HSRR Obtains Historic $950,000 Settlement in First Amendment Political Speech Case Against Orange County

Randy Renick and Joshua Piovia-Scott, of Hadsell Stormer Richardson & Renick, settled a First Amendment freedom of political speech case against the County of Orange and former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona. HSRR filed a lawsuit on behalf of Lt. Jeff Bardzik of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, alleging that Bardzik's freedom of political speech rights were violated when he was retaliated against by former Sheriff Michael Carona for supporting Carona's opponent in the election for Sheriff. After securing a published decision from the Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit upholding Bardzik's claims and finding that Carona was not entitled to qualified immunity, the parties agreed to settle the case for $950,000, one of the largest settlements of its kind in the history of Orange County.

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