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Revisiting the Dying Declaration Exception

life and death; dying declarant must believe death is imminentThe “dying declaration” exception to the hearsay rule just jumped from law school textbooks onto California newspapers: A young woman who was stabbed and bleeding told officers about who had assaulted her shortly before she died, leading to the arrest of two suspects. It’s time to review what’s required to meet this hearsay exception. Continue reading

When Marriage Is Not About Love

Valentine’s Day is about romance and love—and a lot of marriage proposals are made on that day. But sometimes there’s fraud lurking among the roses and chocolates. Marriage fraud under immigration law is a big issue for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and, sadly, sometimes there’s love on one side of the relationship and fraud on the other. Continue reading

Checklist for Employers Conducting Misconduct Investigations

Checking off list for employers to take when investigating employee misconductWhenever an employer learns of employee behavior that’s inappropriate, unlawful, or violates company policies, it’s time to investigate. California law may require an employer investigation (e.g., for harassment), but even if not legally required, a prompt, fair, and reasonable investigation can help prevent or defend against a potential legal claim. Here’s a handy checklist for employer internal investigations. Continue reading

Have a Habitability Problem? Take These 3 Initial Steps

home so flooded it's uninhabitableWhether it’s ignoring a reported bug infestation or leaving electrical wiring dangerously exposed, a landlord’s failure to make necessary repairs may render the premises uninhabitable. Although there are many legal remedies available for a breach of the warranty of habitability, your initial duties as a tenant’s attorney is to simultaneously safeguard the tenant’s well-being and preserve any relevant claims. Continue reading

Did You Know You Can Collect Fees for Time Spent Collecting Fees?

Collecting attorney fee awards and enforcing judgments can be very time-consuming. Don’t forget to collect attorney fees for time spent chasing down your fees in collection efforts. Continue reading

How to Put Partial Evidence in Complete Context

When evidence presented during direct examination is distorted by being taken out of context, you can counteract that distortion by invoking the rule of completeness. Continue reading

The Times They Are A-Changing (for Estate Planners)

The corporate tax cut is permanent, but most individual provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub L 115–97, 131 Stat 2054) are set to expire for tax years beginning after December 31, 2025. These expiring provisions will tax the ingenuity and patience of estate planners and their clients. What to do? Continue reading

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