Hueston Hennigan Prevails in Caltech’s Whistleblower Trial


After just a few hours of jury deliberation, Hueston Hennigan emerged victorious in a month-long trial. The jury unanimously found for the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in a wrongful termination suit in which a former researcher claimed the school retaliated against him for allegedly exposing the misuse of government funds.

Dr. Roumi, who sought tens of millions of dollars in damages, was hired to work on a project funded by the Department of Energy, but ultimately failed.

As partner Moez Kaba noted in an interview with the American Lawyer “the defense’s overarching message to the jury was that Roumi was unable or unwilling to put in the work to make the project successful, and the technology was difficult. Not every idea becomes an invention, not every start-up becomes a success.”

“This was a really important case to Caltech,” said partner John Hueston to the Daily Journal. “They were not going to settle the case. They felt on principle that they truly were right.”

The Hueston Hennigan team was co-led by partners John C. Hueston and Moez M. Kaba and a team of associates including Varun Behl, Joseph Reiter, and Michael Todisco.

The story was covered in the Daily Journal, The American Lawyer, Pasadena Star-News, and