Blog : Info

Mark Fong and the Story Behind the Skrillex Case on The Legal MD Podcast

Mark Fong and the Story Behind the Skrillex Case on The Legal MD Podcast

Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Mark Fong and Emergent LLP Partner Seth Rosenberg appeared on the August 22, 2023, episode of The Legal MD Podcast to reveal details behind their successful lawsuit against DJ and producer Skrillex on behalf of their client Jennifer Fraissl.

The Legal MD Podcast host Dr. David Grundy is a renowned medical legal consultant with years of experience in clinical practice and forensic medicine. Together with host Sydney Delaney, Dr. Grundy brings insightful discussions and analysis on the intersection of medicine and law.

A Los Angeles jury on November 20, 2018, awarded Ms. Fraissl $4.5 million in damages against Skrillex (real name Sonny John Moore), his touring company, Lost Boys Touring Company, Inc., and the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. It was the first successful jury award in a case involving injuries resulting from a performer’s crowd dive.

The San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association named Mark and Seth as one of four finalists for the 2019 Trial Lawyer of the Year award for their work in obtaining compensation for Ms. Fraissl.

From the podcast episode’s show notes:

In this episode,  we chat with San Francisco legal giants Seth Rosenberg and Mark Fong, who recently nabbed a colossal $4.5 million victory for Jennifer Fraissl, injured during an EDM concert by the famous artist and Coachella headliner Skrillex (Sonny John Moore). Seth and Mark dissect the intricate details of this five-year legal rollercoaster, shedding light on the complex medical and legal hurdles they navigated. They open up about the defining moments where they pushed back against rival counsel’s claims, expertly neutralized their expert’s testimonies, and painstakingly untangled the knotty threads of this case.

We step into the murky waters of proving medical probability of injury from the defendant with Seth and Mark. They share how they outfoxed the rival expert witnesses, and how their savvy analysis of a crucially relevant Disneyland case tipped the scales in their favor. Unraveling the minute details from video footage, and arguing from the famous 1928 precedent of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad, they demolished the argument that since Skrillex had not directly struck Jennifer he was not responsible for her harm. 

As we reach the end of this engrossing journey, Seth and Mark lay bare the specifics of the legal battle involving Skrillex. They scrutinize the strategies that worked, the challenges they faced, and the broader implications of stage diving and safety protocols in the entertainment industry. 

Listen to the podcast here.

Dale Minami on ‘Love thy Lawyer’ Podcast

Dale Minami on ‘Love thy Lawyer’ Podcast

Minami Tamaki LLP co-founder and Senior Counsel Dale Minami appeared on the July 12, 2023, episode of the “Love thy Lawyer” podcast by attorney Louis Goodman.

From the episode teaser (edited): “Dale Minami has had a fascinating career as a lawyer. He is currently one of the top personal injury lawyers in the Bay Area. He was involved in the creation of the Asian American Bar Association and the Asian Law Caucus serving as its first director. Dale was also part of the legal team that successfully overturned Fred Korematsu’s conviction in the famous case of Korematsu versus the United States.

“In this interview, he discusses attending Berkeley during the growth of the civil rights movement and explains how the Asian Law Caucus came to be. Additionally, Dale explains his involvement in the judicial appointments process in the Bay Area and shares behind-the-scenes details of overturning the Fred Korematsu conviction.”

In response to a question about tips for new lawyers, Dale said: “I would advise a new attorney to find a mentor, someone with experience, knowledge, wisdom, and willingness to help you grow. A mentor will shortcut the learning process and accelerate your development of skills. I was too dense and perhaps diffident to ask for help but if I were to do it all over again, I would be more assertive in finding someone and asking for help. I realized later in my career that so many attorneys are willing to help younger attorneys if they were just asked.”

Visit for more episodes.

Minami Tamaki LLP Obtains $7 Million for Family of Senior Killed by Inattentive Bus Driver

Minami Tamaki LLP Obtains $7 Million for Family of Senior Killed by Inattentive Bus Driver

We represented the eight adult children of a 71-year-old disabled woman who was hit by a school bus while driving her motorized scooter in a crosswalk in San Jose and subsequently died. We sued the driver of the bus, the company that employed him and owned the bus, and the public entity that hired the bus company to drive its students.

Together the defendants denied the driver was negligent. However, we obtained surveillance video from a nearby business, as well as video onboard the school bus, and created a reconstruction of the accident that showed the driver’s head was turned to his left at the time he struck the victim, instead of facing ahead as it should have been. If the driver had been properly attentive, the accident would never have happened.

In addition to proving fault for the accident, one of the great challenges in this case was proving the value of the loss of care, guidance, and support the decedent gave to each of the plaintiffs. We spent months getting to know her children, who described their mother as the matriarch of their family and the glue that held them together.

By delving into her life story, we learned the decedent emigrated from Mexico as a young woman, hoping for a better life for her children in the U.S. A single mother, she worked at factory jobs to support them, despite having only one leg. She truly was an inspiration to her children, who credit her as their role model and the reason for their success in life.

Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Mark Fong and Senior Associate Seema Bhatt settled the clients’ claims at mediation for a total of $7 million.

How Employers Can Institute Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies Under California Employment Law

How Employers Can Institute Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies Under California Employment Law

As many California employers re-opened their offices in recent months, and as case counts increased with the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the issue of whether to institute mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements has risen to the forefront for employers and employees. Minami Tamaki has counseled non-profit organizations and other organizations on obligations and legal developments regarding COVID-19 vaccination policies.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) has issued guidance to assist employees and employers on vaccine policies and compliance with the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Further details are available here. The “DFEH Employment Information on COVID-19” includes the following guidance:

  1. Mandatory Vaccination Policy. A California employer may institute a mandatory vaccination policy as long as the employer does not discriminate against or harass employees or job applicants on the basis of a protected characteristic, provides reasonable accommodations related to disability or sincerely held religious beliefs or practices, and does not retaliate against anyone for engaging in protected activity.
  2. Exemption based on Disability. The FEHA requires employers instituting a mandatory vaccination policy to reasonably accommodate any employee with a disability. If an employee requests exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on the basis of disability, the employer must engage in an “interactive process” with the employee to attempt to identify a reasonable accommodation.

    Reasonable accommodations that an employer and employee might consider include allowing the employee to work from home, putting reasonable procedures and safeguards in place to enable the employee to work without endangering the employee or others, job restructuring, and job reassignment.

    If providing an accommodation to an employee imposes an “undue hardship,” the employer is not required to provide an accommodation to the employee. An undue hardship is defined as an action requiring “significant difficulty or expense.” Also, if the employee is unable to perform the essential duties of the job even with reasonable accommodations, or the employee cannot work without endangering the health or safety of the employee or co-workers, the employer may exclude the employee from the workplace.
  1. Exemption for Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs. The FEHA requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees’ known sincerely held religious beliefs and practices. Therefore, if an employer imposes a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, and an employee objects to vaccination on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief or practice, the employer must reasonably accommodate the employee. Employers should engage in an interactive process with the employee similar to the process required in the disability context (see above).
  2. Documentation of Vaccination. Employers may ask employees or applicants for documentation of vaccination. However, because such documentation could include sensitive medical or disability-related information, employers should instruct these employees or applicants to omit any medical information from such documentation. Employers must maintain any records of employee or applicant vaccination as confidential medical records.

California employers are advised to follow local, state, and federal guidance on vaccinations in the workplace in order to ensure compliance with all legal obligations. For more information on COVID-19 regulation and developments, you may contact Minami Tamaki Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force members Sean Tamura-Sato, Lisa Mak, or Claire Choo online or call us at 415-788-9000.

*The contents of this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Information in this article may not constitute the most complete or up-to-date legal or other information. Readers should contact a licensed California attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Minami Tamaki LLP.

Minami Tamaki Law Firm and MTYKL Foundation to Donate $20,000 to Support COVID-19 Relief Efforts in India

Minami Tamaki Law Firm and MTYKL Foundation to Donate $20,000 to Support COVID-19 Relief Efforts in India

The Minami Tamaki LLP law firm and the Minami Tamaki Yamauchi Kwok & Lee (MTYKL) Foundation announced a $20,000 donation to support COVID-19 relief efforts in India.

The donation supported a May 27 fundraiser organized by the South Asian Bar Association of North America and others, with proceeds going to UNICEF, the Association for India’s Development, and Khalsa Aid. 

The Associated Press reported that India on Wednesday documented more coronavirus deaths in a single day than any other country at any time during the pandemic, while infections continued to spread through vast rural areas with weak health systems. The Health Ministry reported a record 4,529 deaths on May 19, driving India’s confirmed fatalities to 283,248. It also reported 267,334 new infections. India has more than 26 million cases. The numbers are almost certainly undercounts.

All of us at Minami Tamaki and the MTYKL Foundation mourn the devastating tragedy of coronavirus infections and deaths. Many of our employees and clients have been personally impacted with family members or friends who have passed away or been hospitalized by the virus. Our hearts go out to the South Asian community, and we hope our fundraiser will generate more awareness and support for India as it battles the virus.

“A Night of Light to Benefit India’s Covid-19 Relief Efforts” was on Thursday, May 27, 2021. The virtual event was hosted by the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Foundation, SABA North America, and 20-plus SABA Chapters. The benefit featured TikTok comedian Zarna Garg, Asli Baat, the University of Southern California’s South Asian Fusion A Cappella group, and Reshma Saujani, South Asian activist and founder of Girls Who Code.

New Article by Lisa Mak on Whistleblower Protections in Advocate Magazine

New Article by Lisa Mak on Whistleblower Protections in Advocate Magazine

Minami Tamaki LLP attorney Lisa P. Mak authored an article, “Protecting Whistleblowers: Litigating Claims under Labor Code Section 1102.5,” in the May 2021 issue of Advocate Magazine.

In the article, Lisa writes that allowing employees to freely report and disclose potentially illegal practices in the workplace is an important tool in protecting other workers, shareholders, investors, and the general public from fraud, unsafe conditions, compliance issues, and other unlawful activity that may otherwise go undetected.

The California Labor Code has a general whistleblower-protection law, Section 1102.5, that can provide strong protections for employees who disclose or refuse to participate in unlawful activity at work. The statute reflects the California Legislature’s intent to protect whistleblowers, and reflects the importance of encouraging employees to report or resist unlawful activity without fear of retaliation.

Read the article here. The entire print issue can also be downloaded as a PDF.

Advocate, the largest magazine in the United States for plaintiffs’ trial attorneys, is published by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Published since 1963, it is a peer-reviewed legal publication, written and edited by leading plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Minami Tamaki LLP’s Consumer and Employee Rights Group is committed to ensuring that the rights of workers are protected, including workers who report unlawful activity in the workplace.

Dale Minami Receives Norman Y. Mineta Lifetime Achievement Award from APAICS

Dale Minami Receives Norman Y. Mineta Lifetime Achievement Award from APAICS

The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) honored Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsel Dale Minami with the Inaugural Norman Y. Mineta Lifetime Achievement Award during its Virtual APAICS 27th Anniversary Awards Gala Dinner on May 13, 2021. 

The Award was renamed this year to reflect the outstanding contributions made by Norman Y. Mineta over a lifetime of public service.  “Receiving an award named after one of my heroes is a singular honor,” said Dale.

The APAICS’ Norman Y. Mineta Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a prominent Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) individual in the community. APAICS honored Dale with the award to recognize his service in devoting a lifetime to breaking down stereotypes and advocating for the AAPI community.

“You have continuously fought for the protection of the rights of people who have historically been discriminated against,” wrote APAICS President and CEO Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke to Dale. “We hope to celebrate the work that you have done and continue to do.”

Founded by former Secretary Norman Y. Mineta in 1994, APAICS is a national non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office.

Watch Dale’s acceptance remarks below.

Gov. Newsom Appoints Don Tamaki to Reparations Task Force

Gov. Newsom Appoints Don Tamaki to Reparations Task Force

As the country continues to confront a history of racial injustice, deeply rooted in the legacy of slavery and systemic racism, today, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsel Donald K. Tamaki and four other individuals to serve on the newly formed Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans.

The formation of this task force was made possible by the Governor’s signing of AB 3121, authored by then-Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), which established a nine-member task force to inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations.

“California is leading the nation, in a bipartisan way, on the issue of reparations and racial justice, which is a discussion that is long overdue and deserves our utmost attention,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Last year I signed into law a number of key bills focused on leveling the playing field in our society and ensuring that everyone has a fair shot at achieving the California dream. Today’s appointment of individuals with an expansive breath of knowledge, experiences and understanding of issues impacting the African American community, is the next step in our commitment as a state to build a California for all.”

The five individuals selected by the Governor to serve on this task force represent diverse backgrounds and meet the statutes required by law, which include choosing one candidate from the field of academia with expertise in civil rights, and an additional two appointees selected from major civil society and reparations organizations that have historically championed the cause of reparatory justice.

Other key factors considered for committee candidates included a background in economics and community development, health and psychology, law and criminal justice, faith-based and community activism, and an expertise in the historic achievement of reparatory justice.

The Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans (Reparations Task Force) will have a total of nine members, with two individuals appointed by the Senate and two members appointed by the Assembly.

After months of interviews and careful consideration, the Governor made the following appointments:

Cheryl N. Grills, Ph.D., 62, of Inglewood, has been appointed to the Reparations Task Force. Grills was recently chosen as President’s Professor at Loyola Marymount University, a designation bestowed upon LMU’s most distinguished faculty who already hold the rank of tenured full professor and are acknowledged leaders in their respective fields, having achieved national and international recognition of their work. In addition to her community-based research, her work focuses on racial stress and trauma, implicit bias and community healing focused on the needs of people of African ancestry. Grills has been a Professor of Psychology and Director of Psychology of the Applied Research Center at Loyola Marymount University since 1987. She is Commissioner and Vice Chair of the LA County Sybil Brand Committee where she has served since 2011. She was President of The Association of Black Psychologists from 2011 to 2013. She is the leader of the Global Emotional Emancipation Circles Training Team where she has served since 2009. She is current lead on a national Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color Needs Assessment for several Congressional Caucuses and national civil rights organizations. Grills was leader of the Emotional Emancipation (EE) Circle process under the Community Healing Network in 2009. Grills earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University with a double major in Psychology and African American Studies. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is per diem compensation for not more than ten meetings. Grills is a Democrat.

Amos C. Brown, Th.D., 80, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the Reparations Task Force. Brown is a renowned civil rights leader who is one of the few students who studied under Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was later arrested with King at a lunch counter sit-in in 1961 and joined the Freedom Riders who protested segregation in the South. Brown was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Ministerial Award for outstanding leadership and contributions to the Black Church in America and was also inducted into the International Hall of Fame at the King International Chapel at Morehouse College. Brown has been a Pastor at the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco since 1976. He was a Pastor at Pilgrim Baptist Church from 1970 to 1976 and at Saint Paul’s Baptist Church from 1966 to 1970. Brown is President and a Member of the Board of Directors of the NAACP and Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority. He earned a Doctor of Theology degree from United Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology degree from Crozer Theological Seminary. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is per diem compensation for not more than ten meetings. Brown is a Democrat.

Lisa Holder, J.D., 49, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the Reparations Task Force. Holder has dedicated her career to racial and social justice and systems change. Holder is a nationally recognized, award-winning trial attorney who has been identified as a “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine for four consecutive years. Holder has been Of Counsel at Equal Justice Society since 2016 and Principal Attorney at the Law Office of Lisa Holder since 2010. She was Lecturer in Law and Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law from 2017 to 2019. Holder was Adjunct Professor at Occidental College from 2012 to 2016. She was Associate Attorney at Hadsell Stormer Keeney Richardson from 2005 to 2009. Holder was Deputy Alternate Public Defender at the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender from 2001 to 2005. She was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship through the Open Society Foundation in 2001. She was an Investigator and Analyst at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem from 1995 to 1997. Holder is a Steering Committee Member of Equal Opportunity 4 All Coalition and Vice Chair of the Child Care Law Center. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is per diem compensation for not more than ten meetings. Holder is a Democrat.

Donald K. Tamaki, J.D., 69, of Piedmont, has been appointed to the Reparations Task Force. Tamaki is known for his historic work serving on the pro bono legal team that reopened the landmark Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. the United States, overturning Fred Korematsu’s conviction for refusing incarceration during the mass roundup and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and providing a key legal foundation in the decades’ long Japanese American Redress Movement. He is also Co-founder of StopRepeatingHistory.Org, a campaign focused on drawing parallels between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the targeting of minority groups based on race or religion. The campaign’s current work is focused on the intersectionality of the Japanese American Redress Movement and that of African-American Reparations, with an emphasis on creating solidarity and promoting public awareness on the importance of advancing reparations for African-Americans. Tamaki has been Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP since 2020, where he also served as Managing Partner from 2006 to 2020 and was Partner from 1987 to 2020. He was a Self-Employed Owner of the Law Offices of Donald K. Tamaki from 1984 to 1987. Tamaki was Executive Director at the Asian Law Caucus – Advancing Justice from 1980 to 1984. He was a Reginald Heber Smith Staff Attorney at Community Legal Services of San Jose from 1976 to 1979 and co-founder of the Asian Law Alliance. Tamaki is a Member of the Bar Association of San Francisco and Asian American Bar Association of the Bay Area. He received the State Bar of California Loren Miller Award in 1987 and the American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award in 2020. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is per diem compensation for not more than ten meetings. Tamaki is a Democrat.

Jovan S. Lewis, Ph.D., 38, of Berkeley, has been appointed to the Reparations Task Force. Lewis is an economic anthropologist and geographer who researches reparations, the political economy of inequality, and race in the United States and the Caribbean. His current work focuses on the history and contemporary circumstances of the historic Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the consequences of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. Lewis is an Associate Professor and the incoming Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2015. At Berkeley, he has also been Co-chair of the Economic Disparities research cluster at the Othering and Belonging Institute, faculty affiliate in African American Studies, since 2015. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees in Economic Anthropology from the London School of Economics and a Master of Arts degree in Administration from the University of Miami. This position does not require Senate confirmation, and there is per diem compensation for not more than ten meetings. Lewis is a Democrat.

The Task Force will select its own chair and vice chair and their work will be staffed by the Attorney General’s Office. Members will meet over the next year and conclude their work with a written report on their findings, along with recommendations which will be provided to the Legislature.

Today’s actions build upon the Newsom Administration’s work to acknowledge historic wrongs and combat structural racism and bias in our institutions. In March of 2019, the Governor issued a moratorium on the death penalty, which is unfairly applied to people of color, people with mental disabilities and people who cannot afford costly legal representation. Governor Newsom also took action to secure safe drinking water for the 1 million Californians in underserved communities who lacked access to safe water. He also took the historic step of formally apologizing to California Native Americans for the exploitation and violence our predecessors inflicted upon them, and he also announced the Administration’s support for tribal access to co-manage and acquire ancestral lands. Governor Newsom has also taken action to combat decades-long economic inequality by expanding the California Earned Income Tax Credit to millions, including undocumented Californians.

Minami Tamaki LLP Ranked on U.S. News ‘Best Law Firms’ List for 7th Year

Minami Tamaki LLP Ranked on U.S. News ‘Best Law Firms’ List for 7th Year

Minami Tamaki LLP’s Immigration and Nationality Law practice is nationally ranked again on the new 2021 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list just released today. The firm’s immigration practice received a National Tier 3 ranking for the second time, and a Metro Tier 1 ranking for the sixth consecutive year.

U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” recognized the firm’s Personal Injury practice as Metro Tier 1 for the seventh consecutive year.

Firms like Minami Tamaki LLP included in the 2021 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must first have a lawyer recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©, which recognizes the top five percent of private practicing lawyers in the United States. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Earlier this year, The Best Lawyers in America recognized Partners Minette Kwok, B. Mark Fong, Olivia Serene Lee, Suhi Koizumi, Senior Counsel Dale Minami, and Associate Seema Bhatt, which qualified the firm to be considered for the Best Law Firms list.

The Immigration and Nationality Law Practice Group of Minami Tamaki LLP offers expertise in a broad array of immigration services, routinely assisting employers and employees in obtaining temporary and permanent employment-based visas. The firm’s immigration attorneys also help individual clients to secure family-based immigration status through marriage or other qualifying family relationships. Partner Minette A. Kwok leads the firm’s immigration practice group, which includes Partner Olivia Serene Lee, Partner Suhi Koizumi, Senior Associate La Verne A. Ramsay, Senior Associate Angela C. Mapa, and Associates Dian Sohn, Judy Hinh Wong, and Leyla Mostafavi.

The attorneys in Minami Tamaki’s Personal Injury Practice Group fight for the rights of people who are injured or have suffered the loss of loved ones due to the carelessness of others. A team approach brings all the resources of the practice group to cases. This has allowed the firm to recover multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for their clients. Senior Counsel Dale Minami founded the firm’s personal injury practice, which is led by Partner B. Mark Fong and includes Associate Seema Bhatt.