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  1. #1
    Stevan Guest
    California Superior Court

    I am a defendant and cross defendant pro se.
    I introduced party a (a very experienced business man) to party b (both a & b live in the same time and met several times before proceeding) to pursue an investment. Party a gave a power of attorney over his money to party b. Party b gave power of attorney of party a's money to party c and sent the money to party c's bank in Europe without party a's knowledge. Party a's money was lost and party c has not responded to the lawsuit ... party a is now suing everybody involved.

    Judge wants all defendants to submit a trial brief - in preparation for a trial.

    What is a trial brief?

    What is liability of an introducing party?
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    38,166
    Originally posted by Stevan
    California Superior Court

    I am a defendant and cross defendant pro se.
    I introduced party a (a very experienced business man) to party b (both a & b live in the same time and met several times before proceeding) to pursue an investment. Party a gave a power of attorney over his money to party b. Party b gave power of attorney of party a's money to party c and sent the money to party c's bank in Europe without party a's knowledge. Party a's money was lost and party c has not responded to the lawsuit ... party a is now suing everybody involved.

    Judge wants all defendants to submit a trial brief - in preparation for a trial.

    What is a trial brief?

    What is liability of an introducing party?
    My response:

    WHAT IS, AND PREPARING, A TRIAL BRIEF

    1. Purpose: Every case warranting trial warrants a trial brief.

    In jury trials, trial briefs should address issues of law likely to arise during trial that are not already disposed of by motions in limine (e.g., admissibility of particular items of evidence). A trial brief is particularly useful where the substantive claim is one with which the trial judge may be unfamiliar (e.g., "RICO," "CERCLA" or "CEQA"); it may help the trial judge understand the statutory system and how it applies to the case.

    It is also advantageous to present the key facts, in bullet-point fashion, in your trial brief. The judge needs to be aware of the factual contentions in order to understand and rule on evidentiary issues as they arise.

    Compare: In nonjury trials, where the judge is the trier of fact, a trial brief is an instrument of advocacy and should argue the facts as well as the law. (See Ch. 16, Nonjury Trials.)


    2. Form: A trial brief or memorandum is normally prepared in the same format as points and authorities generally.

    a. "Pocket briefs": Instead of preparing a single trial brief, some lawyers use short "pocket briefs" on specific evidentiary issues likely to arise during trial (and not disposed of by in limine motions). The "pocket brief" is not given to the judge and opposing counsel until the issue actually comes up or until just before the session in which it is likely to arise. Not disclosing the points and authorities earlier may make it more difficult for opposing counsel to respond.

    Caution: Some judges are unsympathetic to such "piecemeal" briefs. Ask the court clerk if the judge has any "local local" rules requiring that all briefs and memoranda be submitted at the same time.


    3. Contents: What to include in a trial brief depends on the case. However, here are some suggestions:

    Keep it brief! Discuss only the major issues in the case.

    Make it easy to read: Use good brief-writing style. Clear captions and short paragraphs make a brief easier to read.

    Avoid "string" cites: One case directly in point is all you need. The judge is unlikely to read "string" cites, and there is a risk the case most in point may be overlooked.

    Avoid "incorporating by reference" earlier briefs: The judge will probably read the entire file but may not remember points made earlier if not restated (briefly) in your trial brief.

    Use quotations sparingly: Long quotations tend to lose their impact and may not be carefully read. It is better to limit your quotes to the language directly in point. But quote fairly; if you omit qualifying phrases, your entire argument may be viewed with skepticism.

    Provide full-text copies of materials not in judge's library: The trial judge is unlikely to have out-of-state or federal cases or statutes, or texts, treatises or law review articles in his or her courtroom library. To facilitate their review, it is good practice to furnish the court with full-text copies of such sources. (Indeed, this may be required under some court rules; see L.A. Sup.Ct. Rule 9.4(b).)

    Role of Trial Brief in Nonjury Trial: A trial brief is more important in court trials than in jury trials because the judge is the trier of fact and the trial brief becomes a tool of advocacy. (In jury trials, trial briefs are usually limited to points of law on evidentiary issues, etc.)

    The brief can also serve as points and authorities in support of motions in limine or for judgment during the trial.

    POINTER: Serve and file your trial brief before the final status or in-chambers conference. This will give the court an opportunity to become familiar with the case in advance of the conference.

    Where the conference is scheduled before the trial date, put the conference date on the face of your memorandum (right under the caption). Most courtroom management systems need this information to bring your brief to the judge's attention before the conference.

    For examples of Trial Briefs, please go to this site, and go to the section entitled "Brief's in Trial Court":

    [url]http://www.quojure.com/archives.htm[/url]

    Good luck to you.

    IAAL

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