Gilbert, Kelly, Crowley & Jennett LLP is a California statewide litigation firm that has attained an AV® Martindale-Hubbell rating (the highest possible). We litigate in all venues of California. We have existing clients that date back to our firm's inception, some 75 years ago. We have tried to verdict nearly 100 cases in the last few years alone and have over 100 published opinions in the state's high courts.
U.S. Supreme Court agrees with Gilbert, Kelly, Crowley & Jennett
In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court has sided with Gilbert Kelly in the matter of Filarsky v. Delia. GKCJ Partner Jon Tisdale defended attorney Steve Filarsky in a civil rights case concerning an alleged unconstitutional search during an internal affairs investigation. Filarsky was a private lawyer, but was retained by a municipality to provide labor and employment law services in the public sector. At the District Court level, Mr. Tisdale was granted summary judgment on the issue of qualified immunity by Judge Manuel Real. The doctrine of Qualified Immunity serves to bar suit against governmental employees who inadvertently violate the constitutional rights of another person under circumstances where the conduct at issue constitutes the violation of a right that was not “clearly established”.
A three judge panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, ruling that the violation was indeed of a right that was not clearly established, but that Filarsky was not entitled to the protection of qualified immunity solely on the basis of his status as a “private lawyer” retained by the city and not a city employee. Jon Tisdale and Jennifer Calderon authored the petition for Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court which was granted on September 27, 2011. Amicus briefs in support of Gilbert, Kelly's position were provided by the League of California Cities, the American Bar Association and the United States Solicitor General.
On April 17, 2012, the United States Supreme Court agreed that qualified immunity applies to private employees working in the public sector on a less than full-time basis. Chief Justice Roberts authored the opinion.
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