DELAWARE PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION

 The First Stop for Paralegals in the First State

National Affairs

Welcome to the Delaware Paralegal Association's National Affairs Page. Here you will find national hot topics and articles related to the paralegal profession. If you have any questions or topics you would like to be included here, please contact the National Affairs Director

  • January 23, 2019 10:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    THE FOLLOWING RELEASE WAS TAKEN FROM THE U.S. COURTS MAIN WEBSITE: WWW.USCOURTS.GOV.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS RELEASE ON THE COURT'S WEBSITE.  

    Judiciary Has Funds to Operate Through Jan. 31

    Published onJanuary 22, 2019

    The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) now estimates that federal courts can sustain funded operations through Jan. 31, 2019. The Judiciary continues to explore ways to conserve funds so it can sustain paid operations through Feb. 1. No further extensions beyond Feb. 1 will be possible. The Judiciary previously had revised its estimate for exhausting available funds from Jan. 18 to Jan. 25.

    The extensions have been achieved through a multi-pronged strategy of deferring non-critical operating costs and utilizing court filing fees and other available balances. Most of the measures are temporary stopgaps, and the Judiciary will face many deferred payment obligations after the partial government shutdown ends.

    In recent weeks, courts and federal public defender offices have delayed or deferred non-mission critical expenses, such as new hires, non-case related travel, and certain contracts. Judiciary employees are reporting to work and currently are in full-pay status.

    Should funding run out before Congress enacts a new continuing resolution or full-year funding, the Judiciary would operate under the terms of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which permits mission critical work. This includes activities to support the exercise of the courts’ constitutional powers under Article III, specifically the resolution of cases and related services. Each court would determine the staff necessary to support its mission critical work.

    In response to requests by the Department of Justice, some federal courts have issued orders suspending or postponing civil cases in which the government is a party, and others have declined to do so. Such orders are published on court internet sites. Courts will continue to conduct criminal trials.

    The Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system remains in operation for electronic filing of documents, as does PACER, which enables the public to read court documents.

    Courts have been encouraged to work with their district’s U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, and Federal Protective Service staff to discuss service levels required to maintain court operations. The General Services Administration has begun to reduce operations and courts are working with their local building managers to mitigate the impact on services.

    Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.


  • January 18, 2019 3:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CAFC Header

    Updated Order Regarding Continued Court Operations During Partial Government Shutdown

    Due to the continued lapse in appropriations for a portion of the federal government, the court has issued a new order providing for the continuation of court operations until either further order of the court or the enactment of a new appropriation or continued resolution.  The full order is available here.

    TAKEN FROM THE COURT'S WEBSITE: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov.

  • January 17, 2019 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Notice Regarding Court Operations During Lapse in Appropriations (Bankruptcy)

    PUBLISHED ON U.S. COURTS MAIN WEBSITE: WWW.USCOURTS.GOV. on JANUARY 16, 2019

    The Administrative Office of the United States Courts ("AO") has advised Bankruptcy Courts that funds are available to maintain normal operations only through Friday, January 25. After that date, funding will be exhausted for Fiscal Year 2019 and courts will have to institute a "Shutdown Plan" in accordance with The Guide to Judiciary Policy, Vol. 13, Ch. 2, § 220.30.10 (e).

    The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware is one of the busiest chapter 11 courts in the country. Therefore, as described in the attached "Shutdown Order," the Court has determined that all judicial officers and staffs of judicial officers, as well as all other employees of the Court and the Clerk's Office, are necessary and essential to the Court's obligation to fulfill its constitutional and statutory duties. Accordingly, even after January 25, all employees will be required to report to work consistent with their normal schedules. To the extent possible, the Court will be open and operational without disruption, including conducting bankruptcy hearings and trials.

    The Court has been advised by the AO that all employees designated essential will be paid in full once appropriations have been finalized. However, the AO has further advised that, after January 25, no staff will be paid until appropriations are enacted.

    It remains within the discretion of each judicial officer to manage his or her own docket, which may or may not include granting requests for stays or other relief.

    To view this release on the court's website, click here.

    To view the shutdown order, click here
  • January 16, 2019 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Judiciary to Continue Funded Operations Until Jan. 25 (DISTRICT)

    PUBLISHED ON U.S. COURTS MAIN WEBSITE: WWW.USCOURTS.GOV. on JANUARY 16, 2019

    During the partial shutdown of the federal government, which began Dec. 22, 2018, the Judiciary has continued to operate by using court fee balances and other “no-year” funds. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) now estimates that federal courts can sustain funded operations through Jan. 25, 2019.

    Previously, the AO had estimated that Judiciary funding would be exhausted on Jan. 18, resulting in federal courts relying on unpaid staff to perform critical operations.

    The additional week of funding was mainly attributed to aggressive efforts to reduce expenditures. In recent weeks, courts and federal public defender offices have delayed or deferred non-mission critical expenses, such as new hires, non-case related travel, and certain contracts. Judiciary employees are reporting to work and currently are in full-pay status.

    The Judiciary is continuing these cost-cutting efforts, in the hopes of sustaining operations past Jan. 25, but at some point in the near future, existing funds will run out if new appropriated funds do not become available.

    Should that occur, the Judiciary would operate under the terms of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which permits mission critical work. This includes activities to support the exercise of the courts’ constitutional powers under Article III, specifically the resolution of cases and related services. Each court would determine the staff necessary to support its mission critical work.

    In response to requests by the Department of Justice, some federal courts have issued orders suspending or postponing civil cases in which the government is a party, and others have declined to do so. Such orders are published on court internet sites. Criminal cases are expected to proceed uninterrupted.

    The Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system remains in operation for electronic filing of documents, as does PACER, which enables the public to read court documents.

    Courts have been encouraged to work with their district’s U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, and Federal Protective Service staff to discuss service levels required to maintain court operations. The General Services Administration has begun to reduce operations and courts are working with their local building managers to mitigate the impact on services.

    Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.


  • January 04, 2019 5:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    President Trump signed the Probono Work to Empower and Represent Act of 2018.  The bill was sponsored by Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska) to promote pro bono legal services for domestic violence.  Check out the full text of the Bill at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s717.  Would you be interested in learning more about how Delaware responds to this Bill?  Let us know below.  

  • January 04, 2019 5:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Louisiana and Missouri are two states that addressed professional licensing through legislation.

    LA House Bill 748 initially contained a “certification” definition that denoted licensing.  The Louisiana State Paralegal Association (LSPA), NALA and 40 other national and global credentialing associations joined forces to change the Bill’s definition to distinguish between licensing and certification.  In particular, LSPA (a NALA Affiliated) attended the May 9, 2018 Senate Commerce Committee Meeting.  House Bill 748 was enacted without including certification in the definition.

    Missouri enacted the Professional Employer Organization Act through MO House Bills 1719 & 1500 These bills do not prohibit voluntary certification programs, but do include certification definitions that may require governmental oversight.

    Professional Certification Coalition was formed to address efforts to enact legislation that would undermine certifications offered by private certification organizations For further information, please see this link http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/page/professional-certification-coalition.  Thoughts?


  • September 28, 2018 5:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Utah is set to become the second state to allow nonlawyer law practice.  See posting below about the first state to do so, Washington.  Further information may be found about the Utah new rules at this link.  [Authorized link per http://www.abajournal.com/reprint/]

    At the end of the article, you will see where our paralegal colleagues across the country have been posting comments on this hot topic.  Let’s discuss!

  • July 20, 2017 4:22 PM | Michelle Granger (Administrator)

    The Washington Supreme Court adopted the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Rule, effective September 1, 2012. This rule authorizes non-attorneys who meet certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients in approved practice areas of law. Family law is the first practice area in which licensed LLLTs will be used. The LLLT requires that applicants meet a certain set of criteria which consist of having an associate level degree or higher, 45 credit hours of core curriculum through an ABA approved law school or ABA approved paralegal program and practice area courses with curriculum developed by an ABA approved law school. In addition, in order to obtain the LLLT designation, it would also be necessary to take a special exam consisting of a core curriculum exam and a practice area exam. Currently there are sixteen (16) practicing LLLT's and they can be found on the Washington State Bar Association's website under the Limited License Legal Technician Program tab. Further information can be found in two recent articles from the Fall 2016 edition of the National Paralegal Reporter, "How It Began, Where Is It Going. Limited License Legal Technician" by Hosun Lee and "Limited License Legal Technicians: Justice Gap Pioneers" by Angela D. Masciulli, ACP, MPA. All articles are reprinted by permission from The National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc., www.paralegals.org

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