On January 8, we reported that the University of California Regents had agreed to pay $125,000 to reimburse our attorney fees and settle our California Public Records Act case to daylight internal documents in UC Berkeley’s handling of the 2014 Ted Agu football conditioning death.
But closure turned out not to be forthcoming. Instead, last month UC filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District. The university is challenging Alameda County Superior Judge Jeffrey Brand’s final judgment that we are “the prevailing party” on the basis of having catalyzed the release of more than 700 pages of previously withheld documents.
For the appeal, we have retained John Derrick, one of the state’s leading appellate specialists, to serve as co-counsel with attorney Roy S. Gordet.
The British-born Derrick, who received his law degree from Berkeley Law, also has an undergraduate degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford. A 2020 and 2021 Southern California “SuperLawyer” (an elite excellence-in-practice designation), he has been chair of the California State Bar’s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts and editor-in-chief of the Bar’s publication California Litigation.
For more information about Derrick and his practice, see https://www.californiaappeals.com/about-john-derrick.html.
Irvin Muchnick said:
“I am disappointed that UC, continuing to press for non-transparency in public records, has chosen to take our litigation into a fifth year. However, I am confident not only that Judge Brand ruled correctly and that the Court of Appeal will agree, but also that, as a consequence of the appeal, California’s First Amendment community and the mainstream media will become more aware of the important stakes of this case.
“Just as my attorney Roy Gordet and I did after we defeated the federal government in U.S. District Court in my 2015-16 Freedom of Information Act matter — securing vital new public records in the odyssey of rapist Irish swimming coach George Gibney — we have fortified our legal team for the appeal. We are in great hands with John Derrick.”