On March 17, 2017, a state court jury returned a $2 million verdict against the City and County of San Francisco for firing a former city trial attorney, Joanne Hoeper, in violation of the California Whistleblower Act and False Claims Act.  See Jury VerdictHoeper v. Herrera, No. CGC-15-543553 (Sup. Ct. Cal. Mar. 17, 2017).  Hoeper conducted a probe into an alleged $10 million scheme to file fraudulent claims for damage to private sewer lines by trees owned by the City of San Francisco, and alleged that she was fired after presenting the results of that probe to the City Attorney.  The City claimed that Hoeper’s supposed “whistleblowing” activities were a wild goose chase that did not result in any evidence of wrongdoing, and that Hoeper was fired for overall lackluster job performance. The verdict consisted of approximately $700,000 in lost earnings and $1.3 million in emotional distress.