Checklist for Preparing Your Witness for Trial

witness_158992082Witness preparation varies from case to case and from witness to witness and there’s no one correct method or simple formula. But there are some things you should always do when preparing a witness for trial. Continue reading

Don’t Inadvertently Work for Free!

178831391The following is a guest blog post by bankruptcy attorney Michael Gouveia, who spoke at the 2013 Annual State Bar Meeting on the New Attorney Guide to Competency. He invites you to visit his popular bankruptcy blog.

This sweet young couple is sitting across from you in your office. You’ve spent a half an hour counseling them on filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The wife then asks, “We need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy this week, but we don’t have your full attorney fee. Can we give you a little up front and the rest of your fee after we file?” This is the time to start backing away. Continue reading

When to Get a Neuropsychologist on the Case

149463035When there are issues involving your client’s capacity or the existence of undue influence, you may want to get a neuropsychologist on the case to perform assessments and/or act as an expert witness. Continue reading

Don’t Go There in Your Closing

158997762Closing argument gives you a chance to restate the primary issues, summarize the evidence, and explain the law. You’ve got wide latitude in making your closing argument, but don’t let this freedom lull you—there are some things you just can’t say in your closing. Continue reading

$50 Fee for Lodging Wills May Be Double Trouble for Executors

2013-07-catastrophe-122552905Ever since the graduated probate fee was declared unconstitutional in Estate of Claeyssens (2008) 161 CA4th 465, the legislature has been nickel-and-diming estate planners and their clients with filing fees. Now we have to deal with multiple fees for lodging wills, which used to be free. Continue reading

10 Steps for Depo Prep

121217625The importance of preparation before taking a deposition cannot be overstated. Here are 10 steps that will take you through the preparation process and keep you organized at the deposition.

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Your Trial Notebook Starts with Your Files

files_163042Not sure where to begin on your trial notebook? Start with your office files. Continue reading

Calendaring Your Discovery Plan

140044171Want a great discovery organization tip? Create a calendar of all the relevant discovery dates. This will help you evaluate what discovery you’ll need and schedule it in relation to the relevant statutory deadlines. Continue reading

New Law for California LLCs

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A new law coming into effect in California on January 1, 2014  will govern the formation and operation of all limited liability companies (LLCs) in this state. It’s out with the old and in with the new! Continue reading

Don’t Get Paralyzed by the Fear of Mistakes

55974144The following is a guest blog post by Benjamin ScottBen is a solo estate planning attorney, a graduate of Concord Law School, a former high school physics teacher, and a father of three. 

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” -General George S. Patton.

What would have happened if General Patton sat down in the North African desert and refused to move because he was afraid of making mistakes? Although good lawyers should always try to avoid mistakes, a lawyer who is constantly paralyzed by the fear of mistakes will never become competent. Continue reading

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