Mitch Dean and Stephanie Skees, in a 6 day jury trial in North County, which ended on May 20, 2022, obtained a defense verdict (11-1) in a wrongful death case.  Plaintiffs were the five heirs of the decedent, Frank Vawter.  They sued the City of Carlsbad and West Coast Arborists (WCA) for the death of Frank Vawter when a tree branch from a Eucalyptus tree in Holiday Park in Carlsbad fell on him and killed him.  Plaintiffs sued the City for a dangerous condition of public property (the subject tree) and WCA for negligence in the pruning of the tree.  After a 6 day jury trial, the jury found, in an 11-1 verdict, that the tree was not a dangerous condition.  That verdict ended the bifurcated trial.   Keys in the defense verdict were the preparation of the defense expert arborist and the effective cross-examination of the plaintiffs’ arborist expert.  The jury did not find the plaintiffs’ expert credible and relied upon the defense arborist expert for the verdict.  The case was tried before the Honorable Blaine Bowman.  The case was Vawter v. City of Calrsbad, et. al, Case No. 37-2018-00051119-CU-PO-NC.