News 02.28.24

Segal McCambridge Secures Major Victory for Kars4Kids in Small Claims Appeal Court Battle

In a recent legal triumph led by Shareholder John "Willy" Eberlein, Segal McCambridge successfully defended Kars4Kids in a significant case before the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, West District (Santa Monica).

The case revolved around a 2014 VW Jetta, initially owned by our Defense Witness (“Witness”), who had lent the vehicle to the Plaintiff in August 2022. However, when attempts to reclaim the car failed, the Witness decided to donate it to Kars4Kids on December 6, 2022.

Things took a dramatic turn when the Plaintiff reported the car as stolen on December 7, 2022. Subsequently, it was discovered that the Plaintiff had transferred the Jetta's title into his name without the consent or knowledge of the Witness in November 2022.

After a convoluted legal journey, which included the Beverly Hills Police recovering the vehicle from Co-Defendant Copart Auto Auctions on February 16, 2023, the case finally came to trial, resulting in a Plaintiff’s verdict in Small Claims court.  Kars4Kids appealed.

During the trial on appeal, an unexpected twist occurred when the witness from Kars4Kids was no longer present on the Zoom screen. Despite this setback, Willy adeptly navigated the situation, presenting key exhibits and arguments to support our case.

Central to our defense was a Declaration from the Witness, initially challenged by the Court but ultimately accepted due to its sworn nature. Copart presented testimony showing that the vehicle was not damaged.

Willy skillfully argued two plausible scenarios:

If the Witness's testimony was upheld, then Plaintiff's actions of registering the vehicle without consent would constitute unclean hands, warranting dismissal of the case against Kars4Kids.

Alternatively, if the Plaintiff's version was believed, then the Witness was an indispensable party, and his absence required the dismissal of the case against Kars4Kids, as plaintiff failed to join an indispensable party.

Regardless of which scenario the Court favored, the outcome remained the same: the case against Kars4Kids must be dismissed.

In a decisive ruling, the Court found in favor of Kars4Kids, vacating the previous judgment against them and denying the Plaintiff's claim for damages.

This victory not only underscores Segal McCambridge's commitment to effective advocacy but also highlights our dedication to securing favorable outcomes for our clients.