MICHAEL D. SCHWARTZ, ESQ.
Rains Lucia Stern, PC
Digital audio recorders (DARs), dash cams, body-worn cameras and city cameras are currently, or in the near future will be, standard equipment for every peace officer in every jurisdiction. Conversely, cellphones with digital video cameras, digital handheld camcorders, and all forms of digital cameras were for a short time the tools of small and large businesses promoting their products, or the toys of everyday people used to save precious moments with family and friends for posterity or nostalgia. While George Orwell may have coined the phrase “Big Brother” as a less-than-complimentary description of an overbearing government, with the advancement, miniaturization and mass manufacturing of recording technologies, “Big Brother” now has thousands, if not millions, of volatile and increasingly dangerous siblings in the form of a small but vocal group of people with an anti-law-enforcement agenda. With the advent of social media, those “tools and toys,” the video/cameraphones, camcorders and the like, have become weapons in the hands of an anti-law-enforcement, angry, electronic mob.
The recent acquittal of Corporal Jay Cicinelli and Officer Manny Ramos in Fullerton was great, euphoric. But the recent public trend that drove the criminal filing and the case for two and a half years from the original incident through the verdict cannot be ignored. Video and audio evidence has become increasingly more public and is, therefore, playing a more significant role than ever before, not just in law enforcement, but also in the public perception of law enforcement. In this new era, it is imperative that peace officers understand the significance of this technology, not only as pieces of evidence in the cases they investigate or the trials they later testify in, but as an increasingly available media with the potential to influence the general public, prosecutors, police administrators and their officers. This article will serve as an introduction to some of the issues created by this technology and the effect it has had on cops, both on the street and in the courtroom.
I have had more than a few cases over the years where video and audio evidence were key pieces to the evidentiary puzzle. While I had a background in broadcast television before going to law school, and consequently an intuition about how video and audio evidence fits into the overall picture of a case, I am not a forensic expert. I have, therefore, routinely sought out the services of David Notowitz, a forensic audio and visual expert and founder of the National Center for Audio and Visual Forensics (NCAVF). Using his knowledge and experience in the field, Mr. Notowitz has developed a list of key considerations to take into account when evaluating audio and video evidence in a case. With his permission, I have borrowed and tweaked (to serve the purpose of this article) several of those considerations, from an outline he distributes at lectures; I have also taken the liberty of adding some of my own.
Cameras Can Be Everywhere — and Usually Are
As the Fullerton/Kelly Thomas case demonstrated, security cameras are becoming more and more prevalent. In that case, the camera that captured the altercation between Kelly Thomas (suspect) and the officers was a City of Fullerton camera placed at the bus depot (there are others at other locations in the city as well) to help the City and Police Department better monitor what was known to be either a dangerous or problematic location. Yet the video and audio “evidence” from that case that actually drove the media, bloggers and ultimately a criminal filing was, ironically, not from the City or the Department, but rather from raw, poor-quality cellphone videos. Most of the actions of the officers, and none of the actions of Kelly Thomas, were captured in those cellphone videos. The snippets of visual and audio that did make it to YouTube and beyond created hysteria and a firestorm that still simmers, albeit only in sparse embers even after a quick, decisive acquittal. The public really has no concept, background, education or experience in the techniques used by law enforcement to effect arrests or to subdue dangerous persons. Sadly, the most vocal critics of law enforcement still expect their streets, possessions and persons to be safe, but they want no part in knowing how that is accomplished. More and more frequently, the efforts of law enforcement to secure the public’s streets, possessions and persons is captured — or, more accurately, partially captured — electronically and almost instantaneously shared with an unlimited audience. The visual of law enforcement using violent or deadly force to subdue a threat to the public, no matter how justified or necessary, simply does not look appealing. No decent human being wants to see another person caused harm. Unfortunately, rather than applaud those who risk their own safety and lives, the knee-jerk reaction of the general public to recorded and highly publicized uses of force by police seems to be understandable shock, followed by uneducated criticism. Years ago, lynchings were done in the back of the jail, the courthouse or even at times in the town square; now they are carried out electronically on Twitter, YouTube, radio talk shows, newspapers and blogs.
If the above is distressing, it should be. Yet officers need to be aware that they are, in fact, being watched by a media and public ignorant of the role of law enforcement in our society and the challenges officers face daily in carrying out their duties. So, what can we do, you might ask?
Again, be aware: The officers in the Fullerton/Kelly Thomas case committed no crime. But some of the most damaging pieces of evidence were things they said while the altercation was going on and/or after the event, while venting in disbelief to their fellow officers. Also, departments or associations may want to consider more detailed press releases at the inception of the event to potentially lessen the degree of negative publicity caused by viewer ignorance and the dissection of the incident by novices or amateurs. The information void caused by the silence of the department or association is usually filled with such things. A few well-placed facts or pieces of information can dilute the oftentimes over-the-top claims of department or officer “cover-ups,” such as the legendary “code of silence” so popular with the paranoid, illogical and ill-informed media and public.
Process the Evidence and Get Positive Information Out Quickly
When cases do present video/audio evidence and the accompanying potential for explosive public reaction, it is imperative that the processing, enhancing and evaluating of the electronic evidence begin as soon as possible. Although the investigation will be an ongoing process, that process needs to begin immediately. That way, if there is any electronic evidence that can be released along with or as part of an overall press release, it may be able to waylay some of the negative public reaction. At the very least, it can allow for a more informed dialogue about the incident in the press.
Know the System From Which the Footage Was Gathered
The quality and workability of the evidence will be dependent on its source. Surveillance cameras, particularly older systems, are notorious for poor quality and the inability to enhance or even work with their footage. The age, type and quality of the system is, therefore, instrumental in knowing what exactly you’re dealing with, and how much ability you or your expert will have to enhance, evaluate or work with the material. Dark footage, while on the surface it may seem problematic, can actually be easier to enhance, and thus evaluate, than brighter footage. Video footage may also be subject to “compression” when going from system to system. The closer to the original footage and, even better, the original equipment that the footage came from, the better the ability to enhance it, work with it, evaluate it or all of the above. Again, knowing the source and its strengths and limitations can be valuable information for a more informed press release or interview to help either dilute or debunk media claims based on partial or poor-quality footage.
Get an Expert on Board
Getting a trained forensic expert on board as early as possible is integral to the evaluation and eventual successful use of the material or, in the alternative, its neutralization as evidence against the officer. An expert will add an objective, trained set of eyes and ears to your team. Once that person knows the key issues and facts of the case, those trained eyes and ears can pick out details and nuances often overlooked by a less trained, less impartial observer. He or she will also know the potential for enhancement and discernment of that material, as well its limitations.
Know the Material
For attorneys and clients alike, there is no substitute for knowing the video or audio like the proverbial back of your hand. Although a forensic expert is better equipped when evaluating the medium and its potentials, limitations and details, it is ultimately the attorney who will defend against the footage or, as I’ve had the good fortune to do, actually utilize that footage in his or her client’s defense. The attorney knows the legal and factual issues, and the client experienced what happened. Both need to be able to use the video to either bring out those legal and factual issues or, in the worst-case scenario, debunk or deflate the import of the electronic material in the government’s or administration’s case. Thus, there really can be no part of the material that is unknown, unfamiliar or not factored into the defense in some way.
In many of my cases where there was significant video or audio evidence (the Fullerton/Kelly Thomas case, the Ivory Webb case and the John Laurent case, to name a few), there were small facts or details in the material that we brought out during the trial that significantly changed how the jury viewed the case. I’ve had similar experiences in administrative hearings, OISs and even Brady reviews. Knowing the material allows the client the ability to better explain his or her state of mind during the event, and it allows the advocate an opportunity to better defend the case while explaining and validating the state of mind of the client.
We live in a rapidly evolving world. Technology seems to advance exponen-
tially not only daily, but by the hour. What was once thought to be in the purview of James Bond or Star Trek has become commonplace. In this ever-changing society, the role and consequent difficulties of the men and women of the law enforcement community to effectively carry out their duties has also increased in stride with the advancements in technology. An unpredictably open and recorded world is the new reality for police work. It has been a great help, and can and will continue to be. But we need to understand its negative impact as well, and how to deal with that influence when it affects officers statewide, agencywide or individually.
About the Author
Michael Schwartz heads Rains Lucia Stern’s Southern California practice. Michael is a highly regarded and experienced trial attorney. For the past 12 years, he has focused on representing peace officers in some of the toughest and most noteworthy criminal cases venued in Southern California.
PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.
- 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.
- Nicholas Belliveau Sebastopol POA
High quality service, proficient, well informed. Overall, very happy with experience.
- 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.
- Kim Jasper Alhambra POA
Excellent service, prompt and courteous.
- Heather Fontes San Joaquin Co POA
I appreciated the thorough follow up by LDF staff. Many thanks and blessings for the work by LDF.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Excellent service everytime.
- Jorge Garcia San Joaquin Co Corr Officers
No criticism to give. Very well.
- 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.
- 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..
- Kenneth S. Blonski East Bay Regional Parks PMA
I was very pleased with my representative.
- Marco Flores Ventura County PPOA
Great program. I was lost until the attorneys explained the situation. I was very impressed and satisfied. Thanks LDF.
- James F. Beland Lake County SDA
- Ron Ruddy Riverside POA
- Gilbert Garcia Oceanside POA
My attorney provided outstanding representation.
- Brendan Dolan Milwaukee PA
Everything went very smooth and they handled everything! Thank you.
- 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.
- 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.
- Steven E. Lopez Santa Maria POA
Keep up the Good Work! Your service was extremely helpful to me. Thank you.
- 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.”
- 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!
- Rich Stepper Montana PPA
[ My representative ] was very knowledgeable regarding dept & legal rules regarding officer involved shooting. Provided good legal advice & was very supportive.
- 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
- 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.
- Cathleen Weldon Siskiyou Correctional POA
Very Comforting to have a knowledgeable person looking out for my best inerests. Thx!
- 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.
- William DeWitt CPPA
Everything was awesome...could not be happier!
- 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.
- Gary Silva East Bay Region Parks POA
Thank you for providing this service. My experience with LDF was very much to my satisfaction.
- 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.
- Michael Sexton Manteca POA
[My representative] was awesome.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Andrew J. Brice Santa Maria POA
As always... an excellent result.
- Michael Shephard Suisun City POA
LDF is a very valuable resource. I would not do this job without it.
- Steven Moorehouse Redding POA
Thank you for your help.
- 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!!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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].
- 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].
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Albert Contreas Imperial Co. DSA
Thank you for your services.
- 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.
- 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.
- Steven Mayorga Ventura County DSA
I was well represented and very glad to have LDF. Thank you.
- 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.
- Brad Young Oakland POA
[ My representative ] is an awesome attorney.
- Robyn Delaney Mono County PSOA
[My Representative] truly is an exceptional attorney. He has always represented me with honesty and compassion. Well Done.
- 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.
- Katherine Comesana Mountain View POA
Hope to never in a situation again, however, glad to know that LDF is there to help.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- James Stephenson Petaluma POA
Outstanding service. Thanks.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Andrea Salas Sonoma County DSA
[My Representative] was great! Thank you.
- Erik Kusmerz Lyon Co SEA
Amazing job, Thank you.
- Scott Cox Tulare Co DSA
I just want to say [my representative] did a great job! 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.
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Highly recommend this program for any LEO!
- Jack Ellis Lompoc POA
An excellent plan. Very valuable to its members.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Noe Cordero San Diego POA
Thank you for your help. I feel very secure as you assisted me.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Jason Kearsing Elk Grove POA
Very happy with LDF.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Erick Gaunt Palos Verdes POA
- 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].
- Ricky L. Hemphill Los Angeles School PA
[My representative] was an excellent lawyer.
- Micheal Chad Heiser Santa Rosa POA
LDF is a valuable resource that no law enforcement officer should be without.
- Joseph Barrett LA Airport POA
I was very well represented by a professional. I felt well represented and got great advice.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- Kevin Hullquist Siskiyou Co. Correctional POA
[My representative] did a good job representing me. Kept me informed.
- Tia Dixione Inglewood POA
My representative was very helpful and informative.
- 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.
- Tigran Topadzhikyan Glendale POA
[My representative] is an excellent attorney. I would use him again. He communicates with his clients and is very competent.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- Dennis Leach National City POA
[My Representative] is a knowledgeable attorney and I would highly recommend him to anyone needing representation.
- Russell Wise Alameda POA
- 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.
- Nestor Hernandez San Diego POA
This is a great program designed to protect LEO’s in need
- Patrick Davis Oakland POA
Very knowledgeable and thorough and would use the rep again.
- 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.
- Korey Lankow Assn Highway Patrol of Arizona
Outstanding service from bottom-to-top.
- 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.
- Doug Plumhoff Ridgecrest PEA
Great job by all! Always great to know LDF is there when needed.
- Juan Espinoza Fresno DSA
[My representative] did a great job. He is both thorough and well educated. I would use him again.
- 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.
- Rodney Kirkland Oakland POA
Being a police officer in the city of Oakland, I appreciate the services that are offered.
- Scot Hicks Humbolt County DSO
My experience was made much less stressful thanks to the LDF representation.
- Keith Braden Los Angeles School Police Mgmt Assn
Great work, no complaints.
- Scott Muir Tracy POA
Very satisfied with the service I was given.
- 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!!!
- 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 Boust Sanger POA
My rep was very helpful in explaining the processes and stayed in contact throughout the ordeal.
- 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.
- 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.
- Daniel Smock Ventura County PPOA
Everything went smooth. I think the current system works very well.
- Gina Romines San Joaquin Co Corr POA
I couldn't have been more satisfied with the representative!
- Steven Moorehouse Redding POA
You guys are Great! Very professional and well informed. THANK YOU!
- Malcolm Norrington LA School PA
I am very pleased with LDF and would use and recommend them again and again and again.
- James Hika Border Patrol Supervisors Association
They did a great job!
- Phillip Flores Oxnard POA
My attorney was excellent. I would use her again.
- Christopher Adams Modesto POA
Thank you for all your help!
- 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.
- Byron Kies Santa Barbara Co DSA
Everything was great!
- Carl Miller Clearlake POA
- Christopher M. Fuzie Modesto POA
I was very impressed with the speed at which the case was handled. Thank you!
- 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.
- 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.
- Nick Bannister Phoenix LEA
I was extremely grateful for professional representation provided by ( my attorney ) during this extremely stressful situation
- 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!
- 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!
- Evelyn Hooks Shasta CO PPOA
Thank God for the L.D.F.
- Jeff Stanley Upland POA
Excellent representation. [My representative] is a great attorney.
- 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.
- Jurell Snyder Oakland POA
My LDF representative had a power point presentation, which was extremely professional.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Christopher Wells Hollister POA
My rep was great.
- Paul Spencer Santa Paula POA
[My Representative] was great!
- 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.
- Eric White Emeryville POA
Very satisfied with the LDF services provided. Thank you.
- William Jackson Santa Maria POA
Keep up the great work.
- Paul Barrolaza Twin Cities POA
- Rick Stephens Alpine CO DSA
My representative was very good. I highly recommend my lawyer to anyone.
- 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 Gregori Sonoma Co Jr College P O A
Excellent work and well worth it.
- Jeff Stanley Upland POA
Excellent program, no one should be without this coverage.
- Brian Schopf Elk Grove POA
Keep up the good work.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Robert Glock Oakland POA
I am always satisfied with LDF and all their representatives.
- Roy Iler San Benito CO LEM
[My representative] always returned phone calls and let me know if he was contacted with information.
- Carlos Gonzalez Oakland POA
Very well informed group.
- 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.
- Paul Hernandez LA Gen Services POA Inc.
[My Representative] was very helpful in my situation and I can't thank him enough.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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%
- 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.
- Robin Gonzalez Yolo Co. DSA
[My representative was] very quick to respond, helpful and professional. Thank you!
- Eric Olson Escondido POA
You guys did an amazing job! Thank you L.D.F. !
- German Alvarez Anaheim PA
[My representative ] was great!
- Clyde Williams San Diego Harbor POA
Thank you for all of the work related to my officer involved shooting case.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 !!
- Greg Harman Kensington POA
[My representative] is the best!!
- Nicholas Ward Antioch POA
[ Representative ] did a great job. My case was extremely complicated and difficult. She did a great job.
- 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!
- Shandon Murphy San Mateo POA
Great work! Thank you so much!
- Patrick Beggs Fresno Co DSA
Good service. Thank you.
- 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.
- Chris Moore Palo Alto POA
No Complaints. Great Resource.
- Scott Hamilton San Bernardino Co SEBA
Don't go to work without LDF!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- William Pryor Statewide University PA
Very helpful program. Helped keep department personnel focused on the issue regardless of their personal issues.
- 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!
- Alvaro Ancheta Glendora POA
I felt I was represented in a thorough and professional manner.
- Derwin Longmire Oakland POA
Outstanding [law firm] - incredible firm. And, LDF was easy to work and correspond with.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Robert Morales Rialto PBA
I was very pleased with the service I received
- 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!
- Patricia Goss San Anselmo POA
[My Representative] is fabulous! Thanks for all the exra work she did for me!