December 2019 E-Newsletter

12/02/2019 -

RI Family Court National Adoption Day a Great Success

The Bar Association would like to congratulate the Rhode Island Family Court on finalizing twenty adoptions with eighteen families at their 16th Annual National Adoption Day. The November 23rd celebration was held at the Kent County Courthouse and recognized those who have partnered with the Family Court to help find the children a place to call home. Chief Judge Michael B. Forte noted, “The Thanksgiving season is a fitting time to celebrate the creation of 18 forever homes for these children. For this I am grateful.” Congratulations to all those involved with this tremendous accomplishment!

CLE Corner

There are so many great CLE programs being offered this December! Here are just a few:

Legal Writing – Grammar Kills
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

1:00 – 2:00 p.m., 1.0 credit
ONLY available as a live webcast

Problems and Solutions When Handling a Criminal Case
Thursday, December 12, 2019

12:00 – 3:00 p.m., 2.0 ethics + 1.0 credit
RI Law Center, Cranston
Also available as a live webcast!

Don’t Get Burned Out before Considering Boilerplate Provisions
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

12:30 – 2:30 p.m., 1.5 credits + 0.5 ethics
RI Law Center, Cranston
Also available as a live webcast!

Don’t forget to check out the CLE Calendar for all of our program offerings.


12 Days of Pro Bono!

The Bar’s Public Services department will once again be doing a 12 Days of Pro Bono holiday appeal for volunteers to take pro bono cases. Last year, this promotion resulted in 18 cases placed with our gracious volunteer attorneys. The 12 Days of Pro Bono emails are sent out to all of our Volunteer Lawyer Program members in December, and each email features two to three cases in need of placement. If you would like to consider joining our program and taking a case to help someone in need this holiday season, please contact Volunteer Lawyer Program Coordinator John Ellis at 401-421-7758 or or Lawyer Referral Service and Elderly Pro Bono Coordinator Elisa King at 401-421-7758 or

Committee News


On Thursday, November 21, 2019 the Real Estate Title Standards & Practices Committee celebrated the 300th meeting of the committee! Their first meeting was held on January 30, 1974 and they have continued to meet regularly for the past 45 years growing into one of the largest committee memberships of the RI Bar Association. At the celebration, the committee recognized chairperson Michael Mellion for his 8 years of dedication and outstanding leadership, as well as many longstanding members of the committee who consistently contribute their time and expertise. Congratulations to the Real Estate Title Standards & Practices Committee on this great achievement! 

The 2020 Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 18th and Friday, June 19th at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

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Technology Tip

If you’re not thankful this season for how efficient your law firm technology makes you, it’s time for a change. The difference between thriving and dying law firms is efficiency. If your current technology stack does not drive your efficiency, drive it out. And, if you’re not using cloud software, consider adopting if for 2020: it’s cheaper, faster and more secure.

This tech tip is brought to you by the Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Consultant, Jared Correia, of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting. If you need help with billing, client relations, data management, financial management, marketing, office technology, time management, disaster prevention & recovery, or any other area related to managing your practice, Red Cave Law Firm Consulting will provide Rhode Island Bar Association members with unlimited virtual consulting services (email, telephone, chat, video) FREE OF CHARGE. To get started, visit the Bar’s LPM page here, or just email Jared directly at

Bar Journal Call for Articles

The editors of the Rhode Island Bar Journal invite Bar members to submit articles and information for Rhode Island Bar Journal publication consideration. As a primary source of news and information for all Rhode Island Bar Association members, the Bar Journal is an outstanding forum for articles concerning all areas of practice. The Journal seeks original articles, written expressly for the first publication in the Bar Journal, by members of the Rhode Island Bar Association. Rhode Island Bar Journal submissions include:
  • Articles written about specific areas of the law or relating to the practice of law.
  • Commentaries by members concerning issues of interest to the legal community.
  • Case Studies of historic or recent past cases.
  • Letters to the Editor relating to previously published pieces appearing in the Bar Journal.
  • Histories regarding the practice of law and government in Rhode Island.
  • Book Reviews about law practice, legal, or political topics.
  • Bar Committee reports and information of interest to members.
Please click here to review the Rhode Island Bar Journal Article Selection Criteria, which also appears on page 4 of every Rhode Island Bar Journal. If you have any questions concerning Bar Journal article or news item submissions, please contact Rhode Island Bar Journal Managing Editor Kathleen M. Bridge by telephone: (401) 421-5740 or email:

3 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

While the holiday season can be a fun and joyous time, it can also be very hectic. The combined effort of shopping, attending social events, and entertaining guests can quickly become too much to handle. Here are a few quick tips to help minimize the stress that often accompanies the holidays.

Set a Spending Budget: Although spending money during the holiday season may be unavoidable, you can control how much you spend. To help prevent stress over money, plan ahead, review your finances, and come up with a realistic budget for gifts.

Stay Active: When you’re running around during the holiday season, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. What you may not realize is that being active can elevate your mood and help you cope with stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a minimum of three times each week.

Keep It Simple: The holiday season can be stressful when you have too much on your plate. This might be the case if you're welcoming out-of-town guests and hosting family festivities. You don’t have to cancel your plans, but make sure you’re not setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to do everything yourself!

Casemaker Tip

Casemaker4 Jurisdiction and Compilations Menu

Directly to the left of the bar that you can type your search query in is the Jurisdiction and Compilations menu. In blue text on the search bar you will see what jurisdictions and compilations are currently selected.
Clicking on the menu will allow you to select the jurisdictions you wish to conduct research in. This can be any number of state, federal or trial courts. On the left side of the menu above the list of states is the Related Federal box. Checking this box will allow you to receive results from your selected state or states as well as any federal material relevant to that jurisdiction specifically. Similarly, if you are conducting research in the Circuit Opinions, you can also use the Related State box to return results from your selected circuits and the corresponding state-level results as well.
At the far-right side of the menu, you have the opportunity to select any or all compilations as well. Casemaker’s default is All Compilations but if you are interested in only conducting a search in the admin code, for example, you can make that designation here.
At the bottom of this menu, there are other buttons available. The first is Save To My Settings. If the settings that you've just selected are your most normally used settings when conducting research in the Casemaker system, then it would be beneficial for you to click this button so that those settings are saved. This way they're established as your default and will be chosen automatically for you every time you login. If you had previously conducted a search outside of your norm and would like to revert to your default, you can click the Use My Settings button, which is the next button on the screen. If you had multiple boxes checked and you decide that you're going to completely change what you're doing, you have the opportunity to clear all of your checks with just one click as well.
After you've made all of your jurisdiction and compilation selections be sure to click the blue save button to save them and continue with your search.