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Keker & Van Nest Associates Win Settlement from State in Excessive Force Case

San Francisco Chronicle

As a jury deliberated in Oakland, the state agreed to pay $22,500 to settle a lawsuit by a Pelican Bay prisoner who said guards clubbed, beat and pepper-sprayed him after he tried to pick up an address book that an officer took from him and dropped on the floor.

The settlement Thursday ended a trial that began in federal court July 18 and was in the second day of jury deliberations. A lawyer for inmate Curtis Lee Henderson said it was a rare victory in a suit accusing prison guards of using excessive force.

"We feel like we beat the odds," said attorney Adam Lauridsen. He said Henderson, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence, initially represented himself and defeated the state's motion to dismiss the case before U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong appointed lawyers for him.

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Sharif Jacob focuses on complex litigation, including commercial disputes and white collar criminal cases. Mr. Jacob has represented businesses, unions, and individuals in cases involving securities fraud, patent infringement, insider trading, breach of contract, broker-dealer violations, environmental torts, and intra-union disputes. 

Adam Lauridsen’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including intellectual property, securities, legal malpractice and contract disputes. He has served as first-chair counsel in a week-long federal civil rights trial, has been an active member of the lead trial team in a multi-week, multi-defendant federal trial and has participated in numerous arbitrations and mediations. Mr. Lauridsen has represented individuals in federal courts, state courts and before the Securities and Exchange Commission. His clients have included large corporations, executives of Fortune 500 companies and high-profile individuals.