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Appeals, Writs, and Complex Motions Practice

North Counties Engineering v. State Farm Insurance Co.

Published at (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 902. In this insurance coverage case, Mr. Sargeant provided extensive brief-writing, editing, research and tactical appellate advice to North Counties Engineering's trial attorneys and counsel of record, Law Office of Duncan James and Donald J. McMullen. On appeal from the trial court's granting a directed verdict after jury trial, the First District Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the engineering firm's "Products and Completed Operations" coverage, as specifically provided in its insurance policy gave rise to duty to defend the firm against claims for breach of contract and negligence in the design and construction of a large earthen dam erected on a winery's property. (Mr. Sargeant was made co-counsel of record in the California Supreme Court to successfully defeat the insurance company's efforts to obtain that Court's review or, alternatively, to have the decision depublished [S217967].) After reversal, the engineer received a substantial recovery from State Farm.