Friday, February 12, 2010
Attorney Acquitted on Domestic Violence Charges
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A jury has found Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney Richard A. Widom not guilty of domestic violence charges against his soon-to-be-ex-wife Lisa Kerner, a lawyer at his former firm.
Widom was acquitted of one misdemeanor count of inflicting injury on a spouse and one misdemeanor count of spousal battery Feb. 3, one week after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Louis M. Meisinger dismissed a civil suit by Kerner against him.
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office brought criminal charges against the former name partner at the workers’ compensation firm now known as Stockwell Harris Woolverton Muehl over an incident March 1, in which Kerner said Widom beat her.
The District Attorney’s Office earlier declined to file felony charges, and Widom said Kerner “made up this whole story about domestic violence after she attacked me” when he told her their less-than-4-year-old marriage was over and that she needed to move out of his home.
Kerner and her attorney, Peter T. Hermes of Hermes & Glavin, could not be reached for comment. Kerner remains one of Stockwell Harris’ vice presidents, but Widom was terminated and entered solo practice.
He has been pursuing a lawsuit against the firm since June, contending it used the criminal charges as a pretense to fire him and deprive him of $4 million on deposit in a deferred-compensation plan. He said the case is currently in discovery.
Representatives of Stockwell Harris also could not be reached for comment.
Kerner filed a civil suit seeking a restraining order against Widom, but Meisinger denied the request Jan. 26 after finding Widom’s testimony more credible than Kerner’s.
“[S]ome of Ms. Kerner’s testimony is among the most incredible testimony I have heard in a very brief period on the bench, but in 40-plus years as a trial lawyer, including most specifically her testimony about why she returned to the home because of concern over her cats and stayed there four days in the face of what she thought was her imminent demise at the hands of Mr. Widom.”
Widom told the MetNews that jurors in his criminal trial told him and attorneys after the verdicts were read that they did not believe Kerner’s testimony.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company