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Miles B. Cooper

5.8 e-xhilarating

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Examining common liability issues presented by e-bike cases The lawyer listened to the commuter’s description of the incident with sadness and without surprise. The commuter had recently purchased an e-bike. While the commuter had ridden bikes before, the commuter was not what the media might call an “avid cyclist.” The commuter and a car driver had mixed it up, and...
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11.9 Interrogation room

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Using and responding to interrogatories It was the beginning of the case, and the lawyer wanted to know more about the defendant. In particular, the lawyer wanted insurance information. The lawyer had a sneaking suspicion there was a lurking excess policy. Time to send out some interrogatories. A good formula The Judicial Counsel created discovery’s simplest tool, form interrogatories. Whether...
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1.3.3 Walking, fast and slow

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Applying Nobel Prize-winning decision-making theories to trial practice The two lawyers walked across the darkened city, a full moon rising over the downtown skyscrapers. “You should write about Kahneman in your next column,” said one. That would be Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel-Prize winning psychologist and economist, who with Amos Tversky developed concepts on judgment and decision-making psychology. As the two...
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14.1 Motion to pass

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Winning law and motion practice through focused communication The lawyer read the draft motion. Good, with the potential to be better. The lawyer spent some time, paring here and emphasizing there. The lawyer, a fan of winning on the first page, used a couple bullet points to draw the reader’s eye in the introduction. With this, even a quick scan...
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1.1.12 Growth plan

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Reaching maximum potential with managed personal growth The lawyer sat with the team member discussing the team member’s growth plan. “This is the year you were planning to expand anatomy knowledge and lien resolution,” said the lawyer. The two discussed ways to strengthen these areas, including looking into community college anatomy classes. They finished their discussion and the team member...
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5.9 Let the sunshine in

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Understanding and enforcing California Public Records Act requests The lawyer was mystified. The lawyer represented a family whose son was shot by a security guard. The local sheriffs had investigated the incident and turned it over to the district attorney. The DA declined to prosecute the security guard. The sheriffs’ department now refused to release the incident report after the...
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1.1.11 Value proposition

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Developing and using firm values to succeed The lawyer sat with the business coach, interested in the day’s lesson. What were the lawyer’s values? The firm’s? Answering this question seemed challenging, like throwing darts. Fortunately, the coach had a method and a reason to go through the exercise. Those with core values tend to be better focused, and more successful,...
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11.7 Production line

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Strategic uses for requests for production The lawyer opened the file sent over by the defense. The lawyer had sent a request with 50 categories. The defendant’s responsive documents? Nine pages, none responsive. Time to take a different approach. The basics Requests for production are one of the three written discovery tools. Unlike interrogatories and requests for admission, production requests...
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2.6 When is a door not a door?

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When it’s ajar! Strategies for prosecuting bicyclist dooring cases The client explained what happened. “I was riding as close to the right as I safely could. There was a fair amount of traffic, and I did not want to be in the way. I’m pretty good at looking out for car doors, but suddenly a door popped open. The corner...
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