Monday, October 31, 2011

Paralegal Profile: Ruth M. Schaub, PP, PLS

Ruth M. Schaub, PP, PLS is a Litigation Paralegal with Wilson Kester, PLLC in Traverse City, Michigan where she specializes in Personal Injury Litigation. She has just applied to be among the first in the country to be awarded the designation as a “Litigation Specialist” from NALS.
Ruth has an Associates in Paralegal Studies, as well as an Associates in Claims. She has earned the following  certification credentials: NALS – PP (Certified Professional Paralegal), PLS (Advanced Certification for Legal Professionals f/k/a Professional Legal Secretary); TBA Career Tech Center – Certified Computer Operator      


1.    What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  I began as the receptionist in a small personal injury firm and really wanted to be the most help to my boss that I could be. I set out to become more educated and grew into a paralegal.
2.    What is your favorite part of your job?  Getting to know and help our clients is the best part – but when I have that “a-ha” moment when research, investigation and file review come together to reveal that moment of clarity that brings the entire case together – that is my favorite part! Winning a big verdict or settlement is pretty great also.

3.    What professional associations do you belong to?  NALS, NALS of Michigan and Grand Traverse Area Legal Professionals. I am a former member of the State Bar of Michigan Paralegal/Legal Assistant section.

4.    How has your membership benefited you?   The education I have received as a NALS member is priceless and changed me from unskilled employee to valued paralegal. The networking has allowed me to make professional contact throughout the United States. The leadership opportunities have taken me from a shy wall flower to a national speaker and NALS of Michigan Past President. I am the person I am today as a result of my NALS membership.

5.    What has been the highlight of your career?  Assisting from the time the client walked through our door, through trial and verdict on a $3.4 million product liability case, and following that verdict my employer crediting me before my peers with an idea I had to show the impact of the incident on our client as adding the “real value” to our verdict. The verdict was the largest of its kind in northern Michigan, and for my employer to acknowledge my contributions was amazing. Being installed as NALS of Michigan President is a very close second career highlight.

6.    If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be?  Make sure to hone your typing skills; take every grammar/professional writing course you can; you can never have too much education and when you stop learning you are no longer effective. Love what you do and do what you love – but remember, being a paralegal and doing it right is not always a 9-5 job.

7.    Is there a quote that inspires you?  There are two. (1) Those who believe they can't do something are correct. However, those who believe they can do anything are also correct! (2) The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

8.     You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career.  To what single event or person do you attribute that success?  Margaret J. Scott, PLS, CLA.  She was a charter member of my local GTALP chapter and early in my career she was named NALS National Legal Professional of the Year. She encouraged me to become an officer of my local chapter, asked me to study for certification and became my mentor without me even realizing it. Margaret was an amazing example of a genuine work ethic and pride in everything you do, including the little things. She gave me a love for this profession and a passion for learning. I owe her a debt I will never be able to repay.

9.    What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting?  Remember that this is not your only case, but it is your client’s only case. Always make your client feel like they are your only client. If you learn to become profit and not overhead, when your boss has to make difficult staffing decisions during tough times, your name will never enter their mind for elimination. Become the employee no boss wants to practice law without.

10.  Who would play you in a movie of your life? I would hope Erin Brockovich, but most likely Gilda Radner. I think I am a great paralegal, but in reality, I am a big goof ball with fuzzy hair!

11. If you could not be a paralegal, what would be your dream job? I would love to be a teacher and author.

12. What makes you lose your patience? Ignorance and prejudice.

13. Is there one thing in the world you wish you had the answer to? The cure for cancer. My mother, my mother-in-law, father-in-law and brother-in-law all died from cancer and way too many people I love have battled or lost their battle with cancer. I am involved in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and if no one ever had to hear, “you have cancer,” again, that would be just fine with me!

Bonus Question: What’s your most treasured possession or keepsake? It really isn’t a possession, but my grandchildren and family and spending time with them is my most treasured gift.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Paralegal Voice: Exploring Modern Redaction Methods for Paralegals

The latest edition of The Paralegal Voice, “Exploring Modern Redaction Methods for Paralegals” co-hosted by Lynne DeVenny and me, is now available at Legal Talk Network.

When it comes to redaction and the process of removing confidential information from legal documents, some paralegals still rely on the traditional yet cumbersome method of using a black marker and the copier machine.
A new option is growing in popularity: the use of specialized electronic tools like Redact-It, which is specifically built for redaction. On this podcast, Christine Musil, Director of Marketing for Informative Graphics Corporation, joins us to discuss the benefits of this modern face of redaction and how paralegals can get current and step away from their redaction methods of yesterday.

Also in this episode:
  1. How Redact-It was born
  2. The benefits of using electronic redaction tools
  3. The differences between Adobe Acrobat and Redact-It
  4. Embarrassing examples of sensitive data leaked due to poor redaction
  5. How electronic redaction software prevents snafus
  6. Tips for using electronic redaction software
  7. Vicki’s practice tip and Lynne’s social media tip

Internet resources and links mentioned during the podcast:

The Paralegal Voice also thanks its sponsors: Redact-It, Above All Legal, and NALA...The Association of Paralegals and Legal Assistants.

Please share the links to this episode of The Paralegal Voice with your friends and colleagues. If you have a request for a future show, or a question for us, you are welcome to contact us at

Also, you can make sure you never miss a podcast by subscribing to any Legal Talk Network show, including The Paralegal Voice, by using the RSS Feed links or iTunes links at

Paralegal Joins Erin Brockovich as Keynote Speaker

Anthony Iannini is one lucky guy! He recently teamed up with Erin Brockovich to serve as keynote speakers for the Delaware Paralegal Association's 35th Anniversary Gala in Wilmington, Del.
I'd accept that invitation to deliver a keynote in a heartbeat! While I haven't met Erin in person, I did have the opportunity to speak with her when Lynne DeVenny and I interviewed her on our monthly Paralegal Voice podcast produced by Legal Talk Network. She was delightful! (You can access that interview's a free resource for you.)

The duo was invited to speak at the event because of the contributions each has made to the legal community.
"It was an honor just to meet Ms. Brockovich," Iannini said. "Her environmental work is legendary and to be able to share a stage with one of the most iconic legal figures of our time is something I will never forget. Her knowledge of environmental issues that impact our world today is incomparable."
Brockovich, portrayed by Julia Roberts in the Oscar-winning movie that bears her name, became famous when her dogged persistence on behalf of the residents of Hinckley, Calif., resulted in one of the largest medical lawsuit settlements in history.

Iannini, a 1987 graduate of Belleville High School, and Connecticut resident, served as president of the Delaware Paralegal Association's Board of Directors from 2009 to 2011. He is also an adjunct professor at Widener University School of Law's Legal Education Institute, where he teaches civil litigation and legal research and writing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Paralegal Mentor Audio Tip: Break Out of Your Mold!

Today's Paralegal Mentor audio tip provides ideas for ending boredom and monotony in your life.

Let's face it, most of us are experts at maintaining our comfort zones, and we often don't know how to break the mold—even when really want to!
If you feel trapped in a routine ... if you’re doing the same things over and over again… if boredom and monotony have crept into your days… if you wake up each morning and wish you were on vacation instead of going to work… then it’s time to shake things up in your life!

So, how do you change your I-wish-I-could-take-a-break feeling into a this-is-fun, I-am-more-energized-than-ever situation?

Follow this link to listen to today's Paralegal Mentor Audio Tip and then let me know what steps you'll take to break out of your mold.

Remember...I'm dedicated to your success!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Paralegal Megan Menconi: Nothing Stops Her!

Graduation is a special time for every hard-working student.

For Megan Menconi, though, graduating Aug. 13 from Florida International University meant more than embarking on a new chapter in her life: It meant starting on a career path she was excited about, and not letting her disability dictate what she can and cannot do.

Menconi was born deaf in her left ear, with accelerated hearing loss in her right. What's more, she never used her disability as an excuse.
"She is a very motivated person and goal oriented," said Lucia Mavrakis, Megan's Vocational Rehabilitation counselor. VR provided Megan with hearing aids and paid her college tuition.
"I was on Cloud 9," said Menconi when she heard the news. "I had wanted to go back and finish my degree for a long time."

Thankful for the second chance VR gave her, Menconi worked hard in school, made good grades, and, in addition, worked part time as a receptionist for a law firm, where she developed an interest in the legal field.  When she took the job at law firm Leslie & McLaughlin LLP, her new bosses saw her potential and immediately put her into a paralegal program.
"She's phenomenal. We absolutely adore her," said Jody Leslie, Menconi's supervisor at the firm.
Menconi's duties include answering client phone calls, drafting legal pleadings and letters, and coordinating hearings with the court.
"She's great at what she does," Leslie said. "She personable, efficient, and an intricate part of our office. She really keeps us going."
Now, equipped with a bachelor's degree in public relations, Menconi says it was her experience with VR that helped her find the drive to succeed that she never knew she had. "I have a college degree!" she says. "Without VR, I wouldn't be working in this job and looking to the future."

What about the future? Menconi plans to continue with Leslie & McLaughlin and eventually combine her degree in public relations with her law experience to open her own PR firm specializing in media law.
— October is Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time when VR and other agencies highlight the accomplishments of those with disabilities.VR has 111 offices across the state and last year helped 5,018 Floridians with significant disabilities find or keep a job. For more about VR and its services, call (800) 451-4327 or visit
Source: Tallahassee Democrat

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paralegal Ethics: How to Build an Ethical Wall

ABA Model Rules 1.7 through 1.10 prohibit attorneys from representing clients with adverse interests. The adverse position creates a conflict of interest.
Conflict situations apply paralegals and to all other nonlawyers employees as well as attorneys so you need to be aware of conflict rules.

These rules are especially important when you change jobs, moving from one law firm to another.
Consider this fictional situation:
Jessica, a paralegal in Anytown, USA who has worked as a paralegal at Mega Lawyers for 5 years. She has decided to apply for a job at The Faraday Firm, also located in Anytown. 
Mega Lawyers represents PeeWee Cosmetics in litigation against the Goliath Corporation, a client of The Faraday Firm. 
Jessica worked on this case at Mega Lawyers. If she is hired by The Faraday Firm, she has a conflict of interest. If she is not screened from the case there, Mega Lawyers may object and move to have The Faraday Firm disqualified.
The Faraday Firm has choices:
(1) decline to hire Jessica;
(2) request Mega Lawyer’s consent to Jessica's hiring and screen her from all contact with the case; or
(3) hire Jessica without Mega Lawyer’s consent but set up a screen if that’s permitted in Anytown’s jurisdiction.
Jessica really wants to leave Mega Lawyers. The Faraday Firm wants to hire her. Screening Jessica from the PeeWee Cosmetics v Goliath Corporation is the most effective choice. 
A “screen” refers to actions taken by the firm to keep the employee with the conflict from any contact with the case or communicating about the case with anyone else in the firm.  The screen is most commonly called an ethical wall or a cone of silence.
The screen must be put in place or the firm risks disqualification.  It must effectively protect the client’s confidential information. Basically, the following are required to screen Jessica or any paralegal in this situation:
  • Give written notice regarding the conflict to everyone at The Faraday Firm that explains the conflict and that the Jessica cannot work on the case, access documents or information about the case, or talk with anyone about the case. Note: It’s best to have these policies in place before any issue arises.
  • Instruct Jessica, in writing, not to work further on this case, not to access related documents, and not to disclose any information.
  • Flag files and store them in a secure area where Jessica can’t accidentally access them.
  • Jessica must sign an agreement not to divulge any confidential information about the case and not discuss the case with anyone.
For more information regarding law firm disqualification due to the paralegal's possession of attorney-client confidences, see In Re Guaranty Insurance Services, Inc., Relator (No. 10-0364), where the Texas Supreme Court, on July 1, 2011 handed down a decision granting mandamus relief and directing the trial court to vacate its order granting the motion to disqualify. The Court’s Opinion cites many interesting cases.

Your challenge:
Investigate the rules in your jurisdiction regarding the use of a screen for employees with conflicts. Be sure your firm has policies in place to handle a screen when a conflict issue arises. Last, when you change jobs be sure to disclose all the cases you’ve worked on to your new employer...this includes that a conflicts check can be performed and a screen can be put in place to protect those cases.

In theory, Ethical Walls are far from infallible because they rely on the honor system: the information is only restricted by the discretion and meticulousness of the parties involved. For this reason, you must respect any screening that is put in place. Quite frankly, your job and the future of your firm depend on that.
© 2011 Vicki Voisin, Inc.

Do you want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or Web site? You can, so long as you include this entire blurb with it: Vicki Voisin, "The Paralegal Mentor", delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals to create success and satisfaction by setting goals and determining the direction they will take their careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethics issues, and other areas of continuing education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes Paralegal Strategies, a weekly e-newsletter for paralegals and co-hosts The Paralegal Voice, a monthly podcast produced by Legal Talk Network.

More information is available at where subscribers receive Vicki's 151 Tips for Your Career Success.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paralegal Mentor Audio Tip: Ideas for Better Communication

Today's Paralegal Mentor audio tip provides ideas for better communications with opposing parties (and others).

The popularity of smartphones and e-mail has made electronic communications between opposing parties very common.

This method of communication has become so prevalent that it's possible you'll never speak with opposing parties.

Believe it or not, picking up the phone can be a more efficient way to resolve an issue.  Follow this link to listen and then let me know if you think it's better to pick up the phone instead of engaging in a bevy of time-wasting email.

Remember...I'm dedicated to your success!

Paralegals: Share Your Insights re: Redaction

Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC), a leader in viewing, collaboration and redaction technology, is seeking paralegals to participate in one of two virtual focus groups about “Modern Approaches to Redaction”.

The teleconferences will be held on November 2 and 3 from 1-2pm Eastern time. Paralegal participants will each receive a $50 gift card and a chance to win an iPad.

The sessions are designed to uncover paralegal perspectives and insights about modern approaches to redaction, including electronic software tools.  Each session is limited to 15 participants, in which the focus groups will foster discussions about priorities and preferences for electronic redaction solutions.

Christine Musil, Director of Marketing at IGC, commented,
“Paralegals are one of the primary audiences for Redact-It, our electronic redaction software. We are really interested in their thoughts and opinions about redaction tools and techniques. These virtual focus groups will allow us to have an open dialogue with practicing paralegals to discover their priorities and challenges in using electronic redaction solutions. It provides IGC with a great opportunity to better assess the needs of our customers.”
To sign up for one of the Focus Groups, visit  For more information, email or call 917-261-2845.

About Informative Graphics:
Since 1990, Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC) has been a leading developer of commercial software products for viewing, collaboration, and redaction.

IGC products, including Redact-It, Net-It and viewing/ collaboration/annotation tool Brava, are renowned for their cost-saving value, ease-of-use, features and scalability. The products have been deployed by thousands of corporations, law firms and government entities in the United States and internationally.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, IGC maintains offices in the United States and has key distribution partners worldwide. For more information, visit or follow IGC on Twitter @IGCsoftware or Facebook at

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Week's Paralegal Mentor Tips

My goal is to provide professional development tips for paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries, and all legal support staff, as well as attorneys, paralegal students and educators.

I post daily Mentor Tips on Twitter and Facebook, and I also provide links to relevant articles on all things legal on this blog.

Every Thursday, I publish Paralegal Strategies, an online newsletter with paralegal news and comments, current events, profiles and feature articles. Go to to get yours...and remember that new subscribers to Paralegal Strategies receive The Paralegal Mentor's 151 Tips for Your Career Success.

Here are the Paralegal Mentor Tips for October 3-7, 2011:

Monday:  Don’t wait for a job to be assigned to you; instead, anticipate what must be done and do it.

Tuesday:  Doubt is a good thing. If you’re not 100% certain of the rule or statute, always verify.

Wednesday: Take the time to explore features of technology you use. It's not evvicient to use only a fraction of what the software is capable of.

Always be open, flexible and willing to take on new tasks. You'll be a team player and learn more in the process.

Friday: It's Friday! Use Fridays as “follow-up” or “get ahead” days.

Use these tips to move your career in the right direction...forward!

Take the time to explore features of technology you use. It's not efficient to use only a fraction of what the software is capable of.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

NALA Launches New APC Course: Commercial Bankruptcy

A new Advanced Paralegal Certification (APC) course in Commercial Bankruptcy under Chapters 7 and 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is now available to paralegals seeking advanced certification in this specialty practice area.
The new course focuses on bankruptcies of business debtors. Chapter 7 provides for debt relief and liquidation of an enterprise’s assets. Chapter 11 gives a business protection from creditors and a chance to prepare a plan of reorganization to pay debts and stay in business.

There are nine modules of study in the new course: 1) The Bankruptcy Estate; 2) Avoiding Powers; 3) Initial Relief; 4) Chapter 7 Cases; 5) Chapter 11, Reorganization; 6) Chapter 11, Plan Development; 7) Chapter 11, Plan Confirmation; 8) Involuntary Bankruptcy; and 9) Adversary Proceedings

Paralegals are helpful to attorneys throughout the process of guiding clients from the
time of filing a bankruptcy petition through discharge and closing the case. The new
course helps prepare paralegals for specific tasks from initial client interviews to drafting various petitions, judgment searches and UCC information.

The massive load of requisite motions, agreement letters, and other correspondence with debtors, creditors, lawyers, clerks, trustees, and clients is presented in logical order in easily digested modules to help make sense of the complex world of Commercial Bankruptcy.

This new offering brings the total APC program to 19 courses:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Business Organizations: Incorporated Entities
  • Contracts Management/Contracts Administration
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Discovery
  • Land Use
  • Social Security Disability
  • Trial Practice
  • Trademarks
  • Personal Injury and/or
  • Individual certifications in the following PI practice areas:
    Automobile Accidents * Entity Medical Liability * Individual Medical Liability Intentional Torts * Premises Liability * Product Liability
    Workers' Compensation * Wrongful Death

For further information, visit the NALA web site ( Certification/Advanced Paralegal Certification. (or

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paralegal Profile: Carol Kuhn, CP, NCCP

Carol Kuhn, CP, NCCP is a Litigation Paralegal with Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland, LLP in Elizabeth City, NC. She has a Bachelors degree from the University of Memphis and a paralegal certificate from Tidewater Community College. Carol earned certification credentials from NALA and the North Carolina State Bar as well.

Thanks, Carol!
1. What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  I loved the law, but didn’t want the stress or responsibility of being a lawyer, so I chose what I thought was a happy medium and still feel that I am helping people.

2. What is your favorite part of your job?  Drafting and Research

3. What professional associations do you belong to?   NALA (

4. How has your membership benefited you?   It has provided unlimited continuing education and networking with other paralegals nationwide.  That networking has allowed me to find reliable court reporters and location to hold depositions nationwide. It also helped me to transfer from Memphis, Tennessee to Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

5. What has been the highlight of your career?  Being part of a team that won a huge case (over 6 figures) which had over 5 million documents that I had to keep track of as well as the over 1000 deposition exhibits.

6. What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry?   The requirement in more states for certifications (but I wish they all required testing, not just paying application fees).

7. If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be?    Make sure you get proper training, keep current on laws, filing fees, and developments in your state and federal laws through your CLE’s.  It is a fun, challenging and rewarding career.

8. Is there a quote that inspires you?  Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind.

9.  You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career.  To what single event or person do you attribute that success?   Pam Cobb, now deceased, who encouraged me to get back into the legal field after a 6 year absence and convincing me I could take and pass the CLA/CP exam.  She was right.  She was an inspiration to a lot of people.  I miss her greatly. Read more about Pam here.

10. What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting?  Attend CLE training often to learn new things and don’t be afraid to try something new.  Remember you are there to assist the attorneys, but they are more than happy to help you learn more.

11.  What makes you lose your patience?    Attorneys waiting until the last minute then expecting you to drop everything else to get their project done even if it takes until mid-night, while they stand over you expecting that by watching it will get done sooner.

12. What advice would you give yourself if you met you as a first-year paralegal?  Don’t give up, you will learn the terminology and you can do this.

13. Is there one thing in the world you wish you had the answer to? Cure for Cancer

Bonus Question: What's your favorite thing to cook?    Chicken Imperial (Note: Carol has shared the recipe and I'll post it on my blog soon.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Attorney Sanctioned for "Hope-Springs-Eternal" Discovery

A plaintiff's attorney has been sanctioned $6,400 for conducting wasteful depositions. 

The $6,400 is a sanction for "$400 per wasted hour" on eight depositions conducted by the attorney on behalf of his client, Lisa Vioni, who sued American Capital Strategies Ltd., a publicly traded investment corporation, and Providence Investment Management LLC and Providence Investment Partners LLC, a small investment management company headed by Russell Jeffrey. 

Attorney Michael Q. Carey was put on notice more than once by Judge Paul Crotty of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to keep depositions to a minimum or sanctions would be in the offing. The judge said Mr. Carey kept on going. 

"In the face of Mr. Carey's demand for more and more, wider and wider, and hope-springs-eternal discovery, the court warned him that he would be sanctioned if the depositions were not meaningful and productive," the judge said in Vioni v. American Capital Strategies Ltd., 08 Civ. 2950. 
The motion for sanctions was made by the defendants under 28 U.S.C. §1927 and the court's inherent power. It targeted depositions of Mr. Jeffrey  and three others from Providence and four people from American Capital. 

Mr. Carey contended the depositions were necessary to calculate Ms. Vioni's fee and elicit information about American Capital's document retention and information technology systems to see if it had failed to produce relevant e-mails. 

But Judge Crotty warned him at a March 4, 2010, conference there "would be consequences" if he did not get relevant information.  And again, at a May 13, 2010, conference, Judge Crotty said that if the depositions are "just rambling through, there'll be consequences in the form of sanctions. I repeat that." 
"Despite these warnings, Mr. Carey made no attempt to target his inquiries or proceed in a deliberate manner," the judge said in his decision. "Indeed, he seemed to proceed in the opposite direction, beginning with those who knew the least, before proceeding with the key witnesses."
 In the case of some of the witnesses, the judge said, "minimal time was spent on Vioni's services," and one witness was never even asked about her.  On one witness, he said,
"Mr. Carey took up 60 pages on background questions," about the employee's "personal employment history, asking follow up questions about previous jobs on a fishing boat, a shrimp business and a noodle factory."
 "While Vioni and her counsel are entitled to extract information that may be relevant to the reasonable value of Vioni's services, this does not justify or excuse redundant questioning on topics that are irrelevant or that the witness cannot be expected to know," Judge Crotty said.
 "In other words, Mr. Carey has failed to rebut defendants' demonstration that his depositions were unjustifiably protracted." 
Mr. Carey says he will seek relief from the rulings.  "Plaintiffs will appeal the final decision and expect it will be reversed on sanctions and the ruling on the motion for summary judgment will be reversed and remanded for further proceedings."
Stewart D. Aaron of Arnold & Porter, one of the attorneys who represented American Capital, said the defendants were heartened by the judge's decision on summary judgment but declined comment on the sanctions issue. 

Source:   New York Law Journal

PA Appeal Court Rules Text Messages Inadmissible

Amy N. Koch appealed her July 20, 2010 sentence of 23 months probation following her conviction as an accomplice for possession with intent to deliver (“PWID”) (marijuana) and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) as an accomplice.

Ms. Koch appealed on the grounds that the Court admitted text messages from her cell phone as evidence. She contends the text messages were hearsay and inadmissible.

The evidence revealed the following course of events.
  • An informant told police that Norman Koch, a/k/a Matt Koch, was selling cocaine and that he resided with his sister, Amy Koch (the Appellant), and Dallas Conrad, Amy's "paramour".
  • Police conducted 2 trash pulls at Amy's residence. Those yielded 2 baggies, 1 containing cocaine residue, the other marijuana residue.
  • Detectives searched Ms. Koch's residence on found evidence of drugs. They also seized 2 cell phones, one identified as hers and the other identified as her brother's.
  • Text messages were transcribed. Prosecutor's offered testimony and a transcript of what they described as 13 drug-related text messages.
  • Ms. Koch's attorneys objected due to authenticity and hearsay. Objections were overruled.
Ms. Koch appealed and the Pennsylvania Superior Court found there was no showing that the defendant wrote the 13 drug-related text messages and they were inadmissible hearsay.