legal writing

Writing Interrogatories To Prove A PI Plaintiff’s Case

Writing Interrogatories To Prove A PI Plaintiff's Case

Many, if not most, tort cases arise out of motor vehicle accidents and are based on allegations of an individual negligently operating a motor vehicle. While mundane in the legal world, personal injury plaintiffs must prove each of the elements of negligence. Using interrogatories as a discovery tool can help attorneys develop the facts and identify the evidence necessary to prove each element. First, any plaintiff’s attorney must design interrogatories to ascertain the basic facts about the accident. Any responses by a party to interrogatories relating to any person, event, or condition that is alleged by the defendant to have contributed to the...

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Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Attorneys file a vast number of motions over their careers. Motion practice is the most common courtroom experience in a legal services practice. The submission of a motion pre- or post-trial enables a party to approach a court directly and request it to perform some specific action, such as a ruling on a legal issue. Motions may be filed at any stage of a criminal, civil, or even an administrative proceeding, and they may request almost anything. At its most basic, a motion is a request for an order. Whether an extensive, detailed, voluminous motion for summary judgment or a paragraph-long...

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Writing An Engagement Agreement: Contingent Fees

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Attorneys must meet all statutory requirements and rules of ethics when drafting attorney-client fee agreements. if an attorney fails to comply with any provision of the California statutes applicable to such agreements, the fee agreement becomes voidable at the client’s option and the attorney is only entitled to a reasonable fee. A fee agreement, including all attachments, is confidential and legally privileged. Typically, attorneys provide those legal services reasonably required to represent clients. They should take reasonable steps to keep clients informed of the progress of their matters, and to reasonably respond to their inquiries. If any court action is filed,...

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Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Attorney-client engagement agreements, the contract describing and governing the relationship whereby an attorney provides legal services to a client, should always be in writing. Attorneys in California are encouraged to draft their own agreements or modify existing samples provided their iterations do not conflict with California Business and Professions Code §§ 6146 et seq. or the Rules of Professional Conduct. Per the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, MR 1.5(b). fee arrangements should be communicated in writing unless the attorney regularly represents the particular client. The exception is court-appointed cases, where court rules and statutes will define the scope of the attorney’s...

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How To Write A Contract – The Essentials

How To Write A Contract – The Essentials

A 1L’s first contracts class is often an intimidating experience, if not just because the 1L saw “The Paper Chase” a few weeks or months before starting law school. Once we get over the initial realization that our Contracts professor is not as heavy-handed as Professor Kingsfield but just as competent, we wrestle with what a contract is and what a contract is not. At some point, we wonder how these documents, often voluminous with endless provisions of legalese, even get drafted in the first place by mere humans. To be candid, many lawyers never write a contract technically from scratch...

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Tips To Improve Legal Writing

Tips To Improve Legal Writing

The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) accepted its first class of students in 2012, focusing on a more logical, practical approach to legal education in the 21st Century. This focus emphasizes the same extensive educational platform as traditional law schools while considering the traditional deficiencies of today’s law school graduates. At CDTA, not only do we educate students, but we also train and develop them to be exceptional trial advocates. Attorney-advocates must not only have the oral skills to represent clients in the courtroom, but they must possess the necessary writing skills as well. Lawyers are often judged professionally on interpersonal...

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Communicating Powerfully in the Legal Arena: Always Write to Your Reader

communicating

Even the most seasoned lawyers and judges enjoy reading clearly written material. While legalese may seem to be the accepted norm, if you want to get your point across to others fully, it’s quite simple: you must be a bold and inspiring communicator with organized and intelligent thoughts. And just as in negotiating or arguing in court, you must know who your reader is. In writing to your reader you can connect in a powerful manner that may be surprisingly effective time and time again. Although legal issues can be rather dry at times, and you may not have a lot...

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Legal Writing: Learn to Be More Compelling to Your Readers

legal writing

You may be surprised to find that there is quite a bit of extremely bad writing stored away in law libraries. Not all attorneys are great writers and you will find that many attorneys submit poorly written motions and briefs to the Court. You will also find that these attorneys develop a less than stellar reputation with Judges and other counsel because of this. At CDTA, you will learn strong writing skills that will prevent you from ever submitting documents that rely on outdated legalese, with many unnecessary words thrown into the mix for good measure. You may also be surprised...

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