"Continuing the legacy of his mentor, Civil Rights Attorney Johnie L. Cochran, Jr."

Brian Dunn's Accomplishments:

Some Highlights:

(a)Yount v. City of Sacramento, 43 Cal. 4th 885 (2008), a police shooting case in which I drafted all pleadings and handled all oral arguments, which was ultimately resolved by the California Supreme Court in a unanimous ruling for the plaintiff, significantly expanding the rights of plaintiffs who have been subjected to deadly force and have convictions for “resisting arrest,” and limiting the restrictions of Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), which have traditionally been applied to bar such cases.

(b)Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt v. U.S.A, Case No. CV98-4237 CAS (AJWx), in which I drafted initial pleadings in a Fourth Amendment Malicious Prosecution action in federal court for a former Black Panther party member who served 27 years in prison before having his case overturned. My complaint survived repeated 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss, and ultimately laid the groundwork for a $4.5 million settlement, which at the time represented the largest settlement of a civil rights claim arising out of an unconstitutional confinement which had ben paid by the United States Government arising out of the conduct of FBI agents to date.

(c)Miller v. Alagna, Case No. EDCV99-0176 RT (RZx), in which I primarily drafted the pleadings, performed law and motion work, and had primary client contact while working alongside attorneys Andy Roth and Johnnie Cochran in a high profile excessive force case arising out of the fatal shooting of Tyisha Miller by Riverside Police Department officers. The case resulted in a $3 million settlement and was the impetus for changes in the training of Riverside Police Department officers.

(d)Evelyn Davis v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC333166 (2005), in which I performed all legal services in a high profile excessive force case arising out of the fatal shooting of 13-year -old Devin Brown by Los Angeles Police Department officers. The case resulted in a $1.5 million settlement and was the impetus for changes in the training of Los Angeles Police Department officers.

 

(e)Reginald Denny v. Daryl Gates, Case No. CV93-02453 WMB, in which I, as a law clerk, primarily drafted all legal pleadings in a Fourteenth Amendment case alleging civil rights violations suffered by a Caucasian truck driver who was beaten by African American civilians in an African American neighborhood, based on a theory of equal protection violations arising from the unequal distribution of police resources during the Los Angeles riots. The pleadings I drafted survived multiple 12(b)6 motions on this theory, but the case was ultimately lost on summary judgment.

(f)Winston Hayes v. County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. TC019917 (2005), in which I was the primary handling attorney and lead trial attorney in a high profile excessive force case arising out of the videotaped shooting of the plaintiff, who was shot at 120 times by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies following a vehicle pursuit. The case resulted in a $1.8 million settlement following a jury verdict for the plaintiff.


Over the course of the last 5 years, some of my career highlights have included the following:

(a)Phoebe Loggins v. County of Orange, SACV12-691 JVS (MLGx), in which I was the primary handling attorney in a high profile excessive force case arising out of the fatal shooting of Marine Sergeant Manuel “Manny” Loggins in the presence of his daughters by an Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputy. The case resulted in a $4.4 million settlement.

(b)Kely Wilkins v. City of Oakland, Case No. C 01-01402 MMC, in which I, as co-counsel with Oakland attorneys Michael Haddad and Julia Sherwin, represented the plaintiff in a high profile excesive force case arising out of the shooting of undercover Oakland Police Department Officer William “Willie” Wilkins in the line of duty by other Oakland Police Department officers. The case resulted in a $3.5 million settlement after 5 years of litigation.

(c)David Lee Turner v. County of Kern, Case No. CV11- 01366-AWI-SKO, in which I was the primary handling attorney and lead trial attorney in a high profile §1983/wrongful death excessive force case arising out of the fatal shooting of former NFL player David “Deacon” Turner by Kern County Sheriff’s Department deputies. The case resulted in a $1.8 million settlement following a 6-2 hung jury in favor of the plaintiffs on the § 1983 cause of action.

(d)D.M.C. v. County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC433664, in which I was the primary handling attorney in a §1983/wrongful death excessive force case arising out of the fatal shooting of Derrick Collins by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy. The case resulted in a $950,000 settlement in 2012.

(e)Romarion White v. County of Los Angeles, Case No.  CV11-01439 GAF, in which I was the primary handling attorney in § 1983 excessive force case arising out of the shooting of the plaintiff by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy. The case resulted in a $1.5 million dollar settlement in 2012.

(f)Kathleen Washington v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC438920, in which I was the primary handling attorney in wrongful death/battery case arising out of the fatal shooting of Steven Washington by Los Angeles Police Department officers. The case resulted in a $950,000 settlement in 2012.

(g)A.L.T. v. County of Riverside, Case No. CV12-1765 TJH (OPx), in which I was the lead attorney in a § 1983 excessive force case arising out of the fatal shooting of Mark Anthony Trujillo by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputies. The case resulted in a $750,000 settlement in 2013.


Over the course of the last 2 years, some of my career highlights have included the following:

(a)L.H. v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. CV 13-7495 GW (JCGx), in which I was the lead attorney in a § 1983/wrongful death excessive force case arising out of the fatal shooting of Robert Henning by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy. The case resulted in a $1.5 million global settlement in 2015.

(b)N.A.M. v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. CV 14-4090 JFW (AJWx), in which I was the lead attorney in §1983/wrongful death excessive force case arising out of the fatal shooting of Javier Mendez by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies. The case resulted in a $750,000 global settlement in 2016.

(c)Stanley Jordan v. City of Hawthorne, Case No. CV14-07554 ODW (JPRx), in which I was the lead attorney in a § 1983 action arising out of the shooting of the unarmed plaintiff by a Hawthorne Police Department Officer.  The plaintiff was involved in an armed robbery of a cell phone store hours before the encounter with law enforcement, and was shot and seriously injured following an extended search and a brief foot pursuit by officers. The case resulted in a $2 million settlement.

(d)Jonathan Christian v. City of Los Angeles, Case No. CV14-08924 ODW (MRWx), in which I was the lead attorney in a § 1983 action arising out of shooting of the unarmed plaintiff by a Los Angeles Police Department officer. The plaintiff was involved in a drug transaction minutes before the encounter with law enforcement, and was shot and seriously injured following a brief foot pursuit by officers. The case resulted in a $2.4 million settlement.

(e) William Mears, et al v. City of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. CV 15-08441 JAK (AJWx) (2017) in which I represented one of the plaintiffs in a § 1983/wrongful death action arising out of the death of 39-year-old Michael Mears, who died after a brief hospitalization following a violent encounter with Los Angeles Police Department officers which occurred while Mr. Mears was having a psychotic episode. Although Mr. Mears was repeatedly tased in contravention of industry standards, the matter presented significant issues regarding his cause of death and involved extensive medical expert analysis. The case resulted in a unanimous jury verdict of $5,500,000.00 for two plaintiffs, and the jury additionally returned a finding under Monell v. Department of Social Services that the City of Los Angeles had an unconstitutional policy of failing to train its officers.

(f) Nekesha Robertson, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. 2:16-CV-02761 MJP (SKx) (2017) This case arose out of the fatal deputy-involved shooting of twenty-seven year old Nicholas Robertson, who was shot and killed by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies on the morning of December 12, 2015, at the Arco gas station located at the intersection of Long Beach Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue in Lynwood, California. The involved deputies fired a combined thirty-three (33) rounds at Nicholas Robertson during the shooting incident. Because Mr. Robertson was undisputedly under the influence of PCP and in possession of an unloaded firearm, which he had fired into the air prior to the arrival of deputies, liability was vigorously contested, and there was no settlement offer. The jury returned a defense verdict on the § 1983 and battery claims, yet found in favor of the minor plaintiffs on the negligence claim. Following the verdict, a gross judgment in favor of the minor plaintiffs in the amount of $3,600,000.00 was entered on January 10, 2018. The jury found Nicholas Robertson to be 33% at fault, which would reduce the award to $2,400,000.00.

(g) S.B., et al. v. County of San Diego, et al., Case No. 14-cv-0072-JAH-WVG (2018) which was originally brought as a § 1983/wrongful death action, and following an interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which resulted in a grant of qualified immunity to the defendant deputy, was remanded for the trial of the plaintiffs’ state law claims. See S.B. v. County of San Diego, 864 F.3d 1010, 1013 (9th Cir. 2017). On this case, I was lead trial counsel, representing the two surviving children of David Brown, who was shot by a San Diego Sheriff’s Department deputy who responded to his home after his roommates called 9-1-1 due to his erratic behavior. The primary disputed issue was whether Mr. Brown, who was undisputedly in possession of multiple knives during the incident, posed an imminent threat at the time of the shooting. The case resulted in a unanimous jury verdict of $200,000.00 for the two plaintiffs.

(h)J.J.D. v. City of Torrance, Case No. CV14-7463 BRO (MRWx), in which I was the lead trial attorney in a §1983/wrongful death action arising out of the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Asa James Dolak by Torrance Police Department officers. On the night before the shooting, Mr. Dolak had set fire to his mother’s home, destroying it, and in a separate incident, set fire to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in which his 2-year-old child, the plaintiff in the case, was present.  The shooting of Mr. Dolak occurred the next day following an extended search and brief foot pursuit. Mr. Dolak was armed with a knife at the time of the shooting. The case resulted in a defense verdict on the § 1983 survival action, and a gross verdict of $6 million on a wrongful death action sounding in negligence, which was reduced to $900,000.00 upon a finding of 85% comparative fault on the part of Mr. Dolak.

(i)Trevor Woods, et al. v. Officer John Fagan, et al., Case No. CV14-08374 VAP (SPx), in which I was the lead attorney in a § 1983 action sounding in Fourteenth Amendment violations arising out of the shooting of the unarmed decedent by two Long Beach Police Department officers following a foot pursuit lasting several hours. Both of my adult clients were incarcerated at the time of trial and serving lengthy prison sentences unrelated to the underlying case, and as such, were unavailable for the majority of the trial. The case resulted in a unanimous jury verdict of $1,050,000.00, and the jury additionally awarded punitive damages against both shooting officers.

(j)J.L.D. v. City of Los Angeles, Case No. BC560250, in which I was the lead attorney in wrongful death action arising out of the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Reginald Doucet, Jr. by a Los Angeles Police Department officer. The defendants in that case claimed that Mr. Doucet struck the shooting officer and his partner multiple times, grabbed the shooting officer’s firearm, was continuing to strike the shooting officer and his partner when the shooting officer fired, and that the shooting officer was about to lose consciousness when he fired. Following a bifurcated jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the minor plaintiff on the issue of liability on the minor plaintiff’s claim for wrongful death based on negligence. After the return of the verdict on the issue of liability, the parties settled the case. The case resulted in a $1.65 million settlement.

(k)Luis Arias v. Deputy Kenneth Fitch, Case No. 2:15-CV-02170 AB (ASx), in which I was the lead attorney in a § 1983 action arising out of shooting of the unarmed plaintiff by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy. The plaintiff was a known gang member with a history of firearm possession who was involved in a vandalism incident prior to the encounter with law enforcement, and was then shot and seriously injured by one of the deputies who had responded to the vandalism call. The case resulted in a unanimous jury verdict of $900,000.00, and the jury additionally awarded punitive damages against the shooting deputy. The parties ultimately stipulated to entry of judgment against the County of Los Angeles in the total amount of $1,175,000.00.

(l)Donnell Thompson, Sr. v. County of Los Angeles, et al., in which I was the lead attorney in a matter which arose out of the deputy-involved shooting of Mr. Thompson’s son, who was killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy after the deputy mistook him for a carjacking suspect. The parties mediated the matter prior to the commencement of litigation. The matter resulted in a $1.49 million settlement.

(m)Joe Hunt v. City of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. 2:16-CV-02584 PSG (AFMx), in which I was the lead attorney in a § 1983/wrongful death action arising out of the shooting of the unarmed decedent by Los Angeles Police Department officers. The decedent was alleged to have thrown a beer bottle through the back window of the shooting officers’ patrol car, purportedly causing the officers to believe they had been shot at. The officers also claimed that the decedent was in possession of a black object that appeared to be a handgun at the time of the shooting. The decedent was the nephew of the adult plaintiff The case resulted in a $1.4 million dollar settlement.


Additional Recognition:

Selected as a “Super Lawyer” for the majority of the last ten years, including 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2008, 2006, and 2004. I have been on the American Trial Lawyers’ Association’s list of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” every year since 2008. In 2016, I was nominated for “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Consumer Attorneys’ Association of Los Angeles.