GSJones Litigators turn the tables on a corporate plaintiff suing a small business owner
GSJones Law Group litigators won a $332,000 jury verdict for Kitsap County cabinetmaker Shannon Wagner. Port Orchard Airport, Inc. filed suit against the small businessman after it evicted him from his shop. In addition they seized most of the business’ tools, materials, and unfinished projects. Sara Humphries, who has worked defending tenants in eviction actions for years joined Chalmers Johnson, who usually represents plaintiffs in lawsuits against corporations. Together they formed a winning team.
And together they turned the tables in this case, causing the hunter to become the hunted by filing counterclaims against the Corporation. It was a David vs. Goliath case. The Corporation, which had started as the unrelenting aggressor, suddenly found itself before a jury being pursued as a defendant by Johnson and Humphries. The trial lasted from Monday morning through the end of the day on Thursday. The Jury reached a verdict Friday afternoon. When reached for comment about the case, Chalmers Johnson said: “It was a long and hard-fought trial. The Jury was fantastic. Maybe the most engaged and thoughtful jury I have ever worked with.”
He added, “To the Corporate Goliaths out there, we’re watching you! Chalk one up for the Davids.”
GSJones Law Group personal injury attorney Chalmers Johnson sues Port Townsend, the police department and the officer who injured his client, a retired newspaper reporter.
Port Townsend police officer threw retired reporter Stephen Patch to the sidewalk and ground his face in the concrete in December 2014. Mr. Patch ended the encounter face down in a pool of his own blood with a broken wrist. The officer was responding to a report from a third party in which Mr. Patch was the alleged victim in an argument with his disabled son. The officer, who can be heard on the police dash-cam recording, explained to Mr. Patch’s outraged son at the scene that he was only trying to protect Mr. Patch from injuring himself. He changed his justification for the attack when he later wrote a report that stated Mr. Patch, a slight 64-year-old man, was threatening the police officers.
$60,000 in Medical Costs
“Once he had broken [Patch’s] wrist and smashed his face into the concrete, Officer Fudally, still lying on top of the injured man, used one hand to grab [Patch] by the head and force [his] face into the concrete walkway and into the pool of [Patch’s] blood,” the lawsuit alleges. Mr. Patch’s treatment cost $60,000.
In response to a letter to the City, Port Townsend’s insurer turned down the claim, insisting that the officer had done nothing wrong. Chalmers Johnson sued in Jefferson County’s Superior Court, which is seated in Port Townsend, but the City, the Department, and the officer opted to exercise their right to remove the case to Federal Court in Tacoma, avoiding the potential for a local trial with jurors exclusively from Jefferson County. It still remains to be seen whether Mr. Patch receives compensation and justice in this case.
Defendants move the case from a local court to federal court
A case may be removed from State Court to Federal Court when a case involves a federal claim. Practicing in Federal Court requires a separate license. In addition, the procedures in Federal Court are often more complicated than the State Courts. Chalmers Johnson has been admitted to the federal bar for the Western District of Washington and the Federal Appellate Court. He is one of a small percentage of attorneys to be admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Thus, he is comfortable pursuing cases under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He litigated civil rights cases in the Federal Courts for many years.
Mr. Patch worked for several Washington newspapers, including the Port Townsend Leader.
Two litigators with advanced degree (LL.M) and experience in constitutional law
Consult a litigation attorney with advanced training (LL.M) in constitutional law who can identify and use constitutional issues during the course of trial. Constitutional law focuses on the application of the U.S. Constitution to cases. Few people seek out a constitutional lawyer. However, law firms with attorneys who have experience and additional education in constitutional law offer most clients an enhanced level of service. Constitutional lawyers work with the rights and principles created by the Constitution in a wide variety of individual cases.
You may have a custody issue or an employment law case. Maybe it’s an immigration or criminal law problem. Any of these could benefit from someone skilled in constitutional principles.
GSJones team approach gives all our litigators access to the constitution law experience of two attorneys
Sara Humphries earned an advanced law degree focusing on constitutional law, appellate advocacy and federal courts. In addition to her family law and civil defense practice, she is available for consultation to all eight GSJones Law Group lawyers.
Chalmers Johnson focuses on representing people who have been injured. He focuses on Civil Rights, employment law, and personal injury. In the course of his 21 years, he has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, two state supreme courts, a U.S. Court of Appeals. He is equipped to represent you in both straightforward situations and when it is necessary to vindicate your constitutional rights in court. He is also available to advise other GSJones lawyers about options.
Employment law can be complex.
22 years experience in employment law
GSJones Law offers a broad range of consultation and representation services in employment law to both employees and employers in Kitsap County. Many consultation services for employees are surprisingly affordable.
Employment Law services for employees
You need an experienced attorney by your side if you need to fight for your rights in the workplace. If you are unfairly treated, you need someone to fight zealously for you. More importantly, be proactive and head off trouble with an inexpensive consultation or document review before a problem develops. You can depend on Chalmers Johnson, our employment law attorney. He stands with you, no matter what representation you need. Whether it’s advice, filing claims, appeals, administrative hearings, or a lawsuit, he has the experience to get the job done. Most of all, he maintains a stellar track record in negotiated settlements. Finally, his extensive experience includes appealing cases in federal and state courts.
Chalmers routinely represents federal employees on the Peninsula. His record over the past few years is impressive.
- Discrimination and harassment in the workplace, based on race, national origin, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability
- Sexual Harassment
- Wages and hours/overtime issues/ employer wage theft
- Wrongful termination
- Appeals from Unemployment Insurance decisions
- EEOC complaints for private and state employees
- EEO complaints for federal workers
Document reviews save you future headaches
Your best investment in your career could well be a consultation with Chalmers Johnson to review employment documents. Document reviews can improve many situations. Are you starting a new job? Consider a review of your contract and non-compete agreement. A review of a severance agreement may mean additional compensation. You can expect Chalmers to translate the legalese into plain English. He will also answer your questions and advise you on any “fine print” pitfalls he sees. Your peace of mind is well worth his the modest consultation fee. Here are some examples.
- Non-compete agreements
- Offers of employment
- Separation/Severance agreements
- Notices of potential disciplinary actions
- Non-union employer appeal processes
Preventative employment law services for employers
Employers consult Chalmers Johnson to ensure that their practices and policies are legal and fair. He assists employers in creating policies that are effective. His reviews of current policies and practices can ensure that you are in compliance with the quickly changing environment of employment law. In addition, he investigates specific employee complaints and provides findings and recommendations. Issues that seem minor when first reported can end up costing employers dearly if not handled quickly and professionally. And, Chalmers’ 22 years of experience provide what you need.
Our employment law services can keep your workplace amicable.
We know you prefer to be known as a responsive and responsible employer. Add Chalmers Johnson to your team of professional services. Avoid expensive administrative complaints and lawsuits. Many times these events divide your workplace for years. Chalmers is dedicated to the idea that a healthy workplace can only be achieved with strong, prompt, decisive, and responsible handling of employee complaints.