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Firm Victories on Behalf of Employers

Firm client victorious against alleged whistle blower

Nohemi Ferguson and Clif Baker defeated a Department of Public Works employee’s claim that he was never promoted because he had disclosed legal violations. They convinced a downtown Los Angeles jury that his failure to get promoted had nothing to do with his claimed whistle blowing. O’Haver v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. 
BC489558 (L.A. Superior Ct. Jul. 22, 2014).

Salary claim defeated

Nohemi Ferguson and Ann Wu secured a unanimous defense verdict against a deputy sheriff’s claim that he should have been paid for the months he was suspended during an investigation of felony domestic violence charges. The jury decided that he had waived any right he might have had for payment by failing to appeal his suspension to the Civil Service Commission. Moore v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. BC478737 (L.A. Superior Court Apr. 9, 2014).

Court awards firm client attorneys’ fees for having to defend frivolous claims

Nohemi Ferguson convinced a jury that there was no merit to the employment discrimination claims brought by twin brothers who were Los Angeles County deputy sheriffs. She then convinced the trial judge that the claims were so lacking in merit that the County should recover its fees and costs of defense in the amount of $410,388. In his decision, Judge John Shook wrote: “The Court finds that after hearing the totality of the evidence, the claim was frivolous and the jury agreed with that assessment as it returned its verdict in less than three hours.” Wade v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. BC394379 (L.A. Superior Ct. Jul. 28, 2010).

Firm wins defense verdict in discrimination case

A federal court jury rejected a claim that the Los Angeles County Department of Child Support Services favored Armenian employees in promotions at its Encino office. Calvin House and Christine Wagner convinced the jury that the statistical evidence that the plaintiff relied on was not a valid indicator of discriminatory intent. Diaz v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. CV10-7329-SVW-RZ (U.S. Dist. Ct. Dec. 8, 2011).

Defense verdict in police case

An L.A. Superior Court jury handed down a defense verdict in a wrongful arrest lawsuit against the LAUSD police. With assistance from Ann Wu, Art Preciado convinced the jury that the officers had good reason to detain the plaintiff temporarily to inquire about possible involvement in a crime, and that they did not use excessive force. Patino v. Los Angeles Unified School District, Case No. BC430225 (L.A. Superior Ct. Nov. 4, 2011).

Firm to argue important privacy case before the California Supreme Court

Calvin House and Clif Baker are representing the County of Los Angeles against a charge by the Service Employees International Union that the County violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act by refusing to provide the union with home addresses and phone numbers of county employees who were not members of the union. The union claims it needs the information to represent those employees in collective bargaining, while the County argues that providing the information would invade the employees’ right to privacy. County of Los Angeles, Chief Executive v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Commission, Case No. S191944. The Court of Appeal decision under review is available here.

Two victories in the Court of Appeal

In back to back decisions, the Second District Court of Appeal was persuaded by the firm’s arguments to overturn adverse results. in Los Angeles Unified School District v. Superior Court (Case No. BC239157), the L.A. Superior Court had refused to grant summary judgment in a retaliation case. We argued that the plaintiff was discharged as part of a district-wide reduction in force. In response to the Court of Appeal’s order to reverse itself and grant the motion or show cause why it should not be ordered to do so, the lower court entered summary judgment. In Yvette Brown v. County of Los Angeles (Case No. B229993), The Court of Appeal reversed a $450,000 verdict in favor of a self-proclaimed whistle blower. The trial court had barred the employer from introducing evidence of its legitimate reason for discharging the employee. The Court of Appeal ruled the evidence was wrongly excluded because of a misunderstanding of a state licensing statute, or ordered a new trial.

Disability claim against client dismissed

The L.A. Superior Court granted the firm’s summary judgment motion against a disability claim by an employee who took two days off work after a minor car accident. Amy Osborne and Calvin House handled the case. Scott v. CareMore Health Plan, Case No. BC438957 (L.A. Superior Ct. Dec. 7, 2011).