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A portion of trial that rarely gets included in movies is the part where lawyers read aloud portions of the transcripts of depositions. This is because this is often the most boring part of trials. Senior litigators often pass this aspect of the trial to junior associates and relax while it takes place before more live witnesses or closing statements. But deposition testimony can still play an important role in commercial disputes. Why should you…
The Canadian legal system is likely the most similar to the legal systems in the United States. Since Canada had been a British colony, it adopted the same British common law system as the United States. And because it shares a border and culture with the United States, there are many other similarities as well. Continuing my series of interview with litigators from around the world, I’d like to share some things I learned about…
An American lawsuit often begins when a plaintiff files a complaint, which is a legal document that sets forth allegations against one or more defendants. When the plaintiff delivers the complaint to a defendant, the law requires the defendant to respond or run the risk of a default. If a defendant does not ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit before discovery, or if the defendant made that motion and failed, its response…
Part of my work involves reading court decisions to keep abreast of how judges decide the types of cases I handle. Below, I share some thoughts on recent decisions. Courts Order Disclosure of Sensitive Documents Even very sensitive documents are subject to document discovery. A Manhattan appellate court recently held that a sexual harassment plaintiff needs to disclose in discovery the application she submitted to stay in the United States through a visa program for…
A lawsuit often begins when the plaintiff files a complaint. Its formal role is to notify the defendant about the subject of the lawsuit, but it may serve other roles as well. Drafting a complaint is a complicated task. It requires legal research, storytelling skills, and some strategic decisions. A bad complaint could lead to a lawsuit being dismissed before discovery. A good complaint can prompt the defendant to settle on favorable terms. Why should…
What Can I Get From Suing Someone? When people come to me with a legal problem, I often have to ask them what they want from the other side.  Do they want money?  Do they want some property?  Do they want an order from a judge telling someone to do something?  Because lawsuits can’t give everyone everything they want, it helps to be clear about what lawsuits can actually do. Why should you continue to…
There are often substantial differences between litigation procedure in larger jurisdictions and in smaller jurisdictions. I practice in one of the world’s busiest and most sophisticated jurisdictions, but I often handle cases in smaller ones. Recently, I spoke with Gregory Dolin about litigation in one of the world’s smallest jurisdictions, the nation of Palau. Justice Dolan sits on the Supreme Court of Palau. Palau’s judicial system is newer than many, since the country only…
Some litigants are pretty sure that they are very clearly correct and the other side is very clearly wrong.  And so it may come as a surprise to them that they don’t immediately get what they want.  After all, can’t the lawyer just call the judge up, explain that their client is right, and then that’s the end of the lawsuit? It turns out that the wheels of justice move more slowly than many people…
Continuing my series of interview with litigators from around the world, I’d like to share some things I learned about litigation in China from an interview with Beijing attorney, Qishi Li. Why should you continue to read this interview with Ms. Li about litigation in China? You do business in China and you are interested in what recourse the Chinese courts will provide if a dispute arises You like the written interview format and other…
Part of my work involves reading court decisions to keep abreast of how judges decide the types of cases I handle. Below, I share some thoughts on recent decisions. Courts Enforce Contracts Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic In a May 2020 decision, a federal court in New York refused to treat the pandemic as an excuse for gyms in one case to default on a settlement agreement, claiming that “economic hardship” did not constitute “impossibility.”…