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Virtual Paralegalism

The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism

You Think a Paper Cut Is Bad?

You Think a Paper Cut Is Bad?

by Debbie Hones

An experienced workers’ compensation paralegal for many years, I had the opportunity to raise an adjuster’s eyebrows when I gave a recorded statement for my own on-the-job injury several years ago.

I told the adjuster from the very beginning that I was calling to report my own claim because it was just my supervising attorney, Jay Gervasi, and me.

She asked, “What department do you work in?”
Answer: “All of them.”
She persisted, “Who is the HR person?”
Answer: “Me.”
She gamely continued, “Who is your supervisor?”
Answer: “Jay is my supervisor. Obviously, he was not doing a very good job of supervising me since I got hurt.”
But I’m sure a red flag went up when I told her that I got hurt putting a wood chisel through my hand.
That’s right, a wood chisel.
I adapted my desk so that the top drawers are open to provide more work space. I made the covers that fit over the drawers in order to use the drawer but also have an extra surface to work on.
One day I reorganized the drawer, and the cover did not fit any more. I had to remove the block of wood under the cover. I guess I did too thorough of a job attaching it. I needed a wood chisel to remove the piece of wood.
But the wood chisel slipped and went through the thumb pad of my left hand. I ended up in the emergency room. When the triage clerk asked me if I had had an accident, I feigned puzzlement and replied, “No, I did it on purpose so I could get the day off.”

Where did I get the wood chisel? From my supervising attorney.

Debbie is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal employed by Jay A. Gervasi, Jr. in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Legal Assistant Division and the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division. The photos are courtesy of Jay and Debbie’s office mates, who had a little fun with the “crime scene.” They sound like a great group to work with, and Practical Paralegalism thanks Debbie for generously sharing this just-another-day-in-the-life-of-a-paralegal story with its readers.

4 Responses to You Think a Paper Cut Is Bad?

  1. You can say that again, Jackie 😉 I'm still agog at Debbie's carpentry skills. If I'd try to modify a desk drawer, I would have either rendered it unusable – or lost a finger!

  2. The insurance companies give them a script to make sure that they get all the information. I am sure she was just doing what she was told to do. She did laugh through the whole thing. I made her day.

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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