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Oakland, CA 94612, United States

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Turn Legalese into Plain English

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 other…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts

5 Tips to Make the Most of Requests for Admission

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
| Civil Procedure

You Don’t Own Me—Is it Employer or Employee Social Media Content?

Many employers have implemented employment contracts and policies that specifically provide that the employer owns all developments, technological or otherwise, by employees during their employment. But what happens when…more
| Labor & Employment Law

California Retroactively Extends Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Tax Relief, But Only For 2013

At the end of July, the California state legislature enacted an extension of its modified conformity to federal mortgage debt forgiveness tax relief for 1 year, through 2013. The law allows exclusion of income realized as a…more
| Bankruptcy, Real Estate - Residential, Taxation

Supreme Court Takes Up Federal Right to Same-Sex Marriage

From the former capital of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, comes the spark for a Supreme Court decision that could extend same-sex marriage to all fifty states within a year. On August 20, 2014, the Supreme Court…more
| Constitutional Law, Family Law

Is In-House Counsel Your Attorney?

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
| Civil Procedure

Which Summary Judgment Document Do You Draft First?

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
| Civil Procedure

Don’t Let Immigration Status Sabotage Your Client’s Sentence

The following is a guest blog post by Norton Tooby, who has a national law practice in Oakland, California, providing expert consultation and representation on immigration consequences of criminal convictions, post-conviction…more
| Criminal Law, Immigration Law

5 Rules to Minimize Expert Contamination

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 information…more
| Civil Procedure

What to Do about an Incompetent Interpreter

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 incompetent?…more
| Civil Procedure

Plaintiffs: Reject §998 Settlement Offers at Your Peril

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
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies

How to Get Business Records into Evidence

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 disruption…more
| Civil Procedure

Lessons on Social Media in the Workplace

The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, a partner with Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He’s a frequent author and speaker on labor…more
| Labor & Employment Law

Defendants: Reject §998 Settlement Offers at Your Peril

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
| Civil Remedies, Personal Injury

Amendment to California's Prevailing Wage Laws Requires Construction Contractor Registration

Covered Proposals and Contracts: A new issue facing counsel involved in construction law is the contractor registration requirement (see Stats 2014, ch 28, §§62–63) enacted in June as an amendment to California's prevailing wage…more
| Construction Law, Labor & Employment Law, Government Contracting
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