richie litigation

Court: Former Bentley Dealership President-Turned-Litigator’s Firm Can Rep Salesman Suing Dealer for Discrimination

Former Bentley Dealership President-Turned-Litigator’s Firm Can Rep Salesman Suing Dealer for Discrimination

A California appellate court has found that a law firm run by the former president and COO of a luxury car dealership can represent a fired Asian-American salesman in pursuing discrimination claims against the company.

The Second District Court of Appeal on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision that found that Darren Richie and Richie Litigation, the law firm he founded in 2017 after leaving his position as a senior executive at the O’Gara Coach Co. LLC car dealership chain, should be disqualified from representing Thomas Wu, a former salesman at the company’s Beverley Hills Bentley dealership. Wu claimed that leadership at the company had created a hostile work environment, that his supervisor referred to his Chinese friends as “chinks” and to him as “Buddha” or “sumo wrestler” due to his weight and heritage.

The company’s lawyers had successfully argued at the trial court below that Richie would be a key witness in the case and that through his employment at the company he had been directly involved with matters substantially related to Wu’s claims including the company’s discrimination policy. The company’s lawyers had also argued that, as a former senior executive, Richie owed the company continuing fiduciary duties, including to maintain the confidentiality of its privileged information.

But on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal found that, though Richie, who sat for the bar in 2017 after leaving the company, had been involved in setting and implementing the company’s discrimination policy as a nonlawyer, he never had an attorney-client relationship with O’Gara Coach. They also found that since Richie was not Wu’s personal lawyer his involvement as a witness was a nonissue.

“Under California law a law firm is not subject to disqualification because one of its attorneys possesses information concerning an adversary’s general business practices or litigation philosophy acquired during the attorney’s previous relationship with the adversary,” wrote Presiding Justice Dennis Perluss for the unanimous three-judge panel.

The court found that O’Gara Coach hadn’t shown “the required material link” between Wu’s claims in the lawsuit and the development and implementation of the policies Richie worked on while still at the company. The court reached this conclusion despite declarations from O’Gara Coach’s outside counsel at Fisher & Phillips and A

Darren L.A. Criminal Defense Attorney

rent Fox, as well as the company’s outside general counsel, Encinitas sole practitioner Keith D. Kassan, about their numerous interactions with Richie.

“While O’Gara Coach argues Richie was the primary point of contact at the company for its outside general labor and employment counsel regarding the handling of employee complaints, it identifies no category of information gained by Richie as a result of those contacts that is directly at issue in, or has some unusual value or critical importance to, Richie Li

tigation’s representation of Wu,” Perluss wrote.

“We are gratified that the Court of Appeal recognizes that Richie Litigation is not disqualified simply because of Mr. Richie’s prior work for O’Gara Coach,” Brown said. “The Court made clear that general information about the personalities, business practices, procedures, or ‘the playbook’ of a former client, or in this case a former employer, cannot be enough to justify disqualification of a lawyer.”.Richie, whose firm bio lists his C-suite experience dealing with “ultra-luxury brands as Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Maserati, andDucati,” referred a request for comment to Wu’s appellate counsel on the matter, Ethan Brown of Brown Neri Smith & Khan in Los Angeles.

O’Gara Coach was represented by Wendy McGuire Coats, who left Fisher & Phillips for an appointment on the Contra Costa County Superior Court bench while the appeal has been pending, and Christopher Boman and Sean Kingston, who remain with the firm. Boman was out of the office and unavailable for comment Thursday.

The Second District’s ruling comes a little more than seven months after the court went the opposite way in an earlier case involving Richie and the dealership. In the earlier case, the court found that Richie had knowledge of O’Gara Coach’s protected information regarding a former senior executive the firm was seeking to represent and disqualified both Richie and the firm. In the previously decided case, the court disqualified the firm, reversing a decision from the trial court below.

 

  darrensuperadmin   Sep 05, 2019   Former Bentley Dealership President-Turned-Litigator’s Firm Can Rep Salesman Suing Dealer for Discrimination   Comments Off on Court: Former Bentley Dealership President-Turned-Litigator’s Firm Can Rep Salesman Suing Dealer for Discrimination Read More

Santa Paula Man Charged With Murder For Girlfriend’s Death

Santa Paula man arrested for murder for girlfriends death

 

As reported by KYOC & FOX11:

VENTURA, Calif. – A Santa Paula man who was arrested on suspicion of killing his girlfriend has been charged with murder for her death.

Jahshua Jarrett, 21, was charged with murder for the death of Christina Pena on Sunday. Charges include a special allegation that Jarrett personally used a firearm to kill his girlfriend.

Pena was found dead inside the home the two shared in Santa Paula.

Jarrett was questioned by police and eventually arrested.

He is currently being held on a $750,000 bail. He is set to appear in court on Aug. 7.

 

Link: https://www.keyt.com/news/crime/santa-paula-man-charged-with-murder-for-girlfriend-s-death/1096542801

Results:

The case is active. Updates coming soon.

 

  darrensuperadmin   Aug 10, 2019     Comments Off on Santa Paula Man Charged With Murder For Girlfriend’s Death Read More

Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party, Arrest in San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (FOX 11) – Up-and-coming singer Jesus Ortiz Paz, a popular musician within the Latino community, is accusing the San Bernardino Police Department of police brutality after he was arrested over the weekend following a house party.

Ortiz Paz says police officers left him bruised and bloodied after his face was slammed by officers. Police say he was resisting arrest.

The incident began at about 10 p.m. May 11 after police received several calls about a loud party at a home in the 700 block of West 27th Street that included fireworks, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. They say when officers showed up, the partygoers became unruly and refused to turn down their music or cooperate with officers’ orders.

Video and Article Courtesy of: FoxLA.com

  darrensuperadmin   May 15, 2019   Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party   Comments Off on Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party, Arrest in San Bernardino Read More

Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid Off UCSB Police

Former Police chief Dustin Olson

Former Police Chief Dustin Olson

Four UCSB police officers have filed suit against the UC Regents and UCSB, alleging offensive and demoralizing workplace activities that persisted despite repeated alerts to the then Police Chief Dustin Olson, his deputy chief, and his lieutenants, and that their complaints resulted in retaliatory actions against them. The allegations include charges of racist talk and sexually offensive videos — one even from a sexual assault video held in evidence — all for the entertainment of officers.

Lieutenant Mark Signa was the first to file suit, asserting he’d gone on stress leave in June 2018 after 28 years of service in UCSB’s Police Department. In his complaint, Signa states he conveyed to department brass his and other officers’ concerns about Sergeant Ryan Smith, who made “dick jokes” while female officers were present. Signa claims Olson, then-deputy chief Cathy Farley, Lieutenant David Millard, and Sergeant Robert Romero acted to protect Smith.

Corporal Tiffany Little and her husband, Corporal Michael Little, filed their complaint in Santa Barbara Superior Court on March 19, 2019. Both the Littles and Signa are represented by Richie Litigation, a Los Angeles law firm. The Littles’ lawsuit makes allegations similar to Signa’s, adding that their prospects for advancement were deliberately curtailed and their choice of work hours limited though they had seniority. Michael Little claims he lost his firearm instructor status and was denied a computer forensics position despite 25 years of experience. Tiffany Little alleges that after she made a complaint on UCSB’s whistleblower system in September 2018, her belongings were thrown in the trash, her house was egged, and she was given the silent treatment from her superiors.

Tiffany Little’s whistleblower complaint had to do with 2016 event on campus that resulted in conflicting stories. Little states she reported to Sergeant Smith that an officer repeatedly entered the students’ residence hall for unexplained lengths of time during which his radio was turned off and he did not respond to calls for police assistance. Smith did nothing, she alleges. Signa also states these alleged transgressions took place and that more than one officer was involved. Signa claimed that Smith didn’t want to act against these officers who were his close friends and that Chief Olson said he wanted the whole situation to go away quietly.

On March 27, 2019, another suit was filed, this time by an anonymous man, John Doe, contesting some parts of Lt. Signa and the Littles’ allegations. John Doe turned out to be, according to his lawyer, none other than Sergeant Ryan Smith. He contends that, in fact, he and two other sergeants met with Signa about the officers entering the dormitory, and that there were civil and criminal investigations, which resulted in a significant financial loss to the university. In his suit, Smith also claims that two officers resigned and two other officers were put on administrative leave.

 

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

 

In his suit, Smith also describes an incident, which if proven true, conveys a culture that mocks sexual assault. According to Smith, on January 27, 2018, he was working the Montecito debris flow for Cal-OES when other law enforcement officers on the scene showed him a phone message in which he believes he recognized the voice of a UCSB-PD officer. The audio dubbed salacious comments onto an evidence video of an alleged sexual assault, a video that had been made by the man, Patrick Galoustian, now formally charged with rape by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office. Smith claims he’d asked his bosses to investigate the officer he suspected of dubbing the tape and who he alleged had made other videos in which he did voiceovers mimicking the accents of UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, a black UCSB-PD dispatcher, and the victim in the Daniel Chen rape case. Smith, who left the department in late 2017 and is now an assistant chief with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, also charges that both Signa and Michael Little harassed him while he was on duty.

What is clear is that all three lawsuits paint a grim picture of misconduct within the UCSB police department. Though the filed court documents contain numerous “he said, she said” instances of the same event, they share the same conclusions that the command team at UCSB-PD and the UC Regent investigation of whistleblower complaints “did nothing.”

The university would not comment on pending litigation, but when asked about student safety, UCSB spokesperson Andrea Estrada expressed confidence in its officers’ “training in law, ethics, procedures, protocol and community policing. … When complaints are made internally or externally, they are promptly investigated and appropriate action is taken. Because personnel action is confidential, particularly for peace officers, often co-workers and others are unaware that matters have been investigated and/or that disciplinary action has been taken.”

Olson resigned in March 2019 and currently heads the police department at the Colorado School of Mines. Farley has been police chief at Allan Hancock College since November 2018. Signa retired. The Littles are still with UCSB-PD. A new chief, James Brock, a 40-year veteran in law enforcement, started last week.

 

Original Article: Santa Barbara Independent

  darrensuperadmin   May 10, 2019   Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid off UCSB Police   Comments Off on Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid Off UCSB Police Read More
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