Using Social Media? Beware of Ethical Pitfalls (Part 1)

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The following is a guest blog post by Jonathan Rubens, a principal at Javid Rubens LLP in San Francisco, which represents clients in business transactions and advises them on data security, privacy, trademark and copyright issues.

Attorneys are using social media websites more and more. We’re visiting a variety of sites to promote our practices, communicate with our peers, and stay in touch with our clients. But social media presents many ethical pitfalls to avoid. Here are some tips to help you safely navigate the social media minefield. Continue reading

Coordinate Your Discovery Methods

466206411Often you can use more than one discovery method to get the same facts or evidence. You can take a pick-and-choose approach to your methodology, or better yet, use a coordinated approach that aims multiple discovery methods at the same evidence.  Continue reading

10 Tips for Drafting a Parenting Plan

ParentalRights_3502001When parents don’t agree on a child custody issue, the parenting plan is the tiebreaker. Given this power, family law attorneys need to draft parenting plans with the utmost care to make sure that uncertainty and ambiguity don’t undermine the best intentions. Continue reading

Be Ready to Oppose Motions in Limine

474538053In limine motions are a great litigation tool—they get evidence admitted or excluded before it’s even offered. You’ve probably been advised to use them whenever appropriate. But opposing counsel also will have received this advice and will use them against you. Here’s how to respond to opposing counsel’s in limine motion. Continue reading

7 Facts Every Judge and Attorney Should Know When Domestic Violence Involves Strangulation

Family Justice Center AllianceThe following is a guest blog post by Hon. Alan Pendleton, Tenth Judicial District Court Judge in Anoka, Minnesota and Gael B. Strack, JD, CEO and Co-Founder of the Family Justice Center Alliance in San Diego.

The arrests of Ravens running back Ray Rice and San Francisco 49er defensive tackle Ray McDonald have, once again, thrust the ugly specter of domestic violence into the forefront of American consciousness. One of the most terrorizing and lethal forms of violence used by men against their female intimate partners is strangulation. Strangulation is much more common and serious than professionals have realized. Judges and attorneys who deal with perpetrators and victims of domestic violence need to be well-versed in the facts about strangulation; the most effective weapon against domestic violence is education and training. Continue reading

Ever Heard of Implied Hearsay?

101771660Most of us think about hearsay in connection with facts that are expressly stated. But an out-of-court statement that’s offered to prove the truth of the facts implied by the statement is also hearsay and inadmissible unless an exception applies. You may not have heard the term implied hearsay, but you’ve likely encountered it. Continue reading

Turn Legalese into Plain English

174431990A 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 documents you’re writing are in a language that the parties can read and understand. Here’s a chart to keep handy next time you’re drafting a legal document (or to discreetly slip to a legalese-laden colleague). Continue reading

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