Cases & Deals

Jones Day Dallas team tries municipal liability case in federal court

Client(s) Aycock, Tommy

At the end of 2009, Judge Barbara Lynn of the Northern District of Texas asked Jones Day to represent an indigent plaintiff, Tommy Aycock, in an "excessive force" case against the City of Dallas under section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act.

For two years, Jones Day conducted extensive discovery in the case. Then, in January of this year, Judge Lynn granted oral argument on the City's motion for summary judgment. Andrew Wirmani argued the motion, defeating summary judgment and allowing the case to proceed to trial. The five day trial was tried from start to finish by three members of the class of 2006 -- Lindsay Hedrick, Tommy Schroeter and Andrew Wirmani. Lindsay delivered a stirring opening statement and handled a number of witnesses on direct and on cross. Tommy, who had developed the case over several years, did the direct examination of our client, and took other witnesses on direct and cross. Andrew cross-examined the four police officers involved in the incident as well as a top officer in the DPD's Internal Affairs Division. He also delivered the closing argument. Significant contributions to the team were also provided by Courtney Carrell, who argued the charge conference, and Adam Pierson and Laura Jane Durfee, who drafted several successful in limine motions.

After the case was sent to the jury, Judge Lynn commented on what a fine job they had done, praised their professionalism and told our client that he should be very grateful for the representation he received.

In the end, the jury returned a verdict for the City, which was not unexpected. But that result does not detract from the first-rate representation our client received, or the enormous experience gained by our lawyers.

Aycock v. City of Dallas, Civil Action No. 3:09-CV-0591-M (N.D. Tex.)