Case Conclusion Date: April 17, 2008
Practice Area: Constitutional
Outcome: Plaintiffs' jury verdict, net of $25,000.00.
Description: Civil rights case. Mr. Solorio was incarcerated for 5 months for a crime he did not commit. The Federal Court jury decided, unanimously, that the investigating officer, San Jose Police Detective John Mitchell, demonstrated deliberate indifference to the need to produce exculpatory evidence to the D.A., which ultimately led to Mr. Solorio's release. The jury awarded slightly more than the amount requested by plaintiff's attorneys -- a net of $25,000.00. The jury also found a factual predicate for an award of punitive damages against Detective Mitchell -- malice or reckless disregard. The parties (the City of San Jose, on behalf of the detective, & plaintiff) are now trying to negotiate a settlement, to include the statutory fees, and some policy changes to try to prevent recurrence. Plaintiff was represented at trial by Michael Farbstein of Farbstein & Blackman, San Mateo, & Tim Schmal of Burton, Volkmann & Schmal, LLP, Santa Cruz. Nine (9) months later the trial judge granted defendants' JNOV motion. The case ultimately settled with a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals mediator.