Using the “Black Box” in a Car Accident Case

One of the key parts of liability testimony in a car accident case is the chronology of the accident: the parties’ conduct before the impact, the impact, and conditions after impact. The parties are most likely to dispute the first part, making the car’s “black box” a potentially helpful source of evidence (but with its own pitfalls). Continue reading

It’s Time to Review Your Calendaring System

Missed deadlines caused by failure to properly calendar matters are the most significant cause of malpractice claims against attorneys. Without a good docket control system, even the most knowledgeable practitioner may miss a deadline or not have enough time to properly prepare. Is your system up to the task? Continue reading

Should Employers Use Intelligence and Personality Tests in Hiring?

When vetting job applicants, employers want to use as many tools as possible. In addition to testing for particular skills, employers may consider intelligence or personality tests. But these types of tests may be a bad idea: they have questionable benefits and can put the employer in legal hot water. Continue reading

What to Include in a Fee Agreement for Forming a Corporation

If you represent clients in forming a California corporation, you should have a fee agreement that is specifically tailored for that type of work. Here are the necessary provisions to include. Continue reading

4 Ways to Appear More Credible to the Jury

Both the opening statement and the closing argument should be used to persuade. An essential part of the persuasion process is establishing your credibility with the jury by nurturing its perception of your sincerity, trustworthiness, and knowledge of facts. Here are four ways to increase your credibility. Continue reading

Do You Have Time to Take a Judgment Enforcement Case?

Judgment enforcement actions have two major timing issues: they need to be handled immediately and may take a long time to complete. Before you decide to represent a judgment creditor in an enforcement case, consider whether you really have the time.

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What to Tell Clients About Their Files at the End of the Case

Case files routinely contain documents (and sometimes other property) that clients have provided. The California Rules of Professional Conduct require that an attorney return these items, at a client’s request, when the attorney’s “employment has terminated” (subject to “any protective order or nondisclosure agreement”). Cal Rules of Prof Cond 3–700(D)(1). Here’s sample language that you can use in a letter to a client at the end of the case. Continue reading

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