Entries by Shirish Gupta

Common Negotiating Mistakes

In the course of observing lawyers and parties in my mediations and my students in my Negotiations classes, here are some of the more common mistakes that negotiators make: No defined, concrete goal.  Without knowing what your goal is, you cannot tell whether it has been achieved. No commitment to the goal.  Once you’ve chosen […]

Crafting a Solid Attorney-Client Fee Agreement

Any attorney-client fee agreement should be (i) understandable, (ii) comprehensive and (iii) enforceable.  Here’s a way to best achieve all three goals: Start with the State Bar’s Model Fee Agreement.  While technically only advisory, a court or arbitrator is not likely to find a fee agreement drafted and published by the State Bar Committee on […]

It’s cheaper to pay for gas than to pay to charge a hybrid EV

In 2014, we purchased a Plug-In Prius Hybrid.  Since then, we’ve been dutifully plugging it in every chance we get and loving whenever the display shows we got 999 MPG for our trip.  But from an economical perspective, it doesn’t make financial sense to pay to charge the car, especially given current gas prices. First, […]

Startup Law Firm FAQs

Here are some of the more frequent questions I get and my responses: Sole Proprietorship Q: If I’m a sole proprietorship, do I need to file anything with the California Secretary of State? A: No.  Sole proprietorships are not regulated by the Secretary of State.   Q: If I’m a sole proprietorship, do I need to […]

Common Attorney Fee Disputes & Solutions

As part of my practice at JAMS, I mediate and arbitrate attorney fee disputes throughout California. Here are some of the more common issues I encounter: Charging for Copying the Client’s File Issue: When the client asks for her file, the attorney will make a copy and give the client the original.  Some attorneys, however, charge […]

10 Common vcard Mistakes

Just as a business professional needs a good website, she needs a good vcard.  While entering 30+ business cards into my contacts one morning, it became apparent that people need a primer on vcards.  So here goes: What’s a vcard? A vcard is short for virtual business card (here’s mine).  The beauty of a vcard is that it […]

A Guide Buying/Leasing an EV/HEV in California

In September 2014, our 11 year old sedan was rear-ended and totaled.  But for the accident, we would have kept that fully paid off 20 MPG car for another 3-5 years. Faced with a 30-day deadline to buy a new car, we embarked on a thorough search of the internet, Facebook friends, in-person friends and local dealerships.  Living in the […]

Mediation Statements & Session Prep

Prior to getting the mediation statements, I usually know nothing about the dispute other than the names of the parties and lawyers. I haven’t received the complaint or spoken with counsel. Since I’m a blank slate, mediation statements and exhibits are a good way to get me up to speed quickly. And having mediated for […]

Judges Who Tweet

Even though California is the home of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, California judicial officers are only now starting to tweet.  (If you find any who do, please let me know.)  By contrast, sitting judges at the state trial, appellate and Supreme Court levels in Southern states actively tweet. Their posts are often political (possibly because state […]