Multimillion Dollar Jury Verdict Upheld by Appellate Court

On Friday, February 1, the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit upheld a $5,000,000 judgment in a 2010 case brought by Wilke Fleury on behalf of plaintiffs Brian Dawe, Gary Harkins, and Flat Iron Mountain Associates against the California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association, Corrections USA, and one individual defendant. That judgment, in turn, followed a three-month trial in which a federal jury found that the defendants defamed Messrs. Dawe and Harkins and perpetrated related acts that caused significant damages to Dawe, Harkins, and Flat Iron Mountain Associates.

On appeal, the defendants argued that the judgment against CCPOA et al. was too large, and also maintained that certain claims should have been denied altogether under California’s application of the “litigation privilege,” among other principles. The appellate panel uniformly and unanimously rejected each of the defendants’ arguments, and affirmed the district court judgment in full.

In both the jury trial and on appeal, Dawe, Harkins, and Flat Iron were represented by Wilke Fleury partner Dan Baxter. Dan and his clients not only achieved the victories mentioned above, but also prevailed on each of the counterclaims advanced by the defendants at the trial.

Wilke Fleury congratulates Dan and his clients for achieving a fair and just result.