Singleton Schreiber partner and certified appellate attorney Ben Siminou successfully argued a case before the Fourth District Court of Appeals in a whistleblower case that has huge ramifications throughout the state of California.
In the original matter, Christopher Ross, who is a former prosecutor with the Riverside County District Attorney, sued the County of Riverside for whistleblower retaliation and disability discrimination. This suit was filed after the DA’s office allegedly demoted Ross and refused to accommodate his medical issues. He alleged it was in response to him raising concerns that the DA’s office was prosecuting an innocent man for murder. He alleges the discrimination and retaliation happened at the “specific direction” and with the “express knowledge and consent” of then-District Attorney Paul Zellerbach.
During litigation, evidence of witness tampering arose. Ross’ attorneys argued that this should be admissible in a civil case. The County’s attorneys fought this, and ultimately Mr. Siminou was brought in to argue on behalf of Mr. Ross that efforts to tamper with witnesses in a civil case are admissible against a party as evidence of their guilt and may even justify the deposition of a high-ranking government
The Court of Appeal initially disagreed, but after Mr. Siminou successfully petitioned the California Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal reversed course and agreed with Mr. Siminou’s arguments by issuing a published decision in which it ruled in favor of Mr. Ross.
“The Court of Appeal’s decision in this case was an important rebuke of efforts to obstruct the administration of justice in California courts. By confirming that efforts to tamper with evidence are broadly discoverable in civil actions, the Court of Appeal’s ruling will deter parties from employing those tactics in the future.” said attorney Ben Siminou.
The case is Christopher Ross v. Superior Court of Riverside County, Case No. D079278, Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division One.
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Singleton Schreiber fights for regular people who have been harmed by corporate greed and government overreach. We hold utility companies accountable for preventable wildfires. We sue corporate defendants whose products and actions hurt people. And we defend civil rights against
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