They Know Computers But Not How to Help Your Case

183145432When corporate goes criminal, i.e., an investigation involving a corporation leads to a criminal case headed to trial, you often need computer forensic experts to testify about the evidence. Such experts know all about electronic devices and data storage and retrieval, but they don’t necessarily know how to clearly relay that knowledge. It’s up to you to prepare your computer forensics expert to testify effectively. Continue reading

Notice of Incarcerated Beneficiaries: No More Splitting “Heirs”

489194765The law requiring notice of incarcerated heirs has just been extended to beneficiaries, too. Practitioners have long recommended giving notice of at least those incarcerated beneficiaries who might take property by intestate succession. But now it’s the law.

Continue reading

Defenders: Be Ready to Advise on the New Immigration Program

114392182The following is a guest blog post by Katherine Brady, a Senior Staff Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco.

On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced a new program—Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)—that may help millions of undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Qualifying applicants will get a temporary reprieve from deportation (currently set at three years), as well as an employment authorization document that will permit them to get a legal social security number. In California alone, over one million people may qualify for this program. Criminal defense lawyers will get a lot of questions about this program, because the main bar to eligibility is conviction of certain crimes.  Continue reading

Make a Plan for Each Witness

85449216Before you prepare a witness for trial, you should know precisely what you expect to accomplish through that witness. In other words, have a plan. Continue reading

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

Should You Move for Mistrial?

90279590Certain things that happen during trial may be so improper and prejudicial that they deprive a party of the right to a fair trial. That’s when counsel may move for a mistrial. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Like everything else at trial, whether to move for mistrial is a tactical decision. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: