Sedgwick LLP

Sedgwick Prevails on Behalf of Law Firm Client in Six-Year Malicious Prosecution Suit

March 2006

Sedgwick's professional liability team secured the affirmance of a Los Angeles trial court's ruling dismissing a highly publicized malicious prosecution claim against Sedgwick's law firm client. Our client had sued the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and its law firm for their orchestration of the arrest and prosecution of a comedian who attempted to “crash” the Academy Awards ceremony in 1997. After the Academy and its counsel prevailed in the underlying case, they immediately filed a malicious prosecution action against our client. Following Sedgwick's creative filing of a series of motions/briefs relating to the issue of whether probable cause existed for each of the underlying 10 causes of action, the trial court found the requisite probable cause and dismissed the action.

California's Second District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s judgment in every respect, and rejected appellants’ arguments that the California Supreme Court’s decision in Zamos v. Stroud (finding that probable cause must not only be proven to exist at the initiation of the action, but at all subsequent times during the pendency of the case) compelled a different result, or return to the trial court.

Sedgwick's winning defense team consisted of Los Angeles partner Randall A. Miller, who leads the Los Angeles office professional liability group, special counsel Douglas Collodel and associate Robert Scott Silver.

Related People

Collodel, Douglas J.

Related Practices