Julie Brook

Julie Brook

CEB®

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5 Rules to Minimize Expert Contamination

Attorneys risk expert contamination when they provide information to an expert about a case. Although you need to discuss the case candidly and openly with your expert, you don’t want to contaminate the expert with...more

8/28/2014 - Contamination Expert Testimony Expert Witness Witness

What to Do about an Incompetent Interpreter

A witness who would otherwise be incompetent because he or she can’t understand or speak English can be made effectively competent by using an interpreter. But what happens when the interpreter is accused of being...more

8/26/2014 - Court Appearances Native Language

Plaintiffs: Reject §998 Settlement Offers at Your Peril

Last week on CEBblog™, we discussed the consequences of a defendant rejecting a settlement offer under CCP §998 and then getting creamed at trial. But §998 is an equal opportunity statute with consequences for plaintiffs too....more

8/25/2014 - Litigation Strategies Section 998 Settlement

How to Get Business Records into Evidence

Need to get business records into evidence? There’s a hearsay exception for that! The business records exception to the hearsay rule makes it easier for businesses to provide records during litigation without undue...more

8/21/2014 - Business Records Evidence Hearsay Exceptions

Defendants: Reject §998 Settlement Offers at Your Peril

Here’s a cautionary tale for all those defense attorneys who don’t take §998 settlement offers seriously enough. In a recent case in San Diego Superior Court, two teenage boys sued an outpatient services provider,...more

8/18/2014 - Bodily Injury Healthcare Settlement

Don’t Be Trapped by Your Deposition Outline

An outline is an excellent tool for making sure you don’t overlook any important subjects during a deposition. But don’t let this tool become a trap: Be in the moment and be ready to venture outside of your outline....more

8/14/2014 - Court Appearances Depositions Evidence

Get Your Vacation Policy Right, and Then Relax!

Enjoying vacation time this summer? We all need a vacation at some point, and thankfully many employers provide for paid vacation leave. But as with many wage and hour issues, employers get themselves into legal trouble by...more

8/12/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Vacation Leave Vacation Pay Wage and Hour

Put Chambers Chat on the Record

Right before the trial begins, trial judges routinely invite counsel into chambers to explore areas of agreement and disagreement, anticipated trial objections, and how certain matters will be handled at trial. These...more

8/11/2014 - Court Reporters Judicial Records

Think Creatively about Settlement Options

In the vast majority of cases, there are more options for settlement than meet the eye. Having more options on the table increases the likelihood of finding one that is mutually acceptable. This is your chance to get...more

8/7/2014 - Litigation Strategies Negotiations Settlement

Did the Trial Court Get the Factual Determination Wrong?

Your client lost in the trial court. Should you appeal? A key basis for appeal is that the trial court’s ruling on a question of fact was erroneous. Here’s how to go about identifying a factual determination that might form...more

8/5/2014 - Appeals Litigation Strategies

Opening a Law Practice? Pay Attention to Tax Issues

You’ve decided to open your own law office and are ready for your clients’ cases, but are you also ready to handle the tax issues that go hand-in-hand with running your own business?...more

8/4/2014 - FUTA Independent Contractors IRS Law Practice Management Payroll Taxes Popular Startups Tax Planning

Avoid Apple’s Legal Headaches Over Final Paychecks

In the recently certified class action against Apple for wage and hour law violations, one of the plaintiffs’ allegations is that employees who quit or were dismissed weren’t given final paychecks in a timely manner as...more

7/29/2014 - Apple Class Action Class Certification Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Wage and Hour

Should You Take on a Client Who’s Forming a Nonprofit?

You get a call from a potential client who wants to set up a new nonprofit organization. Here are some questions to ask before you commit to the task. The first thing to do when asked to set up a nonprofit is to gather...more

7/28/2014 - Business Formation Non-Profits Young Lawyers

Get Technical in Your Next Personal Injury Case

Feeling out of your element by the technical aspects of your personal injury case? Get a technical experts on your team! Here’s how technical experts can help in common personal injury cases, such as slip and fall, car...more

7/21/2014 - Bodily Injury Car Accident

Thinking Ahead: Pre-Birth Custody and Visitation

When parents aren’t living together as a child’s birth approaches, the family may benefit from having pre-birth orders spelling out what will happen at the hospital and beyond....more

7/15/2014 - Birth Certificates Child Custody Child Visitation

Should You Go on the Offense Against a Wrongful Termination Plaintiff?

When sued by a former employee for wrongful termination, many employers feel that the best defense is a strong offense and want to attack back with a cross-complaint. But is this a good game plan? ...more

7/15/2014 - Cross-Complaints Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Litigation Strategies Termination

Direct Examination Crisis Control

Sometimes, despite careful preparation by counsel and the witnesses, direct examination unravels. But if you’ve reviewed these crisis control techniques, you’ll be ready when a problem presents itself during your direct....more

7/10/2014 - Direct Examination Evidence Litigation Strategies

Does Litigating Make Economic Sense?

One of the most important factors to consider when taking a case is whether the cost of litigating is likely to outweigh the gain. Even if the potential clients are willing to pay your fee, you may better serve them by saying...more

7/3/2014 - Attorney's Fees Case Management Confidentiality Damages Liability Litigation Fees & Costs

When Settlement Pits Client Against Attorney

Settling a case that involves potential court-awarded attorney fees raises a big issue—a conflict of interest between plaintiffs’ counsel and their clients. But it’s definitely possible for plaintiffs’ attorneys to deal with...more

6/30/2014 - Attorney's Fees Conflicts of Interest Settlement

One More Thing to Worry About with Teen Drivers

The new teen drivers are out in force for the summer season, giving their parents a lot to be anxious about. Among the countless fears parents have every time their teen takes the wheel should be their own liability....more

6/26/2014 - Auto Insurance Car Accident Driver's Licenses Liability

Mmmm…Donuts! But Can You Bring Them to the Courtroom Staff or Jury?

Seasoned litigators know how important it can be to have a good relationship with courtroom staff. Bringing holiday treats or morning coffee can certainly bolster that relationship, but is it ok to do? Trying to...more

6/23/2014 - Judicial Gifts Rules of Professional Conduct Young Lawyers

Are Two (or More) Experts Better Than One?

Should you hire multiple experts on the same topic? There are some very good reasons to use this strategy. If the case justifies the expense, retaining multiple consultants in the same field has a variety of advantages....more

6/20/2014 - Expert Testimony Expert Witness Young Lawyers

What Form Should Your Law Practice Take?

When starting your own law practice in California, one of your first decisions is what business form to use—should your practice be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation? Don’t underestimate the importance of...more

6/18/2014 - Limited Liability Partnerships Professional Corporation Sole Proprietorship Young Lawyers

Calming a Client Before Cross

For many people—especially avid courtroom drama watchers—the anticipation of being cross-examined is terrifying. If your client is one of these people, try these calming techniques....more

6/16/2014 - Cross Examination Hostile Witness Re-Direct Examination Young Lawyers

Getting What You Need Under FOIA

As an attorney, you have a duty to do an adequate investigation before asserting any claim, but your investigation can’t intrude on others’ privacy rights. Getting public record information is one way to get what you need...more

6/13/2014 - FOIA Privacy Laws Public Records Young Lawyers

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