Ethics

Lawyer accused of shooting arrows and gun at ex-girlfriend’s law office loses civil appeal

A disbarred California attorney accused of shooting a crossbow and firearm at his ex-girlfriend’s law office has failed to overturn a $2.2 million judgment against him.

The California Court of Appeals First Appellate District upheld the judgment against former attorney Steven A. Weinkauf after he was found guilty of stalking, intentional infliction of emotional distress and domestic violence . Jurors had awarded $1.3 million in damages, which amounted to approximately $2.2 million after assessing attorneys’ fees and expenses.

Law360 covers the March 3 appeal decision.

According to the California Court of Appeals, Weinkauf met the plaintiff, Adriana J. Quintero, when they worked together at the San Francisco County Public Guardian’s Office. They started a romantic relationship which ended in December 2013.

Quintero had video cameras installed in his law office after someone fired crossbow arrows through the windows of the building in April, June and August 2015. In January 2017, surveillance video showed someone in a red Jeep fired a shot at the building, which cracked a window. Five days later, there was another incident. A video showed the same Jeep. Quintero was able to identify Weinkauf firing a crossbow, although the incident, like the others, occurred “under cover of darkness”, the appeals court said.

At the civil trial, Weinkauf admitted to firing the crossbow once but denied participating in the other incidents. After jurors found Quintero, they assessed Weinkauf’s net worth at $1.5 million.

On appeal, the appeals court said the civil trial judge did not err in admitting surveillance video or an audio recording of a phone call between Quintero and Weinkauf regarding the shooting. The court also ruled against Weinkauf on his challenges to jury instructions, sufficiency of evidence and jury verdict form.

The court also ruled that the trial judge did not err in including the value of Weinkauf’s home and land in determining net worth, even though he placed the home in a trust. irrevocable. Weinkauf retained an interest in the assets, and they can be contacted to satisfy a judgment against him, the court heard.

Weinkauf did not immediately respond to a voicemail message left at a phone number found for him online. He was disbarred in 2020 after a criminal conviction for harassment with an upgrade for using a deadly weapon, according to the Daily Journal.