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

Is a Wealth Tax Unconstitutional?

A wealth tax proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren has found favor in certain academic circles, including the University of California, Berkeley. It would be 2 percent of worldwide assets of U.S. citizens and residents in excess of $50 million and 3 percent of assets in excess of $1 billion, in addition to existing income and transfer taxes. It’s claimed this wealth tax would raise an estimated $2.75 trillion in revenue over 10 years. But is it constitutional? 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

Using Buy-Sell Agreements to Protect Family-Owned Businesses

Family-owned or controlled businesses make up roughly 90 percent of all American businesses. Unfortunately, only a third of family-owned businesses survive the transition from the first generation of owners to the second. A buy-sell agreement can ensure a successful transition by controlling how an interest in the business can be sold. 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

Creating a Financial Power of Attorney

Sadly, preparing for your client’s potential incapacity is an integral part of estate planning. In doing so, one particularly useful tool is the financial power of attorney, which provides a trusted agent authority to transact business for your client. Here are a few basic requirements for creating this key document. 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

Getting the Most Out of a Preliminary Hearing

When a case is set for preliminary hearing, it usually means that the prosecution is confident the evidence supports the charges and early settlement negotiations have failed. The defense attorney’s role at a preliminary hearing is to test the strength of the prosecution evidence. Here are some of the important benefits of a preliminary hearing for both sides. 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