Should You Handle That Misdemeanor Case?

180883290You 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 case?  Follow these steps before deciding whether to jump in. Continue reading

5 Ways to Leverage California’s New Unaccompanied Minors Law

453025349The following is a guest blog post by Rachel K. Prandini, Unaccompanied Minor Law Fellow/Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco.

The number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the US southern border in 2014 has been unprecedented, with California receiving a large number of these children. The California legislature made great strides in assisting these vulnerable children through the passage of SB 873, which will give them greater access to justice in both federal immigration and state courts. California attorneys have opportunities to leverage this new law in at least five specific ways. Continue reading

How to Use Technology for Effective Cross-Examination

presentationAA049409The following is a guest blog post by Jeff Bennion, a solo practitioner in San Diego who specializes in personal injury and consulting on e-discovery and litigation technology.

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 questions that he or she knows the answer to. But things don’t always go according to plan. When a witness gives an answer that you did not expect or that is contrary to what you learned in discovery, you need to have a plan for showing your impeachment evidence to the jury. Continue reading

10 Business-Related Torts to Master

10steps_121366302If 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 quite fluent yet? Don’t worry, here’s a checklist of the elements of ten common business-related torts to keep handy until you master them. Continue reading

To Call or Not to Call an Adverse Party or Witness

witness_87617035In 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 laying out the strategy considerations—reasons to do it and reasons to steer clear. Continue reading

5 Things to Do Before Deposing an Expert

92419672Taking 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. Continue reading

Pizza and the Edge of the Trademark Universe

160512136The following is a guest blog post by Michael J. Thomas, a solo practitioner and founder of Creative Vision Legal, a Bay Area law firm offering legal services tailored to artists, musicians, and small business owners. 

Can you trademark a pizza flavor? A recent decision says no and offers a glimpse at the edge of the known trademark universe. The doctrines of functionality and inherent distinctiveness, like the force of gravity or tendrils of dark matter holding the galaxies together, will keep the trademark universe from expanding or hurtling waywardly outward (depending on your view). Continue reading

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