Jared Antman and Tanner Hendershot Earn Favorable Settlement for Client in Ninth Circuit Appeal
Pepperdine Caruso Law students Jared Antman and Tanner Hendershot, participants in the Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, successfully represented a client in a civil rights lawsuit against a California prison warden. Their client, Mr. Wahl, had been serving time in California state prison when he received a court order requiring his immediate release. The warden and other prison officials, however, kept Mr. Wahl in prison for another 25 days, even after Mr. Wahl informed them of the court order.
After Mr. Wahl was finally released from prison, he brought a civil rights lawsuit in federal district court. The district court judge dismissed his complaint based on the doctrine of qualified immunity, finding that the warden was immune from suit because he could have reasonably believed he was not violating Mr. Wahl’s rights. The Ninth Circuit appointed the Pepperdine Ninth Appellate Advocacy Circuit clinic as counsel for Mr. Wahl on appeal.
Jared and Tanner filed an opening brief and a reply brief on appeal, arguing that the district court erred in applying the qualified immunity doctrine, and that the Ninth Circuit should limit the application of that doctrine in accordance with statements by Supreme Court justices who have criticized the expansion of the doctrine. As Jared and Tanner were preparing to present oral argument, the California Attorney General’s office made a settlement offer to Mr. Wahl that he accepted.