10 Steps to Impeaching a Witness with Prior Depo Testimony

steps_78288477A witness’s deposition can be used for impeachment (i.e., to attack the witness’s credibility) by showing that the testimony on the stand isn’t consistent with the deposition testimony or “for any other purpose permitted by the Evidence Code.” CCP §2025.620(a). The quoted language permits the deposition to be used to show both prior inconsistent statements (Evid C §1235) and prior consistent statements (Evid C §1236).  Next time you have depo testimony that will impeach a witness, follow these 10 steps. Continue reading

7 Grounds for Objecting During Voir Dire

Once the jury panel has been sworn, prospective jurors are selected at random, seated in the jury box, and questioned. Counsel may conduct a “liberal and probing examination” that’s calculated to discover juror bias or prejudice related to the circumstances of the case. CCP §222.5. But if opposing counsel’s questions go out-of-bounds, you need to be ready to object. Continue reading

The Best Way to Attack an Opposing Expert

57277978You rarely want to attack an opposing expert witness directly. Your best bet during cross-examination is to use peripheral or tangential ways of assailing the expert’s views. Continue reading

Settlement: It’s Not All About Money

ThinkstockPhotos-543045702When it comes to settlement negotiations, money is usually not the entire picture. Parties generally have more than just cash to offer; it’s a question of coming up with the right combination of incentives. Continue reading

8 Tips for Every Cross-Examination You Do

ThinkstockPhotos-57280447Your approach to cross-examination will vary depending on the “type” of witness being examined, e.g., the hostile witness, the flippant witness, the timid witness, or the sympathetic and truthful witness. But regardless of which type you’re dealing with—which can even change during your examination—there are some universal principles of cross-examination that apply in any situation. Continue reading

Checklist: Moving for Summary Judgment

ThinkstockPhotos-459334539Moving for summary judgment or summary adjudication is a complicated process. You start by considering whether it’s even appropriate to make the motion. Then you review the strict timing requirements. After that comes an evaluation of the pleadings and evidence to support the motion. And then you have to prepare the moving papers. Finally, you schedule a hearing date and serve and file the moving papers. Whew! But it’s not too hard when you follow this handy checklist. Continue reading

What’s a Timely Objection?

clock_92572588Objections to evidence at trial must be “timely made.” Evid C §353(a). But what does that actually mean? Continue reading

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