June 27, 2024

Munger, Tolles & Olson Receives a 2024 Daily Journal CLAY Award

Munger, Tolles & Olson was recognized with a 2024 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) award by the Daily Journal. The award is given to the California attorney teams who have handled the most impactful litigation over the last year.

MTO was recognized for representing individuals against the City of Los Angeles and securing a historic preliminary injunction pausing the enforcement of L.A. County’s cash bail schedule and eliminating cash bail for individuals arrested on most low-level, non-violent offenses.

Urquidi v. City of Los Angeles

MTO Firm Chair Brad Brian, partners Rohit Singla and Victoria Degtyareva and associates Rowley Rice and Taylor Benninger were recognized alongside co-counsel from Civil Rights Corps, Public Justice and Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP.

During the pandemic, individuals arrested in L.A. County on low-level, non-violent offenses were released without having to post any cash bail; however, the previous bail schedule was reinstated as restrictions eased. Arrestees were required to pay a set amount based on their alleged crime or else go to jail, all before ever appearing in court.

A temporary restraining order blocking the bail schedule was first argued and won in November 2022. At the TRO hearing, Mr. Brian said the following about the plaintiffs who had been arrested and jailed prior to being arraigned: “to me, it demonstrated not just that the system is backward, but also … the abuse of the system of incarcerating people that are later not even charged with a crime.”

Mr. Rice also noted that the preliminary injunction spanned more than 15 court days from February through May 2023. “It was really, in many respects, a drawn-out trial on the constitutional merits of these issues,” he said.

Thanks to the team’s efforts and a decision by L.A. Superior Court Judge Lawrence P. Riff, the practice has now largely been ended in L.A. County.

Read the Daily Journal’s profile. (Subscription may be required)

Learn more about all the 2024 CLAY Award recipients. (Subscription may be required)