An inmate at Pelican Bay State penitentiary was physically assaulted by two officers in 2006. This excessive use of force caused numerous injuries and required that plaintiff undergo multiple surgeries and years of rehabilitation. Our pro bono client, Mr. Henderson, claimed that there was no reason for the beating. The Defendants claimed they were threatened by Mr. Henderson.    

The Focal Point’s Role

The Focal Point worked with the trial team to create graphics for use in opening statement and closing argument. A key objective was to show the differing accounts of the two defending officers and to prove that their use of force was indeed excessive and unwarranted.


After closing argument and nearly five hours of deliberations, the case settled when the California Department of Corrections offered our client nearly 10 times their previous offer and twice what we were asking the jury for in compensatory damages. During the closing, Mr. Henderson’s counsel requested both compensatory damages and compensation for pain and suffering.


US District Court for the Northern District of California

The Focal Point’s Clients

Keker & Van Nest & PetersAdam Lauridsen
Sharif Jacob