Don’t Dodge—Defuse: Use Your Opening Statement to Handle Problem Areas

ThinkstockPhotos-140270511Almost every case has problems—sometimes they are analogous to bombs waiting to drop on your case. The key is whether you show them to the jury and simultaneously defuse them, or whether the opposition drops them with glee. Continue reading

12 Must-Do Tasks Before Cross-Examination

Few attorneys have the time or budget to do detailed preparation for cross-examination of every witness. And even if the budget makes it possible, time spent on other aspects of trial preparation will force counsel to take shortcuts. When time is short, these 12 tasks are the bare minimum necessary for cross-examination preparation. Continue reading

Checklist for Summary Judgment Reply Brief

ThinkstockPhotos-459334539You moved for summary judgment, received the opposition papers, and now it’s your turn to reply. The reply brief gives you a chance to respond to arguments raised by the opposition. Who knows? The opposition may have misconstrued legal authority, relied on inadmissible evidence, emphasized immaterial facts, or failed to follow the correct procedure. Before you start on your reply, review this checklist. Continue reading

How Can Someone Be Deposed Twice in the Same Case?

ThinkstockPhotos-501707257Generally, you can’t compel someone to attend a deposition if he or she has been previously deposed in the same case. But there are 5 exceptions to this rule. Continue reading

Make Your Argument, But Don’t Argue with the Judge

ThinkstockPhotos-57277848An an attorney and an officer of the court, you sometimes have competing duties: to represent your clients zealously and to maintain respect for the court. When it comes to a disagreeable court ruling, you’ll need to make your strongest argument while remaining respectful to the judge. The key is to argue without arguing. Continue reading

Size Up Your Adversary

ThinkstockPhotos-494299501When it comes to litigating a case, your client’s objectives are only half the story. If you want to gain an advantage, you’ll also need to successfully assess your adversary’s goals, capabilities, and willingness to fight. Continue reading

4 Tips on How to Be Both Assertive and Effective in Settlement Negotiations

78163628One of the key components of the opening phase of a negotiation is articulating your client’s intentions, needs, and hopes regarding a settlement. You can strongly assert your client’s point of view in a way that also fosters an atmosphere conducive to settlement. Continue reading

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