Alan Charles Dell'Ario

Recent Work

Regents of the University of California v. Superior Court (Rosen)
Katherine Rosen, a UCLA undergraduate, was attending her chemistry lab when she was stabbed and slashed by a fellow student, Damon Thompson.  Thompson had long been known to UCLA authorities as paranoid, claiming he heard voices from classmates insulting his intelligence.  He had been expelled from the dormitory for violence  and was ordered to undergo treatment.  He even threatened the lab teaching assistant but the authorities failed to implement UCLA's threat-assessment protocols.  A divided court of appeal ruled that UCLA had no duty for safety in its classrooms as the students were all adults.  In January 2016, the  California Supreme Court voted 7-0 to hear the case.  I presented oral argument on January 3, 2018 and on March 22, a unanimous court ruled in Katherine's favor.  In so doing, the court extended to all 3.6 million California college students the right to be safe from foreseeable violence in curricular activities.
   On remand to the Court of Appeal, I persuaded the court that the general negligence standard of care applied what would an prudent person have done in like circumstances.
To watch the oral argument, copy and paste this link into your browser:
Williams v. County of Sonoma
Catherine Williams, an avid cyclist, sustained grievous injuries when her bike struck a 3' x 4' shadow-obscured pothole the county had know about for weeks.  A jury found the pothole was a dangerous condition of public property.  But the County appealed asserting Williams had assumed the risk of such potholes so it had no duty to repair them.  The court agreed with me and held public agencies had a duty to maintain their roads so as not to increase the risks of cycling.  The California Supreme Court refused to consider the County's further appeal.  Cyclists statewide now have increased expectations for roadway safety
Nunn v J.P. Morgan Chase Bank
The Nunns, an elderly couple, brought a case against the bank for failure to complete a refinance that led ultimately to a foreclosure.  Their lawyer failed to recognize the deadline to bring the case to trial and then failed to argue the proper exception to the deadline.  The trial court dismissed the case and they retained me. After the court denied my motion for new trial, I appealed the judgment and the order expunging the lis pendens.  A divided court reversed with the dissenting judge calling my strategy a "hail Mary."  I prefer to think of it as good lawyering and the case is proceeding to trial against the bank with new trial counsel.