Clean Sweep for Manning & Kass Governmental Entity Liability Team in March
There were only three defense verdicts for police liability cases in the Central District of California in March 2017, and all of these are credited to a single law firm: Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP. In an environment of heightened public scrutiny over law enforcement in general, and use of force issues in particular, this is an all the more extraordinary accomplishment.
The federal court victories on behalf of our Governmental Entity Liability Team's clients were Rodarte v. County of San Bernardino et al.; Cardenas v. City of Manhattan Beach et al; and Oppenheimer v. La Habra Police Department and G4S.
In Cardenas, trial attorneys and partners Mildred K. O'Linn and Tony Sain, along with associates Kayleigh McGuiness and Lynn Carpenter, secured a defense victory for Manhattan Beach officers in allegations of excessive force stemming from a traffic stop that ended in a fatality.
In Rodarte, the decedent emerged from a five hour standoff with deputies, shouting and rapidly pulling his hand from his poncho in a manner that simulated a handgun. The trial lasted eleven days in federal court, and involved nearly 30 witnesses. Founding partner Eugene Ramirez worked alongside Marty Holly, a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office, and Kayleigh McGuinness, an associate. They successfully argued that based on the totality of circumstances the deputies faced that evening, their actions were justified.
In Oppenheimer, Lou Pappas and his trial team of Robert Murphy and Andrew Mallett obtained a defense verdict in a lawsuit brought by the family of an arrestee who committed suicide in a police department holding cell.
In these types of high exposure cases, cities, counties, and municipalities may choose to settle rather than risk seven and even eight figure plaintiff's awards. During the same month that Manning & Kass attorneys won three trials in a row, the same federal district returned six plaintiff's verdicts in law enforcement cases handled by other firms.
No firm can promise 100% defense verdicts and every case is different. Manning & Kass has a track record of defending law enforcement personnel in high exposure, complex liability matters. We believe our work ethic and strong relationships with our clients are two of the most important reasons we have garnered the trust of so many city, county, and state governmental entities.