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Major Litigation


Monks v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes
167 Cal.App.4th 263, 84 Cal.Rptr.3d 75 (2008).

This landmark case resulted in the only successful permanent regulatory taking claim in the history of California. It resulted in a damage award of $4,250,000 plus the revocation of a development ban on ocean-view property worth $20,000,000.

Tang v. NBBJ, LP
B242912, 2014 WL 555163 (Feb. 13, 2014). 

This successful appeal reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a multimillion-dollar claim against the Staples Center by the family of a child who had died after falling over a balcony built without a permit and in violation of building regulations. In a powerful decision, the Court of Appeal stated that the owner of the Staples Center “is not entitled to one free fatal plunge before its duty to act in the face of a known danger is triggered,” and criticized the trial judge for rulings that “lack any semblance of legitimate legal reasoning.” The case was settled for a confidential amount.


Happy Nails & Spa of Fashion Valley v. Su
D060621, 159 Cal.Rptr.3d 503 (July 19, 2013).

Business owners defeated a claim by the California Employment Development Department by proving that their workers are independent contractors rather than employees. Another state agency then brought a similar claim against the same business. In a lengthy decision, the Court of Appeal ruled that a judgment against one state agency precludes relitigation by another state agency.

Gammoh v. City of Anaheim
2003 WL 40795 (Cal. App. 2003) and
City of La Habra v. Gammoh
2004 WL 2898160 (Cal. App. 2004).

These challenges to unconstitutional overregulation of adult cabarets resulted in record-setting payments to the plaintiff of over $7 million.


Scordino v. Ni
BC374969 (Super. Ct. L.A. County 2009).

$3,100,000 fraud judgment against international con artist Michael Scordino and Capstone Pictures, Ltd.


Durden v. California
531 U.S. 1184, 121 S.Ct. 1183, 148 L.Ed.2d 1027 (2001).

Eighth Amendment challenge to California “three strikes” statutes authorizing life sentences for recidivists convicted of petty theft. Certiorari denied with Justices Souter and Breyer dissenting.


Rodriguez-Román v. Immigration & Naturalization Service
98 F.3d 416 (9th Cir. 1996).

Reversed denial of asylum and withheld deportation, holding that foreign statute imposing severe penalties for illegal departure establishes motive of foreign state to persecute for political opinion. This case received extensive national and local press coverage for its disclosure of unreasonable INS attitudes and as an illustration of a model law school pro bono program.

Mullally v. City of Los Angeles
49 Fed.Appx. 190 (9th Cir. 2002).

Representation of the Feminist Majority Foundation as a friend of the court in obtaining the reversal of a prison sentence for a whistle-blower who disclosed a departmental coverup of domestic violence by Los Angeles police officers. This case led to a comprehensive investigation by the LAPD Inspector General revealing widespread domestic violence by officers and systemic departmental protection of them.


Dunbar v. Toia
380 N.E.2d 321 (NY 1978).

Established right of social services recipient to examine entire contents of her case file.


Showard v. Brezenoff
78 Civ. 1965 (SDNY 1979).

Class action extending Dunbar rights to all social services recipients and applicants in New York City.


As an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, Stuart was entrusted with, and won, extremely serious cases involving threats to the environment and public health and challenges to critical environmental statutes, including:



State of New York v. Shore Realty Corp.
759 F.2d 1032 (2d Cir. 1985).

This successful lawsuit by the State of New York against a developer who knowingly bought a hazardous waste disposal site is the leading case in the United States on the strict liability of subsequent owners for the remediation of dangerous environmental conditions. It resulted in national legislation requiring “due diligence” investigations before real estate purchases. This decision is reproduced in many law school textbooks on environmental law and has been cited as a precedent in thousands of judicial decisions.


State of New York v. Radium Chemical Co.
16968/87 (Sup. Ct. Queens Co. 1987).

Enjoined the world’s largest radium facility to dispose of all radioactive material and decontaminate its premises. The EPA called the ensuing environmental cleanup “the most dangerous Superfund project ever.” (New York Times, Sept. 10, 1989.)

City of New York v. New St. Mark’s Baths
497 N.Y.S.2d 979, aff’d, 505 N.Y.S.2d 1015, app. dism., 512 N.E.2d 555 (1987).

Upheld and enforced an ordinance declaring commercial facilities promoting “unsafe sex” to be public nuisances. This was a landmark decision sustaining one of the first governmental responses to the AIDS epidemic, and is reproduced in law school textbooks on public health law.


Town of Islip v. Cuomo
473 N.E.2d 756 (1984); 541 N.Y.S.2d 829 (1989) and
Town of East Hampton v. Cuomo
583 N.Y.S.2d 968, app. dism., 611 N.E.2d 291 (1993).

Upheld constitutionality of statute eliminating all landfilling on Long Island.


Dana Distributors, Inc. v. Dept. of Environmental Conservation
532 N.Y.S.2d 351 (1988).

Upheld constitutionality of New York Returnable Beverage Container Act.


Town of Riverhead v. Dept. of Environmental Conservation
598 N.Y.S.2d 14 (1993).

Upheld constitutionality of New York Wild, Scenic & Recreational Rivers System Act.


Cecos International, Inc. v. Jorling
895 F.2d 66 (2d Cir. 1990).

Upheld constitutionality of statute requiring new and expanding hazardous waste facilities to obtain certificates of environmental safety and public necessity from a state siting board.


Brookhaven Aggregates, Ltd. v. Williams
23 E.R.C. 1927 (EDNY), aff’d, 795 F.2d 78 (2d Cir.1985) and
New York v. Brookhaven Aggregates, Ltd.
503 N.Y.S.2d 413 (1986).

Upheld state environmental agency’s first challenged use of emergency summary abatement power and ordered remediation and permanent closure of landfill.


Town of Oyster Bay v. Williams
498 N.Y.S.2d 872, app. den., 497 N.E.2d 705 (1986) and
Town of Islip v Williams
513 N.Y.S.2d 449, app. den., 512 N.E.2d 550 (1987).

Closed municipal landfills to protect underlying aquifer despite $272 million cost to towns.

Berman Enterprises, Inc. v. Jorling
793 F.Supp. 408 (EDNY), aff’d, 3 F.3d 602 (2d Cir.), cert. den., 510 U.S. 1073 (1994).

Upheld summary revocation of fourteen oil barge licenses.


Golden v. Koch
18196/87 (Sup. Ct. Kings Co. 1987) and
Shulman v. Williams
8172/87 (Sup. Ct. Queens Co. 1987).

Sustained state plan for disposal of the infamous Long Island “garbage barge.”


Kennedy v. United States
643 F.Supp. 1072 (EDNY 1986).

Dismissed multimillion-dollar claim that state officials caused erosion of beach property. This case was the main subject of the August 1986 cover story of Science Digest.

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