Do You Know When to Request a Sidebar?

After a party objects to the admission of evidence, the proponent of the evidence can respond by arguing that the objection doesn’t apply or isn’t valid, or that the evidence is admissible because of an exception to the ground stated in the objection. Where that argument is made can make a big difference—should you argue in open court or in a sidebar conference? Continue reading

8 Ways to Make Calling Witnesses More Dramatic

As a trial attorney, never forget your role as director of the courtroom play. Consider these staging decisions when it comes to calling witnesses. Continue reading

6 Sources to Use When Preparing Voir Dire Questions

As you work on your questions to ask the jurors during voir dire, consider these six sources for ideas. Continue reading

Don’t Do These 4 Things During Your Closing Argument

The permissible scope of counsel’s closing arguments before a jury is broad, but there are limits. Here are 4 things that tread into improper territory. Continue reading

Need Another Expert? Here’s How to Augment Your Expert Designation

When you need another expert to support your client’s case or there’s a change in the general substance of a  previously designated expert, you’ll need to move to augment or amend your expert witness declaration. Continue reading

How to Rehab Your Witness

What can you do if your witness’s truthfulness has been challenged? Use evidence of the witness’s prior consistent statement to rehabilitate your witness. Here’s how it’s done. Continue reading

5 Ways to Mess Up Active Listening

Active listening techniques are often lauded as indispensable in legal negotiations, and for good reason: You’re more likely to reach agreement if you can both understand and demonstrate your understanding to the other side. But there are some common ways that negotiators fail in their efforts to use active listening. Continue reading

7 Questions to Answer Before Using Opinion Character Evidence

There are situations in which you may want to introduce opinion character evidence at trial. But before you use a character witness in a civil case, ask yourself the following questions. Continue reading

9 Things to Tell Your Witness Before Cross-Examination

Part of preparing your witnesses for trial testimony includes preparing them to be cross-examined. Witnesses often worry that trick questions will make them say the wrong thing or that they’ll be made to look foolish. Tell them the following and they’ll be ready to handle any cross-examination.

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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