Mastering Motions to Compel

Celia C. Elwell, the Researching Paralegal, recently pointed to an excellent article in the ABA Journal entitled “6 Keys to Acing Discovery.” The article focuses on preparing for and arguing motions to compel. Post author, Katherine A. Hopkins, cites the following as keys to success:

  1. Avoid canned briefs
  2. Research the court procedures
  3. Research the judge hearing your motion
  4. Research opposing counsel
  5. Make the judge’s life easy
  6. Finally, don’t be a jerk

Read the full article here.

Your first reaction may be: this sounds like a lot of work for a “simple” motion to compel. Perhaps it is. On the other hand, research is something you only need to do once. If you’re in a firm or have a network of fellow practitioners, it should be easy to make a few phone calls about an unfamiliar judge or opposing counsel.

Knowing the court procedures? You better know the court procedures! If it’s been a while or you are new to a particular judicial district in Oregon, start with the OJD Rules Center. Scroll the page to find UTCRs, SLRs, and “other rules,” including the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure. If you are a Multnomah County practitioner, the new updated 2018 Attorney Reference Manual is now available on the Multnomah Bar Association website. Get it toot sweet!

I can heartily vouch for the tips about making the judge’s life easy and not being a jerk. No one likes the latter. Don’t take the bait if the other side is contentious. Keep your cool and your reputation intact.

As for the judge, put yourself in his/her position. A straightforward, well-organized motion with clearly marked exhibits is a great start. Your argument should be the same.

All Rights Reserved 2018 Beverly Michaelis

Malware May Be Preinstalled On Your Computer

“For years, users have been blamed when malware infects their computers and repeatedly warned not to open attachments from unknown email senders or download software from dubious sources.  But a major manufacturer now says that malware sometimes is already preinstalled when purchasers first open the packaging of their new computers.”

Holy smokes!  This comes from a post today at the ABA Journal Law News Now.

The story continues:

A Thursday post on the Official Microsoft Blog blames what it calls a “broken” supply chain for infected computers on which malware has been installed, embedded in counterfeit versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system software.

“A supply chain between a manufacturer and a consumer becomes unsecure when a distributor or reseller receives or sells products from unknown or unauthorized sources,” the post says, explaining that cybercriminals have been able to infiltrate the retail market by offering below-cost, malware-infected products.

“What’s especially disturbing,” the post continues, “is that the counterfeit software embedded with malware could have entered the chain at any point as a computer travels among companies that transport and resell the computer.”

So what to do? Certified smart folks will likely have some recommendations.  My first thought?  Have an anti-malware, anti-virus product in hand and ready to install the second you break open the packaging of your new computer.  (You may want more than one!) After installation force an update of the virus/malware/spyware definitions or verify the program has run an update.  Next, run a full scan of your computer.  When you’re done, get on Twitter and follow Peter Porcaro (@PorcaroLaw) who picked up and tweeted this story.  Thank you Peter!

For security tips and software suggestions check out the following:

Peeps in the Law

You know April is here when it’s time to vote for your favorite Peeps in the Law.   My personal nod goes to The Trial of Rod Peepovich, former Governor of Illinois:

But don’t let me sway you.  Pick your favorite from the top five.  Polling closes this Monday, April 12.   Vote here

Copyright 2010 Beverly Michaelis