How to Get Clients Involved in Discovery

lawyer making hand gesture inviting client's participation in discovery decisionsBefore you start discovery, you need to have a plan. Your client should be an integral part of that plan. Here are four ways to get your client involved in discovery decisions. Continue reading

8 Steps to Preparing a 3-Day Notice of Eviction

Preparing a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit? Use this checklist to be sure that you get the form and content of the notice right. Continue reading

What You Can’t Ask a Juror During Voir Dire

potential jurors waiting to be questioned by the attorneys and the judgeWhen selecting a jury for a civil trial, counsel has pretty wide latitude in terms of the scope of voir dire questions. But there are limits. Continue reading

How to Set Up Power Over a Client’s Digital Assets

computer that holds digital assets and accountsAn increasingly important issue in estate planning is how to handle a decedent’s digital assets, e.g., email and social media accounts, digital files and photographs stored in the cloud. Here’s what to do.

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5 Things to Include in Your Email Policy

sending protected email between attorney and clientOne of the first communications you should send to a new client is your email policy.  Explain the dangers involved in emailing privileged information and tell them what precautions to take. Continue reading

Begin and End with Your Strongest Questions

use strong question to open and close your cross-examination of a trial witnessWhen cross-examining a witness, almost always begin and end with your strongest questions. Except in a couple of situations. Continue reading

How to Allay Fears About Advanced Health Care Directives

Cancer patient comfortable knowing she has a health care directive in placeIn addition to the natural fear of becoming incapacitated, some people hesitate to sign an Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD) because they worry it will take away their power to make decisions. Here are some facts to allay those fears. Continue reading

Get a Crash Course from Your Expert

Learn fast from your expert about the area of expertiseSome lawyers decide at the beginning of a case that they’ll never be able to understand what the expert is talking about, and they make no effort to do so. Bad plan! Regardless of the expert’s skill, it’s the lawyer’s responsibility to make sure that his or her expertise is presented to the trier of fact in an admissible and persuasive way. To do that, the lawyer needs to understand the expert’s testimony and field of expertise. Here are four ways to educate yourself fast. Continue reading

How to Drop a Prospective Client Who Doesn’t Pay Your Retainer

Thumbs down icon for turning down a clientYou meet with a prospective client and explain that you’ll need a initial retainer fee to get started. The prospective client doesn’t pay the fee and you’re pretty sure this will be a pattern, so you decide not to take on this person as a client. Now you’ll need to inform him or her in writing.

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12 Grounds for Objecting to Interrogatories

Interrogatories play a key role in litigation: They’re used to gather potential evidence to support a party’s contentions, including facts, witnesses, and writings, or to determine what contentions an opposing party is planning to make. CCP §2030.010(b). But just because they ask doesn’t mean you have to answer. You can object to interrogatories on many grounds. Here’s a list of objections to keep handy when the next batch of interrogatories arrives. Continue reading