Appellate Practice

Hurrell Cantrall LLP’s appellate practice remains a longstanding and integral facet of our firm. Our approach at the appellate level is to aggressively represent our clients by staying abreast of new developments in the law and writing persuasive and effective briefs.  We regularly handle appeals and writs in state and federal court.    

 

Our attorneys have been involved in all aspects of the appeals process in a wide range of practice areas, including government liability, police misconduct litigation and actions filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, products liability, professional liability, elder abuse, premises liability and general liability.

 

We have represented a wide variety of clients from individuals to government and corporate entities in appellate matters involving a wide range of legal issues.

 

                Illustrative Cases

 

     Flores v. County of L.A. & Lee Baca, 2014 U.S.App. Lexis 13318 (9th Cir. 2014) (published decision): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s dismissal of an action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the County of Los Angeles and Sheriff Lee Baca by a plaintiff who alleged that she was sexually assaulted by an unidentified deputy sheriff at a vehicle inspection cite. The panel held that plaintiff’s allegations did not establish that the County or Baca were deliberately indifferent to the risk of sexual assault by deputies on members of the public, nor that the assault on plaintiff was a known or obvious consequence of the alleged lack of training of deputies. Furthermore, the panel held that in view of the California Penal Code, which already prohibited such assault, and which the law the deputies were sworn to uphold, the plaintiff also failed to allege facts sufficient to state a claim, plausible in its face, that the alleged failure to train officers not to commit sexual assault constituted deliberate indifference.
 
    Hager v. County of Los Angeles, 2014 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 2620 (2014): In a claim based upon a violation of the “whistleblower” statue under Labor Code section 1102.5, Division Three of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal reversed an award of $2,006,015.00 in economic damages. The Court of Appeal agreed the damages award could not stand as, irrespective of the alleged wrongful termination for reporting a violation of the law, the evidence did not establish that plaintiff could have worked as a deputy sheriff with or without accommodations, without undergoing surgery and obtaining a “good result,” for an unrelated injury. 
 
     Fletcher v. Baca, 554 Fed. Appx. 553 (9th Cir. 2014): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of defendants based upon the plaintiff-inmates’s failure to comply with the Prisoners Litigation Reform Act.
 
    Ibarra v. Superior Court, 217 Cal.App.4th 695 (2013) (published decision): Division Three of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal granted defendants’ petition for a writ of mandate and held the trial court abused its discretion by compelling the disclosure of service photographs of the police officers without more stringent restrictions on their use. The service photographs should not be produced to plaintiff’s counsel; rather, in order to protect the guards from an unreasonable risk of harm if the photographs were displayed to inmates, the photographs should be produced to a neutral third party under the court’s supervision and made available only at a secure location to identified, potential witness.
 
     King v.  Kennedy, 2013 Cal.App. Unpub. Lexis 7230 (2013): In an action based upon claims of excessive force by an inmate at the Men’s Central Jail, Division Five of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal affirmed the defense judgment following a jury verdict in its entirety.

▪     Shoyoye v. County of Los Angeles, 203 Cal.App.4th 947 (2012) (published decision): Because of a clerical error, the detainee was kept in custody at the county jail more than two weeks past the time when he should have been released. Division Four of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in favor of the plaintiff on his cause of action for a violation of the Civil Code section 52.1. The Court of Appeal held the detainee did not establish a violation of § 52.1 as a matter of law because the statutory requirement of threats, intimidation, or coercion had not been met. There was no evidence the detainee had been subjected to any coercion independent of that inherent in the wrongful detention itself, that he had been threatened or intimidated in any way, or that any conduct had been directed at him for the purpose of interfering with his constitutional rights.

    Rodriguez v. Superior Court, 2010 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 7750 (2010): Division Three of the Second Appellate District granted defendants’ petition for a writ of mandate for an order directing the trial court to order summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff, a former teacher at San Fernando High School, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, claiming the defendants, administrators at the school, violated his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him for his off-campus speech. The Court of Appeal agreed the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity as their conduct was motivated, at least in part, by plaintiff’s violations of school district policy.

   Mock v. County of Los Angeles, 2010 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7997 (2010): Division Two of the Second Appellate District reversed an award of attorneys’ fees plaintiffs under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

   Johnson v. Walton, 558 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir. 2009) (published decision): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a judgment in favor of the plaintiff on his 42 U.S.C § 1983 based upon an alleged unlawful search of his home. the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held the deputy was entitled to qualify immunity as a matter of law, as the warrant was not so lacking in an indicia of probable cause so as to render official belief in its existence unreasonable. The police investigation indicated that the business owned by residents of the home served as a house of prostitution, and the warrant application noted that typically the manger of the house of the prostitution forwarded all monies charged for massage services to the owner of the business.

▪   Cook v. Gallade Chem., 2009 Cal.App.  Unpub. LEXIS 8552 (2009): In a toxic tort products liability action, Division Five of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal reversed the dismissal of judgment as to all defendants except Hurrell Cantrall’s clients, and rejected the equitable tolling doctrine and the relation-back doctrine as to these defendants.

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