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Tag: Videos

June 22, 2023
Statements of Decision: The what, why, how…and when judges trick you into waiving them!

This comes up every call I get after a judge trial: the statement of decision. The statement of decision in a bench trial stands in for the verdict in a jury trial. It tells you—and more importantly, the Court of Appeal—what findings the court made and what theories it accepted. Pretty important if you’re planning […]

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June 8, 2023
Best Briefing Tips of 2022

After interviewing dozens of guests on the California Appellate Law Podcast, Jeff Lewis and I recapped some of the best briefing tips from 2022. In this clip we cover: Judges’ three key fears when deciding cases (via Ross Guberman) ️Kill your darlings—find the cleverest line in your brief, and delete it (via Ross Guberman) ️Litigation […]

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June 1, 2023
Judgment creditors, beware restitution—and pounce on disentitlement, says Joseph Chora

Has your client decided to enforce the judgment before the appeal is over? Beware, says collection attorney Joseph Chora—after losing an appeal, a judgment creditor is liable in restitution. (The plaintiff in Dr. Leevil LLC v. Westlake Health Care Ctr. was liable for $5.7 million, as written up here: https://lnkd.in/geJWrrin.) But on the flipside, judgment creditors […]

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May 18, 2023
Jury instructions are ceremonial, but they are not just ceremonial

After the theatrics of trial comes the sleep-inducing reading of the law. Do jury instructions matter? Studies show that jurors don’t even understand jury instructions, so what is the point of the judge taking a half day at the end of trial putting the jury to sleep by reciting all those CACI forms? Appellate attorney […]

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May 11, 2023
City law held unconstitutional? Just amend! “See how easy it is to be a city attorney?”

Sometimes you CAN beat city hall. But the city, even after a court loss, can still win. Municipal law attorney Peter Prows discusses strategies to keep in mind if you ever go up against the city. The key takeaway: Once its made up its mind to do something, a city (or agency or whatever) will […]

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May 4, 2023
Telling judges what they “must” do only dares them to do the opposite

Consider these two alternatives for ending a brief: “This Court MUST reverse.” “This Court SHOULD reverse.” Stefan Love, who reviewed John Blumberg’s book Persuasion Tips for Trial Lawyers, explains why you should consider the latter choice. No one—judges included—like being told what they “must” do. But what if the authorities are clear that the result […]

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April 28, 2023
Use photos in your advocacy, but don’t overdo it

“Give your listener one thing to do at a time,” says appellate attorney Stefan Love. So you’ve got a great photo to flash on the screen, or a damning quote for your jurors to read, but at the same time your jurors are supposed to be studying the photo or quote, the attorney is also […]

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April 21, 2023
What the heck is a protective cross-appeal, anyway?

“One more thing,” the appellate attorney darkly muses. “Be ready to file a protective cross-appeal.” Wait, what? What the heck is that? Is this just one more way we appellate specialists try to get added to trial attorneys’ speed-dial? Here a 3-minute explainer. Basically, just remember: if you lost a verdict but won a JNOV, […]

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April 13, 2023
The absolute-no-matter-what jurisdictional deadline to appeal… and its five exceptions

Everyone knows two things about the deadline to appeal: The deadline is 60 days. You can get an extension if certain posttrial motions are filed. But the 60-day rule is only partly correct. The posttrial timing can be slippery. And there are more complexities besides. In this 5-minute clip, Jeff Lewis and I discuss how […]

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April 5, 2023
Judgment debtor fraudulently transferring assetes? Don’t file a new action, just levy the asset

File away these two “gold nuggets” for next time you enforce a judgment, courtesy of judgment-enforcement specialist Joseph Chora:   If the debtor is transferring assets to third parties, sure, you could file a fraudulent-transfer complaint. But why? You can simply levy on the transferred asset. Not only is this faster and cheaper, but it […]

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"Upon putting laws into writing, they became even harder to change than before, and a hundred legal fictions rose to reconcile them with reality."

— Will Durant

"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."

— H.L. Mencken

"God made the angels to show Him splendor, … Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."

— Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons

Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.

Leviticus

"It may be that the court is thought to be excessively legalistic. I should be sorry to think that it is anything else."

— Hon. Sir Owen Dixon, Chief Justice of Australia

"So far as the beginnings of law had theories, the first theory of liability was in terms of a duty to buy off the vengeance of him to whom an injury had been done whether by oneself or by something in one's power. The idea is put strikingly in the Anglo-Saxon legal proverb, 'Buy spear from side or bear it,' that is, buy off the feud or fight it out."

— Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."

— Plato (427-347 B.C.)

"Moot points have to be settled somehow, once they get thrust upon us. If an assertion cannot be proved, then it must be settled some other way, and nearly all of these ways are unfair to somebody."

—T.H. White, The Once and Future King

"At common law, barratry was 'the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up suits and quarrels' (4 Blackstone, Commentaries 134) and was punished as a misdemeanor."

Rubin v. Green (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1187

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

— James Madison, Federalist 62

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