Rains Lucia Stern, PC
For Part I of this article, please see the September 2014 issue of the PORAC Law Enforcement News.
The Federal Civil Rights Actions (Continued)
Second issue: Did former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle “intend to harm” Oscar Grant III on January 1, 2009? The jury found that there was absolutely no evidence presented by the plaintiff to establish that Mehserle had acted “maliciously, sadistically, and with a purpose to harm or punish” Grant when he shot him on January 1, 2009. The evidence that was introduced through a number of witnesses established that Mehserle had repeatedly trained to draw and fire his Sig Sauer P226 DAK model pistol from the Safariland ALS holster thousands of times to develop “muscle memory.” In contrast, just three weeks prior to this incident, Mehserle had been trained at BART to use the X26 Taser. That training had involved an eight-hour course (much of it academic and presented through PowerPoint) and the drawing of the Taser from a holster in a classroom approximately 10 times from several different holster configurations. After that, Mehserle, like other BART officers, was allowed to carry the Taser in several holster configurations that were almost always different, because BART officers were not assigned a Taser but instead had to find whatever Taser and holster configuration was available at the beginning of their shifts.
We called Sergeant Paul Garcia, the BART firearms instructor, to testify about the purpose of repetitive training in the drawing of firearms. Sergeant Garcia demonstrated the way in which an officer draws a firearm from the Safariland ALS holster Mehserle wore on January 1, 2009 (thumb movements downward, forward and directly back), versus the drawing of a Taser from its holster (thumb movements inward, and then forward). Through this testimony, we primed the jury for what the video showed in this case.
While Mehserle was on his knees, he announced his intention to tase Grant, and reached with his right hand for the firearm in his ALS holster. However, Mehserle was unable to get the firearm out of its holster because the video showed him pushing inward with his right thumb, ostensibly to push the inside snap of a Taser holster. After increasing physical force to try to get the gun out of the holster, the gun actually came out from the right side of Mehserle’s leg due to the amount of force he exerted. The video showed him finally getting the gun out of its holster after pulling on it three times, and starting to stand in order to create distance. The BART firearms instructor testified that if Mehserle intended to shoot Grant, there was no reason for him to stand up at the time.
Sergeant Garcia also testified that since the P226 DAK model pistol did not have a safety or de-cocker on the slide of the weapon, there was no reason for Mehserle’s thumb to move in an upward direction on the slide of the weapon just before firing it. Yet, from one of the six different videos taken of the incident, as soon as the weapon was removed from its holster, Mehserle’s right thumb moved forward on the slide of the weapon, identical to the demonstration provided to the jurors of the way an officer activates the selector switch on an X26 Taser.
Sergeant Garcia told the jury that Mehserle had been trained to fire multiple rounds to stop a threat if he intended to use his firearm, and that the firing of a single round from the firearm would be inconsistent with that training. He also testified that an officer who intended to shoot a subject was trained to keep the weapon pointed at the target after the shooting in order to scan and assess whether the suspect had been disabled. Clearly, as the video showed, Mehserle immediately holstered his weapon after the shooting, contrary to his training, and threw his hands up to the sides of his head.
The video evidence clearly showed that Mehserle was using thumb movements consistent with an officer who thought he was drawing and firing a Taser. That evidence, coupled with testimony from a Taser expert about the eight other reported cases of firearms/Taser confusion, was compelling to this jury. As the expert pointed out, one of the eight other cases mirrored identically the same ALS holster in the same location on the equipment belt and a yellow X26 Taser to be drawn in a cross-draw motion using the dominant hand, as involved in this case. In addition, all eight other “mistaken firearms” cases involved two common characteristics with this case: 1. The officer used his or her dominant hand to draw both the firearm and the Taser, irrespective of where the Taser was located on the officer’s equipment belt; 2. The officer, when firing the firearm, fired a single round, and not multiple rounds.
The jury told us after the trial that it was convinced that Mehserle accidentally used his firearm instead of his Taser, based upon the expert testimony, the testimony from the BART firearms instructor, and watching the video evidence. However, they added that there was no other evidence showing that Mehserle had intent to “maliciously or sadistically” harm or punish Grant. Indeed, Mehserle had arrived on the platform only two and a half minutes before he shot Grant, and during that time, he had been calm despite an agitated scene; he had not been heard yelling at anyone, he had not been heard uttering a profanity, and when he had seen Grant, who was sitting against the wall pulling out and talking on his cellphone, he had simply instructed Grant to “put it away.” Interestingly, while Grant had the cellphone out of his pocket and was talking, he actually took a photograph of Mehserle standing in front of him, and the photograph showed Mehserle’s face not even looking in the direction of Grant and without any look of anger at all.
When Mehserle was angrily confronted by Bryson about one and a half minutes before the shooting, Mehserle simply pushed Bryson to the ground, moved in behind him and handcuffed him matter-of-factly, without a display of anger or overreaction. One eyewitness, whom we called to testify, saw Mehserle trying to get Grant’s hand out from under him and said that Mehserle did not appear to be angry but just appeared to be “doing what he needed to do.” The same witness stated that while Mehserle was wrestling with Grant’s hands, she looked at Grant’s face and observed him say, “Don’t tase me, man.” This confirmed the fact that Mehserle had issued such a warning about his intention to use his Taser before he shot Grant seconds later.
The jury in this case not only unanimously found in favor of Mehserle, but also found that Officer Domenici did not unreasonably detain Caldwell. In fact, Caldwell’s claims were bordering on the absurd and were refuted by the video evidence taken by the BART platform camera that morning. Thus, this trial was a resounding victory for Officer Domenici and her attorney, Alison Berry Wilkinson, as well as for Mehserle and me.
The finding of this jury is really not significantly different than the finding reached by the criminal jury in Los Angeles. That jury decided that Mehserle did not have any intention to shoot Grant. There, the jury concluded merely that Mehserle’s actions were negligent and resulted in a death; hence the involuntary manslaughter conviction.
While BART paid for the defense of Mehserle and Domenici in this case, it could have refused to do so by claiming that both officers were “acting outside the course and scope of their employment” in connection with the allegations leveled against them in the two different complaints. We are heartened that BART stood by both officers throughout this ordeal, but we are also very much aware that, had BART not done so, LDF had consistently advised both Alison and me that it would retain us to provide our respective clients with a defense in connection with these specious allegations.
From the beginning of this incredible saga on January 1, 2009, PORAC LDF has stood in the trenches with and for Johannes Mehserle, and the Trustees have continuously expressed their support and extended their hand of friendship to Mehserle, in their approval of coverage for his defense and through other gestures of support.
When we met with the jurors following this civil trial, more than a few tears were shed in the San Francisco federal courthouse as they asked if they could hug my client. As that occurred, there were words of thanks from Mehserle and kind words of encouragement by the jurors. Officer Domenici was also the recipient of hugs and wishes of success in her continuing police career at BART.
Johannes Mehserle is 6’4” and 250 pounds, but he almost flew out of the San Francisco federal courthouse on July 1, 2014, like a feather, no longer having to bear the enormity of the weight of these allegations. He is done testifying about the events of January 1, 2009, at 2:11:03 a.m., even though the memories of that moment will never go away.
About the Author
Mike Rains is a principal and founding member of Rains Lucia Stern. He heads the firm’s criminal defense and legal defense of peace officers practice groups. Mike is one of California’s top trial attorneys, with over 30 years of experience representing peace officers and other high-profile clients in civil and criminal litigations. His practice focuses on criminal trial work in both state and federal courts. Mike also handles civil and labor-related actions, and has served as both defense and plaintiff’s counsel in state and federal court employment cases.
PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.
- Brendan Dolan Milwaukee PA
Everything went very smooth and they handled everything! Thank you.
- 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.
- Eric Olson Escondido POA
You guys did an amazing job! Thank you L.D.F. !
- William DeWitt CPPA
Everything was awesome...could not be happier!
- Noe Cordero San Diego POA
Thank you for your help. I feel very secure as you assisted me.
- 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.
- Rich Stepper Montana PPA
[ My representative ] was very knowledgeable regarding dept & legal rules regarding officer involved shooting. Provided good legal advice & was very supportive.
- Christopher Adams Modesto POA
Thank you for all your help!
- Nicholas Ward Antioch POA
[ Representative ] did a great job. My case was extremely complicated and difficult. She did a great job.
- Russell Wise Alameda POA
- Nicholas Belliveau Sebastopol POA
High quality service, proficient, well informed. Overall, very happy with experience.
- 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.
- Christopher Wells Hollister POA
My rep was great.
- 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.
- Ricky L. Hemphill Los Angeles School PA
[My representative] was an excellent lawyer.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!!
- 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.
- 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
- German Alvarez Anaheim PA
[My representative ] was great!
- 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.
- 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.
- Nestor Hernandez San Diego POA
This is a great program designed to protect LEO’s in need
- Christopher M. Fuzie Modesto POA
I was very impressed with the speed at which the case was handled. Thank you!
- Steven E. Lopez Santa Maria POA
Keep up the Good Work! Your service was extremely helpful to me. Thank you.
- 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.
- 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].
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!!
- Malcolm Norrington LA School PA
I am very pleased with LDF and would use and recommend them again and again and again.
- 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.
- Robin Gonzalez Yolo Co. DSA
[My representative was] very quick to respond, helpful and professional. Thank you!
- 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.
- Gilbert Garcia Oceanside POA
My attorney provided outstanding representation.
- Robyn Delaney Mono County PSOA
[My Representative] truly is an exceptional attorney. He has always represented me with honesty and compassion. Well Done.
- 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.
- Jason Kearsing Elk Grove POA
Very happy with LDF.
- Alvaro Ancheta Glendora POA
I felt I was represented in a thorough and professional manner.
- Brian Schopf Elk Grove POA
Keep up the good work.
- Robert Morales Rialto PBA
I was very pleased with the service I received
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Excellent service everytime.
- 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.
- 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.
- Juan Espinoza Fresno DSA
[My representative] did a great job. He is both thorough and well educated. I would use him again.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rick Stephens Alpine CO DSA
My representative was very good. I highly recommend my lawyer to anyone.
- Clyde Williams San Diego Harbor POA
Thank you for all of the work related to my officer involved shooting case.
- Byron Kies Santa Barbara Co DSA
Everything was great!
- Paul Spencer Santa Paula POA
[My Representative] was great!
- 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.
- 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.
- Nick Bannister Phoenix LEA
I was extremely grateful for professional representation provided by ( my attorney ) during this extremely stressful situation
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Roy Iler San Benito CO LEM
[My representative] always returned phone calls and let me know if he was contacted with information.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Robert Glock Oakland POA
I am always satisfied with LDF and all their representatives.
- Marco Flores Ventura County PPOA
Great program. I was lost until the attorneys explained the situation. I was very impressed and satisfied. Thanks LDF.
- Derwin Longmire Oakland POA
Outstanding [law firm] - incredible firm. And, LDF was easy to work and correspond with.
- Andrea Salas Sonoma County DSA
[My Representative] was great! 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].
- Juan Pascua, Jr. San Diego Co DSA
Very helpful and very informative!
- 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.
- Michael Sexton Manteca POA
[My representative] was awesome.
- Carlos Gonzalez Oakland POA
Very well informed group.
- Steven Moorehouse Redding POA
Thank you for your help.
- 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!
- Doug Plumhoff Ridgecrest PEA
Great job by all! Always great to know LDF is there when needed.
- Michael Shephard Suisun City POA
LDF is a very valuable resource. I would not do this job without it.
- 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!
- Shandon Murphy San Mateo POA
Great work! Thank you so much!
- Phillip Flores Oxnard POA
My attorney was excellent. I would use her again.
- 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.
- Steven Moorehouse Redding POA
You guys are Great! Very professional and well informed. THANK YOU!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jason Boust Sanger POA
My rep was very helpful in explaining the processes and stayed in contact throughout the ordeal.
- James F. Beland Lake County SDA
- 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].
- 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.
- Jeff Stanley Upland POA
Excellent representation. [My representative] is a great attorney.
- Keith Braden Los Angeles School Police Mgmt Assn
Great work, no complaints.
- 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!
- 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].
- Dennis Leach National City POA
[My Representative] is a knowledgeable attorney and I would highly recommend him to anyone needing representation.
- Joseph Barrett LA Airport POA
I was very well represented by a professional. I felt well represented and got great advice.
- 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.
- 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..
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- James Stephenson Petaluma POA
Outstanding service. Thanks.
- 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.”
- Andrew J. Brice Santa Maria POA
As always... an excellent result.
- Korey Lankow Assn Highway Patrol of Arizona
Outstanding service from bottom-to-top.
- Jurell Snyder Oakland POA
My LDF representative had a power point presentation, which was extremely professional.
- 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.
- 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.
- Greg Harman Kensington POA
[My representative] is the best!!
- 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.
- 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.
- Gary Silva East Bay Region Parks POA
Thank you for providing this service. My experience with LDF was very much to my satisfaction.
- 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].
- 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!
- 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!
- 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%
- 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.
- Katherine Comesana Mountain View POA
Hope to never in a situation again, however, glad to know that LDF is there to help.
- 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.
- Erik Kusmerz Lyon Co SEA
Amazing job, Thank you.
- Gina Romines San Joaquin Co Corr POA
I couldn't have been more satisfied with the representative!
- Brad Young Oakland POA
[ My representative ] is an awesome attorney.
- James Hika Border Patrol Supervisors Association
They did a great job!
- Evelyn Hooks Shasta CO PPOA
Thank God for the L.D.F.
- Patrick Davis Oakland POA
Very knowledgeable and thorough and would use the rep again.
- Scott Hamilton San Bernardino Co SEBA
Don't go to work without LDF!
- 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.
- Heather Fontes San Joaquin Co POA
I appreciated the thorough follow up by LDF staff. Many thanks and blessings for the work by LDF.
- 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.
- Kenneth S. Blonski East Bay Regional Parks PMA
I was very pleased with my representative.
- Paul Barrolaza Twin Cities POA
- 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.
- Kevin Hullquist Siskiyou Co. Correctional POA
[My representative] did a good job representing me. Kept me informed.
- 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.
- Patrick Beggs Fresno Co DSA
Good service. Thank you.
- 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!
- William Pryor Statewide University PA
Very helpful program. Helped keep department personnel focused on the issue regardless of their personal issues.
- 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.
- Anthony Gregori Sonoma Co Jr College P O A
Excellent work and well worth it.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Highly recommend this program for any LEO!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Paul Hernandez LA Gen Services POA Inc.
[My Representative] was very helpful in my situation and I can't thank him enough.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Kim Jasper Alhambra POA
Excellent service, prompt and courteous.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Erick Gaunt Palos Verdes POA
- 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.
- 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.
- Jack Ellis Lompoc POA
An excellent plan. Very valuable to its members.
- Tia Dixione Inglewood POA
My representative was very helpful and informative.
- Jeff Stanley Upland POA
Excellent program, no one should be without this coverage.
- Rodney Kirkland Oakland POA
Being a police officer in the city of Oakland, I appreciate the services that are offered.
- Scott Cox Tulare Co DSA
I just want to say [my representative] did a great job! Thank you.
- 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.
- Albert Contreas Imperial Co. DSA
Thank you for your services.
- 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.
- 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.
- Daniel Smock Ventura County PPOA
Everything went smooth. I think the current system works very well.
- Scott Muir Tracy POA
Very satisfied with the service I was given.
- 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.
- Carl Miller Clearlake POA
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Tigran Topadzhikyan Glendale POA
[My representative] is an excellent attorney. I would use him again. He communicates with his clients and is very competent.
- 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.
- Eric White Emeryville POA
Very satisfied with the LDF services provided. Thank you.
- Micheal Chad Heiser Santa Rosa POA
LDF is a valuable resource that no law enforcement officer should be without.
- William Jackson Santa Maria POA
Keep up the great work.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jorge Garcia San Joaquin Co Corr Officers
No criticism to give. Very well.
- Chris Moore Palo Alto POA
No Complaints. Great Resource.
- 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.
- Cathleen Weldon Siskiyou Correctional POA
Very Comforting to have a knowledgeable person looking out for my best inerests. Thx!
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- Ron Ruddy Riverside POA
- 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.
- 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 !!
- 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!
- Steven Mayorga Ventura County DSA
I was well represented and very glad to have LDF. Thank you.
- Scot Hicks Humbolt County DSO
My experience was made much less stressful thanks to the LDF representation.