefits of FRP membership throughout the state.