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California Desert Trial Academy College Of Law

Important California Laws To Know – Stalking

Important California Laws To Know – Stalking

In the latter half of the 20th Century, most, if not all, states, including California, criminalized conduct where an individual engages in a continuous, incessant pattern of conduct such as following, badgering, and annoying another person or sending them unsought and unwanted messages. More commonly referred to as “stalking,” this conduct has become much more common in California. Penal Code § 646.9 Stalking Stalking may be charged as a criminal offense when someone willfully, maliciously, or repeatedly follows another person, or when someone willfully and maliciously harasses another person and makes a credible threat placing that person in reasonable fear of his...

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Important California Laws To Know – Domestic Battery And Corporal Injury To A Spouse

Important California Laws To Know – Domestic Battery And Corporal Injury To A Spouse

The following are some important laws related to abuse, neglect, and violence against intimate partners, cohabitants, and family members. The California Legislature has declared that these specified crimes merit special consideration when imposing a sentence to show society’s condemnation for these crimes of violence upon victims with whom a close relationship has been formed. Penal Code § 243(e)(1) Domestic battery In Penal Code § 242, California defines a battery as “. . . any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” Section 243 makes a battery against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is...

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Important California Laws To Know – Abuse and Domestic Violence

Important California Laws To Know – Abuse and Domestic Violence

This week will feature a look at important California laws related and applicable to acts, conduct, and events that present an ever-growing problem for society. Some laws are especially relevant in 2020 when digital technology and social media have become entrenched in everyday life. In preparing for a career as a lawyer, law students may consider a career in family law. Family law involves issues related to children such as child support, child custody, and visitation. These issues are usually related to divorce and separation. Another aspect of dealing with families and people in intimate relationships is the body of law...

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The CDTA: Still In Business And Going Strong!

The CDTA: Still In Business And Going Strong!

As the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law’s (CDTA) founder and dean, John Patrick Dolan discussed the state of the practice of law with legendary trial attorneys, F. Lee Bailey and Gerry Spence, the three discovered that young lawyers and current law school graduates were lacking the advocacy skills necessary for effectively asserting the rights of clients. Because of these conversations, John Patrick Dolan and Irene Garcia Dolan were inspired to start the California Desert Trial Academy with an emphasis on teaching students the practice of law, rather than just the knowledge of the law. The result is students who develop into...

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Five Things To Avoid During A Hearing

Five Things To Avoid During A Hearing

Whether it is the first time or the hundredth time, it is an exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience to walk into a court hearing. On one hand, an attorney’s attention is directed at asserting and protecting the rights of his or her client. On the other, he or she must act within the decorum required by the court and avoid any mistakes that may be detrimental to a case’s outcome. No lawyer is invulnerable to mistakes but some mistakes are more detrimental than others. The following lists five things that any attorney should avoid when handling a hearing, whether live and in-person...

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The Top Five Qualities That Produce The Best Job Performance

The Top Five Qualities That Produce The Best Job Performance

What do those office managers and upper-level executives – and senior law partners  - want in an employee – and associate? Of course, this may differ by industry and job, yet many desirable qualities are universal in any type of worker for any type of job. It is important to note that these qualities are not necessarily the same qualities that provide success in an academic setting. Many academics and scholars believe that a person’s grade point average (GPA) is not a strong predictor of job performance because it is not a true indicator of intelligence. Business organizations, including law firms,...

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Principles Of Professional Conduct – Dividing Fees With Other Lawyers

Principles Of Professional Conduct – Dividing Fees With Other Lawyers

Complicated issues may arise when attorneys from different firms must divide or split fees from clients. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5.1 applies to fee divisions among lawyers in California. However, a successor attorney and prior attorney are not bound by the fee-division rules outlined in Rule 1.5.1 as this rule solely addresses situations where two lawyers from different firms handle a case concurrently. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct define a division of a fee as “a single billing to a client covering the fee of two or more lawyers who are not in the same firm.” California Rule of Professional Conduct...

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Legal Malpractice Traps, Part Two

Legal Malpractice Traps, Part Two

The following are some common malpractice traps that most attorneys may avoid if they exercise due care and consideration. Ignorance of insurance coverage While attorneys are charged with a duty to advise their clients on the insurance coverage potentially available in a matter, many fail to request and review their client’s insurance policies to conduct a complete coverage analysis. Most attorneys ignore coverage issues assuming that if the insurance carrier accepts the duty to defend, the carrier will retain other counsel to defend the client. If an attorney fails to review an insurance policy and the client expends substantial sums of attorney’s...

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Legal Malpractice Traps, Part One

Legal Malpractice Traps, Part One

We all make mistakes. Even attorneys. Even the best attorneys. Fortunately, most mistakes do not rise to the level of legal malpractice. But there are other problematic attorney practices and habits that often lead to malpractice grievances and claims. The following are some common malpractice traps that most attorneys may avoid if they take the simple, requisite consideration. Poor communication with clients This is the biggest complaint that disgruntled clients typically state when deposed as a plaintiff in a legal malpractice claim. Attorneys must frequently communicate with and provide regular updates to clients personally and not through staff or junior associates. Attorneys...

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Principles Of Professional Conduct – Relationships with Clients

Principles Of Professional Conduct – Relationships with Clients

While lawmakers and courts have ruled that sex with a client during the course of a professional relationship is unethical, many lawyers have continued the practice resulting in state bars frequently taking disciplinary measures against lawyers who engage in sexual relations with clients. Many attorneys believe that what happens between two consenting adults is no business of the State Bar or anyone else. Prior to the 2018 changes to the California Rules of Professional Conduct, lawyers in California were banned from engaging in a sexual relationship with a client only if it was an exchange for representation or if it involved...

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