Need More Time to Oppose a Summary Judgment Motion?

Once you receive a summary judgment motion filed against your client, you have about two months to file and serve your opposition papers. That sounds like plenty of time, but it may not be sufficient to marshal the evidence you need to oppose the motion. That’s when you need a continuance. Continue reading

Who’s Responsible for the Sidewalk in Front of a House?

Anyone who walks along tree-lined streets knows that tree roots often cause cracks or upheavals in sidewalks. But who’s responsible for the damage they cause when a pedestrian trips over them? Continue reading

FAQs on Disqualifying an Attorney

The right of a party to be represented in litigation by the attorney of its choice is significant, and disqualification of that attorney won’t be required just because that attorney has represented the opposing party in the past. Rather, there must be a violation or threatened violation of an ethical rule. Continue reading

Law Is Clarified on Using Prior Salary of Job Applicants

In 2017, California enacted a law precluding employers from asking about prior salary history and requiring employers to give applicants, on reasonable request, the pay scale for a position. This law raised many questions for employers, including who’s “an applicant,” what’s a “pay scale,” and what constitutes a “reasonable request?” Now we have the clarifications. Continue reading

Do You Know When to Request a Sidebar?

After a party objects to the admission of evidence, the proponent of the evidence can respond by arguing that the objection doesn’t apply or isn’t valid, or that the evidence is admissible because of an exception to the ground stated in the objection. Where that argument is made can make a big difference—should you argue in open court or in a sidebar conference? Continue reading

8 Ways to Make Calling Witnesses More Dramatic

As a trial attorney, never forget your role as director of the courtroom play. Consider these staging decisions when it comes to calling witnesses. Continue reading

6 Grounds for Objecting to Requests for Admission

A party may respond to an individual request for admission (RFA) by objecting to all or part of it. CCP §2033.230. The right to object is waived if not stated in a timely response, so it’s important to consider objections carefully. Here are the most common objections to RFAs. Continue reading

Avoid Sanctions When Pushing the Legal Envelope

A court may sanction attorneys for engaging in meritless actions or tactics with the intent to harass or cause unnecessary delay. CCP §128.5. But what is meritless to one person may be a rational extension of the law to another. Luckily, there’s a safe harbor provision in the statute for that. Continue reading

What to Include in an Expert Retention Agreement

It’s always best to put your fee agreement with an expert into writing. Here are the most important provisions to include in an expert retention letter agreement. Continue reading

These Statements Aren’t Hearsay, Even If Admitted for Their Truth

There are several types of statements that, although sought to be admitted in evidence for their underlying truth, aren’t considered hearsay. This means you can get them into evidence and no hearsay exception need apply. Continue reading