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By Barbara Haubrich-Hass, ACP/CAS

medical experts

In a personal injury case, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof to support each element of the allegations claimed, including the proof of injury causation. At a minimum, every personal injury case will require at least a medical expert to testify regarding the plaintiff’s reasonable medical probability that the subject incident was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's injuries.

The case of Schreiber v. Estate of Kiser (1999) 22 Cal.4th 31 is an important case to understand as it relates to designating medical expert witnesses pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §§ 2034.010 – 2034.310. This case highlights the advantage that the plaintiff has in the ability to designate treating physicians as non-retained experts on causation, damages, and standard of case without having to provide an expert declaration disclosing all of the required information for retained experts as outlined in CCP § 2034.260.

In Schreiber, the plaintiff’s attorney designated the plaintiff’s treating physicians as experts, but did not include an expert witness declaration for these experts. The defendant’s attorney argued that these percipient witnesses were going to testify concerning expert matters thereby requiring an expert witness declaration.

Posted by on in Misc.

By Barbara Haubrich-Hass, ACP/CAS


attitudeits-all-in-theI admit it. I have been guilty a time or two of saying, “I Can’t Do That.” It doesn’t matter what it is that is blocking you from saying “I Can Do That.” It could be a career change, a personal life decision, or simply just trying something new with a friend.

I have noticed that people are more apt to respond with a negative before they ever think of responding with a positive. It’s a frame of mind. I think that when people say, “I Can’t Do That” they are really saying, “I am scared to try that,” or “What if I fail?” or “What if I am rejected?”

I don’t feel comfortable speaking in public. I would much rather sit behind a computer and write. I hold onto that PowerPoint clicker as if my life depended upon it. If I lost it, I wouldn’t be able to think or talk! But I set public speaking as my goal for the mere fact that it is something that I need to overcome.

Almost everyone knows the story of Abraham Lincoln. Here was a man whom anyone would have said had no future at all. His family was poor, and he had little encouragement to succeed. The pattern of his life is a monument to the “Can Do” attitude:

Posted by on in Ethics

By Barbara Haubrich-Hass, ACP/CAS



The Recovery of Paralegal Fees Is Not At Issue:  An attorney’s ability to recover paralegal fees, when the legal authority allows for such recovery, has been resolved.  Courts have addressed and accepted the theory that paralegal fees are appropriately billed and recovered by attorneys under various prevailing party attorney fee recovery statutes. [See, Missouri v. Jenkins(1989) 491 U.S. 274; Richlin Security Service Co. v. Chertoff (2008) 553 U.S. 571; and Guinn v. Dotson (1994) 23 Cal. App. 4th 262]

The Inconsistency is if the Paralegal Must be in Compliance With BPC § 6450:

In California, there appears to be an inconsistency with the courts in the recovery of paralegal fees with respect to whether the paralegal must be in compliance with BPC § 6450 in order to recover the paralegal’s fees.  The issue seems to revolve around the qualifications of the paralegal, including education, certification, continuing education, and experience. The California courts regulate compliance with BPC §6450 through striking paralegal fees.

By Barbara Haubrich-Hass, ACP/CAS



A paralegal plays an integral role in confirming any collectible insurance coverage available to a client. There will be times when the client suffers an injury in a motor vehicle collision where the at-fault driver is uninsured. When this happens, the attorney will look to the client’s own automobile insurance policy to determine if the client has uninsured motorist coverage that can be applied to the client’s claim. An uninsured motorist claim is considered a “first party” claim because the insurer is compensating the client from the client’s own insurance policy.

Posted by on in Docket Control

By Barbara Hass, ACP/CAS


calendar-iconOne of the most important tasks that a legal support professional faces is keeping the attorney moving from one event to the next without a hitch.  It can be a daunting task at times, particularly if you work for multiple attorneys.  Like the tickler card system, the manual calendar  has faded from today’s law firm and has moved to a computerized calendaring system.

I have participated in the customization of the docket and calendaring system that the firm I work for uses called Prolaw.  It is a fabulous case management system.  During the course of this customization, my mantra was always, “keep it simple stupid.”  The best system will be the one that everyone can use together, from the receptionist to the managing partner.  Data entry  is only as good as the information entered into it, so it is imperative that you find a calendaring system that everyone finds simple to use.

There are total case management programs that include calendaring, such as Prolaw or Abacus Law.  These systems are designed to contain all of the data for every matter.  A case management system can include docket control, calendaring, contacts, document assembly, document management, conflict checking, related matters, settlement disbursement, and much more.

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