Law Practice

Surviving Discovery Disputes

Surviving Discovery Disputes

Regardless of the area of law, at some point, every lawyer must endure the challenges caused by a dispute with an opposing lawyer over some aspect of discovery. Unfortunately, for the expedient resolution of litigation, these discovery disputes occur far too often for  most lawyers even though most would do the same if they were in the same situation as opposing counsel. Discovery disputes inherently are like a tug-of-war, ever dynamic, as lawyers push and test each other’s boundaries and patience. It is also not uncommon for clients requesting that an attorney pursue a particular inquiry and avenue of discovery with...

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The Components Of Lawyer Competence – Part Two

The Components Of Lawyer Competence – Part One

The licensing structures of most, if not all, state bars do not necessarily assess all the various and minimum aspects of lawyer competence. Research suggests that essay and multiple-choice exams with stressful time constraints are neither satisfactory nor effective formats for measuring competence as these tests truly simulate nothing close to the practice of law The components of lawyer competence include both hard and soft skills. The former include the substantive knowledge of the law while the latter represent analytical and interpersonal skills necessary in all walks of life. The following addresses components of minimum competence that are “softer” than “harder”...

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The Components Of Lawyer Competence – Part One

The Components Of Lawyer Competence – Part Two

Lawyers, especially attorney-advocates, must possess minimum competence to serve clients and the interests of the public-at-large. The following are six components of minimum competence that relate to the more technical side of the practice of law. The ability to communicate orally and in writing Attorneys must possess both the verbal and written skills to communicate with lawyers and clients equally. An attorney who cannot clearly and concisely communicate his or her legal position on behalf of a client, especially when it is viably strong, is like a fisherman with a full boat of fish but no paddle to get back to shore....

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Important California Laws To Know – Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol

Important California Laws To Know – Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol

In the United States, one person dies in a drunk driving accident every 50 minutes, which results in a toll of thirty every day. In 2018, 10, 511 people died in drunk-driving accidents. While these accidents have declined in the last thirty years, they still represent a significant loss of life that could be avoided with a little self-discipline and common sense. Drivers in California who drive under the influence of alcohol may be charged under California Vehicle Code § 23152(a) VC (driving while under the influence of alcohol), and California Vehicle Code § 23152(b) VC (driving with a blood alcohol content...

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Important California Laws To Know – Assault

Important California Laws To Know – Assault

California Penal Code § 240 PC defines the crime of assault or “simple assault” to which it is sometimes referred, in contrast to the crime of “aggravated assault.” Section 240 makes it a misdemeanor to commit or attempt to commit a violent injury on another person in California. Assault is a distinctive act because anyone may be charged with it even if they have not actually hurt anyone by their actions. While many laypersons often use the terms “assault” and “battery” interchangeably, they are actually two distinct crimes. The crime of battery involves the actual use of unlawful force or violence against another person while an assault...

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Important California Laws To Know – Divorce

Important California Laws To Know – Divorce

Many attorneys enter family law intending to make a difference in the lives of those who experience marital difficulties. Sadly, domestic relations law involves issues related to the end of a marriage - divorce, and separation. Issues related to children such as child support, child custody, and visitation naturally arise, which become issues of great priority and importance. Any young aspiring domestic relations lawyer must first become familiar with the law of divorce in California or the jurisdiction where they will ultimately practice. Law school graduates and young attorneys often believe that they may use their legal and personal skills to...

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California Creates Provisional Licensing Program For Newest Graduates

California Creates Provisional Licensing Program For Newest Graduates

At the end of October, as just about every law student in the state of California knows, the California Supreme Court approved a provisional licensing program for 2020 law school graduates. The Supreme Court ordered the creation of a provisional program last July, citing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and discussing a delayed, online bar exam on graduates. “The court recognizes that postponement of the bar examination may impact employment prospects, delay incomes, and otherwise impair the livelihoods of persons who recently have graduated from law school,” the court wrote. Meanwhile, states across the country are pushing forward with plans to...

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Four Tips To Help Lawyers Avoid Email Scams

Four Tips To Help Lawyers Avoid Email Scams

Millions of emails are sent from all parts of the world each day. These emails often promise riches from a Nigerian prince. Of course, these emails are scams with some being more clever and enticing than others. Even attorneys are not exempt from the many email scams that inundate the internet. A common scam involves the following: *An attorney being contacted by a prospective, but unknown, client seeking representation in a dispute with another party. *The prospective client signs the engagement agreement, emails the dispute’s underlying documents, and then confirms them by telephone. *Almost immediately, the matter settles, and the opposing party is quick...

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Important California Laws To Know – Cyber-Harassment

Important California Laws To Know – Cyber-Harassment

Our series of blogs on important California laws to know continues with a look at some criminal offenses rife with the advent of the digital age. These laws are related to the wrongful use of electronic communication devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. Penal Code § 647(j)(4) Cyber harassment  or “revenge porn” As the internet provided more ways for people to interact at many various levels, the California legislature enacted this code section in 2013 to address a growing problem: the intentional distribution of images that most people would consider intimate. Anyone found guilty of a criminal offense under California Penal...

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Important California Laws To Know – Elder Abuse And Neglect

Important California Laws To Know – Elder Abuse And Neglect

The California legislature recognizes that elders and dependent adults are more subject to abuse, neglect, or abandonment than other adults and that the state has a responsibility to protect these persons. Welfare and Institutions Code § 15600 et seq - The Elder Abuse Act Abuse of an elder or dependent adult means physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental suffering. It may also consist of the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering. And finally, it may include financial abuse...

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