News

Sussman Shank Litigators Obtain $1.2M Unanimous Federal Jury Verdict

May 11, 2017
Contact: Denise George
Marketing Director, 503.227.1111

A unanimous federal jury in the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, rendered a verdict of $1.2M in favor of our client, First Financial Security, Inc.  First Financial sued rival company, Freedom Equity Group, LLC ("FEG"), for intentional interference with contract and unfair business practices.  Specifically, the jury found that FEG had induced a team of independent contractors to leave our client, solicit other independent contractors to leave our client, and join FEG.

Sussman attorneys obtained a number of favorable pretrial rulings for our client.  We filed a motion, pursuant to California's anti-SLAPP law, to dismiss FEG's counterclaim.  The court granted the motion and also required FEG to pay our client's attorney fees and costs.

Further, pursuant to recently-amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e), we moved for sanctions based on FEG's failure to preserve electronic evidence.  Our client was awarded monetary sanctions, and the court ruled that it would instruct the jury that it could infer from FEG's deletion of text messages that the evidence would have been favorable to our client.  The court's ruling appears to have been one of the first under the amended rule.

Sussman attorney Clifford S. Davidson tried the case.  Attorneys David D. VanSpeybroeck and Laurie R. Hager, and paralegal Julie C. Seguin, were also crucial to our client's success. 


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