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Biglaw litigators may enjoy healthy pay, but they are also the target of some ribbing — particularly from the trial-lawyers bar. Anyone who has practiced litigation in Biglaw has heard that they are at best a “deposition lawyer,” better suited for churning out endless motions than for performing in front of a judge or jury. There is no doubt that for the majority of Biglaw litigators deposition experience is much easier to come by than trial experience. And while trials are definitely more intensive and fun, in my experience preparing for a critical deposition in a patent case is in a way more difficult. Unlike at trial, where nearly all of the direct and cross examinations are scripted, there is an element of the unknown at a deposition.

When it is an important witness, such as a technical or damages expert, everyone involved in the case knows that a deposition can be a make-or-break event. In fact, one of the things that makes preparing for trial testimony easier than preparing for a deposition is that when we prepare for trial, we rely heavily on prior testimony in the case. The best source for that prior testimony? Deposition transcripts. But going into a critical deposition, there is much more uncertainty. Everyone on the team worries if the witness will hold up. Does not matter how experienced the expert is, or how senior a business person. The wrong answer can doom a case.

While it may seem like deposition defense is a thankless job, it also provides a priceless opportunity to “hear” your opponent’s approach to important issues in the case. And that can be even more valuable than trying to extract information from a well-prepared witness at a deposition you end up taking at another point in the case.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Beyond Biglaw: Effective Deposition Defense (Part 1)”

* Since SCOTUS punted on same-sex marriage, people in states where gay marriage bans still exist are wondering when it will be their turn. It’s just a waiting game from here on out. [USA Today]

* Babies wait for no one: a pregnant lesbian couple fighting the Texas ban on gay marriage filed an usual request asking that the Fifth Circuit hurry up and schedule arguments. [WSJ Law Blog]

* The “puff, puff, pass” defense? Robel Phillipos, friend of accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, claims he was so high during the aftermath he can’t remember a thing. [Bloomberg]

* When should you apply to law school? When you can get into a top school, have clear career objectives, and won’t have to take out loans. You’re preaching to the choir. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

* A Burger King customer is suing because he claims the restaurant’s manager attacked him with a knife and a Taser. This all allegedly happened over some cold onion rings, of course. [New York Daily News]

Casting call for L.A. lawyers who want to be on television. Somebody is putting together a show, and they need a “young attorney” and, well, where else would you find a solid young attorney who wants to be on television than Craigslist?

Check out the ad. It’s the kind of thing that will make you say, “What is this, I don’t even.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Do You Want To Be A Law And Reality TV Star?”


* New Supreme Court term kicks off with some bizarre argumentation. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

* Professor Tribe doesn’t think Obama’s getting another justice confirmed. Vegas is setting the over/under off his remarks. [Coverage Opinions]

* More on The Law Hawk (insert screeching eagle sound effect). [Legal Cheek]

* Picking the right legal recruiter is important. It’s like having an agent, which is awesome because it makes you feel like Peyton Manning for a bit. [Major, Lindsay & Africa]

* What. The. Hell? You can survive being sucked into a jet engine? Without wearing Iron Man Mark V armor. [Lowering the Bar]

* You know what’s lame? Civil forfeiture. John Oliver rants after the jump… [Last Week Tonight]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: 10.06.14″

This looks rather disgusting, but that’s just my (non-actionable) opinion.

As online review sites like Yelp and social-media sites like Twitter continue to grow, free speech issues related to these online services will continue to proliferate. A contentious case currently pending in federal court down in Florida raises a host of interesting issues about the scope of online free speech.

The plaintiff company, Roca Labs, sells a product that you consume for weight-control purposes. If this makes you think of delicious almond roca, think again. Components used by Roca Labs in its diet products include “Guar Gum, Konjac, Inulin, Beta Glucan, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, [and] Vitamins B6, B12, C.” If you don’t recognize most of the ingredients in something you’re consuming, that’s usually not a good sign.

Does the thought of eating that goo make you want to gag? Well, Roca Labs wants to gag you….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Case That Will Make You Want To Gag”

If part of your reason for going to law school is that, well, there’ll be a good job that you like and will pay well afterwards, then you’re maybe mistaken. There’s more than 90,000 lawyers in Illinois, and I’m not confident there’s enough jobs. Law school is no longer a safe road to a successful career.

Matthew Willens, the lawyer behind the “Anything but Law School” scholarship, explaining why he created the monetary award last year.

(If you’d like to apply for this scholarship, you can find the details here.)

Earlier this year, when we mentioned lawyers’ love lives (or the lack thereof), we wrote that “[l]awyers may not lead the most luxurious of lifestyles, but if you’re single and looking, it’s still a profession that will make prospective dates ooh and aah.” In fact, “[m]ost people in the average dating pool think being a lawyer is a road to riches, thus making these eligible bachelors even more appealing.”

Some lawyers, though, really do have the full package — they’re handsome, well-educated, and filthy rich. To that end, Gotham Magazine is currently running its Most Eligible Bachelors competition, and as luck would have it, some influential attorneys made the list.

Feast your eyes upon some of Biglaw’s best and brightest, and then vote for your favorite…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New York’s Most Eligible Biglaw Bachelors”

I recently had the good fortune to hear Ian McEwan (author of the wonderful Atonement, among other books) and Steven Pinker (a name I’d never heard before — yet more proof of my vast ignorance) discuss what makes good writing. McEwan is of course a gifted novelist; Pinker is a cognitive scientist who thinks about (among other things) how children acquire language skills. This made for an interesting discussion.

Both authors had recently published new books. If you don’t want to spring for the price of Pinker’s book, you can read the nutshell version of his thesis in his recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

I stole the title of this column from Pinker’s talk. Pinker says that many people blame the internet for the younger generation’s inability to write clearly. But if Twitter’s the culprit — “the kids these days can write only 140-character sentence fragments” — then the world should have been awash in pristine prose in the days before Twitter.

We were not, of course. Most writing sucked in the ’90s, too. And in the ’80s. And the ’70s. And, according to Pinker, people have been complaining about bad writing in literally every generation since the invention of the printing press.

So it would be nice — but wrong — to blame today’s bad writing on modern technology.

If technology isn’t the culprit, then what is? Pinker’s thesis is one that I suspect all good legal writers have known subconsciously all along. But it’s worth speaking the words out loud and thinking about how to use this concept to improve both your writing and the writing of those you edit. . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Proof That The Internet Did Not Destroy The Ability To Write”

There was a time in ‘Murica when surrounding yourself with gay and lesbian friends was the only way to avoid the endless navel-gazing of wedding season. Don’t want to know who is registered where? Can’t force a smile through one more “best man” speech that devolves into “there are so many great things I could say about this guy if his woman… err, wife, weren’t here.” Having gay friends was the way to avoid all that. Sometimes a man just wants to sit down and watch the Tony Awards in peace, without having to look at another man’s wedding album.

Well, those days are done. The Supreme Court today didn’t grant cert to review bans on gay marriage in five states….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “SCOTUS Doesn’t Want To Ask, Won’t Tell Gays They Can’t Get Married”

What should you do if you are owed money by or have been wronged by a Mainland Chinese company? Bring a lawsuit against the Chinese company, of course. But how?

Mainland Chinese courts do not enforce U.S. judgments. Therefore, it will probably be a waste of time for you to bring a lawsuit in a U.S. court against a Chinese company that does not have assets in either the United States or in a country that enforces U.S. judgments. However, it is important that you research where the “Chinese” company is actually based because Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao are different jurisdictions entirely.

This series of posts will discuss the challenges of litigating against Mainland Chinese companies and will offer guidance in overcoming these challenges, both in the United States and in China.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How To Sue A China Company (Part 1)”

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