Kiesel Law News

Verdict Against Nissan

$25 Million for Paul R. Kiesel Clients

A Los Angeles Jury decided that the braking system software defect in a Nissan-made SUV was the cause of a traffic accident that killed three people, awarding roughly $25 million to the surviving driver and family members of the deceased.

Nissan North America Inc. faced claims in the nearly month-long trial from both Solomon Mathenge, represented by Paul Kiesel, whose Infiniti QX56 SUV in 2012 crashed into a minivan in a Hollywood intersection, killing a woman and her two daughters, and by family members of the deceased.

Solomon Mathenge was initially charged with vehicular manslaughter after the collision. Those charges were only dropped in December of last year. Cruz sued Mathenge after the accident, but later dropped those claims and Mathenge joined his lawsuit against Nissan.

After charging Mathenge, prosecutors became aware that the brake failure Mathenge claimed he experienced was similar to the failures alleged in a federal class action lawsuit against Nissan involving the same Infiniti vehicles. Nissan settled the case in 2014 in a deal that offered compensation of up to $800 for 350,000 2004-2008 Nissan Titans, Armadas and Infiniti QX56’s.

That lawsuit dealt also with supposedly faulty delta stroke sensors, the software element that Mathenge and Cruz’s attorneys claim caused the crash. The plaintiff class accused the auto manufacturer of withholding information about the defect from the public “to [Nissan’s] significant financial gain.”  Prosecutors interviewed class members in the federal lawsuit, and after determining that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mathenge’s vehicle didn’t have the same alleged defect, dropped the charges against him.

The trial was before Judge Randolph Hammock and lasted five weeks.  The case, Cruz v. Nissan North America, et al., was tried in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County.



Closing Moments from Nissan Trial, Clip Courtesy of Courtroom View Network



Multi-Million Dollar Verdict on Behalf of Tractor-Trailer Collision Victim


“And now you know why we are here” were the words that attorney Paul R. Kiesel used at the close of a ten day trial on behalf of the victim of a Truck collision. Paul was reminding the jury of the defense lawyer’s opening statement two weeks earlier when the Defendant trucking company admitted full responsibility for the crash and it’s lawyer said “We want to make it right”. This personal injury trial focused on injuries that the Plaintiff sustained when his stopped pickup truck was rear-ended by the Defendant’s 45,000 pound Tractor-Trailer that was traveling at 45 miles per hour at the time of the impact.

The driver of the pickup truck, who was 22 years of age at the time of the crash, suffered Compression Fractures of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thoracic vertebrae, was confined to a body cast for 9 months, has undergone (and continues to need) post-accident medical care and treatment and he has and – for the rest of his life – will continue to experience a lifetime of daily constant pain. However, as the trial progressed, it became apparent to the jury that there was a sizable gap between defense lawyer’s words and their true intentions.

Not only did the defense lawyer disagree with the Victim’s expert witnesses during the trial, which included treating physicians from the Mayo Clinic and St. Jude’s Medical Center, the defense attorney ended up greatly disagreeing with the defense’s very own expert witnesses as to the costs of that lifetime of future medical care and the lost earning capacity that this young man sustained due to the Defendant’s own (admitted) negligence.

Rather than “making it right” it became obvious to the jury that the defense was only attempting to minimize, reduce and avoid financial responsibility for the crippling injuries that its driver’s negligent operation of the Big-Rig caused. Because the defense lawyer and the defense of the case didn’t do so, it was left to the jury to “make it right,” and they did by returning this sizable verdict on the Victim’s behalf.



Kiesel Law LLP Wins California Supreme Court Victory for Consumers of Organic foods

“To buyers and sellers alike, ‘labels matter.”


Today, the CA Supreme Court held that state law claims which alleged that produce distributed and sold by Herb Thyme was being intentionally mislabeled as organic is not preempted by federal law. The Court further stated that lawsuits alleging intentional mislabeling of organic produce promote, rather than hinder, Congress’s purposes and objectives. The class action filed by Kiesel Law LLP alleging false advertising and unfair competition, can now proceed.

Kiesel Law LLP is proud of this victory for consumers across California. If you believe that a company is misleading in its advertising, we would be interested in hearing about it.



Verdict in First Wright Trial

Jury Awards 11 Million Dollars


In the first trial against Wright Medical regarding the company’s metal-on-metal Conserve Hip device, an Atlanta, Georgia jury unanimously awarded $11 million in damages. The jury found that Wright defectively designed the Conserve model hip device and negligently misrepresented the design features, resulting in Ms. Christiansen’s harm. Congratulations to Kiesel Law’s own Helen Zukin and Cherisse Cleofe, as well as Ray Boucher, Michael McGlamry and Kirk Pope for their excellent and hard work during this two week trial.



FDA Recalls Profemur Cobalt Chrome Neck

Kiesel Law LLP Files the First Case Against Device Manufacturer Wright Medical


Wright designed and manufactured the now recalled PROFEMUR Long Cobalt Chrome 8 Degree Varus/Valgus Modular Neck, Part 1254, a component of the company’s PROFEMUR Hip System. The recalled device was distributed from June 15, 2009, to July 31, 2015. After releasing the device, Wright sold its hip division, OrtoRecon, to MicroPort Orthopedics Inc. in January 2014. MicroPort continued to distribute the device until the device’s recall.

Kiesel Law LLP, committed to halting the sale of defective medical devices, filed the first case against Wright for injuries caused by the PROFEMUR Long Cobalt Chrome neck component, and also handles cases involving the Wright Profemur-Z titanium hip system. If you have undergone a hip replacement surgery in which you believe the PROFEMUR Long Cobalt Chrome neck or Profemur-Z titanium neck was utilized, please contact our firm for a free consultation.



Super Lawyers Announcement


 Kiesel Law LLP associate Mariana Aroditis has been selected for inclusion on the 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for the second year in a row for her work in Plaintiffs’ Civil Litigation.

The “Super Lawyers Rising Stars” list includes the top 2.5 percent of outstanding lawyers under the age of 40 who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.



Paul Kiesel Installed as President of the L.A. County Bar Association

The Daily Journal conducted the first interview of Paul Kiesel since becoming president of the L.A. County Bar

Daily Journal

Kiesel Wants to Use Bar Clout to Get Dollars for State Courts

By Don J. DeBenedictis

Paul Kiesel, incoming president of the LA County Bar Association at his office in Beverly Hills on 6/25/2015. Photo: Juliane Backmann

Paul Kiesel, incoming president of the LA County Bar Association at his office in Beverly Hills on 6/25/2015. Photo: Juliane Backmann

BEVERLY HILLS – New presidents of bar associations often hope to spend their terms increasing their groups’ membership and power. Paul R. Kiesel, the new president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, wants that, too, but not just because more is better.

He sees growing the association as a way to further boost its clout in Sacramento on the issue of funding for the courts. His goal, he said, is to “build up the throw weight of the county bar in the access to justice discussion.”

With about 20,000 members, the Los Angeles County association is already the largest metropolitan bar group in the nation, according to an official.

By bringing in more members – and more lawyer associations as affiliated organizations – Kiesel believes the county bar can command even more attention from legislators and the governor’s office in arguing for keeping the courts open and functioning.

“Access to justice is so important,” he said. “My No. 1 priority as Los Angeles County Bar Association president is for all of us to come together to advocate for access to justice.”




Paul Kiesel Interviewed by New York Times Regarding Amtrak Train Crash


The New York Times reached out to Mr. Kiesel as part of its continuing news coverage of the tragic Amtrak train crash.  Mr. Kiesel, who was liaison counsel for the litigation that arose from the 2008 Metrolink train crash in Chatsworth, spoke about both the Congressionally imposed cap on damages and the technology that could have prevented the crash.  The most recent article stated:

With eight people killed and scores injured, the claims could easily exceed $200 million. Paul R. Kiesel, a lawyer who represented victims in the 2008 Metrolink crash in California, said the money would not go far enough to compensate victims whose lives will never be the same.

“The cap will without question come into play, and those who were injured will undoubtedly receive a fraction of their actual damages — economic, medical, lost wages and otherwise,” he said.

In a previous article, Mr. Kiesel stated:

“The positive train control system would have prevented the deaths,” said Kiesel .  “It would have slowed the train down and taken the human element out of it.”  The system automatically overrides errors made by human rail employees.

Kiesel says that railroads should have long ago installed positive train control technology. With it, there is no question the accident would not have occurred.



Los Angeles Archdiocese Releases Last Group of Confidential Files

Level of Cover-up Far Surpasses Worst Fears

After eleven years of litigation and a six year battle over the release of files, the more than 600 victims of clergy sexual abuse have secured for publication, additional confidential files which reveal a painful history of cover-up and betrayal by the Catholic Church. The confidential files were turned over to the victims as part of global settlement with the Archdiocese by the Benedictine Fathers of Sacred Heart Mission, Inc. aka St. Gregory’s Abbey, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus aka The Cabrini Sisters, the U.S Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Inc., the Oblate Fathers Western Province, Inc., the Marianist Province of the United States and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. “In the six years since the historic settlement was reached, our firm never wavered in our commitment to see that these secret files would be released to the public” said attorney Paul Kiesel.  LA-Arch   Articles-2

 Click Here to See Confidential Files




Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Reached

After Ground Breaking Trial


A multi-million dollar settlement has been obtained by Paul Kiesel on behalf of clients Nathaniel T. and Gary R. after a jury verdict shattered a decade’s old practice of magazine clearing houses classifying salespeople as independent contractors in order to escape liability.  The 12 person jury unanimously decided that the magazine clearing house, Atlantic Circulation Inc., was the employer of Nathaniel and Gary, who traveled from town to town knocking on doors selling magazines for the exclusive benefit of the magazine clearing house.  Prior to this trial, magazine clearing houses in California and across the country enjoyed the benefits of the employee/employer relationship without any of the responsibilities of the relationship. These magazine clearing houses employ thousands of young men and women working up to 12 hours a day exclusively selling magazine subscriptions on behalf of the clearing houses. In the case of Atlantic Circulation, Inc., the company exhibited total control over the plaintiffs including: where they could sell, which magazines they could sell and which sales pitch would be used.

Riverside Court House

 Riverside Superior Court, location of trial


Atlantic Circulation Inc. greatly benefited from this employer/employee relationship, but when Nathaniel and Gary were seriously injured during their work for Atlantic Circulation, the company refused to provide any benefits, medical or otherwise, to them. Instead, Atlantic Circulation insisted that the young men were, at most, independent contractors who were not entitled to any compensation at all.

“Thanks to the outstanding decision reached by this jury, magazine clearing house corporations will be held accountable when young men and women are injured during the course and scope of their employment for that company”, according to Paul Kiesel. “This is not only a big, life altering verdict for our two brave clients, who were so seriously injured, but is a victory for all people who were, until now, in a relationship with corporations where the company held all the control and benefits, without any of the potential liability to those who worked for them”.



Zoom and the Court System: Q&A with Attorney Paul Kiesel




In the past few years, Zoom has seen truly explosive growth, reaching over 40 million participants, collectively communicating for over one billion minutes. We have made the world a little smaller, helped reduce the worldwide emissions footprint, and served a continually-growing customer base in education, technology, medicine, and a variety of other areas. Among those customers, we find Paul Kiesel, attorney at law, founder of Kiesel Law LLP, and President Elect of the Los Angeles Bar Association.

We’ve recently run a case study on Mr. Kiesel, and that is when we learned of an untapped part of the market that could certainly make use of video to fulfill its purpose more efficiently: the court system. We decided to speak with Paul Kiesel in-depth about the prospective use of video in the courtroom — and even discussed previous attempts to use it — to understand how Zoom can play a role in a system that, at the very least, appears to require a push forward with proper and versatile video technology. Here’s our interview:

Zoom: What are your personal views on video communications tools being used in the courtroom?

Paul Kiesel: Video communication in the courtroom is the natural extension of technology and it assists our judicial system in finding a way to create better connectivity and improve environmental costs associated with travel, time, and space. To me, it is the natural progression from the written word to telephones, and now, to using video as a way to interact with people.





Paul Kiesel Named to the Daily Journal’s 2015-2016 Top 25 List

Daily-Journal-Top 25 2015-2016

The Daily Journal has recognized Paul Kiesel for his outstanding work both in the courtroom and on behalf of the courts by selecting him as one of the Top 25 Lawyers in California. The Journal lauded Paul’s efforts as one of the leaders of the consolidated litigation against Fedex Corporation. This litigation stems from the tragic crash that took the lives of five students and 3 adults when a Fedex tractor-trailer crashed into a bus full of students on their way to a college tour.

Paul has also been singled out for his work as Co-Chair of the Open Courts Collation, a bipartisan committee of attorneys and other stakeholders throughout California, including the Chamber of Commerce, who are advocating for greater funding of the civil justice system.

Paul Kiesel said, “I am honored to be selected as one of the top 25 lawyers in the state of California, where there are over 225,000 practicing attorneys.”



Federal Express Bus Crash Lawsuit Filed


A wrongful death action has been filed by Kiesel Law LLP against Federal Express on behalf of the family of Ismael Jimenez.

  Fedex Press Conference

Paul Kiesel stated at the May 20, 2014, news conference that the lawsuit is on behalf of Ismael Jimenez, 18, an aspiring college student and artist. Ismael and other high school seniors were headed north for a tour of Humboldt State University when the bus was struck head-on by the FedEx truck. “Ismael sacrificed his life to save the lives of other students on the bus,” noted Kiesel. “This was the Bus Full of Dreams, because these were disadvantaged children who had excelled in school and were the first in their families to attend college.” “Liability rests first and foremost with Federal Express. Federal Express owned, maintained and ran that tractor unit,” said Kiesel. “By bringing this claim now, it gives the family the legal right to determine why this tragic crash happened.” Ismael Jimenez rushed to the front of the bus as it was filling with smoke, broke out a window and helped lift others to safety. Evelin Jimenez, Ismael’s sister, said, “He could have saved his own life, but he put the lives of others first. He is a Hero.”

Click Here to See Document





Paul Kiesel Profiled in Daily Journal


Paul R. Kiesel


The Daily Journal did an in-depth article on the career of attorney Paul Kiesel entitled “Back to Basics”. The story looks at Paul’s accomplishments and, more importantly, future plans both for him and for the firm that bears his name. ” I have always said I was a trial lawyer. It had been a long time since I was consistently back in trial, so it’s quite fun for me.” And very productive. In the past several months, Paul has completed three jury trials resulting in significant damages awarded to his clients. For the complete Daily Journal article, please click below. Click_Here_Button


Kiesel Technology Articles

Kiesel Technology   Articles

Click Here to See Articles

Paul Kiesel was named one of “America’s 12 Techiest Lawyers” by the ABA Journal and takes pride in the fact that the firm’s technological advancements allow its attorneys to travel the world and still never lose touch with their clients. Paul prides himself on being “the easiest lawyer to reach in America because no matter where I am in the world, I get the message.”



Dedication of New Kiesel Advocacy Center

Whittier Law School held dedication ceremonies for the opening of the Kiesel Advocacy Center, a new 4,400 square foot courtroom that contains a spectator gallery of 134 seats, a jury deliberation room and judge’s chamber.


Advocacy Center 1


The dedication of this state-of-the-art facility was presided over by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The courtroom was funded by donations, including a major donation by Paul Kiesel, a partner in the law firm of Kiesel Law LLP, Beverly Hills. Kiesel graduated from Whittier Law School in 1985, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law in 2005.

Advocacy Center 2

Paul and Dana Kiesel at cutting ribbon ceremony


“From its planning stages, I intended the Kiesel Advocacy Center to create greater engagement between Whittier Law School and the entire legal community,” said Kiesel. “Whittier has a very rich tradition of training advocates who represent those who would otherwise be without a voice. I hope the Center inspires future generations of advocates.”



Los Angeles Archdiocese Releases Files

Level of Cover-up Far Surpasses Worst Fears

After eleven years of litigation and a six year battle over the release of files, the more than 600 victims of clergy sexual abuse have secured for publication, additional confidential files which reveal a painful history of cover-up and betrayal by the Catholic Church. The confidential files were turned over to the victims as part of global settlement with the Archdiocese by the Benedictine Fathers of Sacred Heart Mission, Inc. aka St. Gregory’s Abbey, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus aka The Cabrini Sisters, the U.S Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Inc., the Oblate Fathers Western Province, Inc., the Marianist Province of the United States and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. “In the six years since the historic settlement was reached, our firm never wavered in our commitment to see that these secret files would be released to the public” said attorney Paul Kiesel.   LA-Arch     Articles-2

 Click Here to See Confidential Files



Jenni Rivera: Paul Kiesel Interviewed by CNN

On the one year anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of Jenni Rivera and six others, CNN has done an investigative report on the new details that have emerged about what might have caused the plane to plunge 28,000 feet into a mountainous area of northern Mexico. Attorney Paul R. Kiesel, who represents the four families involved in the lawsuit, said he expects it will be “a couple of years” before a trial date will be set for the lawsuit. “As for the case, we’re continuing with the underlying investigation as to why the plane fell out of the sky. Was it pilot error? Mechanical failure? We’re now taking depositions from individuals who chartered the plane to find out more,” Kiesel said. When CNN asked how the victims’ families were coping as the anniversary of the plane crash approaches, Kiesel said his clients are staying out of the spotlight citing a significant amount of media intrusion over the past year.



Jenni Rivera Plane Crash Lawsuit Filed

Rivera Press Conference

Kiesel Law has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the families of those who perished from the crash of the plane that was carrying Jenni Rivera on a flight from Monterrey to Mexico City on December 9, 2012. Paul Kiesel announced at a press conference held in Los Angeles that his firm represents the families of Jennie Rivera’s publicist, Arturo Rivera; makeup artist, Jacobo Yebale; lawyer Mario Macias and hair stylist, Jorge Sanchez. The grieving families want answers to questions including why their loved ones were flying on a 43 year old Learjet with a long history of maintenance problems and prior substantial wing and airframe structural damage. The families also want to know why the plane was being flown by 78 and 20 year old pilots who were not properly licensed. Paul Kiesel told the packed press conference “We intend to fully investigate these and all other questions our clients have, and to ensure that the corporate entities who were responsible for this tragedy are held accountable.” Paul Kiesel speaking at the press conference held in Los Angeles.


 Click Here to See Document

  Vance Rivera Press Conference

Vance Owen, an experienced personal injury and wrongful death litigator with offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, will act as co-counsel on behalf of all plaintiffs.


Paul Kiesel on KTLA TV

Hundreds from the legal community, judges, labor and others rallied to support adequate court funding for California’s justice system. Speakers included Governor Gray Davis, Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno (ret.) and Senator Joe Dunn (ret.), and statements from Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Assembly member Michael Feuer were presented.



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