Julie Brook

Julie Brook

CEB®

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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

Deposing the Doctor: Why Do It and How Much Will It Cost?

In cases in which there are medical issues, you’ll need to decide whether to depose the treating physician. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you make this call....more

7/20/2015 - Depositions Physicians

4 Keys to Using Your Opening and Closing to Persuade

Both the opening statement and the closing argument should be used to persuade. (No, it’s not all about direct and cross.) The adages about the importance of first impressions and last words are worth heeding....more

7/16/2015 - Litigation Strategies Trial Preparation Trials Young Lawyers

Thinking of Becoming an Expat? Watch Out for the Exit Tax

An increasing number of Americans are opting for an expatriate life. In fact, as MSN reports, more Americans than ever have renounced their U.S. citizenship in the first quarter of 2015. Moving abroad and getting a new...more

7/10/2015 - 401k Expatriates Gift Tax Gifts HEART Act Income Taxes International Tax Issues Personal Jurisdiction Property Tax Tax Deferral Young Lawyers

5 Reasons to Use Inspection Demands

With a written demand for inspection or production, a party can get the opposing party to produce documents or things for inspection, copying, testing, and sampling. CCP §2031.010. This can be a powerful discovery tool with...more

7/8/2015 - Discovery Document Productions Trial Preparation

What’s NOT Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege?

The attorney-client privilege (Evid C §§950–962) protects a client from disclosure of confidential communications between attorney and client. But not every communication between attorney and client is protected. Do you know...more

7/2/2015 - Attorney-Client Privilege Young Lawyers

2 Reasons to Go for Defendant’s Default

A default occurs when a defendant served with a complaint doesn’t file the appropriate response within the time allowed. CCP §§585–586. After a defendant is in default, a plaintiff may file a request for entry of default and...more

6/26/2015 - Cal Code of Civil Procedure Default Default Judgment Res Judicata

Trial Logistics: 4 Things to Set Up Before Heading to Court

Any trial strategy should incorporate the mundane. Not only must you get to court on time, but everything you need to try the case also has to be there, at your fingertips. Here are four things you should consider and arrange...more

6/24/2015 - Trial Preparation Young Lawyers

Employee Leave Law F.A.Q.s

It can be very confusing to calculate entitlements under employee leave laws—particularly the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)—and even more complicated trying to figure out...more

6/23/2015 - Best Management Practices CFRA FMLA Sick Leave

When You Can and Can’t E-Sign

The definition of “signed” in the UCC includes “any symbol,” as long as it’s “executed or adopted with present intention to adopt or accept a writing.” Com C §1201(b)(37). E-Sign extends this approach to electronic...more

6/22/2015 - Contract Formation E-SIGN E-Signatures Law Firm Associates UCC

Protecting Digital Assets: 6 Steps to Take on Death or Incapacity

It used to be enough for a fiduciary and her attorney to simply search through a decedent’s or incapacitated person’s papers in his or her workplace and at home, watch the mailbox for a 90 day cycle, and review tax returns...more

6/16/2015 - Continuing Legal Education Digital Assets Fiduciaries Popular

Prepare for Case Management Conferences in 4 Steps

In the past, most California superior courts routinely held trial-setting, pretrial, arbitration status, and status conferences. Delay reduction rules put a stop to this practice, consolidating all of these into a...more

6/15/2015 - Case Management Rules of Civil Procedure Status Hearings

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