Is the Government Liable When Earthquake Warnings Go Wrong?

The recent earthquakes in California brought attention to the ShakeAlert system, which is intended to detect significant earthquakes quickly enough to send alerts to people before the shaking arrives. This system is in its infancy, but there’s hope it will eventually give the public precious seconds to take cover.  But will it also give rise to governmental liability? Continue reading

Do You Need an Expert to Spot Insanity?

The general rule is that you need an expert witness to testify when the subject is “sufficiently beyond common experience that the opinion of that expert would assist the trier of fact.” Evid C §801(a). When it comes to a person’s sanity, you don’t always need an expert. Continue reading

Do’s and Don’ts for Expert Declarations in Support of Summary Judgment

The testimony of an expert in support of a motion for summary judgment or for summary adjudication of issues is usually presented through a declaration under penalty of perjury. CCP §2015.5. Here are five do’s and don’ts for these expert declarations. Continue reading

Does No Physician Report Mean No Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit?

The following is a guest blog post by Michael W. Sullivan of Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP, an aggressive workers’ compensation defense firm with offices throughout California. Mr. Sullivan is a bar-certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

An employee who suffers residual effects from an injury and can’t return to work is entitled to a supplemental job displacement benefit. The benefit comes in the form of a nontransferable voucher, and often is simply referred to as the “voucher.” An employer’s duty to investigate liability for the voucher is triggered by a Physician’s Return to Work & Voucher report (RTW Report). If there’s no RTW Report, does that mean an employer can’t be liable for the voucher? Continue reading

How to Get California Public Records

The usual discovery requests don’t always get you what you need. Sometimes you’ll do better seeking a public record under the California Public Records Act (Govt C §§6250–6276.48).  Continue reading

What to Know Before Selling Food Made at Home

The cottage food industry—small batch food production from home—is growing, as are the related laws and regulations. Here’s what those who want to get in on the trend need to know. Continue reading

Does Child Support Change When Life Changes?

When a parent who pays child support loses a job or lands a much higher paying job can you get the child support order modified? Continue reading

The Danger of Refreshing Recollection

Sometimes a witness needs documents to refresh his or her recollection. This can lead to a tough choice for attorneys. Continue reading

Are There Consequences to Taking the Fifth in a Workers’ Comp Case?

The following is a guest blog post by Michael W. Sullivan of Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP, an aggressive workers’ compensation defense firm with offices throughout California. Mr. Sullivan is a bar-certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

The Fifth Amendment protects a person from answering “official questions in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where he or she reasonably believes the answers might incriminate him or her in a criminal case.” Spielbauer v County of Santa Clara (2009) 45 C4th 704, 714. This includes workers’ compensation proceedings. But does invoking the Fifth Amendment have any consequences for an injured worker? Continue reading

4 Tips for Writing Better Briefs

Regardless of the subject matter and whether it’s a criminal or civil issue, these four tips will help you draft the strongest brief possible. Continue reading