Scott Tillett

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Appellate Attorney in Sherman Oaks, CA

Pine Tillett Pine LLP
 | 14156 Magnolia Boulevard, Suite 200
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Phone: 818-379-9710
Selected To Rising Stars: 2016 - 2021
Licensed Since: 2011
Practice Areas:
  • Appellate
    Attorney Profile

    Scott Tillett co-founded Pine Tillett Pine LLP in 2016 where he handles civil appeals, specializing in plaintiff-side appeals with an emphasis on employment matters. Mr. Tillett is recognized as a Certified Appellate Law Specialist by the State Bar of California and he has been named to the Super Lawyers Southern California Rising Stars list consecutively since 2016. He was selected as one of five finalists for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles's (CAALA) Appellate Attorney of the Year Award in 2019. Along with his partner, Norman Pine, Mr. Tillett was a recipient of the Daily Journal's 2020 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award for his work on the landmark wrongful death civil rights action, B.B. v. County of Los Angeles (2020) 10 Cal.5th 1.

    In conjunction with his partner, Norman Pine, Mr. Tillett serves as an Associate Editor of Advocate Magazine, supervising the annual “Employment Law” issue. Mr. Tillett serves on the California Employment Lawyers Association's (CELA) Education Committee and the CAALA Wellness Committee. He is also a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), the American Association for Justice (AAJ), and the Appellate Courts Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA).

    Mr. Tillett received his Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law in 2010. During law school, Mr. Tillett externed for the Honorable Judith C. Chirlin of the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Honorable Florence Marie Cooper of the United States District Court. Mr. Tillett was also a member of the USC Law, Review of Law and Social Justice, where he authored a note on the safety of pediatric off-label antidepressant prescription practices, which was published in 2010.

    Mr. Tillett received his Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from Chapman University, where he was the lab manager for Dr. William Wright, presented at the Neuroscience Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in 2006, and was published in the Journal for Neuroscience in 2010.Mr. Tillett has authored articles for the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles publication, ADVOCATE, on the Private Attorney's General Act (May 2019), whistleblower protections (May 2018), the disentitlement doctrine (December 2017), and arbitration enforcement (June 2015). Mr. Tillett is qualified to practice in California.

     
    Practice Areas
    • 100%Appellate
    Focus Areas

    Appeals

    Selections

    top-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 6 years

    Rising Stars: 2016 - 2021

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    About Scott Tillett

    Admitted: 2011, California

    Professional Webpage: https://www.pineappeals.com/scott-tillett

    Honors/Awards:

    • B.B. v. County of Los Angeles (2020) 10 Cal.5th 1 In this wrongful death civil rights action, the Court of Appeal (relying upon dicta from a prior Supreme Court case) had apportioned the noneconomic damages award, permitting the five minor children of the black victim, Darren Burley, to recover only 40% of the $8 million judgment. It did so despite the jury’s finding that one of the officers had acted intentionally in causing Mr. Burley's death. In its landmark decision, the California Supreme Court held that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was not entitled to apportionment of noneconomic damages for a deputy’s intentional use of excessive force. Justice Liu wrote in concurrence, stating that Mr. Burley’s “death at the hands of law enforcement is not a singular incident unmoored from our racial history.” He also noted that while the Court’s ruling allowed the victim’s family full economic recovery, that more needs to be done to redress state-sponsored violence against African Americans. Justice Liu further suggested that economic damages alone are not enough to deter police misconduct. For their work on this case, Scott Tillett and Norman Pine were co-recipients of the Daily Journal's 2020 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award., CLAY Award, The Daily Journal, 2021
    • Southern California Rising Stars, 2016–2020, Rising Star, SuperLawyers, 2020

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certified Appellate Law Specialist by the State Bar of California, 2020

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), Member, 2021
    • American Association for Justice (AAJ), Member, 2021
    • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), Wellness Committee Vice-Chair and Education Committee Member, 2021
    • California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), Education Committee Member, 2021
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), Appellate Courts Section, Member, 2021

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Los Angeles County Bar Association Pro Bono Appellate Clinic, volunteer, 2019

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Speaker on substance abuse issues and their impact on the legal profession., Speaker, Identifying and Addressing Substance Abuse in the Practice of Law, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Legal, 2019
    • Speaker on substance abuse issues and their impact on the legal profession., Speaker, NELA Wellness Brunch, National Employment Lawyers Association, Legal, 2020
    • An issue of first impression: Does PAGA with its qui tam actions apply to public employees?, Author, Is California’s Private Attorney General Act Enforceable Against Public Entities?, Advocate, Employees, 2019
    • California’s whistleblower protections are not limited to the first report of unlawful conduct, Author, This is not a race, ADVOCATE, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Associations for Southern California, 2018
    • Speaker on substance abuse issues and their impact on the legal profession., Speaker, The Whole Lawyer: Mental Health, Well-Being, and Substance Abuse, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, Legal, 2020
    • Speaker on appellate issues that trial lawyers should know., Speaker, Pitfalls to avoid in litigation--an appellate perspective, WLG Speaker Event, Employment Attorneys, 2018
    • Advanced topics in disability accommodation and discrimination., Speaker, Substance abuse in the workplace, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Labor And Employment Attorneys, 2018
    • This little-known principle can protect the integrity of judicial directives by providing a forceful means of compelling your opponent's compliance with trial court orders or risk dismissal of their appeal, Author, The disentitlement doctrine: A potent secret weapon to destroy your opponent’s contemptuous appeal, ADVOCATE, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Associations for Southern California, 2017
    • Navigating the ever-changing landscape – and land mines – of employment and consumer arbitration enforcement actions, Author, Arbitration enforcement update: 2014 through early 2015, ADVOCATE, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Associations for Southern California, 2015
    • Off-Label Prescribing of SSRIs to Children: Should Pediatric Testing be Required, or are there Other Means to a Safer End for Children?, Author, Off-Label Prescribing of SSRIs to Children: Should Pediatric Testing be Required, or are there Other Means to a Safer End for Children?, Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, 2010
    • Lobster Attack Induces Sensitization in the Sea Hare, Aplysia californica, Author, Lobster Attack Induces Sensitization in the Sea Hare, Aplysia californica, The Journal of Neuroscience, 2010

    Verdicts/Settlements:

    • Caldera v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 31 Plaintiff Caldera suffers from a stuttering disability. Other state prison employees, including a supervisor, mocked and mimicked his stutter. Plaintiff won a $500,000 judgment for disability harassment and failure to prevent disability harassment in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. In its published opinion, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, holding that a dozen incidents of harassment over two years may be both severe and pervasive and that, even if a defendant takes prompt corrective action, it still may be liable for a failure to prevent harassment. The Court of Appeal also reversed the grant of defendant’s new trial motion on the issue of damages., 2018
    • Meeks v. AutoZone, Inc. (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 855 We were able to obtain a published Opinion from the Riverside appellate court adopting a liberal view of sexual harassment, reaffirming the appropriateness of “me too” evidence, and rejecting hearsay and other objections on key points. The appellate court reversed the summary judgment defendant had obtained, holding that the trial court had erred in excluding plaintiff’s testimony regarding sexual text messages that she had received from a harassing coworker and in excluding “me too” evidence regarding the harassing coworker’s conduct toward other coworkers., 2018
    • Baez v. Burbank Unified School Dist. (Jan. 25, 2016, B254852)  After our firm successfully reversed a defense verdict, plaintiff Baez retried her claims against the School District and its CFO, obtaining a jury verdict in her favor as to her claim for sexual harassment in violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. When the School District appealed, our firm represented Baez once again, obtaining an affirmance of the jury award, vindicating her right to be free from workplace sexual harassment, and bringing well-deserved closure to Baez as to this long and arduous legal battle. , 2016
    • Lopez v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc'y of New York, Inc. (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 566 In this published opinion, the Fourth Appellate District agreed with the trial court’s determination that the plaintiff, a victim of childhood molestation, was entitled to discovery of documents regarding the perpetrators of child sex abuse, to show that the religious organization had institutional knowledge of widespread, unreported acts of child molestation, including previous acts by Lopez’s assailant, rendering the organization potentially liable for Lopez’s claims. The court rejected the organization’s objections to the discovery-based upon its claims of clergy-penitent privilege and First Amendment religious freedom. , 2016
    • Padron v. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. (2017) 16 Cal.App.5th 1246 In this published opinion, the Court of Appeal succinctly stated that the key issue was whether a superior court can impose “a hefty daily monetary sanction” on a party who steadfastly refuses to comply with a discovery order. It emphatically answered yes. In so ruling, the Court rejected the entire array of defense arguments ranging from the alleged interference with Watchtower’s First Amendment rights (including “religious polity and administration”), its claim that it lacked possession or control of the documents, and its alleged concerns for the constitutional privacy rights of third parties. This opinion, which so severely criticized Watchtower’s “cavalier” attitude towards valid court orders and its downright “defiance,” has created a heavy collateral estoppel burden that will plague Watchtower—a litigious party in cases involving sexual abuse—hereafter. ​, 2017
    • Bhandari v. Washington Hospital (June 14, 2017, A144184) Plaintiff Bhandari, a physician, sued his employer hospital for retaliation after his appearance in a documentary critical of the hospital led to his removal from office as chief of staff-elect. The trial court granted the hospital's anti-SLAPP motion in part, dismissing several of Bhandari's causes of action. On appeal, PTP assisted co-counsel in (a) obtaining reversal of the dismissal of Bhandari’s libel, libel per se, and false light causes of action; and (b) successfully defending against the hospital's appellate challenges to several of Bhandari's other claims, including for retaliation, breach of contract, interference with prospective economic advantage, and punitive damages., 2017
    • Estelle v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Nov. 17, 2017, B268085) Plaintiff Estelle sued for failure to accommodate his disabilities and failure to engage in the interactive process to discuss accommodating his disabilities. After a jury trial, plaintiff won a seven-figure judgment consisting of noneconomic damages and attorneys' fees. Defendant appealed, challenging, among other things, the trial court's refusal to apply judicial estoppel to vacate the verdict, the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the damages award, and the application of a lodestar multiplier when awarding attorneys' fees. The Second Appellate District affirmed the judgment in its entirety. After extensive post-appeal briefing and a two-hour oral argument, the superior court awarded appellate attorney's fees consisting of our full lodestar (up to $875 per hour) and a 1.75 multiplier., 2017
    • B.B. v. County of Los Angeles (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 115, review granted Oct. 10, 2018 In this wrongful death civil rights action, the Court of Appeal affirmed the entire $8 million judgment, rejecting defendants’ arguments regarding causation, misconduct by trial counsel, and excessive damages. The appellate court also reversed and remanded the grant of summary adjudication to defendants on plaintiffs’ Bane Act claim. On the only issue we lost (concerning apportionment of noneconomic damages caused in part by an intentional tortfeasor), we were able to convince the California Supreme Court to grant review., 2018
    • J.W. v. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. (2018) 29 Cal.App.5th 1142 This child-molestation action resulted in a seven-figure default judgment after defendant refused to produce documents concerning known molesters in the defendant’s church. In a published opinion, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, holding that plaintiff had adequately alleged proximate cause based on a pedophile church elder having molested her and that terminating sanctions were appropriate given defendant’s discovery abuses., 2018
    • Curry v. Academy Inc. (May 1, 2020, No. B290505) This action concerned the housing component of the FEHA. The plaintiff, Chris Curry, was a disabled man who required the use of an electric wheelchair. He rented an apartment in a building with three elevators to ensure that he would have access to his home. When all three elevators went down, the defendant apartment manager and building owner failed to timely perform necessary maintenance, leaving Mr. Curry stranded in his apartment for several days on end and requiring him to call the fire department to carry him up and down the stairs to his apartment on several occasions. The Court of Appeal agreed with our position that the compensatory award was not excessive and that the award was not tainted by alleged juror misconduct. The court further agreed that the defendant had acted with malice towards the plaintiff, affirming an award of punitive damages, resulting in a total $1.5 million recovery for Mr. Curry., 2020
    • Navarro v. 4Earth Farms, Inc. (Feb. 8, 2019, No. B284853) In this action for sexual harassment, retaliation, and failure to participate in the interactive process to accommodate disability, the jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in full, rejecting defendants’ evidentiary arguments concerning plaintiff’s emotional distress and sexual conduct with other employees. The Court also held that sufficient evidence supported plaintiff’s two theories of sexual harassment—hostile work environment and quid pro quo harassment—and that punitive damages were properly assessed., 2019
    • Nolasco v. Scantibodies Laboratory, Inc. (Feb. 26, 2019, No. D071923) Plaintiffs were retaliated against after they disclosed information about the serious safety concerns relating to defendant’s plasma program to the United States Food and Drug Administration. Plaintiffs won a seven‑figure judgment consisting of compensatory and punitive damages. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in full, holding that the trial court had properly instructed the jury that whistleblower protection is not limited to the first employee to disclose, that the trial court had properly handled deliberations involving abstaining and alternate jurors, and that plaintiffs had adequately established their retaliation claims., 2019
    • Mazik v. GEICO General Insurance Company  (2019) 35 Cal.App.5th 455 After plaintiff was injured in a serious car accident, GEICO unreasonably delayed paying him the policy limits on an underinsured motorist policy. Plaintiff’s action for insurance bad faith resulted in a significant compensatory damages award and a seven-figure punitive damages award. In a published opinion, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in full. The appellate court held that the evidence was sufficient to show that GEICO’s managing agent had ratified conduct warranting punitive damages and that GEICO had acted with “oppression, fraud, or malice” in disregarding information showing that plaintiff had a permanent, painful injury. Given the reprehensibility of GEICO’s conduct, the appellate court held that the seven-figure punitive damages award was not constitutionally excessive., 2019
    • Do v. Raytheon Company (Oct. 27, 2020, No. B293950)  In this FEHA action, the Court of Appeal affirmed the jury’s award of $1,750,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Mr. Do sued his employer, Raytheon, for, inter alia, failure to reasonably accommodate his disability and failure to engage in an interactive process (to find a suitable alternative position). In affirming the judgment, the appellate court broadly construed the FEHA, finding that Raytheon’s harsh treatment of Mr. Do was not “standard oversight” and that his request to be transferred to another position was not unreasonable as a matter of law. The appellate court also found that the reason that Raytheon had given for not considering Mr. Do for an alternative open position was pretextual and that the trial court had not abused its discretion in refusing to give a more limited definition of what qualified as a FEHA-protected disability, as was urged by the defendant. , 2020
    • Bellino v. Judge (October 23, 2020, No. G057450) Tamra Judge, star of the reality television show Real Housewives of Orange County, hired us to prosecute her appeal of the trial court’s grant of an anti-SLAPP motion brought by James Bellino, the ex-husband of a former cast member on the show. Despite affirming some of the anti-SLAPP rulings by the lower court, the Court of Appeal agreed with our arguments that Bellino’s lifestyle was “fodder” for public interest and that he was a public figure for the purposes of his defamation claim. This ruling, which is now law of the case, will require Bellino to meet a much higher burden to prevail at trial. , 2020
    • Sargent v. Bd. of Trustees of Cal. State Univ. (Mar. 5, 2021) --- Cal.Rptr.3d ----  In this matter of first impression, the appellate court confirmed that the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) (a form of qui tam action) does apply against public entity employers and, further, that California State University (“CSU”) is not shielded from PAGA by the Education Code. Our whistle-blowing client had suffered retaliation at the hands of his employer, CSU, after he raised environmental concerns about the presence of asbestos and lead paint at Sonoma State University.  Besides its importance as a PAGA precedent, the case will have especial value on another level. The Court of Appeal upheld a $7.8 million attorney’s fees award (under a public-benefit theory), including a 2.0 lodestar multiplier. Although the court’s analysis of the fee issue was in the unpublished portion of the case, the size of the fee award will prove quite important for another reason. All too often, defendants—and Superior Court judges—undervalue contingency plaintiffs’ claims for reasonable attorneys’ fees. In mediations, settlement conferences, and other settings, plaintiffs’ counsel can use the fact of the fee award’s size as a sobering reality check., 2021
    • Lave v. Charter Communications (Dec. 21, 2020, No. D076206)  In this FEHA action, the Court of Appeal affirmed the jury award of $575,000 in noneconomic damages plus $400,800 in attorney’s fees. Our client had sued his former employer when Charter responded to Mr. Lave’s disability leave by retaliating against, and ultimately terminating, him. The appellate court rejected Charter’s claims of jury instructional error, erroneous exclusion of previously redacted documents produced for the first time in unredacted form at trial, and its inconsistent verdict challenge. The appellate court also rejected Charter’s arguments that medical leave and sick leave were indistinguishable, thereby affirming the jury’s general verdict on appeal., 2020
    • B.B. v. County of Los Angeles (2020) 10 Cal.5th 1 In this wrongful death civil rights action, the Court of Appeal (relying upon dicta from a prior Supreme Court case) had apportioned the noneconomic damages award, permitting the five minor children of the black victim, Darren Burley, to recover only 40% of the $8 million judgment. It did so despite the jury’s finding that one of the officers had acted intentionally in causing Mr. Burley's death. In its landmark decision, the California Supreme Court held that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was not entitled to apportionment of noneconomic damages for a deputy’s intentional use of excessive force. Justice Liu wrote in concurrence, stating that Mr. Burley’s “death at the hands of law enforcement is not a singular incident unmoored from our racial history.” He also noted that while the Court’s ruling allowed the victim’s family full economic recovery, that more needs to be done to redress state-sponsored violence against African Americans. Justice Liu further suggested that economic damages alone are not enough to deter police misconduct. For their work on this case, Scott Tillett and Norman Pine were co-recipients of the Daily Journal's 2020 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award., 2020

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Mr. Tillett was selected as one of five finalists for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles's (CAALA) Appellate Attorney of the Year Award in 2019., 2019

    Educational Background:

    • Chapman University, Bachelor of Science, Major: Psychobiology, Honors: Presented at the Neuroscience Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in 2006, Honors: Published in the Journal for Neuroscience in 2010
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    Office Location for Scott Tillett

    14156 Magnolia Boulevard
    Suite 200
    Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

    Phone: 818-379-9710

    Scott Tillett:

    Last Updated: 4/16/2021

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