A contract shouldn’t require a Latin-English dictionary to understand it! In fact, there’s generally no reason to use Latin terms or formal legal language (legalese) at all. Use plain English to be sure the contracts and...more
Requests for admission are very valuable yet underutilized tools. They’re one of the best techniques to create admissible evidence for summary judgment and trial—make good use of them!...more
Here’s the obvious: to invoke the attorney-client privilege, the communication must be made to, or in the presence of, the client’s attorney. But things become murky when you have to decide whether that attorney is actually...more
When it comes to preparing a summary judgment motion, many attorneys prepare the supporting documents in the same order each time (and instruct new attorneys to do so, too). But one order may not fit all cases....more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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?