SAN FRANCISCO – December 13, 2016 – Gaw | Poe LLP announced today that it has won another jury trial on behalf of its clients. Gaw | Poe LLP represented the plaintiff, a man named Donald Okada, in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and equitable indemnity against his former business partner Mark Whitehead. The dispute stemmed over Mr. Whitehead’s failure to honor the terms of a Settlement Agreement between the two parties regarding their joint acquisition of a mansion in the Dominican Republic known as “Lions Gate” – a property that Mr. Whitehead had valued at $10 million.
Following five days of trial, the jury deliberated for four hours and returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Okada on all counts. The jury awarded Mr. Okada approximately $370,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $144,000 in punitive damages. The jury’s verdict also confirmed the validity of certain actions taken by Mr. Okada to protect an additional $1 million held by him in the Lions Gate property. The jury also decided against Mr. Whitehead on all of his counterclaims where he had sought up to $7 million in damages.
“I’m very happy that I was able to get justice for Donald,” said Gaw | Poe LLP partner Randolph Gaw. “The evidence overwhelmingly showed that Mr. Whitehead continually acted to put his own interests ahead of Donald’s interests, and the jury followed the evidence. We could not ask for anything more.”
The lawsuit is captioned Donald Okada v. Mark Whitehead, No. 8:15-CV-01449-JLS-KES, and the trial was held before Judge Josephine Staton of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. At trial, Mr. Okada was represented by Gaw | Poe LLP attorneys Randolph Gaw and Victor Meng, along with paralegal Will Ostrander. Additional assistance was provided during trial by Matthew Spalding of Legal Media Inc.
About Gaw | Poe LLP
Gaw | Poe LLP is a San Francisco Bay Area boutique law firm focusing on business litigation, intellectual property litigation, and appeals. Founders Randolph Gaw and Mark Poe are graduates of Stanford Law School and have practiced extensively with some of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the world. The firm is experienced at handling disputes on behalf of a wide range of clients from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to high net worth individuals. For more information, please visit http://www.gawpoe.com.