Public Safety

Liebert Cassidy Whitmore has had the privilege of representing public safety agencies for 30 years, proudly earning the trust and respect of several generations of police chiefs, sheriffs, and fire chiefs. LCW appreciates the emergency nature of employment issues in the public safety context. Our attorneys are always available to provide prompt and expert consultation on issues from administrative leave to interrogations to discipline.

We literally "wrote the book," having authored the CPER Pocket Guides on the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBR) and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act (FBOR) respectively. Our appellate victories, some of which are mentioned below, have helped shaped the way that public safety agencies conduct labor and employment relations on a daily basis.

LCW remains on the cutting edge, regularly publishing articles and presenting workshops regarding labor and employment law issues affecting public safety agencies. We bring our collective legal expertise and practical experience to bear in our clients' cases, from beginning to end.

We routinely review disciplinary investigations to identify the strengths and weaknesses for our clients. We help clients identify appropriate disciplinary measures, and vigorously prosecute ensuing disciplinary appeals. We also handle any related litigation. Indeed, we have skillfully handled hundreds of such cases over three decades.

Representative Matters

  • Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department et al (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 1625, [83 Cal.Rptr.3d 494] - the California Court of Appeal held that pre-interrogation joint meetings by deputies involved in shootings have limitations.

  • Maciel v. City of Los Angeles, 569 F.Supp.2d 1038 (C.D.Cal. 2008) – a federal District Court found in favor of the City on all claims after a seven-day bench trial. The Court found that Maciel failed to present credible evidence supporting his assertion that he worked overtime without reporting it, or that management either knew or should have known that he was not following the Department's overtime reporting policy.  Finally, the Court found that Maciel was not entitled to overtime compensation for his donning and doffing activities because the time spent on those activities did not exceed the applicable threshold for overtime compensation.

  • Benach v. County of Los Angeles (2007), 149 Cal.App.4th 836, 149 Cal.4th 836 - the Court held that removing a deputy from a special assignment as a pilot "without a concomitant loss of pay" is not a punitive action entitling the officer to a POBR administrative appeal.

  • Claremont Police Officers Association v. City of Claremont (2006) 39 Cal.4th 623, a case handled through the court of appeal - the California Supreme Court held that implementation of a racial profiling study by a police department was a management prerogative and was not a mandatory subject of bargaining under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act.

  • Steinert v. City of Covina (2006) 146 Cal.App.4th 458 - the Court of Appeal held that a peace officer was not entitled to the protections of the Act when asked questions by her supervisor in the ordinary course of duty where the supervisor did not suspect that the officer had engaged in serious misconduct.

  • Gilbert v. City of Sunnyvale (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 1264 - the Court of Appeal limited a police officer's right to receive investigatory documents under both the Skelly due process procedures and the Act.

  • Upland Police Officers Association v. City of Upland (2003) 111 Cal. App.4th 1294 - the Court of Appeal held that a peace officer's right of representation under Government Code § 3303(i) is not unlimited. The Court of Appeal held that an officer could not delay an internal affairs interrogation by selecting a representative who was not reasonably available.

Featured Presentations

LCW Webinar Recording: Body-Worn Cameras in Law Enforcement - The Benefits and Challenges
March 11, 2015
This webinar is designed to address certain best practices in this quickly developing area of the law. It will help law enforcement agencies to understand the factors they should consider to make informed decisions regarding the adoption of body-worn camera technology.
LCW Webinar Recording: Preparing for AB 1522 – California's New Paid Sick Leave Law
May 05, 2015
On July 1, 2015, California's new Paid Sick Leave Law (AB 1522) will go into effect. With very few exceptions, this new law will apply to every employee at your agency, including temporary, seasonal, and extra help employees. This webinar will cover the basic requirements of AB 1522 – including the Paid Sick Leave Law's use, accrual, carryover, and notice requirements. In addition, we'll outline the "gray" areas that exist and provide our best understanding of how to apply and implement the law so your agency will be prepared when the law goes into effect.
LCW Webinar Recording: Ensuring Fitness for Duty Exams "Fit" With the Law
July 13, 2015
The fitness for duty exam concept is straightforward and fairly self-explanatory. But the ADA and FEHA have restrictions on when an employer can send an employee to a fitness for duty examination, what information can be obtained, and how the information can be used. This webinar will provide supervisors, managers, and HR professionals with practical information to understand the ins and outs of fitness for duty exams.
LCW Webinar Recording: Preserving and Producing Public Safety Records and Documents
August 12, 2015
This webinar will cover the general responsibilities of public safety agencies in preserving and producing official documents and records. The webinar will cover the type of documents that must be preserved, the duration for preservation, and obligation to produce records, which will include a discussion of the California Supreme Court's July 2015 decision in People v. Superior Court (Johnson).
Internal Investigations in Light of Today's Media and Culture
October 14, 2015  |  10:00 AM
There can be no doubt that there is a significant portion of our media and community that has a profound distrust of law enforcement. This movement has been fueled by recent high profile incidents in Ferguson, MO, New York City and Baltimore, and it seems as though the problem is getting worse and not better. Indeed, the anti-police rhetoric has tragically led to deadly force being used against officers who have done nothing but wear a uniform.

Representative Matters






To Contact Liebert Cassidy Whitmore:
Los Angeles 310.981.2000 | Fresno 559.256.7800 | San Francisco 415.512.3000 | San Diego 619.481.5900
© 2015 Liebert Cassidy Whitmore