Education and Training
Focusing on litigation and appellate advocacy as the emphases of his legal education, Mr. Palik graduated "with Distinction" (i.e., cum laude) from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law in 1996, where he was two years on the Dean's List and elected to the Roger J. Traynor Academic Honor Society. He was also an Orals Finalist in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition. Known for their high academic standards, the McGeorge School of Law is proud to have the Honorable Anthony Kennedy, Justice of the United States Supreme Court, sitting on their faculty. Mr. Palik also studied trial advocacy, as well as advanced criminal procedure and defenses under the distinguished criminal law scholar, Professor Joshua Dressler, now the Frank R. Strong Chair in Law at Ohio State University.
Extensive Jury Trial Experience
Mr. Palik has extensive jury trial experience in both the civil and criminal arenas. In regard to civil matters, Mr. Palik has litigated in a wide variety of different fields with positive results for his clients. In regard to criminal litigation, Mr. Palik's experience ranges from simple misdemeanor and DUI/DWI charges to serious felony trials, including cases of alleged murder.
Challenging the Physical Abuse of Authority
One of Mr. Palik's most important civil actions involved an extremely severe case of police brutality. As a consequence of that brutality, the victims brought a federal civil rights action in the Eastern District of California in the case of Galvan v. City of West Sacramento (see also the article published in the Woodland Democrat Enterprise). Despite the police brutality, the victims were subjected to criminal charges and three trials for alleged resisting arrest, despite the fact that there was no accusation that the victims had committed any other crime. The third attempt at trying the criminal case resulted in one acquittal on one of the charges alleged against Fermin Galvan, and an 11-1 split in favor of acquittal on the other charge alleged against him. In regard to his brother Ernesto, the jury deadlocked 7-5 in favor of acquittal. On January 3, 2011, the Yolo County District Attorney announced that Ernesto and Fermin Galvan would not be retried for a fourth time, the prospect of which had resulted in extensive criticism of the prosecution in the press, including listing the District Attorney at the top of a "top-ten" list published in the Sacramento News and Review of the "worst stories" of 2010. The vicitms of the beating have recommenced their federal civil rights case against the City of West Sacramento and that litigation is on-going.
Fighting Cases of Government Corruption
Mr. Palik has worked with The Law Offices of Fernando F. Chavez on important government corruption or abuse cases, including alleged unlawful zoning code enforcement practices in the case of Maddox v. County of Sacramento. Click here to play an audio recording of Mr. Palik's oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.
Fighting for the Rights of Both Employers and their Injured Workers
As a civil subrogation attorney, Mr. Palik has fought for both employers and their workers in their efforts to recover compensation from the negligence of third parties. In the lawsuit of Calvario-Nava v. Arambel, Mr. Palik obtained a reversal on appeal of the dismissal of a major accident-injury case involving an under-age worker who was injured when a tractor trailer owned by a third party rolled over him while he was picking peaches. The Fifth District Court of Appeal has reversed the trial court's dismissal of the worker's lawsuit against the third party on an issue of great importance affecting the rights of contract employees who are injured on the premises of a third-party while working under the management and supervision of the contract employer. In this appeal, Mr. Palik argued that the employees of agricultural labor contractors do not fall within the Exclusive Remedy Rule of Workers' Compensation Law and may sue the rancher in a "third-party civil action" for his negligence. The Fifth District Court of Appeal agreed. Please see the court's opinion here.
Testing California's Labor Laws
Mr. Palik obtained an important published opinion in civil litigation from the Third District Court of Appeal in the case of Noble v. Draper, in which the appellate court held that the individual plaintiffs' claims for an employer's misrepresentation and unfair business practices were not barred because the California Labor Commissioner had not prosecuted those actions himself.
Advocating for the Rights of the Disenfranchised
Mr. Palik successfully represented more than 12,000 farmworkers in their lawsuit to recover rents unlawfully charged by migrant housing facilities under the authority of California's Office of Migrant Services. After the initial lawsuit Vega v. Mallory was dismissed, Mr. Palik brought a successful appeal, overturning the trial court's dismissal and obtaining a just and effective settlement of the plaintiffs' claims. A copy of the opening brief written by Mr. Palik for this case of great importance to the state's migrant farm workers can be found here.
Representing the Citizens of Foreign Governments and Working on Immigration Issues
While working several years for the law firm of Fernando F. Chavez, the eldest child of famed farm labor leader Cesar Chavez, Mr. Palik worked as local counsel for the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento and their ex-patriot citizens, working closely with the Chief Vice-Consul General of the Consulate, Adriana Gonzalez-Correia, and legal protection consul Enriquez Castresana in regard to the defense of their citizens' legal rights. Mr. Palik continues to work with Legal Protection Consul Alejandro Alcantara in his representation of Mexican nationals on immigration issues pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which the United States is a party. Mr. Palik will be traveling soon to Washington D.C. to discuss immigration policy with key advisors to President Obama.
Besides enjoying a variety of outdoor activities, Mr. Palik is a published author, focusing primarily on the subjects of the laws protecting freedom of speech, press, and association; history, science, and the development of virtual communities. Mr. Palik's personal wiki project, which emphasizes logic, mathematics, science, and history, can be found at logic-law.com.