Verdict reached in trial where media was kicked out

Both sides are claiming victory in a Los Angeles civil trial that was noteworthy because the judge said reporters could not cover the proceedings because of sensitive income tax information of one of the parties. In the verdict, in today's Daily Journal, tax attorney Alan D. Liker was awarded $4.87 million for services he provided Dawn Arnall, the widow of Ameriquest Mortgage Co. founder and ex-U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Roland Arnall.

The trial drew attention because of Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos' decision to seal the testimony at the agreement of the parties.

In a statement last month, Carolyn B. Kuhl, supervising judge of Los Angeles County's civil courts, said the testimony was sealed in order to "protect the privacy of personal income tax information."

Only opening statements and closing arguments were open to the public, which several law experts said is rare in state court.

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