Don’t Bore the Jury!

Much to the chagrin of trial attorneys, jurors don’t always give their full attention to the trial. It’s trial counsel’s job to keep things interesting. Depending on the case, this can be a tall order. Here are some tips for making your questioning of a witness as compelling as possible. Continue reading

A Client Shouldn’t Be Just a Number to You, Except in Your Filing System

GettyImages_178895760You’ve started a law practice and the clients are beginning to arrive. How will you organize your client files? Your first thought may be to use an alphabetical system by client name. Big mistake. Instead, stick to numbers. Continue reading

Is Telecommuting a Reasonable Accommodation?

200276540-001Employers are often asked to allow an employee to telecommute as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Should employers always grant such requests? What considerations come into play? Here’s a checklist to help employers consider and respond to a request to telecommute as an accommodation. Continue reading

Emojis in Evidence

ThinkstockPhotos-496854082Text messages and emails—common forms of evidence in most cases—increasingly include nonverbal aspects such as emojis (or emoticons, as these symbols are sometimes called). This introduces a myriad of issues with regard to interpretation. And the courts are just starting to deal with it.

Continue reading

Let’s Buy a Beach House Together! Or Maybe Not.

ThinkstockPhotos-501740366When friends decide to buy vacation property together, they may not consider the legal status of their relationship—at least until litigation starts. Importantly, they may not be aware that they might have formed a general partnership and thus have fiduciary duties to each other. Continue reading

3 Problem Areas for Interrogatory Responses

ThinkstockPhotos-527478227A party served with interrogatories under CCP §§2030.010–2030.410 has to respond by answering, producing writings, or objecting. And each answer has to be as “complete and straightforward as the information reasonably available to the responding party permits.” CCP §2030.220(a). Most often, this process is fairly straightforward. But there are at least three situations when responding to interrogatories may present a problem. Here’s how to skillfully handle them. Continue reading

How to Protect Rights of Transgender Employees

ThinkstockPhotos-496092954Most employers know that discrimination against transgender and other gender-nonconforming persons is prohibited in California. But many employers have been confused about what legal rights transgender employees have and how to protect them. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing has offered help with its newly-released Transgender Rights in the Workplace: FAQ for Employers. Continue reading

5 Tips for Reeling in Potential Clients

five_108523216A new study by the ABA Law Practice Division’s Social Media, Legal Blogs, and Websites Committee looked at the intake process at law firms around the country. Quite an eye opener! Learning from what they found—or rather, what they didn’t find—can give you a leg up on turning potential clients into actual clients. Continue reading

How to Amend a Trust

ThinkstockPhotos-97050627When drafting a revocable trust, your clients may be very keen to include a particular niece or cousin, but then have a change of heart years later and want to write them out. As long as the trust allows it, you can simply amend the trust for them instead of revoking it and starting fresh. Here’s how. Continue reading

Cross-Examining the Unimpeachable Witness

witness_87617035When you have to cross-examine a witness who is telling the truth—and is fully supported by a detailed consistent report prepared close to the time of the events he or she attests to—you’ll need to look for gaps in testimony and highlight and exploit those gaps if they fit your theory of the case. Continue reading