KENT A. HALKETT
Kent A. Halkett is a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office. He specializes in complex litigation, disputes involving educational institutions, medical staff issues and disputes, and alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Halkett has over thirty years of experience litigating in state, federal, bankruptcy and appellate courts throughout California. Mr. Halkett’s matters have included:
- He obtained a substantial monetary judgment for an elite private high school in a $100 million “cyber- bullying” action brought by a former student and his parents. The family publicized their claims, including an interview broadcast nationally on a popular prime-time show. They filed their claims in state court, but the trial court ordered the dispute into binding arbitration and the appellate court affirmed the merits of the resulting judgment.
- He assisted in the successful defense of a public university hospital’s medical staff in multiple challenges by a physician (who was a tenured faculty member) to the medical staff’s summary suspension of all of his clinical privileges at the hospital. The summary suspension was upheld initially by a three-member peer review panel and again on appeal by the governing hospital board.
- He achieved a complete defense victory for a private university in an action by a former professor who claimed that he had been defamed and damaged when his employment was terminated. The defamation claim was the only claim to survive dismissal at the initial pleading stage. Summary judgment was entered against him on that claim.
- He obtained a judgment for a private university in a writ proceeding initiated by a former student who had been dismissed from the institution because of his repeated cheating in violation of its honor code.
- He obtained a complete defense victory in a federal RICO action, and a related state court action for interference with the right to practice the medical profession, by a physician against a hospital and its administrators arising from the physician’s peer review proceeding. The federal and state actions were dismissed at the initial pleading stage, the federal appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the federal action and the state appellate court completely dismissed the physician’s multiple appeals in the state action.
- He achieved a multi-million dollar judgment (including a one million dollar punitive damage award) for a Hong Kong couple defrauded in Southern California.
- He obtained a complete dismissal of a federal RICO and securities action pending in the Ohio district court against a Singapore client (seeking in excess of one billion dollars arising from a failed real estate resort in Malaysia) with related litigation pending in the courts of the British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Mr. Halkett is admitted to practice in all of the state and federal courts in California, and he is a member of the National Association of Colleges and University Attorneys (NACUA) and the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA). Mr. Halkett also served as a court-appointed mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court in the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Joint Association Settlement Officer Program (“JASOP”).
His numerous charitable and community activities include: San Marino City Club (President - 2009), Rotary Club of Los Angeles, Center for Educational Achievement (Director, 2003-2005), Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger (Trustee, 1997-2001), and Food For All (Director, 1992-1996; Treasurer, 1994-1995).
- University of California, Berkeley, B.S., 1978
- Vanderbilt University, J.D., 1981