Guardian lawyers win major award

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California's chief justice presented the Guardian's lawyers with a major statewide award March 2, recognizing our predatory-pricing case against SF Weekly as one of the most important cases of 2008.

In a ceremony at the Carnelian Room atop the Bank of America Building, Chief Justice Ron George recognized Ralph Alldredge, Richard Hill, and E. Craig Moody as recipients of California Lawyer magazine's California Lawyers of the Year Awards. The magazine chose 22 cases from the many thousands filed, litigated, and arbitrated every year in the state, saying the lawyers "made a profound impact."

Alldredge, Hill, and Moody handled the five-week trial that ended with the Guardian winning a $6.4 million judgment against the Weekly and its parent company, New Times (now owned by Village Voice Media). A jury found that the Weekly had sold ads below cost in an effort to drive the Guardian out of business.

Judge Marla Miller later raised the award to more than $18 million. The case is on appeal.

"In a David-and-Goliath face-off between San Francisco's two man rival alternative weeklies, this legal team deftly made the unfair competition case for the San Francisco Bay Guardian," the award citation read.

Congratulations to Ralph, Rich, and Craig, who fought an uphill battle for years against a bigger and better-financed opponent.