Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Helps Bus Driver Get $6 Million Verdict Against Los Angeles Sheriff's Department

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RJ Manuelian maintains every client he has represented, accused of crimes against law enforcement, were innocent. He believes that "bad apples" in law enforcement attempt to conceal their misconduct or abuse of authority by making false criminal allegations to hide their unlawful acts and avoid legal liability. "Most indigent people can't afford proper legal representation and oftentimes plead guilty for something they didn't do because they don't think anyone will believe them." Manuelian contends that rogue officers know and rely on this when writing their version of events in their reports. "It's not easy convincing a jury that there is a conspiracy to put an innocent person in prison or get them convicted because a law enforcement official doesn't want to admit that they lost their cool and gave your client a beat-down. Then try convincing a jury that they made up a story and falsely accused your client of crimes never committed to avoid getting sued or criminally prosecuted - it's hard for a jury to accept."

R.J. Manuelian | Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles

R.J. Manuelian | Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles

For me it’s all about helping people, what’s right is right. You don’t beat someone without justification and then try to destroy their life because you don’t want to lose your job.

"In the evening hours of April 12, 2012, in the United States District Court, Central District California, Los Angeles, the Honorable Judge Otis Wright presiding, the jury in Deon Dirks v. Robert Martinez, Case No. CV -08-05214, after a three-day civil rights trial, issued a verdict in favor of plaintiff for $6,000,000; ($5,000,000 in compensatory damages, and $1,000,000 in Punitive damages)."

On April 12, 2012, a Los Angeles Federal Jury returned civil rights lawsuit awarding Deon Dirks $6 million finding the deputies used excessive force and maliciously prosecuted him. Renowned Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, R.J. Manuelian, was chosen by Deon Dirks to represent him in the criminal trial that lasted almost 2 weeks and ended in a case dismissal after trial ended in a hung jury (10-2 Not Guilty). Deon was charged with 1 count of Assault Upon a Peace Officer, 2 Counts of Resisting Arrest, and 1 count of Obstructing or Delaying a Peace Officer. In 2008, R.J. Manuelian argued to a Compton jury that these allegations were lies created by Deputies Pablo Partida and Deputy Robert Martinez in order to cover-up the vicious beating they gave Deon Dirks after a routine traffic stop where they profiled Dirks as being a gang-member.

“They beat him with their fists, they kicked Deon in the face with their legs, they smashed his face on the concrete while Deon cried, ‘I’m just a school bus driver.’ They showed no mercy and acted outside the color of authority. This gives all good law enforcement officials across California a black eye. The jury’s verdict echoes the seriousness of their conduct and is a call for a change in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department attitude towards victims of police brutality,” Manuelian said.

It was a story of David and Goliath: R.J. Manuelian and Deon Dirks against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Proving a conspiracy to cover-up filing false police reports and the ruthless beating of Deon was a difficult task to say the least. Numerous officials from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, including the Internal Affairs attempted to convince the jury Deputy Partida and Martinez acted appropriately. Manuelian contented that “Deon was offered a deal and could have taken the easy road but opted to fight to redeem his good name and reputation despite facing 10 years in prison.”

The trial ended in a hung jury after a Compton judge gave a special jury instruction that was requested by the prosecutor in the case. “The judge gave a bad instruction on the law which confused 2 of the jurors causing the jury to hang 10-2 in our favor instead of being unanimous. After speaking to the jurors in the criminal case, I had no doubt that the special jury instruction left 2 jurors confused during deliberations, which is why I fought to keep it out, unfortunately the Judge sided with the prosecutor and gave the instruction. I think the prosecutor understood the special instruction was legally invalid and felt compelled to dismiss Deon's case before the retrial because he knew we would have had an acquittal without it. After all, he stipulated in the federal civil trial that we won the criminal case on the merits. The federal jury also validated our criminal defense victory with their swift unanimous verdict," Manuelian told FOX News Los Angeles.

Dirks doesn’t think the $6 million dollar verdict was excessive at all. He told CBS news in Los Angeles “They’re not the ones who took a beating, or were falsely accused. And lost their job, and couldn’t provide for their kids.” Dirks told the LA Times “I feel sort of vindicated,” Dirks said of the verdict. “Finally someone has heard my voice.”

Dirk’s criminal defense attorney, R.J. Manuelian, rose to national prominence after his successful representation of Gerardo Cazares and Manuel Moreno who were also beaten and shot with bean bags by the Bell Gardens Police Department in 2005. In April, 2006 the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty on all counts for both Cazares and Moreno. In April, 2008 a Los Angeles Federal jury awarded both parties $4.5 million dollars. (Case No. CV - 08-05214, in the United States District Court, Central District California, Los Angeles)

R.J. maintains an undefeated criminal trial record since 2008 and has assisted in producing over $10 million dollars in jury verdicts for his civil rights clients in the past 4 years alone. He has been called as a legal expert and provided legal analysis for CNN, FOX News, ABC, CBS and NBC in cases such as Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony, Linsday Lohan, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Conrad Murray and currently the Trayvon Martin case.

“For me it’s all about helping people, what’s right is right. You don’t beat someone without justification and then try to destroy their life because you don’t want to lose your job. It’s wrong and I think it’s about time the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department did some soul searching.”

R J Manuelian - Sheriff Beating Verdict FOX 11 Ten O'Clock News KTTV (FOX) Los Angeles


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