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
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
As you work on your questions to ask the jurors during voir dire, consider these six sources for ideas. Continue reading
Like so many in the California legal community and beyond, we are stunned and saddened by the passing of Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s Public Defender. Jeff was a tireless advocate for justice and for the right to a defense. Continue reading
The following is a guest blog post by Renee Galente Stackhouse. Renee is the founder and trial lawyer at Stackhouse, APC, where she focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury and military defense in San Diego. She is the immediate past President of California Women Lawyers, President of the CWL Foundation, Chair of the CLA SSF Section, and sits on the Board of the San Diego County Bar Association.
You would be surprised how easy it is to find public information on the Internet. Or maybe you wouldn’t, given the many stories of jobs lost and cases jeopardized by social media posts. Using Google and social media searches on parties and witnesses can be very helpful to your case, but make sure you don’t overstep. Continue reading
Breath testing is the most widely used method of determining whether someone is above the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. But its scientific basis has been questioned. This list provides defense counsel with several ways to challenge breath test evidence. Continue reading
The following is a guest blog post by Garrick Byers, known as the Statute Decoder because of his facility in interpreting statutes and rules. He is the chairperson of the California Public Defenders Association’s (CPDA’s) Ethics Committee, and is a former CPDA president. He is a criminal law specialist and a frequent speaker and writer on criminal law topics, including ethics. He was a public defender for 33 years and is currently in private practice, handling criminal law appeals, writs, motions, and case consultations.
The new California Rules of Professional Conduct, effective November 1, 2018, use the format and much of the substance of the ABA Model Rules. Here are three of the most important changes for prosecution and defense counsel. Continue reading
Unfortunately, elder abuse is a much more rampant problem than we’d like to admit. In fact, studies show that approximately 10 percent of Americans aged 60 or over have experienced some form of elder abuse.
For attorneys with older or at-risk clients, it’s important to keep in mind the different protective orders available and to select the most appropriate order to ensure your client’s ongoing safety and welfare.
Defense counsel should remember one basic rule when consulted by a client during a criminal investigation: Tell the client not to speak about the case with anyone. This means no talking to the police, probation department, girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, father, sheriff’s deputy, cellmate, news media, bail agent, or best friend.
When cross-examining a witness, almost always begin and end with your strongest questions. Except in a couple of situations. Continue reading