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Cases in the News

television and print coverage of ComCon's cases

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ComCon Cases In the News

CIVIL CASES IN THE NEWS

civil rights   ·   land use   ·   contracts / fraud   ·  
employment   ·   malpractice   ·   personal injury  

CRIMINAL CASES IN THE NEWS

sex crimes   ·   insanity   ·   death penalty   ·  
conspiracy   ·   tax evasion  

Scales of justice

go to  MEDIA INTERVIEWS  for commentary on high profile cases and legal issues

Print, broadcast and online media have covered many cases on which ComCon has worked, both civil and criminal. While ComCon's practice is significantly more diverse than our cases covered by the media, ComCon's cases in the news offer insight into our work and practices.

Noteworthy Civil Cases

Many civil cases on which ComCon has worked are of interest to the public. Currently, print and video coverage is available for ComCon civil cases on:

CIVIL RIGHTS       RAMIREZ   ·   CAZARES   ·   SHOYOYE

Ramirez v. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (false arrest, malicious prosecution)

Opening Statement

Yes on Verdict Form

Clasped Hands

After Raul Ramirez was found not guilty by a jury and factually innocent by a judge in a criminal trial, he brought suit against the L.A. County Sheriff's Department for violation of his civil rights. Dr. Kellermann consulted on behalf of Mr. Ramirez in both cases. In the criminal case, Dr. Kellermann provided Michael Artan and Michael Sobel with presentation and jury selection assistance. In the civil case, Dr. Kellermann helped the now “three Michaels” (added is Michael Olecki) fashion case themes, shape damages arguments and select the jury. Mr. Ramirez was awarded $18 million in compensatory damages, the largest award ever made against the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. The three Michaels were recognized as California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year in 2007.

Read about the case:

Read JURY ORDERS SHERIFF TO PAY $18 MILLION (February, 2006)

Read JURY AWARDS TEACHER $18 MILLION FOR FALSE ARREST (February, 2006)

Read FEDERAL JURY AWARDS TEACHER RECORD $18M AGAINST L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF (March, 2006)

Read TEACHER SPENDS 10 MONTHS IN JAIL AFTER HIS WEDDING (March, 2006)

Read legal summaries of the case:

Read COP MANIPULATED EVIDENCE, COACHED WITNESS (March, 2006)

Read FALSE ARREST MALICIOUS PROSECUTION (April, 2006)

Read PLAINTIFF FALSELY ACCUSED AND PROSECUTED FOR CRIME HE DID NOT COMMIT (April, 2006)

See the CLAY recognition: CLAY AWARD

Read an attorney's personal case narrative: LIFE ALTERING LITIGATION WHILE PRACTICING OUTSIDE YOUR FIELD (Fall, 2007)

Cazares & Moreno v. City of Bell Garden (excessive force, malicious prosecution)

Closing Argument

Gerardo Cazares and Manuel Moreno sued the Bell Gardens Police Department and individual officers for deprivation of their civil rights, including excessive force and malicious prosecution, when officers responding to a noise complaint at a Halloween Costume Party in plaintiffs' front yard punched, kicked, beat, shot, arrested, and had plaintiffs charged and tried for obstruction and assault. Dr. Kellermann assisted plaintiffs' civil attorneys Glen Jonas and Christopher Driscoll with jury selection, opening statement and damages arguments. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $4.5 million.

Read JURY AWARDS $4.5 MILLION IN POLICE BRUTALITY CASE (April, 2008)

Read BELL GARDENS POLICE DEPT. HIT WITH $4.5 MILLION JURY VERDICT FOR POLICE CORRUPTIONLarge file. Please allow time to load. (April, 2008)

Shoyoye v. County of Los Angeles (overdetainment)

Jail Bars

Adetokunbo Shoyoye sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for being unlawfully detained in jail for 15 days after dismissal of a misdemeanor charge for not having a ticket for a transit train. The Sheriff's Department claimed a clerical error was to blame for Mr. Shoyoye, a black man of Nigerian descent, being confused with another detainee. Dr. Kellermann assisted plaintiff attorney Gary Casselman with timeline development, graphic presentation, case strategy, voir dire, and jury selection. The Sherriff's Department offered Mr. Shoyoye $1,000 when he was released from custody, the defense offered $40,000 to settle the case, a jury awarded Mr. Shoyoye $202,700, and a judge awarded attorney fees and costs.

Read pretrial MINUTES OF THE LA COUNTY CLAIMS BOARD (March, 2009)

Watch Video  LEGAL SHOWTIME INTERVIEWLarge file. Please allow time to load. (August, 2008)

Read entered JUDGMENT ON SPECIAL VERDICT (February, 2010)

LAND USE       MCCLURE

McClure v. City of Long Beach

Dr. Kellermann consulted for the defense, the City of Long Beach, conducting post verdict juror interviews to understand the jury deliberations, which lasted 5 months (after a 6 month trial). The defense appealed on grounds of juror misconduct. The judge reduced the compensatory damages award by $9 million. The parties settled the remaining damages and attorneys fees in June, 2006.

Read THE MCCLURE JURY…QUESTIONS ARISE ABOUT THEIR CONDUCT (November, 2004)

Read JUROR DID NOT DISCLOSE BUILDING CODE DISPUTE (December, 2004)

Read LONG BEACH BIDS TO TOSS $22.5 MILLION VERDICT (February, 2005)

Deliberations

CONTRACTS / FRAUD       KELLY-MOORE   ·   J.C. UNI-TEC

Kelly-Moore v. Union Carbide (asbestos)

Meeting

Dr. Kellermann was a member of the trial consulting team that prepared the defense, Union Carbide, for success at trial. Dr. Kellermann provided presentation assistance and mock trial research assistance. The verdict questions asked about fraud, the case argued by the plaintiff was about corporate responsibility for asbestos, and the decision reached by jurors was that Kelly-Moore’s actions are Kelly-Moore’s burden. The defense defeated a nationally known and local plaintiff attorney in a bet-the-company case in Angleton, Texas.

Read SHOWDOWN IN A SMALL TOWN (February, 2005)

J.C. Uni-Tec v. Naidu (oral agreement)

Jury

Based on an oral agreement, J.C. Uni-Tec claimed it was promised payment of a significant commission, forever, on Dr. Naidu"s considerable sales to Nikken, in exchange for having introduced Dr. Naidu to decision-makers at Nikken. In this bet-the-company case, Dr. Kellermann assisted Dr. Naidu's defense attorney Michael Olecki with deposition strategy, case development, case strategy, theme development, mock trial research, juror profiling and voir dire recommendations. On the first day of trial, the defense won the case on a directed verdict.

Read COMMISSION OF BREACH OF CONTRACT (May, 2008)

EMPLOYMENT       SEILABI

Seilabi v. en-N-tech

Amit Seilabi, a former employee, sued for breach of contract for failure to pay wages, to pay his $80,000+ business school tuition at USC, and for partial ownership of the company. In this bet-the-company case, Dr. Kellermann assisted defense attorney Michael Olecki with voir dire recommendations, juror profiling, and in-court jury selection assistance. All claims were decided in favor of the defense, including the defense's cross-claim of malicious prosecution. The plaintiff was required to pay the defense $258,000 in damages, attorney fees, and costs.

Read VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS: COMPENSATION, BENEFITS -- WAGE AND HOUR (March, 2009)

No Verdict

MALPRACTICE       WILLIAMS

Williams v. HRH (insurance broker)

Judge

Mr. Williams sued his insurance broker for failure to secure workers compensation insurance for his business which left him with a $5.8 million loss when an employee was injured. The broker testified that Mr. Williams declined the coverage due to cost. Dr. Kellermann assisted plaintiff attorney Patrick Vastano with case strategy, case themes, juror profiling, voir dire recommendations and, on the first day of trial, the decision to try the case before the judge rather than to a jury. The judge found for Mr. Williams and awarded $5.8 million in damages. The decision was upheld on appeal.

Read IF IT'S NOT IN WRITING, IT DOESN'T EXIST (September, 2009)

Read HRH LOSES NEGLIGENCE DISPUTE OVER CLIENT'S COVERAGE (September, 2009)

Read TRENDING AGAINST THE BROKER (November, 2009)

Read FAILURE TO DOCUMENT CAN BE COSTLY ERROR (February, 2010)

PERSONAL INJURY       URENO   ·   LOUDEN

Ureno v. Taomina Industries (truck accident)

Ricardo Ureno, 13, was injured by a garbage truck when riding his bicycle through a crosswalk. A jury found both the driver and the company liable. After the trial, attorney Jeff Braun contacted Dr. Kellermann to conduct post verdict interviews of jurors. Dr. Kellermann obtained five signed declarations from jurors based on these interviews, and the defense appealed the verdict.

Read GARBAGE TRUCK STRIKES BOY ON BICYCLE ON SIDEWALK (September, 2009)

Interview

Loudon v. St. Joseph Hospital (sexual assault)

Gretchen Loudon sued a Catholic hospital, in which she had not been a patient, for damages for sexual assault by a male nurse once employed at that hospital. The jury found the Catholic hospital liable for failing to report this nurse's previous sexual assaults on patients. Dr. Kellermann consulted for the plaintiff, providing case consultation, presentation assistance and jury selection assistance (juror profiling, juror questionnaire, in-court jury selection assistance).

Read HOSPITAL SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE GOES TO CIVIL JURY (May, 2007)

Read O.C. WOMAN AWARDED $500K IN HOSPITAL ASSAULT (May, 2007)

Opening Statement

Noteworthy Criminal Cases

Many criminal cases on which ComCon has worked are of interest to the public. Currently, print and video coverage is available for ComCon criminal cases on:

SEX CRIMES       DUARTE   ·   BILLOCK

People v. Duarte (sexual assault, rape)

Witness Testifying

Dr. Kellermann assisted Alan Eisner"s defense of Mr. Duarte against charges of sexually assaulting an intoxicated female. After lying to police officers when initially questioned, Mr. Duarte later admitted to consensual sex with the accuser. Dr. Kellermann developed case themes, drafted voir dire recommendations, made suggestions for jury selection, and offered presentation assistance for the opening statement. Mr. Duarte was acquitted.

Read KESTENBAUM, EISNER & GORIN CLIENT ACQUITTED IN SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE (June, 2009)

People v. Billock (child rape, molestation)

Defendant

Mr. Billock, a minister, was charged with raping a developmentally challenged, 9 year old foster daughter. Dr. Kellermann assisted defense attorneys Michael Pancer and Doug Gilliland by drafting juror profiles, a juror questionnaire and voir dire recommendations; preparing and evaluating witnesses; evaluating completed juror questionnaires; advising  during in-court jury selection; and offering presentation assistance. The jury hung 6-6. When the the case was retried, the juror questionnaire previously used was not permitted and the prosecution had additional foster children testify about alleged (uncharged) molestation. The second jury deliberated for over a week and declared itself hung, then found Mr. Billock guilty. The verdict has been appealed.

Read FRENCH VALLEY JURY HEARS DIFFERENT PORTRAYALS OF MINISTER ACCUSED OF CHILD RAPE (December, 2008)

Read WOMAN: GIRL NEVER MADE ABUSE ALLEGATIONS TO HER (March, 2008)

Read CHILD TESTIFIES IN MOLESTATION CASE (March, 2008)

Read JURY BEGINS DELIBERATIONS IN MOLESTATION TRIAL (March, 2008)

Read JURORS DEADLOCK IN MENIFEE RAPE CASE (March, 2008)

INSANITY       BALONICK   ·   MA

People v. Balonick (strip club murder)

Mr. Balonick, a young man with schizophrenia, pled not guilty by reason of insanity for slashing the throat of another patron at a strip club in 2007. Dr. Kellermann assisted defense attorneys Dmitry Gorin and Alan Eisner. Pre-trial, Dr. Kellermann undertook judicial observation and case consultation. For trial, Dr. Kellermann assisted with case strategy, juror questionnaire, juror profiling, voir dire recommendations, and in-court jury selection. In 2008, the jury unanimously found Mr. Balonick insane.

Watch and read about the murder:

Read MAN ARRESTED IN STRIP CLUB MURDER (March, 2007)

Read MAN BUSTED FOR STRIP CLUB DANCE FLOOR MURDER (March, 2007)

Read WHAT, HE WAS BLOCKING YOUR VIEW? (March, 2007)

Watch Video  CBS 11:00PM NEWS STORY  (March, 2007)

Read about the outcome:

Read IN THE TRENCHES (November 2008)

Read LOS ANGELES CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS SECURE INSANITY VERDICTS IN TWO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MURDER CASES (August, 2009)

Mental Illness

People v. Ma (neonaticide)

Ms. Ma, a young Phillipine immigrant, suffocated her baby at birth. Ms. Ma pled not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury in the initial trial hung 6-6 in the sanity phase. Dr. Kellermann assisted Alan Eisner in the retrial of the sanity phase with case strategy, juror questionnaires, voir dire recommendations, in-court jury selection, presentation assistance, and witness examinations. The jury in the second trial found Ms. Ma temporarily insane when she suffocated her infant.

Read L.A. WOMAN DECLARED LEGALLY INSANE FOR SUFFOCATING HER BABY (July, 2009)

Read JURY FINDS WOMAN INSANE WHEN SHE KILLED NEWBORN DAUGHTER (July, 2009)

Read LOS ANGELES CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS SECURE INSANITY VERDICTS IN TWO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MURDER CASES (August, 2009)

Read about Mr. Eisner's invited case talk: INSANITY DEFENSE: NUTS & BOLTSLarge file. Please allow time to load. (September, 2009)

Jurors

DEATH PENALTY       OSORIO   ·   RICHARDSON

People v. Osorio (double murder, arson)

Court

Edgar Omar Osorio, an alleged gang member, was charged with murdering two women: a civilian employee of the Sheriff's Department shot during a robbery of her apartment, and an elderly woman burned in a fire set to the apartment building. Dr. Kellermann provided case consultation and jury selection assistance (voir dire recommendations, juror questionnaire, in-court jury selection) to Public Defenders Steve Biskar and Hector Chaparro to obtain life in prison without the possibility of parole, rather than death, for the defendant.

Read DEATH PENALTY ADVOCATED FOR TWO ANAHEIM SLAYINGS (March, 2005)

Read LIFE-OR-DEATH DELIBERATIONS TO BEGIN IN PENALTY PHASE FOR ANAHEIM GANGSTER (May, 2005)

Read GANG MEMBER SPARED DEATH IN WOMEN’S KILLINGS (May, 2005)

People v. Richardson (murder, robbery)

Bench Conference Conferring Closing Argument Bench Conference

Dr. Kellermann assisted Alternate Public Defenders Hector Chaparro and Julie Swain with case consultation, voir dire recommendations, juror questionnaire, in-court jury selection, and presentation assistance in the ‘Home Depot’ case. The case drew extensive media attention, the victim had a young family, and Mr. Richardson had  a significant prior felony record of domestic violence and rape. The judge rejected the parties' juror questionnaires and drafted his own, refusing all questions about LWOP, mitigating factors, and crimes deserving of death. The jury hung in the penalty phase despite a prior unanimous vote for death. Mr. Richardson is not currently represented by the APD Office.

Watch about the crime:

Watch Video  ARMED MAN KILLS HOME DEPOT MANAGER  (February, 2007)

Watch Video  DRESSED AS PAINTER, CRIME ON HIS MIND  (February, 2007)

Watch Video  $100,000 REWARD OFFERED  (February, 2007)

Watch Video  HUNT FOR A KILLER  (February, 2007)

Watch Video  HOME DEPOT LAUNCHES OWN INVESTIGATION  (February, 2007)

Watch and Read about the defendant:

Watch Video  SUSPECT ARRESTED IN HOME DEPOT MURDER  (February, 2007)

Watch Video  SUSPECT'S NEIGHBORS SPEAK OUT  (February, 2007)

Watch Video  PAROLEE COULD FACE DEATH  (February, 2007)

Read HOME DEPOT KILLING CHANGED MANY LIVES (April, 2010)

Watch and Read about the guilt or innocence phase:

Read HOME DEPOT KILLING CASE FOCUSES ON TAPE, DNA (April, 2010)

Watch Video  JURY CONSULTANT SURPRISE DEFENSE TACTIC  (April, 2010)

Read PROSECUTOR: EVIDENCE OVERWHELMING (April, 2010)

Read HOME DEPOT MURDER CASE GOES TO JURY (April, 2010)

Watch Video  JURY MULLS FATE  (April, 2010)

Watch Video  JURY FINDS HOME DEPOT ROBBER GUILTY (April, 2010)

Watch and Read about the penalty phase:

Read “I WISH I CAN HAVE MY DADDY BACK” GIRLS SAY (May, 2010)

Read JURORS MULL DEATH FOR HOME DEPOT KILLING (May, 2010)

Read JURY TO DECIDE FATE OF HOME DEPOT KILLER (May, 2010)

Watch Video  LIFE IN HANDS OF JURY  (May, 2010)

Watch and Read about the hung jury:

Watch Video  MISTRIAL IN PENALTY PHASE  (May, 2010)

Read JURY STALEMATE IN HOME DEPOT MURDER PENALTY (May, 2010)

CONSPIRACY       NAJOR

United States v. Najor (counterfeit cigarettes)

Frank Najor, a U.S. citizen born in Iraq, was on probation. Mr. Najor was caught up in an FBI sting and charged with conspiring to sell counterfeit cigarettes. Mr. Najor said he was working undercover, helping the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. In 2007, Mr. Najor's federal jury found him not guilty. Dr. Kellermann assisted with voir dire recommendations and jury selection.

Read SMUGGLING BUST (August, 2005)

Read SAN DIEGO MEN ARRESTED FOR SMUGGLING, COUNTERFEIT MONEY (August, 2005)

See JURY TRIAL BOND (February, 2007)

Witness Swearing Oath

TAX EVASION       COLTON & ROESSER   ·   GUNDERSON

People v. Colton & Roesser (fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion)

Michael Pancer and Chuck Goldberg defended two attorneys charged with fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion in their business of selling homeowners insurance. Dr. Kellermann provided assistance negotiating the juror questionnaire, evaluating completed questionnaires, recommending voir dire questions and jury selection. In November, 2007, the jury hung 7 to 5 in favor of acquittal. The judge subsequently dismissed all charges after opining the state would never get 12 jurors to agree.

Read PAYCHECKS OR LOANS (September, 2007)

Discussing

People v. Gunderson (filing false income tax returns)

Mr. Gunderson was charged with three felony counts for filing false state income tax returns using phony deductions to offset a gain of more than $12.8 million. Dr. Kellermann assisted Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek defend Mr. Gunderson through case consultation, juror profiling, voir dire recommendations, juror questionnaire, in-court jury selection, witness examination, and presentation assistance. The jury hung on all charges in 2008.

Read AREA MAN ARRESTED IN TAX CASE (April, 2005)

Read TRIO FACES CHARGES IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR TAX EVASION CASE (April, 2005)

Read SIGNS INSPIRE FEUDS, SUITS (January, 2006)

Deliberations