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Sep 30 2013

Ovarian Cancer & Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Comes to a Close

As today is the last day of September, I wanted to thank everyone at Firefly for participating in September’s Ovarian Cancer and Childhood Cancer Awareness campaigns. Your support in going both teal and gold has been great to see, and I’m glad that we could spread some knowledge and awareness about the causes. While this is just a one part in helping the cause, it is great to see everyone come together to support of these causes and in spreading awareness.

Though this will be the final post on this cause this year, I wanted to leave you with a couple more options to personally continue to support awareness of Childhood Cancer and Ovarian Cancer if you choose to do so.

  •  Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is a great organization that provides fun ways to help support Childhood Cancer Awareness. ALSF formed when a childhood cancer patient wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for childhood cancers. Though Alex Scott, the child who started the first lemonade stand,  died at age 4, her legacy carries on through the foundation. To date, they have raised more than $60 million toward finding a cure, as reported on their website (www.alexslemonade.org)
  • Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is one of the oldest and largest Ovarian Cancer charities in the US. On their website, they provide instructions how to host a fundraiser (along with a HUGE list of many ideas), how to donate, and how to be active in the organization. You can access their website here: http://www.ocrf.org/

By doing a quick Google search, you too can find other organizations to help support awareness and research of the two deadly cancers. The organizations/foundations that have been mentioned in previous emails and in this email here are in no way the only organizations out there. Firefly supports all of our staff in researching and finding positive awareness campaigns, but does not actively endorse any one organization or effort in particular.

PS. For our friends in Chicago, have you seen the skyline lit up teal? Firefly’s Jennifer Dlugolecki organized that through her participation in the NOCC.

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Sep 17 2013

Engaging the Industry: Firefly Attends Industry Conferences

Being engaged in the industries that support civil process service is important beyond just the obvious reasons of networking and meeting with clients. When process servers participate in industry conferences and sit in on the sessions, there is an abundance of information available about the overall climate of the industry. Last week, Firefly attended two associated with our industry: The Legal League 100 Servicer Summit at the Five Star Institute’s Five Star Conference and the ALA – Chicago Chapter’s Business Partner’s Expo.

The Five Star Conference/LEGAL LEAGUE 100 Servicer Summit

Firefly Legal’s Jennifer Dlugolecki and Stephanie Irvine attended the 10th Annual Five Star Conference and Expo began on Sunday, September 8th, 2013. The Legal League 100 Servicer’s Summit also held sessions on industry topics such as the changes with the CFPB, servicing updates, case studies, and more. The conference was held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, TX.

The conference kicked off Sunday evening with a welcome reception that took place among the hotel’s three bars: Counter Offer, Gossip Bar, and Media Bar. With a free cocktail in hand, these venues offered an excellent space to network and meet up with clients and friends.

Monday started off Legal League activities with breakfast followed by round table sessions on Case Law and the CFPB. The CFPB session was led by Adam Wilde of Codilis & Associates who started important discussions on hot topics such as the 120 day rule, as well as the 37 day rule, and the unknowns that the ambiguity of recent regulation changes brought forth. Other conversation starts included Caren Castle of  the Castle Law Group, Michelle Gilbert of the Gilbert Garcia Group, Jennifer Monty Rieker of Weltman, Weinberg, and Reis, Co. LPA. This session allowed for servicers to answer tough questions. Servicers present included Freddie Mac, Weinder Brodsky, Kider, PC, JP Morgan Chase, and Green Tree Servicing.

Following the first sessions of round table discussions, a Legal Legaue 100 Member’s Meeting commenced, where board members and chairpersons announced multiple position changes. This opened up a number of vacancies as board members will no longer also hold chair positions; the call for involvement was clear. Additionally, the recent issue with the Colorado Attorney General’s inquest into the billing practices of several law firms was briefly discussed.

The Member’s Meeting was followed by lunch, where keynote speaker David Moskowitz of Wells Fargo discussed industry changes and fielded questions from attendees regarding how to handle the CFPB. He advised that attorneys should be wary of sharing information, discuss what you can and can’t share, and keep the lines of communication open. Responsible business practices will be published by the CFPB this summer. He also advised that any issues should be brought to the CFPB before they find them and bring it to your attention. Be honest, forthright, and transparent. He acknowledged that consumer protection has become paramount for the government. Other topics covered included making disclosures understandable for consumers, the potential for mandatory consumer education, financial literacy, among many others.

 

ALA Chicago Business Partner Showcase

Firefly Legal exhibited at the ALA Chicago’s Educational Conference and Business Partner Expo on Friday, September 13th at the Fairmont in Chicago. The Business Partner’s Expo allows business partners the opportunity to showcase their services to administrative legal professionals. There were several educational sessions open to ALA members that related to HR, Linked In, business intelligence, and diversity in the workplace. There were over 100 professionals in attendance with a number of exhibitors. Firefly Legal also held a raffle for a $100 AmEx gift card. The winner was Diane M. Brummel, Director of Office Services, at SmithAmundsen.

Check out some of our pictures from the events!

 

Photos from the Five Star

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Photos from the ALA

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Categories: General · Industry Conferences

Sep 12 2013

Cook County Filing Delays

 MEMORANDUM

Date:          September 12, 2013

To:              Firefly Legal Clients – Illinois

From:          Firefly Legal Team

Re:              Cook County Delays

 

 

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 Firefly has been notified that the Cook County Circuit Clerks are running approximately 2 days behind in bulk filings. The number of clerks available at the Circuit Court has been reduced, which was cited as the reason for the delay.

 

Thank you!

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Categories: Legal/Court News

Sep 6 2013

Firefly Goes Teal!

Friday, September 6th, 2013 is the National Day to Wear Teal in support of Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Ovarian Cancer is the number one cause of gynecological deaths, and every year an estimated 14,400 women will die each year, according to Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

This month, Firefly Legal is participating in spreading awareness about this cause. Check out pictures from our Corporate and Tampa Offices as we support Ovarian Cancer Awareness!

Firefly Legal Goes Teal for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day!

Firefly Legal Goes Teal for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day!

 

 

Firefly Goes Teal to Support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day!

Firefly Goes Teal to Support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day!

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Categories: Philanthropic Efforts

Sep 5 2013

Firefly Supports September’s Ovarian Cancer & Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Taking on a Cause

As you know, Firefly is taking the guiding principle of “capturing and rewarding knowledge” outside the scope of civil process service and making it the driving force for involvement with September’s Ovarian Cancer and Childhood Cancer Awareness campaigns.

Firefly tries to get involved with as many philanthropic efforts as we can. We are in the business of delivering bad news, and this allows us the opportunity to do some good by making a positive impact in the lives of our friends and neighbors. Hopefully, we can make an impact, no matter how small, in helping to educate and spread awareness about these deadly diseases.

Why?

Jenn Dlugolecki, our Director of Business Development has been involved with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition for many years, and this year I decided to get everyone at Firefly involved as one of our philanthropic efforts.  Jenn’s involvement is personal, as her mom was a victim of ovarian cancer. Through the organization, she has participated in their annual walk, registration booths at events, and is part of the Teal Lights Committee. If you’re ever downtown in September and see the buildings lit up teal, Jenn facilitated that. Her goal is to get the whole Chicago skyline to go teal each year.

Mary Marvinac, a member of our skip tracing team at the corporate office, brought my attention to Childhood Cancer Awareness, which is promoted by the American Childhood Cancer Organization, among many other organizations. After being inspired to learn more about childhood cancer after listening to Taylor Swift’s song “Ronan,” during Stand Up 2 Cancer Telethon, Mary researched the song and found that it was written about Ronan Thompson, a boy who battled (and later succumbed to) neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. The boy’s mother wrote a blog at first about her son, updating friends and family on his condition, but later used it as a platform to spread awareness. After reading the blog, Mary was compelled to try to help in any way she could.

Ovarian Cancer

This year, already 22,240 cases of ovarian cancer have been diagnosed.[1] Ovarian Cancer is the 10th most common cancer in women and the 5th cause of cancer-related death in women. It is the deadliest of all gynecological cancers. Every 24 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer.[2]

We’re spreading awareness by helping to educate people. Early detection can help save lives. Symptoms are subtle and common, and basically sound like whatever you’ve had to eat isn’t agreeing with you:

  • Abdominal pressure, fullness
  • Pelvic discomfort
  • Persistent indigestion

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, encourage her to make an appointment with her gynecologist. You can be evaluated for high risk factors, and from there, blood tests, transvaginal ultrasounds, and pelvic exams can help detect cancer early.

Childhood Cancer

According to the American Childhood Cancer Association, Childhood Cancers are a collection of 12 different kinds of cancer that typically only affect children. It’s the leading cause of death for children under the age of 18. Survival rates vary among the different types of cancer; some can have a 5 year survival rate of 90% while others have a rate of less than 5%.

Stunningly, the drugs used to treat children were developed in the 1950s. Sadly, there has not been much development in fighting these cancers; in the past 20 years, the FDA has only approved one new drug exclusively for pediatric patients. The current treatments leave almost 2/3 of survivors with at least one chronic health affect. [3]

There are many things you can do to get involved with this cause. The ACCO recommends contacting your state representatives to insist that childhood cancers be added to the state’s cancer plan legislation. You can volunteer for a childhood cancer organization, start a support group or outreach organization (or participate in one), and of course, by donating or raising funds to support childhood cancer research.

Firefly’s Promise

The easiest thing we can do is to take time out to help educate people about these deadly diseases. By being educated and aware, the better equipped we are to support those who need it. We encourage anyone who is able to volunteer, donate, or raise funds for one or both of these cancers to do so. Together, we can do a lot. Join us on social media with these hashtags #gogold #whyteal and also continue to check out our blog- we’ll be sharing information on these causes every week this month.

To learn more about Ovarian Cancer and how you can help, please visit NOCC’s website: http://www.ovarian.org/donate.php

To learn more about Childhood Cancers and how you can help , please visit the ACCO’s website: https://www.acco.org/AwarenessandAdvocacy/Awareness/RaiseAwareness.aspx


[1] According to www.ovarian.org

[2] According to www.ovariancancer.org/about-ovarian-cancer/statistics/

[3] According to www.acco.org

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Sep 3 2013

Process Servers Supporting Causes

At Firefly, we make it a priority to support causes that make an impact on our community and in our hearts. As process servers, we don’t really get the opportunity to deal with good news. So, we do our best to engage in efforts that bring people up, encourage, and educated. From last years’ Firefly Run and school supply drive to our recent animal shelter supply drive (among many other efforts), we have made it a point to give back to our community in any way we can and as often as we can.

When we think about who we are as a civil process service company and who we want our company to be, we think back to our company promise and guiding principles:

  • Proactively serve every client with a personal, responsive and appreciative attitude
  • Tenaciously pursue greatness in our performance
  • Capture and reward knowledge
  • Be flexible and adapt quickly to change
  • Set the bar high for integrity and principles-driven choices
  • Find an excuse to smile every day.

This month for our philanthropic effort, we’re going to do something a little bit different. We’re going to apply “capture and reward knowledge” outside the scope of civil process service and make it the driving force for our campaign to get involved with a special cause. September is the designated month for two causes that are very close to two of Firefly’s employees: ovarian cancer and childhood cancer.

Be sure to check out our social media sites and our blog to stay updated and educated.  In the meantime, you can learn more about this organizations on your own through the American Childhood Cancer Organization and through the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. We hope that you can join us and help spread the word to your friends and family, too.

#whyteal #gogold

Process Server Causes

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Aug 30 2013

What Civil Process Service Clients Should Expect

Firefly Legal has been in business since 1996 as a civil process service company, and it’s no secret that we’ve figured out what works to stay in the business. To us, our clients come first, no matter the volume of the firm or their requirements. We make it happen.

We recently published an article on what clients can and should expect from their civil process supervisor- what we provide to our clients. We believe that civil process service should not just be civil process service. To us, it’s a packaged deal that brings a lot of value; incorporating small things, like filing the affidavits with the court, allows us to truly partner with our clients. To us, the client experience is  the second most important factor, just behind prompt, effective, and good process service.

During a time in the civil process service industry when many clients are looking for reduced rates for service, and justification when rates are higher, we’re not afraid to reveal what we do for our clients. We think it’s worth it. Let us know what you think. The article is also accompanied by a Firefly video that tells about our company, where we came from, and what we stand for. Check it out!

Thanks for reading!

 

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Categories: General

Aug 23 2013

Why Process Servers Should be on Involved with Social Media (Pt. 3 of 3)

Social Media: Not Just for Kids

Today we are wrapping up our three-part series on the best social media networks for civil process servers. If you missed the first two installations from earlier this week, be sure to check back as we discussed Twitter and Google+ and some of the benefits of using each network.

What other social media networks do you think civil process servers should use? While we think Facebook can be useful, we’re actually going to go with Linked In.

 

Linked In

Linked in is a social networking site for business professionals. It has a ton of features, and allows you to use some of the same features of Facebook but in a way that’s far more beneficial to those in business.

If that isn’t reason enough to choose this social networking site, here are some other reasons why we think Linked In is great for process servers.

Get Connected

Many of our clients aren’t on Facebook (or if they are, they keep it personal). Linked In provides a professional environment for people to connect where you can have an individual profile. There, you can upload details on your work history, skills, and your purpose for being on Linked In (as an example- maybe you’re looking for people to connect with). The attorney you met at a conference,  may be more likely to connect with you on Linked In than on Facebook because it’s not as personal as Facebook. It’s professional and provides the right atmosphere for people to keep it that way. It’s all business all the time. Plus, with profile pictures, you can more easily recall how you know the individual, as opposed to just having their contact info. It also provides another method for you to reach out to prospective clients.

Groups

This provides a great opportunity and place to have professional, meaningful, and intelligent discussions on your subject/industry of choice. It also also allows you to meet (via the internet) people in your industry with whom you might not otherwise interact. You can share new ideas, get up to date on changes in the industry, and learn more about  your industry if you’re a newcomer. It’s a great place for folks to pitch new ideas and compare results. Here’s a great process server group on Linked In: Process Servers.

Company Pages

Just like on Facebook, you can have a page for your company. This allows you to provide information about your company, services, and locations. The company page also has a status feature where you can post company updates, news articles, and more; these updates can include links and images. Visually, you have the opportunity to post a cover image, as well as pictures next to your services. Like many other social media networks, you are able to analyze the statistics of your company page.

There are many other reasons that Linked In is a great network for civil process servers to join, but we wanted to touch on the features we feel are most beneficial to servers. And so, this concludes our 3 part series on social networks that process servers should use. We covered Twitter, Google+ and Linked In; while these three are great, this list was certainly not meant to be exclusive. Are there others that you find beneficial? If so, let us know!

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Aug 21 2013

Why Process Servers Should be Involved with Social Media (Pt. 2 of 3)

Social Media can be Beneficial

Social Media is new to the legal world, and I predict it’s going to be around for a long time. Though the networks and social media platforms may change, the core conept is here to stay. This week, we’re discussing the current top social media platforms for process servers and those in the legal industry.

To recap Monday’s discussion, we took a look at Twitter and how it can benefit civil process servers, especially as they are always on the move. Some of Twitter’s most beneficial characteristics include that it can help keep you on top of the news, it allows you to network, and you can schedule tweets. Catch up on Monday’s blog to get more information.

 

Today, we introduce the second social media network civil process servers should use, Google+. That’s right! Thought it may seem like a ghost town, Google+ is steadily gaining momentum as one of the fastest growing social media outlets. This blog post from Social Spark highlights 10 reasons why you should be on Google+, but I’m going to discuss the three main reasons why it works best for process servers.

While some may still feel that Google+ has a long way to go, it’s still a valuable social media outlet that is worth using. Here are three reasons why:

+1 For Higher Search Engine Rankings!

Google+ and the +1s that result from users “liking” a post by “+” -ing it strongly affect SEO. The more +1’s that a post/company has, the more likely it will pop up higher in search engine results. The reason is that web crawlers look for relevant information to determine a website’s ranking, and they pay particular attention to +1’s. This is especially beneficial to process servers, and especially local ones. You want your site to appear higher in the results because your potential clients might search “process server in cook county,” or they might even be looking for a specific town, such as “civil process server in Rockford.” By being an active participant in Google+, you are giving your associated website more credibility.  You have a higher probability of being contacted for work for the best process server in Illinois, or wherever you work, if you’re on Google+ and getting +1’s.

So please, be sure to +1 this blog post before you go!

+1 Better Mobile App!

Civil process servers are always on the move, delivering papers, stopping by the courthouse to file documents, and then swinging back to the firm to deliver affidavits. Google + has a mobile app that is not only fast, but it’s also user friendly. You don’t have to worry about stalled loading or loading errors with this app; it works seamlessly and looks even better if you’ve got an Android phone.

+1 Google Hangouts!

Network with your peers or industry professionals in Google Hangouts. Google hangouts combine chatroom features with the ability to get together over video or voice. If someone isn’t at the hangout you can leave them a message. This is definitely one of the most unique features, as no other social media outlet really has a feature quite like this.

There you have it! Google + is an up and coming social media outlet that is sure to be a driving force in the future. Do you want to jump on the bandwagon later or be a trailblazer now? Still hungry for G+ info? Here’s a neat infographic that highlights 20 (+) positive features of Google +.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned because Friday we’ll reveal the third social media outlet that process servers should be on. Can you guess what it is? Let us know on Twitter or G+!

 

 

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Aug 19 2013

Why Process Servers Should be involved with Social Media (Pt. 1 of 3)

Getting Involved with Social Media

I entered the legal industry when Firefly Legal hired me at the end of last July. Let’s just say it’s a different kind of industry, and it very quickly became overtly apparent that this industry is still pretty hesitant to get involved with social media. And while some trailblazers have gotten involved, many are still pretty green with what accounts to use, how to use them properly, and why they should use them. Though there is always something to learn, the basics should be evident. This week, I’m going to focus on three social media outlets and provide reasons why civil process servers, lawyers, and the like should be involved with them. Today we’re going to focus on Twitter, but stay tuned this week to find out what other social media networks are worth being a part of.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online social networking site that allows users to send “tweets” or messages of 140 characters or less. Since a lot of you are business-minded folk, here’s “The Real History of Twitter,” as presented in The Business Insider.

Why should civil process servers be on Twitter, anyway?

There are a myriad of reasons why Twitter is a beneficial social media outlet, but here are three that are worth paying attention to:

1. NEWS!

There is a tremendous source of news! Staying informed and on top of regulation changes, new laws, and trends in the industries civil process servers serve is important. It’s impossible to keep your civil process service company up to date if you don’t read the news. Follow sources who will provide you with great information on the topics you’re interested in. For example, we follow @DSNewsDaily and @jhkarotkin. DS News provides great news on the housing/foreclosure industry through their Twitter account, and similarly, Jeff Karotkin is always tweeting relevant information and news on the civil process service industry.

2. NETWORKING!

By being involved with Twitter, you gain access to other individuals in the industry. This can help you to gain new business prospects, learn more about the industry, and make business connections. We’ve gotten new clients from Twitter, and we’ve gained some great colleagues. We share news, updates, and other changes in the industry. Twitter is a social environment. It’s important that you be social an interact with people.  Bottom line: you can meet new people in the industry, gain advice, and learn a lot. You can also share news- which is great for your company. The world is changing, it’s important to embrace it.

3. SCHEDULED TWEETS!

While Twitter is a fast-paced network, civil process servers need not fret. We know you’re out there serving papers and don’t always have time to Tweet. You can create your tweets in advance- research the recent news, and take care of a day’s worth of tweets in a short amount of time. This is great for law firms who are undoubtedly buried in paperwork. By using social media dashboard applications, like TweetDeck, you can schedule tweets to fill up the entire day without having to be physically at Twitter all day. Keep in mind that you don’t want to be a robot, though; make sure you do take time to catch up and respond to those on Twitter who have responded to you.  Additionally, make sure you leave room for people to comment and RT (retweet) your tweet.

As I mentioned before, social media is all about being social. Whether you’re a civil process server or an attorney, it’s important to stay up to speed with these changes. Are you on Twitter? If so, please let us know what you think of this article and about our tweets. Do you think we’re worthy of ServeNow’s Top Process Servers on Twitter of 2013?

 

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