In January 2001, two dogs killed Diane Whipple of San Francisco as she tried to enter her apartment. In the year that followed, shocking details emerged about the case, and criminal charges ranging all the way to murder were filed against the owners of the dogs, Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel.
The guilty verdicts that were rendered in March 2002 did not finish the case. They rather were the start of its appellate phase, focusing upon the circumstances under which a dog owner should be found guilty of murder when her dog kills a person. In May 2007, the California Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction. In September 2008, the trial court handed down the most severe sentence, 15 years to life in prison. But the appeals continue. (To read about the latest developments, click here.)
Attorney Kenneth Phillips, the author of Dog Bite Law, appeared regularly on CNN, CourtTV, and network television, giving extensive commentaries on the criminal prosecution as it took place. This section of Dog Bite Law was referred to as "the bible of the trial" and is the most comprehensive source of information about it, containing summaries of trial testimony, names of witnesses, legal analysis of the charges, clarification of the appellate case, and much more.
- Overview of the crime
- Summaries of testimony
- The law
- The legal proceedings
- The essence of the prosecutor's case
- The essence of the defense
- Why the jury voted guilty
- Knoller's motion for a new trial
- The trial judge defended his decision
- Sharon Smith's wrongful death claim
- Edyth Pamela Whipple-Kelly's wrongful death claim
- California grants new rights to domestic partners
- Can the conviction of Knoller be reversed on appeal?
- Finding meaning in Diane Whipple's death
- Further information