Julie Brook

Julie Brook


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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

Business Plan Basics

Every business should have a plan—from tech start-ups to law firms. The process of creating a document that details the thoughts and ideas of the owners or founders of the business allows for a realistic appraisal of the...more

2/5/2016 - Business Development Business Plans Capital Raising Startups Statutory Requirements Young Lawyers

Should You Save Something for Your Closing?

Although it may be tempting to cover everything during cross-examination, there are situations in which it’s better to save something for your closing argument. In fact, it’s a time-honored rule among some litigators to...more

2/3/2016 - Closing Arguments Cross Examination Litigation Strategies Testimony Trial Practice Guidance

Timing Your Requests for Admission

One of many tactical decisions you need to make in litigation is when to serve requests for admission. Timing may be key to getting what you need. Here are your parameters...more

1/29/2016 - Discovery Litigation Strategies Request for Admissions

3 Ways to Improve Trial Pacing

One of the cornerstones in trying a good case is pacing. The attorney who proves everything proves nothing. It’s imperative that your case be pared down to its essential elements and presented concisely. Here...more

1/26/2016 - Evidence Litigation Strategies Trial Preparation Young Lawyers

Stop Trade Secret Thieves Before They Leave

One of the most likely times to lose trade secret protection occurs when an employee leaves the company. If there are feelings of resentment, the employee may want to harm the employer, or the employee may mistakenly feel...more

1/22/2016 - Exit Interviews FBI Intellectual Property Protection Non-Disclosure Agreement Severance Agreements Termination Trade Secrets

Cautionary Tale: When a Stipulated Continuance Won’t Save You from Untimeliness

A recent case shows what happened when counsel stipulated to a continuance that took the ruling on a motion to vacate a default judgment past the jurisdictional time limit. It’s the tale of a big win, followed by a crushing...more

1/21/2016 - Cal Code of Civil Procedure Deadlines First Impression Motion to Vacate Stipulations

How to Authenticate a Social Media Post

Despite its relationship to new technologies, electronic evidence, including social media evidence, is actually treated the same as traditional forms of evidence in terms of admissibility. You can’t get it in without proper...more

1/18/2016 - Admissibility Authentication Popular Social Media Stipulations Subpoenas Witness Statements Young Lawyers

Wage and Hour Law Continues to Be Hot

The number of federally filed wage and hour cases hit a new high in 2015, and, as Corporate Counsel reports, this trend is likely to continue in 2016. Similarly, California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is...more

1/11/2016 - Employer Liability Issues FLSA IWC Labor Standards Enforcement Multistate Corporations Unfair Competition Wage and Hour Wage Orders

Checklist: Does the Anti-SLAPP Statute Apply?

An anti-SLAPP motion to strike is generally available when one of the causes of action in a case is based on an act of a person in furtherance of the person’s constitutional right of petition or free speech in connection with...more

1/8/2016 - Anti-SLAPP Commercial Speech Exemptions Free Speech Public Interest

Know When to Cross-examine and Know When to Pass

There’s a time-honored “rule” that, if a witness hasn’t hurt your client’s case, don’t cross-examine the witness, just stay seated. But whether this injunction makes sense depends on the strength of your case and the...more

1/4/2016 - Cross Examination Litigation Strategies Trial Practice Guidance Witnesses

New Year, New Laws for Litigators

Did you keep up with the onslaught of legislative developments affecting litigation this year? Don’t worry, here’s a list of some key changes every California litigator needs to know....more

12/22/2015 - Attorney's Fees Court Reporters E-Signatures Evidentiary Hearings Jury Trial Meet and Confer Motion for Summary Judgment Objections Offer to Compromise Peremptory Challenges Prevailing Party Section 998

New Year, New Laws for Real Property Practitioners

Were you able to keep track of the new legislative changes that may affect your real property practice? Don’t worry, we did and here are some key changes every California real property lawyer needs to know....more

12/18/2015 - Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIAs) Crime Victims Drones Drought Homeowners' Association Invasion of Privacy Public Accommodation Residential Leases Tenants Unruh Civil Rights Act

New Year, New Laws for Employment Lawyers

The California legislature has enacted several new laws that will affect every employer and employment lawyer in 2016. Here’s an overview of some of the key statutory changes you need to know about....more

12/16/2015 - Cheerleaders E-Verify Employer Liability Issues Equal Pay FEHA Grocery Store Workers Piece-Rate Pay Protected Activity Reasonable Accommodation Retaliation Wage and Hour

Prepare Your Expert to Testify: A Checklist

Whenever you have retained an expert witness to testify in your case—whether in deposition or at trial—you need to prepare yourself and the expert. Don’t just sit back and assume that the expert, who many have testified many...more

12/11/2015 - Expert Testimony Expert Witness Witness Preparation Young Lawyers

Supreme Court Paves the Way for Organic Food Fraud Suits

The California Supreme Court just handed down a decision that’s been hailed by the Recorder as “boon for plaintiffs bar.” In Quesada v Herb Thyme Farms (PDF), the supreme court unanimously held that claims for fraud by...more

12/10/2015 - CA Supreme Court CLRA Food Labeling Notice Requirements Organic Preemption

Deposition Notice 101

In most cases you’ll need to notice at least one deposition. Here’s a handy overview for anyone new to California practice on what to include in your deposition notice and when to serve a subpoena along with it....more

12/8/2015 - Depositions Notice Pleading Standards Service of Process Subpoenas

What to Do About Property Left Out of the Divorce Agreement

The parties thought they had covered everything (or maybe one party was being sneaky), but it turns out that some property was left out of the divorce proceedings and thus never made it into the judgment. Here’s how to deal...more

12/4/2015 - Community Property Debt Divorce Jurisdiction Marital Assets Marital Settlement Agreements

No Fee Agreement, No Service

Businesses often have basic requirements before they offer their services–think, “No shoes, no service.” Attorneys should be no different. If a prospective client doesn’t sign and return your fee agreement, you can...more

11/30/2015 - Advance-Payment Retainers Fee Agreements Young Lawyers

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

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