Parties negotiating a business transaction don’t have to accept the risks or duties imposed by law on the proposed arrangement. For example, just because a property owner is generally liable for damage caused by hazardous materials on his or her property (42 USC §9607) doesn’t mean that a potential buyer can’t negotiate that the seller be financially responsible for cleaning up materials that were on the property before the closing date. Here’s how to (re)allocate risk in your next transaction. Continue reading
Once the jury panel has been sworn, prospective jurors are selected at random, seated in the jury box, and questioned. Counsel may conduct a “liberal and probing examination” that’s calculated to discover juror bias or prejudice related to the circumstances of the case. CCP §222.5. But if opposing counsel’s questions go out-of-bounds, you need to be ready to object. Continue reading
Millennials appear to be less likely to marry and more likely to live together. As the Huffington Post explains, “[c]ouples are now more apt to consider cohabitation as their next stage in their relationships before they begin to consider marriage.” Attorneys who are used to preparing prenups and postnups for their marrying clients may need to prepare more cohabitation or “living together” agreements—the next big thing may be nonups! Continue reading
Many lawyers believe that their productivity gets a boost when they multitask. Sadly, it may be just the opposite. But because multitasking isn’t going away anytime soon, lawyers can learn ways to break bad habits and multitask more effectively. Continue reading
The following is a guest blog post by Jeffrey D. Polsky, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, where he counsels employers on California employment law issues, represents them in litigation, and writes for Fox Rothschild’s California Employment Law Blog.
Should employers have mandatory arbitration agreements with their employees? Having tried and arbitrated dozens of cases on behalf of employers, here are what I see as the pros and cons—and where I stand on the question. Continue reading
In his 2007 deposition in his suit against a reporter, Donald Trump encountered very prepared attorneys. As the Washington Post describes, they “confronted the mogul with his past statements—and with his company’s internal documents, which often showed those statements had been incorrect or invented.” Regardless of your politics or personal feelings, Trump’s deposition presents an excellent example of how to effectively cross-examine an adverse witness in a deposition. Continue reading
When litigation is over and you’ve completed the representation, here’s what you need to tell your client. Continue reading
State law changes enacted in 2010 have restricted the enforceability of no-contest clauses. Under Prob C §§21310–21311, a typical no-contest clause providing that an unsuccessful contestant gets nothing from an estate or trust is enforceable only against a “direct contest” brought without probable cause on specified grounds. And even if it is enforceable, a no-contest clause may not be an effective deterrent if the beneficiary thinks the amount at stake is outweighed by the benefit of a successful contest. Continue reading
The following is a guest blog post by Dawn Silberstein, a San Francisco attorney whose practice areas include insurance coverage, construction defect, and equal employment law. Ms. Silberstein became interested in the impact of implicit bias while studying psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
As attorneys, we want to see ourselves as fair, equitable, and rational, yet studies show that despite our best intentions none of us is free from bias. Implicit bias refers to unconsciously held bias that doesn’t necessarily reflect our conscious beliefs. Here’s a brief look at how implicit bias is measured, how it impacts our decision making, and what we can do about it. Continue reading