Perez v. City of Roseville | When Police Officers Date Fellow Officers

Generally, dating someone you work with is not a good idea.  If things don’t work out, it makes the work atmosphere awkward.  When a relationship occurs between employees of different ranks, it can create problematic dynamics leading to harassment or hostile work environment claims (with claims brought by one of the involved employees or by…

As the year ends, we reflect and give thanks for the last year. Our relationship with you is one thing we treasure. Thank you for the opportunity to defend those who protect and serve the public. We wish you Happy Holidays and much success in the New Year.  

When Expert Witnesses Have Their Own Colorful Past

At trial, an expert witness is called to testify about issues “beyond the ken” of the jury, using his or her experience and background to explain things a typical juror wouldn’t understand.  Experts may be called in almost any field, from police or custody practices to human resources to gangs, economics, medicine, or psychology, to…

Can Qualified Immunity Be Decided By A Jury?

As the Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized, qualified immunity is an issue that should be decided at the earliest opportunity.  Typically this means the issue is raised at the motion to dismiss stage if it can be argued based on the allegations in the complaint, and/or at the summary judgment stage when evidence can be…

Using the Workers’ Compensation Exclusive Remedy to Preclude Litigation

When an injury arises “out of and in the course of employment,” whether by an employer or a co-worker, typically the injured person has to pursue any remedies exclusively through the workers’ compensation system.  (Labor Code § 3602.)  This also applies to prisoners who are working for pay, even if it is a job that…

USERRA Rights and Obligations: Traps for the Unwary Employer

By Susan E. Coleman and Brian I. Hamblet Many law enforcement agencies employ former and/or reserve military service members in their organizations.  The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides rights and protections for veterans and active members of the armed forces.  While Human Resource managers may be familiar with USERRA, other supervisors…

Pay to Stay Jails: A Good Idea?

One controversial but innovative solution to alleviate overcrowding and to refill the public coffers is “pay to stay” custody facilities.

Restricting Marijuana Investment by Law Enforcement Personnel

By Susan E. Coleman In 1996, California decriminalized the medical use of marijuana via Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act.  In 2016, California decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana via Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).  But the use, manufacture, possession, and distribution of marijuana, as well as…