Free, Open-Source, and Possibly Risky

177229229Once an exception, the use of free and open-source software (FOSS) in commercial software products has become the rule. FOSS is particularly attractive to resource-strapped companies looking to avoid high software development costs or licensing fees, but even the biggies in the tech industry use FOSS. Despite its common use, FOSS carries risks and you need to do your due diligence.

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Are Parents Required to Pay for College?

185939630The following is a guest blog post by Maggie LaBranch, a solo practitioner located in San Jose, California. Her passion in law shines in making personal connections and building relationships in her family law and trusts and estates practice.

The case of the New Jersey teenager who left home and then sued her parents for payment of continuing private high school tuition, living expenses, and future college costs put fear into parents nationwide. Even the judge noted the “potentially slippery slope” involved in the 18-year-old teen’s case, which she ultimately dropped. But it brings up the related issue of parental obligations for the education and living expenses of their older teens in the context of separation and divorce. What are these obligations under California law?

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Mini Opening for Voir Dire

jdopening_12384583As they say, never miss a chance to make a good first impression. If the judge permits it, take the opportunity to address prospective jurors before the oral questioning phase of the voir dire has begun. There are many advantages to the mini-opening statement and little downside.  Continue reading

Employee Poaching

477986347Poaching employees from a rival company has risks. So does agreeing with your rivals not to poach employees from each other. Potential poachers beware… Continue reading

Eeny, Meeny…Who Should I Depose?

186468191When limited resources means you can’t take as many depositions as you’d like, how do you decide which depo(s) to take? Here’s a priority order to help you triage depositions. Continue reading

Fair Housing Law 101

463122973Thinking of practicing landlord-tenant law in California? Knowing the federal, state, and local fair housing laws will be critical to your success. Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Argument Get Personal

arbitration_104240128Although the permissible scope of counsel’s discussion and argument before a jury is broad, personal attacks on opposing parties or their counsel is never ok. Doing so opens you up to successful objections, makes you look like a jerk to the jury, and may lead to you losing your case. Continue reading

Excusal Remorse: I Want That Witness Back!

witness_78724356Trial attorneys sometimes get excusal remorse, i.e., they excuse a witness and then want to recall that witness back to the stand. Anticipate this reaction and take proaction. Continue reading

Action Plan for Handling Harassment Claims

79166511Just in case employers have forgotten how critical it is to avoid and properly handle harassment claims, the recent $1.5 million settlement against JPMorgan should serve as a reminder. Advise all employers to take action and have a plan to protect employees and minimize harassment claims. Continue reading

Illegal Contracts Are Enforceable. Sometimes.

464803599The following is a guest blog by Alan M. Goldberg of the Law Office of Alan Goldberg. Alan’s practice includes Appeals, Civil Trials, and Family Law. You can follow Alan on Twitter @AlanMGoldberg.

We learn in law school that illegal contracts aren’t enforceable. But that’s not precisely true. Some illegal contracts may be enforced, depending on the “realities of the situation.” Continue reading

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