Lawyer accused of shooting arrows, gun at ex-girlfriend's law office loses civil appeal
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A disbarred California lawyer accused of shooting a crossbow and gun into his ex-girlfriend’s law office building has failed to overturn a $2.2 million judgment against him.
The California Courts of Appeal’s First Appellate District upheld the judgment against former lawyer Steven A. Weinkauf after he was found liable for stalking, intentional infliction of emotional distress and domestic violence. Jurors had awarded $1.3 million in damages, which came to about $2.2 million after he was assessed attorney fees and costs.
Law360 has coverage of the March 3 appellate ruling.
According to the California appeals court, Weinkauf met the plaintiff, Adriana J. Quintero, when they worked together in the public guardian’s office of San Francisco County. They began a romantic relationship that ended in December 2013.
Quintero had installed video cameras on her law office after someone shot crossbow arrows through the building windows in April, June and August 2015. In January 2017, surveillance video showed someone in a red Jeep fire a gunshot at the building, which cracked a window. Five days later, there was another incident. A video showed the same Jeep. Quintero was able to identify Weinkauf shooting a crossbow, even though the incident, like the others, happened “under cover of darkness,” the appeals court said.
At the civil trial, Weinkauf admitting shooting the crossbow one time but denied participating in the other incidents. After jurors found for Quintero, they assessed Weinkauf ’s net worth at $1.5 million.
On appeal, the appeals court said the civil trial judge did not err by admitting surveillance video or an audio recording of a phone call between Quintero and Weinkauf that related to the gunshot. The court also ruled against Weinkauf on his challenges to jury instructions, sufficiency of the evidence and the jury verdict form.
The court also ruled that the trial judge did not err by including the value of Weinkauf’s home and lot in determining net worth, even though he had placed the home in an irrevocable trust. Weinkauf retained an interest in the assets, and they can be reached to satisfy a judgment against him, the court said.
Weinkauf didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail left at a phone number found online for him. He was disbarred in 2020 after a criminal conviction for stalking with an enhancement for using a deadly weapon, according to the Daily Journal.