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Sometimes the law just doesn't fit a case the way that it should. And when those cases have compelling facts, it can often be worthwhile to pursue a novel litigation strategy or theory.

However, how you pursue that novel strategy or theory matters. A poorly pleaded novel theory could lead to sanctions under FRCP Rule 11, or the many state law equivalents. Generally, pursuant to (b)(2) of FRCP Rule 11, novel legal claims and contentions require more than just a good faith belief. They must be grounded in existing law and/or supported "by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law, or for establishing new law."

If you only speak one language, or you just aren't comfortable speaking that second language you learned over a decade ago, you may not think it's possible to expand your practice to cater to non-English speaking clients. However, thanks to modern technology, even a monosyllabic and monolingual lawyer can easily and effectively communicate with clients who don't even speak their own language.

Unfortunately, there may not be one single app that solves the language barrier problem. But by using a combination of translation apps and live services, you may be able to cater to an entirely new pool of clients.

Sometimes scheduling conflicts cannot be fixed. While you may be able to perform super-human feats, being in two places at the same time just isn't possible. Fortunately, help is usually just a call, or even a click or tap, away.

Contract attorneys can perform all sorts of various tasks for you. One commonly assigned task is making "special" appearances on behalf of an attorney at record in court for the less important hearings and conferences, like scheduling or arraignment.

Below, you'll find three practical tips for hiring appearance attorneys.

Academics Can't Explain 'Astonishing' Decline in Plaintiffs' Win Rate

Plaintiffs mysteriously lost twice as many federal cases in 2009 than they had 24 years earlier, according to a new study.

Two University of Connecticut law professors said the plaintiffs' win rate declined about 50 percent from 1985 to 2009. It was a trend the professors cannot explain.

"I'm an academic, I don't like to speculate," said Peter Siegelman, who co-authored the study with Alexandra Lahav.

'Participatory Defense' Helps Public Defenders

It's a hard thing, defending so many people in court that you don't even recognize your clients' faces.

But that is a given for many public defenders, like those in Santa Clara County, California, who handle scores of cases each day in the turnstiles of criminal court. For some 124 attorneys, there are about 37,000 clients a year.

That's why "participatory defense" is the new black for public defenders. It's a new name for an old school practice in criminal law.

Court Deals With Hidden Biases in Jurors

It's one thing to release a juror who has an admitted bias, but what to do about a juror with a subconscious bias?

We're not talking about the jurors who are actually biased. Let's face it, most prospective jurors will let you know when they cannot be fair.

We're talking about jurors who don't realize they harbor a prejudice. It is a troubling problem for the courts, but at least two federal courts in Washington are trying to deal with it with a new video.

Xbox 360 Case Kills 'Death Knell' Strategy

If you were playing 'Call of Duty,' what would be the point of pausing the game right before taking a lethal hit?

If your strategy was to come back later to try some new move, you were still going to die. The game won't let you avoid an inevitable death.

That's kind of how things played out in the U.S. Supreme Court in Microsoft v. Baker. Here's what happened to the plaintiffs, who claimed their Xbox 360 consoles scratched their game discs.

When to Request Judicial Recusal?

If your judge wants to hold you in contempt, you might want to request judicial recusal.

But if you haven't made the request before such an ominous turn of events, you have probably waited too long. Trying to toss a judge off your case as a last ditch maneuver can be like tossing a grenade: if you don't throw it far enough ... well, yeah.

Judges generally have discretion whether to recuse themselves from cases. So unless you can show they have an unfair bias early on, you are usually going to get what's coming to you.

Advising Clients on the Do's and Don'ts of Keeping an Injury Diary

It's an adage that some clients seem to know instinctively: put everything in writing.

But before your personal injury client writes too much, sit down and discuss some of the do's and don'ts of keeping a diary.

It's the kind of thing that could make or break your case because you never know who's going to read it. Here's a checklist:

Should Jurors Be Removed for Crying?

After a police dog named Rocco was stabbed to death, jurors at the trial of his accused killer listened to a recording of the dog barking.

It was too much for one juror, who started to cry. The defendant's attorney asked the judge to remove the juror, but the judge refused and an appeals court affirmed the ruling.

"The showing of emotion, in and of itself, during upsetting testimony, does not require juror dismissal," the Pennsylvania appeals court said.

The court said the judge also instructed the jury not to be swayed by emotion, bias, or prejudice. But do jurors always separate their emotions from their deliberations?