Julie Brook

Julie Brook


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Questions to Ask When Deposing an Expert

The task of deposing the opposition’s expert is simplified immeasurably by keeping in mind the deposition’s fundamental purpose: to discover all of the expert’s opinions and all of the bases for those opinions. Your goal...more

4/29/2016 - Depositions Expert Testimony Litigation Strategies Young Lawyers

11 Steps to Introducing Exhibits at Trial

If it’s your first trial or it’s been a while since you’ve tried a case, here’s a handy list of the steps to take when introducing your evidence at trial. STEP 1: Mark your exhibit for identification. The court clerk...more

4/22/2016 - Admissible Evidence Litigation Strategies Trial Plan Young Lawyers

Sabbaticals Aren’t Just for Academics Anymore

Sabbaticals have been traditionally used in the academic setting to give university teachers one year of paid leave to study or travel for every seven years worked. Now some private, nonacademic employers—particularly in the...more

4/15/2016 - Employee Benefits Leave of Absence Paid Leave Policies and Procedures Vacation Leave Vacation Pay Wage and Hour

Use this Checklist for Every Declaration

Litigators use declarations and affidavits to present facts to the judge from various types of witnesses. Their use can become routine and sometimes even sloppy. But beware: Declarations are subject to the same objections and...more

4/14/2016 - Affidavits Declaration Discovery Objections Perjury

Really Listen to the Witness

It sounds obvious: You should always listen carefully to the witness during cross-examination. But listening means more than just hearing the words actually said. Ideally, your listening will go well beyond that, which can...more

4/8/2016 - Credibility Cross Examination Eyewitness Testimony Witnesses

Review Your Hourly Fee Agreement

Hourly billing for legal services has been criticized for, among other things, discouraging attorney efficiency and providing the client with no predictability of cost (see, e.g., ABA Commission on Billable Hours Report...more

4/6/2016 - Attorney's Fees Billing Fee Agreements Young Lawyers

9 Steps to Getting Business Records into Evidence

You know you can get business records into evidence under an exception to the hearsay rule, but you’re not exactly sure how to do it. It’s simply a mechanical process—just get your witness on the stand and follow these nine...more

4/4/2016 - Business Records Evidence Hearsay Litigation Strategies Young Lawyers

Confidentiality Among Co-Clients?

Whenever you’re representing multiple clients with respect to the same subject matter, make sure to address the issue of confidentiality right at the beginning of the attorney-client relationship—in fact, you should cover it...more

4/4/2016 - Attorney-Client Privilege Confidential Information Fee Agreements Law Practice Management Young Lawyers

Don’t Bore the Jury!

Much to the chagrin of trial attorneys, jurors don’t always give their full attention to the trial. It’s trial counsel’s job to keep things interesting. Depending on the case, this can be a tall order. Here are some tips for...more

3/31/2016 - Professional Development Trial Preparation Young Lawyers

A Client Shouldn’t Be Just a Number to You, Except in Your Filing System

You’ve started a law practice and the clients are beginning to arrive. How will you organize your client files? Your first thought may be to use an alphabetical system by client name. Big mistake. Instead, stick to numbers....more

3/28/2016 - Law Practice Management Young Lawyers

Is Telecommuting a Reasonable Accommodation?

Employers are often asked to allow an employee to telecommute as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Should employers always grant such requests? What considerations come into play? Here’s a checklist to help...more

3/23/2016 - ADA FEHA Interactive Process Reasonable Accommodation Telecommuting

Let’s Buy a Beach House Together! Or Maybe Not.

When friends decide to buy vacation property together, they may not consider the legal status of their relationship—at least until litigation starts. Importantly, they may not be aware that they might have formed a general...more

3/21/2016 - Fiduciary Duty Foreclosure General Partnerships Real Estate Investments

Emojis in Evidence

Text messages and emails—common forms of evidence in most cases—increasingly include nonverbal aspects such as emojis (or emoticons, as these symbols are sometimes called). This introduces a myriad of issues with regard to...more

3/21/2016 - Email Emoji Evidence Text Messages

3 Problem Areas for Interrogatory Responses

A party served with interrogatories under CCP §§2030.010–2030.410 has to respond by answering, producing writings, or objecting. And each answer has to be as “complete and straightforward as the information reasonably...more

3/16/2016 - Cal Code of Civil Procedure Discovery Interrogatories Young Lawyers

How to Protect Rights of Transgender Employees

Most employers know that discrimination against transgender and other gender-nonconforming persons is prohibited in California. But many employers have been confused about what legal rights transgender employees have and how...more

3/14/2016 - Best Management Practices Employer Liability Issues FEHA Gender Discrimination Transgender

5 Tips for Reeling in Potential Clients

A new study by the ABA Law Practice Division’s Social Media, Legal Blogs, and Websites Committee looked at the intake process at law firms around the country. Quite an eye opener! Learning from what they found—or rather, what...more

3/11/2016 - Business Development Young Lawyers

How to Amend a Trust

When drafting a revocable trust, your clients may be very keen to include a particular niece or cousin, but then have a change of heart years later and want to write them out. As long as the trust allows it, you can simply...more

3/9/2016 - Contract Amendments Contract Drafting Irrevocable Trusts

Cross-Examining the Unimpeachable Witness

When you have to cross-examine a witness who is telling the truth—and is fully supported by a detailed consistent report prepared close to the time of the events he or she attests to—you’ll need to look for gaps in testimony...more

3/8/2016 - Cross Examination Defense Strategies Witness Statements Young Lawyers

Draft Agreements with Contract Construction Principles in Mind

Generally it’s the parties’ mutual intent that controls a contract’s interpretation. But that intent isn’t always easy to figure out. When the parties dispute a contract’s interpretation and it goes to court, the court...more

3/4/2016 - Ambiguous Contract Drafting Contract Interpretation Contract Terms

Carefully Collect E-Data: Avoid the Metadata Minefield

You and your client need to use caution when collecting electronic data for discovery: One false step could result in major problems. Although it may seem quick and easy to, e.g., log on to a person’s computer, look at...more

3/3/2016 - Data Collection Discovery Electronically Stored Information Email Metadata Sanctions Spoilation Young Lawyers

Fired Employees Can’t Just Sue and Wait for a Payout

An employee who’s been laid off or fired and believes that it’s due to unlawful discrimination can’t simply sue and then sit around waiting for a payout from his or her former employer. Rather, the law requires that he or she...more

3/1/2016 - Back Pay Damages Discrimination Mitigation Termination Title VII

When Should You Cross-Appeal?

Missing an opportunity to cross-appeal can be a big mistake. Ordinarily, if you’re on the winning side in the trial court, there’s no need to file a cross-appeal. But there are situations in which filing a cross-appeal is not...more

2/29/2016 - Cal Code of Civil Procedure Cross-Appeals Defense Strategies

How to Make Your Negotiations More Efficient

Conducting settlement discussions without an agenda is like driving to an unfamiliar destination without a map: It’s possible, but not very efficient. If time and professionalism are valuable to you, conduct your negotiations...more

2/23/2016 - Collaboration Settlement Conferences Settlement Negotiations Settlements Young Lawyers

Gear Your Oral Presentations to All Types of Learners

There are few oral presentations given today that don’t make use of visual aids. It helps with the inevitable attention wandering and it allows you to reach different types of learners. Always try to make your...more

2/18/2016 - Closing Arguments Litigation Strategies Opening Statements Trial Preparation Young Lawyers

Questioning a Witness: Poor Questions Versus Good Ones

When conducting direct examination, you generally can’t ask leading questions, i.e., ones that suggest a particular answer. Evid C §§764, 767(a)(2). And, of course, you can’t ask objectionable questions. For inexperienced...more

2/9/2016 - Depositions Direct Examination Litigation Strategies Witnesses Young Lawyers

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