How to Stop Them from Hitting the Delete Button

Electronically stored information is so easy to alter or delete without a trace, which is particularly challenging when that information is evidence in a lawsuit. How do you make sure that this virtual evidence stays put? Continue reading

New Law Sends Tweeting Jurors to Jail

Updated July 9, 2014: AB 2683, which was signed into law on July 8, 2014, deletes the provision in Pen C §166 making it a misdemeanor for a juror to wilfully disobey a court admonishment related to the prohibition on any form of communication or research about the case, including all forms of electronic or wireless communication or research.

Going further than his predecessor was willing to go, California Governor Jerry Brown has criminalized juror tweeting. Under AB 141, which will go into effect on January 1, 2012, any juror who willfully disobeys the court admonishment against any form of communication or research about the case, including tweeting, may be sent to jail for contempt. Continue reading

You Gotta Believe! But What’s the Legal Standard for Putative Spouses?

What is the test of whether a person is a putative spouse? Is it based on whether the person actually believed in “good faith” that the marriage is valid, or does he or she need to have an “objectively reasonable” belief in the validity of the marriage? The California Supreme Court is set to answer this question in Ceja v Rudolph & Sletten, Inc. (review granted Aug. 10, 2011, S193493; superseded opinion at 194 CA4th 584, 125 CR3d 98). Continue reading

Pricey Older Workers Are Getting the Boot

As the Houston Chronicle puts it, “[t]he worsening economy seems to be good for something — the job-discrimination lawsuit business.” One particular growth industry seems to be bringing and defending age discrimination suits.  Continue reading

Can You Trust What You See With Your Own Eyes?

The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia has again raised serious concerns about the reliability of eyewitness testimony. That case, along with the U.S. Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case involving eyewitness identification, indicates that the time may be right to reconsider this controversial form of evidence. Continue reading

Evaluate Your Evaluations

Most employers do performance evaluations of their employees, and they are so important. But a poorly designed performance evaluation system can do more harm than good. In fact, it can substantially increase the risk of liability for employers. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid. Continue reading

Mastering the Art of Cross-Examination: Tips from a Judge

According to at least one judge, most lawyers do a good job in their opening statements, direct examinations, and closing argument, but never learn the art of cross-examination. To master that art, lawyers need to give cross-examination the same attention they do other phases of trial. Continue reading

CEB Question of the Month: Liability for Public Employee Witness Costs

Question: You notice the deposition of a police officer and dutifully deposit fees to reimburse the city for the officer’s salary and expenses while attending as a witnesses under a Govt C §68097.1 subpoena. But it turns out that the deposition goes much longer than you had expected, and thus the  public entity’s expenses were greater than your deposit.  Can you, as the attorney for the litigant noticing the deposition, be held personally responsible to reimburse the public entity for the additional costs?

And the answer is…

Steve Jobs: Private in Life, Private in Death

The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was known to be a very private person, and it appears that he has taken steps to preserve his privacy even in death. As do many entertainers and wealthy people, it appears that Jobs took advantage of California revocable trusts to prevent the publicity involved in probate. Continue reading

New Posting Requirement on Workers’ Right to Organize

Update: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Fourth Circuit struck down the rule, finding that the NLRB violated employers’ free speech rights in trying to force them to display the posters or face charges of committing an unfair labor practice. On January 6, 2014, the NLRB announced that it will not seek Supreme Court review of the two Court of Appeals decisions.

In a controversial decision — indeed, there are employer suits trying to stop it — the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a new rule, effective November 14, 2011, requiring employers to post notices telling employees of their  right to organize.

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