CEB Blog

Regardless of the subject matter and whether it’s a criminal or civil issue, these four tips will help you draft the strongest brief possible. 1. Shorter is better. Judges must read many legal papers every day, so they like short briefs. Make your points in simple declarative sentences followed by citations of authority. Don’t allow your important points to be lost in an unnecessarily long brief. On the other hand, make sure to give enough…
When parents are considering whom to designate as successor trustee to administer their trust upon their death, they often consider making their adult children cotrustees. This may eliminate the parents’ stress of choosing among their children, but it often creates other stress for the children who are designated. It’s generally well-intentioned, but often a bad idea. Unless otherwise provided in the trust instrument, a power vested in two or more cotrustees may be exercised only…
Regardless of whether you go with the noticed motion procedure or the alternative writ procedure, when initiating a writ proceeding in superior court you start with a writ petition. Here’s how you draft one. Follow the general format rules. Writ petitions must comply with the rules of court generally governing the format of papers presented for filing (see Cal Rules of Ct 2.10, 2.100–2.119) as well as the rules specifically governing the format of…
Creating a blog to promote your law practice can be cheap in terms of money— you can start a free blog on sites like WordPress—but expensive in terms of your time and effort. Before starting a blog, be sure you have organizational support and time to maintain it. And then review these tips to make it a success. Start a focused blog and stick with your focus. Think about your audience and tailor the information…
Dissolving a limited liability company (LLC) when the business is done has some clear benefits, but is the liability exposure worth it? Dissolving has its plusses. Clients usually want to avoid paying the minimum franchise tax of $800 in California, filing tax returns showing “no activity,” and filing the annual reports for an entity that’s no longer conducting business. But these costs need to be balanced against the potential for residual liabilities that may arise…
The attorney taking the deposition usually controls the proceedings. But the best way to take advantage of this control is to hold onto it loosely. The examining attorney controls all of the procedures around depositions, including hiring the reporter, preparing the deposition notice, and asking most, if not all, of the questions. In addition, the examiner sets the pace and tone of the deposition. All of this control provides for inherent advantages, but to realize…
For landlords, the most important provisions in a lease or rental agreement may be those that limit the number of persons occupying the premises and that require tenants to specify their identities. This prevents a tenant’s guests from turning into tenants. But balancing this potential problem with allowing reasonable guest overnight stays requires a carefully considered lease provision. Although CC §798.34 applies only to mobilehome tenancies, residential landlords should use it for guidance: It limits…
Employers generally can’t use an applicant’s age as a hiring criterion without violating California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (see Govt C §12940(a)) and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 USC §§621–634). Most employers know this and make sure not to ask about the applicant’s age. But they often ask other questions or include language in a job posting that run afoul of the law. Here are some common traps that…
Once you receive a summary judgment motion filed against your client, you have about two months to file and serve your opposition papers. That sounds like plenty of time, but it may not be sufficient to marshal the evidence you need to oppose the motion. That’s when you need a continuance. If you need more time to oppose the motion, you can ask counsel for the moving party to voluntarily continue the date for the…
Anyone who walks along tree-lined streets knows that tree roots often cause cracks or upheavals in sidewalks. But who’s responsible for the damage they cause when a pedestrian trips over them? Abutting owner has no duty for injuries. Although the responsibility for maintaining public sidewalks rests with the abutting owner, the owner ordinarily isn’t liable to third parties for injuries caused by the sidewalk’s condition. See Williams v Foster (1989) 216 CA3d 510, 522 (property…