The One Thing to Do to Maximize Mediation Success

typing out deposition notice on laptopThe following is a guest blog post by Teddy (Theda) Snyder. Ms. Snyder is based in Los Angeles and conducts civil and workers compensation mediations throughout California.

Careful preparation of a mediation brief is the best way to achieve the optimal settlement result. The exercise forces you to organize your case and create guideposts for the settlement negotiation. Continue reading

4 Tips for Drafting an Effective Settlement Demand Letter

The following is a guest blog post by Anderson Franco, who practices landlord-tenant, personal injury, and general litigation throughout the Bay Area.

Before filing a lawsuit, a plaintiff should always consider whether to try for settlement. If settlement is the goal, then a settlement demand letter becomes a key negotiation tool. A settlement demand letter explains to the opposing party why they should pay money to settle the case immediately rather than litigating through the court system. Continue reading

Appellate Justices Offer These Tips to Attorneys

In May 2018, the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) invited the Justices of the First District Court of Appeal to meet informally with local appellate attorneys so both sides could discuss the court rules and practices they like and dislike. These tips and observations may help you, even if you practice in other districts. Continue reading

New Year, New Laws for Civil Litigators

The California legislature has enacted new laws that may affect your litigation practice. Here are some of the key statutory changes you need to know about. Continue reading

12 Tips for Writing an Effective Appellate Brief

An appellate brief is a way to convey the facts, legal questions, law that you want the court to apply, and how you want it applied. It’s also an exercise in persuasion, and should be written for readers who have only a short time to read it. Continue reading

How to Control an Expert Witness

As with all witnesses, you must be able to control an expert witness during cross-examination. But many experts with experience in testifying treat cross-examiners like presidential candidates deal with the press: they ignore the question asked and answer the question they prefer. Here’s how to keep experts under your control. Continue reading

The Do’s and Don’ts of Building Your Case with Social Media Info

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

What to Do a Month Before Trial

You’re 30 days from your trial date. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve gotten this close, or maybe it’s your first time. Don’t worry—here’s a handy chart setting out what you need to do. Continue reading

List of Trial Objections

Before heading into trial, review this list of trial objections. And keep it handy during trial. Continue reading

7 Tips for Using Demonstrative Evidence at Trial

jury viewing demontration in courtroomThe technology used for showing evidence at trial has changed greatly over the years, but the purpose of demonstrative evidence remains unchanged: it breaks the pattern of the trial, clarifies issues, maintains jury interest, and persuades. The challenge for attorneys is to capitalize on new technological resources without causing juror distraction, confusion, and frustration. Here are seven expert tips for meeting this challenge. Continue reading