Julie Brook

Julie Brook

CEB®

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Tentative Rulings: Contest or Concede?

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq. When the tentative ruling is against you, you’ve got two choices: contest or concede. Here’s the spoiler: One of these choices is generally the way to go....more

1/27/2015 - Litigation Strategies Tentative Ruling

Time Records Are Not Just for Hourly Billing

Many attorneys, especially those in small offices, limit their timekeeping efforts to cases billed on an hourly basis. This can be a big mistake! Here’s why....more

1/22/2015 - Billing Law Firm Partners Law Practice Management

10 Steps to Hiring Without Violating Disability Discrimination Laws

Regardless of whether a job applicant has an apparent disability, employers should always follow these 10 steps to reduce the risk of liability for running afoul of the anti-discrimination provisions of the ADA or the FEHA....more

1/19/2015 - ADA Best Management Practices Corporate Counsel Disability Disability Discrimination Employer Liability Issues FEHA Hiring & Firing

Should You Make an In Limine Motion?

The next time you’re deciding between excluding evidence via a motion in limine or taking your chances at trial, make sure to review this chart of the pros and cons of motions in limine....more

1/15/2015 - Evidence Litigation Strategies Motions in Limine

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Employee Benefits

Employee benefits may be one of the biggest assets involved in a divorce—often similar in value to the family residence. With so much money on the line, identifying, valuing, and dividing benefit plans is a priority. Here are...more

1/13/2015 - Divorce Employee Benefits Popular

Are Requests for Admissions a Magic Bullet or Overblown?

Requests for admission are one of the best techniques to create admissible evidence for summary judgment and trial. Every litigator should understand the advantages of using them but also their limitations....more

1/8/2015 - Litigation Strategies Request for Admissions

Give the Reporter a Hand to Get a Clean Depo Transcript

When you’re taking a deposition, you know that ensuring a complete and accurate record is vital. So don’t take the person who’s dutifully taking down the proceedings for granted: Assisting the court reporter is not only...more

12/16/2014 - Court Reporters Depositions

4 Steps to Drafting a Contract to Your Client’s Advantage

Yes, drafting a contract takes a lot of work. But it generally takes less time to draft a contract document that advances your client’s interests than it does to modify another party’s document to achieve that result. So...more

12/15/2014 - Contract Drafting Young Lawyers

Like Steve Jobs, Unavailable Witnesses Can Still “Appear” at Trial

In the trial of an antitrust case against Apple, Steve Jobs will come back to life as a key witness—if only in the form of his videorecorded deposition....more

12/11/2014 - Antitrust Litigation Apple Depositions Expert Witness Steve Jobs Video Recordings

Timing Your Interrogatories

Interrogatories can be a very powerful discovery tool. With interrogatories, you get to ask questions of adverse parties and then use their answers against them at trial. Don’t miss out on this opportunity by bungling the...more

12/9/2014 - Deadlines Discovery Interrogatories

10 Ways to Finance a Business

A great business idea is not enough—a business needs capital to thrive. Attorneys can help their clients consider all the financing options, figure out which one(s) are the best fit, and comply with applicable laws....more

12/8/2014 - Accelerators Angel Investors Crowdfunding Finance Lenders Financing Incubators Partnerships Peer-to-Peer Popular Seed Financing Startups Venture Capital

Make a Plan for Each Witness

Before you prepare a witness for trial, you should know precisely what you expect to accomplish through that witness. In other words, have a plan. Your trial notebook should have a section for each witness that...more

12/5/2014 - Witness Preparation Witness Statements Witnesses

Getting Edited Video into Evidence

With court time and patience at a premium, it may be best to introduce an edited version of a video recording into evidence instead of the whole—possible very long—version. But before you do this, you’ll have to authenticate...more

11/25/2014 - Authentication Evidence Video Recordings

Should You Handle That Misdemeanor Case?

You get a call from a family member, friend, or client who’s either been arrested or will be soon with a misdemeanor, such as a DUI. Maybe you’re new to practice or criminal law isn’t your usual area. Should you take on the...more

11/24/2014 - Client Services Ethics

How to Use Technology for Effective Cross-Examination

A good cross-examination should come off as scripted. California Evidence Code §767(a)(2) allows for leading questions on cross-examination, and a good trial attorney should lead the witness through the narrative using only...more

11/18/2014 - Cross Examination Evidence Software Technology Trial Preparation

10 Business-Related Torts to Master

If you handle business litigation matters, you need to be fluent in the most common business-related torts and their elements so you can spot the issues immediately—to either allege them or defend against them. Don’t feel...more

11/17/2014 - Bad Faith Breach of Contract Exploitation False Light Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Intentional Torts Negligence Trade Libel

To Call or Not to Call an Adverse Party or Witness

In civil cases, you can call an adverse party or witness in your own case. Evid C §776(a). But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Before deciding to call an adverse party or witness, definitely check out this chart...more

11/13/2014 - Evidence Hostile Witness Litigation Strategies Witness Statements

5 Things to Do Before Deposing an Expert

Taking the deposition of an opponent’s disclosed expert entails more and different preparation than when you’re deposing a lay witness. Here are 5 things to do when prepping for an expert’s deposition....more

11/10/2014 - Depositions Expert Witness

Who Pays for Employee Cell Phone Use?

For many employees, their cell phones are always close at hand, whether at work or in their personal life. But what if the employer requires employees to use their personal cell phones for work-related activities? Then we...more

11/4/2014 - Cell Phones Employee Rights Reimbursements Wage and Hour

Make These 4 Assumptions about Cybersecurity

It has been clear for some time that cybercrime isn’t an outlier in the spectrum of corporate risk. Yet many organizations have been slow to wake up to that reality, or having awoken, are unsure of what steps to take to...more

11/3/2014 - Corporate Counsel Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Risk Management

Should You Move for Mistrial?

Certain things that happen during trial may be so improper and prejudicial that they deprive a party of the right to a fair trial. That’s when counsel may move for a mistrial. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should....more

10/30/2014 - Litigation Strategies Mistrial

Keeping Tabs on a Bad Neighbor

When a conflict arises between neighbors, attorneys often recommend that their clients keep a record of events. A written log of dates and times is one thing, but a video or audio recording can easily step over the line from...more

10/28/2014 - Invasion of Privacy Privacy Laws

2 Ways to Lose Credibility in Court

You likely start out with credibility in the eyes of the judge. After all, you’re an officer of the court. But that initial benefit of the doubt can easily slip away, and once you’ve lost your credibility, the case may not be...more

10/27/2014 - Court Appearances

Idea-Expression Dichotomy Remains Key to Copyright Protection of New Technology

Can you state the difference between an idea and the expression of that idea? Don’t worry if it doesn’t slip off your tongue. This distinction one of the most difficult areas of copyright law but far from academic because...more

10/23/2014 - Apple Copyright Copyright Infringement Microsoft

10 Tips to Working Better with Your Paralegal

Attorneys spend a lot of time working with support staff, particularly paralegals, but get no training in law school on how to successfully navigate this important relationship. Here are some tips to help you get the most...more

10/21/2014 - Law Practice Management Paralegal

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