Morris Polich & Purdy LLP, a California and Nevada law firm, is pleased to announce that Holiday D. Powell was named its newest partner effective January 1, 2015. Based in the firm’s San Francisco office, Holiday Powell focuses her practice on complex business and product liability litigation. She defends a broad range of domestic and international clients in business and real estate disputes, mass torts, pharmaceutical, medical device, automotive and other product liability litigation. She is involved in all aspects of state and federal court litigation, including trials and appeals.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that on January 8, 2015, the firm was successful in securing the first published California Court of Appeal opinion holding that the economic loss rule applies to claims against design professionals. The Court held that a material supplier sued by the general contractor could not shift the blame to the design professional.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that Martindale-Hubbell®, a source for information about U.S. lawyers since 1868, has named MPP a Top Ranked Law Firm in California for 2014.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that Pamela A. Palmer has been named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honorary organization of lawyers, judges and legal scholars who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of their legal practice.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that on July 1, 2014, SmithTrager PC joined Morris Polich & Purdy LLP, an established law firm with offices in Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas. SmithTrager attorneys Summer L. Nastich and Diane R. Smith bring with them exceptional expertise in the areas of environmental and construction law.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that on Friday, June 13, 2014, Roger Perkins, Esq. received the Medmarc Attorney of the Year Award for 2014 at the Medmarc annual conference in Vail, Colorado. Sonia Valdes, Esq., Vice President of Claims, presided over the awards ceremony.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce the inaugural Southern California Architect and Engineer Conference which will explore “New Opportunities and Challenges in the Evolving Practice of Design.” This complimentary, one-day event held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on May 14, 2014 features panels of industry, community, and business innovators sharing their personal experiences, insights and visions concerning the future of Transportation, Technology, Housing and the Business of Design in Southern California. The conference will highlight the changing landscape and new opportunities in the design profession.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that following a recent successful appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, San Diego office partners Gerry Schneeweis and Mark Hellenkamp have won an award in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California of all attorneys’ fees and costs incurred on behalf of The Horticultural Research Institute of New Zealand, Ltd. (“HortResearch”), a New Zealand-based plant and food research institute forced to defend against a $17 million breach of warranty lawsuit brought in California. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit were 15 California growers who had entered into individual “Grower Agreements” with a separate defendant, and had been unsuccessful in growing HortResearch’s new, proprietary gold flesh-colored kiwifruit in California’s hot and arid San Joaquin Valley. The lawsuit was initially filed in 2007 in state court, and subsequently removed to federal court in Los Angeles based on diversity of citizenship.
Los Angeles, CA – Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that Thomson Reuters/Aspatore has published Understanding Privacy & Data Security: What You Need to Know authored by MPP partner Timothy J. Toohey, head of the firm’s Cyber, Privacy and Data Security practice. The firm has also released this week a new website for its Cyber, Privacy and Data Security practice at www.privacydatasecurity.com, a website that explores the changing legal and technological developments affecting the fields of privacy and data security.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP San Diego partner Gerald Schneeweis and a team of attorneys, including partners David Vendler and Megan Wynne and associates Ashley Escudero and Andrew Chivinski, have won a recent decisive victory on behalf of all 14 individual clients in product liability / fraud litigation stemming from the plaintiffs’ injection of a product that had been manufactured by a now-defunct company. The litigation, at its height, involved as many as 80 separate U.S. and foreign plaintiffs who brought lawsuits in 38 courtrooms scattered among seven different counties, and included 25 different defendants. These defendants included our clients, the former manufacturer of the products, the 14 individual former employees, directors and an outside sales representative. The fundamental legal argument that we were finally able to persuade the court to accept was that absent a separate fraudulent act directed at plaintiffs or their physician, an individual who works for or is an agent of a manufacturer is not liable for personal injuries allegedly caused by the company’s product under any theory of product liability. There is precious little caselaw on this specific point, and we are happy that San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor—a dedicated and thoughtful jurist—reached this result in his comprehensive and detailed trial court decision.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that Timothy J. Toohey joined the firm as a partner on November 1, 2013.
Las Vegas, NV --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that after more than two weeks of trial, a jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Union Pacific Railroad in a case involving an on-duty injury of an employee. The jury swiftly reached a decision after two hours of deliberation. Steve Densley of Union Pacific Railroad and John Hunt of Morris Polich & Purdy LLP obtained this defense verdict against Anthony Petru of Hildebrand McLeod & Nelson, who asked the jury to award Ostrovsky upwards of $8.8 million in his closing argument.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP (MPP) filed a writ in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on October 30, 2012, on behalf of the Concerned Landowners in the Paso Robles Basin (CLPRB) which challenges the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin Conservation Ordinance.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP (MPP) is pleased to announce that Steven L. Hoch has joined the firm’s Los Angeles office as Partner.
"Listening, Reacting & Resolving: is Your Educational Institution Prepared?" a conference on sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying co-hosted by WRM America and Morris Polich & Purdy LLP, was covered in an article by the San Francisco Chronicle on April 26, 2012. Entitled "It's time for students to stand up to bullies," the article quotes the event's speakers (including Lee Hirsch, Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Writer of the documentary "Bully" and Rick Phillips, Executive Director of Community Matters), as well as San Francisco-area school officials that attended the event. To read the article, click HERE.This conference was also the topic of an April 27, 2012 Daily Journal article entitled "Lawyers help stand up to bullies," which describes the sessions presented by MPP partners Beth Kahn, Penelope Deihl and Richard Nakamura, Jr.
San Francisco, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP (MPP) is pleased to announce that Lee Hirsch, Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Writer of the new documentary “Bully,” will serve as Keynote Speaker for their upcoming San Francisco conference, co-hosted by WRM America. The conference, entitled “Listening, Reacting & Resolving: is Your Educational Institution Prepared?” will address the issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying (including cyber-bullying), topics that have recently received considerable media coverage and have sparked controversy for educational institutions around the country. Other speakers will include attorneys, insurance professionals and community leaders; attendees will include principals, managers, board members etc. of schools and colleges in California.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP (MPP) is pleased to announce that it will elevate two products liability attorneys and one appellate specialist to partner, effective on January 1, 2012. The three new partners are Michael Hurvitz, Tammara N. Tukloff and Jens B. Koepke.
Starting on August 22, MPP partner David Brandon will co-teach a class on Professional Liability at Loyola Law School as an Adjunct Professor. David’s experience as adjunct professor at Loyola Law School also includes having taught a class on Appellate Law for approximately 15 years.
Congratulations to MPP partner Stephen Huchting, who recently accepted an offer to serve as the legal advisor to this organization - about 60 independent property insurance adjusters throughout California.
Congratulations to MPP partner David Brandon, who was recently appointed to COPLI, effective September 18, 2011, through September 14, 2014.
Congratulations to MPP partner Pamela Palmer, who was recently appointed Co-Executive Editor of the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section's Law Journal for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Pamela previously served as Associate Executive Editor since 2009. Appointments to leadership positions within TIPS are based on the section's recognition of professional abilities and reputation among its 24,500 members.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that, at a reception in Los Angeles last night, partner Scott Freedman was named by the Daily Journal as one of the top labor and employment attorneys in California.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that, out of 30 total authors of CEB’s (California Continuing Education of the Bar) recent publication California Property Insurance: Law and Litigation, 10 were MPP attorneys. The MPP team was led by Stephen Huchting, and included Jeffrey Barron, Wendi Frisch, Gary Hamblet, Mark Hellenkamp, Scott Koppel, Pamela Palmer, Doug Purdy, Doug Wood, and Andrea Bednarova.
Los Angeles, CA --- It is with great sadness that Morris Polich & Purdy LLP announces the death of Ted Polich, one of the founders of the firm, who died peacefully at home on Friday December 24th.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that ten attorneys have joined the firm in the last quarter of this year: Philip S. Boone, Shawn E. Cowles, Blake A. Eudy, Christopher G. Foster, Jens B. Koepke, Danielle A. Kolkoski, Lili Mostofi, Ashley A. Piggott, Gilson S. Riecken, AIA, and Richard Tolles.
Charging underage guests an admission fee to a party where alcohol is available is not a “sale” that forfeits one’s social host immunities, the California Court of Appeal held in a case of first impression. MPP’s client hosted a party in 2007 where alcohol was available to partygoers. Guests that were not familiar to the bouncer were charged $3-$5 to enter the party. One intoxicated guest (a minor), while driving away from the party, struck and fatally injured another intoxicated guest (also a minor). The opinion examined the patchwork of statutes pertaining to alcohol and social host liability and immunities. Although social hosts who provide alcoholic beverages are generally immune from civil liability under Civil Code section 1714, plaintiffs claimed that defendant was still liable under Business and Professions Code section 25602.1, under which the host loses that immunity when alcohol is sold to an obviously intoxicated minor. The Court held, however, that defendant did not, by charging a $3-$5 admission fee, “sell” alcohol. A petition for review by the California Supreme Court was filed by plaintiffs on January 7, 2011. Ennabe v. Manosa (2010) 190 Cal.App.4th 707 (modification order)
San Francisco, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that Elizabeth England, a Partner of the firm, has been named Chair of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California. Ms. England has served as Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice-Chair of the Section over the three years immediately preceding her recent election by the Section’s fifteen-member Executive Committee, of which she has been a member since 2004.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce our partnership with the National Coalition of Public Safety Officers (NCPSO). MPP will now coordinate, on a national level, NCPSO’s Legal Defense Plan, which provides legal representation and indemnity to members who find themselves involved in claims, suits, administrative proceedings or litigation arising from on-duty incidents which are not being defended or indemnified by the members’ public safety organization.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has been selected as ACEC California's Featured Affiliate Firm in the latest edition of their E-Update publication. The feature includes a brief history of MPP, information on our Architect & Engineer Law practice, services we provide, and a description of our experience.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to welcome property insurance specialists Douglas K. Wood and Andrea Bednarova to our newest office in San Francisco.
New MPP Partner Doug Wood is a Martindale-Hubbell "AV-Preeminent" rated trial attorney who has been repeatedly recognized as one of a limited number of the Bay Area’s Best Insurance Lawyers, and one of Northern California’s Super Lawyers. Multi-lingual Associate Andrea Bednarova also has quickly distinguished herself as a bright young talent in this specialized practice area.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that a book co-authored by MPP partner Jeffrey H. Belote recently won an award for Outstanding Achievement in Best Publication Category from the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA). The book is a Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) two-volume publication entitled California Real Estate Brokers: Law and Litigation (2009), and Mr. Belote’s involvement included co-authoring a chapter on “Broker Fiduciary and Statutory Duties.”
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that, on July 27, 2010, the First Circuit Court of Appeal, including now-retired Supreme Court Justice Souter, upheld a $256 million class action judgment in an appeal argued by MPP partner David Vendler. The case involved claims brought under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA)(15 U.S.C. §1679 et seq.) against John and Richard Puccio, former owners of what was one of the country's leading credit counseling entities. The plaintiff's main theory of liability was that, while the entity advertised itself as a non-profit organization with a charitable mission of helping consumers resolve their debt, it was actually run as a for-profit business, allowing its owners to collect over $50 million from their struggling clients.
After a lengthy battle in a case involving a putative church run by a convicted felon, MPP was successful in obtaining dismissal on behalf of a developer client. The case culminated in a trial that lasted only 25 minutes. The inception of the case involved the church’s use of a commercial property as a residential property, collecting disability and social security checks from tenants as “non-taxable donations” to the church in lieu of rent. Plaintiff sold the property to a developer, who intended to build condominiums on the property, and who became a client of MPP partner Jeffrey Belote after it lost an unlawful detainer action to evict the church and its occupants during an 8-day jury trial. The jury decided that the developer had procured the property by fraud, and therefore was not entitled to possession. Buoyed by its success in the unlawful detainer, the church filed an action based thereon for quiet title and fraud asserting 15 causes of action against the developers. After a successful appeal by the developers, and a successful motion for summary adjudication, the Complaint by the church was reduced to just 2 causes of action. One month before the trial, MPP obtained a motion that requests be deemed admitted essentially causing the church to admit it had no facts or law to support its action. The matter came up for trial in April, and the Presiding Judge granted the church’s request for trial continuance to allow the church to make a motion to vacate the motions for summary adjudication and that requests be deemed admitted. Incredibly, the church never filed a motion for relief from the deemed admissions nor did they respond to the written discovery. Finally, the case came up for trial again in July. The Judge promptly granted our motion in limine and dismissed the case in 25 minutes.
A series of class action lawsuits against MPP’s client, a medical technology company that legally purchased anatomical gifts donated to UCLA's Willed Body Program, has been shut down by the California Supreme Court. The lawsuits were filed by donors' families complaining of severe emotional distress arising out of the corporate purchases. The purchases were legal under California law, and consisted of donations that exceeded the capacity of the Willed Body Program. Last month, the California Supreme Court declined to review the Court of Appeal’s opinion affirming the dismissal of the class action complaints. The opinion rejected the class plaintiffs’ argument that MPP’s client induced the Willed Body Program to breach various extra-contractual promises purportedly made to plaintiffs. The promises at issue were not in any donor’s contract, and the contracts themselves gave the Willed Body Program “sole discretion” over the use of the donations. The Court also ruled that California’s Uniform Anatomical Gift Act gives a donor exclusive rights to control the disposition of a gift, even if that disposition might offend surviving family members. Beyond the legal theories, this was a case about autonomy and the future. Donors made very personal choices to medically benefit future generations. Collectively, the donors’ gifts exceeded the capacity of the Willed Body Program, and nothing in their documents of gift barred the donation from being used for private medical research. Had the lawsuits proceeded, the impact on private research and development that requires anatomical specimens would have been severe. The litigation lasted several years, ending only after two Court of Appeal opinions and two trips to the California Supreme Court.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that attorneys Michael West, Douglas Hoang and Sheena Kwon recently obtained summary judgment in a difficult case wherein a minor plaintiff alleged he was physically beaten and slashed with a broken bottle by a third party, while at a party on residential property owned by our clients. The judge agreed with our position that our clients had no duty to protect plaintiff from this unforeseeable assault, since there was no admissible evidence establishing the clients’ actual knowledge of prior similar incidents occurring on their property. The judge sustained the majority of our objections to evidence submitted by plaintiff’s counsel from prior party-goers at the property, and agreed with our position that none of the alleged prior activity, even if morally questionable, was similar to the violent criminal assault with a deadly weapon that took place on the clients’ property during the subject incident.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that attorneys Michael West and Sue Junn recently obtained summary judgment in favor of a client in a medical malpractice action. Plaintiff had sued her surgeon, the hospital and our client (the facility where plaintiff received rehabilitation) for complications arising out of plaintiff’s total left knee replacement surgery. Significantly, the motions for summary judgment of the hospital and surgeon co-defendants were denied based on competing expert declarations. Although our client’s motion also dealt with a competing expert declaration, the judge agreed without our position concerning the legal deficiencies within the declaration of plaintiff’s expert, and granted summary judgment in our client’s favor based on plaintiff’s failure to set forth a triable issue of fact for the jury’s consideration regarding causation.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that partner Timothy M. Flaherty has been appointed to the City of Pleasant Hill Planning Commission for a four-year term.
Congratulations to MPP partner David L. Brandon, who was recently named as Program Vice Chair of the Professional Liability Committee of the Defense Research Institute.
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP's recently-opened San Francisco office was mentioned, as MPP is one of only seven law firms that opened an office in California in the first quarter of 2010.
The article, entitled "Firm M&As M.I.A. So Far in 2010" and written by Staff Writer Kari Hamanaka, appeared in the April 12, 2010 issue of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
MPP partner Mehrdad Farivar, FAIA has been appointed as a member of the liaison group between the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law and the AIA Contract Documents Committee to provide input in the development of standard AIA contract documents for digital practice.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that D. Creighton Sebra, a senior associate with the firm since 2007, recently became a partner of the firm.
Anthony Brazil and Diana Kotler, with assistance from Matthew Marshall, obtained summary judgment in a case involving an intraoperative warming device.
Plaintiff had sued the device manufacturer, along with the hospital and anesthesiologist, in a medical malpractice/products liability case. While the precise etiology of the injuries was disputed, the claim arose from severe ulcers/wounds plaintiff had suffered to the heels of his feet during a lengthy lower back procedure. Plaintiff alleged a failure to warn claim against the device manufacturer.
Our motion for summary judgment focused on the learned intermediary doctrine and the sophisticated user defense. It was argued that, under those doctrines, a warning was unnecessary as the nurse and anesthesiologist (the learned intermediaries and sophisticated users) were already familiar with the device and knew how it was to be placed/used. In addition, the plaintiff's opposition was countered by asserting that their engineering expert lacked the necessary expertise to give opinions on this medical device, and in particular, the warnings associated with it.
In granting summary judgment, the Court agreed the plaintiff had failed to submit admissible expert opinions sufficient to support the warnings claims, and further, that the warnings claims were precluded by the learned intermediary doctrine. Plaintiff had been demanding a seven-figure settlement at mediation shortly before the disposition of the motion.
MPP was recently mentioned in law360.com’s Product Liability section, in the article: "AMO Wipes Out Contact Lens Solution Class Action." The article reports that MPP client Advanced Medical Optics Inc. (AMO) was granted summary judgment "in a putative consumer class action over contact lens solution that was pulled from the market after being linked to infection." Federal Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that "the plaintiffs, who had not developed the infection, lacked standing."
To view the full article, click HERE.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that, as part of an initiative to expand their practice, the firm welcomes five new real estate and commercial litigation attorneys who have joined MPP’s newest office in San Francisco. Located in the Embarcadero Center, this office enables MPP to provide clients in Northern California the high level of service for which they are well-known in Southern California and Nevada.
Click HERE to view the announcement and contact information.
MPP Partner David L. Brandon was featured in the February 10, 2010 issue of DRI's "The Voice" in the section entitled "And The Defense Wins!"
The story describes two of David's recent successes: one in which he obtained a motion to strike a complaint on behalf of an architect client, and one in which he obtained an order from the California Court of Appeal that affirmed his previously-obtained summary judgment on behalf of a mutual water company, as well as attorney fees.
MPP partner Scott Koppel, along with associates Dan Endoso and Sharon Pak, obtained a defense verdict in a Glendale Superior Court trial. The case involved an auto accident where our client admitted to rear-ending plaintiff’s vehicle.
This is just one more example of a defense verdict obtained by Mr. Koppel where he has been able to successfully contest the nature and extent of damages.
MPP’s Maureen Home preserved a defense verdict previously won at trial by MPP attorneys Michael West and Cedric Hu. The case involved a mudslide arising from heavy rains that occurred in 2005.
The Court rejected claims of error based on (1) refusal to give certain special instructions; (2) exclusion of certain evidence; and (3) an award of our expert fees under CCP 998.
MPP partner Gary Hamblet was quoted on October 20, 2009 in an article entitled "Wildfire Victims’ Insurer Sues Water District".
Click HERE to view article.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that, for the first time, four of the world’s leading climate change experts came together at 4pm on 29th September 2009 to explain, in layman's terms, what climate change really is. The seminar, designed for insurance professionals, was held in the Old Library of the Lloyd’s building in London.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that, as part of an initiative to expand the firm’s practice in the area of Business Transactions, William B. Kirshenbaum has recently joined the firm as Partner. Bill has extensive experience both as inside and outside general counsel, as well as managing human resources, safety and environmental departments, in industries such as aerospace, manufacturing, entertainment, real estate, retail chains, restaurants and apparel. In these roles, he has a wide-ranging depth of knowledge in the coordination of all legal affairs, including negotiating agreements with financing sources, customers, suppliers and employees, as well as exploiting intellectual property.
The Daily Journal recently reported a complaint filed by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles against a former Housing Authority employee who “misappropriated money by directing almost $800,000 worth of contracts – without open competition or through rigged bidding – to construction and design companies run by his family members.” MPP attorney Charles Slyngstad, who is representing the Housing Authority, was quoted. Please click the title of this announcement to view the full article (Daily Journal, Catherine Ho, 6/25/09).
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that Stephen Huchting, a Partner of the firm, has received the "2009 Defense Attorney of the Year Award" from the Southern California Chapter of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU). The award luncheon, held on July 15th at the Rio Hondo Country Club in Downey, California, acknowledged the important role Stephen plays within the insurance industry for fire and disaster investigations. Stephen has consistently resolved major fire claims to the benefit of his clients, and the awards committee recognized his tremendous depth of knowledge, attention to detail and determination to get to the truth. Stephen has also authored several publications for the Continuing Education of the Bar on property insurance coverage, and is a regular instructor at the California Conference of Arson Investigators.
A team of MPP attorneys, led by San Diego Partner Gerry Schneeweis, and including attorneys Lee Petersil and Mark Angert, has just won summary judgment in a $16 million breach of warranty lawsuit in a Los Angeles federal court on behalf of a New Zealand science-based horticultural institute. The suit, brought by 14 plaintiff-growers from California’s San Joaquin Valley, had alleged that our client had made express and implied warranties that a new, proprietary variety of kiwifruit, developed by our client (which had previously only been grown in New Zealand) would be successful in California's relatively hot, dry climate. Plaintiffs collectively claimed over $16 million in damages, representing the cost of converting their existing kiwifruit crops to the new variety, as well as loss of earnings they attributed to the fact that the new variety didn't prove to be commercially viable. Trial was set for mid-June, 2009. We brought a motion for summary judgment as to all of the plaintiffs' claims, arguing that they were barred by both the terms of an agreement to which our client was a third party beneficiary and the 2-year statute of limitations for actions based on oral representations. The district court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an order granting summary judgment on all claims as to all plaintiffs. Judgment has been entered in our client's favor and there will be a separate motion for award of our client's attorneys' fees and costs, based on its status as a third party beneficiary and entitlement to such fees and costs as the "prevailing party" under the growers' individual agreements.
Las Vegas, NV --- Answering a legal question that had been pending in Nevada for over 2 years, the Nevada Supreme Court on March 26, 2009 held that design professionals who provide services in connection with commercial property development cannot be sued for negligence where the alleged damages are purely financial. The ruling aligns Nevada with a growing number of states that, in recent years, have extended the protection of the economic loss doctrine to design professionals, allowing them the same legal benefits that protect construction contractors, product manufacturers and other business entities involved in litigation. The effects of this decision will be limitation of the nature and, potentially, the volume, of professional negligence claims asserted against licensed design professionals in Nevada.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP successfully represented plaintiffs against one of the nation’s leading credit counseling firms and its founders for non-compliance with the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) and other claims. The company misleadingly claimed to consumers that it was a non-profit organization, but those claims have now been adjudged false and fraudulent. The $256,527,000 class action judgment against John and Richard Puccio and several other entities related to the credit counseling organization issued following summary judgment being entered against the defendants by United States District Court Judge Michael A Ponsor of the Massachusetts District.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that eight partners have been recognized by Super Lawyers this year as some of the best lawyers in their respective practice areas: Jeffrey S. Barron, David L. Brandon, Anthony G. Brazil, Marc S. Katz, Walter J. Lipsman, Richard H. Nakamura, Douglas C. Purdy and Donald L. Ridge.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP represented a class of several hundred former employees of the now defunct Pleasant Care nursing home chain, after their health insurance coverage was retroactively terminated and earned vacation pay withheld.
In a lawsuit brought by family members of individuals who donated their bodies to UCLA’s Willed Body Program, MPP has successfully petitioned the California Supreme Court to re-examine the scope of emotional distress recovery in the highly sensitive area of cadaveric material donated for scientific research. MPP’s petition for review was supported by several friend of the court letters urging the Court to clarify when, if ever, family members may effectively veto an individual’s decision to donate his or her body to science. Cohen v. NuVasive, Inc., review granted October 1, 2008, S166020.
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles sued one of its independent contractors and two former officers alleging misappropriation of public funds. The trial court dismissed the Authority’s lawsuit as untimely. The Court of Appeal reversed, agreeing with MPP that the statutes of limitation were tolled by the doctrine of "adverse domination." The doctrine recognizes that where a corporation is dominated by defendant wrongdoers, the statutes of limitation on lawsuits brought by the corporation against the wrongdoers are tolled until the wrongdoers are no longer in control. The opinion declined to limit the doctrine to private corporations or to instances where the wrongdoers are officers and directors.
Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles v. Williams (October 28, 2008, B199852) [nonpub. opn. at 2008 WL 4712756].
In a published opinion, the California Court of Appeal agreed with MPP that the party who has intentionally destroyed or spoliated evidence bears the burden of showing that the destruction does not prejudice the other side’s case. Adopting MPP’s proposed burden-shifting rule, the Court of Appeal held that "a party moving for discovery sanctions based on the spoliation of evidence must make an initial, prima facie showing that the responding party in fact destroyed evidence that had a substantial probability of damaging the moving party’s ability to establish an essential element of his claim or defense." Once the party seeking the spoliation sanction makes that showing, the “burden of disproving prejudice” shifts to the spoliator. The published opinion affirmed a terminating sanction entered against a client who, after suing his lawyer for legal malpractice, caused the destruction of documents generated during the course of the representation. Williams v. Russ (October 27, 2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1215
Maureen M. Home, of counsel with Morris Polich & Purdy LLP, co-authored a chapter in the 2008 edition of the Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) treatise "California Civil Writ Practice." The chapter discusses actions that a superior court may take in writ proceedings filed in superior court. Ms. Home is a trial and appellate attorney who specializes in civil appeals and writs. She has argued and won cases before the California Court of Appeal, as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has numerous appellate decisions addressing a wide range of issues.
The Architect's Newspaper recently quoted MPP attorney Mark E. Hellenkamp in a recent article on architectural copyright, in which a case from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals was discussed. In the 11th Circuit case, the court held that the architectural design of a pair of towers, built by Donald Trump and his partners, was not substantially similar to a design owned by the plaintiff, architect Paul Oravec. Mr. Hellenkamp, a business litigation attorney in MPP's San Diego office with experience in large scale disputes involving copyright, including architectural copyright, also practices in the areas of insurance litigation and appellate law.
London, UK --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP provided a groundbreaking seminar entitled "Climate Change Litigation in the US: Theories of Liability and Insurance Issues" held in the Old Library of the Lloyd’s building in London, on April 30th 2008, with 80 in attendance. "The expertise of our attorneys in this and other emerging areas of litigation allows us to provide valuable information and raise awareness for those who will be directly affected. We are honored to have had the opportunity to speak directly to Lloyds on this issue," said Don Ridge.
MPP attorney Derek A. Simpson was featured on the CBS Evening News on April 25th, as part of a segment highlighting rising gas prices. After covering the effect of rising prices on eastcoast and midwestern businesses and commuters, the story focused on the benefits of public transportation in Los Angeles, exemplified by Mr. Simpson, who takes the train instead of driving to work. Cameras followed Mr. Simpson during his entire morning commute, ending at the doors of MPP's Los Angeles office.
Los Angeles, CA --- The California and Nevada law firm Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that two of its attorneys have recently contributed to two notable construction and design related books. "Our goal in contributing to these books was to utilize our extensive experience within the construction & design industry to provide a unique perspective on the legal system that serves it," said Mr. Levin.
Los Angeles, CA --- Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is pleased to announce that seven partners have been recognized by Super Lawyers this year as some of the best lawyers in their respective practice areas: David L. Brandon, Anthony G. Brazil, Marc S. Katz, Walter J. Lipsman, Richard H. Nakamura, Douglas C. Purdy and Donald L. Ridge. "We are delighted that, once again, a group of our attorneys has been selected as Super Lawyers. This is the fifth year that MPP has been included in the selection," says George Brandon, MPP’s Director of Business Development and Marketing.
Jury Returns Defense Verdict In Mesothelioma Case Against Crown Cork. Defense attorneys: Heather L. Blume, Morris Polich & Purdy, Los Angeles; William Armstrong, Armstrong & Associates, Oakland, Calif.
Los Angeles, CA --- The California and Nevada law firm Morris Polich & Purdy LLP today announced the next step in the expansion of its business and client development services with the appointment of veteran law firm business development and marketing strategist George Brandon. "Our goal was to hire a leading business development and marketing strategist and George Brandon exceeds what we were looking for. His broad knowledge of law firm marketing, finance, technology, and business development is an extremely valuable resource for Morris Polich & Purdy LLP; we are very excited to have him as part of the management team of the firm," said Managing Partner, Donald Ridge.
Attorneys for Morris Polich & Purdy LLP recently secured a victory for a design firm in a case involving a real estate purchase and the subsequent development plans for the parcel. The owner sought to purchase property and, during the process, an easement that affected title was not identified. The owner sued his attorneys for legal malpractice. The attorneys then filed a cross complaint for indemnity a civil engineering firm, who had been retained by the owner to prepare plans for the proposed construction.