Pro Bono Team Scores Clear Win for Abused Mother of Developmentally Delayed Child

September 8, 2023

The Los Angeles Superior Court has granted a two-year domestic violence restraining order in favor of Gibson Dunn’s pro bono client, a low-income mother of a developmentally delayed child, who suffered years of physical, psychological and financial abuse from her husband.  Before Gibson Dunn joined the case, our client’s temporary restraining order did not include a move-out order against her husband or an order for possession of her vehicle, leaving our client without stable housing or reliable transportation.  Our team successfully amended the request for a temporary restraining order to seek the additional relief.

At the evidentiary hearing, our lawyers presented compelling evidence that our client suffered abuse from her husband throughout their 11-year marriage.    After the hearing, including cross-examination of the husband—who testified that he had never physically or otherwise abused our client, and attempted to argue that our client was the abuser—the court sided with our client, concluding that she was more credible than her husband.  In addition to the restraining order against her husband, the court awarded our client sole legal and physical custody of their child, exclusive use of the residence and immediate return of her vehicle.  The court also ordered limited professionally monitored child visitation with the husband.

Los Angeles associate Summer Wall led the team and conducted the examinations, with valuable assistance from associates Camille Houle and Chelsea D’Olivo (Washington, D.C.), and supervision from partner Michael Holecek and senior associate Patrick Murray.  The team received outstanding support from our pro bono partners at the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice and from Gibson Dunn support staff, including Austin Kang.