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Mar 29 2013

Social Media & Process Service – What Does the Future Hold?

A hot button issue in the process serving world today is that of service of process via social media. Recently, Jeff Karotkin wrote about the Texas Bill 1839 in his blog, Service of Process Looking Forward. The bill aims to allow a judge to allow civil process service via social media. Karotkin does a great job highlighting exactly what the Bill states and mentions other states that have followed suit with similar moves to allow service of process by social media.

Civil process service depends on accuracy and efficiency. What are your thoughts on civil process via other methods?

Keep an eye out for more news to come on this subject, as we suspect we haven’t heard the last about it.

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Categories: General

Mar 28 2013

Firefly Returns from NASP and USFN Conferences

Firefly Legal is back home after travelling to Bastrop, TX for the NASP Litigation Skills and Management Conference and to Jacksonville, FL for the USFN conference. Both conferences provided infinite amounts of knowledge for attendees, of course a little entertainment, and definitely plenty of networking opportunities.

At the USFN conference, Firefly Legal’s Jennifer Dlugolecki showed that process servers care by participating in the Second Harvest Community Service project. Firefly Legal was the only process server that participated in the community service project, which works to fight hunger in Central Florida.  Participating in the Community Service project included both a monetary donation and a time donation, as volunteers worked together for the cause. It’s important to Firefly, especially as process servers in Florida, that we are working to help out the local communities of the areas we serve.

Check out the pictures below!

Here’s the whole crew of folks who stopped by to help with the community service project at Second Harvest.

Here’s the whole crew who stopped by to help with the community service project at Second Harvest.

Check out the healthy food at Second Harvest.

Check out the healthy food at Second Harvest.

Volunteers work at Second Harvest.

Volunteers work at Second Harvest.

Lots of healthy food was packaged and ready to help fight hunger! Lots of healthy food was packaged and ready to help fight hunger!

 

Meanwhile, in Texas, Firefly Legal’s Stephanie Irvine was busy working the booth at the NASP conference. The conference provided a lot of informative sessions, with both property and auto tracks, on subrogation topics. Legal Humorist Sean Carter was the Keynote Speaker, providing both tips and laughs for attendees. Jeff Ricke of Hiday & Ricke and Susan Benson of Susan Benson and Associates also provided a great general session about pretrial tactics,strategy, and managing a high volume practice. There were a lot of great tips for those with a smaller firm as well as those with a larger one.

Check out some pictures from the NASP conference, which was held at the Lost Pines Resort:

Attendees enjoy the welcome reception.

Attendees enjoy the welcome reception.

Lost Pines hotel view– with horses!

Lost Pines hotel view– with horses!

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Mar 18 2013

Sharing is Caring – Even in the Legal World

As we travel to different industry conferences, a topic that almost always comes up is how attorneys and law firms deal with social media, and whether or not they should deal with it at all. What I think has been missing from these conversations, however, has been a discussion of not simply whether or not to do social media, but how to do social media.  If a methodology was brought forth with instruction, engaging in social media might seem like an attractive options for law firms and those in the legal field.

This sentiment was also acknowledged by Kevin O’Keefe, who maintains his blog Real Lawyers Have Blogs: Topics of the Law, Firm Marketing, Social Media, and Baseball, in his post “Five Tips For Law Firm Social Media – The Right Way,” which was published earlier this year in January. His commentary was a inspired by Naomi Mandelstein’s Huffington Post article, “5 Tips for Corporate Social (Media) Responsibility Communications.”

O’Keefe and Mandelstein highlight five tenets of doing social media “the right way.”  The tips provided in the articles are certainly relevant to law firms, but also to any business that’s using social media today. To highlight, both note that firms should “engage, don’t broadcast” and that they should “ask questions you want answered.” Both of these bits of advice are profoundly helpful as no one on any social media is there to simply be a sponge for what you have to say. It is absolutely necessary to put forth information that is interesting and that will encourage readers to  reciprocate with his or her own commentary. Social media is great in that you have a multitude of opportunities to get questions you want answered. For example, Facebook offers polls that are built right into the status box. Opportunities for the general public, and more importantly your audience, are available online through social media. You just have to have your eyes open to find them.

Two of the most important tips that O’Keefe and Mandelstein promote are to “listen” and to “respond.”  These are two simple fundamental elements of communication. If you never listen to anyone, you don’t know what their needs are and how you can meet them. The audience gathers that you’re in business to make business. But that’s not the point of social media. It’s to be social, using the technologies and media that have been made accessible. Within a social audience, you can’t determine if the content is relevant and if anyone is paying attention if you don’t listen. If you don’t respond, it’s like you’re a robot. Just as no one is a fan of automated phone systems, emails, etc., no one wants to be spammed with a robot simply posting up hand-crafted infomercial statuses that don’t bear any relevance to the audience. This kind of behavior will not only make you lose followers and/or friends, but it screams that you just don’t listen, and even more loudly, that you just don’t care.  And who wants to be in business with someone who doesn’t listen or respond to their prospective customers?  Not me!

The final tip is to be authentic. People can hear your “voice” in what you write. They can glean sincerity, complete malarkey, and they can definitely tell when you’re being real, just from what you write, and certainly in 150 characters or less. And to that end,  if you engage in social media, you should care about your company because people will see right through it. Celebrate successes (but keep in mind, just as in “real life” people don’t like a braggart!), start the conversation about things that challenge you- ask for advice. You just might get an idea that you wouldn’t have otherwise come up with.

The bottom line is that there is no reason for attorneys or process servers, or really anyone in business, should stay away from social media. When done correctly and responsibly, you can share, learn, and gain new clients by engaging in social media. Law firms should absolutely be involved with social media. If you approach social media as a professional conversation, you won’t get into trouble. Know the boundaries and realize that your audience is a public one. Share responsibly, and good things will come from it.

Whether you are a process server in Florida or an attorney in Ohio, let us know how engage (or plan to engage) in social media, and please do share any tips you have stumbled upon. We would love to hear them!

 

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Categories: General

Mar 15 2013

Florida E-Filing Update

MEMORANDUM

Date:          March 15, 2013

To:              Firefly Legal Clients – Florida

From:          Firefly Legal Team

Re:              Florida E-Filing

At Firefly Legal, we want you to be informed of changes, delays, or other pertinent information that may affect how your business is done. Because that’s what trusted business partners do.

 

Please be advised that as of March 24th at 5:00 PM, the current electronic filing system will no longer accept or submit documents.  As of April 1, all new civil, family, probate, and mental health cases must be filed through the portal.

 Florida courts are encouraging you to set up accounts now: www.myflcourtaccess.com.

For more information:

If you have questions regarding the status of a file with Firefly, please call us at 877-963-3534 (option 2) or email status@fireflylegal.com   Thank you!
FL_E-file

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar 14 2013

Firefly Legal Attends ALA Chicago Chapter’s Casino Night

Chicago, IL — March 12, 2012

Firefly Legal’s Director of Client Services Jennifer Dlugolecki and Marketing and Communications Specialist Stephanie Irvine attended the ALA (Association of Legal Administrators) Greater Chicago Chapter’s Casino Night, which was held at Hotel Allegro in downtown Chicago. Firefly Legal  was also an event sponsor.

The ALA is a great organization for those in the legal industry. It offers countless networking opportunities, support, education, and a myriad of resources. They often hold conferences, networking opportunities, and other events for both members and business partners.

The Casino Night event this year featured a huge raffle, scrumptious buffet, a nice bar with two complimentary drink tickets, a DJ, and a door prize. The proceeds of the sponsorship went to benefit the Israel Idonije Foundation, which is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in under-served communities around Chicago, Winnipeg, and Africa. For those of you who don’t know, Israel Idonije is a starting defensive end for the Chicago Bears.

Israel Idonije showed up in person for the event and spent time taking pictures, signing autographs, and helping with the event. One of the raffles was a dinner with Israel Idonije with two of your friends to one of his favorite restaurants in Chicago.

The night was fulled with fun and laughter as ALA members took to the casino tables for a few spins and hands at the blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker tables. Participants were provided with $100 of play money to be able to play the games. It was a lot of fun, and it allowed me to brush off my poker skills at a wonderful fundraiser for a great cause!

Check out some photos from the event, and be sure to stop by our facebook page to check out the rest!

 

 

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Categories: General · Industry Conferences

Mar 6 2013

Firefly Legal has AMAZING Employees!

Luckily, we’re really blessed with a lot of process servers, court filers, skip tracers and support staff who really work hard to make sure that they’re doing a great job. We recently stumbled across this great article, 10 Things Really Amazing Employees Do,  by Kevin Daum. Published in INC. 5000, the article highlights ten traits that “amazing employees do effortlessly.”

Here’s a recap of the 10 points brought forth in the article.

1. Enthusiastically Learn All Aspects of Business

At Firefly, our process servers get to know not only their business of serving papers, but also the courts, how they operate, and who operates them. When they go out court filing, completing a document retrieval, or serving subpoenas, our servers really make sure that they are informed. They know what our client services team needs to get their jobs done, so they make sure to include that information. Cross training is important at Firefly, and many of our employees begin that process on their own.

2. Steward the Company

Our employees treat Firefly like their own because it is our company. As a family business, Firefly tries to make sure people feel right at home and part of the family. Management values what our employees think. Our process servers matter, our in-office folk matter, everyone matters. And because of that environment, people feel invested in Firefly.

3. Generate Viable Opportunities

Everyone works hard to make sure we have business. Without work, we don’t make money. It’s important to all of us, and we all work hard to get our name out there and respect our clients. Especially in this business, reputation goes a long way. A great way to facilitate this is to make sure everyone is fully informed.

4. Resolve Issues Before They Are Issues

Our employees are always suggesting ways to keep improving our procedures and systems. That’s one of the things we love about our staff. Make sure your staff has multiple opportunities to bring forth suggestions and that issues can be resolved soon.

5. Tell It Like It Is

Honesty is important  and great employees know that lying or hiding bad news will never help anyone. A good idea is to keep the lines of communication open so that no employee is fearful of making mistakes. They faster they are addressed, the faster any mistakes can be rectified.

6. Demonstrate High Standards, With Low Maintenance

Everyone at Firefly works hard. And it’s awesome that we never have to worry about that!

7. Grow Themselves, And Others

Our employees inspire each other to do better, work harder, and work smarter. 

8. Research, Apply, and Refine

Nobody knows everything, but we’re always looking up the latest information on the courts to make sure we’re up to date. With the proactive environment, this is definitely a principle that Firefly employees employ.

9. Stimulate Happiness

Find an excuse to smile every day. It’s one of our guiding principles, and we definitely do that daily! 🙂

10.  Facilitate Amazing Bosses

Working positively, smart, and hard makes everyone feel that way.

Bug

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Categories: General

Mar 1 2013

MBA’s National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo 2013 Recap

Firefly is back in the office and things are finally starting to return to business as usual. We had a great time at the conference, and in case you’ve missed it, we have the highlights below:

Conference Theme: Be Prepared

The conference was centered on the theme of preparation for changes in the mortgage and servicing industry. Bringing in well-known authorities, the MBA’s National Mortgage Servicing Conference and Expo aims to educate, inform, and answer questions so that no one in the industry

Location

The conference was held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, located in Grapevine, Texas. The giant hotel (and I mean giant; you could easily get turned around trying to find a place within the hotel) stretched out over 10 acres. With plants filling every walkway, the majority of the hotel was enclosed within an atrium, which made for beautiful and temperate walks to and from meetings. For this time of year, it was relatively cool in the Dallas (high 60, lows 40 degrees F) area, so this was a great feature.

The location was good, with downtown Grapevine just a short drive away. For a bit of a longer drive, Dallas and Fort Worth were also accessible. Considering that it was rainy and chilly for Texas, I doubt anyone minded that there was not really anything outside the Convention center that was within walking distance!

The Exhibit Hall

The convention was definitely packed with exhibitors. The hall was organized into carpeted rows (100 row, 200 row, and so on through 800), with plenty of walkways in between. Large, memorable exhibitors such as Equator, Core Logic and QBE stole the show with over-the-top exhibit booth setups that could be seen from anywhere at the conference.

And don’t forget about the giveaways! There was plenty to grab before heading on to the next session. From cake pop goodies, stuffed animals, bags, and energy drinks, there was plenty to take home.

I manned the booth, and I can definitely say that the conference was well attended.

The Sessions

Plenty of informative sessions took place, including a great speech from Billy Beane. The Oakland A’s General Manager, whose speech Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game  shared his experience and definitely challenged the audience to think in new ways. He explained the similarities in business and in baseball. His insight certainly proved to be useful to those who attended. The opening general session definitely kicked off the conference with a bang and set the precedent for the rest of the speakers and sessions.

The Meetings

Off-site meetings galore! This conference was definitely valuable, as we at Firefly were able to meet with our current clients. It also provided many opportunities for us to meet new faces as well.  This conference was exceptional at allocating time to network.

 

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