Moving Tactically: Should You Make a Motion?

465153001Motions are tactical tools, and your decision to seek an order should be made in the context of your overall litigation plan. Always keep in mind that making a motion entails time, effort, and expense for the moving party. Is it worth it? Continue reading

To Demur or Not to Demur?

ThinkstockPhotos-476195191A demurrer can be an excellent tool to challenge the legal sufficiency of allegations in an opponent’s pleadings. In deciding whether to demur to a complaint, defense counsel should consider not only whether a demurrable defect appears on the face of the complaint, but also whether demurring is likely to be a better move than its alternatives.  Continue reading

Is It Too Risky to SLAPP Back?

ThinkstockPhotos-185824314Your client got hit with a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suit, i.e., a suit with a cause of action based on your client’s act in furtherance of the constitutional right of petition or free speech in connection with a public issue. You have a chance to hit back with a special motion to strike the cause of action under the anti-SLAPP statute. But should you? Continue reading

Use this Checklist for Every Declaration

92419672Litigators use declarations and affidavits to present facts to the judge from various types of witnesses. Their use can become routine and sometimes even sloppy. But beware: Declarations are subject to the same objections and scrutiny as testimony at trial. Here’s a checklist to help you carefully draft every declaration and avoid common omissions. Continue reading

Checklist: Does the Anti-SLAPP Statute Apply?

533402213An anti-SLAPP motion to strike is generally available when one of the causes of action in a case is based on an act of a person in furtherance of the person’s constitutional right of petition or free speech in connection with a public issue. CCP §425.16(b)(1). That may sound straightforward, but it can actually be tricky to determine if the statute applies to a particular cause of action you want to attack. Here’s a handy checklist to take you through the determination of whether an anti-SLAPP motion may be on the table. Continue reading

7 Tips for Making Supporting Memos More Persuasive

Almost all motions and demurrers must be supported by a memorandum. Cal Rules of Ct 3.1113. Your supporting memorandum convinces the judge that the law and facts support the order you want. The objective is to persuade—the memo may be your main shot at doing so, as judges issue a tentative ruling or come to the hearing with a ruling in mind based on the motion and response papers. Continue reading

5 Ways to Challenge a Grant of Summary Judgment

fivesteps_140389068When a summary judgment motion is granted and you’re representing the opposing party, you have a few choices in how to respond. You can challenge the grant directly in the trial court by one of four motions or wait to appeal after the final judgment. Here’s a handy checklist to help you determine which tactic is available and most appropriate. Continue reading

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