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NOTABLE CASES

A few notable cases illustrate the broad spectrum of our practice.

Employment Discrimination

Glenn-Davis v. Oakland Police Department: John Scott teamed up with John Burris to represent the highest-ranking female who was passed over for captain because she was pregnant and had young children. The Scott Law Firm had to first appeal a trial-court decision granting judgment to the defendant. After winning in the Ninth Circuit, the plaintiff tried her gender-discrimination case to a federal jury. Although the evidence demonstrated male officers were eligible for promotion during this time, the defendant contended the plaintiff was subject to a hiring freeze. The verdict came in at over $2 million dollars. Although the court reduced the verdict, the parties settled shortly thereafter for over $1.2 million dollars and jury’s message was clear.

Police Misconduct

McFarland v. Marin County Sheriff: John Scott teamed up with Ethan Balogh to represent pancreatic-cancer survivor, 64-year old Peter McFarland, who came home from a charity event one evening after he had been drinking. He fell down his front steps and was morose so his wife called for help. After the paramedics examined him, police officers ordered Peter to leave his home, without changing his torn pants, and tased him four times when he stood up from his couch because he was "resisting arrest." The parties settled for $1.9 million dollars in 2011. The videotaped incident, which shows Peter sitting on his couch with a laser beam targeted on his chest, became the subject of national debate about the wisdom and implementation of the Taser.

Hammond v. County of Contra Costa, et al. John Scott teamed up with Brian Gearinger to represent the surviving children of a man who was shot and killed by a Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriff while strapped to a gurney, and brandishing a knife, in a hospital emergency room being treated for DT’s (delirium tremors). Settlement: $1.475 million.

Edward D. Hogya v. City of Petaluma, et al. John Scott achieved a $500,000 settlement on behalf of a 67 year old man who was severely bitten in his left arm by a Petaluma Police Department K-9.

DeSantis v. City of Santa Rosa. John Scott teamed up with Eric Safire and John Burris to obtain a jury verdict of over $500,000 in a shooting death case against Sgt. Richard Celli of the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Civil Rights

Toschi. John Scott teamed up with Brian Gearinger in a civil rights/conspiracy case against a Sergeant with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department and other County employees. It was alleged that conspiracy between neighbor (Sergeant in San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department) and County workers to resurface roadway, remove berm, and cause rain runoff to seriously damage property and cause heritage oak trees to fall causing property damage. Settlement: $850,000.

Wrongful Death

Breiz/Gamble. John Scott teamed up with John Feder to obtain a $2M settlement in a wrongful death case brought on behalf of the children of woman who was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street at the intersection of 17th Street and Guerrero Street in San Francisco.

Elder Financial Abuse

Michael v. Home Care Assistance: Liza de Vries represented a 91-year old plaintiff against the company which falsely advertized it "thoroughly screened" a convicted felon in-home care provider who stole over $30,000 and neglected the elder. The company refused to reimburse the family through its bond absent a criminal conviction. The care provider pled guilty to felony financial abuse, yet the company still refused. After obtaining valuable evidence through investigation, contentious discovery, and motions, the parties settled on confidential terms. The California Legislature recognized Ms. Michael’s plight in a state-wide report lobbying for in-home care provider regulation so elders may enjoy their golden years in their own homes. 

In addition, our firm’s lawyers have handled over 100 appeals and were counsel of record in more than 25 published decisions. See a list of our firm’s reported decisions in PDF format.

 Our firm’s lawyers have tried over 140 cases to verdict, obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, handled over 125 appeals, and were counsel of record in more than 25 published decisions.

Please note: We do not give tax advice or get involved in securities litigation.r.

Current Scott News

Judge: San Francisco police justified in shooting man in wheelchair - Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A federal judge ruled San Francisco police were justified in shooting a man in a wheelchair two years ago.

On January 4, 2011 cellphone video of the incident was taken. It shows two officers firing at Randal Dunklin after he had slashed an officer in the shoulder.

The officers say Dunklin continued to be a threat, even after they fired a bean bag at him. Dunklin, who suffers from mental problems, was acquitted of wrongdoing, but filed a civil suit against police for excessive force.

The judge didn't buy it. Dunklin's attorney, John Scott, is outraged.

"Even if the shooting is on videotape and appears to be outrageous, that if a person can somehow claim self-defense, that the person is protected by the law," said Scott.

Dunklin plans to appeal the ruling to the Ninth District Court of appeals.

(Copyright ©2013 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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