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Don’t Take a Defendant’s Case Until Considering These Factors

Woman in white is thinking. Pros and cons concept.Plaintiff’s counsel always needs to consider whether the cost of litigation to the client is likely to outweigh the gain. Defense counsel needs to do a similar analysis: Consider whether the pros of taking a defendant’s case are outweighed by the cons. Continue reading

Outlining a Defense Opening Statement

Ythinkstockphotos-465858364our opening statement is an opportunity to be creative and show your personal style. But as defense counsel, there are points you’ll always want to make; using an outline will help you to stay focused and organized. Continue reading

Don’t Let Immigration Status Sabotage Your Client’s Sentence

489194765The following is a guest blog post by Norton Tooby, who has a national law practice in Oakland, California, providing expert consultation and representation on immigration consequences of criminal convictions, post-conviction relief, and criminal defense of noncitizens.

The Supreme Court has focused attention on the need to advise clients accurately on the specific immigration consequences of a guilty plea. Padilla v Kentucky (2010) 130 SCt 1473. But it’s also essential that defense counsel accurately advise clients about the sentencing consequences of his or her immigration status. Counsel must also do whatever is possible to prevent a defendant’s immigration status from destroying his or her opportunities for the alternatives to incarceration used in most criminal cases that result in sentences.

Continue reading

Mining for Gold in Medical Records: Five Tips for Defense Counsel

136502544The following is a guest blog post by Lynn Hollenbeck. Lynn is a litigation attorney with Bunting Drayton & Alward in San Francisco, with expertise in premises defense, insurance defense, asbestos defense, and construction defect.

For defense counsel, plaintiff’s medical records often contain unexpected sources of information beyond examination findings, diagnoses, and prognoses. You may not find the dispositive document that disproves causation, but the records can bolster other issues in the case. Continue reading

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