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Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Pretrial Matters

Warn Your Expert Against Writing

Although in the “real world” scientists changing their minds may be the badge of intellectual honesty, in litigation the expert who backs away from a position or changes an opinion is supplying the opposition with a source of impeachment. Any time the expert makes a written record of his or her thoughts or opinions, the opposition gets a “paper trail” of potential impeachment material. To avoid this, tell your expert to keep writing to a minimum.

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New Lawyers Practice of Law

Litigators: Send These 5 Letters to Your Clients

92419672It’s crucial that attorneys maintain regular and open communication with their clients.  When it comes to litigation, communications often come in the form of status report letters. Here are 5 letters that litigators send to their clients and what to include in them.

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Business Law Checklists Legal Topics

“To Do” List for Setting Up a Nonprofit

164142653After you’ve taken the client through the many questions to be answered in deciding to form a nonprofit and all agree to move forward, you need to take these first steps in the process of establishing the nonprofit.

Categories
New Lawyers Practice of Law Starting a Law Practice

7 Tips for a Successful Networking Lunch

ThinkstockPhotos-514423654The following is a guest blog post by Anabella Q. Bonfa. Ms. Bonfa is a litigator with Wellman & Warren LLP and has built a reputation for handling business and partnership disputes, theft of trade secrets, and unfair competition. She lectures extensively on trade secrets, networking, and using social media to develop business.

In every lawyer’s career there comes a time when they have to start networking and bringing in clients. This usually involves attending functions, meeting new people, and eventually the dreaded “networking lunch.” The lunch is usually dreaded because new lawyers erroneously think it’s only about selling their law firm and they don’t want to be a salesperson. But that’s really not what it’s about: Here’s a plan for getting through networking lunches in a way that’s easy, rewarding, and, most importantly, involves minimal “sales.” 

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Checklists Civil Litigation Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Pretrial Matters

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.

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Checklists Civil Litigation Criminal Law Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

Really Listen to the Witness

listen_50736139It sounds obvious: You should always listen carefully to the witness during cross-examination. But listening means more than just hearing the words actually said. Ideally, your listening will go well beyond that, which can make all the difference in improving your cross-examination.

Categories
Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

The “Opening the Door” Fallacy

200368976-001It is a popular fallacy that if testimony is given on a subject during direct examination, this will “open the door” to unrestricted cross-examination about that matter; making evidence admissible that would otherwise be inadmissible. This is actually only true in certain limited circumstances.

Categories
Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics

Develop a Routine: Stock Questions to Ask in Every Deposition

185496686Every case is different, but there are some questions you should ask in most every deposition. Know your routine questions and use them.

Categories
Litigation Strategy New Lawyers Settlement Negotiation

4 Tips on How to Be Both Assertive and Effective in Settlement Negotiations

78163628One of the key components of the opening phase of a negotiation is articulating your client’s intentions, needs, and hopes regarding a settlement. You can strongly assert your client’s point of view in a way that also fosters an atmosphere conducive to settlement.

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Civil Litigation Criminal Law Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Pretrial Matters

5 Things to Do to Prepare for Voir Dire

78724287When next faced with preparing for jury voir dire examination before trial, consider these five practical suggestions.