Mercado v. Austin Police Department

Robert Icenhauer-Ramirez

Case Conclusion Date:March 14, 1985

Practice Area:Litigation

Outcome:Case dismissed against my client

Description:This was a case that I handled early in my career. I represented the Austin Police Department in a case in federal court. What is interesting is that I cross-examined the opposing party at trial and my cross-examination was the subject of part of an opinion written by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The following paragraph is a quote from their opinion: "Defense counsel (Mr. Icenhauer-Ramirez) impeached Mercado's credibility in many ways. She admitted that a key Police Department supervisory official whom she charged with prejudice against Mexican-Americans was in fact married to a Mexican-American. She also admitted that she chose to be discharged rather than to accept assistance from the City's personnel department in locating a nonsupervisory job with the City of comparable pay grade and job classification. In sum, the evidence garnered on cross examination from Mercado herself was so damaging that, after she left the stand, virtually no later witness could have helped her to establish a prima facie case." The case cite is 74 F.2d 1266. The results of this case showed me, early on, the value of a meticulously prepared cross-examination.