After prevailing in phase I, Recology, Arnold & Porter, and TFP geared up for phase II of the California False Claims Action brought by former employee, Brian McVeigh. This phase of the retrial centered around whether or not McVeigh was terminated by Recology out of retaliation for being a whistleblower. McVeigh had to prove he was of “protected status” as a result of raising the false claims issues and that his actions were a “substantially motivating” factor in Recology’s decision to terminate. The facts in the case told a very different story.

The Focal Point’s Role

The central theme in Recology’s defense was McVeigh’s poor performance.  TFP collaborated with the trial team to tell the story of McVeigh’s troubled employment history and subpar performance despite Recology’s multiple attempts at rehabilitation. Timeline and performance data visuals were developed to show and support this fact pattern.  The timelines were also critical in showing the contradictions in McVeigh’s story and conveying his opportunistic timing in blowing the whistle. For closing, a series of stair step graphics that tracked the verdict form were created to show all that was required for McVeigh to meet his burden. The jury quickly came back with a unanimous verdict in favor of Recology on both claims.


After a brief deliberation, the jury came back with a unanimous verdict in favor of Recology on both claims.


SF Superior Court

The Focal Point’s Client

Arnold & PorterJohn Hughes
Mike Baker
Carolyn Pearce
Amie Medley