The “Opening the Door” Fallacy

200368976-001It is a popular fallacy that if testimony is given on a subject during direct examination, this will “open the door” to unrestricted cross-examination about that matter; making evidence admissible that would otherwise be inadmissible. This is actually only true in certain limited circumstances. Continue reading

4 Tips for Effectively Presenting Your Expert

ThinkstockPhotos-537972277You have an expert witness set to testify on your client’s behalf. Never undermine the impact your expert’s testimony can have on your case. Don’t let him or her bore the jury—present your expert in the most positive and effective light possible. 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

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

Should You Use Tactical Dismissals?

84215043As plaintiff’s counsel, you always want to analyze how best to present your client’s case in the most efficient and persuasive way. Sometimes doing that means dismissing certain parties or causes of action. But such tactical dismissals aren’t without risk. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to dismiss. Continue reading

Inadmissible Evidence May Still Get In for a Limited Purpose

78494947It may not be favored by courts or be the parties’ preference, but there’s a place for evidence to be admitted for a limited purpose. It can be seen as either a creative solution to an evidence admissibility problem or a way around the rules, depending on your perspective. Continue reading

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