In a case demonstrating both the scope of services provided by the PORAC Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and the complex nature of civil litigation involving public safety officers, the Fund recently concluded three years of representation to several Yuba County Sheriff’s Department employees who were sued for injuries another officer claimed to have suffered while wrestling in a hotel room. Mastagni, Holstedt, Amick, Miller, Johnsen & Uhrhammer provided the primary representation to the deputies as part of a select team of panel and insurance defense attorneys.
On September 23, 2003, members of Yuba County’s Special Enforcement Detail (SED) team were gathered in a Morgan Hill hotel suite preparing for the annual “Best of the West” competition in Santa Clara County. Chad Ellis, the newest member of the team, was tackled onto a bed by other team members in an act of horseplay. Within a few moments, the impromptu wrestling match stopped when Ellis appeared to have been injured.
A sergeant immediately arranged for Ellis to receive medical care at a local hospital. None of the officers had intended to injure Ellis, and even Ellis attempted at first to downplay his injury.
Once the deputies returned to Yuba County, however, and reported the incident, Ellis decided to file suit in Santa Clara County alleging his fellow team members had injured him as part of a conspiracy to assault him and cause him bodily harm and emotional injury. Ellis sued Yuba County and every member of the team who had been present at the hotel.
LDF first advised the six deputies, sergeants and a lieutenant, who were named as defendants in Ellis’ lawsuit, to tender defense of the claim both to their homeowners’ insurance policies and to Yuba County. Obviously trying to distance Sheriff’s Department management from the incident, Yuba County rejected tender as to all but one of the deputies, claiming the conduct was outside the course and scope of employment, and that there would be a conflict of interest if the county were to provide representation to employees whose conduct violated department rules.
This unfortunate decision prompted the PORAC Legal Defense Fund to step in to provide representation in the civil case as well as in related administrative and criminal cases. The SED team members all were covered by PORAC LDF through the Yuba County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and the Yuba County Management Supervisors’ Association.
The Legal Defense Fund’s plan administrator convened a meeting of the six defendants and counsel at Mastagni, Holstedt, Amick, Miller, Johnsen & Uhrhammer to discuss the various issues in the case, including joint representation, assignment of counsel, and overall litigation strategy. This meeting eventually led to a defense team of LDF panel attorneys, later joined by attorneys representing some of the defendants through homeowners’ insurance policies. Once this “dream team” gathered, the defense was ready for a complex course of litigation in San Jose and Sacramento that would last nearly three years.
An early wrinkle in the case was the decisions of the different homeowners’ insurance companies on providing coverage. Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover negligent conduct by the homeowner away from the home, but are written to exclude coverage for events that are work-related (the “business purpose” exception), or arise from intentional conduct.
In this case, two carriers provided “wall-to-wall” coverage for their insured deputy, including counsel separate from the assigned LDF panel attorney. Another carrier was in receivership and could not provide any coverage. The final homeowners’ insurance carrier provided a defense only under a reservation of rights, and later sued its insured deputies, attempting to recover fees and costs it had not actually incurred.
The denial or reservation of insurance coverage created the obvious problem that some deputies could be left without funds to pay for representation. Without insurance coverage, or having to spend money defending a carrier’s lawsuit to recover attorney fees and costs, a deputy easily could face liens, a sale of his assets, or bankruptcy. Representation by PORAC LDF acted as a “safety net” for those deputies by providing panel attorneys and the costs of defense.
Pre-trial maneuvers in the case began with two change of venue motions we filed, seeking to move the case from Santa Clara County to Yuba or Sutter counties, where most of the defendants and witnesses lived and worked. The Superior Court denied those motions and retained jurisdiction over the case.
After several misguided attempts to obtain confidential peace officer personnel records through standard discovery, Ellis and his attorneys filed a questionable Pitchess motion seeking a laundry list of personnel records and other materials relating to the defendants, the Sheriff’s Department, and several prohibited categories of information. We opposed the motion on those grounds, and the court denied the motion as to everything but the records of disciplinary action against the officers.
These procedural moves were followed by a series of party and witness depositions, as well as written discovery requests. The defense objective throughout this pre-trial phase was to mitigate individual deputies’ liability and force the county to accept primary responsibility for Ellis’ claims. This strategy, if successful, would limit the potential damages awarded against the deputies and possibly provide a basis for a trial jury to absolve the deputies of any civil wrongdoing at all.
Essential to the defense strategy was an effort to show Ellis’ injuries occurred while he and the other deputies were engaged in activities condoned by the Sheriff’s Department. Depositions of the plaintiff, several witnesses, and the named defendants revealed the incident really was nothing more than “horseplay” of a sort engaged in by previous members of the SED team, including deputies on prior teams, who since had been promoted to senior management ranks. Ellis’ injuries were shown to have been unintentional and accidental.
Concurrent with the civil case, panel attorneys Craig Brown, Bill Rapoport, and this author defended three of the deputies against criminal charges filed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Yuba County Sheriff Virginia Black had seen fit to report the incident to the local D.A.’s office, which launched a grand jury investigation, subpoenaed records, and even granted immunity to a deputy in an attempt to obtain felony indictments for the injuries to Ellis. In the end, however, prosecutors settled for misdemeanor false imprisonment charges. The three deputies agreed to pay fines and perform community service rather than proceed to trial and possibly compromise the civil defense.
Steven Welty of Mastagni, Holstedt, Amick, Miller, Johnsen & Uhrhammer, represented most of the deputies in the department’s discipline case, reaching settlements in all but one. That case is pending appeal.
These settlements allowed the deputies to use the Internal Affairs investigation as further evidence the incident, while regrettable, had not resulted in serious discipline.
With the Santa Clara County civil case management system pushing the parties toward a late November 2006 trial date, all agreed to a daylong mediation in San Francisco with a private mediator. Mediation is intended to resolve even complex civil cases where the parties agree a monetary settlement may be more desirable than the uncertain risks of a jury trial. After a marathon mediation involving all parties, representatives of the insurance companies, 10 lawyers, and innumerable coffee cups, crossword puzzles, hallway conferences, and telephone calls, we finally signed settlement documents resolving Ellis v. County of Yuba et al.
The PORAC Legal Defense Fund provided a defense in this case for deputy sheriffs, sergeants and a lieutenant, who otherwise could have been without coverage or forced to reimburse an insurance carrier. The Fund also defended the criminal and administrative cases, allowing me and the other panel attorneys involved to provide a coordinated defense in a complex civil case.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christopher W. Miller is a partner at Mastagni, Holstedt, Amick, Miller, Johnsen & Uhrhammer, who represented several of the Yuba County defendants in the administrative, criminal and civil proceedings in this case. The other panel attorneys involved in the case were Craig Brown, Bill Rapoport, Peter Stubbs and Mark Kruger.
PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.
- Jurell Snyder Oakland POA
My LDF representative had a power point presentation, which was extremely professional.
- Shandon Murphy San Mateo POA
Great work! Thank you so much!
- James Walker Yakima Police Patrolsman Assn
This attorney and her legal team were one of the best I’ve seen and interacted with. I was always in the loop and constantly updated on the case status. I would use (my attorney) again if the need came and recommend her to anyone.
- Michelle Foerder Pinole PEA
I thank God for the support of LDF and my attorney. I had a letter of intent to be fired and he helped me turn it all around. I still have my job and I'm so grateful.
- Jason Walters Claremont POA
LDF was very informative and provided me with the direction on how to handle my case. I was very happy with LDF and their staff.
- Adam Laird Eureka POA
Dear PORAC Legal Defense Fund, This email has been weighing on my heart and should have been sent a long time ago. However, time seems to move fast even though your life has been put on hold. I have been on administrative leave since December of 2012. In April of 2013, I was arrested for the performance of my duties. Since the administrative side this case has not been resolved, I won't be getting into specific details regarding my case. However, I will say that I never thought that my life would turned upside down by doing the job that I love, and doing it in a way that I had been trained. I have been in Law Enforcement for 10 years, and I have been paying my monthly dues all along. I never really understood how important paying dues might be for me, I just thought it was the "cost of business". After being arrested, I understood the real worth of that investment. Because of politics, my case was given the "full court press". On January 3rd of 2014, the case against me was dismissed. It took no less than 5 experts to convince the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office to request dismissal. The time, effort, and money that this case cost couldn't have been endured by me as the sole provider of a family of four. LDF was there, big time. The panel attorney's under LDF were the best in the business. In the uncertain time during the criminal process, I couldn't have imagined how much help they could be. What a relief to know that LDF had my back. I am used to defending those who can't defend themselves. That's my job. When I was defenseless, LDF and the attorneys assigned to my case were my advocates and defenders. I thank you. My criminal attorney said it best at the conclusion of my criminal case: "Adam and his family are thankful that they can now move forward. The evidence showing Sgt. Laird was innocent was overwhelming. The expert EPD hired said that the suspect was rising up when Sgt. Laird pushed him back to the ground. The two experts that the DA’s office hired said that the force was reasonable and appropriate. The defensive tactics instructor who trained Adam said he acted consistent with his training in apprehending a high risk suspect in a dangerous situation. In total, five separate police practices experts reviewed the case and unanimously said Sgt. Laird acted appropriately". "It is hard to imagine what it must be like to risk your life apprehending a known gang member only to be charged with using excessive force when the suspect stated that he did not even feel the contact at issue. It is simply bizarre that Sgt. Laird was ever charged with a crime". Thank you. My family and I will forever be grateful for your service, Sergeant Adam Laird
- Kim Jasper Alhambra POA
Excellent service, prompt and courteous.
- Stephanie Haas Lyon Co SEA
When I first contacted LDF re: my case I was unsure of how well/poor I'd actually be represented. I was impressed beyond belief. From the timely responses from my attorney, his knowledge in my case, advising me what my rights were and where I stood. I felt like I was genuinely being protected from unwarranted and unfounded accusations and believe, as long as I am in the right, I have someone fighting for me. Thank you, Thank you.
- James Hika Border Patrol Supervisors Association
They did a great job!
- Phillip Flores Oxnard POA
My attorney was excellent. I would use her again.
- Keith Stiver Hayward POA
[My representative] brings a superlative reputation, a comforting and confidence building demeanor and a clear expertise to the table. In particular I appreciate her philosophy that she gives her total undivided attention to her clients during their appointments.
- Anthony Russo Clark Co School District
The members of my Association are very pleased with the level of representation that PORAC has given to us. As the President I can not thank you all enough.
- Ken Burbank Shasta Co DSA
[ My representative ] was professional, articulate and prepared, but most importantly he understood the emotional impact the investigation was having on me as a person and peace officer. I highly recommend [my representative].
- Omar Daza-Quiroz Oakland POA
I have had (2) two cases in which LDF represented me. Both lawyers were exceptionally professional, intelligent and caring for me. They were friendly and very helpful.
- Brent Teasley ERS/Reno PSAEA
[ My representative ] was bogged down with multiple cases when he represented me, but I feel he did an excellent job. I would not have wanted anyone else to represent me during a very troublesome time.
- Evelyn Hooks Shasta CO PPOA
Thank God for the L.D.F.
- Greg Harman Kensington POA
[My representative] is the best!!
- Joseph Barrett LA Airport POA
I was very well represented by a professional. I felt well represented and got great advice.
- Kevin Hullquist Siskiyou Co. Correctional POA
[My representative] did a good job representing me. Kept me informed.
- Kim Prout Upland Firefighters Assoc
It was great comfort to know somebody would be there for me in this matter. I was able to finally sleep @ night & wake up with confidence that I would be ok. Thanks.
- Brian Schopf Elk Grove POA
Keep up the good work.
- Jeff Stanley Upland POA
Excellent program, no one should be without this coverage.
- Robert Hartman Contra Costa Co DSA
Quick response, experienced and knowledgeable attorney which assisted in every step. [My representative] kept me apprised through the process. Thank you.
- Michael Kan Palo Alto POA
I have always been and will continue to be a strong supporter of LDF and would not work as a police officer without it. I am extremely happy with the service I have received both from LDF and [my representative].
- Sherri Coral Riverside Community College
He was very professional. I trusted him to defend and he did! I am very thankful he was here for me.
- Tamboura Nettingham Claremont Custody Center EA
My representative was an outstanding rep. I was very fortunate to be represented by her and the firm should be very proud to have her in it. She's courteous, smart and aggressive when needed. I would not ask for anyone else, if any other situation evolved, she's the best. Thanks.
- Brendan Tinney UC Berkeley POA
[My representative] has represented me twice now and both times I have been very pleased with his thoroughness with handling my cases. I appreciate all what LDF and [my representative] have done for me.
- Paul Figueroa Oakland POA
LDF was there when I needed them!! In this litigious world, it's nice to know LDF has GREAT lawyers on our side who look out for us!! [My Representative] is a great attorney and a person I would trust in any circumstance!!!
- Allison Clark Twin Cities POA
[My representative] is the best attorney LDF has. Her attention to details, professionalism, and intelligence were off the charts. If I did not have her as a rep I would probably be out of a job. She is fair and she was honestly concerned about me, my family and my case.
- David Baker Placerville POA
My experience through dealing with this matter was horrific. Without the efforts of the LDF and more specifically [my representative], I would most certainly have fallen victim to a corrupt and unethical administration. The LDF has saved my career and brought me justice.
- William Burdette Newport Beach PMA
26 years and I have never needed a LDF rep, but the one time you need one, it was worth the fee’s paid.”
- Patrick Davis Oakland POA
Very knowledgeable and thorough and would use the rep again.
- German Alvarez Anaheim PA
[My representative ] was great!
- Daniel Smock Ventura County PPOA
Everything went smooth. I think the current system works very well.
- Rachel Tyner Transit EOA of San Diego
All the LDF representatives were very courteous and attentive with a punctual response to all of my concerns, inquiries and appointment scheduling. My representative was very informative about the legalities and kept in contact with me regularly. He was also very patient and straight forward. I would definitely want to use the LDF again and felt more confident through my proceedings because I had representation!
- Jorge Garcia San Joaquin Co Corr Officers
No criticism to give. Very well.
- Robert Glock Oakland POA
I am always satisfied with LDF and all their representatives.
- Kenneth S. Blonski East Bay Regional Parks PMA
I was very pleased with my representative.
- John Dougherty National City POA
My LDF Representative was [Representative]. He did an outanding job with my case and I am overjoyed with the results.
- Dennis W. Ostini Lake County DSA
[My Representative] was fantastic, knowledgeable, professional and easy to talk and work with. Even though the allegations lodged have not been resolved, [My Representative] continued to communicate with me, to offer his assistance.
- Brian Markert Lakewood Police Indp Guild
I feel that I was very well represented by the LDF regarding a fatal officer involved shooting. Both attorneys assigned to assist me - our guild attorney plus a criminal defense attorney - were very aggressive and helpful. Their work was instrumental in helping me to navigate the criminal and internal investigations so that I could return to full duty status.
- Micheal Chad Heiser Santa Rosa POA
LDF is a valuable resource that no law enforcement officer should be without.
- Malcolm Norrington LA School PA
I am very pleased with LDF and would use and recommend them again and again and again.
- Steven Curtiss Shasta Co DSA
This was my first need for LDF support and I was very happy with the level of service. Thank you.
- Eric White Emeryville POA
Very satisfied with the LDF services provided. Thank you.
- Byron Kies Santa Barbara Co DSA
Everything was great!
- Albert Contreas Imperial Co. DSA
Thank you for your services.
- Russell Wise Alameda POA
- David Heller Yolo County DSA
The charges against me, if sustained, would have likely ended my LE career. I was rightfully exonerated on all charges. I was well represented by [My Representative] and thank him for a job well done!!
- Anthony Gregori Sonoma Co Jr College P O A
Excellent work and well worth it.
- Keith Braden Los Angeles School Police Mgmt Assn
Great work, no complaints.
- Shaun Luciano LA School PA
LDF assisted by taking a stressful situation and calmed it down by thoroughly explaining the entire process. It was nice to know that I had an ally when I was sure that I was alone.
- Anthony Alonzo South Gate POA
Very pleased with the way the process was explained to me. Received updated info faster than I expected. Overall a good experience in a not so good situation. Thanks to LDF.
- Erik Kusmerz Lyon Co SEA
Amazing job, Thank you.
- Robert Morales Rialto PBA
I was very pleased with the service I received
- Carlos Gonzalez Oakland POA
Very well informed group.
- Tyler Robins Pasadena City College POA
At a time when no one cares about you it's nice to have someone on your side who does. (My attorney ) made a stressful six months a lot more tolerable.
- Christopher Adams Modesto POA
Thank you for all your help!
- Cathleen Weldon Siskiyou Correctional POA
Very Comforting to have a knowledgeable person looking out for my best inerests. Thx!
- Chris Lyon Tulare Co DSA
Very thorough group of sharp/smart government concerned [attorneys]. They understood what was happening and briefed me on everything. I was very impressed.
- Gary Silva East Bay Region Parks POA
Thank you for providing this service. My experience with LDF was very much to my satisfaction.
- Jack Ellis Lompoc POA
An excellent plan. Very valuable to its members.
- Steven Moorehouse Redding POA
Thank you for your help.
- Patrick Beggs Fresno Co DSA
Good service. Thank you.
- Christopher Delaney Upland POA
Your rep was very personal. Even though my case involved something minor, your rep made me [feel] my case was his most important. I am very satisfied with my LDF team.
- Douglas Mansker Bakersfield POA
(My attorney) is a very good attorney, despite his young age. He kept me well informed throughout my legal matter and returned phone calls in a prompt manner. I was very satisfied with his performance and would not hesitate to be represented by him again.
- Michael Shephard Suisun City POA
LDF is a very valuable resource. I would not do this job without it.
- Katherine Comesana Mountain View POA
Hope to never in a situation again, however, glad to know that LDF is there to help.
- Rich Stepper Montana PPA
[ My representative ] was very knowledgeable regarding dept & legal rules regarding officer involved shooting. Provided good legal advice & was very supportive.
- Dan Lovelace Chandler LEA
Thank you for the funding and support. I would be in jail right now if it were not for LDF. I would not have had the funding to pay for the case. It was a tremendous help having [my representative] and his support team and the many experts supplied by LDF. I speak for myself, my family and other members of my association.
- Robin Gonzalez Yolo Co. DSA
[My representative was] very quick to respond, helpful and professional. Thank you!
- Stacey Bonilla San Mateo County DSA
[My Represenative] is an excellent attorney. He is very professional yet personable and I would definitely use him again. Thank you!
- Dwayne Sue Oakland POA
[My representative was] great! She kept me informed and was very professional. She would be my choice if I should need her services in the future! (But I hope I won't) Thanks!
- Nicholas Ward Antioch POA
[ Representative ] did a great job. My case was extremely complicated and difficult. She did a great job.
- Richard Salcido Brea PA
LDF is a great organization that not only helps their clients but many of those around them such as coworkers and family members.
- Derwin Longmire Oakland POA
Outstanding [law firm] - incredible firm. And, LDF was easy to work and correspond with.
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Excellent service everytime.
- Jay Garacochea Culver City POA
[My representative] not only did he do a great job but he listened to my concerns. He did not force his views or game plan and we worked well w/ each other. We agreed on a goal and achieved it.
- Paul Hernandez LA Gen Services POA Inc.
[My Representative] was very helpful in my situation and I can't thank him enough.
- Roy Iler San Benito CO LEM
[My representative] always returned phone calls and let me know if he was contacted with information.
- Robyn Delaney Mono County PSOA
[My Representative] truly is an exceptional attorney. He has always represented me with honesty and compassion. Well Done.
- Miguel Suarez Monterey Co DSA
[My representative] was very knowledgeable and courteous. He knew his stuff, and I couldn't have asked for a better guy to be on my side on this matter. Thanks.
- Nestor Hernandez San Diego POA
This is a great program designed to protect LEO’s in need
- Oliver Sansen Concord POA
In 14 years I have never had to deal with an "IA." [My representative] was wonderful & put my mind at ease throughout the entire process. Thank you!
- Kristen Patterson Contra Costa Co Prob. Assn.
[My representative] was helpful and made me feel supported. I got the results I desired. Very pleased with the process.
- Erick Gaunt Palos Verdes POA
- Christopher M. Fuzie Modesto POA
I was very impressed with the speed at which the case was handled. Thank you!
- Matthew Gardner Colorado PPA
I would not want to be an officer without this coverage. It was great to have it and kept my mind at ease.
- Kerry Carlson Midpeninsula Ranger POA
I have held leadership positions in our POA most of my career. Because of my role as President and Vice President I have been a target to management. I feel that if it were not for LDF I wouldn't have a job
- Cherie Rye Lyon Co SEA
I am very happy with the service I received from LDF. I am grateful that our association includes LDF as part of our dues.
- Michael Sexton Manteca POA
[My representative] was awesome.
- Chris Moore Palo Alto POA
No Complaints. Great Resource.
- Tia Dixione Inglewood POA
My representative was very helpful and informative.
- Heather Fontes San Joaquin Co POA
I appreciated the thorough follow up by LDF staff. Many thanks and blessings for the work by LDF.
- Scott Muir Tracy POA
Very satisfied with the service I was given.
- Joe Charvez Santa Clara Co DSA
I could not be happier with the interest, work put into my case, and assistance from [my representative]. Thanks !!
- Katie Angermiller Tuolumne Co DSA
I was very satisfied with the work the LDF performed. The lawyers and clerical staff at [law firm] were all very kind, professional and they always assisted me when I called and never made me feel like I was a burden. Thank you LDF!
- Tigran Topadzhikyan Glendale POA
[My representative] is an excellent attorney. I would use him again. He communicates with his clients and is very competent.
- Steven Mayorga Ventura County DSA
I was well represented and very glad to have LDF. Thank you.
- Melvarene Hayes LA Airport POA
They were there when I needed them and my whole case was handled on the phone. I met my representative after my case closed and he was at our union meeting when I had the pleasure to meet him and thank him in person.
- Aaron Delgado Monterey POA
My representative called me back promptly and kept me informed. I had the impression she cared and was there to help.
- Gilbert Garcia Oceanside POA
My attorney provided outstanding representation.
- Miguel Masso Oakland POA
[I'm very satisfied and grateful] for LDF representing me. My attorney was professional, honest, and very knowledgeable of his profession. During these tough times my attorney would contact me on a regular basis to see how I was doing. This was obviously not part of his job description, but it kept me at ease and not losing my mind. I'm thankful that I was represented by LDF.
- Jaime Kim Oakland POA
My rep did a good job. First we met and he explained that there might be culpability on my part but not nothing close to the allegations. I appreciated his honesty as we have all done things that can be taken out of context so it was important he told me to realize that.
- Doug Plumhoff Ridgecrest PEA
Great job by all! Always great to know LDF is there when needed.
- Christopher Connally Assn of LEA
To whom it may concern: Let me start by saying how much I appreciate the opportunity to join the PORAC Legal Defense Fund. This is a great benefit for our membership. During the past twelve months I was fortunate to have access to the Legal Defense Fund through MPCA. Earlier this year I was both surprise, and disappointed, when realized that I needed to provide counsel to mediate pending litigation. In accessing the Legal Defense Fund I found your staff to be very professional and reassuring. The staff felt that [my representative]., would be the best ft for the situation. I would like to take the opportunity to express my appreciation for being represented by [Rick Barry]. Not only was he a good fit for the circumstances, at times it seemed as if he was the only attorney out of several involved that really had a grasp on the issues. Again, I would like to thank the PORAC staff, and know that I could not have been better served than by what was provided by [my representative].
- Christine Farmer Tehama Co DSA
Mine was a fairly simple situation and I may not have needed representative. I am glad I called for help, it gave me peace of mind and reassurance.
- RIchard Okeson Hesperia USD POA
I can't express how satisfying and comforting it was to have such a well qualified and pleasant attorney at my side. Thank you so much for everything you did for me, and if you can, please thank [ my representative] again for being there for me.
- Clyde Williams San Diego Harbor POA
Thank you for all of the work related to my officer involved shooting case.
- Brendan Dolan Milwaukee PA
Everything went very smooth and they handled everything! Thank you.
- Steven Moorehouse Redding POA
You guys are Great! Very professional and well informed. THANK YOU!
- Tai Pena-Hornung Oakland POA
Those who foolishly feel LDF is not a valuable resource, do so only because they have not yet needed legal representation.
- Gina Romines San Joaquin Co Corr POA
I couldn't have been more satisfied with the representative!
- Scot Hicks Humbolt County DSO
My experience was made much less stressful thanks to the LDF representation.
- Craig Caches Fremont POA
I have only used LDF once for myself, which with the circumstance was great. I work with LDF in my assignment ( OIS investigator ) and after approximately 4-5 OIS's, I have great experiences with LDF.
- Korey Lankow Assn Highway Patrol of Arizona
Outstanding service from bottom-to-top.
- Gilbert Salazar Montebello POA
Can’t say enough. Both representatives that I had in 2016 were excellent. ( My attorney ) made himself available to me in late night hours, which made me feel comfortable and at ease. This program is essential to us in law enforcement.
- Linda Mendez Imperial Co Prob and Corr
I'm very pleased with the services offered by the LDF. I feel so fortunate to enjoy the benefits of having the membership. The services provided by LDF to its members is simply 110% professional, supportive, great!! LDF care for its members is reflected by the quality of Best Law Firm offered, simply the best!
- Juan Pascua, Jr. San Diego Co DSA
Very helpful and very informative!
- Christopher Wirth A F G E Border Patrol
LDF referred me to [ representative ] in Spokane, WA. [ Representative ] did an outstanding job representing me. Thank you very much for the referral ! I would not be employed any longer had it not been for [ representative ] and his legal team.”
- Scott Hamilton San Bernardino Co SEBA
Don't go to work without LDF!
- Robert Mickschl SAN DIEGO HARBOR P O A
From my initial call to LDF, to my "Thank You" email to (my attorney ) I had the best representation I could have hoped for. The "800" number call receptionists were very professional & understanding. (My Attorney's) office & staff kept me informed & updated. I am forever thankful to LDF & exceptional representation by ( my attorney ) & staff.
- Kelly K. Roe San Joaquin Co Corr Officers
[My representative] did a fantastic job at returning my phone calls and keeping me informed of any and all information pertaining to my case. I would recommend him to anyone.
- Jeff Stanley Upland POA
Excellent representation. [My representative] is a great attorney.
- Nicholas Belliveau Sebastopol POA
High quality service, proficient, well informed. Overall, very happy with experience.
- Scott King Ripon POA
[My representative] is the best LDF rep I have ever had. If I were to need an LDF rep again I would want it to be [my representative].
- George Fierro El Monte POA
I am a firm believer that LDF serves an essential part in the assistance to protect an officer's POBR & in the integrity of an investigation or complaint. I highly recommend the law office of [My Represenative].
- Rick Stephens Alpine CO DSA
My representative was very good. I highly recommend my lawyer to anyone.
- Greg Gladson LA Airport POA
[My representative] was very professional and helpful. She kept me informed with my options and the direction of the investigation.
- Patricia Goss San Anselmo POA
[My Representative] is fabulous! Thanks for all the exra work she did for me!
- Gerhard Wallace Santa Clara Co DSA
I think that [my representative] did a great job in presenting my case. I would recommend her to any deputy (officer) facing disciplinary action. My case was minor compared to other cases but [she] still did a professional job.
- William Pryor Statewide University PA
Very helpful program. Helped keep department personnel focused on the issue regardless of their personal issues.
- Alex Camarillo LASchool P A
[My Representative] did an excellent job with my case. He was very professional and kept me well informed throughout this case. Thank you for an awesome job.
- Ernest Marugg San Diego Deputy DA Association
The LDF responded immediately upon my request for counsel. LDF provided the best representative I could receive! When I called LDF for advice, I was given advice again immediately. Thank you LDF for your concern.
- Gregory Carbett Ontario POA
The attorney assigned to my case was GREAT! It's sad, but it's impossible to be an officer in today's world without a defense fund like PORAC LDF. I am now retired and signed up for the retired officers CCW LDF. Thanks!
- Thomas E. Lorente III Bart POA
[My representative] did an excellent job! I would highly recommend him to any officer in need of LDF services.
- Alvaro Ancheta Glendora POA
I felt I was represented in a thorough and professional manner.
- Nancy Page Aurora PA
I didn't end up needing his service but he was awesome in what conversations we had before the matter was resolved. Very valuable - LDF!
- Juan Espinoza Fresno DSA
[My representative] did a great job. He is both thorough and well educated. I would use him again.
- John Tinder Chino POA
Having an LDF attorney who is experienced, knowledgeable and professional is an outstanding quality. [My representative ]exhibit all of these qualities and more. They are outstanding and I would not entrust my career to anyone else!
- Todd Costa Santa Clara Co DSA
This was my first Internal Affairs investigation, my lawyer walked me through every step and answered all of my questions, without my lawyer's advice, I would have been lost throughout the investigation and a complete disadvantage against my department.
- Yvonne Heuston ERS/SPPOA Supervisors
My representative was outstanding and knew what to lookout for and how to handle situations as they appeared. He told me what to expect and how he proposed to handle the hurdles. Just telling what to expect helped put me at ease as the situation was so foreign to me, and intimidating.
- Dan McDow San Luis Obispo POA
[My representative] is the poster face representative of the greatest attorney (representative) that anyone could possibly ask for. She gets a 12 out of 10 star rating. Nobody works harder.
- Toinie Lee Jackson Madera Co DSA
Unfortunately, I have been placed in the position to use LDF several times in my career. Without their valued services, I would not be here to write this. I and my family thank you.
- Martha Tschetter Carson City Sheriffs PA
The LDF process was painless and I was able to get immediate representation in an urgent time of need. Thank you LDF
- Ricky L. Hemphill Los Angeles School PA
[My representative] was an excellent lawyer.
- Gary J. Foppiano Oakland POA
[My representative] has been in my corner for 28 years. I have been represented by this firm probably 6 times in my career from minor to major discipline cases with a great outcome for me. They're batting 100%
- Scott Cox Tulare Co DSA
I just want to say [my representative] did a great job! Thank you.
- Rodney Kirkland Oakland POA
Being a police officer in the city of Oakland, I appreciate the services that are offered.
- Robert Muelberg Denver PPA
I could not have had a better attorney. [My representative ] went way above and beyond his duties. I would not have had a better experience with my representative. I believe that the LDF is the single most important benefit a police officer could have!
- Diana Drummey Coronado POA
I so appreciated my LDF rep - his kindness and understanding re my case during an embarrassing and uncomfortable time - he was so caring.
- Raymond Fisher Colorado State Patrol Assn
I have known for sometime that PORAC would provide the services I needed at the time I needed them. This is a professional competent organization prepared to handle the appropriate legal matters our officers face in today's environment.
- Roman Fernandez Inglewood POA
My representatives were always well-prepared and organized for hearings and meetings. Their efforts, hard work and full support is truly appreciated.
- William Jackson Santa Maria POA
Keep up the great work.
- Anthony Zack Vernon POA
This was the first time in my twenty-five year career that I had to use the services of my legal defense fund. My LDF Representative was extremely courteous, informative and professional.. She addressed all of my concerns and answered all of my questions. She did an overall outstanding job of representing me and handling my case. I could not have been any more pleased or satisfied with the job she did! I would definitely request her to represent me in the future if I needed representation.
- Larry Fitch Shasta Co DSA
My LDF rep was great, always returned my calls quickly and kept me up to date with what was going on with the case. Thank you.
- Emery Eccle Culver City POA
LDF is THE most important asset / resource that police officers have. "Thank you" to all involved and keep up the good work!
- Ronald J. Danison El Monte POA
The LDF is a tool available to me which I hope never goes away. It makes me feel that much more confident to do my job knowing LDF has my back when police work gets ugly. And it usually does..
- Noe Cordero San Diego POA
Thank you for your help. I feel very secure as you assisted me.
- Carl Miller Clearlake POA
- Gina Reyes Broadmoor POA
[My representative] was wonderful! Even though my situation didn't end in my favor, he was very supportive, informative & patient. He always answered every email in a timely fashion and was very accessible. I appreciated everything he was able to do for me.
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Highly recommend this program for any LEO!
- Christopher Walters Antioch POA
My LDF rep was very attentive, and courteous. She made every effort to keep me informed, and kept my best interests at the front of the process. I was very satisfied with my LDF rep, and the entire process.
- Marco Flores Ventura County PPOA
Great program. I was lost until the attorneys explained the situation. I was very impressed and satisfied. Thanks LDF.
- Caitlin Collins Tiburon POA
[My representative] made himself available 7 days a week understanding that those were my needs. He was very well informed and kept me on the right track and in the right frame of mind.
- Jon Seabron Oceanside POA
[My Representative] was the best and if I ever need to call al lawyer again for anything, I'll be calling her.
- Brad Young Oakland POA
[ My representative ] is an awesome attorney.
- Steven E. Lopez Santa Maria POA
Keep up the Good Work! Your service was extremely helpful to me. Thank you.
- Jeff Griffin Downey POA
My experience with the LDF, and in particular my attorney, was extremely positive. [ My attorney ] worked very hard and kept me informed along the way.
- Paul Barrolaza Twin Cities POA
- Stephen Woodward Palm Springs POA
Great job by my LDF lawyer. I have had to use them several times over my 20 year career and their service is invaluable.
- Jason Kearsing Elk Grove POA
Very happy with LDF.
- Christopher Wells Hollister POA
My rep was great.
- Kenneth Nelson Plumas Co SA
Good job. Thank you! [My representative] does an outstanding job representing the employees and seems to be very intimidating to the [County Management]. We like it this way!
- Eric Olson Escondido POA
You guys did an amazing job! Thank you L.D.F. !
- James Stephenson Petaluma POA
Outstanding service. Thanks.
- Andrew Hill Statewide University PA
I have used this law firm for union related business for the last several years. It was a no brainer to call them for LDF.
- Kip RIngen Lake Co DSA
My LDF rep kept me well informed concerning the progress of my case. I was extremely satisfied with the service I received. Thanks.
- Marshall Henderson Vancouver Police Officers Guild
I have used LDF in 3 OIS's. Each time I have been very well taken care of. I highly recommend [ representative ] and the PORAC system. Well done and thank you.
- Paul Spencer Santa Paula POA
[My Representative] was great!
- Ron Ruddy Riverside POA
- Gregg Palmer San Joaquin Co Corr POA
Everything was explained very well prior to my questioning. I was not worried at all during the investigation. Very professional and a great asset to its members.
- Rachael Van Sloten Oakland POA
LDF is absolutely essential to help make a system that is somewhat broken work more effectively. [My Representative] is excellent and takes a great deal of time to lisen and represent.
- Chad Sakamoto National City POA
Although this incident was unfounded, it's still stressful. My LDF rep kept me informed and kept "work" at work.
- Wendy Morrow Chico Public Safety Association
I had never been through an I.A. in my 21 years. I was scared and ashamed and humiliated. ( My attorney ) was excellent. He helped me through one of the worst times of my life. Had great outcome and I am grateful.
- William DeWitt CPPA
Everything was awesome...could not be happier!
- Dennis Leach National City POA
[My Representative] is a knowledgeable attorney and I would highly recommend him to anyone needing representation.
- Christopher Boyd Carlsbad POA
[My representative] was an outstanding attorney to work with. Even though I did not receive a desirable outcome entirely, I was exceptionally satisfied with his representation. Thank you.
- Andrew J. Brice Santa Maria POA
As always... an excellent result.
- Rodd N. Joseph Clearlake MMA
I appreciate the fact that my representative met with me in a social setting prior to the interview, during which time she learned the facts of the case. She was prepared for the interview. She seemed to have a genuine interest in my case.
- Grace Castro AFGE Local 2455 – Laredo, TX
My representative was very kind and showed he cared when explaining what my legal rights were when dealing with an internal investigation.
- Jonathan Smith San Diego D.A. Investigators
I couldn't be happier or more satisfied with my LDF Representative, the process and the outcome of my case.
- Brad Young Oakland POA
[My representative] is an excellent attorney and I am very happy he picks up the phone and answers my questions whenever possible.
- Robert Curato Anderson POA
He did a great job for me!!! He always returned my phone calls within 24-hours. He showed an interest in my case and we were able to get the issue resolved in less than 45 minutes. Thank you for being there when I needed the legal assistance.
- Melissa Geraci Oakland POA
This is my 1st time using LDF and was very pleased with the service I got. [My representative] was so friendly & always returned my calls & even called to update me without provocation.
- Andrea Salas Sonoma County DSA
[My Representative] was great! Thank you.
- John M. Laser Oceanside POA
[My representative] always took my calls or returned them within hours. Put my mind at ease and kept me well informed. LDF is well served by this law firm!
- Joseph A. Henderson Merced POA
The firm I used was very valuable to my career and kept me updated as to status of the case. Thank you!
- Nick Bannister Phoenix LEA
I was extremely grateful for professional representation provided by ( my attorney ) during this extremely stressful situation
- Billy Aldridge Chico POA
[My representative] was awesome! He provided an excellent explanation of the process and was very professional. This was my first IA in 11 years of LE and [my representative] did a great job of reassuring me that I had nothing to worry about. Thank you so much for all your help.
- Alfredo Hernandez El Centro POA
[My representative] was very attentive, [informative] and knowledgeable. He spoke very clearly and explained things in ways easy to understand. [He] made me feel like he truly cared about what was going on with this case and me. Not to mention [he] was funny and witty, traits which made him trustworthy and someone who would stand by me and other police officers.
- Jason Boust Sanger POA
My rep was very helpful in explaining the processes and stayed in contact throughout the ordeal.
- Sean Tinney Berkeley PA
[My representative] was very attentive to my case and thorough with his investigation. I would request [him] again in the future.
- James F. Beland Lake County SDA