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Subject Index
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Appellate Practice
Art Law
Business Organization
Civil Practice
Civil Procedure
Class Actions
Communication Skills
Constitutional Law
Consumer Law
Court Rules and Procedures
Criminal Law
Criminal Practice
Detection or Prevention of Substance Abuse
Education Law
Elimination of Bias
Environmental Regulation
Estate Planning
Expert Testimony
Family Law
Insurance Law
Intellectual Property
International Law
Internet Law
Judicial Misconduct
Jury Practice
Law Practice Management
Legal Ethics
Legal Malpractice
Practice and Pleading
Practice and Procedure
Privacy Law
Real Estate
Reduction of Bias
Substance Abuse/Ethics
Unfair Competition
Workers Compensation
Videos for Participatory Credit

Alternative Dispute Resolution  Top ↑

Ready, Aim, Mediate
Tips on how to have a successful mediation.

Compelling Arbitration: Who knows the rules to apply?
Trial courts continue to receive very inconsistent direction from the U.S. Supreme Court, the California appellate courts, and the National Labor Relations Board, regarding the proper interpretation and application of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U

Class Actions after AT&T Mobility
The rules for arbitrating class actions have changed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.

Confidentiality in Mediation
To encourage full and frank settlement discussions, the Legislature has decreed that just about everything said in mediation is confidential—and courts are serious about enforcing that mandate.

The Components of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) generally means resolution of a dispute by means other than a court or jury trial on the merits. ADR provides litigants with a means of resolving cases without the expense or delay of trial. It can cause less da

Contractual Arbitration
By deciding to allow their disputes to be settled through an arbitrator, parties have elected to avoid often lengthy and expensive litigation in the courts. Nonetheless, courts are often called on to enforce and review contractual arbitration provis

Judicial Review in Arbitration
How to draft an arbitration contract that provides for judicial review

Mediation’s Confidentiality Controversy
California's broad assurances of confidentiality, while heralded as necessary for the integrity of mediation, also have some side effects that may undermine the process.

Tips for Enforcing Mediated Settlements
Between the lines, a couple of recent California opinions delivered some advice for securing enforceable mediated settlement agreements. A review of the practical repercussions for mediators, lawyers, and clients.

The Truth About False Claims
After more than a decade of disuse, the California False Claims Act is much in the news—and in the courts.

Client Prep for Custody Mediation
Being the best possible parent: How to prepare your client for custody mediation and evaluations.

Appellate Practice  Top ↑

Cert Granted!
Getting the U.S. Supreme Cout to hear your case is not easy, but there are ways to increase your chances.

Suggestive Palma Notices
A recent California Supreme Court case sheds light on what could happen next when you file a writ petition.

Stays on Appeal
How do you protect a client's assets while an unfavorable judgement is on appeal? In many instances, you must post a bond to obtain a stay of execution.

Securing High-Court Review
How do you get your case to the California Supreme Court? Hint: GPS won't help.

Art Law  Top ↑

A Look at Art Experts' Liabilities
A thriving international art market has led to an equally robust industry of art authenticators and appraisers.

Art Buyer (and Seller) Beware
Modern regulation of the art market exalts artists’ rights over the property rights of art owners.

Bankruptcy  Top ↑

Bankruptcy Proceedings in State Courts
Although bankruptcy is based on federal laws, it can have a profound impact on state proceedings. It is important for all bench officers and lawyers handling civil cases to know the basic rules of bankruptcy.

Involuntary Bankruptcy
A new law guards against the most egregious wrongs in involuntary bankruptcy.

Business Organization  Top ↑

Alter Ego: Piercing the Corporate Veil
When is a corporation not a corporation? When it's really the alter ego of the person or entity who runs it.

Handling Claims Under the CLRA
How to avoid fatal defects when filing or defending under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

Keeping Exempt Organizations Exempt
There are about 105,000 charities registered in California. And many more operating under the official trackers’ radar screens. If you have had a hand in forming one of them, you may not have finished the job properly.

Civil Practice  Top ↑

Prevailing party attorney fees: battle or war?
The objective of this article and self-study test is to familiarize readers with the meaning of "action on the contract" for purposes of Civil Code Section 1717.

Trial courts are often asked by parties in civil cases to award attorney fees. With thousands of dollars usually at stake, it is necessary for both bench officers and practitioners to be familiar with the basic concepts of law in this field.

California's Forum Factor in Cyberspace
The evolution of the Internet and related technology connects people and business in such a way that states and countries are now virtually borderless, commercially.

Civil Discovery
Media and public representations of the judicial system are heavily weighted to trials, with their “Perry Mason moments” and emotional closing arguments.

Protecting the Right of Publicity
The right of publicity, which protects individuals from commercial misuse of their identities, is increasingly being pitted against the public politices behind the Copyright Act and the First Amendment—and losing out.

Civil Procedure  Top ↑

Injunctions primer
The objective of this article and self-study test is to review basic principles regarding injunctions.

Proof Of Lost Profits
Although lost profits are recoverable in an action for a tort or breach of contract, extra care must be taken to ensure that a jury is not misled or confused. Both bench officers and attorneys handling these types of cases must be cognizant of the ba

Introduction to Receiverships
A receiver is a court officer who is appointed to take possession of and to protect assets for the appointing court for the benefit of all persons who may ultimately be shown to have an interest in those assets. The receiver acts under the court’s co

Fundamentals of Prejudgement Interest
Parties regularly demand prejudgment interest in their complaints, but too often the rules regarding the propriety and calculation of prejudgment interest are not fully understood, leading to faulty awards.

Handling Vexatious Litigants
If somebody just won't quit suing your client, you should consider having that plaintiff declared a vexatious litigant

Choosing the Right Forum
Filing suit in the wrong forum has consequences, one of which can be the obligation to pay an opponent's legal fees long before the case is even decided.

“SLAPP” is an acronym for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” Equilon Enters., LLC v. Consumer Cause, Inc., 29 Cal.4th 53 (2002). The Legislature enacted the anti-SLAPP statute in 1992 in response to the “disturbing increase in lawsuits

Motions to Disqualify Corporate Counsel
How to fend off a motion to disqualify corporate cousel.

Shining A Light On the Police
Following a shooting or other significant use of force by law enforcement (“Incident”), there will be at least one if not multiple investigations conducted by the law enforcement agency. These investigations may be criminal in nature and be directed

Privileges Primer
In both criminal and civil proceedings, witnesses and litigants often invoke privileges to refuse to testify or to turn over discovery. Having a working knowledge of the different types and scope of privileges is extremely valuable.

Drafting Enforceable Settlement Agreements
Settling a case is one thing. Enforcing the parties' agreement is another, especially if it was reached during mediation.

Relief Effort
Many times civil cases are dismissed and judgments are rendered without courts ever reaching the merits when default is ordered. Bench officers and practitioners in this field must know the rules which authorize relief from default.

Writ Watch
Writ petitions are disfavored by appellate courts, and usually result in a summary denial.

Class Actions  Top ↑

Talking to the Class
When counsel communicate with putative class members before certification, legal skirmishes are likely to result.

Overview of cy pres in class actions
The objective of this article and self-study test is to familiarize readers with the cy pres doctrine. Readers will learn about the origin and purpose of this doctrine, the California statute, state and federal law, and how the doctrine has been appl

Cy Pres: The Next Best Thing—or Not
Cy pres, an ancient trust doctrine, has been adapted to meet present-day needs in class action litigation. But its use is very controversial.

Communication Skills  Top ↑

Communicating with Clients
A few techniques can help you foster the communication necessary to get the best results--in client consultations, court, and settlement negotiations.

Constitutional Law  Top ↑

The basics of search and seizure
The objective of this article and self-study test is to discuss exceptions to the general warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment, provide an overview of remedies for Fourth Amendment violations, and identify exceptions to the exclusionary sancti

Search and seizure basics
The objective of this article and self-study test is to review the principles and recent case authority concerning the Fourth Amendment's exclusionary rule.

Free Speech at the Shopping Mall
As free speech has spread from California's town squares into shopping malls, the concept of a public forum has evolved to meet the times.

Consumer Law  Top ↑

Mental Competence to Stand Trial in Felony Cases
Persons charged with crimes cannot be tried if they are incompetent. Both judges and attorneys handling criminal cases must know the process used to determine whether a person is competent.

Contracts  Top ↑

Parol Evidence after Riverisland
A recent California decision upends a long-standing precedent on the use of parol evidence in integrated contract cases.

Liquidated Damages Clauses
Clauses mandating liquidated damages are useful, but special rules govern their validity.

Drafting Around Good Faith
Every California contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. So when the parties want to vest unfettered discretion in a decision maker, specific language is required.

Indemnity Primer
Sooner or later every lawyer encounters the legal concept of indemnity, but the applicable rules may be mired in outdated terminology.

Juries and Contract Interpretation
If a jury is permitted to interpret a commercial contract, the resulting verdict could be substantial—and difficult to overturn on appeal.

Admitting Extrinsic Evidence in California
Though the California Supreme Court has skated around the issue, it has never abandoned the extrinsic evidence rule in contruing contracts. Here is a look at what that means for litigants.

Divining the Meaning of "Best Efforts"
Interpreting the meaning of a “best efforts” clause in a contract can be as confusing as trying to make sense of that whole Brad-Jen-Angelina thing. But here’s how some courts have tried.

Court Rules and Procedures  Top ↑

Small claims court: an underused tool
The object of this article and self-study test is to provide an introduction to small claims court.

Stipulating to a commissioner
The objective of this article and self-study test is to review issues surrounding the validity of stipulations to commissioners.

The scope of commissioners' powers
The objective of this article and self-study test is to review the scope of commissioners' powers. Readers will learn about the three main situations where commissioners may not preside absent a stipulation: contested matters, imposing imprisonment,

A commissioner's source of power
The objective of this article and self-study test is to review the source of commissioners' powers.

Interpreters in California courts
The objective of this article and self-study test is to familiarize readers with the basic rules and cases that govern the use of spoken language interpreters in California courts.

The basic principles of receivers
The objective of this article and self-study test is to review basic principles regarding receivers. Readers will learn about the nature and types of receivers, the legal authority and procedures for appointment, the powers, obligations and administr

To Object or Not To Object: What Is the Consequence?
One of the cardinal tenets of trial procedure is the contemporaneous objection rule, which obligates lawyers (or pro se litigants) to speak up—either by objecting or making an offer of proof—at the time an issue is being decided.

Child Witnesses in Court
Special issues arise whenever children under 18 years of age are called upon to testify in California courts. Judges and litigants should be familiar with the balance that must be struck between protecting the child and ensuring that the substance of

Public Access to Judicial Records
The public has a constitutional right to access judicial adjudicative records. Nontheless, access is not unlimited, and the question of where the line is drawn is often complicated.

Safety First
A secure courtroom is the bedrock on which the rights of all participants in the justice system are based. Without courtroom security, rights like the ability to present evidence and to have a public trial with an impartial jury are severely undermin

Wielding Contempt Carefully
Judges have inherent power to hold attorneys in contempt of court. Most judges never use the contempt power. Therefore, when contempt issues do arise the law is often poorly understood.

Demystifying the High Court
For many lawyers and judges, the California Supreme Court resembles a big black box.

Protection from Predators
Jessica’s Law is the most significant piece of criminal justice legislation since the three-strikes law was enacted 12 years ago.

Rules on Referees
New rules govern the appointment and powers of referees in California courts.

Criminal Law  Top ↑

Search and seizure: warrant exceptions`
A review of the rules and applicable case authority for various exceptions to the general warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.

Victim Restitution
California’s victim-restitution law is a powerful tool for people who have been injured by criminal conduct.

Plea Bargaining Demystified
Plea bargaining, a vitally important part of the administration of justice, is a complex process with many nuances.

Taking the Fifth
Strategic considerations complicate a client’s decision whether to invoke the Fifth Amendment.

Crimes and immigration consequences
The objective of this article is to familiarize readers regarding the immigration consequences of state criminal proceedings in California and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Special procedural issues in sexual assault cases
The objective of this article is to acquaint readers with common procedural issues in sexual assault cases, including statute of limitation problems, bail, speedy trial, and confidentiality.

Petitions for factual innocence
The objective of this article is to review the rules that allow defendants to have arrest records sealed and destroyed under Pen C Section 851.8.

Amendments to the Three Strikes law
The objective of this article and accompanying self-study test is to familiarize readers with the most important aspects of the 2012 amendment to the Three Strikes law.

Criminal Motion Practice
Properly making and responding to criminal motions can often make the difference in the outcome of a case.

The power to dismiss under Penal Code Section 1385 is one of the most potent tools at a judge’s disposal. But given how broad the power is, care must be taken that it is used only in appropriate situations.

Tattoos as Evidence
Tattoos can be pictures worth a thousand words, if they are admitted into evidence.

Miranda Warnings: A Jurisprudence of Limits, Boundaries, and Now a Need for Individual Assertion
Miranda warnings are part of the legal landscape in much the same way that the Golden Rule is a part of any discussion on morality. They both just seem right: treat others as you would like to be treated; you have the right to remain silent, etc. Bu

A judge is the last barrier between law enforcement and an individual’s privacy. When a judge signs a search warrant, the police are then allowed to enter and inspect a person’s home and effects. The judge’s responsibility and authority must be exerc

The Rights of Victims
In California, crime victims have the right to be heard—and they also are entitled to recover restitution from the perpetrator.

Law and Procedure: Driving Under the Influence Offenses
The complexity of the law of driving under the influence (DUI) in California is sometimes daunting. Nonetheless, both bench officers and practitioners in this important area must be conversant with the basic principles of DUI practice and procedure.

Fundamentals of Plea Bargaining
Plea bargaining can result in a plea to a particular charge or to a sentence with certain limitations in exchange for a defendant’s waiver to a trial on the pending charges. Because the vast majority of cases are resolved through pleas, it is often s

Speedy Trials and Preliminary Hearings
Both the defendant and prosecution in a criminal case have the right to a speedy trial and preliminary hearing. Multiple statutes and constitutional provisions confer these rights upon litigants, but the common denominator is the principle that justi

Getting a Good Grasp on Gang Cases
Trials involving criminal street gangs can give rise to a host of difficult issues for both judges and practitioners.

Introduction to Homicide Crimes
It is sometimes said that a murder case is the same as any other trial except it has a dead body. However, murder and other homicide offenses cases involve unique elements that both practitioners and judges must understand when handling these charges

When Can Juveniles Be Tried as Adults?
When can a juvenile under the age of 18 be tried as an adult? The answer became more complicated when the voters approved Proposition 21 in 2000, allowing prosecutors to directly file charges against some juveniles in Ssuperior Ccourt without judicia

The Ins and Outs of Pitchess Motions
In 1978 the procedure for obtaining law enforcement personnel records set forth in Pitchess v. Superior Court was codified in Evid. Code §§ 1043–1045. In so doing, the Legislature “not only reaffirmed but expanded” the discovery scheme enacted by the

Medi-Fraud Crimes and Consequences
Prosecution of medical professionals often involves offenses not generally at issue in criminal cases. The consequences of criminal convictions on medical professionals likewise involve statutes and regulations specific to this area of law.

Mastering the New Conduct Credits Law
Penal Code §4019(a)(1) and (a)(4) provide for conduct credits earned for “good time” and “work time” during a period of presentence confinement for defendants sentenced to county jail or to state prison.

Nuts and Bolts of Determinate Sentencing
entencing under California’s Determinate Sentencing Law (DSL) is governed by a multiplicity of rules. It is intricate and often complicated.

Factors to Rely on for Determinate Sentencing
Under the Determinate Sentencing Law (Pen. Code, §1170 et seq., “DSL”), judges must determine whether to impose the high, low, or middle prison terms for felony offenses. It is important for all bench officers and attorneys handling felony cases to

Cronfronting "Crawford"
The Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the be confronted with the witnesses against him."

Handle Pro Pers Just Like a Pro
Defendants in criminal cases have the constitutional right to represent themselves.

Under the Gun
The United States Supreme Court in Heller held that the Second Amendment of the federal Constitution invalidated a District of Columbia law controlling the possession of firearms. In so doing, Heller found that the Second Amendment protects “the indi

Petitioning for Factual Innocence
When an acquitted client wants to clear the record, here's how to win a petition for factual innocence.

Launching Discovery
Reciprocal discovery in criminal cases has been the law in California for over 17 years since its adoption as part of Proposition 115 on June 6, 1990.

Confining Sexual Predators
California has a law that permits people who have committed certain sex crimes to remain in custody long after serving their prison terms.

Justifying Sentencing
When the United States Supreme Court in Cunningham v. California (2007) 127 S.Ct. 856 invalidated California's Determinate Sentencing Law, it left many questions unanswered.

Shifting Evidence
To ensure fairness, courts often grant parties' motions to keep the jury from hearing some matters.

Cleaning the Slate
To err is human; to forgive, divine.

Money Laundering
Laws prohibiting money laundering are not just for the likes of Al Capone anymore. Now we’re using them to rein in the acts of everyone from fund-raising rabbis to Osama bin Laden.

Criminal Practice  Top ↑

The rules of restitution valuation
This article and self-study test review the rules for calculating restitution found in statutes and caselaw specific to different types of losses caused by crimes.

Bail and O.R. release
One of the most important issues in a criminal case is whether a defendant should be freed on bail or on his or her own recognizance (O.R.), or forced to await the outcome of court proceedings in custody.

Unlocking Habeas
“The Supreme Court, courts of appeal, superior courts, and their judges have original jurisdiction in habeas corpus proceedings.” Cal. Const., art. VI, § 10. The writ is also codified in Penal Code section 1473(a).

Risk Business
Effective July 1, 2008, a State-Authorized Risk Assessment Tool for Sex Offenders (SARATSO) must be prepared for all persons convicted of sex crimes listed in Penal Code section 290. Pen. Code, §§ 290.04(a)(1), 290.06. This requirement, enacted by

Ganging Up On Criminals
Gang injunctions are a valuable tool used by law enforcement in combating criminal street gangs. This area of law touches upon both civil and criminal matters.

A Grand Undertaking
Whether seeking to indict a person, representating a person who has been indicted or presiding as a judge over the impanelment of a grand jury or over challenges to the process that led to an indictment, having a working knowledge of criminal grand j

Trying Times
An important stage in a felony criminal proceeding that is often overlooked is the preliminary hearing.

Prosecutorial Discretion
The role of a prosecutor is to represent the people of the state.

The ABCs of Three Strikes
The rules of three strikes sentencing.

Damages  Top ↑

Punitive Damages
No longer may plaintiffs attempt to loot the bounties of corporate defendants to make them examples. The U.S. Supreme Court has just hailed in a new era in which relevance and ratios prevail in punitive damages—even in California.

Detection or Prevention of Substance Abuse  Top ↑

The Power of Prop. 36
Proposition 36, the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000, requires that eligible persons convicted of nonviolent drug possession offenses be sentenced to probation and narcotics treatment instead of incarceration.
(Special Credit -- Addressing Substance Abuse/Mental/Physical Health Issues)

Trends in Employee Drug Testing
Although some uncertainties remain, state law controlling drug testing is more predictable than ever. Here's a look at the emerging legalities of workplace-testing policies.
(Special Credit -- Addressing Substance Abuse/Mental/Physical Health Issues)

Curing the Ills of Work-Related Stress
If the practice of law feels stressful to you, that’s because it is—and studies bear that out. A look at the high toll of stress on the job and what you can do about it.
(Special Credit -- Addressing Substance Abuse/Mental/Physical Health Issues)

The Maelstrom Over Medical Marijuana
Though patients extol its virtues, we seem to be no closer to a legal compromise on medical marijuana.
(Special Credit -- Addressing Substance Abuse/Mental/Physical Health Issues)

California's Drug Initiative
A new California statute mandates that defendants convicted of nonviolent drug possession offenses be sentenced to probation and treatment instead of incarceration. But the juries are still out on how and when to apply it.
(Special Credit -- Addressing Substance Abuse/Mental/Physical Health Issues)

Drug Test Results
Issues surrounding drug use and abuse arise for clients in almost all fields of legal practice: criminal law, family law, insurance law, employment law, personal injury, workers compensation-even lawyer discipline.
(Special Credit -- Addressing Substance Abuse/Mental/Physical Health Issues)

Help for Addicted Attorneys
How and where substance- abusing or emotionally distressed attorneys can get help.
(Special Credit -- Addressing Substance Abuse/Mental/Physical Health Issues)

Disabilities  Top ↑

Accommodating Tenants With Disabilities
Become familiar with the fancy footwork involved in the dance of accomodating tenants with disabilities.

Social Security Disability 101
Learning the basics of Social Security disability law to better serve your clients.

Disabled Tenants
How to accommodate tenants who have disabilities.

Discovery  Top ↑

Privileged Witness Statements
A recent California Supreme Court decision clarifies what kind of witness statements merit work product privilege.

Discovering Surveillance Material
Defense counsel sometimes rely on surveillance videos to discredit a plaintiff’s injury claim. But is such evidence discoverable before trial?

Discrimination  Top ↑

The Battle for Equality
America has not yet become a "post-racial" society, and the battle against illegal racial discrimination continues.

E-Discovery  Top ↑

Sharing the Costs of Electronic Discovery
Discovery requests for electronic data come laden with the question of who must pay to retrieve and reconstruct the information. Courts are starting to provide answers.

Education Law  Top ↑

Redistributing California's Schoolchildren
When Californians were asked to vote in November 1996 on Proposition 209's proposal to eliminate affirmative action, passions ran high.

Elimination of Bias  Top ↑

Diversity in High Places
Making diversity an enduring reality at the nation’s law firms requires determination as well as creativity.
(Special Credit -- Elimination of Bias)

Accomodating Lawyers with Disabilities
A number of steps required by law and dictated by reason can help remove barriers for lawyers with disabilities.
(Special Credit -- Elimination of Bias)

Disqualifying Judges
California litigants are allowed to disqualify judges from presiding over their cases both as a matter of right or peremptorily and on a showing of cause, even though exercising such rights may be disruptive or abused.

Gender Bias in the Law
Though you might hope that gender bias would be less apt to develop in the legal world, it flourishes. Here's a look behind the enduring stereotypes that sustain it.
(Special Credit -- Elimination of Bias)

Diversity in the Legal Profession
A look at the legalities and realities of campaigns for diversity in the legal profession.
(Special Credit -- Elimination of Bias)

Bias in Mediation and Arbitration
There’s an ugly secret behind mediation and arbitration, long lauded as methods of resolving disputes neutrally: Bias grows and flourishes there.
(Special Credit -- Elimination of Bias)

Sexual Orientation Bias
Eliminating sexual orientation bias in the legal profession.
(Special Credit -- Elimination of Bias)

Employment  Top ↑

Non-Compete Clauses after Edwards
California employers generally cannot stop competition from ex-employees, but they can still protect their trade secrets and prohibit raids on their staff.

Whose Pregnancy Is It?
Statutes regarding leave time related to pregnancy or childbirth are complex, but never more so than when a surrogate is part of the mix.

Sexual Harassment and the Law
After four decades, Title VII - which prohbits sexual harassment in the workplace - has blossomed in full via appellate decisions.

Public Employees and Free Speech
When a government employee speaks out on an issue of public importance, does the First Ammendment protect that speech?

Noncompete Clauses
Is your company's non-competition clause enforceable?

Interns: Employees or Not
It seems like a good idea: Your client's son is looking for a summer job

Banning Off-Duty Smoking
In an effort to curb escalating health care costs, some employers have turned to controversial measures in recent years, including workplace policies that ban smoking off duty.

The Law on Workplace Romances
As Cupid rears that bow this month, a look at the emerging law governing love on the job.

Rules for Sexual Harassment Training
A new law mandates that California employers provide sexual harassment training, which may also help shield them from liability. Here’s why—and how.

How Employers Lose Lawsuits
Learn how copping these five common bad attitudes—from ignoring a one-person complaint to confusing the overlapping intricacies of state and federal laws—can land employers in court.

Harassment at Work: The Current Truth
The workplace is a different world since Anita Hill's charges against Clarence Thomas brought the issue of harassment on the job to the forefront of public awareness. Since then, the laws have been written and rewritten--in ways that may surprise you

Environmental Regulation  Top ↑

California's Global-Warming Battle
The largest impact of California's multiprong legal response to global warming may be that it has brought the national debate into even sharper focus.

Estate Planning  Top ↑

Boning Up on Pet Trusts
Is your estate going to the dogs? A new statute recognizes pet trusts.

Evidence  Top ↑

Authenticating Web Evidence
Authenticating Internet evidence requires care and attention to detail.

A primer on hearsay evidence
The objective of this article and accompanying self-study test is for readers to be able to determine the admissibility of statements under the hearsay rule.

'Other acts' in sexual assault cases
The objective of this article and self-study test is to acquaint bench officers and attorneys with other acts evidence in sexual assault cases.

Hearsay exceptions for children in sexual assault cases
The objective of this article and self-study test is to familiarize bench officers and attorneys with hearsay exceptions for children in sexual assault cases, including admission of statements to prove the corpus delicti, statements made for medical

Crawford update: Part Two
The objective of this article and accompanying self-study test is to provide readers with the latest developments concerning Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), and the Sixth Amendment’s right to confrontation as applied to forensic analysis

Crawford update: Part One
The objective of this article and accompanying self-study test is to provide readers with a review of the Crawford opinion and to discuss the latest developments in the field of confrontation of witnesses under Crawford.

Document Summaries In Court
When a case involves millions of documents, litigators often resort to summaries to make their presentation feasible. But is a summary admissible?

Admitting Business Records Into Evidence
In both civil and criminal trials, business records can often make or break a case. Business records, including computer printouts, are hearsay and can be admitted into evidence only if a proper foundation is presented for the business records except

Update on DNA Evidence
In People v. Nelson, 43 Cal.4th 1242 (2208). the Supreme Court has spoken definitively as to the latest conttroversy over DNA evidence.

Rules for Sealing Evidence
They’ve been on the books for a while, but now courts are starting to take the rules for sealing evidence seriously.

Hidden Perils of Audio Recording
It is a form of legal Russian roulette to tape-record conversations or use them as evidence in a civil lawsuit--at least without knowing the potential repercussions.

DNA's Practical Applications
What you don’t know about the revolution in DNA identification can hurt your clients.

Expert Testimony  Top ↑

Damages After Sargon
The recent Sargon case clarifies the trial judge’s gatekeeper role regarding expert testimony.

Judicial gatekeepers: the changing role of judicial officers and expert testimony
Several recent California decisions have reshaped the role of judicial officers in determining the admissibility of expert testimony. Earn MCLE credit learning the new rules.

New Standards for Expert Testimony
Litigators have mostly been left in the dark to divine the standards for admitting expert testimony. Where we are now--and how the state Supreme Court may help in the future.

Family Law  Top ↑

The “Double-Dipping” Debate
In divorce cases, a court may calculate support based on an income stream that one spouse has purchased from the other. But does the practice require the supporting spouse to pay twice?

Family Law: Unique discovery and evidentiary issues
Family law cases involve many discovery and evidentiary issues that are not usually confronted in other matters. It is important for both bench officers and attorneys practicing in this area of law to be fully conversant with these issues.

Introduction to the Best Interest of the Child Standard
The best interest of the child standard applies almost universally in child custody decisions between parents. California case law, with limited assistance from the state’s existing statutory scheme, serves as the foundation for a somewhat vague defi

Introduction to the Dependency Court System
California courts administer a complex process dealing with children under the age of 18 who are abandoned, abused, or neglected. The dependency system, as it is known, is complex, and both litigants and the judicial officers who work within it must

Religious Divide
Time for another look at religious-upbringing provisions in prenuptial agreements.

Insurance  Top ↑

Global Warming: Are You Covered?
As the ocean rises, so does the number of global-warming insurance claims. Here's how to deal with them.

Trade Secret Insurance
Suppose your client hires a rising star away from a competitor in its industry to improve the company's manufacturing process, design a superior product, improve distribution methods, or revamp the marketing approach. Shortly after the whiz kid begin

Insurance Law  Top ↑

Was It an Accident?
In many personal injury cases, insurance coverage turns on whether the case involves an accident or willful misconduct.

A Liability Insurer's Duty to Settle
Misjudgments in insurance settlements have the potential to yield catastrophic results: for the carrier, exposure to bad faith claims; for the policyholder, the possible loss of coverage. A look at the law and some practical solutions.

Intellectual Property  Top ↑

Fair Use in Hollywood
When an author incorporates someone else’s copyrighted work, issues of fair use may come into play.

The Nature of Patents
A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision raises questions about whether you can patent nature.

Defending Patents Abroad
When patent infringement occurs on foreign shores, its' quite a challenge for inventors to enforce their rights.

Political Campaigns and Copyright
Is your client running for office? You may run into trouble if you use copyrighted material for political ads.

Big Change in Patent Law
Recent decisions have changed the standards applying to patent litigation in ways that might erode a patent's value - and slow the pace of innovation.

Do You Own Your Website?
Many people misunderstand the Copyright Revision Act and often ignore it--two mistakes you can't afford to make if you hire consultants to work on your firm's website or to write software.

Copyright Liability After <i>Grokster</i>
A simple look at the increasingly complicated world of digital copyright since Grokster.

Who Wants to Be an IP Attorney?
If you've ever wanted to be in IP attorney, here's your chance to do it--or at least to pretend you're playing one on TV.

Trademark Tangles on the Web
Tussles over the use of trademarks on the Internet are mostly being resolved through an unexpected source—established legal principles, with a few new twists for good (if confusing) measure.

Protecting Products That Go Hollywood
When ET gobbled those Reese's Pieces years ago, he touched off tensions between trademark owners and those who use products in artistic works.

Copyright Myths Debunked
Learn the realities behind that mysterious symbol, Sonny Bono's legacy, and what could happen if you dress Darth Vader like Barbie.

Internet Law  Top ↑

Remedies for Web Defamation
Getting bad-mouthed in print or on TV is one thing, but when defamation occurs in cyberspace, there may be no effective legal remedy.

Where in the World is the Web?
Determining the existence of personal jurisdiction in litigation involving the Internet is often extremely problematic.

Legal Aspects of Data Security
Breaches in data security can be expensive and embarrassing for you and your clients. Here's a look at the emerging laws on the topic--and some practical tips for keeping computers safe from hackers.

Judicial Misconduct  Top ↑

Judges Behaving Badly
A look at some injudicious judicial behavior--and what you can do if it happens in your case.

Jury Practice  Top ↑

Exercising Attorney Voir Dire
The ability of attorneys to question prospective jurors is invaluable to ensuring a fair and impartial jury panel in both civil and criminal cases.

Batson Motions: Protecting the Right to a Fair and Impartial Jury
A Batson motion challenges the unconstitutional exclusion of members of a cognizable group from a jury through the use of peremptory challenges. People v. Wheeler was the California case that first held that these types of challenges were constitutio

Exercising Attorney Voir Dire
The ability of attorneys to question prospective jurors is invaluable to ensuring a fair and impartial jury panel in both civil and criminal cases.

Peremptorily Challenged
Setting the number of peremptory challenges in a criminal trial is fairly straightforward. It requires the application of Code of Civil Procedure Section 231(a) and (b) to the type of charges alleged in the information at the time of trial, in light

The Nuts and Bolts of Jury Selection
A refresher on the most important rules of juror selection, with practice tips and insight into what a judge watches for.

The New Civil Jury Instructions
A task force recently examined the state’s civil jury instructions— proving that when it comes to guiding jurors, less really is more.

Law Practice Management  Top ↑

Getting the Date Right
Calendaring errors are the leading cause of legal malpractice claims. Attorneys can avoid them by using software that helps correctly determine upcoming deadlines.

Mandatory Fee Arbitration
If nonbinding statutory arbitration fails, can you enforce a binding arbitration agreement?

Getting Interim Fees
You might not always be able to follow the adage about getting the fee first. But you may qualify for interim attorney fees under a number of fee-shifting statutes.

Attorneys Fees Applications
A demand to or from opposing counsel to pay legal fees will usually be made under: (1) a contract provision authorizing the award of fees, (2) a state or federal statute authorizing fee awards in the specific action, (3) an equitable theory such as t

Legal Ethics  Top ↑

Knowing When to Quit
Aging attorneys who begin to lose the ability to practice face ethical dilemmas.
(Special Credit -- Addressing Substance Abuse/Mental/Physical Health Issues)

Can We Talk?
Vexing attorney-client privilege issues arise when lawyers seek legal or ethical advice from their own law firm’s general counsel.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

The Dangerous Client
Lawyers who are concerned that a client may be dangerous face several ethical dilemmas about disclosing the threat.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Attorneys as Witnesses
Lawyers are advocates and counselors, but on occasion they may be called upon to testify for a client. When that happens, ethical issues cloud the picture.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

The Teeth Behind Civility
Politeness and civility are keys to persuasion—and for attorneys they’re written into California’s statutes, to boot.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Social Media and Attorney Advertising
Although there are rules governing advertising by attorneys, they don't trump the First Amendment.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

What Are "Friends" For?
Although Facebook and Twitter have become mainstream in the legal community, they still entail troublesome ethical issues.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

The Truth About True Retainers
Labeling a client's retainer payment as "nonrefundable" can be a big mistake. Only true retainers, which are extremely rare, merit that treatment.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Inadvertent Disclosure
Today the risk of inadvertently disclosing privileged material is greater than ever. In an e-discovery world where attorneys must review an ever-increasing mass of information before turning over evidence to the other side, errors are inevitable.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Who Decides Strategy: Lawyer or Client?
Clients today are much more likely to insist on a decision-making role in contested matters. But what does an attorney do when his or her client disagrees about litigation strategy?
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Ethics and Corporate Conflicts
Gaps in case law and ethics rules force lawyers to navigate uncharted waters when representing corporate clients with potentially adverse interests.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

The Ethics of Unbundling
You've heard clients clamoring for unbundled legal services. Here's how to offer them--and do it ethically.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Ethical Billing Practices
Learn the statutory and ethics mandates controlling billing - and practical tips on how to comply with them.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Ten Commandments of Deposition Ethics
Following these rules of ethics in conducting or defending depositions not only makes a lawyer a better advocate, it helps boost credibility and effectiveness in court.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Ethics of Attorneys Fees
You still may want to honor that timeworn adage
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Litigating in the Press
Many clients believe that litigating in the press is indispensable to the vigorous prosecution or defense of a case. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that "in some circumstances, press comment is necessary to protect the rights of the clie
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Conflicts of interest are a litigator’s reality
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

The Ethics of Criminal Defense
Ethical dilemmas in criminal defense.
(Special Credit -- Legal Ethics)

Legal Malpractice  Top ↑

Close the File on Malpractice Claims
California’s statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims is complex, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Is It Really Legal Malpractice?
Determining whether there is a meritorious malpractice case.

Litigation  Top ↑

Demand Letters as Extortion
Can an attorney’s demand letter constitute illegal extortion? Yes, indeed, according to recent California appellate decisions.

Whistleblower suits
The objective of this article and self-study test is to familiarize readers with qui tam actions.

Jurisdiction & the Internet
The doctrine of “minimum contacts” takes on a new dimension when applied to a defendant who does business only over the Internet, never physically setting foot in the forum state.

Warning: Some Cost Shifting May Occur
The so-called “998 offer” can be a powerful tool: If the other side declines to settle but doesn’t win a better result at trial, it may pay the price.

Alter Ego in Federal Court
Alleging alter ego under the federal rules used to be a piece of cake. Recent court decisions, however, apply rigorous standards that make such a pleading an intricate endeavor.

Evaluating Punitive Damages
If a jury slaps you with a huge award of punitive damages, don’t despair. You may find relief in an appellate court.

Are Settlement Talks Confidential?
Lawyers routinely label settlement communications "confidential." But some are indeed discoverable and may be used as evidence in a subsequent case.

Practice and Pleading  Top ↑

Choosing State or Federal Procedure
A comparison of the changing state and federal procedural rules will help you decide whether to make a federal case out of it when you file.

Practice and Procedure  Top ↑

Taking the Fifth with Documents
The interplay between the Fifth Amendment and requirements for document production presents challenging issues.

Get It On the Record!
When the judge calls you in for a chat, take the court reporter with you.

Saving Your Client's License
Civil and criminal settlements can have long-lasting effects on a client's occupational license.

Protecting Indigents
The Los Angeles County public defender protects the life and liberty of indigent adults and children in matters having penal consequences.

Navigating Bail
In 1791, the Eighth Amendment established a defendant's constitutional right to bail.

The Dirt on Unclean Hands
Whether the unclean hands defense will reach a jury is a crapshoot, but it can cripple a case if it does. Here's how and why.

Protecting Privileged Communications
California courts recently helped clarify how waiver principles for privileges operate in business environments and in later-filed lawsuits.

The Nitty Gritty of Gang Injunctions
A gang injunction can help a community take back its streets—but only if used as a scalpel rather than a hammer.

The Rites and Rights of Oral Arguments
The lay of the law and some basic tips for getting to the point, while making an effective oral argument.

Arguing Motions Effectively
Tips to improve your motion practice, the most frequent form of oral advocacy.

Privacy Law  Top ↑

HIPAA Liability
New federal laws vastly expand attorneys' obligations for protecting medical records that they access in the course of their work.

Partnership Agreements
Not having a written partnership agreement for your law firm may be a big mistake.

Real Estate  Top ↑

The ‘Sham Guaranty’ Defense
Guarantors of secured loans have few defenses in the event of a default, but they may be able to escape liability if the guaranty itself is a sham.

Land use law governs how the physical form of communities change, develop, and adapt to meet the present and future needs of their residents.

An Introduction to Unlawful Detainer Trials
Unlawful detainer is a narrowly tailored procedure designed to expeditiously resolve landlord-tenant disputes involving right to possession of rental property. The primary purpose of unlawful detainer cases is to determine the right to possession of

The Nonrefundable Deposit - Not!
For many years, a nonrefundable escrow deposit has been a standard part of real estate transactions. But recent case law calls that practice into question.

Foreclosures: California's One Action Rule
With foreclosure actions threatening to boom, it's a good time to review California's unique laws that control and simplify them.

Tree Law
The top ten issues attorneys should consider when handling disputes over trees.

Time Limits for Project Approvals
Today you're seeing a real estate client with a well-located piece of property under option to purchase and some market-driven ideas. A financing package is in the works, but the project's costs will increase for every extra month it takes to get dev

Reduction of Bias  Top ↑

A Level Playing Field
The rules of professional conduct don’t just govern ethics—they also ban discrimination.
(Special Credit -- Elimination of Bias)

SLAPP  Top ↑

SLAPP Update
In 20 short years, the anti-SLAPP statute has become a potent weapon in virtually every litigator’s arsenal.

Recent Anti-SLAPP Developments
Under the anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute, a defendant who is sued for speaking on a public issue or for petitioning the government can obtain an early termination of the action if the plaintiff lacks evidence to

An update on the California Anti-SLAPP statute.

Slapping Down SLAPP Suits
A review of the new cases interpreting California’s anti-SLAPP statute shows many questions are still unanswered.

Substance Abuse/Ethics  Top ↑

Addressing Substance Abuse
Resources are available to help attorneys recover from addiction.
(Special Credit -- Substance Abuse/Ethics)

Dealing With Substance Abuse
If you or an adversary are afflicted by substance abuse, you should know your professional duties.
(Special Credit -- Substance Abuse/Ethics)

Tax  Top ↑

Preserving a Charitable Exemption
Charities must timely file informational tax returns or risk losing their tax-exempt status.

Taxing Matters in Settling Cases
Here's help in identifying the red-flag items in settlements so you can alert your client—whether a plaintiff or defendant—to risky business in potential tax issues.

When Clients Must Report Fee Payments
Navigating reporting obligtions for attorney-related payments has never been easy. And new Middleman regulations may have made the waters even murkier.

Torts  Top ↑

Loco Parentis Leaves College
At California’s colleges and universities, the venerable tort doctrine of in loco parentis has died a quiet death.

Premises Liability for Criminal Conduct
Landlords are required to take measures to prevent foreseeable criminal acts by third parties.

Risky Assumptions
California practitioners have been bedeviled for decades about how to define and apply assumption of risk in negligence cases. A look at the tangled past and the new hope that the supreme court will soon hand down definitive deliverance.

Malicious Prosecution: Bad News
Malicious prosecution, the disfavored tort, continues to receive appellate attention.

Unfair Competition  Top ↑

Class Actions after Tobacco II
Class actions under California’s unfair practices act present a number of delicate issues, and one of them is the showing required to establish standing as a representative plaintiff.

The New Unfair Competition Rules
Recent changes to the state’s unfair competition law will affect how business is run in California—and who can sue when it runs amok.

Workers Compensation  Top ↑

Workers Comp Subrogation
When a third party causes an injury to an employee covered by workers compensation, intricate subrogation issues complicate recovery.

Participatory Video Credit  Top ↑

Barry C. Scheck
A conversation with Innocence Project founder Barry C. Scheck.

Bruce Ackerman
The growing powers of the presidency and the undoing of our republic.

Michelle Alexander
Ohio State Law professor, civil rights advocate and litigator.

Aharon Barak
Israel's most consequential supreme court justice.

Eric Berkowitz
A conversation with attorney and author Eric Berkowitz on the history of judging desire.

Ashutosh Bhagwat
A UC Hastings Law professor, Bhagwat contends that most Americans have a fundamental misunderstanding of how our constitutional rights are supposed to work. His book, The Myth of Rights: The Purposes and Limits of Constitutional Rights, was published in February 2010.

Conrad Black
Conrad Black talks about his spectacular rise and fall.

James Bopp
A conversation with James Bopp Jr., the plaintiffs lawyer who championed <i>Citizens United</i>.

Lloyd Braun
A Q&A with Lloyd Braun, the entertainment lawyer who helped develop some of the biggest hits in television history.

Stephen G. Breyer
What are the nine unelected justices of the U.S. Supreme Court really good for? In a wide ranging interview Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer talks about the role that the High Court plays in determining the fate of the nation.

Erwin Chemerinsky
Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding dean of the UC Irvine School of Law and one of the country's foremost liberal, legal scholars. His latest book, The Conservative Assault on the Constitution (Simon & Schuster), tracks the profound impact that Republican-appointed justices have had on the U.S. Supreme Court since the late 1960s.

Alan Dershowitz
Harvard's most famous law professor talks about the erosion of civil liberties, the future of the Arab-Israeli peace process, and his own troubled adolescence.

David Dow
A distinguished law professor at the University of Houston as well as a practicing appellate attorney, Dow has represented more than 100 death row inmates over the last 20 years. His memoir, The Autobiography of an Execution, was published in February 2010.

Kenneth R. Feinberg
An interview with attorney Kenneth Feinberg.

Russ Feingold
A conversation with former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold on the war on terror, the Obama presidency, and how the Senate has changed.

Nancy Gertner
Long before Nancy Gertner became a federal judge she had made a name for herself defending a lesbian revolutionary who stood accused of killing a police officer. She then became known for her work on abortion and sex discrimination cases. Gertner talks about her unusual career with UC Hastings law professor Lisa Faigman.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Gender discrimination, the death penalty, and her elephant ride with Antonin Scalia.

Richard Goldstone
The politics of global justice and the future of the International Criminal Court.

Paul Hoffman
A conversation with Paul Hoffman on human rights and the impact of the Alien Tort Statute.

Sadakat Kadri
A conversation with human rights attorney Sadakat Kadri, who spent five months on the road to write a book about Shari'a law.

Harold Koh
The U.S. State Department's top lawyer talks about drones, the war in Libya, and American exceptionalism.

David Lat
A conversation with David Lat, the irrepressible founder of Above the Law.

Lawrence Lessig
A renowned visionary looks at the future of copyright law.

Rutuparna Mohanty
A conversation with Rutuparna Mohanty, who fights for the rights of exploited women in India.

Paul Morantz
A conversation with cult adversary Paul Morantz.

Martha Nussbaum
A conversation with one of the world's most prominent legal philosophers about the relationship between law and emotion, animal rights, social justice, and abortion.

Dennis Ross
A conversation with Dennis Ross about what it takes to be an effective mediator.

Elyn Saks
The rights of the mentally ill and her own struggles with schizophrenia.

Antonin Scalia
The U.S. Supreme Court's most outspoken justice rails against the "living" constitution.

The Trial of "Edward Snowman"
A panel of experts imagines what might have happened if a certain NSA contractor didn't flee the country: Joseph P. Russoniello; Charlie Savage; Abbe D. Lowell; Michael Hayden, David D. Cole; and Nancy Gertner

Sandy Tatum
One of America's best-known golfer-lawyers.

Scott Turow
The man who reinvented the legal thriller talks about the creative process, the death penalty, and why he became a lawyer.

Donald B. Verrilli
A conversation with Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the 46th solicitor general of the United States.

Roger Wilkins
As the highest-ranking African American in the U.S. Justice Department during the turbulent '60s, Wilkins led the way on civil rights from inside the federal government. In this wide-ranging discussion Wilkins talks about his years in Washington and the ongoing fight for social justice.

Adam Winkler
A conversation with UCLA law professor Adam Winkler on gun control legislation and the Second Amendment.

The Daily Journal Corp., publisher of CALIFORNIA LAWYER, has been approved by the State Bar of California as a continuing legal education provider. This self-study activity qualifies for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit in the amount of one hour. The Daily Journal Corp. certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California.