The Consumer Attorneys of San Diego presented Alex Scheingross its coveted Outstanding Advocate Award for work performed in the case of Renko v. State Farm. In the Renko case, Mr. Scheingross represented two young men whose mother had been murdered by her boyfriend. The boyfriend then committed suicide. Eighteen months before her death mother had taken out a life insurance policy naming her boyfriend as beneficiary and her boyfriend’s mother (Renko) as the alternate beneficiary. After the murder – suicide, Mr. Scheingross was able to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the designation of Renko as the alternate beneficiary was as a result of duress and coercion. Mr. Scheingross was remarkably able to do this despite there being no documentation (no police reports or medical records) of any abusive behavior by the coercive boyfriend. He skillfully used the few witnesses available to tell the story of a controlling alcoholic who for years had brow beat his girlfriend into complete submission.
Before coming to see Mr. Scheingross, the two young men had been turned down by several attorneys who called their case hopeless. They had no money to pay him or the costs associated with bringing a case to court. Even colleagues advised him to drop the case. He moved forward based on his unshakable belief that a great injustice had been done and his faith in his clients and their story.
CASD is an approximately 800 member strong chapter of the American Association for Justice, formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association. It represents many of the finest lawyers in San Diego County. There are only 7-10 such awards given out annually by CASD. The ceremony took place at the downtown San Diego Hyatt Regency in front of over 200 guests and members.