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Jan 23 Press Releases

Higgs Fletcher & Mack’s Rachel Moffitt Wins Two Major Appeals

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SAN DIEGO – January 22, 2018 – Higgs Fletcher & Mack (HFM), a San Diego-based, full-service law firm, announced recently that Rachel Moffitt, civil writs and appeals lawyer with the firm, prevailed on two cases, yielding two published decisions, which represent significant and precedent-setting victories.

The first decision was announced on November 11, 2017. There, Moffitt aided in the appeal from an earlier decision and successfully argued that a community organization had standing to sue to invalidate government contracts made in violation of conflict of interest laws.

“The case is important because it finds that taxpayers can sue to allege a conflict of interest, regardless of whether they were a party to the challenged transaction” said Moffitt. “This is a victory for citizens’ groups who act as watchdogs over the government and the business it conducts.”

The second case was decided on December 14, 2017. The case involves a former employee who claimedwrongful termination by a government agency. Moffitt took the lead in arguing the appeal to successfully reverse the previous decision in favor of the plaintiff. The case sets precedent for the process of complying with discipline and due process statutes governing the dismissal of public employees.

“This victory clarifies the procedures public agencies must follow when terminating permanent public employees,” said Moffitt. “Our client was found to have properly followed the statute for investigating and terminating an employee for cause. This serves as a guide for other agencies handling similar matters.”

“Both of these cases were complex and with far reaching implications. Each of these victories would be a major accomplishment for a seasoned attorney, much less one who only has two years’ experience. Doing it twice in two years is remarkable,” said Steve Cologne, managing partner for Higgs Fletcher & Mack. “We are fortunate to have Rachel on our team and I personally will enjoy watching how her work continues to influence the law.”

Moffitt specializes in civil writs and appeals. In 2017 and 2018, Super Lawyers acknowledged her as a Rising Star and a top rated appellate attorney in San Diego.  Moffitt also performs pro bono legal work for refugees seeking asylum.