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Simas & Associates, Ltd. Newsletter | September 6, 2013 | Volume I, Issue 10
Firm Announcement

Law Firm Expands into Professional Malpractice Defense

Sacramento, California - Earlier this summer, Simas & Associates, Ltd., California's leading Administrative and Professional Licensing Defense firms, expanded its practice areas into the companion focus of Professional Malpractice Defense.   

"Cases involving professional malpractice or negligence can be complex," explained Steven L. Simas, owner and founder of Simas & Associates, Ltd.  "They can involve multiple legal forums, which require different skill sets and tactics.  Fortunately, our firm is considered a leader in the area of administrative and professional licensing law.  And in the past year, we have handled dozens of cases in civil litigation.  It is the combination of those traits that made leaping into professional malpractice defense a no brainer."

As Mr. Simas pointed out, the complexity of professional malpractice defense is the juggling of the "case within the case".  You are not only defending your client on the underlying claim for malpractice.  For example, you also need to be aware of its impact in the peer review setting and before the appropriate health care law boards (i.e. Medical Board of California, Board of Pharmacy, etc.).  The fallout from successfully defending a malpractice case could be even more damaging on the professional licensing side, if one does not remain mindful.  Finally, cases are often won-or-lost based upon the quality of the Expert Witness testifying on one's behalf regarding the standard of care.  Simas & Associates, Ltd. spent years providing other malpractice defense attorneys with guidance on the administrative impact.  Now, they get to try their own advice-and-counsel out for themselves.  

"Then there is your client," continued Mr. Simas.  "These cases can be emotionally and mentally draining and scarring.  However, you do not want snowball into your client becoming professionally damaged.  You want them to be able continue to practice.  And practice at the same level of proficiency as they have in the past.  More often than not, this IS their first "rodeo" so-to-speak, and they will need a lot of hand holding and explaining in order to fully appreciate the scope of the matter."

And the administration of the cases is different.  Most cases are covered by malpractice or errors-and-omissions insurance carriers.  However, again, Simas & Associates, Ltd. has years of experience partnering with a number of carriers regarding legal fees and costs.  

"Amanda [Simas & Associates, Ltd.'s firm administrator] has developed great relationships with a number of carriers," Simas shared.  "And our attorneys keep them updated on the status of the case and involved as the case progresses."

If interested in learning more about our Professional Malpractice Defense practice area, please visit our Contact Us page at www. simasgovlaw.com.
Staff Announcement

Steven L. Simas Presents at Monthly Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association Meeting

Sacramento, California On September 4, 2013, Steven L. Simas was the featured presenter at the Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association (SVPA) and California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA) MCLE Luncheon/Meeting.  



The presentation was on “How Administrative Law is Affecting Your Case Whether You Know it or Not“.  This consisted of a general overview of Administrative Law, the Administrative Process, and Administrative Hearings.  Mr. Simas also reviewed required pleadings and deadlines and how the Administrative Process can wind up in actual Court by way of a Writ of Mandate.  The presentation also examined the procedural complexities of Administrative Law and its differences and how it interacts with Criminal or Civil Law. 



SVPA members, Julianne Allen and Rachelle Allison-Lamb were in attendance providing administrative support (and positive encouragement!).  A powerpoint of the presentation can be viewed here.
Client of the Month

Munchkin University
Infant Center & Preschool
2620 Railroad Avenue
Redding, CA 96001
(530) 241-8666 (phone)
(530) 241-8674 (fax)
munchkinu@sbcglobal.net


Munchkin University is a preschool located in Redding, California.  Munchkin University provides infant care and preschool of various lengths for different ages and different levels of development. Each class follows a daily and weekly schedule that includes an original curriculum group time, art, large motor activity, outside time, nutritious snacks, hot lunch, and a nap time for students who attend all day.  We also participate in cooking, science, music, and health & safety activities.  It takes pride in providing a varied, mind-stimulating environment with many different learning tools.

Munchkin University feels as though positive reinforcement is the key to learning and development. They boast the best teachers in the area, many of whom have been at Munchkin University for over 10 years.  Each of the teachers is committed to giving each student an opportunity to express him or herself creatively, develop social skills, and tackle problem-solving on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Simas & Associates, Ltd. is proud to serve as Munchkin University's counsel since 2013.  If you would like to be featured as our law firm’s “Client of the Month”, please contact us at info@simasgovlaw.com
Featured Agency Announcement

State Bar is Considering Significant Changes to MCLE for Attorneys

The State Bar is proposing significant changes to its Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCBE) program. These proposed amendments would increase the educational requirement from 25 to 36 hours every 3 years, and modify the specialty credit requirements. There still will be 4 hours required in legal ethics, but an additional 4 hours will be required either in legal ethics or in law practice management, or in any combination of both. 
 
Among the changes proposed for MCLE providers is a requirement that all MCLE programs include substantive written materials to be distributed to participants. Currently, distribution of substantive written materials is required only for programs offering more than one hour of MCLE credit.

Comments regarding the proposed amendments should be sent to Laila Bartlett, at Laila.Bartlett@calbar.ca.gov, no later September 6, 2013.

Featured Blog Entry
 
Ten Tips for Conducting Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigations are becoming a more and more regular task for Human Resource Departments for businesses, big and small.  Yet, no matter how commonplace they have become, there is still an art to doing it correctly.  First and foremost, it is important that they are conducted neutrally and consistently, no matter the accuser or accused.  And that is usually accomplished by retaining an impartial investigator to do the investigating.  Thereafter, there are thousands of tips and “rules” that the investigator should be mindful of.  Below, please find a short list of ten tips for actually conducting the workplace investigation.

To keep reading this entry, please click here: Ten Tips for Conducting Workplace Investigations.  For more blog entries from our attorneys and legal staff, please visit our law firm’s official blog – Wit of Mandate.
Law Firm Construction Update
 
Earlier this year, the Sacramento law office underwent some major renovations.  A new conference room was built as well as other changes to the layout and décor.  Click here to view some photos of the changes.
Word of the Month
 
Hearsay

Testimony which is not of the witness’s personal knowledge.  The Hearsay Rule, as outlined in the Federal Rules of Evidence, prohibits most statements made outside a courtroom from being used as evidence in court. This is because statements made out of court normally are not made under oath, a judge or jury cannot personally observe the demeanor of someone who makes a statement outside the courtroom, and an opposing party cannot cross-examine such a declarant (the person making the statement).  These statements made out of court are, thus, perceived as untrustworthy. However, roughly twenty-three identified exceptions exist, including for those witnesses determined to be qualified experts.

For more terms related to our practice areas, please visit our law firm’s glossary at SimasGovLaw.com – Glossary.
Upcoming Calendar

September 8, 2013 - Happy National Grandparents Day!  And World Physical Therapy Day!  Also, ABAS is hosting its 25th Annual Golf Tournament.

September 11, 2013 - Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.  First meeting of the year for the Schwartz-Levi American Inn of Court.

September 12, 2013 - Annual Bench/Bar Reception, hosted by Sacramento County Bar Association.

September 13, 2013 - Yom Kippur.


September 17, 2013 - Constitution Day.  First meeting of the year for the Kennedy American Inn of Court.  Also, SacLEGAL will be jointly hosting an event with the Probate Bar on "Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples after DOMA".

September 19, 2013 - Women Lawyers of Sacramento 20th Annual Artfest.  Also, the SLO County Bar Association will be honoring Justice Kenneth Andreen,  (Also, International Talk Like a Pirate Day !)

September 20, 2013 - 3rd Appellate District Reception.


September 21, 2013 - Oktoberfest begins in Munich, Germany.

September 22, 2013 - First day of Autumn.

September 24, 2013 - National Punctuation Day.


September 26, 2013 - Labor and Administrative Law Section's "Learn the Rules of the Road".  Steven L. Simas will be one of the presenters.

September 27, 2013 - Native American Day.

September 28, 2013 - Wiley Manuel Bar Association Legal Fusion

September 29, 2013 - Veterans of Foreign Wars Day.  National Coffee Day.

October 1, 2013 - MLB Playoffs Begin and NHL Season Begins.

October 3, 2013 - National Federation of Paralegal Associations Annual Convention Begins in Hartford, CT. The California Academy of Attorneys for Health Care Professionals also begins its Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

October 4, 2013 - Happy National Golf Day!

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