Checklist: What to Include in a Government Claim

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

Settling a Car Accident Case: Drafting Your Demand

ThinkstockPhotos-84461514You’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

Deposing the Doctor: Why Do It and How Much Will It Cost?

ThinkstockPhotos-79085832In 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

Combating Comparative Fault for an Unhelmeted Cyclist

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

When Trespasser Becomes Plaintiff

ThinkstockPhotos-122406155The 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

8 Things to Consider Before Opposing a Motion to Consolidate

532203529In 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.

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Come Together? 10 Things to Consider Before Moving to Consolidate

515961369Consolidation can be a useful efficiency technique because it allows the court to combine two or more separately filed lawsuits for simultaneous disposition. This efficiency is not without danger—consolidation may produce an incomprehensible case that the jury can’t handle fairly or understand.

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