Oct 14

Brian Augenthaler

Stew Estes wins Ninth Circuit Appeal

by Brian Augenthaler

For the second time eight months, Stew Estes defended a US District Court victory in the Ninth Circuit of Appeals in Lewis v. English. Plaintiffs unlawfully occupied a school district building for weeks to protest its proposed use. They were forcibly removed by the police and issued a “trespass notice” by the school district. Plaintiffs appealed the exclusion notice to state court on First Amendment grounds arguing that it barred them from every property owned by the district, including where public meetings were held that they wished to attend. The state court found the bar to be unconstitutional. Plaintiffs later filed a Civil Rights Act lawsuit in federal court asking for damages, and arguing that the district was collaterally estopped to deny the violation. Stew and Derek Chen brought a summary judgment motion. They argued that Plaintiffs’ new lawsuit was barred by res judicata because they should have sought damages in their earlier state court action. The trial court granted the motion. Now, the Ninth Circuit has upheld that dismissal.

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“Andy and his firm did a great job representing me in a complicated business dispute. He really took care of us and got a great result.”

Gordon S., Seattle, WA