Julie Brook

Julie Brook


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Sharing Custody When Parents Don’t Share Religion

A court-ordered parenting plan governs how parents will share the “care, custody and management of their child,” a fundamental liberty interest recognized by the United States Supreme Court. This liberty interest encompasses...more

10/7/2015 - Child Custody Parenting Plans Parenting Time Religion

3 Reasons to Draft Fair Contracts

An attorney drafting an agreement has an obligation to represent the client zealously and to prepare a contract that maximizes the client’s legal and business advantages. But does this mean that an attorney may include...more

10/6/2015 - Contract Drafting Contract Terms Ethical Duties Legal Ethics Reputation Management Unconscionable Contracts Unenforceable Contract Terms Zealous Representation

The “Opening the Door” Fallacy

It is a popular fallacy that if testimony is given on a subject during direct examination, this will “open the door” to unrestricted cross-examination about that matter; making evidence admissible that would otherwise be...more

10/2/2015 - Admissible Evidence Cross Examination Direct Examination Evidence Hearsay Objections Testimony Trials

Incoming! 5 Ways to Prepare for Discovery Requests

Your discovery plan shouldn’t be all about what you’re requesting from the other side—it should also anticipate and prepare for the discovery you expect to receive. Here are five things to do before discovery requests...more

9/30/2015 - Discovery Discovery Schedule Objection Procedures Objections

7 Suggestions for Your Next Voir Dire

Maybe you’ve been doing voir dire the same way for years, or maybe it’s your first time. Either way, check out these proposals for your next voir dire....more

9/28/2015 - Jury Selection Voir Dire Young Lawyers

Don’t Let Clients Push You Too Far

Yes, you have a duty to represent your client zealously. But don’t let your zeal for your client’s case trump your duty to prosecute only meritorious cases. It won’t fly to say, “My client made me do it.” Your duty to the...more

9/25/2015 - California Bar Association Duties & Responsibilities Rules of Professional Conduct

4 Defenses to Employee Defamation Claims

The Recorder reports an uptick in defamation claims by fired employees. These claims are often in the form of plaintiffs saying that their bosses gave others false reasons for their firing. These types of claims strike fear...more

9/24/2015 - Affirmative Defenses Consent Defamation Former Employee Libel Privileged Communication Slander Statement of Opinion Wrongful Termination

When Someone Else Is Paying Your Fees

When, in a noncontingent matter, a third party is paying all or some of the attorney fees for your client, do you know how to deal with the issues that can arise? Short answer: Address them upfront in your fee agreement. Here...more

9/22/2015 - Arbitration Attorney's Fees Fee Agreements Litigation Fees & Costs

5 Ground Rules to Explain to Your New Client

The initial interview with a prospective client is the time to explain the ground rules of the attorney-client relationship. Here are five rules to make sure you cover....more

9/15/2015 - Attorney-Client Privilege Client Services Conflicts of Interest Fee Agreements Litigation Strategies Young Lawyers

Avoid the Dangers of Missing E-Data

Most discovery requests will require production of electronic data. Even if you’re tech savvy, it’s better not to go it alone because the sanctions for missing something can be huge, as Delta Airlines and defense counsel in a...more

9/2/2015 - Chain of Custody Data Collection Discovery Document Productions Electronically Stored Information Forensic Examination Scope of Data Young Lawyers

Your Employees Are Probably Doing It, So Have a BYOD Policy

People today can (and do) work from anywhere—connected through the Internet, WiFi, and cloud-based platforms with a variety of mobile devices. This makes preventing confidential and proprietary business information from...more

9/1/2015 - Bring Your Own Device Data Protection Employer Liability Issues Technology

How to Get and Handle Retainer Fees

Posted on August 26, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq. If you’re new to practice, you may have heard of retainer fees but aren’t sure how to get them and whether you can keep them. Here’s a look at the rules and a sample retainer...more

8/26/2015 - Advance-Payment Retainers Retainer Fees Young Lawyers

Lost on a Motion in Limine? Make Your Record!

The basic rule is that, if you don’t make a timely objection before or when objectionable matters are mentioned or introduced, you may not be able to raise the issue on appeal. See Evid C §353. Accordingly, if you don’t...more

8/25/2015 - Admissible Evidence Appeals Evidence Suppression Motion to Exclude Motions in Limine Objection Procedures

5 Ways to Challenge a Grant of Summary Judgment

When a summary judgment motion is granted and you’re representing the opposing party, you have a few choices in how to respond. You can challenge the grant directly in the trial court by one of four motions or wait to appeal...more

8/24/2015 - Litigation Strategies Motion for Reconsideration New Trial Summary Judgment Young Lawyers

Checklist for Businesses that Handle Credit/Debit Cards

If your business client accepts credit or debit card payments, it’s subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), which consists of a set of industry tools and measurements to assist in the safe...more

8/20/2015 - Credit Cards Mobile Payments Network Security Payment Systems PCI-DSS Standard

4 Tips for Effectively Presenting Your Expert

You have an expert witness set to testify on your client’s behalf. Never undermine the impact your expert’s testimony can have on your case. Don’t let him or her bore the jury—present your expert in the most positive and...more

8/18/2015 - Expert Testimony Expert Witness Young Lawyers

4 Ways to Avoid Ambiguity in Your Writing

Ambiguity in any writing is annoying, but in a contract it can be devastating if you wrote it, because any ambiguity in a contract is likely to be construed against you. Here are some ways to avoid ambiguity in your next...more

8/13/2015 - Ambiguous Contract Drafting Contract Interpretation Young Lawyers

Need to Protect Trade Secrets in Litigation? There’s a Privilege for That

Posted on August 10, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq. Trade secrets are not necessarily outed in litigation. There’s a conditional privilege that protects owners of trade secrets from being forced to spill their secrets....more

8/10/2015 - Trade Secret Privilege Trade Secrets

A Photo Is Still a Photo, Even on Social Media

A recent case made headlines simply because it involved Instagram. Don’t be fooled by the hype—new technologies don’t always require new law. A photo is a photo regardless of where it appears, and its admissibility is based...more

8/7/2015 - Authentication Evidence Instagram Photographs Social Media Witness

Use a Focus Group Before Every Trial

Posted on August 5, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq. If a full-blown mock trial is out of your budget, then get a focus group together. For the cost of $50 per juror plus pizza, you could spend the most productive and useful evening...more

8/6/2015 - Jury Instructions Jury Trial Trial Preparation

When a Start-Up Needs an Employee Handbook

Once a company grows to 20 employees or more, it may be time to create an employee handbook. Here are some common objections to this formality and how to overcome them....more

8/3/2015 - Employee Handbooks Startups

When You Can’t Settle, Consider a Mini-Trial

A mini-trial is basically a sophisticated settlement conference. When you have complex questions of mixed law and fact, a mini-trial may be your best way forward....more

8/3/2015 - Dispute Resolution Settlement Settlement Conferences Young Lawyers

Filing an Appeal? Follow 3 Steps to Drafting an Effective Statement of the Case

The appellate court probably knows the relevant law but not the facts of your case, so it will look to your appellant’s brief to fill this void. If you don’t provide an adequate statement of the case in your brief, the court...more

7/31/2015 - Appeals Appellate Briefs Young Lawyers

Be a Skeptic When a Potential Client Wants to Switch Counsel to You

Sometimes you should view a new potential client with skepticism. If the matter has been handled by another attorney and is now being referred or brought to you, there may be a reason you won’t like....more

7/27/2015 - Best Practices Client Services Young Lawyers

The Perils of an Attorney Joining a Corporate Board

From time to time, attorneys are asked to serve as corporate directors or officers. Watch out—there may be some serious perils involved for the attorney and his or her law firm....more

7/23/2015 - Agency Board of Directors Corporate Governance D&O Insurance Directors Independent Directors Professional Liability Risk Assessment

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