Julie Brook

Julie Brook

CEB®

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Don’t Dodge—Defuse: Use Your Opening Statement to Handle Problem Areas

Almost every case has problems—sometimes they are analogous to bombs waiting to drop on your case. The key is whether you show them to the jury and simultaneously defuse them, or whether the opposition drops them with glee....more

5/22/2015 - Litigation Strategies Trial Preparation Young Lawyers

What If the Ex-Spouse Hits the Jackpot?

A couple gets divorced and one is ordered to pay spousal support to the other. But then the one getting support hits the lottery, inherits a lot of money, or has some other financial windfall. Is the support payer off the...more

5/19/2015 - Divorce Material Change Doctrine Support Orders

Employers: 9 Provisions You Need in a Whistleblower Policy

A potential whistleblower need only run a quick Internet search to find many attorneys ready to take his or her case. Knowing this, employers need to be proactive: Any employer handbook or policy and procedures manual should...more

5/14/2015 - Best Management Practices Corporate Counsel Employee Handbooks Employment Policies Policies and Procedures Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

12 Must-Do Tasks Before Cross-Examination

Few attorneys have the time or budget to do detailed preparation for cross-examination of every witness. And even if the budget makes it possible, time spent on other aspects of trial preparation will force counsel to take...more

5/12/2015 - Cross Examination Trial Preparation Witness Preparation Witnesses Young Lawyers

Do You Have What It Takes to Go Solo?

Not every attorney is suited to solo practice. But if you are, it can be a very fulfilling and profitable way to practice law. Do you have the personal attributes needed to open your own practice?...more

5/11/2015 - Solo Practitioners Young Lawyers

Checklist for Summary Judgment Reply Brief

You moved for summary judgment, received the opposition papers, and now it’s your turn to reply. The reply brief gives you a chance to respond to arguments raised by the opposition. Who knows? The opposition may have...more

5/7/2015 - Cal Code of Civil Procedure

How Can Someone Be Deposed Twice in the Same Case?

Generally, you can’t compel someone to attend a deposition if he or she has been previously deposed in the same case. But there are 5 exceptions to this rule. A person whose deposition has been completed can’t be...more

5/4/2015 - Cal Code of Civil Procedure Depositions

When Trespasser Becomes Plaintiff

The family of a 9-year-old California boy who survived a fall through a school’s skylight reportedly claims the school district should be held liable for his injuries because it was too easy to get on the school’s roof and...more

4/30/2015 - Duty to Minor Trespassers Liability Premises Liability Property Owners School Districts Trespass

Make Your Argument, But Don’t Argue with the Judge

An an attorney and an officer of the court, you sometimes have competing duties: to represent your clients zealously and to maintain respect for the court. When it comes to a disagreeable court ruling, you’ll need to make...more

4/28/2015 - Best Practices

7 Contract Damages Provisions to Bargain Over

When you’re negotiating and drafting a contract, your client may be excited and focused on the positives, but you have to keep your eye on the dark side, i.e., the consequences of a breach. Consider bargaining over favorable...more

4/27/2015 - Contract Drafting Contract Negotiations Contract Terms

Size Up Your Adversary

When it comes to litigating a case, your client’s objectives are only half the story. If you want to gain an advantage, you’ll also need to successfully assess your adversary’s goals, capabilities, and willingness to fight. ...more

4/23/2015 - Litigation Strategies

6 Things to Know About Interrogatory Responses

So, you’ve been hit with interrogatories. Before you start working on responses, review these 6 points. 1. You have a duty to respond. A party who has been served with interrogatories under CCP §§2030.010–2030.410 has...more

4/21/2015 - Discovery Interrogatories Trial Preparation

Divorce Papers Served by Facebook: Cold or Practical?

Calling social media “the next frontier in the developing law of the service of process over the internet,” a New York judge has allowed service of divorce papers via Facebook private messaging. This is either a cold invasion...more

4/20/2015 - Divorce Facebook Service of Process Social Media Social Networks

Who’s an Independent Contractor in the New Economy?

Deciding whether to treat workers as employees or independent contractors is tricky in general and even more so in the context of the new so-called sharing economy. In recent decisions, courts have refused to resolve whether...more

4/16/2015 - Drivers Employee Definition Employer Liability Issues Independent Contractors Lyft Uber

Using Fiduciary Accountings as a Client Management Tool

When representing a fiduciary such as a conservator or personal representative, you’re often dealing with a lay person who may be feeling overwhelmed by unfamiliar responsibilities. One way to bring the situation under...more

4/14/2015 - Accounting Client Services Conservators Guardians

4 Tips on How to Be Both Assertive and Effective in Settlement Negotiations

One of the key components of the opening phase of a negotiation is articulating your client’s intentions, needs, and hopes regarding a settlement. You can strongly assert your client’s point of view in a way that also fosters...more

4/13/2015 - Settlement Negotiations

Splitting Fees? Get Client Consent ASAP

Common scenario: You do some work for a client and then pass off the client to another attorney, agreeing to split the attorney fees. Later you want to get your share of the fees. The Rules of Professional Conduct require...more

4/9/2015 - Ethics Fee-Splitting Law Practice Management Rules of Professional Conduct Written Consent

4 Questions to Ask Before Moving for a Discovery Protective Order

In California, civil discovery is “self-executing,” i.e., a party demanding discovery doesn’t need prior court approval, and the responding party may object instead of providing the requested information. An objection often...more

4/6/2015 - Discovery Protective Orders Risk Assessment

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

As more attorneys are dipping their toes into the social media waters to network through LinkedIn and reach potential clients through Facebook, many are wondering whether they should also be using Twitter. There are...more

3/26/2015 - Business Development Social Networks Twitter

Demonstrative Evidence: When You Want to Show and Tell

An episode of This American Life described the failed effort to get a Tic-tac-toe-playing chicken into evidence in the death penalty case of a mentally ill man with a very low IQ. Defense counsel was trying to rebut a...more

3/23/2015 - Audio Recording Evidence Jury Trial Video Recordings

Nine Fiduciary Accounting No Nos

When you’re a fiduciary under California’s Probate Code, such as a guardian or conservator, you’ll be required to prepare some type of fiduciary accounting for the court. You’ll probably hire an accountant to crunch the...more

3/19/2015 - Accounting Standards Fiduciary Duty Probate

Should You Use Tactical Dismissals?

As plaintiff’s counsel, you always want to analyze how best to present your client’s case in the most efficient and persuasive way. Sometimes doing that means dismissing certain parties or causes of action....more

3/17/2015 - Dismissal With Prejudice Dismissals Motion to Dismiss

Capacity at Issue? Consider Making a Video

When you’re preparing a will or trust for someone for whom capacity might later be raised as an issue, you have a potentially powerful tool that can help avoid later disputes: video. There’s nothing like a judge seeing a...more

3/16/2015 - Estate Planning Incapacity Testators Trusts Undue Influence Claims Video Recordings Wills

5 Tips for Preparing Your Witness for Video Deposition

Preparing your witness for a video deposition has a few more wrinkles—or more accurately, the ironing out of a few more wrinkles—than a deposition recorded only by stenography....more

3/10/2015 - Depositions Video Recordings Witness Preparation Witnesses

Should We Worry about Marijuana DUIs?

The number of drivers with alcohol in their system has has gone down significantly while the number of drivers using marijuana has gone way up. Safety-wise this doesn’t seem to be a bad trade. A recent National Highway...more

3/9/2015 - Car Accident Drunk Driving Marijuana NHTSA

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