For the second year in row, and the third time over this decade, Keller/Anderle attorneys have been honored with a prestigious Daily Journal CLAY Award – California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year. All trials were jury verdicts.
This year’s award was for Keller/Anderle’s successful defense in Yellowstone Women’s First Step House, Inc., et al. v. City of Costa Mesa. Keller/Anderle LLP secured a complete jury victory for the City of Costa Mesa in this federal lawsuit challenging its group home ordinance. Two sober living home operators and an industry trade group brought the suit in the Central District of California in 2014, arguing that any regulation, no matter how favorable to the disabled, was discriminatory. Other cities had lost lawsuits challenging their own ordinances, settled them, or had been intimidated into not passing ordinances at all. The Costa Mesa City Council hired Keller/Anderle in March 2018, when it was clear the City would need a complete victory at trial in order to preserve the ability to enforce reasonable regulations on group home operators. After a four-week trial before the Honorable James Selna, the eight person jury returned a unanimous verdict on all counts for the City of Costa Mesa. Jennifer Keller and Chase Scolnick were co-lead counsel and Anand Sambhwani was second chair, backed by Shaun Hoting, Nahal Kazemi and Michael Schachter.
This was Keller/Anderle’s third CLAY Award. The first CLAY Award was given to Jennifer Keller in 2012 for MGA Entertainment v. Mattel, a case she had entered as lead counsel just 12 days before trial. Ms. Keller earned a $170 million victory for her client MGA. The second CLAY award came in 2018, when Jennifer Keller, Stephen Larson and their trial team were honored for their successful defense of San Bernardino County developer Jeff Burum during a nine-month jury trial in 2017 in People v. Biane et al.