Restoration and Justice Clinic Secures Domestic Violence Restraining Order After Successful Trial
On November 3, court-certified Pepperdine Caruso Law third-year students Daisy Koch and Lauren Pybus successfully secured a five-year domestic violence restraining order and monetary damages for their client through trial at the Van Nuys Superior Court of Los Angeles. During the trial, Koch and Pybus delivered opening and closing statements, elicited witness testimony, admitted exhibits into evidence, and requested that the judge take judicial notice of certain documents.
In their case-in-chief, Pybus successfully admitted certified copies of the respondent’s prior criminal domestic violence convictions and elicited testimony on pertinent instances of abuse during the relationship. Koch presented evidence on the client’s flight to a domestic violence shelter, the property and other damages incurred as a result of the abuse, and the respondent’s violations of previous and current temporary restraining orders.
After hearing all the evidence presented, the judge ruled in their client’s favor, granting their client and her daughter a five-year domestic violence restraining order as well as over $5,000 in monetary damages. During the judge’s ruling, he noted that Koch and Pybus had presented a thorough case, including multiple bases to grant the Restraining Order, and that each alone would have been sufficient justification to grant it.
Pybus noted, “the judge was more active in the direct examination than we expected, but having practiced questions with the client, we were able to shift gears and rearrange our direct examination based on what the judge wanted to hear most about.” Koch wrote of the experience, “these first experiences of representing a client from start to finish, making executive decisions, and that indescribable sense of responsibility to another human being in one of the most impactful time periods of her life are ones I will never forget. Nor are the feelings of looking at the client as the judge granted her a permanent Restraining Order against her abuser and monetary damages.”
In the Restoration and Justice Clinic, students represent victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault and other gender-based crimes. The Clinic's approach to gender-based violence cases is a holistic one, encompassing civil and criminal law remedies and advocacy to ensure that the survivor's legal needs are met. The Clinic is housed in the law school but partners with legal and social service agencies in Southern California to facilitate comprehensive services for our clients and to provide experiences in multidisciplinary practice for our students.
For more information on experiential learning at Pepperdine Caruso Law, please visit Restoration and Justice Cllnic