Representative Matters

In re California Energy Litigation 

  • Business Litigation

In re California Energy Litigation – represented energy supplier in industry-wide claim by State of California involving claims of energy market supply and price manipulation.

Healy v. MCI/Worldcom

  • Business Litigation

Healy v. MCI/Worldcom – representation of executive in federal court whistleblower fraud trial recovering more than 4 million dollars in unpaid stock options, deferred income, general/punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

Saenz v. Whitewater Voyages, Inc. (1990) 226 Cal.App.3d 758; Ferrari v. Grand Canyon Dories (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 248; 

  • Personal Injury
  • Appellate

Saenz v. Whitewater Voyages, Inc. (1990) 226 Cal.App.3d 758; Ferrari v. Grand Canyon Dories(1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 248; cases involving waiver and assumption of the risk of severe whitewater rafting injuries.

Tucker v. Edwards

  • Personal Injury

Tucker v. Edwards – successful causation defense jury verdict obtained for defendant against plaintiff’s claims that accident/impact caused cervical myelopathy requiring neck surgery.

Samstag v. Plaskolite

  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability

Samstag v. Plaskolite – summary judgment upheld on appeal in favor of acrylic manufacturer accused of causing a crushed foot when box of product broke open, dropping 80 pounds of acrylic sheeting onto foot.Plaintiff’s evidence lacked the necessary element of causation as defendant demonstrated that the box could break open for any number of reasons apart from negligence.

In re Fancy Nails Litigation

  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability

In re Fancy Nails Litigation – lead defense counsel in first ever community outbreak of Mycobacterium fortuitum infections causing permanent, disfiguring skin lesions in more than 110 nail salon patrons.  Directed pre-litigation investigation, managed public relations, defended target defendant and successfully prosecuted products liability cross-actions resulting in settlement for less than client’s CGL policy limits.

Miller v. Mauro

  • Personal Injury

Miller v. Mauro – trial representation of defendant resulting in defense jury verdict in automobile case against plaintiff husband and wife seeking more than 4 million dollars for brain injury, 2 level cervical fusion and claim that plaintiff husband would never work again.

Williams v. Roebbelen & County of El Dorado

  • Personal Injury

Williams v. Roebbellen & County of El Dorado – Successful Imminent Peril Defense case involving a claimed right-of-way violation as well as a dangerous condition of public property claim against the County of El Dorado.  After colliding with defendant’s car, the plaintiff/motorcyclist was thrown over 150 feet sustaining substantial injuries to his pelvis, arms and legs requiring several surgeries and more than $500,000 in past medical special damages.

Lombardi vs Robinsons Taekwondo

  • Personal Injury

In Lombardi vs Robinsons Taekwondo, Sean Patrick and Domenic Spinelli, representing the defendants, prevailed on a SJM based on the defense of Primary Assumption of the Risk. Plaintiff, a candidate for black belt, suffered dental injuries while sparring with his instructor from a kick and sued the instructor and Robinsons. Placer County superior court dismissed the action based on the PAR defense.

Alvarado v. Sparkman Medical Data

  • Employment

Alvarado v. Sparkman Medical Data – defense jury verdict in assault and battery case alleged by employee against her immediate supervisor/owner of company.

Federico v. Superior Court (1997) 59 Cal.App.4th 1207

  • Employment
  • Appellate

Federico v. Superior Court (1997) 59 Cal.App.4th 1207 – obtained Writ of Mandate from Third District Court of Appeal directing entry of summary judgment for employer who plaintiff alleged was liable for an employee’s sexual molestation of plaintiff minor whom he met at the worksite.

SFC v. Greystone

  • Construction

SFC v. Greystone – jury verdict in favor of client/project architect in construction defect jury trial involving 160 apartment units. Obtained special defense verdict for client following six week trial and recovered costs for client in post-trial proceedings.

Vela v. Prime Equipment Sales

  • Construction

Vela v. Prime Equipment Sales – defense jury verdict in favor of contractor for construction site injury where plaintiff sustained verifiable closed head injury and multiple fractures after falling from scissor lift.

Cirby Hills HOA v. Cirby Hills Development

  • Construction

Cirby Hills HOA v. Cirby Hills Development – represented developer in large HOA defect litigation ultimately obtaining sufficient contribution from subcontractors and carriers as well as compromise from Plaintiff HOA to resolve case under terms favorable to developer clients.

Pro-Exteriors, Inc. v. Tran

  • Construction

Pro-Exteriors, Inc. v. Tran – represented Plaintiff framing subcontractor in bench trial seeking payment of $130,000 owed under commercial subcontract.  General contractor alleged that framing work was defective and the project was delayed by client.  After defeating the general contractor’s claims, the Court awarded the full amount owed to client plus attorneys fees and costs.

In re American Samoa High School Athletes

  • Public Entities

In re American Samoa High School Athletes – formulated investigation plan which uncovered high school sports recruiting scandal involving student athletes from American Samoa. The investigation was followed by successful prosecution of claim in favor of governing body against those involved with scandal.

Thompson v. Sacramento City Unified School District (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 1352

  • Public Entities
  • Personal Injury

Thompson v. Sacramento City Unified School District (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 1352 – discretionary immunity enforced in favor of school district and its personnel for readmitting previously suspended student who caused severe injury to plaintiff including coma and permanent brain injury.

Smith v. San Juan Unified School District

  • Public Entities

Smith v. San Juan Unified School District – successful defense through trial of school district and personnel in special education department sued by parent of autistic child alleging that school’s personnel and manner of teaching were abusive towards student.

Clemes v. Del Norte Unified School District (ND Cal. 1994) 843 F.Supp. 583

  • Public Entities
  • Appellate

Clemes v. Del Norte Unified School District (ND Cal. 1994) 843 F.Supp. 583 – racial discrimination case brought by teacher for the purported benefit of students against school district and employees under Titles VII and IX.  FRCP 12B6 motion granted in favor of all defendants.

Couch v. San Juan Unified School District (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 1491

  • Public Entities
  • Appellate

Couch v. San Juan Unified School District (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 1491 – summary judgment granted in favor of district and personnel in action by former teacher alleging libel, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress.

Rio Linda Unified School District v. Superior Court (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 732

  • Public Entities
  • Appellate

Rio Linda Unified School District v. Superior Court (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 732 – obtained writ of mandate granting summary judgment from Third District Court of Appeal in case alleging personal injury to special needs student due to dangerous condition of public property.

McMackins v. Elk Grove Unified School District (ED Cal. 1998) 21 F.Supp 1201

  • Public Entities
  • Employment
  • Appellate

McMackins v. Elk Grove Unified School District (ED Cal. 1998) 21 F.Supp 1201 – ADA, failure to accommodate and wrongful termination claims of former teacher defeated on summary judgment by establishing that plaintiff was not a qualified person under statutory scheme.

Knight v. Hayward Unified School District (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 121 

  • Public Entities
  • Employment
  • Appellate

Knight v. Hayward Unified School District (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 121 – successful defense of school district’s employment benefits package that lacked medical coverage for in vitro fertilization.  In a case of first impression in California, the First District Court of Appeal agreed with the defense position that the group health benefit coverage for other forms of fertility treatment (which had failed in the case of the plaintiff) and that the coverage was the same for all participants, was not discriminatory for excluding IVF treatment.

Customer Company v. City of Sacramento (1995) 10 Cal.4th 368 

  • Public Entities
  • Appellate

Customer Company v. City of Sacramento (1995) 10 Cal.4th 368 – successful defense of City of Sacramento and its police officers in a civil rights case involving municipal liability for destruction of private property by police in the course of apprehending an armed and fleeing felon barricaded in local convenience store. A case of first impression decided by the California Supreme Court that serves as important training for police agencies.

Sparks v. City of Wheatland, et al. (Case No. C035782)

  • Appellate

Sparks v. City of Wheatland, et al. (Case No. C035782) – the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting defendants’ demurrer in a case involving wrongful death and a police agency’s alleged failure to apprehend or prevent a drunken driver from operating a motor vehicle on public roads.

Ponce-Bran v. Sacramento Natural Foods Cooperative, Inc., et al. (2000) US App. Lexis 11576

  • Appellate

Ponce-Bran v. Sacramento Natural Foods Cooperative, Inc., et al. (2000) US App.Lexis 11576 – successfully represented all defendants in a race, gender and national origin discrimination claim from the United States District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by proving a legitimate business purpose in the hiring decision when a better qualified candidate applied for the same job.

Yazel v. Sacramento City Unified School District (2000) US App. Lexis 33592

  • Appellate

Yazel v. Sacramento City Unified School District (2000) US App. Lexis 33592 – represented the Sacramento City Unified School District and individual employees successfully in the District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by arguing that a plaintiff’s discrimination claims until Title VII and FEHA failed to establish a prima facia case of discrimination, and wrong termination, in a reverse gender discrimination case.

Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company v. Allstate Insurance Company (1991) 234 Cal.App.3d 1154

  • Appellate

Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company v. Allstate Insurance Company (1991) 234 Cal.App.3d 1154 – represented the defendant carrier in an insurance coverage case involving the Highway Carriers’ act and delved into what accounts for sufficient compliance with the Public Utilities Commission insurance requirements.  Edson, Laplante & Spinelli recovered $750,000 plus pre-judgment interest for the client.

Great American Surplus Alliance Insurance Company v. Ace Oil Company, et al., (ED Cal 1988) 120 FDR 533

  • Appellate

Great American Surplus Alliance Insurance Company v. Ace Oil Company, et al., (ED Cal 1988) 120 FRD 533 – represented the defendant in a case involving insurance coverage for “environmental impairment liability”.  The case published by the United States District Court involved the application of the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrine to material exchanged between an insured and their insurance carrier.

Eaton v. City of Grass Valley (Case No. 59522)

  • Appellate

Eaton v. City of Grass Valley (Case No. 59522) – defended the City of Grass Valley in a case involving an alleged dangerous condition of public property.   The firm obtained a Motion for Summary Judgment in favor of the City in a case involving a line of sight issue and substantial personal injury to the plaintiff as a result of a motor vehicle accident at a corner.  The firm established a lack of causation between any condition for which the City was responsible and Plaintiffs substantial personal injury.  The ruling was upheld by the Third District Court of Appeal.

Ferrari v. Grand Canyon Dories (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 248

  • Appellate

Ferrari v. Grand Canyon Dories (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 248 – represented the sponsor and conductor of a white water rafting trip that obtained summary judgment in the trial court by utilizing the primary assumption of risk defense.  The Third District Court of Appeal upheld the decision in favor of the clients by holding that the conduct of the sponsor did not increase the risks inherent in the white water rafting activity.  This case provided a substantial development in the primary assumption of the risk doctrine in the State of California.

Renda v. Sacramento City Unified School District (Case No. C034629 – Third District Court of Appeals)

  • Appellate

Renda v. Sacramento City Unified School District (Case No. C034629 – Third District Court of Appeals) – obtained summary judgment in favor of its client, the Sacramento City Unified School District, in a gender discrimination and retaliation claim brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  The Third District Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s gender and sexual harrassment claims because she failed to come forward with any admissible evidence to support her claims, she failed to comply with the statute of limitations and she could not establish a hostile work environment.