Posted on January 30, 2013 by Julie Brook, Esq.
Disputes between neighbors over a fallen tree or a fence line can be extremely emotional. And when these disputes turn into litigation, this heated emotion can make it very expensive for your client. Here are 5 tips to make sure that at least your attorney fees get paid in the end. (more…)
Filed under: Civil Litigation, Legal Topics, Real Property, Tort Law, Young Lawyers | Tagged: advance fee agreements, attorney fee, attorney fee agreement, flat fee, hourly fee, neighbor disputes, neighbors | 5 Comments »
Posted on January 28, 2013 by Robert Denham, Esq
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA-2012) (Pub L 112-240, 126 Stat 2313) allows IRA owners to make retroactive direct distributions to charity for 2012. It could be a good deal for you or your clients, but you have to act by January 31, 2013—this week!—to take advantage of it.
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Tax Law | Tagged: American Taxpayer Relief Act, charitable deduction, charitable donation, income tax, Individual Retirement Account, IRA | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 25, 2013 by cebca
The following is a guest blog post by Frederick Hertz, an attorney and mediator based in Oakland, CA, and the author of the ABA treatise Counseling Unmarried Couples: A Guide to Effective Representation.
One of the worst forms of discrimination against same-sex couples is discrimination in the form of legal complexity. The twists and turns of same-sex partnership law over the past ten years—both in California and federally—have resulted in a morass of legal uncertainty, and the litigation flowing from these complications is just now beginning to hit the appellate courts. (more…)
Filed under: Family Law, Legal Topics, New Legal Developments | Tagged: domestic partnerships, premarital agreements, registered domestic partners, same-sex marriage | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 18, 2013 by Robert Denham, Esq
A trustee is entitled to compensation for services as provided in the trust instrument when the trust “provides for a trustee’s compensation” (Prob C §15680(a)), or “reasonable compensation” when the trust instrument “does not specify the trustee’s compensation” (Prob C §15681). But what if the trust provides for no compensation? In that case, the trustee is out of luck. (more…)
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Legal Topics | Tagged: Estate Planning, successor trustee, trust, trust administration, trust document, trustee, trustee compensation, wills and trusts | 4 Comments »
Posted on January 16, 2013 by Julie Brook, Esq.
Did you know there are many informal discovery techniques you can use to gather information without using the procedures described in California’s Civil Discovery Act (CCP §§2016.010-2036.050)? (more…)
Filed under: Civil Litigation, Legal Topics, Practice of Law | Tagged: Civil Discovery Act, civil litigation, discovery, informal discovery, lawsuit investigation, litigation, pretrial | 4 Comments »
Posted on January 14, 2013 by Julie Brook, Esq.
If nothing else, recent natural disasters have shown us the importance of carefully reading insurance policies before we buy them. But many people won’t do that, so that leaves it to attorneys to figure out coverage after disaster strikes. Attorneys faced with this task need an organized approach to determining whether coverage exists. (more…)
Filed under: Business, Legal Topics, Real Property, Tort Law, Young Lawyers | Tagged: insurance companies, insurance coverage, insurance policy, liability insurance | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 11, 2013 by Julie Brook, Esq.
As James Beck of Reed Smith puts it, “California has long gone its merry, idiosyncratic way in the Daubert/Frye wars.” That’s why it was a big surprise when the California Supreme Court cut off this legal tangent and stated that California courts must apply the same Daubert standard as their federal counterparts when it comes to admitting opinion testimony not based on a new scientific technique. (more…)
Filed under: Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, Legal Topics, Litigation Strategy, New Legal Developments | Tagged: admissibility, Daubert standard, evidence, expert testimony, expert witness, opinion testimony, trial | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 9, 2013 by Julie Brook, Esq.
Trials are stressful, fact-filled, and laced with legal issues. Don’t become so obsessed with detail that you miss the essential case. You should be able to pick out two or three major themes that you can use to guide the jury’s thinking. (more…)
Filed under: Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, Legal Topics, Litigation Strategy, Young Lawyers | Tagged: case theme, trial, trial skills, trial strategy | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 7, 2013 by Julie Brook, Esq.
Law firms are getting more aggressive about suing clients for unpaid legal bills. As the New York Law Journal says, what used to be “unseemly” may become routine. But bringing a breach of contract action against a client for unpaid fees is a very tricky business: first, you have to get out of the attorney-client relationship, and then you have to invoke your (hopefully) enforceable fee agreement.
Filed under: Practice of Law | Tagged: attorney fees, breach of contract, debt collection, fee agreement, terminating attorney-client relationship | 8 Comments »