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

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

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

Who Pays for Employee Cell Phone Use?

187625854For many employees, their cell phones are always close at hand, whether at work or in their personal life. But what if the employer requires employees to use their personal cell phones for work-related activities? Then we have a work/personal hybrid situation, and determining what part the employer should reimburse as a work expense becomes tricky. A California court of appeal recently waded into this issue, but not far enough. Continue reading

Make These 4 Assumptions about Cybersecurity

158695294It has been clear for some time that cybercrime isn’t an outlier in the spectrum of corporate risk. Yet many organizations have been slow to wake up to that reality, or having awoken, are unsure of what steps to take to manage that risk. Law firms are in the thick of it with nearly half of all firms infected with viruses, spyware, or malware last year. Continue reading

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