There’s been a doozy of a trial going on in New Orleans, where lawyer James Garner has led a charge against a Mayor Ray Nagin’s City Hall, which conspired with Dell Computers to shut two local businesses out of a hefty contract for security cameras. Earlier this week, a jury awarded $16.3 million, including $10 million for conspiracy to unfairly compete with the two local companies, Southern Electronics and Action Solutions.
The Times-Picayune has the story about the verdict http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2009/11/post_54.html. A federal criminal investigation is still underway into the allegations, which include the Mayor’s use of a credit card from a city vendor on a series of trips as well as the receipt by Nagin’s top aide, Greg Meffert, of $67,000 in payments from the vendor when he left office.
Garner, of Sher Garner, http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2009/11/post_54.html
is one of the leading lights of the New Orleans trial bar (and a member of the Lawdragon 500 http://www.lawdragon.com/index.php/newdragon/lawyer_profile/137601#). He hoped a large verdict would send a strong message about corruption in procurement practices. His partner Leopold Sher http://www.shergarner.com/Bio/LeopoldSher.asp
, who attended court each day, said “we are so proud of Jim and the entire legal team for validating our clients’ claims and for helping New Orleans continue to move forward post Hurricane Katrina”. (Sher is also a Lawdragon 500 http://www.lawdragon.com/index.php/newdragon/lawyer_profile/20053
Defending the case was Phil Wittmann of Stone Pigman http://www.stonepigman.com/attorneys/phillip_a_wittmann.html and Michael Kenny of Alston & Bird http://www.alston.com/mike_kenny/.