The State Bar has prevailed after trial in a high-profile legal battle with its former Executive Director, Joseph Dunn, winning judgment on the two remaining claims in the complaint: whistleblower retaliation and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Dunn, who was represented by Mark Geragos of Geragos & Geragos, had sought over $4 million in damages. In his decision, JAMS Arbitrator Edward A. Infante found that Dunn deserved neither. During a five-day arbitration in February, Hueston Hennigan, which represented the Bar, argued that far from retaliation against him, the agency fired Dunn based on misconduct and false representations he made to the Bar board. The Bar determined to terminate Dunn after it had hired an independent law firm to conduct an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing made against Dunn by former Bar Chief Trial Counsel Jayne Kim. Judge Infante ruled: "Claimant’s actions caused the Board to question Claimant's motivations and damaged Claimant's relationships with both internal staff and key stakeholders. The State Bar introduced
A Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge granted in large part Hueston Hennigan's demurrer against a complaint filed by a former State Bar employee against the Bar, its Trustees, and several Bar employees. Judge John P. Doyle dismissed two of former State Bar public information officer Thomas Layton's three causes of action in his lawsuit against the bar, also dismissing 24 of 25 individual defendants Layton had named in his complaint. "We appreciate the court's thoughtful analysis of these issues and are gratified that the judge accepted our arguments," said Hueston Hennigan partner, Moez Kaba. The Bar has consistently maintained that it acted properly when it eliminated Layton's position. Judge Doyle dismissed, without leave to amend, Layton's claim alleging the defendants had violated his right to privacy and freedom of association. The judge also granted the Bar's request to dismiss without leave to amend his breach of good faith and fair dealing claim. Hueston Hennigan represents the State Bar in several high-profile lawsuits brought against the agency by former employees, including the Bar's former Executive Director. The team handling these cases includes [John Hueston](
Law360, Los Angeles -- A California judge on Friday ruled Sumner Redstone's ex-girlfriend can't force the nonagenarian billionaire to be deposed before she answers his discovery requests in his $150 million elder abuse suit against her and another ex-girlfriend, saying it would be an abuse of discretion to do so. Redstone's October suit against his former companions is just one piece of the protracted legal saga surrounding the Redstone estate, in which Herzer filed suit alleging Sumner Redstone is mentally incompetent and being controlled by his daughter to keep the long-time lover and caretaker from claiming her fair share of the mogul’s assets. A California judge in May 2016 put an end to Herzer’s petition, saying Sumner Redstone’s testimony in a 15-minute video-recorded deposition “ultimately defeated her case.” Redstone filed the elder abuse suit in October against Herzer and Holland, alleging they executed a years-long plot to drain him of everything he had, manipulating and sometimes drugging him to get him to sign over control of his funds.
Law360, Los Angeles -- A California federal judge stopped enforcement of a new California law preventing online entertainment industry databases such as IMDb from including actors’ ages on their sites, saying the statute violates constitutional free speech protections and doesn’t address its stated goal of preventing age discrimination. IMDb, which stands for Internet Movie Database, filed suit in November, arguing that it was singled out by Assembly Bill 1687, which violates the company’s free speech rights. The law, which went into effect Jan. 1, calls for commercial entertainment employment providers that offer a paid service for actors to post their profiles for networking and casting purposes to remove, upon the subscriber’s request, the actor’s date of birth within a window of five days. But its subscribers have already been able to do that in the separate paid section of the site, and anything in the public section is factual information that can be found anywhere, IMDb said in its complaint.
When the recent White House Executive Order on immigration left Areej Ali, 33, not only stranded in Saudi Arabia last Saturday, but poised for deportation to Sudan—a country she barely knew—her family contacted Hueston Hennigan. Led by Pro Bono Coordinator Courtney Black, the firm sprang into action, preparing a letter to authorities in Saudi Arabia explaining that as a Green Card holder, Ali was entitled to return to the United States, her home for the past 26 years. Saudi authorities reversed themselves and allowed Ali to return home. We are thrilled for Ali and her family, and we are proud of all the attorneys, at our firm and across the country, who have helped ensure that the law is followed for individuals affected by the Executive Order.