Insights
Firm News

Farella Braun + Martel, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Prevail with a $65,000 Settlement for Once Deported African Woman

April 24, 2006 Press Release

San Francisco (April 24, 2006) – After almost two years in court, the United States has agreed to pay $65,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a young African woman who was abused by U.S. immigration agents at San Francisco International Airport.  The settlement was filed Apr. 12 at the federal courthouse in San Francisco, thanks to Tony Schoenberg, a partner at Farella Braun + Martel who represented the plaintiff pro bono in conjunction with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

In 2002, Tsungai Tungwarara, then 18 years old, flew from Zimbabwe to San Francisco to visit her family in the Bay Area.  Despite having a valid tourist visa, Tungwarara was jailed by airport immigration agents and subjected to a strip search.  Tungwarara was taken to a local jail facility in violation of a Sept. 29, 2000 Department of Justice policy memorandum, which declares that jail is “not appropriate in non-criminal cases.”  When Tungwarara’s mother tried to intervene, an immigration inspector told her, “We won’t allow these people here – not after September 11th.  Go back to the jungle.”  The next day, immigration agents forced Tungwarara to return to Zimbabwe.

In her defense, Farella Braun + Martel and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights filed suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in June 2004.  In October, the federal district court issued a precedent-setting decision in the case, ruling that the strip search was unconstitutional.  The case was scheduled for trial in April 2006, but the federal government agreed to settle.

“What happened to my client was a great injustice.  I am pleased that we were able to reach a settlement that will provide her with compensation for the terrible ordeal she went through,” said Schoenberg.

About Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Since its founding in 1962, Farella Braun + Martel has achieved a national reputation for the acumen of its business practice, the high profile cases of its complex commercial litigation practice and its prestigious client base. Based in San Francisco, the firm serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses. The firm also has an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry and related businesses.
www.fbm.com

Contact: 
David Bruns, Marketing Director                        Melinda Faith/Traci Stuart
Farella Braun + Martel                                         Allison Blattel PR
415.954.4433                                                        415.397.4811
[email protected]                                                [email protected]/[email protected]

Firm Highlights

Event

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to underwrite the North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference featuring keynote speaker Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. The event will also feature...

Read More
Publication

Individual Accountability in the Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution

In the ongoing legal battle over the alleged theft of American trade secrets by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, one curious aspect is the lack of charges filed against any individual Huawei employees. On February...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Named Among the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area 2019

Read More
Publication

Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

Read More
Event

Identifying and Preparing Expert Witnesses for Trial

How do you identify the key experts you need for trial? Once you have them, what are the best practices for preparing them for trial? How do these practices vary depending on your venue, and...

Read More
News

How to Plan for a Smooth Transition of Your Family Business

Family Wealth Senior Associate Lauren Galbraith discusses how family internal dynamics play a role in transferring significant assets, especially a business, between generations. Link to read the full article.

Read More
Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

Read More
Publication

Who 'Owns' a Secret? Whether Trade Secret Licensees Have Standing to Sue in California

If the eye-popping damages awards in several recent lawsuits are any indication, companies are increasingly coming to see their private information as one of their most valuable assets—and California juries apparently agree. For example,...

Read More
News

Last Major SF Transbay Tower, Affordable Housing at Risk of Delays

Real Estate/Land Use and Development Partner Charles (C.J.) Higley shares his thoughts on why the 546 Howard St. tower project deserves priority for approval. Read the full article here .

Read More
Publication

The 10th Circuit Correctly Construes “That Particular Part” Narrowly

We do not often write about coverage opinions from jurisdictions as far away as Oklahoma; however, a recent case from the Federal Tenth Circuit looked at one of our favorite topics and came out...

Read More