February 20, 2020

A Jenner & Block team’s $250 million defense verdict earned recognition from the Daily Journal in the publication’s Top Verdicts of 2019 special report.

The report highlights California’s largest and most significant verdicts and appellate reversals.

In a profile about the case, the Daily Journal recognized the team for overcoming numerous challenges throughout the trial and in post-trial motions, noting the lawyers’ “remarkable defense.”

Partner Rick Richmond led the team, which included Partner AnnaMarie A. Van Hoesen and Associates Nayiri K. Pilikyan and Camila A. Connolly. 

Our client was one of five brothers who had businesses – primarily diamond and real estate interests – worth an estimated $7 billion.  At issue was an alleged oral partnership agreement among the five, under which one of them claimed that all money made from their businesses was to be shared equally among the brothers. Our client maintained that no such partnership existed.

Following a two-week trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court and one day of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in our client’s favor on all three causes of action, finding that the plaintiff’s claims fell outside the statute of limitations.

The plaintiff then filed a post-trial motion seeking declarative relief, accounting and equitable estoppel. After a bench trial, Judge Mark Mooney noted in his decision denying the motion that the plaintiff admitted during the course of the trial to committing “outright perjury” and entering into a conspiracy to deprive another brother of business profits. “Far more damaging to plaintiff’s equitable estoppel claim is the doctrine of unclean hands,” the judge wrote. “It is hard to imagine a clearer case for the application of the unclean hands doctrine.”

Paralegals Chris Ward and Rachel Yee and legal assistants Laura Saltzman, Julie Lontok, Maria Reyes and Elizabeth Visick also provided support.