McKool Smith’s latest jury verdicts certainly sparked a “firework” in the legal community and the mainstream media. In related cases, the firm represented pop singer Katy Perry and her company, The Bird Nest LLC and The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary; both suits were against developer Dana Hollister.
The cases revolved around Perry’s bid to convert the site of a former convent in Los Angeles, owned by the other plaintiffs. Perry sued Hollister over the property, accusing the entrepreneur of “fraudulently” convincing some of the nuns who lived there to back Hollister’s bid for the building over Perry’s.
Hollister, a successful restaurateur, intended to turn the property into a boutique hotel, while Perry sought a private residence for her mother and grandmother for a reported $14.5 million.
McKool Smith secured a jury award of $10 million in punitive damages for religious organizations. That verdict, which was announced on Dec. 4, followed an earlier $5 million jury verdict that the firm secured on Nov. 17 to recover Perry’s legal fees. stemming from a long running dispute in which Hollister attempted to interfere with the Archbishop’s $14.5 million deal to sell a former convent to international pop star Katy Perry and her company, The Bird Nest LLC.
The case is Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles et al. v. Dana Hollister, case number BC585604, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.