GB&W’s long time legal assistant, Sheri Dempsey, is the newly appointed Chair of the Legal Staff Support Group for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA). This is the inaugural year for the all legal staff six-person team which is responsible for organizing four local seminars a year and the Legal Staff Track at the CAALA Las Vegas Seminar to help legal staffers.
The goal is to provide guidance, advice, and resources to law firm assistants and paralegals who play a critical role in keeping lawyers organized and on schedule so they can better serve their clients. “Many attorneys resolve their cases without actually going to trial, so it is important that we pass along knowledge and offer suggestions on how to handle situations that a less experienced staff member may not have encountered,” said Dempsey, who has worked as a legal assistant to plaintiff attorneys Browne Greene and Geoff Wells for the past 26 years. She added, “The law and the codes are constantly changing so it is important that we stay informed and share information.”
The Legal Staff Support Group will operate autonomously by picking topics and speakers for the four local seminars, and the CAALA Las Vegas convention. The meetings usually have about 100 members in attendance, which cover topics including rules and procedures, and specific topics such as Motions for Summary Judgment, Lien Negotiation, Calendaring, etc.
Dempsey hopes that more firms will encourage support staff to attend the seminars. “It really benefits everyone and makes us do our jobs better, which is better for the clients and better for the firms.” The next meeting is set for December 5, 2017, at the CAALA Conference Center in downtown Los Angeles. The topic for that meeting is “Medicine for Legal Staff.”