[Thousand Oaks, August 28, 2023] - WSHB, a leading law firm specializing in complex litigation, secured a momentous victory on appeal in a high-stakes elder abuse and wrongful death lawsuit. Partner Marilyn Victor, Senior Counsel Joanna Dyriam, and Appellate Specialist Steve Disharoon, showcased their exceptional skills and expertise to secure a critical win for their clients.

In this complex legal battle, the plaintiffs asserted over 20 causes of action against multiple defendants, including our esteemed clients - a renowned hospice care provider and several physicians and employees named in their individual capacities. Demonstrating their prowess in strategic maneuvering, WSHB successfully demurred and obtained an order of dismissal on May 31, 2022.

Undeterred by the dismissal, the plaintiffs continued to pursue litigation against other defendants, obtaining separate dispositive orders in July 2022. However, as to WSHB’s clients, the plaintiffs did not file a notice of appeal until August 5, 2022, four days after the statutory deadline. In an apparent effort to mislead the appellate court, plaintiffs omitted critical filings from the appellate record, and erroneously argued that their appeal deadline ran from the July 2022 orders. WSHB's astute legal team, led by Marilyn Victor and Joanna Dyriam, meticulously analyzed the timeline and procedural history, exposing the plaintiffs' misleading tactics.

By diligently supplementing the appellate record and leveraging their deep knowledge of timely prosecution of appeals, WSHB provided a compelling argument. The team's expertise, coupled with the invaluable contribution of Appellate Specialist Steve Disharoon, led to a resounding victory. On August 28, 2023, the appellate court dismissed the appeal as it pertained to our clients, unequivocally affirming the strength of WSHB's case handling, dispositive motion practice, and appeals expertise.

"This triumph exemplifies the unwavering dedication and exceptional skills of our legal team," said Partner Marilyn Victor. "We are immensely proud of our attorneys' diligent efforts to secure justice for our clients."

Added Disharoon, "This victory is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our entire team. We are grateful for the trust our clients placed in us and for the opportunity to deliver a positive outcome." Disharoon is Certified by the State Bar of California as an Appellate Specialist, and one of only a few hundred lawyers in the State of California (out of approximately 200,000) who enjoy the designation. WSHB Partner Stephen Caine also shares that designation, meaning WSHB enjoys the rare distinction of having two Certified Appellate Specialists within a single firm.

WSHB continues to set new benchmarks in the legal industry as it consistently demonstrates its commitment to excellence and client satisfaction. The firm's remarkable victory in this complex elder abuse and wrongful death lawsuit further solidifies its reputation as a trusted and formidable legal partner in all facets of litigation, including appeal.


Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman offers world-class representation for clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 500 corporations, with an emphasis on small to middle market firms. We offer services across a comprehensive range of practice areas. By combining decades of experience and in-depth legal knowledge with innovative management and the use of technology, we anticipate problems, seize opportunities and get cases resolved. At WSHB, excellence in trial advocacy is a hallmark of our success. With a record that speaks for itself, we have consistently achieved exceptional results in the courtroom securing victory after victory for our clients.. From business and transactional matters to the toughest commercial and civil litigation, WSHB delivers the resources and experience of a large firm while maintaining outstanding, personal client service. All focused on one goal: the best possible outcomes of our client’s legal matters. Contact us and discover how WSHB can protect your interests.

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