Civil Litigation

  As much as jurors resent a witness who lies, you must have inconvertible evidence that someone is out and out lying in order to even suggest it. Even then, it’s best to let the jurors come to the conclusion that a witness is lying on their own. People are persuaded by their own reasoning far more than by your proffered statements. Use words such as “incorrect” “inaccurate” “not forthcoming” to describe a witness’s testimony as opposed to “lying” or “untruthful.” Let the jurors attach the word “lie” to the testimony – as they will, if your presentation of the…
The U.S. Supreme Court in a late 6-3 ruling on Friday allowed indoor worship services to resume in California, enjoining the total prohibition on those services in counties within the most restrictive tier of the state’s COVID-19 response blueprint. The blueprint, enacted on Aug. 28, created a four-tier system for California counties, based on how rampant the virus is in a given county. Under Tier 1, indoor worship services are prohibited completely. Under Tier 2, they’re capped at the lesser of 25% capacity or 100 attendees, and at the lesser of 50% capacity or 200 attendees under Tier 3. In…
The Ninth Circuit on Monday affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a suit filed against Tesla under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), in which the plaintiff claimed that one of the automaker’s dealerships wasn’t sufficiently accessible to people who use wheelchairs. Brian Whitaker, who is quadriplegic and uses a wheelchair for mobility, alleged that a Tesla dealership in Sherman Oaks had inaccessible service counters that denied him full and equal access to the dealership and “created difficulty and discomfort” when he visited it in 2019. Tesla moved to dismiss the complaint, claiming that Whitaker didn’t allege facts sufficient to…
The Ninth Circuit granted two Southern California churches’ requests for injunctions of the state’s fixed attendance caps on indoor worship services in rulings issued Friday and Monday, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent directive for analyzing the constitutionality of restrictions on those services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The court left in place other state restrictions on religious gatherings, including a total prohibition on indoor worship services under the most restrictive tier of California’s COVID-19 response and other limitations on attendance that are tied to a percentage of a facility’s fire-code capacity. Since the pandemic arrived in California,…
  In our ongoing effort to maximize the effectiveness of a Zoom deposition, here are 2 more tips for your witnesses. 1. Be Your Own Cinematographer Zoom depositions are visual statements as well as verbal ones, but instead of having a competent videographer assisting to make sure everything looks right, you, the witness, must do that yourself. So make sure that what’s behind you when you sit in front of your computer, laptop or tablet isn’t distracting. A blank wall is great if possible. If not, then something not too “interesting” or eye-catching. Plainer is better. 2. Check Your Lighting…