Match.com forced to begin screening for Sex Offenders

In 2011, Mr. Webb won a monumental case against Match.com—the biggest online dating company in the world. Mr. Webb’s client, Jane Doe, had unwittingly been on a date with a serial convicted rapist. It was only after she became his latest victim that she found out about his past and that it all could have been avoided if only Match.com had screened him out. Given that he is a publicly registered sex offender Match.com could easily have done this. When Mr. Webb tried to impress upon the company, that they should screen registered sex offenders off their site to avoid further harm to other women, Match.com refused.

Citing their disclaimer clause, Match.com continued to refuse to do the right thing. Mr. Webb filed a class action suit to shut down the company and notified the press of the situation. The coast to coast media attention was enormous. As a result, people because aware that Match.com refused to prohibit known convicted sex offenders from using their site to target women. Consequently, the company relented and reversed their position within three days! Match.com agreed to new industry standard — routine checks for sex offense convictions and a policy of screening these offenders off their site. After this victory, Attorney General Kamala Harris, publically announced that the Match.com case had been the basis of her decision to force the major online dating sites to screen for sex offenders. Mr. Webb’s skillful and powerful use of media and the law accomplished in just three days what years of pending legislation had not done.

 

 

Record verdict for injured bicyclist, changes safety standards in industry

$3.4 million awarded in mountain bike crash
Jury sides with athlete injured when wheel came off

San Francisco Examiner, 2007
SAN RAFAEL—A 26-year-old Tiburon athlete has been awarded $3.4 million by a jury for injuries he suffered when the front wheel came off of his mountain bike during a ride on Mount Tamalpais, nearly two and a quarter years ago.

Attorneys for Mark Fiorito, who suffers epileptic seizures as a result of severe head injuries stemming from the accident, said the award by Marin County Superior Court jurors dramatized dangers inherent in quick-release mechanisms that allow a bike's front wheel to be removed for easy transportation and storage. Because two of four defendants named in the suit have already settled out of court, Fiorito will actually receive less than the $3.4 million set by the jury. The lead attorney in the case is Mark Webb.

Bike lacked safety devices Webb argued in court that the front wheel on Fiorito’s Mongoose bicycle had come loose during a two-hour ride. During the trial Webb showed jurors a chart listing 15 other lawsuits against Mongoose and Merida Industries, the Taiwanese company that assembles Mongoose bicycles. “I believe that each of these cases represents the same (quick-release) defect,” said Webb after the verdict. “To the best of my knowledge, all of these accidents happened because there was no safety device.” Fiorito's attorneys also called world-famous bicycle racer John Howard to the stand. He testified that he had once been injured when his quick-release mechanism failed and the front wheel popped off his bike. Mongoose and Rogers had already reached pretrial settlements. Fiorito declined comment on the award. Webb said his client “feels vindicated and hopes this never happens to anybody else.”
This verdict, resulted in widespread industry changes to make front forks safer.

 

 

Record award against city of Oakland for negligence of policeman.

Oakland to pay $2.75 million in police car crash
Mother of 4 broadsided during chase

SF Chronicle, 2001
OAKLAND - In the largest lawsuit settlement in the city's history, Oakland will pay $2.75 million to a woman left permanently disabled when a police car struck her vehicle last year. Bernice Berry, 49, is confined to a wheelchair and is not expected to walk again, said her attorney, Mark Webb of San Francisco. Berry suffered permanent brain damage, resulting in memory loss and difficulty reading and concentrating, he said. The driver of the police car, Officer Mark Battle, was on his way to help other officers chase a fleeing suspect when his vehicle broadsided a car carrying Berry in the intersection of 73rd Avenue and Hamilton Street, said Chief Assistant City Attorney Randolph Hall. The settlement, approved by the City Council on Tuesday night, will finance long-term medical care for Berry, a mother of four who also suffered 16 broken bones and internal injuries in the crash.

“Bernice is never going to be the same again,” Webb said. But “the great thing about (the settlement) is that she’s going to be taken care of for the rest of her life.”Police Chief Richard Word said Battle has not been disciplined, pending the results of an internal investigation. Battle, who joined the force in November 1998, has been transferred from patrol to a sexual assault task force.

 

 

Intellectual property award for Doctor against Pharmaceutical company

SF doc finds cancer drug is potential HIV wasting treatment

by Shaun Schwartz
A new drug poses great potential for some advanced AIDS patients, and a recent court settlement involving the drug company and a San Francisco physician should speed its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Dean Rider, a San Francisco internist and gastroenterologist who specialized in HIV and AIDS-related illnesses, first learned of DEHOP in 1992 when he was consulting with the drug company that developed it, SunPharm Corporation of Jacksonville, Florida. DEHOP was being researched for use with cancer patients, and Rider learned that one of DEHOP's side-effects was severe constipation.

“I recognized that what was for them (SunPharm) a complication or side effect, was exactly the thing that we were looking for,” he said.

A lawsuit brought in San Francisco federal district court alleges that SunPharm breached an agreement with Rider to credit him for his discovery, according to attorney Mark L. Webb, who represented Rider in the suit. But Rider and SunPharm reached a settlement in June, Webb said, and both parties hope for rapid approval of DEHOP.

 

 

Trial Attorney Former U.S. Department of Justice Prosecutor

Surprise Arrests at Postal Gang Hearing

SF Chronicle
In a flurry of hearings on the 19th floor of the federal building yesterday, three members of the so-called Sam Bailey gang appeared for routine legal matters only to hear themselves accused of conspiring to murder one of their co-defendants.

Over protests of a squad of attorneys, they were arrested by postal inspectors and jailed. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Webb moved to revoke the bail of all five defendants. Defense attorneys protested, but Webb told the court he was prepared to “present evidence that Bailey, Lance Smith and Robert G. Moore (two co-defendants) conspired to murder the chief prosecution witness in this case.

 

 

Hit-man tells court of plot to kill coin dealer

SF Examiner
A self-described "criminal and thief by occupation” testified in federal court today that he was part of a team hired by a Reno coin dealer to kill a San Francisco man for $150,000.

Antonio Cerrito Sr., 40, a wiry professional criminal in federal protective custody, said he was to be paid $50,000 by Frank Roza Jr. for his part in the $150,000 contract on the life of Joseph Escove, owner of William Hall Coins in San Francisco. Roza, 45, owner of the Consolidated Coin Co. in Reno and Carson City, Nevada is one of four men charged with conspiracy to obtain at least $407,000 in three postal burglaries last year.

At a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Owen Woodruff, prosecutor Mark Webb is seeking to have Roza's bail revoked because of an alleged contract on Escove. Although not indicated, Escove is said to have received stolen coins and stamps from Roza.

All four defendants were found guilty In the first RICO prosecution in this area. The jury also granted forfeiture of all proceeds from related criminal activity.

 

 

Drug Lab Sentences for Four Men

SF Chronicle
Prison sentences from one to five years were imposed in U.S. District Court here yesterday on four men—two of them Hell’s Angels operating a methamphetamine lab.

The stiffest sentence, five years, was imposed by Judge Samuel Conti on Bobby England, 35, a trucker of 4024 Edgemoor Street, Oakland.

Mark Webb, an assistant U.S. attorney, said England operated the lab and is known to Angels as “Mr. Dirt.”

When federal drug agents raided the lab they found five ounces of P2P, which could produce eight pounds of “speed”and sell for about $120,000.

 

 

Heavy security as federal jury delves into the Hell's Angels

SF Examiner
Under exceptionally tight security, a federal grand jury today began a new and enlarged investigation into the Hell's Angels motorcycle club.

The inquiry will range over a variety of possible crimes, including murder, dope dealing and acts of violence, it was learned.

A similar grand jury in July investigated possible links between Hell's Angels members and violence that had plagued some Bay Area industrial catering firms in recent years.

The investigation is being handled by Billie Rosen, a special attorney from the Justice Department in Washington, whose expertise is in narcotics dealings, and Mark Webb, assistant U.S. attorney here, who also specializes in narcotics cases.