Blog

California Desert Trial Academy College Of Law

Ten Legal Technology Trends For 2021 – Part One

Ten Legal Technology Trends For 2021 – Part One

As 2021 begins and lawyers scramble to adapt to the changes wrought from the COVID-19 pandemic, the development and use of technology in a legal context continues to evolve. The following is a look at ten legal technology trends in 2021. Accelerated movement to digital domains Consumers and clients are increasingly moving to the digital realm as evidenced by their behavior. Those law practices that choose to fully embrace the digital domain to interact with and attract clients are more apt to thrive than those who do not. Lawyers must ensure that new clients have the ability to discover their...

Continue reading

Best Courtroom Movies – True Believer

Best Courtroom Movies – True Believer

Long before he was Iron Man, Robert Downey, Jr. played a young lawyer in the movie “True Believer” in support of James Woods, whose character was based on Tony Serra, a noted criminal defense attorney in California during the latter half of the 20th Century. In 1983, Serra won an acquittal for Chol Soo Lee, a Korean-American immigrant, who had been convicted of murder in 1973 and sentenced to life imprisonment in San Francisco. The film inspired a spin-off television series, Eddie Dodd, starring Treat Williams in the title role. In 1970, Serra successfully defended Black Panther leader Huey Newton in a murder trial. He had many other high-profile criminal clients including organized crime boss, Raymond...

Continue reading

Important California Laws To Know – Posting Harmful Information On The Internet

Important California Laws To Know – Posting Harmful Information On The Internet

In 2010, the California legislature enacted a law to counteract certain criminal conduct on the internet. Necessitated by the growing use of technology and social media, California lawmakers have established different laws to fight internet crimes, including a statute (known as posting harmful information on the internet, California Penal Code § 653.2) prohibiting indirect harassment on the internet. This offense is typically charged as a misdemeanor. The internet presents opportunities for many people to involve themselves in different internet crimes without their knowledge. The law against indirect electronic harassment is defined under California Penal Code § 653.2 PC, which reads as...

Continue reading

Attorneys, Banks, And Financial Management – The IOLTA Account

Attorneys, Banks, And Financial Management – The IOLTA Account

Because lawyers often handle their clients’ money, settlement checks, or advance payments for court costs or other expenses, they must participate in the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program. This is true in the State of California as well as most other jurisdictions in the United States. Any attorney who handles client funds that are too small in amount or held too briefly to earn interest for the client must use an IOLTA account for such funds. A lawyer who receives funds that belong to a client must place these funds in a trust account separate from the lawyer's personal...

Continue reading

Many Law Schools Are Going Completely Online In 2021

Many Law Schools Are Going Completely Online In 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted legal education in an unprecedented manner, many law schools are trying to adapt as they strive to continue offering a rewarding, educational experience. While many traditional law schools are scrambling to implement online classes, services, and the like, the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law (CDTA) has implemented and utilized a state-of-the-art online learning platform since it first opened its doors in 2012. Some law schools are planning to go completely online in 2021. These schools include Harvard Law School; the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; the University of California, Irvine School of Law; and...

Continue reading

Principles Of Professional Conduct – Meritorious Claims

Principles Of Professional Conduct – Meritorious Claims

Under the model rules of professional conduct, attorneys must be advocates. The California Desert Trial Academy College of Law (CDTA) offers the best of both worlds as it promotes the philosophy of not only teaching students the substantive law, but on training, educating, and developing students to be exceptional attorney-advocates. The CDTA believes that practical experience, including apprenticeships with mentors, during law school are essential elements of success. According to a summary of the ABA Model Rule: “A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for...

Continue reading

What Legal Specialty Areas Does The California Bar Recognize?

What Legal Specialty Areas Does The California Bar Recognize?

While a good number of attorneys decide to engage in general practice, many also choose to enter a specific area of the law and specialize. The California State Bar certifies attorneys as specialists who have exceeded the standard licensing requirements. With the goal of increasing public protection and encouraging attorney competence, California Rule of Court 9.35, was the authoritative regulation for the creation of the State Bar Legal Specialization program. The program, the first of its kind in the United States, was intended to provide a way for attorneys to earn the designation as a certified specialist in particular areas of law. The...

Continue reading

What Cases Use Expert Witnesses? Part Two

What Cases Use Expert Witnesses? Part Two

The types of experts that may be retained are as varied as the subjects that lawyers may litigate. Expert witnesses. The primary purpose of an expert witness is to provide knowledge and insight into a technical area that may not be readily known or understood by the average fact finder. The more complex that a legal matter is, the more likely one or more expert witnesses will be required to testify. Expert testimony often addresses those facts which determine liability. As a result, expert witnesses may make or break a case. Lawyers must find an expert with more than an impressive resume...

Continue reading

What Cases Use Expert Witnesses? Part One

What Cases Use Expert Witnesses? Part One

Normally, courts prohibit witnesses from testifying based on their own opinions or analysis. Federal Rule of Evidence 602. Courts relax these rules for expert witnesses testifying about matters within their field of expertise. Expert witness rules vary by jurisdiction. In federal courts, expert witness testimony is governed by Article VII of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Expert witnesses may testify about their conclusions in a case provided that their analysis is scientifically sound. In reaching a conclusion, an expert witness may proffer an opinion on the same types of evidence that those in their profession normally rely on in their field and work, even if such evidence is...

Continue reading

Laws Every American Citizen Should Know

Our rights as Americans, if not humans, are legitimate, collective, or moral codes of freedom or privilege. The Bill of Rights further defines these rights and prohibits Congress from enacting laws that restrict these rights. In furtherance of the protection of these rights, individuals who are American citizens must know and be aware of the following specific hallmark laws, rules, and regulations. Freedom of Information Act The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives every American the right to see and use records from any government establishment to promote transparency and accountability. Any individual may request information under FOIA. Federal agencies must disclose any information requested...

Continue reading