Recent Firm News

Assumption of Risk

Ashley Meyers and Team Beeman obtained summary judgment in favor of the firm’s client, a snowboarder who collided with a skier in a “blind spot” on a ski run at Squaw Valley. The skier sustained severe orthopedic injuries, and alleged that the snowboarder was acting recklessly at the time of the collision. We successfully argued for the application of the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk and established that neither the snowboarder’s speed nor his trajectory increased the risks inherent in the sport.

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.

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.

Gunned down

Chris Beeman and Christine ‘Missy’ Reinhardt recently won a summary judgment motion in a wrongful death case filed in Contra Costa County. The decedent was shot and killed in the street outside our client’s home by guests of defendant’s teenage kids, who threw a Halloween party. The assailant was charged and convicted of murder, with an enhancement for gang affiliatin. Plaintiffs alleged that known gang members attended the party, making it foreseeable that violence would result. The Court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that he had no duty to protect the decedent from the criminal conduct of the third party that caused his death because it did not occur on the premises.

ADC Leadership

Partner Jennifer Wilhelmi was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada (ADC).  She is also serving as Co-Chair of the Construction Substantive Law Section, and is enjoying her new responsibilities with the industry organization that our firm has been heavily involved in for the last 30+ years!

Our partners speak…people listen

Kory Phillips spoke at MC Consultants annual West region construction defect and insurance coverage conference in San Diego. The panel addressed the builder’s right to repair legislation in the Western states, and specifically the pros and cons of such legislation.

Bob Bellagamba was a panelist at the first annual Axis Construction defect seminar, addressing alternative dispute resolution approaches in construction defect litigation.

Matt Constantino will be a panelist in the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance Construction/Environmental Mini-Conference in Anaheim on November 8, 2013. He will be speaking on the highlights of various states’ “Right to Repair” or “Notice and Opportunity to Repair” statutes, with a particular focus on SB 800 – California’s Right to Repair statute, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of such statutes

Master in Trial

Partner Chris Beeman participated as a panelist in The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) “Masters in Trial” program last fall in San Francisco. He is also a State Chair for Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) and  continues in his role as a chairperson for the ABOTA “Civility Matters” program.

Efficient Success

An elderly plaintiff suffered memory loss and emotional injuries when he tripped on a raised sidewalk that our client repaired eight months before the incident.  Plaintiff filed an action against the property owner alleging that the poorly maintained sidewalk created a dangerous tripping hazard.  The property owner filed a cross-complaint alleging that our client failed to remove the hazard when they cut the concrete slab.  We filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the client was protected by the accepted work doctrine.  Days before an opposition to the motion was due, the property owner dismissed the cross-complaint in return for a waiver of costs.