On December 6, 2011, Linda Miller Savitt and John J. Manier obtained a defense verdict in Richard Robinson v. County of Los Angeles, et al., a First Amendment retaliation case brought under the federal civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was a sergeant in the County’s Office of Public Safety. He applied for promotion to lieutenant, but was one of multiple sergeants who were not selected. Plaintiff claimed that he was denied promotion in retaliation for various reports of alleged misconduct and corruption by Department officers. Defendants denied that Plaintiff’s reports played any role in the promotion decisions and that the successful candidates were selected based on their qualifications for the positions that were open. BRG&S substituted in as defense counsel after a Ninth Circuit decision which affirmed the denial of summary judgment for three Individual Defendants based on qualified immunity. (Robinson v. York (9th Cir. 2009) 566 F.3d 817.) The case was tried in federal court before United States District Judge Gary A. Feess. After a four-day trial, the jury unanimously found that Plaintiff failed to prove he was acting as a private citizen when he made his reports, which meant that the reports were not protected by the First Amendment. Plaintiff’s pre-trial settlement demand was $575,000.

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