Julie Brook

Julie Brook


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Heads Up on New FRCP Amendments

Do you know about the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that will take effect on December 1, 2015? The amendments touch a variety of issues, but most significantly impact the scope of permissible discovery...more

11/24/2015 - Discovery Document Productions Electronically Stored Information Federal Rules of Civil Procedure New Amendments Scope of Discovery Requests Service of Process Summons

Give Paid Time Off or Sick and Vacation Leave?

Is it better for an employer to operate under a paid time off (PTO) policy or to have vacation and sick leave policies instead? A PTO policy is very appealing because it’s more straightforward and seems easier to administer,...more

11/18/2015 - Employee Benefits Employment Policies Paid Leave PTO

21 Things to Tell Your Testifying Witness

Before your friendly witness is called to the stand, you should go over some general guidelines with him or her. This is particularly true of inexperienced witnesses, but it can’t hurt to review these admonitions even with...more

11/17/2015 - Testimony Witness Preparation Witnesses

Should Your Firm Have a Chief Privacy Officer?

Following the trend in big business, a Pennsylvania law firm has just appointed its first Chief Privacy Officer (CPO). Should your firm consider having such a position? The short answer is: Yes!...more

11/13/2015 - Corporate Officers CPOs Data Privacy Personal Data Privacy Policy

Expert Tip: Use Jury Instructions in Your Opening and Closing

By the time you prepare your opening statement, you’ll know specifically what the legal theories of your case are and generally what the jury instructions will be. By the time of your closing argument, the instructions will...more

11/10/2015 - Closing Arguments Defense Strategies Jury Instructions Opening Statements Trial Preparation

Enforcing a Judgment That’s Expired? You May Still Be in Luck

You can only enforce a judgment in the window between its effective date (with no stays in effect) and the date the judgment or renewal of the judgment expires. The key to getting more time is all in the expiration date....more

11/6/2015 - Enforceability Expiration Date Final Judgment Judgment Creditors Money Judgment

How to Guard Information During Negotiation

If you’ve prepared well for a settlement negotiation, then you’ve already determined what information you won’t disclose to the other side. The trick is guarding that information in a way that doesn’t tip-off the other side...more

11/3/2015 - Confidential Information Negotiations Settlement Negotiations Young Lawyers

You May Have to Produce PMK Witnesses, Unless You’re a File-Sharing Business

If you represent an organization that gets served with a deposition notice under CCP §2025.230, you’ll need to designate “persons most knowledgeable” (PMK) to show up. This can be complicated, particularly if such employees...more

10/30/2015 - Corporate Officers Depositions Directors Discovery Employees File Sharing Persons Most Knowledgeable (PMK) Pre-Suit Notice Witness

Got a Website? Tweet? Save Copies of Everything!

Did you know that, if you advertise your legal services on the Internet—and that includes having a firm website or using social media—you have to keep a copy of all the webpages for two years? Under Cal Rules of Prof...more

10/29/2015 - Attorney Advertising Electronically Stored Information Ethics Professional Responsibility Recordkeeping Requirements Risk Retention Rules of Professional Conduct Social Media Websites

Can You Use Evidence of Repairs Made After the Fact?

Based on public policy considerations, some types of potentially relevant evidence can’t be used at trial. One example is subsequent remedial or precautionary measures taken after an accident or other event, which, if it had...more

10/21/2015 - Admissible Evidence Admissions Evidence Impeachment Inadmissible Evidence Negligence Presumptively Relevant Repairs Strict Liability Subsequent Remedial Measures

Better Send a Letter Before the First Consultation

A prospective client makes an appointment with you to discuss his or her case. Immediately send a letter setting out some information and a few key points. First off, you’ll definitely want to confirm the date, time, and...more

10/19/2015 - Attorney Representation Agreements Attorney-Client Privilege Client Meetings Confidential Information Conflicts of Interest Consent Consultation Rules of Professional Conduct

7 Tips for Making Supporting Memos More Persuasive

Almost all motions and demurrers must be supported by a memorandum. Cal Rules of Ct 3.1113. Your supporting memorandum convinces the judge that the law and facts support the order you want. The objective is to persuade—the...more

10/12/2015 - Appellate Briefs Pleadings Rules of Civil Procedure Supporting Memorandum Young Lawyers

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

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