Braceros artwork

The Law

Appellate practice

Iredale and Yoo has significantly improved civil rights law through its appellate advocacy. This is includes establishing the constitutional standard in the Ninth Circuit for excessive force claims involving the taser.

In Bryan v. MacPherson, 630 F. 3d 805 (9th Cir. 2010), Eugene Iredale and Julia Yoo represented plaintiff Carl Bryan, who was 21-years old at the time he was violently tased by a Coronado police officer. In the words of Judge Wardlaw of the Ninth Circuit, an "already bad morning for Bryan took a turn for the worse" when Officer MacPherson stopped Bryan for not wearing a seatbelt while driving, then shot Bryan with a taser without warning. Bryan, 630 F.3d at 822. "The electrical current immobilized him (Bryan) whereupon he fell face first into the ground, fracturing four teeth and suffering facial contusions."  Id.      

In a landmark ruling regulating the use of the X26 taser, manufactured by the corporation TASER International, the Ninth Circuit held as follow: the "X26 and similar devices when used in dart-mode constitute an intermediate, significant level of force that must be justified by the governmental interest involved."  Id. at 826. The X26 taser "intrudes upon the victim's physiological functions and physical integrity in a way that other non-lethal uses of force do not."  Id.  

The Ninth Circuit admonished law enforcement officers to exercise caution when using the taser against individuals whom they suspect are mentally ill: "Officer MacPherson now argues that use of the taser was justified because he believed Bryan may have been mentally ill and thus subject to detention. To the contrary: if Officer MacPherson believed Bryan was mentally disturbed he should have made greater effort to take control of the situation through less intrusive means."  Id. at 829.  

As part of its appellate advocacy on civil rights issues of national importance, Iredale and Yoo has partnered with organizations such as the National Police Accountability Project (NPAP) and the ACLU to submit amicus briefs to the United Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Iredale and Yoo has submitted briefs in cases with issues of significant Constitutional importance which implicate the civil rights and liberties of people throughout the country. 

Published Decisions and Articles

Lawyer: San Diego police were present when MTS officers pinned man to ground, held a knee to his neck

Instructing the MTS security officers to keep Zapata Hernandez pinned to the ground, and not monitoring his breathing or — when it was apparent he had stopped breathing — to timely render CPR all played a role in the death, Iredale said. He said he planned to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department. “We need to obtain complete accountability,” he said.


Months before George Floyd, Angel Hernandez died at a downtown train station with a knee to his neck, too

Aside from a vaguely-worded news release from the San Diego Police Department one day after Zapata Hernandez died, few people outside of law enforcement knew the circumstances of his death. It was not until Monday — when MTS board Chairman Nathan Fletcher and Zapata Hernandez family lawyer Eugene Iredale announced at a news conference that the transit system was settling a claim from family for $5.5 million — that the video was released publicly.


$5.5 million settlement reached with family of man who died in MTS custody

Attorney Eugene Iredale, who represented the Hernandez family, drew parallels to the Derek Chauvin murder trial after the settlement was announced. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. Iredele claimed the MTS officer kept their knee on Hernandez’s neck for more than six minutes.


The problem with policing in the United States

Immunities for police are eating away at our constitutional rights.


Voice Poll: More County Residents Support Reallocating Police Funding Than Don’t

Julia Yoo, a San Diego civil rights attorney and president of the National Police Accountability Project, said she believes it will take time for politicians to begin to act on residents’ desire for change.


Published Decision: Medina v Metropolitan Interpreters and Translators Inc

In conclusion, the court denies the Rule 50 motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, denies the Rule 59 motion for new trial, awards attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of $916,998.37 and $21,824.15, respectively, and denies the ex parte application to stay execution of the
judgment.


Published Decision: Thomas v. Dillard

The panel reversed the district court’s order on summary judgment denying qualified immunity to Palomar College police officer Christopher Dillard and also reversed the district court’s partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiff on the issue of liability in an action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging unlawful seizure and excessive force under the Fourth Amendment.


Published Decision: MG v Metropolitan Interpreters and Translators Inc

Background: Employees of translation services provider sued employer, vice-president, and coworkers, claiming violations of Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), civil conspiracy, and negligent misrepresentation. The District Court, Jeffrey T. Miller, 62 F.Supp.3d 1189, 2014 WL 6736936, granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion for summary judgment. Employer and vice president moved for certification of order for interlocutory appeal and to stay action.


Published Decision: M G v Metropolitan Interpreters and Translators Inc

In sum, the court grants summary judgment in favor of defendants R. P., M. L., B. A. and C. G. on the EPPA and punitive damages claims and denies Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on these claims; grants summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on the EPPA claims asserted against Metropolitan and J. C. and denies Metropolitan and J. C.'s motion for summary judgment


Published Opinion: Estate of Hernandez-Rojas ex rel Hernandez v US

Conclusion
Based on the foregoing discussion, defendants' motions for summary judgment on the issue of qualified immunity are DENIED as follows:
1. Re: Plaintiffs' First Amendment Retaliation claim, the motion is DENIED as to all individual defendants;
2. Re: Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment Excessive Force claim is DENIED as to the Ducoing, Krasielwicz, Piligrino, Narainesingh, Llewellyn, Vales, Boutwell, and Sauer;
3. Re: Plaintiffs' Right of Association claim, the motion is DENIED as to Ducoing, Krasielwicz, Piligrino, Narainesingh, Llewellyn, Vales, Boutwell, and Sauer; *1189 and the Supervisory defendants, Avila, Caliri, and DeJesus.
4. The Supervisory defendants' motion for summary judgment on the claim of failure to supervise and to intervene is DENIED. 
It is further Ordered that the parties shall jointly contact the chambers of Magistrate Judge Bartick within three days of the filing of this Order to schedule a mandatory settlement conference.
IT IS SO ORDERED.


Published Decision: Robinson v City of San Diego

Synopsis
Background: Arrestees brought action against police officers, alleging, inter alia, unlawful detention, arrest without probable cause, negligence, and battery. Arrestees and officers filed motions for summary judgment.
Conclusion
Based upon the parties moving papers and for the reasons set forth above, the Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, (Doc. No. 39), is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. Defendants' motion for summary judgment, (Doc. No. 52), is DENIED. The Plaintiffs' sixth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth causes of action and Defendants William Lansdowne and Matthew Dobbs are hereby DISMISSED. See Doc. No. 66, p. 2:4–8. IT IS SO ORDERED.


Published Opinion: Bryan v MacPherson

CONCLUSION
Viewing the facts, as we must, in the light most favorable to Bryan, we conclude, for the purposes of summary judgment, that Officer MacPherson used unconstitutionally excessive force. However, a reasonable officer confronting the circumstances faced by Officer MacPherson on July 24, 2005, could have made a reasonable mistake of law in believing the use of the taser was reasonable. Accordingly we REVERSE the district court's denial of summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity.