Evidence of City Attorney's Incompetence Costs Oakland Millions

Media Advisory

Research Leads to Claim against City Attorney Parker and Staff for Negligence and Failures during Jury Trial of Elaine Brown v. City of Oakland

Since final judgment was entered on May 23, 2018, the law offices of Siegel, Yee and Brunner in Oakland have been reviewing the trial proceedings in the case of Elaine Brown v. City of Oakland and Desley Brooksbased on an incident between Desley Brooks and Elaine Brown on October 30, 2015 at an Oakland Restaurant. The attorneys have concluded that the results of the trial would likely have been different had the City Attorney's office carried out its responsibilities competently.

As a result, Desley Brooks has filed a claim against City Attorney Barbara Parker and her staff who worked on the case for failure to perform their duties representing the City of Oakland and Councilmember Desley Brooks. 

“Our findings make the case that City Attorney Barbara Parker and her staff, through a pattern of negligence, poor preparation,and/or lack of competence, caused an unjustified award of significant money damages against the City of Oakland and grave harm to her reputation and emotional stress to Desley Brooks, Councilmember and client of the City Attorney’s office,” stated lead attorney Dan Siegel.

Research, interviews, and review of trial transcripts has demonstrated a number of documented errors and clear evidence that not only refutes Elaine Brown’s claims but also show a clear failure of the Oakland City Attorney’s office to “perform with a degree of preparation and care in the trial,” failure to “diligently perform their duties at trial” and failure “generally to perform with the skills required to act as trial counsel in a high stakes civil lawsuit.”

“With over $26,478,638 paid out to settle approximately 117 lawsuits against the city, not including a recent $12 million judgment in a recent police incident, it is clear that that City Attorney Parker and her staff have failed to perform their duties and that change is needed,” stated Siegel.

The claim filed today makes the case that the Oakland City Attorney's professional negligence, repeated failure to object to improper evidence, and inability to present a strong case led to the verdicts against the City and Ms. Brooks. The evidence available but not presented properly includes:

  • Desley Brooks acted in reasonable self-defense to protect herself from Elaine Brown;
  • Elaine Brown’s history of threats and violence demonstrated that she was the aggressor in the physical confrontation with Desley Brooks;
  • Elaine Brown’s actions to retrieve a weapon from her car to continue the confrontation with Desley Brooks;
  • Elaine Brown’s racist and offensive language towards Desley Brooks;
  • Both mishandling and failure to present or object to key medical evidence.

A copy of the claim filed today is here.