The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Property Tax Information on Parent-Child Transfers May Reveal Unreported Gifts

After some hesitation, a federal court has given the IRS the green light to obtain property tax information on real property transfers between nonspouse related parties. So, all those who skipped the required gift tax return when they transferred property to a child or grandchild may want to rethink that decision. Continue reading

In the Divorce Wars, Who Pays the Attorney Fees?

Divorce has many costs, not the least of which are the attorney fees incurred by each party. But it’s not always the incurring party who has to foot his or her attorney’s bills. Continue reading

Starting a Solo Practice – Step 1: Getting Office Space

The following is a guest blog post by Jessica N. Asfour, Esq. of Asfour Law Office in Oakland, CA.

Experts say that to begin your own law practice, you need only your own motivation and a mailing address. As an attorney with a new solo practice, I would like to unpack the last part of that statement: the mailing address. Continue reading

10 Questions to Help Figure Out Whether a Police Officer Will Make a Good Witness

You’ve taken on a car accident case. Who’s going to be your best witness?  Many times it will be the officer who arrived at the scene. But how do you evaluate whether that officer will really be a good witness for your client? Continue reading

Fasten Your Seatbelts: Retirement May Be a Bumpy Ride for Federal Employees

For many people, dreams of a relaxing retirement have already been dashed by declining equity in their home, rising gas prices, and a volatile stock market. But federal retirees face an additional hardship: a huge backlog in the federal pension system.

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Shoot Back with 10 Discovery Objections

Here are 10 arrows in your quiver of objections to shoot at any discovery request. The key is to aim only with an objection that is factually justified and to hit the request on the bullseye. Continue reading

Supreme Court’s Recognition of a “Ministerial Exception” in First Amendment May Have Wide-Reaching Implications

The following is a guest blog post by Alan D. Weinfeld of Parker, Milliken, Clark, O’Hara & Samuelian in Los Angeles.

The United States Supreme Court recently recognized the existence of a “ministerial exception” in the First Amendment, which precludes lawsuits by ministers against their religious institutions for violations of employment discrimination laws. This decision could have wide-reaching impact not just on churches, temples and mosques, but on all types of religious-based organizations. Continue reading

The Contract that Binds: Your Fee Agreement

The contract binding you and your client is the fee agreement. This is not the time for simple boilerplate and formulaic thinking: Draft your fee agreements with care and attention to the particular case at hand.   Continue reading

While You’re Getting an Hour Less Sleep, Others Are Getting an Hour Less Pay

For most of us, moving our clocks forward from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. for daylight savings time means crankiness due to an hour less of sleep. But for nonexempt overnight workers, it means one less hour of work, and thus one less hour’s worth of much-needed pay. Continue reading

You Can’t Win If the Jury Doesn’t Understand Your Case: 6 Ways to Better Communicate with the Jury

Most attorneys, when planning case strategy, focus on cross-examination, opening statement, and legal questions. But overarching all of these, and fundamental to any case, is this question: “How am I going to make a jury understand my case?” Continue reading