Getting Your Client Ready for Deposition

ThinkstockPhotos-460416523For most clients, being questioned in a deposition is a new and frightening experience. The more you can do to prepare your client, the better he or she will feel and perform. When it comes to instructing your client on how to respond to questions in a deposition, use this handy checklist to be sure you don’t miss anything—some of this may seem obvious to you, but probably not to your client. Continue reading

Voir Dire: Your First Chance to Make a Good Impression

78724287Some attorneys erroneously think of their opening statement as the first opportunity to present themselves to the jury. In reality, the jurors will begin getting an impression of you—and by extension, your case—as soon as you begin voir dire. It’s critical that you use your interpersonal skills to connect with potential jurors as soon as they enter the courtroom for the first time. Continue reading

Spouses in the Workplace: Allow or Prohibit?

ThinkstockPhotos-496514968Employers often face the issue of whether to allow spouses or other family members to work together. Regardless the side the employer falls on, there is potential liability lurking. Continue reading

What to Say When a Client Lets You Go

break(great for any design)A client may discharge you at any time and for any reason. When it happens to you, be ready to write a letter to the client confirming that the client wants no further services from you and you won’t be providing them. Actually, you may want to say a bit more than that. Continue reading

Should You Make the First Settlement Offer?

ThinkstockPhotos-488306818Skilled negotiators disagree on whether it’s better to make the first offer or demand, or to let the other side go first. Although the correct approach will likely vary from case to case, in the context of settling litigation, it’s often advisable to have the other side open. But there are times to take the first plunge. Continue reading

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Professional Trustee

ThinkstockPhotos-142081160Your client, as settlor, creates a special needs trust set up for a child or grandchild and needs a professional trustee to administer it. Before hiring a potential trustee, the client should determine whether he or she is personally and philosophically compatible with the professional who will actually be managing the trust. You should ask the following questions about the trustee’s background, investment strategy, fees, and management style. Continue reading

Tips for Dealing with a Difficult Deponent

200397990-001If you take depositions, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter deponents who are difficult to question. In addition to maintaining a professional manner, consider using one or more of the following strategies, based on the difficulty you’re facing. Continue reading

Headings Are Key to an Effective Document

Whatever document you’re drafting—from a memorandum for a partner to a brief for the court—using clear and concise headings and subheadings will take your reader by the hand and lead them smoothly through your document. Here’s some advice from noted appellate attorneys Daniel U. Smith and Valerie T. McGinty on making your headings as useful and effective as possible. Continue reading

“To Do” List for Setting Up a Nonprofit

164142653After you’ve taken the client through the many questions to be answered in deciding to form a nonprofit and all agree to move forward, you need to take these first steps in the process of establishing the nonprofit. Continue reading

Is It Too Risky to SLAPP Back?

ThinkstockPhotos-185824314Your client got hit with a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suit, i.e., a suit with a cause of action based on your client’s act in furtherance of the constitutional right of petition or free speech in connection with a public issue. You have a chance to hit back with a special motion to strike the cause of action under the anti-SLAPP statute. But should you? Continue reading