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

Lawyers Must Now Inform Clients about Mediation Confidentiality in Writing

The 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.

Starting January 1, 2019, attorneys must ask clients to acknowledge in writing that they have been fully informed about the rules of mediation confidentiality. SB 954 amends Evidence Code §1122 and adds §1129 (Stats 2018, ch 350). You can create your own form, but you’ll probably use a version of the “safe harbor” form in §1129.

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How to Get a Witness to Start with the Basis for Opinion

lawyer asking judge to voir dire adverse witness on basis for her opinionCan the adverse party require that a witness on direct examination testify to the basis of his or her opinion before stating that opinion? Short answer, no. But there still may be a way to do it. Continue reading

Don’t Do This on Cross Examination

cross examining a witness

Many attorneys work through their nervousness by beginning their cross examination with taking the witness step by step through previous direct examination testimony. Then they turn to the hard job of true cross-examination. Here’s why you shouldn’t do this. Continue reading

When Can You Discover Private Information?

Even when a litigant can’t assert a statutory privilege, private matters may nonetheless be protected from discovery under the constitutional right of privacy. Balancing the privacy interest at stake against the need for discovery has always been a difficult task. But a recent California Supreme Court  case, Williams v Superior Court (2017) 3 C5th 531, has clarified the proper analysis to use.

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Have You Considered a Motion in Limine to ADMIT Evidence?

young lawyer considering whether to use a motion in limine to include evidenceMany lawyers view motions in limine as tools used only to exclude or limit particular evidence.  But the experts know that a motion in limine is also a useful tool to admit evidence. Continue reading

3 Tips for Plaintiff’s Closing Argument

plaintiff's lawyer talking to jury during closing argumentA plaintiff‘s closing argument must focus on linking the plaintiff’s claims to the evidence. However when a jury is involved, you’ll need to do more than that. Here are three tips from expert trial attorneys for an effective closing argument. Continue reading

Checklist: Summary Judgment Motion Deadlines

Summary judgment and summary adjudication motions are the most difficult and time-consuming motions that can be filed with the court. Use this checklist to make sure that you meet the key deadlines. Continue reading

5 Direct Examination Techniques You Should Be Using

When conducting direct examination of a party or witness, how you ask the questions can be as important as what you ask. Review and apply these five direct examination techniques every time. Continue reading