Monday, June 28, 2010

Litigation Instruction and Training for Legal Support Staff

Davidson Legal Staffing is proud to present Litigation Instruction and Training for Legal Support Staff, taught by Karyn Beyer and offered in Los Angeles and San Francisco. This 3 day seminar introduces legal secretaries and support staff to the complex world of civil litigation, including:

Federal and California State Court structure
Commencing a legal action
Discovery procedures
Motion practice
Complexities of calendaring
Alternative Dispute Resolution
E-filing in California Federal Civil and Bankruptcy Courts
Close up on legal calendaring

JULY 13, 14 AND 15, 2010
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
1881 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, California 94304

For cost and registration forms, visit:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"The Assistant" by Katherine Rosman

She Bosses the CEO
An Assistant Knows Her Boss Like Few Others. Why Their Partnership Is Imperiled.

"It's like an office marriage," says Rosanne Badowski, 53, of working since 1988 as the executive assistant to Jack Welch, the retired General Electric Co. chairman and CEO.

Mr. Welch disagrees. "This is smoother," he says.

Some fictional assistants can't hide their desire to move up. "Mad Men's" Peggy Olson goes from Don Draper's secretary to copy-writer

More photos and interactive graphics Such long-term partnerships between an executive and an executive assistant (or "EA," "admin," or "secretary," depending on your location and generation) are becoming increasingly rare. Executives change companies more frequently, and while some assistants will relocate, many can't uproot to follow the boss. Cost cutting and technology mean that fewer mid-level executives are assigned assistants, cutting back chances to move up the ladder together. At some law firms in Manhattan, for example, as many as five attorneys might share an assistant. At certain technology companies, having an assistant is considered outdated.

"An assistant can buffer you from a lot," says Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, the Internet radio company. For this reason, he is assistant-free.

Yet, at the same time, the demand for highly skilled assistants has increased in the last several years as shareholders and customers demand greater connectedness with executives. Tech-savvy assistants increasingly are targets of poaching by other executives. "The term chief of staff is being used a lot more," says David Goldman, the owner of Ruby Peak Recruiting, a San Francisco head-hunting firm which specializes in placing assistants with top-level executives in the technology and venture capital sectors.

"Demonstrated longevity" is now an explicitly sought-after qualification, headhunters say. Sun Microsystem's longtime CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, worked with his "admin" for 10 years before Oracle acquired Sun and he left the company. Richard Parsons, chairman of the board of Citigroup Inc., has worked with his assistant for 22 years. The former Bear Stearns chairman Alan "Ace" Greenberg has three secretaries whose tenures with him range from 10 to 25 years. When Jan Verhage moved from Washington, D.C., to New York this spring to become chief operating officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, her last act at work was a sit-down conversation with her assistant of 16 years. "It was a heart-string situation," Ms. Verhage says.

"It's about chemistry and trust, and when you have it, it's the difference between having an assistant who manages your errands and a partner who is looking out for you and your career," says Flor De Leon, 36, who worked for a decade as the assistant to Vish Makhijani, a tech-industry executive.

An assistant is involved in the nitty-gritty of a company's operations. She (and she is often though not always a she) may listen to her boss' voicemail messages, if she's not listening in on calls directly. She is privy to email correspondence and proprietary information. At some companies, assistants sign nondisclosure agreements. Others rely on honor and discretion.

Dawn James worked for seven years as the assistant to Alfred Chuang, a founder and CEO of BEA Systems, until the Silicon Valley company was acquired by Oracle in 2008. "They're getting pinged by 5 million people a day. You have to be able to weed through the madness," says Ms. James. "I was a sponge absorbing the business."

Many assistants to top executives say they know each other, only over email and the phone, from years of connecting their bosses. They tap this network for tips on where best to pull together last-minute board meetings, find a limousine service in Shanghai, and to vent about bosses who take out their frustrations on their aides.

Ms. Badowski was working for a GE senior vice president in 1988 and applying for sales jobs within the company when human resources encouraged her to apply for the job managing the life of Mr. Welch, a CEO with 350,000 employees. She ran Mr. Welch's GE office for 13 years. After he retired from the company in 2001 and eventually moved to Boston and remarried, Ms. Badowski moved too, even though she had never lived outside Connecticut. Then the Welches moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a year ago, so too did Ms. Badowski.

Ms. Badowski tells Mr. Welch her opinion, even when she knows he's not going to agree. And she will defy his orders on occasion. "I'm not going to do something inefficiently just because he's told me to," she says. "It's for his own good."

When Mr. Welch launched the Jack Welch Management Institute, an online MBA program through Chancellor University, this year, he had Ms. Badowski enroll as a member of its first class. She is giving Mr. Welch an insider's analysis. Ms. Badowski has not hidden from her instructors her connection to their boss, nor has she advertised it.

"I respect her views of what is working and what isn't," Mr. Welch says. "Candor is what you want. As an executive, you search for that."

High-level assistants are well compensated. When an executive changes jobs or is promoted, the assistant's pay is often negotiated by the boss as a part of his or her overall deal. Of the placements Ruby Peak has made in 2010 in San Francisco's Bay Area, the average starting salary has been $72,000, a base which excludes bonuses, profit-sharing and 401(k) plans. Working as the assistant to a "screamer" might entail a base salary of $100,000, Mr. Goldman says.

In movies, plays and television shows, secretaries have often been portrayed as temptations for married executives. While surely some professional partnerships have morphed into personal relationships, assistants to top-tier executives say having trust and frequent communication with their boss' family is vital. "You need to partner with your exec's spouse," says Melanie Delaney, an administrative assistant. "You don't want to send them to school for a school play when there is no school play."

For a decade, she was the "admin" to Mr. Schwartz, then the CEO of Sun Microsystems, Ms. Delaney, 38, also helped him to have a life: She blocked out time for him to work out several times a week. She was kept apprised of his kids' activities by his wife and made sure he attended as many as possible. She looked after his health too—making sure he took time to eat and that what he was eating was in keeping with the appropriate regimen. "If they're doing no carbs, there can be no carbs," she says. "I put thought into what I fed my guy."

After the company was acquired by Oracle in January, both Ms. Delaney and Mr. Schwartz left. She now works for the president of a pharmaceutical company. He is deciding what to do next.

"Melanie understood all my priorities and not simply the Sun priorities," Mr. Schwartz says. "She was critical to my productivity. She was my liaison to customers, shareholders, to the media, to my employee base, to members of my family. She was at the nexus of all of that." When he left Sun, he didn't think he would have enough work to justify keeping Ms. Delaney employed.

The first day, he triple-booked lunch. "Then I failed to show up for all three," he says.

(This article in appeared in the June 17, 2010 edition of the Wall Street Journal and is reprinted with permission from the author. All copyrights protected)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Power Drink for Power Professionals :)

$1 Dollar SuperFruit "16" Size Smoothies - TODAY ONLY

June 16, 2010

This should help you get over the "hump" today!

Offer valid only on 6/16/10 at participating Jamba Juice locations for Super Yumberry, Berry Yumberry,?Acai Super-Antioxidant™, Pomegranate Pick-Me-Up™ & Pomegranate Paradise™ smoothies. Offers specifically not valid at Safeway, Vons or Pavilions locations. Not valid with other offers or discounts. Not valid for Jamba Juice employees. ©Jamba Juice Company 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bravo Top Chef Tour in San Francisco TODAY!

June 11, 2010.
Justin Herman Plaza
San Francisco, CA
Free Admision

Ryan Scott
Jamie Lauren

Show Dates & Times
Fri, Jun 11 @ 10:30 am
Fri, Jun 11 @ 12:00 pm
Fri, Jun 11 @ 01:30 pm

Friday, June 4, 2010

Voulez-Vous Sous Vide Supreme Avec Moi, Ce Soir?

How would you like to have a French chef waiting at home for you with your dinner ready when you get home tonight? You can. Almost.

I had the pleasure of testing the Sous Vide Supreme Water Oven (TM) for the past two weeks.

"The SousVide Supreme™ is the world's first water oven designed specifically for use in the home."

The way it works is that the food is cooked "under pressure" or "sous vide." The food is submerged in a sealed, airless bag for minutes, hours or even days at exactly the temperature needed to produce perfectly cooked meals.

This is the method of cooking which has been boasted about and used by the "French Laundry's" Thomas Keller.

I prepared the most perfect pork roast I've ever made in my life with this oven. (However, it did take 14 hours to cook) which was fine because I put it on during the day on Saturday and by the time "Saturday Night Live" came on it was done. Too late for Saturday's dinner, but perfect for Sunday's dinner!

Perfectly cooked food

Price (retails for around $499.00)

You can cook gourmet while you work and your meal is ready when you get home. Even if you aren't home when it's ready, it remains at the same temperature (unlike a crock pot that just keeps cooking).

You have to plan meals in advance.

Bottom line - if you want perfectly cooked, healthy meals, the Sous Vide Supreme (TM) will change your life. Would I buy one if I could afford it? Absolutely.

I expect that the prices will come down as it increases in popularity and that it's probably going to revolutionize the way we cook and eat.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life Is Just A Bowl of Cherries. . .

It's cherry picking time in Brentwood, California.

(Thanks to Melissa of SFL Data for sharing)