Archive | September, 2013

BP Trial Resumes This Week

30 Sep


The second phase of the BP Deepwater Horizon trial begins today, with court watchers waiting to see how the 2010 oil spill damage will be calculated and what the resulting environmental penalties will be.

From the L.A. Times:

“It’s fascinating for reasons of its size and complexity, the accusations of destruction of documents and evidence, and for the legal precedents. It’s terrific stuff,” said John Levy, a maritime law litigator and partner at the firm Montgomery McCracken.” (more)

There are two key issues at stake: whether BP committed negligence or gross negligence, and exactly how much damage was caused by the massive oil spill. At the low end of that spectrum, fines could be less than $3 Billion, based on the Clean Water Act. The higher end could result in a record $18 Billion, which one analyst quoted by the New York Times said could be devastating.

“They would have to sell assets to keep the company afloat,” said Fadel Gheit, a senior oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Company. “It would wipe out all of their cash reserves.” (more)

BP pleaded guilty last year to 14 criminal charges. The massive spill occurred in 2010 when BP’s drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, killing 11 workers and creating the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.


2013-14 Paralegal Club Officers

26 Sep

Congratulations to the newly elected officers!

The Paralegal Club will meet next Wednesday, October 2, at 4 p.m. The time and location will be announced shortly.

President: Mike McHenry

Vice President: Katrina Wesley

Secretary: Alexa Doan

Treasurer: Annmarie Credit

Senate Liaison/Delegate: Betty Mihalopoulos

Beef Up Your Classroom Skills

24 Sep

As exam time rolls around, some students find that their note-taking and study habits may not be up to the task. Here are a few simple tips from colleges and universities around the country.

Participation – Don’t be shy about asking questions, but do ask questions that get results. Princeton University has a guide for how to participate in a way that helps you learn as well and may also help your classmates learn as well.  The University of Pennsylvania asks students to avoid side conversations, since it distracts those involved in the chatter as well as nearby students who are trying to tune it out.

Cornell Note-taking System – This system has been around since Truman was in office, and for good reason: it works really well for most students that use it. The student divides their paper into three sections–a note-taking section, a cue column, and a summary. The cue section is later used for review. You can create a custom template here or just create the margins on your own using the notebook paper you have.

Active Listening – There’s a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a passive activity, while active listening engages your brain in what’s going on. Keep in mind that your brain can process words much faster than a lecturer can spit them out. As a result, the brain is tempted to wander when it encounters pauses. So don’t tune out–jot down a note, topic summary, or question about what’s been said, and keep going. To learn how to rev up your brain so that it’s focused on the task at hand and not what you think you might do this weekend, check out these tips on active listening and note-taking from Northshore Community College.

Time Management – You’ve probably figured out that the more time you put into a subject, the better off you’ll be. But how do you juggle a job, family, school, and some needed down-time? You’ve probably kept up your day planner to map out when you’ve got time to study, and perhaps even set a study schedule (Cornell University has an excellent guide), but if things still get derailed, take a look at what the University of Oregon suggests for students that procrastinate.

Voter Registration Day

24 Sep

Today is National Voter Registration Day. If you missed the opportunity to attend the activities today at Durham Tech, you can find out how to register at the North Carolina State Board of Elections web site. The qualifications are straightforward:

To register to vote in a North Carolina county, a person must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be a resident of North Carolina.
  • Prior to voting, must be a resident of the county for at least 30 days prior to election day.
  • Must be at least 18 years old or will be 18 by the date of the next general election.
  • Must rescind any previous registration in another county or state.
  • If previously convicted of a felony, the person’s citizenship rights must be restored (must not be serving an active sentence, including probation or parole) Know your voting rights – Guide for Ex-Felons

(source: NC Board of Elections)





Voter Registration Drive Comes to DTCC Sept. 24th

17 Sep

ImageNational Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 24th.  If you’re on the Durham Tech main campus the voter registration drive is at the Wynn Center Lobby, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m, or in the White Building lobby, from 10 a.m. – noon. The Orange County Campus is hosting the registration drive in the campus lobby from 10am – 2pm. The event is sponsored by the DTCC Student Senate and the League of Women Voters of Orange-Durham-Chatham.

More resources can be found at WRAL’s voter resource page, as well as North Carolina’s State Board of Elections.

It’s Constitution Day!

17 Sep

There’s plenty to do today, whether you’re surfing the web or hanging out on campus. How well do you think you’d do on this quiz? Or you could cruise on over to the National Constitution Center and beef up your brain power. For a little education mixed with some levity, check out the links legal expert Sharon McCloskey has put together for your amusement (don’t miss Barney Fife’s efforts to remember his history class). Want a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution? Head on over to the Phail-Wynn building; the DTCC Student Senate is providing them today, free of charge.

2013-14 Paralegal Club Officer Nominees

10 Sep

Paralegal Club Officer Nominees


Mike McHenry

Katrina Wesley

Vice President

Victoria Johnson Howard

Katrina Wesley


Ann Brown

Katrina Wesley

Alexa Doan


Annmarie Credit

Brianna Schwartz

Alexa Doan

Senate Liaison/Delegate

Betty Mihalopoulos

William Funes


updated 10/11/13