4 Ways to Appear More Credible to the Jury

Both the opening statement and the closing argument should be used to persuade. An essential part of the persuasion process is establishing your credibility with the jury by nurturing its perception of your sincerity, trustworthiness, and knowledge of facts. Here are four ways to increase your credibility. Continue reading

Do You Have Time to Take a Judgment Enforcement Case?

Judgment enforcement actions have two major timing issues: they need to be handled immediately and may take a long time to complete. Before you decide to represent a judgment creditor in an enforcement case, consider whether you really have the time.

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What to Tell Clients About Their Files at the End of the Case

Case files routinely contain documents (and sometimes other property) that clients have provided. The California Rules of Professional Conduct require that an attorney return these items, at a client’s request, when the attorney’s “employment has terminated” (subject to “any protective order or nondisclosure agreement”). Cal Rules of Prof Cond 3–700(D)(1). Here’s sample language that you can use in a letter to a client at the end of the case. Continue reading

What Are Directors’ Fiduciary Duties When Selling Control of a Corporation?

In Delaware, courts impose the so-called Revlon duty, which can be described as the fiduciary duty to make reasonable efforts to obtain the highest sales price reasonably possible in view of the market for the company. This may even involve conducting a public auction for the company or at least a check of the market, depending on the circumstances, and agreements must include a so-called “fiduciary out” to allow the directors to accept a higher bid after the agreement has been signed by a would-be buyer. See Revlon Inc. v MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc. (Del 1985) 506 A2d 173; Omnicare, Inc. v NCS Healthcare, Inc. (Del 2003) 818 A2d 914. But, as Keith Paul Bishop notes in his recent blog post on California Corporate and Securities Law, “[d]espite its notoriety in Delaware, Revlon is nearly unknown in California jurisprudence.” Continue reading

Amending a Complaint to Name a Doe Defendant

Sometimes you believe that certain persons are liable to the plaintiff, but you don’t know and can’t readily learn their names. That’s when you include them in the complaint as “Doe defendants,” i.e., you fictitiously name them in the caption of the complaint and then allege ignorance of their true names in the body of the complaint. CCP §474. If you later learn the names of a Doe defendant, you’ll need to amend the complaint. Here are four things to know about amending a complaint to name a Doe defendant. Continue reading

Get Your Expert Involved with the Evidence

Despite the political rhetoric, public confidence in scientists has “remained stable for decades.” You can bring this confidence into the courtroom through expert testimony based on the scientific method, i.e., physical observation and testing, not just untested hypotheses. Experts should be “hands on” when it comes to collecting and investigating physical evidence. Continue reading

5 Steps to Responding to a Deposition Notice

After receiving a deposition notice or subpoena, counsel should to take a careful look at the documents served and make decisions about how to proceed. To organize the process, follow these five steps. Continue reading

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