Stressed Out? Find Support in a Professional Group

178736564This blog post is adapted from Achieving Professional Camaraderie in Family Law Practice by M. Dee Samuels, Esq., published in CEB’s Practice Under the California Family Code: Dissolution, Legal Separation, Nullity.

Anger, distrust, and hostility may spill over from clients to attorneys, who at times find themselves as stressed and as polarized as their clients. Here’s how a group of women family law attorneys I belonged to discovered a way to deal with those stresses. There are lessons here for all attorneys. Continue reading

Drafting a Summary Judgment Order

465058199Yay! Your client prevailed on a summary judgment motion! But now you have to draft the proposed order. Do you know what to do? Here’s some help. Continue reading

Why Choose Federal Court?

177130937When you have a case that may be filed in either California state court or in federal court, you need to give some thought to selecting a forum. Why would you want to go to federal court? Continue reading

Make Your Opening and Closing Memorable: 4 Memorizing Tips

474693389If you’ve devoted years to a case and have prepared intensively for trial, you’ve probably memorized all the relevant data so you won’t need to refer to notes for your opening statement and closing arguments. At least you hope so! Going off notes is key to capturing and holding the jury’s attention. If you can memorize what you want to say, the jury will more likely remember what you did say. Continue reading

Client with a License Issue? Take 3 Steps ASAP

166114538When you’re retained to represent a disciplined licensee or someone who’s been denied a license, the best defense is an early offense. Continue reading

The Devil Made You File It

Demon, pushing the puppetYou don’t have a legal duty to accept a civil matter. You can just say, “thanks, but no thanks.” But if you do decide to take on a civil case, you’ve got an obligation under California law to “maintain such actions, proceedings, or defenses only as appear to be legal or just….” Bus & P C §6068(c). Go astray on that obligation and risk actions for malicious prosecution or abuse of process—and potentially be held jointly liable with your client! Continue reading

Divorce Equality?

75627516Before they could legally marry, many long-term same-sex couples thought of themselves as “married,” but if these couples did marry when they were able to and then got divorced, they learned that California law doesn’t think the same way.

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