Using Real Property to Post Bail? You’ll Need Double

The posting of bail became very interesting recently with the case of Tiffany Li, the real-estate heiress charged with murder who was released from jail after posting an “unprecedented” $35 million in bail. How did she do it? By using a huge amount in real property equity. Continue reading

4 Ways to Help Witnesses Maintain Credibility

When it comes to testifying, the first and most fundamental rule is to tell the truth. In addition to the obvious reasons, it’s hard to trick or trap someone who’s telling the truth about everything. But sometimes witnesses are afraid to admit to mistakes or biases and inadvertently appear less than honest.  Continue reading

Using Life Estates to Protect Property and Avoid Reassessment

Proposition 13 has allowed many homeowners and other property owners to perpetuate low historical assessments for years or generations using the interspousal exclusion and parent-child (or grandparent-grandchild) exclusion from a change in ownership at death. Rev & T C §§63, 63.1. These property tax opportunities are an important part of California estate planning, and life estates play an important role in making it work. Continue reading

To Meet and Confer, You Need to Talk

If you have a “dispute concerning discovery,” the law requires that you try to resolve it informally by conferring with the opposing side. This meet-and-confer requirement can be met in person, by telephone, or by letter. But a letter or email alone generally won’t cut it; to really meet and confer, you need to talk to opposing counsel. Continue reading

8 Tips to Maximize Interpreter Effectiveness

Once you find a qualified interpreter, apply these eight tips to maximize the interpreter’s usefulness in court or at trial. Continue reading

Employer Checklist: Responding to Request for an Assistive Animal

A possible accommodation for an employee’s disability may be the use of an assistive animal in the workplace. What considerations should go into deciding whether to allow this accommodation? Here’s a handy checklist to help employers respond—keeping in mind that they have only 10 days in which to do so. Continue reading

Are Insurance Agreements Discoverable?

The existence of insurance is often key to a lawsuit and one of the first orders of business in discovery. There are statutory provisions allowing for discovery of the existence and contents of insurance agreements—as well as limits on it. Continue reading

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