Landowners’ duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition has a pretty far reach, but the California Supreme Court recently curbed it. Continue reading
Here’s a common evidence question: Are opinions admissible when they’re in business records? The answer is generally “yes,” as long as the statement of opinion is in a writing that qualifies otherwise for the business-records exception to the hearsay rule. Continue reading
In a personal injury case, plaintiff’s counsel should approach the opening statement to the jury with one primary goal: establishing credibility. If the jury believes you, it will be much more likely to rule for your client. Here’s a sample opening statement that shows how you can get right out of the gate with credibility. Continue reading
One of the key parts of liability testimony in a car accident case is the chronology of the accident: the parties’ conduct before the impact, the impact, and conditions after impact. The parties are most likely to dispute the first part, making the car’s “black box” a potentially helpful source of evidence (but with its own pitfalls). Continue reading
Under California’s Government Claims Act (Govt C §§810–996.6), you can’t sue a public entity or its employees until after you’ve presented the entity with a claim for “money or damages.” Here’s a handy checklist of the essential elements to include in a claim. Continue reading
You’re representing someone injured in a car accident and you’ve reached the point at which you’re ready to send a demand letter to communicate a settlement offer to the defendant’s insurance carrier. But what should that letter include? To get you started, here are some sample provisions to include in your letter as well as drafting suggestions. Continue reading
In cases in which there are medical issues, you’ll need to decide whether to depose the treating physician. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you make this call. Continue reading
The following is a guest blog post by Michelle Weiss, an attorney with Bay Area Bicycle Law, the only firm in Northern California that exclusively represents cyclists.
A bill introduced earlier this year mandating helmet use for California adults (SB-192) was scaled back following opposition from bike organizations statewide. So for the time being at least, helmet use remains optional for adult cyclists in California. This means the issue of whether plaintiffs are contributorily negligent for not wearing a bicycle helmet remains a legal gray area. Continue reading
The family of a 9-year-old California boy who survived a fall through a school’s skylight reportedly claims the school district should be held liable for his injuries because it was too easy to get on the school’s roof and district leaders knew children climbed up there but didn’t do enough to stop it. Property owners beware: A foreseeable risk can turn a trespassing child into a plaintiff. Continue reading
In response to a plaintiff’s motion for consolidation, the court can combine two or more separately filed lawsuits for simultaneous disposition. This promotes efficiency, but there are very big downsides for a defendant in a consolidated case. Here are 8 things defense counsel should consider when faced with a motion to consolidate.