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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.

Wilke Fleury Partner Lauded In Health Care Magazine

The work of Wilke Fleury partner and lobbyist John Valencia was hailed by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery in the September/October 2012 edition of Currents, the Society’s semimonthly magazine. In an article entitled “ASDSA Victory: California Patient Safety Bill Passes,” the Society detailed the passage of Assembly Bill 1548 (imposing stiffer penalties for violations of the ban on “rent-a-doc” business schemes that have become prevalent in the context of cosmetic medical procedures), and specifically highlighted the importance of Mr. Valencia’s work. Among the “lessons” noted by the Society in advocating for AB 1548’s passage was the following:

"Engage an excellent contract lobbyist:  John Valencia of Wilke Fleury acted as the contract lobbyist in California for every step of this effort.  He is passionate and knowledgeable about this issue and became a trusted resource within the state legislature, MBC, Governor’s Office and other venues.  His hard work and creativity was absolutely critical to this success."

Wilke Fleury is proud of Mr. Valencia’s diligent work, and values the trust and confidence the Society has placed in Mr. Valencia and the firm.