When You Can’t Settle, Consider a Mini-Trial

Boy (5-7) making pinching gesture, close-up of handA mini-trial is basically a sophisticated settlement conference. When you have complex questions of mixed law and fact, a mini-trial may be your best way forward. Continue reading

Filing an Appeal? Follow 3 Steps to Drafting an Effective Statement of the Case

The appellate court probably knows the relevant law but not the facts of your case, so it will look to your appellant’s brief to fill this void. If you don’t provide an adequate statement of the case in your brief, the court will have to look to the respondent’s brief. That’s major incentive to making your statement of the case as clear and effective as possible. Continue reading

4 Keys to Using Your Opening and Closing to Persuade

ThinkstockPhotos-477432677Both the opening statement and the closing argument should be used to persuade. (No, it’s not all about direct and cross.) The adages about the importance of first impressions and last words are worth heeding. Continue reading

2 Reasons to Go for Defendant’s Default

ThinkstockPhotos-158687666A default occurs when a defendant served with a complaint doesn’t file the appropriate response within the time allowed. CCP §§585–586. After a defendant is in default, a plaintiff may file a request for entry of default and then apply for a default judgment. Here are two practical reasons to seek entry of default and default judgment. Continue reading

Trial Logistics: 4 Things to Set Up Before Heading to Court

Any trial strategy should incorporate the mundane. Not only must you get to court on time, but everything you need to try the case also has to be there, at your fingertips. Here are four things you should consider and arrange for before you head to court. Continue reading

Prepare for Case Management Conferences in 4 Steps

ThinkstockPhotos-477805217In the past, most California superior courts routinely held trial-setting, pretrial, arbitration status, and status conferences. Delay reduction rules put a stop to this practice, consolidating all of these into a comprehensive conference that occurs in the first 180 days after the complaint is filed. Cal Rules of Ct 3.721. And woe to any attorney who comes to the conference unprepared! Take some of the stress out of preparing for your next case management conference by using these four steps. Continue reading

Phone It In: How to Appear by Telephone

ThinkstockPhotos-101720876Want to avoid traffic, parking, and court security checkpoints? Appear at a hearing by telephone! Continue reading

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