Training

Stay In Touch With Your Mentors!

Stay In Touch With Your Mentors!

The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) places great emphasis on the role, contribution, and importance of mentors. The CDTA encourages all members of its student body to seek and find someone to mentor them as they pursue the knowledge and experience to become effective attorney-advocates. Beyond law school, it is important to maintain contact with your mentors and continue to build this valuable relationship. It may be challenging to stay in touch with those professional mentors who have substantially made a difference during a law student’s time at law school. After all, anyone who has the qualifications and attributes to mentor...

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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 – 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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