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A Guide for Paralegals: Making Client Interviews More Effective

One of the many tasks often assigned to paralegals is the conducting of initial witness interviews. As a legal secretary, you are expected to interview clients and keep in touch with them. Having strong interviewing skills and strategies will help you gain a competitive edge whether you are just starting out on your paralegal career or already have experience in the field.

legal interviewThe skill and expertise in interviewing witnesses is so important that most online trainings and national paralegal colleges provide an interviewing and investigation course to prepare students in the industry. If you want to make the most of your time with clients and make sure that your interview will be an effective one, here are some of the things you need to keep in mind:

Getting Ready for the Interview

Prepare and organize all the documents related to the witness and their case before the interview. Remember that you are conducting a fact-gathering interview so you want to get sufficient information for your attorney. This will help them find the most effective solution for the client.

Collect all files and forms. This may include medical information, consent forms, or federal income. You may need to run a background check as well, so that you can structure the questions more effectively.

Conducting the Interview

It is important to keep a friendly yet professional tone when conducting the actual interview. Remember, the clients are revealing personal information or details about a traumatic experience, so it is important to earn their trust.

Make sure to start the interview by telling the client that what you are doing is collecting facts related to the case. It’s important that clients tell their story and the facts in their own words, without legal terminologies.

Remember, the interview may not just be a one-time event. Often, you will have to ask follow-up questions to clarify things. This is why it’s really important to build rapport with witnesses and clients, so that the next time you talk to them, it will be easy for them to disclose more facts to you.

Business Relocation: Office Moving Mistakes and Ways to Avoid Them

Office MovingWhile moving can support the company’s growth initiatives and boost efficiency, it can be stressful for a business. Other than getting in the way of day-to-day operations, moving can also cause uncertainty for employees because of changes in their sense of community.

Many companies have little experience managing complex office moves and relocation projects. This is probably the reason moving leads to operational downtime and cost overruns. It is possible to avoid costly moving mistakes like these with proper planning and by seeking professional advice.

Here are some office moving mistakes and ways to avoid them:

Insufficient Planning

Planning is an integral part of a successful transition. Take time to create detailed plans to get off to a good start. Create an effective relocation team with a strong team leader and active team members. Evaluate move situations and build a transfer strategy for your office content and business operating system. It would also be smart to hire experienced commercial movers to minimize downtime.

Wrong Technology Transfer

The transfer of technology equipment is one of the most crucial parts of the move. If your business relies on technology to operate and serve customers, it is best to have a realistic plan for the transfer. Assess your technology and communications, and work with an expert to create a seamless plan. Make sure to prepare sufficient space in your new office to accommodate equipment.

Furniture Transition Errors

Some business owners and managers think that they can reuse existing furniture in the office. This is not usually the case, as old furniture may not fit the new layout and office size. It is best to understand the expenses and time involved in relocating business furniture. Furniture transfer can be costly, as it involves redesigning and ordering new parts and installing new wiring and power.

Take time to evaluate your relocation goals and create a list of the things you need to do before, during, and after the move. Involve all the tasks and subtasks that you need to accomplish. Select the right move vendor, as well your general mover for a safe and stress-free process.

For Runners: Here’s How You Can Stay Safe in the Road

runningNothing can beat that feeling after a good run—sweating some good sweat and feeling that good kind of throb. When you run, you feel like you’re breaking the barriers of the world and getting that sentiment you’re free to do anything.

Running, however, isn’t always fun and exciting. Many attorneys in San Jose receive hit and run cases annually, some of which involve runners. Before you tread the road, there are many things to consider: pedestrians, baby strollers, cyclists, and most importantly, speeding cars.

Below are some tips that every runner should keep in mind to make the workout safer and more worthwhile:

Take a Buddy

A run with a buddy is much better than a solo course. When you run with someone, you actually fill that blind spot of yours; your friend may alert you with passing pedestrians or motorists which you fail to notice. More importantly, running with a friend reduces the chance of someone with bad motives approaching you.

Bring Your ID

This is especially important if you’re running on your own. Bring any document or item that will help people easily identify you in case something happens. Make sure that there are conduct details in your identification documents.

See to it that the Driver Sees You

Don’t think that drivers have 360-degree vision. You’re supposed to be visible at all times. Wear clothes with strong colors. If you’re running in the night, wear neon colors or carry a flashlight. Always run facing the traffic.

Take off those Headphones

There are some tunes that you like to listen to when running. But, reserve those upbeat songs for the treadmill session. You need to hear the passing vehicles, so take those headphones off. If you really can’t help it, lower the volume.

Before you leave your home, tell someone where you’re headed to. Plan your routes and avoid places where there is a high traffic of vehicles and pedestrians.

Shady Deals Aren’t Bad – When Talking About Shades

blindsPeople should really pay more attention to their screening needs. People often overlook this home component but they play important roles. Curtains, blinds and awnings help you maintain your privacy and it helps with temperature control.

Shedding Light on Shades

You value your right to privacy, to keep personal things personal in the comfort of your own space. You don’t want other people seeing what you do in the privacy in your home when you don’t need them to, would you? You also need the option of tuning out things you do not want to see from the view outside. This is why we need curtains and blinds.

Thicker curtains aid in soundproofing as well, so you can listen to your music at ease without worrying too much about bothering your neighbours (and them bothering you). In addition, these types can help with keeping direct sunlight at bay.

Protection for all Seasons

Having a shade protects you from direct sunlight. They shield our eyes from the brightness and they prevent direct heat from entering indoors. This also protects your furniture from too much sun exposure, which could cause damage.

In colder months, they can also help maintain the warmth indoors and keep the cold out, adds The Blinds Gallery. Thick curtains especially can provide good insulation. Awnings also provide flexible options for different weather needs, such as choosing retractable awnings.

Décor Attack

Let’s not forget the beautification function of these screening pieces. You can have them customised and fit the style of your own home, especially now that even blinds have many styles and designs to choose from – colour choices and patterns, thickness and textures. The possibilities are endless.

There really are many benefits from having the right shading for your needs. Other than that, the options of what the appropriate style for you are plentiful. These ‘shady’ deals are not bad at all!

3 Mistakes to Avoid For Smooth Listings of Hotels For Sale

business manIn today’s economy, selling a hotel will require all the advantage and contacts you know. The clincher occurs during the trade-off between the hotel’s selling price and period that the business is on the market. According to statistics, the average selling period of hotel at full-market value is a year or two—successfully marketed business sell within 6-12 months.

Industry veteran resortbrokers.com.au believes that it’s possible to achieve a satisfying market-value for your hotel in this economy, but you must pay attention to detail and avoid mistakes at all costs. This is to make sure that your hotel sale will go smoothly.

Here are three mistakes you need to avoid:

Mistake 1: Lacking Preparation for Business Sales

Any market will fail if there is a shortage of preparations. Keep in mind to thoroughly check every aspect of your business: financial records, marketing materials and miscellaneous matters. Don’t disregard regular planning and accountability, as these are vital to keep your business up. To be effective, run the extra mile: plan ahead, allocate prime selling hours and do follow-ups.

Mistake 2: Working with Inexperienced Hotel Brokers

The hotel industry has its challenges from time to time. These issues can reach the sales process. Be careful of tying up with brokers who don’t possess the right amount of experience in the business. Chances are, such brokers lack industry connections that are vital to boosting up your hotel in the marketplace.

Seek out brokers who have high-quality services and proven experiences in the field to ensure the success of your business in the sales department.

Mistake 3: Improper Business Valuation Prior to Listing

It is vital to get a proper business valuation prior to listing. Aim to price your hotel at the exact amount; pricing it too low could create an assumption that your business is second-rate whilst pricing it too high can discourage buyers. These could occur if your hotel does not receive a proper business valuation. With the aid of trusted hotel broker, a valuation will help you mark your hotel at its exact monetary worth.

When you avoid these pitfalls, you can look forward to achieving a successful hotel sale.

Vibrate Your Way to a Healthier Bowel

Whole Body VibrationConstipation, also known as dyschezia, refers to infrequent, and sometimes painful, bowel movements. It might sound harmless, but constipation is one of the leading digestive problems in the United States today, affecting as much as 15% of the total population. Some people with this condition fail to experience bowel movement for three days, which can lead to toxin buildup in their colon and worsen into other conditions.

There are many known remedies to treat constipation, from a healthy, high-fiber diet to lots of exercise and adequate water intake. But modern science says that it no longer stops there.

Whole body vibration might just be the answer to your never-ending bowel problems.

The “Lazy” Bowel

To keep up with the times, people come to work and face the computer all day. This modern sedentary lifestyle contributes to constipation as it weakens the muscles in your bowel. As these muscles continue to weaken and get lazier, the motion responsible for moving the stool through the digestive tract is not adequately stimulated. This loss of stimulation leads to constipation.

The key, therefore, is to strengthen those bowel muscles and get them back into shape. Whole body vibration produces gentle movements that can be ideal exercise for your bowels. According to LifetimeVibe, the oscillating movements of WBV get the body moving and strengthen the muscles in the bowels with minimal strain and pain to the joints.

Toxin Flush

Once you’ve started on WBV, positive effects will follow. In response to your bowel exercise, the constant contractions in the muscles will flush out the toxins and deposits in your colon, causing a cleaner intestinal tract to aid in regular bowel movement.

There’s something about vibration that the body positively responds to – from the low-impact rocking movements to their overall effect on the bowels’ muscle tone. Regular WBVs not only give you no-pain exercise, but effectively cause your bowels to work properly.

Soft Water: A Simple Solution to a Cleaner, More Efficient Appliance System

Installing water softener systemsAs homeowners, you want to keep our appliances and other household equipment in good condition. This includes careful and well-informed use and maintenance, like knowing when to plug in your device and at what voltage, and following proper cleaning procedures.

All of these take conscious effort and constant vigilance that, given their busy schedules, could be taxing for some and utterly impossible for others. In Utah, for example, some groups are calling for better water conservation practices, making cleaning a more thoughtful task.

Worse, should there be malfunctions in the future you might not like the costing repairs.

But did you know that the mere choice of water can effectively minimize your troubles?

Discover your water

You’re probably unaware of this fact, but the water running through your pipelines and flowing from your faucets is called “hard water.” This type of water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium that damage your heaters and reduce their efficiency by causing a nasty buildup in the pipes. This buildup leads to clogging in your plumbing that eventually strains your appliances and slows them down, resulting in quality damage and increased energy cost.

Statistics says that 90% of Americans have hard water in their homes. That’s roughly equivalent to 80,000 families unaware of the disadvantages of hard water.

Do a water test

It’s easy to determine the type of water you have in your home. If you can see white translucent sediments on your fixtures and soap spots on your kitchenware, then you’re using hard water. Hard water is also less responsive to soap, as opposed to soft water that lathers easily and forms bigger and thicker suds.

Soften your water

Installing water softener systems is becoming the trend, as residents do their part in conserving water. Since soft water has little to no magnesium and calcium, it has less resistance to detergents, thus making it more effective in cleaning pots and dishes.

According to studies, soft water is also one of the most important factors in removing stains on clothes. It does not only ensure the efficiency of your appliances, but ultimately, minimizes your expenditures.

4 Reasons to Ditch the Starter Home for an Apartment

Planning to become a homeownerWhen people are finally ready to stop renting and get a place of their own, their first thought is usually to purchase a small starter home, and simply move up once they have the finances to do so. But is spending a few years in a house you don’t really like the best option?

Many young people in Brisbane are ditching the starter home entirely, and choosing to just buy apartments until they can afford the home of their dreams. By taking this approach, they enjoy several key advantages.

1. Better location – It is incredibly difficult to find decent starter homes in the Brisbane area for a good price, meaning that you will likely have to go far out of the CBD if you want one. Meanwhile, the apartments for sale throughout Brisbane are within easy reach of the most important locations and the biggest companies.

2. Value for money – Getting an apartment also means that you can get a higher end unit for less cash, allowing you to make the most of every dollar. For the price of a fairly mediocre home, you’ll have great views, excellent security, and a place that is guaranteed to impress friends.

3. Access to amenities – Want easy shopping or a big pool? How about a gym with dozens of treadmills and the latest exercise equipment? Luxury apartments have fantastic amenities that their residents can take advantage of, and for many people, these are essential complements to their lifestyle.

4. Future flexibility – Once you have “outgrown” the apartment, selling or renting it out is far easier than with a starter home. Apartments in good locations are always in high demand, and have a fairly stable, widely accepted market rate; on the other hand, the value of a starter home depends mostly on what a person is willing to pay for it.

At the end of the day, the only real advantages that a starter home has are increased space and neighbours that you don’t share a wall with. Other than that, however, an apartment wins out every time. You’ll have to decide which one suits your preferences more.

Delayed Home Ownership: Signs You’ll Keep on Renting

Delayed Home OwnershipRenting has always been part of the lifestyle of many Australians. But, that doesn’t mean that they don’t exactly like to own a home. There are just some things that affect their decisions when it comes to making such a big purchase.

Is it okay to rent? There’s nothing wrong with renting. But, home ownership has many long-term benefits compared to renting and moving from place to place. True, home ownership comes with a hefty price tag. You can, however, always enlist the aid of companies, such as Mortgage Forces, to organise your finances and make property purchase not much of a burden.

While you may want to own a home soon, there are telltale signs you’ll keep on renting.

You Move a Lot

If you’re a regular backpacker or a flying businessperson, chances are you’re going to delay the home purchase. It’s not advisable to commit to a mortgage if you see yourself moving to another destination in the foreseeable future. Even if you’re away, costs that come with home ownership won’t stop coming in.

Your Finances are Out of Order

You may stick to renting because you believe you need to sort your finances out. Purchasing a home requires you to present a favourable or perfect credit record, which is necessary for getting your mortgage application approved.

You Have Other Priorities

Some people delay purchasing a home, as they have other matters to attend to. You may be building a retirement fund, funding a business or providing for a sick family member. You won’t afford to enter an agreement if your finances are already allotted for different expenses.

You’ll keep on renting if you’re afraid. It’s normal, as home may be the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. Dissipate your fears by looking at the bright side. Besides, there will be always real estate agents or mortgage advisor who will help you.

How to Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal

wisdom teeth removalFor a very lucky few, wisdom teeth or the last molars come in without fuss. For the rest of those with teeth, all sorts of complications can arise.

Some molars give you fevers, headaches and jaw pain for weeks as they grow. Others take years to erupt and bother people at the most inopportune times, especially women on their period.

There are also the unlucky few that have impacted wisdom teeth which usually never erupt and instead push against the rest of your teeth from inside your gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection and other dental problems.

Dentists usually recommend surgery when third molars are at risk of infection or are causing immense pain. Before you go into wisdom teeth removal procedure, scottwgrantdmd.com suggests making sure you’ve done the following to prepare:

• Arrange for transportation to and from the clinic

Depending on your response to surgery, you may or may not be able to drive yourself home on your own. When you’ve ben placed under anesthesia, it’s better for a friend or family member to stay with you and take you home.

• Ask your doctor about the risks involved

Any type of surgery always carries risk, even wisdom teeth removal. Meridian, for example, has more than one dental surgeon who can answer all your questions fully and even provide second opinions on your need for surgery.

• Stock up on soft, easy-prepare food

Unless you have someone to take care of you and cook for you, it’s best that you prepare your meals in advance. Stock up on ice cream, yogurt and applesauce as well as other food that can be eaten at room temperature. You won’t be allowed to eat hot, chewy or tasty food while you’r recovering from surgery.

• Prepare to fast the night before the surgery

To prevent the anesthesia from causing averse reactions to your digestive system, a fast will be required by your dentist and anaesthesiologist.

Prepare yourself mentally for the surgery and make sure you have everything arranged for your recovery. Keep in mind that dental surgery does involve risks, but a good dentist knows when you need to have wisdom teeth extracted or not.