News & Events

Over the past 30 years, Maranga | Morgenstern and its attorneys have garnered numerous accolades and awards from the media and professional industry organizations. Here you will find the latest news and information regarding the firm and its associates.


Client Alerts re Evidence Code Section 351.2 and CCP Section 2034.15

Client Alerts re Evidence Code

Evidence of a Plaintiff’s Immigration Status No Longer Admissible or Discoverable Evidence

On January 1, 2017, Evidence Code section 351.2 was enacted. Section 351.2 now prevents the discovery and introduction of evidence of a person’s immigration status in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Before the law came into effect, a plaintiff’s immigration status was admissible evidence relevant to calculate what an undocumented person would earn in his or her country of origin for a claim of future lost wages. With the passage of 351.2, non-U.S. citizen plaintiffs may claim future lost wages based on earning potential in their California locality.

History of the Bill

In February 2016, California Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego introduced Assembly Bill 2159. The bill was sponsored by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Consumer Attorneys of California. Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2159 into law on August 17, 2016.

Retained Experts Must Produce Files Not Less Than 3 Business Days Before Deposition

No more rummaging through an expert’s materials at the beginning of his or her deposition. Code of Civil Procedure Section 2034.15 requires a retained expert witness to produce any materials, including electronically stored information, called for by the deposition notice no later than three days prior to the date of the expert’s deposition. The addition of Section 2034.15 will allow attorneys more time to review an expert’s findings and should produce more effective depositions.

History of Bill

Assembly Bill 2427 was introduced on February 9, 2016 by Assemblymember Ed Chau of Monterrey Park. The bill was approved by Governor Jerry Brown on September 22, 2016.


Save The Date! Southwestern- The 28th Annual Alumni Awards

Southwestern- The 28th Annual Alumni Awards Gala

Save The Date! Southwestern- The 28th Annual Alumni Awards


Save The Date!

Southwestern Law School Alumni Association invites you to our 28th Annual Alumni Awards Gala this Spring. More details and formal invitation to come. Please mark your calendars and we hope you will plan to join us for this special event! 


Alumni of the Year:

George '75 & Katrina '02 Woolverton

Stockwell Harris Woolverton & Helphrey

Outstanding Judicial Officer:

The Hon. Socrates P. Manoukian '77

Superior Court of California
County of Santa Clara

Outstanding Gov./ Public Interest:

Sharon Petrosino '84
Orange County Public Defender 

Outstanding Friend:

Julie Xanders
Executive Vice President, General Counsel tron, Inc.

Outstanding Litigator:

Robert Morgenstern '80

Outstanding Law Firm:

Meyer Olson Lowy & Myers 

Outstanding Nickel Alumnus:

Benjamin Tragish '13 
Foley & Mansfield 


Memo: Dodd v. Cruz

Some of you may have had experience with medical finance companies in California such as MedFin Manager and MedFi.

These companies purchase liens from health care providers, at a discount, for medical services provided
to plaintiffs in third-party lawsuits. Those services often include high priced surgeries. Those plaintiffs
then claim they are entitled to the full billed amount, since the medical financing company contends they
expect to be paid the full amount of their lien following settlement or trial.



Paul Elkort and Dennis Newitt obtained a dismissal of an action by way of summary judgment on behalf of their in a claim for negligence and fraud in the case of Elias v. DOE Storage.

The case involved a dispute over personal property stored at All Aboard's Northridge, California, storage facility by defendant Elias, Sr. The stored property were part of a probate estate to which plaintiff Elias, Jr. claimed he was entitled. Plaintiff sued his father for return of the property and damages, and also named the storage facility as a defendant in claims for negligence and fraud.



Paul Elkort and Dennis Newitt obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of their client in a premises liability claim in the case of Michael King v. DOE, Inc.

Plaintiff was a patron at defendant's hotel sports bar. While purchasing drinks for he and his party, he was struck in the face with an object, believed to be a shot glass thrown by another patron, sustaining a significant laceration. Video surveillance did not clearly show the sequence of events, nor who threw the glass. Plaintiff brought an action against the hotel for negligence, and also pressed a punitive damages claim.



Ninos Saroukhanioff and Dennis Newitt obtained a dismissal from the court on behalf of their client, DOE Enterprises in Joshua Gabel v. DOE Tires. In his complaint, Plaintiff alleged causes of action for breach of contract, fraud, negligence, intentional tort and various claims for workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.



Christopher Johnson and Richard Ozowski obtained a defense verdict in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, on behalf their client. In his lawsuit, Plaintiff Walter Kencke claimed that he suffered bodily injuries after he tripped and fell over a mat while exiting the Twin Pine Casino in Lake County, California on February 16, 2010. Our client began leasing mats to Twin Pine Casino in March of 2009. In his lawsuit, Plaintiff claimed that DOE Supply was negligent for providing a substandard mat, and for placing a mat without securing it to the ground. DOE Supply denied that it was negligent in any way, and denied the mat was substandard.



Robert Morgenstern and Ninos Saroukhanioff obtained a very favorable verdict on behalf of their client. In Nick Barassi v. DOE DELIVERY COMPANY Plaintiff claimed that on January 28, 2011 he was struck by a DOE vehicle in the parking lot of the Grace Brethren Church, in Simi Valley, California where he was working as the church gardener. Plaintiff claimed that he was attempting to confront the DOE driver for supposedly driving too fast through the church parking lot and tailgating an elderly church member. He alleged that the driver hit him with his truck as he exited the parking lot.



Paul Elkort and Dennis Newitt obtained a dismissal of a personal injury claim by way of summary judgment on behalf of their client, a nationwide delivery company, in the case of Barba v. National Delivery Company.


California Court of Appeal

On April 30, 2013, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate Distrtict, Division Three, issued its opinion in the matter of Corenbaum v. Lampkin, holding, among other things, that "evidence of the full amount billed [for past medical services] is . . . inadmissible for the purpose of proving non-economic damages." The decision is the latest -- and most significant -- to interpret the California Supreme Court's decision in Howell v. Hamilton Meats, (2011) 52 Cal.4th.541.

Unless the Court of Appeal grants a Petition for Rehearing, or the California Supreme Court grants a Petition for Hearing, it therefore appears that evidence of the full amount billed by a medical provider for past medical services will be inadmissible for virtually any purpose in a personal injury trial, at least within the Second Appellate District.

An amicus brief was filed on behalf of the defense by the Association of California Defense Counsel.



Ninos Saroukhanioff and Dennis Newitt obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of their clients "landlords," in a landlord-tenant dispute in the case of Newco International, Inc. v. DOE Insurance Company.



Ninos Saroukhanioff and Neil Joseph obtained a dismissal from the court on behalf of their clients, in the case of Esther Lee aka Kyung Lee, Il Sun Shin, Sam Park v. DOE LANDLORD in their complaint, Plaintiffs alleged breach of contract, common counts and fraud involving a lease agreement for residential property belonging to the defendants.



A 73-year old female patient with chronic leg and buttock pain for the past year sued an orthopedic surgeon for medical negligence and battery following a lumbar micro-decompression.


Assembly Committee on Judiciary

Dear Mr. Morgenstern:

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to testify before the Assembly Judiciary Committee's Informational hearing entitled "The Access to Justice Crisis Facing California Families." your expert knowlege and thoughtful testimony sigificantly helped educate the Legislature about the budget cuts to the courts and the devastating impacts those cuts are having on the public and California's system of justice.

[12 3  >>