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10 Steps to Take Before Drafting a Contract

How can you streamline your contract drafting time and create a better document? Prepare. For all types of transactions, the time spent organizing and guiding the drafting and closing process will save actual drafting time and will help produce more accurate, understandable, effective, and comprehensive documents. Follow these ten steps for success in any business transaction.

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Checklists for Documents Opposing a Summary Judgment Motion

The party opposing summary judgment has one objective: Convince the court that there’s at least one “triable issue of material fact.” CCP §437c(c). This objective should guide every aspect of the opposition’s separate statement and supporting memorandum. Cal Rules of Ct 3.1350(e). Here are checklists to help you meet all requirements and prepare these opposition documents to their best effect. Continue reading

Amending a Complaint to Name a Doe Defendant

Sometimes you believe that certain persons are liable to the plaintiff, but you don’t know and can’t readily learn their names. That’s when you include them in the complaint as “Doe defendants,” i.e., you fictitiously name them in the caption of the complaint and then allege ignorance of their true names in the body of the complaint. CCP §474. If you later learn the names of a Doe defendant, you’ll need to amend the complaint. Here are four things to know about amending a complaint to name a Doe defendant. Continue reading

Get Your Expert Involved with the Evidence

Despite the political rhetoric, public confidence in scientists has “remained stable for decades.” You can bring this confidence into the courtroom through expert testimony based on the scientific method, i.e., physical observation and testing, not just untested hypotheses. Experts should be “hands on” when it comes to collecting and investigating physical evidence. Continue reading

5 Steps to Responding to a Deposition Notice

After receiving a deposition notice or subpoena, counsel should to take a careful look at the documents served and make decisions about how to proceed. To organize the process, follow these five steps. Continue reading

4 Ways to Help Witnesses Maintain Credibility

When it comes to testifying, the first and most fundamental rule is to tell the truth. In addition to the obvious reasons, it’s hard to trick or trap someone who’s telling the truth about everything. But sometimes witnesses are afraid to admit to mistakes or biases and inadvertently appear less than honest.  Continue reading

Employer Checklist: Responding to Request for an Assistive Animal

A possible accommodation for an employee’s disability may be the use of an assistive animal in the workplace. What considerations should go into deciding whether to allow this accommodation? Here’s a handy checklist to help employers respond—keeping in mind that they have only 10 days in which to do so. Continue reading

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