The New York Giants are playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, again. What would happen if the Patriots prepared for the game by focusing exclusively on their strengths and the Giants’ weaknesses while ignoring their own weaknesses and the Giants’ strengths? That would be ridiculous, right? Bill Belichick, Tom Brady? Forget about … Continue reading Calculating Settlement Value Like a Super Bowl Champion
Even after twenty years, the so-called “McDonald’s coffee case” or “hot coffee case” is still the poster child of tort reform advocates and the rally cry of consumer attorneys. The former decry a legal system which permits such “frivolous” lawsuits while the latter complain that public relations firms distort the facts of the case to … Continue reading Deja Brew: A Mediator Looks Back at the Hot Coffee Case or How to Keep Your Dispute from Spilling into Court
NUMBER ONE: Exchange with your opponent salient information about the case well in advance of the mediation. If you represent the plaintiff you may want to ask defense counsel what additional information, if any, is necessary for the defense to be fully prepared for the mediation. If you represent the defendant you will want to … Continue reading Ron’s Top Ten List: Things Your Mediator Wants You To Do So He Or She Can Help You Settle Your Lawsuit
Mediation is the antidote to the uncertainty of trial and most often leads to the timely, cost-effective resolution of disputes. In mediation, the people with “skin in the game,” the litigants, not jurors, judges, or appellate court justices, decide how and when the conflict will end. On the other hand, litigants who proceed through trial … Continue reading Mediation: The Antidote to the Uncertainty of Trial
Trial advocacy is often dramatized in movies and television. We see persuasive lawyers depicted in emotional closing argument scenes and intense lawyers in those “gotcha” moments of searing cross-examination. But truly great trial lawyers have a skill not seen in the courtroom, let alone on the silver screen: the ability to predict the outcome of … Continue reading Predicting Risk is the Essence of Good Lawyering
In construction defect cases there is often a dispute within the dispute: should the case be prosecuted in a court of law or proceed under the terms and conditions of an arbitration provision? There are rational reasons for selecting arbitration over a court or jury trial. Many believe that arbitrations are more cost effective than … Continue reading Resolving Construction Defect Cases: Are Arbitration Provisions in CC&R’s Enforceable?
If you win your lawsuit, you can make the loser pay your attorney’s fees, right? In California (and in most states) the answer to that questions depends on whether there is a statute or a contract provision that provides something like, “The prevailing party is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees.” “Good,” you think … Continue reading Even if You Win at Trial You May Not be the Prevailing Party
I have attached a new license law case from the Third District Court of Appeal. This one bucks the recent trend: it favors the contractor. Basically, the contractor, David E. Ball, was licensed as a “Sole Owner” under the fictitious business name “Clark Heating and Air Conditioning”. He sued to collect compensation for work performed … Continue reading Contractor Licensed as Sole Owner – Free Download