Second Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms RRD Defense Verdict

April 30, 2010

(APRIL 30, 2010) - In a decision released on April 30, 2010, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the United States District Court’s judgment on a defense verdict obtained by RRD partner Robert C. E. Laney in November 2007.

The firm’s client, a bail bondsman, was sued for civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 for conducting an allegedly illegal search of a residence in Westport while trying to locate a fugitive. The plaintiffs claimed to have sustained severe emotional and psychological harm due to the unsuccessful midnight search of their home.

At trial, the jury determined that the search was not illegal because one of the homeowners had indicated consent to the entry. The Second Circuit affirmed the judgment in the defendant’s favor, finding that the plaintiffs had not properly preserved for appellate review their claim that the trial court had improperly instructed the jury with respect to the burden of proof on the issue of consent.