Recent Case Results
Here are just a few of our notable case victories:
- Werksman, Jackson & Quinn obtains acquittal in federal case alleging drug trafficking conspiracy
On April 23, 2020, Werksman, Jackson & Quinn partner Caleb Mason obtained an acquittal for our client, a private charter pilot, on all charges in a federal criminal trial on drug trafficking charges in the US District Court in Lexington, Kentucky. Our firm represented a private jet charter pilot who was charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kentucky after one of his former charter clients was caught smuggling drugs on a private plane in Lexington, Kentucky. Our client had nothing to do with that flight, but the government charged him, and the owner of the charter company he flew for, on conspiracy charges, claiming that all of this charter client's prior flights had been drug flights, and the pilot and company owner must have known about it. A second pilot, and a business associate of the drug smuggler were also charged. The government claimed that the defendants were part of a massive multi-year conspiracy to smuggle huge quantities of drugs around the country using private planes. The trial lasted seven weeks, continuing all through the coronavirus lockdown, with more than 50 witnesses. The jury deliberated for eight days, and then acquitted our client of all charges. He is now free to return home to his wife and young daughter.
- Mark Werksman, assisted by Elizabeth Little, stopped the LA District Attorney's Office in their tracks by preventing them from convicting their client in a four week workers' compensation insurance fraud trial. Their client, a successful payroll service provider in the Inland Empire was accused of a $3 million fraud against her business clients for allegedly failing to acquire workers' compensation insurance for them. After three days of deliberations, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury deadlocked, causing a mistrial. Werksman's tenacious defense and creative rebuttal of the prosecution's 37-witness case caused the jury to deadlock which prevents the District Attorney's Office from obtaining a conviction against their 63-year-old client. "While a hung jury is not an ideal outcome," Werksman said, "our job is to prevent our client from being convicted and we accomplished that critical goal." The key to success was in the Firm's ability to absorb, digest, and rebut hundreds of thousands of pages of discovery in a complex financial crimes case and to present a coherent and persuasive defense to the jury.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney and Mark Werksman’s 37-year-old client was accused of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and causing great bodily injury. This was a felony charge, carrying a significant prison sentence upon conviction. The attorney prepared a mitigation package and persuaded the court to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. As a result, their client was sentenced to probation with no jail time.
- Mark Werksman had a 29-year-old client that was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head. At the preliminary hearing, Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Alan Jackson represented the 23-year-old son of a Middle Eastern Sheikh, arrested by the LAPD in September 2015 and accused of assault, kidnapping, and torture. From the beginning, Alan's client maintained his innocence. After Alan conducted an exhaustive investigation lasting more than four months, his client was completely exonerated and all charges were dismissed. In a highly unusual ruling, the presiding judge made a factual finding of innocence for Alan's client. Additionally, Alan's preparation and presentation of the case led to the arrest of the complaining witness and her two attorneys on charges of extortion and bribery. All three are currently awaiting trial.
- Mark Werksman represented a longtime Los Angeles lobbyist and a former Los Angeles City Council aide, along with his wife, who were accused of corruption in an alleged scheme to help an elected official siphon thousands of dollars in public money for personal use. After a difficult trial and more than two days of deliberation, jurors found Mark’s client not guilty on all counts.
- Alan Jackson defended a 22-year-old Bakersfield man accused of first-degree murder in the 2015 stabbing death of his brother. Alan and his team took over the case on the eve of trial. Notwithstanding the short time for preparation, Alan’s team undertook an exhaustive investigation, which revealed the killing was in self-defense. During the trial, Alan’s relentless cross-examination of the prosecution’s two main witnesses established that they were actually complicit in attacking Alan’s client, in the attack that led to the decedent’s death. The prosecution’s case crumbled and the DA dismissed the murder charges. Alan’s client, previously facing life in prison, walked out of court with probation and no time in jail.
- Mark Werksman’s client was a Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time.
- Alan Jackson and Elizabeth Little took over the defense of a young speech therapist who, under prior counsel’s representation, had been ordered by a court to pay a staggering $1,066,708.64 in restitution to the victim of a DUI hit-and-run collision, who falsely claimed debilitating injuries to his neck and back. Based on information uncovered through a thorough investigation, Alan and Elizabeth presented evidence that established that the witness grossly exaggerated his claims of injury and wage loss, prompting the court to vacate its original order and set a new restitution hearing. At that hearing, Alan undertook a withering multiple-day cross-examination of the witness, which damaged the witness’s credibility so thoroughly that the court rejected his testimony entirely. The result was that the court ordered Alan and Elizabeth’s client to pay a mere $4,770, saving her more than $1 million.
- Mark Werksman’s client was a Burbank man accused of hacking into sensitive United States Government agency computers, facing serious federal felony prosecution. Mark persuaded the government to allow the young man to have a pre-filing "diversion" agreement, which means he was not convicted of any offense and still does not have a criminal record of any sort.
- Alan Jackson’s client, a commercial real estate owner with extensive holdings, was criminally charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney for multiple violations of city municipal codes based on a tenant medical marijuana dispensary’s alleged violations of city regulations. Alan’s client faced more than a year in jail and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Alan and his team aggressively fought the charges, and following extensive legal and factual evaluation, exposed significant legal problems with the City Attorney’s case. After meeting with Alan and being presented with his arguments, the City Attorney dismissed all charges against his client. Proceedings terminated.
- Mark Werksman represented a Los Angeles securities trader and hedge fund manager facing federal prosecution for securities fraud. If indicted, he would have been stripped of his securities licenses, and if convicted, he would have done five years in a federal prison. Mark convinced the Unites States Attorney's office to decline prosecution.
- Alan Jackson won his client’s freedom after his client was falsely accused of murder. Following a month-long preliminary hearing, Alan Jackson’s client, a Venice Beach hotel owner, was exonerated when a superior court judge dismissed all charges against him. The nightmare for Alan’s client, a prominent Venice community leader, came to an end after Alan broke down the government’s key witnesses on cross-examination. Then he and his team presented their own witnesses to counter the false allegations.
- An Israeli national was facing life in a federal prison for orchestrating a massive global conspiracy to import ecstasy and cocaine into the United States, and to commit murder in the furtherance of the RICO conspiracy. Mark negotiated a deal with the United States Attorney's office that significantly reduced the sentence and allowed his client to return to Israel to serve his sentence.
- Alan Jackson defended an NBA player facing serious domestic violence accusations. As a result of Alan's early, vigorous, and tenacious representation (including a thorough independent investigation), he was able to convince the prosecutor to reject criminal charges against his client.
- Mark Werksman represented the owner of a company that provided security guards to office buildings throughout Los Angeles, who was prosecuted for allegedly committing a $9 million workers’ compensation fraud. He was facing 11 years in state prison. After a three-week jury trial, Mark’s client was found not guilty on all serious charges and enhancements, and sentenced to probation with only nine months of house arrest.
- Alan Jackson’s client was a successful registered nurse specializing in dermal filler procedures, such as Botox, Restylane, et al., who was charged with four felony counts in a high-profile case, including battery with serious bodily injury and practicing medicine without a license. She was facing a maximum of 14 years in state prison. Following Alan Jackson's presentation at the preliminary hearing, the battery and bodily injury charges were thrown out. Alan then won a reduction of the remaining charges to misdemeanors, with his client receiving probation and no jail time.
- A Glendale man was accused of bribing DMV officials to obtain false driver’s licenses for people whose licenses had been suspended, and faced four years in state prison and deportation if convicted. Mark Werksman got the case dismissed after a two-day preliminary hearing.
- A former police officer was accused of battery. Notwithstanding that the incident was caught on videotape, Alan Jackson secured a dismissal of all charges in favor of an infraction with no jail time and no fine.
- An Eagle Rock man who trained exotic roller pigeons was charged with the federal felony crime of killing a hawk that preyed on his pigeons. Mark Werksman got the charges reduced to misdemeanors, and his client received probation with no jail time.
- Mark Werksman defended an El Monte school teacher falsely accused of molesting a sixth-grade student, who was facing significant jail time and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender. After a week-long trial, the jury deliberated 15 minutes before finding Mark's client not guilty.
- A Beverly Hills man was accused of date rape, looking at eleven years in state prison and registration for life as a sex offender. Mark Werksman got the case dismissed at the preliminary hearing.
- Mark Werksman’s client was accused of assaulting an off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputy. He faced three years in state prison. After a week-long jury trial, he was found not guilty.
- Mark Werksman represented an Alhambra masseuse accused of prostitution for allegedly propositioning an undercover Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy. She was facing jail time and deportation back to her native Korea, but after a jury trial, Mark’s client was found not guilty.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney and his team handled the case of John Doe, a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who in 2016 was accused of stalking and harassing a fellow student in a faulty Title IX investigation. Though the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department yielded no evidence that John Doe was to blame, the accuser filed a Title IX complaint against him. UC Santa Barbara’s Title IX investigator decided it was “more likely than not” that the accuser’s complaint was true. The college expelled John Doe when he was one semester shy of completing his degree. He appealed the decision to UC Santa Barbara’s Interpersonal Violence Appeal Review Committee, which denied his appeal. He then filed a complaint in Santa Barbara Superior Court, arguing that the Title IX decision was not supported by the evidence. In January 2018, the superior court judge entered a judgment in favor of John Doe, requiring UC Santa Barbara to hold a new hearing. The court also found there was a chance the investigator was not unbiased. However, the university failed to comply, and the Regents of UC Santa Barbara were found in contempt of court for violating the order. The court ordered John Doe reinstated into the university.
- A student was suspended for two years from the University of California, Santa Barbara, over a faulty Title IX administrative process. A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney and his team represented the student, known as “John Doe” in court filings, as he appealed his suspension in 2016 with the Alameda County Superior Court. John Doe alleged that UCSB denied him a fair hearing, and the findings were not supported by the evidence. The court agreed, ordering the college to pay $31,097.85, part of John Doe’s request for $56,097.85 in legal fees. California Code of Civil Procedure sec. 1021.5 provides for an award of attorney’s fees when a lawsuit results in a significant public benefit. In this case, the benefit was upholding the rights of more than 238,000 University of California students, and more than 190,000 faculty and staff, to due process in Title IX cases.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney and his team received a judgment of $130,000 in attorneys’ fees on behalf of his client, a Pomona College student accused in a faulty Title IX administrative process. As the court set aside Pomona College’s Title IX decision against the student, they found that the college had allowed the complaining student to answer questions in advance in writing, and didn’t require her to attend the campus hearing to allow the accused to pose questions to her. Due process denied, the court overturned Pomona College’s decision and ordered them to pay the accused student’s attorneys’ fees.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney represented an international student who was expelled from La Sierra University and lost his student visa status due to a faulty Title IX sexual misconduct decision. The student was given no hearing, neither were any witnesses identified or evidence disclosed before the university expelled him in May 2016. Mark and his team filed a complaint in Riverside Superior Court, where a judge ruled in his client’s favor, ordering La Sierra to set aside the expulsion in June 2017.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney successfully prevented the University of Southern California from expelling a football player on an allegation of sexual assault. The Los Angeles Superior Court judge found that the university’s sexual assault adjudication process was fundamentally unfair to accused students.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney represented a student who was suspended from the University of California San Diego based on an allegation of non-consensual sexual conduct. In July 2017, a Superior Court judge overturned the school’s decision to suspend him, and the judge found serious procedural flaws in the university’s handling of the case that were inherently unfair to the accused. Legal reporters say this ruling may have major implications in similar cases across the Nation.
- Kelly Quinn and another attorney filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals of California, Second District, on behalf of a defendant who was convicted of two counts of committing a lewd and lascivious act on a 15-year-old girl. Mark and Kelly argued that the decision must be reversed because the jury convicted their client based on charges not established at the preliminary hearing. The Court of Appeals agreed and overturned the conviction. (https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/2305167/people-v-graff/)
- Kelly C. Quinn appeared as amicus curiae on behalf of the California Rifle & Pistol Association for a defendant from whom the City of San Diego sought to take and destroy his firearms. In 2002, San Diego Police responded to a call over a domestic disturbance between parents and a son. The son was not at home, so the police seized his two firearms. No arrest was made that night, and the father phoned the officers and asked they drop the investigation. The son was never detained in custody or given a psychiatric evaluation as required by law to bar him from possessing weapons, but the City filed a petition to destroy his two firearms anyway. Since the defendant was never assessed or evaluated, the court found the City had no right to keep his weapons and the petition was denied. (https://www.leagle.com/decision/200446313calrptr3d4501421)
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney's client, a small-business owner, was criminally charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney with misdemeanor hit-and-run and filing a false police report. He faced more than a year in jail and hundreds of dollars in fines. The attorney aggressively fought the charges, and following an extensive investigation, exposed significant legal problems with the City Attorney’s case. After the attorney convinced the City Attorney that her client was innocent of the alleged crimes, the City Attorney dismissed all charges.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney defended a college student facing serious DUI accusations. Because of the attorney's early, vigorous, and tenacious representation, she was able to convince the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office to reject a filing of criminal charges against her client.
- In 2017, a Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney represented a successful owner of a national trucking company who was accused of seven misdemeanor charges – all related to alleged hazardous material and other vehicle code violations. The charges were initially filed in 2008, but due to inadequate notice, the client was not apprised of the charges against him until more than ten years later. Client was facing up to one year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. After meeting with the attorney and being presented with her arguments, the City Attorney dismissed all charges against her client.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney's client, a licensed commercial truck driver, was involved in a serious traffic accident that caused significant injuries to the other driver. At the time of the accident, the client had a small amount of alcohol left in his system from the night before and therefore, was arrested for DUI. He could have been charged with a felony due to the severity of the other driver’s injuries, but because of the attorney’s proactive involvement in the pre-filing investigation, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office charged him with violating section 23152(d) of the California Vehicle Code: driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. The client was facing up to six months in county jail and a $1,000.00 fine. After months of negotiations, the attorney convinced the District Attorney’s Office to reduce the DUI to a reckless driving violation, so that the client could avoid a devastating DUI conviction.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney's client was arrested and charged with a second lifetime DUI offense in San Bernardino County. He was facing up to a year in county jail, thousands of dollars in fines and court fees, and a one-year license suspension. After months of negotiations, the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office agreed to reduce the charge to a first-offense DUI and the client was sentenced to probation.
- At the time of the offense, the attorney's client was a young, pregnant mother who was quietly suffering from postpartum depression and alcoholism. While driving home from a child’s birthday party with her 1-year-old in the car, the client lost control of her vehicle and collided with a fire hydrant, which caused her vehicle to flip over. The client and her daughter were trapped, upside down, in the vehicle until emergency responders arrived.
The client had a BAC of 0.24% at the time, and she was arrested for driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, and felony child endangerment. The attorney arranged for her client to immediately enroll in a residential drug and alcohol treatment center, where she received individual counseling and participated in group therapy to treat her dependency issues.
The attorney resolved the case by convincing the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to allow the client to participate in a diversion program for one year. If the client remains alcohol-free and commits no criminal offenses for one year, the prosecutor will dismiss the felony child endangerment count and the DUI enhancement.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney's client, a college student with a promising future, was arrested and charged with committing three misdemeanor vandalism offenses. The client was facing up to one year in county jail and a fine of $1,000.00. The attorney presented the Long Beach Deputy City Prosecutor with mitigating evidence and convinced them to give her client a chance to earn a dismissal by participating in community service. Case dismissed.
- A Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP attorney and Mark Werksman, managing partner of Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, represented a real estate broker who was accused of domestic violence. Before the client retained our firm, the alleged victim filed for a temporary restraining order, which was granted, and asked the court to issue a permanent restraining order against our client. After the attorney and Mark became involved, the case quickly deteriorated, and after an all-day "trial" on the matter, our client prevailed. The attorney prepared the pleadings, gathered the evidence, and created the strategy for the defense of the client. The court denied the petitioner’s request for a permanent restraining order against our client and ruled that the petitioner’s allegations were not credible, and the court was not convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that our client abused, harassed, threatened, or otherwise harmed the petitioner in any way. Because of the attorney and Mark’s aggressive advocacy, the court saw through the petitioner’s fallacies and rightfully sided with our client.
- Joshua Ritter represented a graduate student at Pepperdine University, who was injured in a hit-and-run. Our client was crossing the road at a crosswalk with her mother, who, tragically, was killed by the impact of the vehicle. The woman who hit our client and her mother then got out of the car, dragged our client’s mother’s body to the curb, and drove off, parking on an adjacent road. Despite having ample time to call the police to aid our client, the driver never did. After years of fighting this case in court, a verdict was finally reached. The driver was given a year of jail time and ordered to pay our client $18 million in damages. Had this been an accident, our client may have had a chance to heal from the physiological trauma. Watching, helpless, as her mother was treated like a dead animal, however, has left her with emotional scars that will never fully heal. Hopefully, the awarded compensation will provide her with some comfort.