CW attains reversal of 108-month sentence on appeal before the Ninth Circuit in seminal, published opinion
Before retaining CW, the client, a prominent Southern California physician, was convicted on multiple counts of healthcare fraud arising from his certification of patients as eligible for hospice care. On appeal, CW argued that the client's 108-month sentence violated the Constitution's Ex Post Facto Clause because the district court applied the most recent federal sentencing guidelines' manual, although an earlier, less-punitive version applied to all but one count of conviction. The Ninth Circuit reversed, rejecting the government's theory that the continuing offense doctrine permitted sentencing for a scheme to defraud under a single manual, despite the prosecution's election to charge the client with multiple counts arising from independent executions of the alleged scheme. For further reading see: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2019/04/26/17-50255.pdf
CW secures terminating sanctions on the eve of trial in defense of business fraud claim
After a prominent local surgeon lost nearly $1 million at trial on a claim that she defrauded the seller of real estate, she retained CW to retry the matter in Los Angeles Superior Court. Following extensive motions practice, CW convinced the court that the plaintiff abused the discovery process and provided false testimony on material facts at the first trial. The court granted CW's request for terminating sanctions mere days before retrial was to commence.
CW attains reversal of three healthcare fraud counts on appeal before the Ninth Circuit
CW was retained after the client sustained three healthcare fraud convictions and received a 57-month sentence. On appeal, CW argued that the district court erred in admitting prejudicial expert testimony and failed to adequately instruct the jury on how to weigh the expert's opinions. The Ninth Circuit reversed, agreeing with CW that the district court failed to exercise its gatekeeping function.
CW argues before the Ninth Circuit on a First Amendment matter of first impression
As part of an ongoing commitment to giving back the local community, CW continued its representation of indigent clients before the Ninth Circuit. The client, a federal inmate, faced discipline that included solitary confinement after sending outgoing correspondence that expressed his frustration with the justice system in harsh terms. CW argued that the First Amendment protected his speech, and that the BOP regulation under which he was subject to sanction was not tailored to any legitimate government interest.
CW negotiates dismissal of federal assault charges on behalf of foreign national
Federal prosecutors charged CW's client with sexual assault on an airplane, arising out of two separate incidents. After CW litigated numerous pretrial motions, the prosecution dropped the assault charges and the parties agreed to a probationary disposition. The client was permitted to return to his home nation without serving a single additional day in custody.
Client sentenced to time-served after CW attains reversal on appeal in rare, published opinion
CW stepped in to handle the appeal in an aggravated identity theft case after the client was convicted at trial on two counts and sentenced to 65 months in custody. Before the Ninth Circuit, CW argued that the district court erred in refusing to excuse an obviously biased juror for cause. Upon remand, CW successfully negotiated a time-served sentence. For further reading, see: https://us9thcircuitcourtofappealsopinions.justia.com/2018/09/04/united-states-v-kechedzian/
CW teams up with the ACLU to represent undocumented people and homeless advocates
As part of an ongoing commitment to pro bono representation, throughout the summer, CW partnered with the ACLU of Southern California and the Immigrant Defenders Law Center to provide legal counsel to undocumented persons detained in federal prison without charge. This fall, CW attorneys joined the team representing a local advocate for the rights of homeless and food-insecure people to receive food in Orange County's public parks.
CW attains a $1.95 million settlement for the family of a homeless man killed by LAPD officers
Three LAPD officers fatally shot a mentally ill homeless man on Skid Row. CW represented the victim's mother in the family's wrongful death suit against the City of Los Angeles. After the jury found that the officers used excessive force, the City Council approved a substantial award and settlement agreement in the family's favor. For further reading, see: https://www.npr.org/2018/08/23/641074093/city-of-la-approves-1-9-million-settlement-to-family-of-homeless-man-killed-by-l
CW achieves dismissal of all charges on behalf of European-based client
Local prosecutors charged CW's foreign client with grand theft, and theft of personal property, arising from a series of suspicious transactions. CW used evidence that the client had been a frequent victim of identity theft to argue persuasively, and successfully, for a dismissal of the charges.
CW partner presents to the 2018 Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice
Reuven L. Cohen was invited to speak on the topics of the federal preemption of state laws and the legalization of marijuana.
CW partner named Super Lawyer
Reuven L. Cohen was named to Super Lawyers' 2018 Top 100 Southern California Lawyers. Reuven is one of only 7 white-collar practitioners to receive this honor.
JD Journal Names Cohen Williams to 2017 List of Top Los Angeles Litigation Boutiques
Cohen Williams was named one of the top litigation boutiques in Los Angeles by the JD Journal. Read the full article here: https://www.jdjournal.com/2017/05/06/top-los-angeles-litigation-boutiques-2017/
Rare, voluntary dismissal with prejudice following USAO presentation
Federal prosecutors charged a firm client, a bank officer, with conspiring to launder money and evading a currency reporting requirement. Following aggressive negotiations and a presentation inside the United States Attorney's Office, prosecutors took the extraordinary step of voluntarily dismissing all charges against the client with prejudice, saving the client money and avoiding the stress and publicity of trial.
Complete, mid-trial dismissal of felony extortion charges following bruising cross-examinations
Local prosecutors charged a firm client, a technology entrepreneur, with two counts of felony extortion. After vigorous cross-examinations – in which it was shown that the star witness was repeatedly perjuring herself – and a motion to dismiss for prosecutorial misconduct, prosecutors gave up, dropping the entire case three weeks into an expected four-week trial.
Complete acquittal following two-week federal jury trial
Federal prosecutors charged a firm client with a string of bank thefts that allegedly netted him and his co-conspirators more than $20 million. Before retaining the firm, the client pleaded guilty to similar crimes that took place both before and after the charged events. Following an eight-day trial, in which the government called two cooperating witnesses, 10 law-enforcement officers, and multiple experts, the jury returned a verdict completely acquitting the firm client. His co-defendant was convicted.
CW clears federal prosecutor of wrongdoing.
CW was retained to represent an Assistant United States Attorney facing false allegations of misconduct. Following an extensive evidentiary hearing, the court found in the client's favor, and his professional reputation remained untarnished.
Complete defense victory and $500,000 fee award in arbitration between former business partners
Two firm clients removed their former business partners as managers of a jointly-owned LLC. The former business partners responded by suing for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and defamation, claiming $6 million in damages. Following a four-day arbitration, the arbitrator found in favor of the firm clients and ordered the former business partners to pay all of the firm clients' attorney's fees, which she characterized as "just and reasonable" for several years of litigation.
Complete dismissal of 57-count indictment in $150 million fraud prosecution
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office obtained a 57-count indictment charging a firm client with conspiracy, insurance fraud, and 21 counts of aggravated mayhem, each of which carried a $1 million bond and potential life sentence. After extensive briefing and argument, the Court dismissed the case -- in full -- based on prosecutors' errors during grand jury proceedings.
Firm teams up with O’Melveny & Meyers, LLP to secure $7.9 million arbitration award for clients
Firm client, a committee of hedge fund investors, sued a fund manager to recover losses suffered as a result of the manager's self-dealing. After an eight-day arbitration hearing involving complex financial expert testimony, the arbitration panel found the fund manager liable for willful misconduct and ordered it to repay $7.9 million.
Article in "California Lawyer" on Southern California law firm office design looks features the firm's office
Complete acquittal in complex federal prosecution
Federal prosecutors charged a firm client with two Clean Water Act violations and two counts of criminal contempt. The contempt charges stemmed from nine years of Clean Water Act litigation brought by the United States Attorney’s Office. The client also had a prior Clean Water Act conviction. Following an eight-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning a “Not Guilty” verdict on all four counts. Read about the verdict in the Daily Journal article.