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Minority Trial Lawyer


In-depth analysis and practical advice on topics relevant to your practice. Find all of the Minority Trial Lawyer Committee’s articles in this archive.


Litigating Proportionality Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1)
By Leslie Bryan and Lovita Tandy – February 6, 2023
Understanding the underpinnings of the changes to Rule 26(b) and how to leverage the six proportionality factors are integral to achieving positive results.


States Working to Protect Small Businesses Through Insurance
By Sathima Jones – May 6, 2020
Summary of legislative efforts to compel insurers to pay COVID-19 related business interruption losses.

From Olympic Gymnast to Corporate Litigator: A Conversation with Tasha Schwikert
By Janice Arellano – April 14, 2020
Tips for young lawyers on transferring skills after changing careers and advocating for diversity and inclusion.

Not Business as Usual: COVID-19, Small Businesses, and Bankruptcy
By Andrew E. Arthur – March 25, 2020
Five tips for small business owners weathering the financial effects of the pandemic.

Deposition (Mis)Conduct: To Object, to Instruct, or to Simply Shut Up
By Manuel A. Cornell – March 25, 2020
A deposition should not be treated as if you were practicing law in the Wild West.

How Will COVID-19 Affect Equity in Education?
By Janice V. Arellano – March 23, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to educate students about the importance of equality and anti-discrimination.


Re-Entering the Legal Profession after Caring for Kids
By Tien T. Cai – December 19, 2019
As our world changes, men and women can be free to take on non-stereotypical roles when there is a lower threat of job loss from raising a family.

Common Issues to Consider when Arguing Before the Federal Circuit
By Alex Chan – July 30, 2019
A list of procedural and substantive issues to help you improve your chance of success on appeal before the Federal Circuit.

The Do Nots of Oral Argument
By Thomas J. Donlon – July 21, 2019
Five rules for trial lawyers venturing into appellate courts to follow.

Determining What Issues to Raise on Appeal
By Andrew L. Johnson – July 21, 2019
Knowing where to look for potential appellate issues and how to manage client expectations makes you a more efficient and competent appellate attorney.

Cybersecurity Obligations and Best Practices for Employers
By Alyssa M. Hicks – May 28, 2019
Be aware of the potential dangers of electronically storing employees’ personal information and of how to avoid liability.

CCPA Essentials: How to Get Started
By Sundeep Kapur – May 28, 2019
Key questions and obligations that privacy and cybersecurity professionals must consider when determining if and how to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act.

2018 in Review: Law Firms See Minor Gains While Affinity Bars Set Goals
By Melissa Pang – May 1, 2019
The legal profession remains one of the least diverse professions and is making only incremental progress.

Keep Your Data Secure: Seven Easy to Implement Tips
By Mike Murray – April 27, 2019
A few ways to protect yourself and your clients from cybersecurity breaches.

Are Administrative Patent Judges Properly Appointed Under the Appointments Clause?
By Alex Chan – February 15, 2019
Patent Trial and Appeal Board administrative patent judges are not empowered to render final written decisions eliminating patent owners’ rights.


The Dark Side of the VRBO Industry
By Kimberlee Gee – December 10, 2018
With no legal decisions made on cases of discrimination in the vacation rental by owner and peer-to-peer rental industry, only time will tell if these lodgings fully fall under “public accommodation” laws.

Cultural Competency: From the Field to the Boardroom
By Janice V. Arellano and Andrew E. Arthur – November 8, 2018
Law firms and in-house legal departments should find ways to train their employees in cultural competency.

Starter Kit for Lawyers of Color: 12 Tips for Conscious Lawyering
By Janice Arellano and Malik Pickett – September 5, 2018
Suggestions for thriving in the profession and ensuring diversity and inclusion in it continue to improve.

Running Toward Wellness and Good Health
By Edd Peyton – September 5, 2018
If you are out of shape and get fragged, you will die on the operating table.

Injustice: Be a Voice for Change
By David E. Jones – May 24, 2018
Speak out against all forms of injustice—whether they impact you directly or not.

When Parties Enter into an Agreement That Conflicts with Their Insurance Policies—A Hypothetical
By Nancy Gutzler and Elizabeth Sackett – April 26, 2018
Test your knowledge of basic priority of coverage issues for indemnity (not defense) with this hypothetical.

How to Confront Your Worst Fears about Appellate Oral Argument
By Sylvia H. Walbolt and Nick A. Brown – February 26, 2018
Oral argument tips from a battle-hardened appellate veteran and an appellate newcomer.

Rethinking Qualified Immunity
By Lynda G. Dodd – February 7, 2018
Almost all the Roberts Court’s recent qualified-immunity opinions have protected police officers when the lower courts denied qualified immunity.

Supreme Court Solidifies Its Position on Personal Jurisdiction
By Chijindu Obiofuma – March 6, 2018
In the case of a mass tort, the defendant's home is the most likely jurisdiction.

Legal Strategies Unfold as Opioid Lawsuits Rise
By Patrick J. McGrath – January 25, 2018
With the lessons of Big Tobacco echoing in their minds, attorneys for pharma companies are developing legal tactics.

Tips for Finding and Vetting Expert Witnesses
By Kate Mahan and Heather Menezes – August 17, 2017
By taking an organized approach, using available resources, and knowing what questions to ask, retaining an expert can be done efficiently and effectively.


Partnerships Between Community-Based Organizations Are Integral to Serving Immigrant Populations
By Lydia Gottesfeld, Seth Lyons, and Chi-Ser Tran – November 20, 2017
Embedding legal services where immigrants live and work fosters relationships in a way that reaches beyond the impact of a single onsite attorney.

Covert Motivations Raise Ethical Questions in Motions to Disqualify Women Judges
By Raymond J. McKoski – November 16, 2017
All persons are equal before the law, and that includes judges.

Legal Field Growth Is Rooted in Lateral Recruitment
By Timothy Lynch – November 16, 2017
Most law firm leaders now recognize that growing by lateral acquisition is essential for growth.

Battling Non-Solicitation Clauses in Employment Agreements in the Social Media Age
By Michael Skapyak – November 16, 2017
The next generation of employees are trending toward less loyalty to their employers and more investment in their own individual careers.

EEOC Trial Tactics Lead to Massive Sanctions Award
By Sidney O. Minter – November 16, 2017
An Iowa federal district court recently upheld an award of nearly $2 million in attorney fees.

To Represent or Not
By Richard P. Green – September 11, 2017
Issues involving depositions and communications with unrepresented nonparty fact witnesses.

Diverse Family Structure: Reevaluating the Best-Interests-of-the-Child Standard
By Jennifer Johnson and Brenda A. Baietto, Esq. – September 11, 2017
The legal community must reevaluate our duty to children when we are involved in the formation and dismantling of families.

The Kozlov Test for Piercing Privileges Is Alive and Well
By Andrew M. Shaw – September 11, 2017
Recent developments affecting a case dear to the hearts of divorce and family law attorneys.

Inadvertent Disclosure in E-Discovery: How to Avoid Waiver of Privilege
By Lisa M. Gonzalo – November 3, 2015
Basic preventative measures can be used to heighten protection and avoid costly disputes in large-volume ESI cases.

The Implications of Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez for Consumers and Class Action Lawsuits
By André M. Board – May 15, 2017
A small victory for consumers and a means for the financially powerful to avoid putative class actions.

To Kill (Or Imprison for Life) a Juvenile: The Proper Exercise of Judicial Discretion for Sentencing a Juvenile Offender
By André M. Board – May 15, 2017
The implications of the decision in United States v. Under Seal solidifying the constitutional protections against “cruel and unusual punishments.”

When It Comes to Being Out at Work, Some Things Haven't Budged in 30 Years
By William Weinberger – May 15, 2017
Half of the states allow people to be fired for being LGBT. That means millions of us still live in fear of workplace discrimination.

What’s Proportionality Got to Do with It? An Update on the Revised Federal Discovery Rules
By Robert K. Dixon – May 15, 2017
Recent cases show that courts are requiring litigators to be more precise in their discovery requests.

The Power of Partnering: Guidelines for Diverse Collaborations among NAMWOLF and Majority Law Firms
By Stephanie A. Scharf, N. Nate Saint Victor, and Antonio C. Castro – February 22, 2017
The advantages of retaining highly qualified and deeply experienced women and minority lawyers on major matters, combined with the benefits of working with large majority firms.

10 Tips for Maintaining Effective Boundaries with Clients: A Customer Service Approach
By Sherlyn Selassie – February 22, 2017
Considerations for maintaining professional boundaries, upholding your ethical responsibilities, and keeping clients focused and accountable for their outcomes.

Spotlight on Roula Allouch, Civil Rights Activist and Litigator
By Mark A. Flores – February 22, 2017
An interview with the chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.


Meet the 2016 Committee Cochairs
By Andre’ Caldwell – November 28, 2016
MTL Cochairs are excited about their roles in the committee’s efforts to further promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Fair in Form, But Discriminatory in Operation: Disparate Impact Claims
By Ruth J. Addison – November 28, 2016
Background checks and their potential impact on certain protected classes.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Nonconformity: What Is “Actionable” under Title VII?
By Sidney O. Minter – November 28, 2016
Does a litigant have standing to bring a claim based solely on sexual orientation?

Diversity in the Bar: Where Are We and What’s Keeping Us from Going Further?
By Hope Thai Cannon – November 28, 2016
While Lady Justice wears a blindfold, lawyers cannot.

Living in a Cyber World: Avoiding Pitfalls While Using Social Media in Investigations
By Lily Chinn – August 24, 2016
Technology is evolving faster than the law can respond.

Four Factors to Consider Before Trademarking a Hashtag
By Christi Schofield – August 24, 2016
Can you trademark a hashtag?

The Seven Apps Attorneys Absolutely Should Not Live Without
By Patrick Soon and Rebecca Bellow – March 30, 2015
Smartphone apps have come a long way. Download the best of the bunch for litigators.

Attorney Spotlight: Meeting Connie Montoya
By William Panlilio and Licelle Cobrador – August 24, 2016
Minority lawyers are practicing in a "fortuitous" time.

The 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
By Karen A. Henry and Diana Palacios – March 1, 2016
Significant changes to the FRCP are changing the way civil litigants operate in federal court.

Pleading Patent Infringement after Elimination of Form 18
By Peter H. Kang and Sue Wang – March 1, 2016
The abrogation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 84 and its form pleadings may have an impact on patent litigation.


Overworked and Underfunded: A Fair Trial Issue for Indigent Defendants
By Lori Mullins – December 2, 2015
To uphold the Sixth Amendment's right to a fair trial, public defenders need more resources.

Adapting the Collections Process to Accommodate Nontraditional Data Sources
By Steve Ramey and Katie Askey – December 2, 2015
Computer forensic investigation of mobile devices and social media requires unique considerations for each source.

Surety's Defense Against "Pay-If-Paid" Construction Clauses
By Michael Jay Rune II and Dana Chaaban – December 2, 2015
Despite a lack of privity with contractors during negotiations, courts may not enforce pay-if-paid clauses against sureties.

Sure I Can or Sure I Can't?
By Michael Jay Rune II and Dana Chaaban – August 26, 2015
A surety's defense in the unsettled legal world of "pay-if-paid" construction contractual provision.

Beyond Document Review: The Discoverability of Nontraditional Sources
By Katie Askey and Colleen M. Yushchak – May 19, 2015
Although the electronic discovery reference model is a good starting point for addressing structured data, a customized solution may be necessary.

For Now, Drones Will Fly the Uncertain Skies
By Joseph M. Hanna – May 19, 2015
The FAA has proposed federal drone regulations, but for now it is up to the states to police drone operations.

Public-Private Partnerships
By John W. Ferrara – May 19, 2015
PPPs used to finance and operate public services are complex but have great potential if properly understood.

Radical Cross-Examinations
By Nilay U. Vora – February 24, 2015
Consider strategically foregoing a deposition and cross-examining a witness "cold" at trial.

Persuasive Techniques for the Defense of Employment Cases
By Portia R. Moore – February 24, 2015
Develop your story of the case at the onset of litigation, and use it as your theme at trial.

Procedural Due Process Rights in Cases of Prosecutorial Misconduct
By Michelle D. Golden – February 24, 2015
The legal system can preserve procedural due process rights by remedying prosecutorial misconduct.


Ray Rice, Roger Goodell, and an Explosive Legal Showdown
By Joseph M. Hanna – November 24, 2014
Rice challenges NFL's indefinite suspension, arguing the "one penalty" rule.

NBA Leads in Gender Equity
By Joseph M. Hanna – November 24, 2014
Women are stepping into the world of America's professional men's sports.

Fair Hiring Initiatives to Curb Disparate Impact Discrimination
By Nikki Odom – September 4, 2014
EEOC issues guidelines encouraging employers to discard bright-line rules in favor of a job-related targeted criminal background screen that is consistent with business necessity.

Three's a Crowd: The Impact of Third-Party Observers on Neuropsychological Exams
By Matthew R. Shindell, Robert J. McCaffrey, and Graham M. Silk-Eglit – September 4, 2014
Research shows that third-party observation can affect performance on an array of tests.

Birth of a Generation of Protections for Pregnant Employees
By Aisha Broderick – September 4, 2014
EEOC guidelines protect working mothers and mothers-to-be on pregnancy-related discrimination, recognizing they have both a right to reproduce and a right to work.

Ask a Mentor: How Can a Young Associate Become Involved in a Firm's Business-Development Initiatives?

Eleventh Circuit Flip-Flops in Consorcio Ecuatoriano
By Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan – May 22, 2014
Court now recognizes private foreign arbitration proceedings as qualified for section 1782 discovery assistance from U.S. courts.

Review by U.S. Courts of Investment Treaty Awards
By William B. Panlilio – May 22, 2014
Lessons learned and potential impact of BG Group PLC v. Republic of Argentina.

Fraudulent Practices and Foreign Judgments: Don't Try This at Home
By Guy Kamealoha Noa – May 22, 2014
Will the fraud ruling in Chevron Corp. v. Donziger impact the success of enforcing foreign judgments in the U.S.?

Closing Arguments—Not Just a "Free-for-All," Part Two
By Christopher G. Floreale – May 22, 2014
This time, it's personal.

Closing Arguments—Not Just a "Free-for-All," Part One
By Christopher G. Floreale – March 13, 2014
What crosses the line? Breaking down the boundaries established by courts.

Cross-Examining Snitches
By Carlos F. Gonzalez – March 13, 2014
Some rules for the road.