Recent Firm News

Efficient and Effective

Partner Paul Sheng and his associate Mary Kate O’Neill recently obtained a voluntary dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a restaurant owner defendant in a premises liability case filed in San Francisco County Superior Court. The Plaintiff alleged that she suffered severe injuries to her hamstring and knee, including a three-tendon proximal hamstring rupture after she fell while walking across a polished concrete surface. The injury required surgical repair, and Plaintiff claimed over $70,000 in lost income and earning capacity. Paul’s team filed a concise Motion for Summary Judgment demonstrating that the floor was not a dangerous condition. The day before the arbitration hearing, Plaintiff dismissed the case in exchange for a waiver of costs.

Associate prevails for Association

Associate Ashley Meyers, a member of Team Beeman, obtained a dismissal at the pleadings stage on behalf of a homeowners association in a case filed in Alameda County. Plaintiff, a former member of the HOA, sued alleging negligence, breach of contract and elder abuse based on the restrictions placed upon his use and renovation of his condominium. The court sustained our demurrer without leave to amend, agreeing with our argument that Plaintiff failed to allege facts sufficient to support a cause of action. The case was dismissed within three months of our firm entering an appearance, and before protracted and costly discovery commenced.

Civil Rights Trial Victory

In a very challenging and highly charged climate given the publicity surrounding Ferguson and other high profile police brutality incidents, founding partner Jeff Vucinich still obtained a defense verdict in United States District Court in San Francisco on behalf of two police officers and a Peninsula municipality. Plaintiff claimed the officers used excessive force in apprehending and injuring him. Defendants presented evidence that appropriate police methods and tactics were implemented at the time of the arrest and that the officers acted appropriately. The jury unanimously reached a verdict in favor of the defendants, awarding no damages.

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

Chris Beeman and Ash Mohindru recently obtained a judgment in favor of the defense at the conclusion of a four week trial in Alameda County Superior Court. The case involved allegations of defamation and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. Plaintiff was an HOA property management company and its owner, who alleged that statements made by the defendant damaged their reputations and caused the loss of a valuable contract. The statements were generally critiques of the property management company’s work performance, and our defense was that the communications were constitutionally privileged and substantially true. Plaintiff asked the Court to award $5,000,000 in damages.

At trial, the operative cross-complaint was ultimately depleted by way of several consecutive, successful dispositive motions. On the eve of trial, it was discovered that the Property Manager’s corporate status was suspended, and a motion to dismiss was granted as to that entity. The statute of limitations barred many of the alleged defamatory statements and a motion in limine on that issue was granted, which substantially narrowed the massive universe of potential, actionable statements.

Thereafter, trial commenced on the claims by the owner against the remaining defendant. At the close of the plaintiff’s case in chief, two motions for judgment were filed and, ultimately, granted in favor of our client. The Court found that the statements were constitutionally privileged because they were regarding a matter of public interest and made without malice.

International Win

Following a deadly bus crash in Mexico that left 3 dead and 1 severely injured, Plaintiffs filed a complaint against various defendants in San Francisco, including the bus company.  When all other potential deep pockets were tapped, Plaintiffs’ counsel sued our client, a grocery store in Napa, claiming that the passengers had purchased their bus tickets from the store.  The legal theory pursued was that our client’s market and the bus company were a joint venture.  Partner Chris Beeman and associate Christine ‘Missy’ Reinhardt immediately filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the grocery store, arguing that no agency or other relationship existed.  On the date their opposition was due, Plaintiffs counsel agreed to dismiss the matter for a waiver of costs.

Trial Victory!

Partner Chris Scheley recently won a motion for nonsuit after trial of a products liability action in San Francisco Superior Court.  The plaintiff claimed that he developed priapism and permanent erectile dysfunction after riding on a motorcycle seat designed and manufactured by our client.  After presentation of all evidence at trial, the court entered judgment in favor of our client on the grounds that the plaintiff could not show that a defect in the motorcycle seat caused or contributed to his condition.

Great and Efficient Results!

Partner Stephen Harrington recently obtained a voluntary dismissal on behalf of a general contractor client in a wrongful death case filed in San Francisco County.  Decedent died from complications of metastatic mesothelioma and his widow and heirs filed suit against various defendants claiming that decedent contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos through his work as an electrician, including jobs on which our client was allegedly the general contractor between 1965 and 1985.  Within a month of our firm entering an appearance, and before protracted and costly discovery, Plaintiffs provided a dismissal for a waiver of costs.