In a heartbreaking case to which DWT lawyers and staff devoted well over 1,000 pro bono hours, a client who chose to withdraw all but comfort care from her 37-year-old husband—after he had been in a persistent vegetative state for more than a year—prevailed in L.A. Superior Court. Her sister-in-law, who was represented by a national pro-life group, challenged the client’s right to make that decision. Twenty-one witnesses testified at the 16-day trial, including experts in Catholic doctrine and neurology. Jennifer Brockett
was the lead DWT attorney, joined by Teri Keville
, who was asked by Compassion in Choices to take on the case. Plaintiffs sought to have the matter dismissed as moot after the husband died during post-trial briefing, but the judge declined and gave DWT's team an important, 103-page decision affirming that an incapacitated person’s spouse has priority as that person’s presumptive surrogate for healthcare decision-making. Jennifer and Teri were assisted by attorney Dayna Nicholson
, paralegal Ben Planchon
, and executive legal secretary Lisa Hernandez.