Halloween Harassment

As reported in Corporate Counsel, office Halloween parties can be a nightmare for in-house and other employment lawyers. Costume choices can raise various discrimination and harassment issues  — consider the “illegal alien” costume or the sexy maid get-up.  To keep Halloween fun for all, employers should be proactive, and then reactive when necessary. Continue reading

Should I Go for (Wr)it by Noticed Motion or Alternative Writ Procedure?

When you want to challenge an action or decision by a nonjudicial body, such as a governing board, an administrative agency, or a public official, you need to file a writ in superior court. You have two procedural options for getting this process going: noticed motion and alternative writ. Ultimately, these two procedures are simply two different routes to the same goal—obtaining a hearing on the merits of the writ petition—but each procedure has its particular advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading

Until the End of the Contract Do We Part

The rumor that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes signed a five-year marriage contract prompted a New York Time’s article on the idea of 20-year renewable marriage contracts as a way of overhauling marriage in our society. The idea of short-term, renewable marriage contracts can be appealing, but would such agreements be enforceable under California law? The hitch may be in California law’s abhorrence of anything that promotes divorce. Continue reading

Catch a Catchphrase

During the election season we all get a bit tired of  slogans and catchphrases, but these tools can be very useful at trial. Keep alert for any catchphrase that comes up at trial or during discovery and be prepared to exploit it for all it’s worth. Continue reading

Get While the Getting’s Good: Checklist of Info You Need to Form a Limited Partnership

You have been retained to advise your clients in forming a limited partnership and to draft a limited partnership agreement. Where to begin? Always start with information gathering. To help organize the process for you, here’s a handy checklist of the information you’ll need from your clients. Continue reading

Picking the E-Data Custodian’s Brain

After you’ve ensured that your client is preserving all potentially relevant or responsive electronic data, you need to identify what E-data to collect for potential use in the litigation, including for discovery. This means you need to find the key data custodians and pick their brains. Continue reading

The Mighty Separate Statement

The separate statement that accompanies your summary judgment motion in California courts is not merely a technical requirement you can breeze through; rather, it’s an exceedingly important document, and should not be viewed as an afterthought. In fact, when the law is straightforward and well known to the court, the judge may turn first to the separate statement and form an impression on whether the motion is well taken. Continue reading

6 Steps to Evaluate a Wrongful Termination Case

A potential client comes to you complaining that he or she was wrongfully fired. Before jumping to grab your retainer agreement, be sure this is a case you really want to take. Continue reading

What To Expect When You’re Expecting a Deposition: A Checklist for Preparing the Deponent

Part of your deposition preparation has to be preparing your client for his or her turn at the depo table. Most attorneys spend their time preparing their clients for the substance of the deposition and what specific questions to expect and how to answer them. Although this is obviously important, it is equally important that your novice client knows what to expect at a deposition generally and is clear on what is expected of him or her as the deponent.

Here’s a checklist to help you get your client ready. Continue reading

Estate Planning in a Blended Family

Blended families are very common today—from the Kardashians to the Jolie-Pitts, Hollywood has myriad examples. In a blended family, there are children from a prior relationship and also perhaps children with the current spouse. This situation presents many blessings and challenges, including those for estate planning attorneys. Even if your clients’ assets are modest, planning for them in the context of the “blended family” requires careful analysis. Continue reading