Leveling the Playing Field: Defense Counsel Used “Honest Fouls” in California and Beat a $16 Million Jury Demand

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In Bob Tyson’s book titled Nuclear Verdicts™: Defending Justice for All, Bob Tyson challenges the defense bar to “[u]se your fouls.”i A defense attorney who prefers to play by the books may question what an “honest foul” is and when to make such fouls. This article evaluates a May 2021 California Appellate decision illustrating how

Top Three Nuclear Verdicts™ in California In 2021

  Three verdicts have exceeded a gross verdict or award of $1.5 million in 2021.i The following article explores these three Nuclear Verdicts™ and what can be done to avoid the nuclear nature of these verdicts.   A. The Top Three Verdicts 1.  February 10, 2021: Bench Trial of Motorcycle vs. Vehicle Accident – $23,720,996

California’s Evolving Interpretation of Vicarious Liability

  Vicarious liability, the doctrine that imposes liability on a party not directly at fault, is one of the most malleable concepts in California law. Most recently, the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Kern County analyzed the reach of two forms of vicarious liability — the peculiar risk doctrine and the nondelegable rule —

Discovery Abuse May Have Cost Defendant $120 Million

  When faced with potentially harmful evidence, it is best to accept responsibility and face the situation head on, instead of playing games and trying to hide evidence. Using tactics like this is not likely to endear the jury to an attorney, and may fuel their anger, leading to larger verdicts.   1. Equihua v.

California Appellate Courts Hold Statutory Immunity Bars Treble Damages Claims

  California enacted Assembly Bill-218 on October 14, 2019, amending Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1.  In doing so, California greatly expanded damages awards available to childhood sexual assault victims, including treble damages against entities that engage in “covering up” childhood sexual assault.[i]  One of the principal byproducts of the reform legislation is treble damages

Medi-Cal Liens Not Preempted by Federal Medicaid Anti-Lien Statute

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  Could a Medi-Cal lien for recovery of advanced medical expenses be pre-empted by federal law?  This was the issue recently decided by the Second District Court of Appeal in L.Q. v. California Hospital Medical Center.[i]  The case involves the conflict between federal and state law on whether a state’s Medicaid program can legally claim

How Defense Counsel Can Take a Bite Out of Potential Nuclear Verdicts™

A jury recently awarded $20 million against the City of Exeter in San Luis Obispo County, California in a case involving a 2016 retired police dog which attacked and killed one individual and injured another.  The jury verdict fits the mold of the typical Nuclear Verdicts™ plaguing our country.  Defense attorneys can utilize methods to

MICRA Rescued by Extraordinary Bipartisan Compromise

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  A new effort by the persistent plaintiff’s bar to drastically change and gut significant provisions of MICRA was slated for the November 2022 ballot.  If passed, this ballot initiative would have had devastating consequences for California doctors, hospitals, and ultimately consumers, as there would be no non-economic damages cap if a jury were to