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Police Officer v. City (2022) – The City prevailed in a sergeant’s appeal of his termination for off-duty misconduct. While the sergeant was at a bar and intoxicated, he struck a subordinate officer in the genitals and choked him. Although the sergeant had no previous record of discipline and was well-regarded in the police department, the hearing officer upheld his termination given the severity of his misconduct.

Police Officer v. City (2021) – LCW prevailed in a police officer termination appeal involving one of two officers involved in a fatal shooting. The incident made national news when one of the officers, a field training officer (FTO), and his partner, a probationary officer who had lateraled from another agency, fired 75 rounds (many of which were through the windshield of a moving vehicle) in a slow speed pursuit on a Saturday morning in a quiet residential neighborhood. The FTO fired 11 rounds using a high-powered AR-15 rifle, failed to give the suspect an opportunity to surrender, failed to employ proper felony traffic stop tactics, and failed to provide effective feedback to his more junior partner.

Police Officers v. City (2020) – Successfully prosecuted disciplining judicial appeals of multiple officers terminated in connection with an internationally renowned incident of excessive force resulting in the death of a citizen. The dismissals were upheld by the trial court and the former officers dismissed their appeals at the California Court of Appeals.

Police Officer v. City (2019) – Hearing officer upheld the termination of a former police officer who prepared multiple false police reports. The police officer’s performance during a single incident led LCW to recommend an audit of other cases.  That audit, in turn, revealed additional cases and a pattern of fabricating subject confessions.

Police Officer v. City (2017) – Personnel commission upheld the termination of a police officer for false statements in court.

Police Officer v. City (2017) – Demotion of a peace officer for insubordination upheld after an administrative appeal.

Police Officer v. City (2017) – Civil service commission upheld the termination of a police officer for failure to disclose opiate use during the pre-employment medical examination.

Firefighter v. City (2016) – Administrative Law Judge upheld discipline of firefighter for misappropriation of private property left at a firehouse.

Police Officer v. City (2014) – A hearing officer upheld the termination of a police officer who misappropriated evidence – stolen power tools – and put it to use in his construction business. The officer claimed that an employee of a home improvement warehouse from which the property was originally stolen gave him permission to keep the tools.

Police Officer v. City (2014) – A former police officer abandoned his appeal after the Department’s presentation of its case in the Department proved the former officer had taken a title loan on his vehicle and then sold the same vehicle to an unsuspecting buyer from whom the vehicle was repossessed.

Oakland Police Officers’ Association et al. v. City of Oakland (2021) – Scott filed an amicus brief for the League of California Cities and Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association, which resulted in a decision that expressly disagrees with the Santa Ana POA decision.  The decision concluded that mandatory disclosure of complaints and reports prior to any subsequent interrogation of an officer suspected of misconduct undermines a core objective of POBRA and only non-confidential material should be disclosed upon request.

San Francisco Police Officers’ Assoc. v. San Francisco Police Comm. (2018) – Filed an amicus brief for the League of Cities and the California State Association of Counties.  The police association argued that the employer was obligated to arbitrate denial of a grievance alleging that the employer breached a contractual obligation to negotiate changes to its use of force policy.  But the MOU only required the employer to negotiate over matters within the scope of representation and the Court of Appeal held, among other things, that establishment of a use of force policy is a management right and involves a municipality’s exercise of police power that cannot be bargained away.

County of Los Angeles v. Mendez (2017) – Submitted amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association.  The case held that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s provocation doctrine was inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Graham v. Connor, the seminal case establishing that an officer’s use of force must be judged according to an objective reasonableness standard.   The provocation doctrine had provided that officers could be liable for their otherwise reasonable force if they intentionally or recklessly committed an earlier Fourth Amendment violation that led to the use of force that injured plaintiff.

Hinderliter v. City of La Habra (2013) – After a personnel board upheld the termination of a police officer for dishonesty, a superior court judge determined that the dishonesty did not warrant termination of the officer’s employment. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court, holding substantial evidence supported the trial court’s finding that the officer repeatedly lied to a superior officer and that the trial court erred in finding the City abused its discretion by terminating the officer.

Alice Robin v. City of Monrovia (2013) – Appellant Robin sued the City for allegedly retaliating against her, in violation of Title VII, after she filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  At trial, the jury was instructed to consider whether four separate actions by the City – including the offer of a retirement package known as the “Golden Handshake” – were retaliatory acts.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the City and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.  Robin appealed on the grounds that the trial court erred by not giving a jury instruction that the settlement agreement offered to her as part of the Golden Handshake did not comply with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). The Ninth Circuit rejected this argument, but it did conclude that the district court erred by declining to give an instruction setting forth the OWBPA’s requirements.  Although the Court found error, it concluded that it was harmless based on the evidence at trial because it is more probable than not that the jury would have reached the same verdict even with the OWBPA instruction.

Ferguson v. City of Cathedral City (2011) – The Court of Appeal upheld termination of a police officer for solicitation of prostitution after the officer declared an earlier settlement agreement with the City “null and void” under which he had been suspended without pay.  The Court of Appeal also held that the City did not violate the officer’s Skelly rights when the officer, who claimed to be unable to be able to drive the City for a Skelly meeting, was terminated without a Skelly meeting after he did not avail himself of various accommodations offered to him by the City to enable him to exercise his Skelly rights.

Thompson v. City of Monrovia (2010) – In a case handled by Scott Tiedemann and Judith Islas, the Court of Appeal, second judicial district, affirmed summary judgment in this alleged retaliation and harassment case brought by a Caucasian police officer based on alleged discriminatory treatment towards his African-American co-worker.  Specifically, the officer claimed he was retaliated against for reporting alleged discriminatory treatment of his African-American co-worker and for testifying on the co-worker’s behalf in a separate lawsuit brought by the co-worker.  The officer also alleged the City failed to investigate the alleged harassment and retaliation. In a lengthy opinion, the Court decisively rejected all of the officer’s arguments.  Key in the court’s analysis was the long and well documented history of the officer’s performance issues.  On the harassment and hostile environment claims, the Court concluded that a Caucasian officer can premise these causes of action based on an association with or advocacy on behalf of another officer’s protected classification but must show he was personally subjected to unwanted racial comments as a result of the association or advocacy and also, that the conduct was severe and pervasive, which the officer failed to so in this case.

Lopez v. Imperial County Sheriff’s Office (2008) – Two correctional officers appealed a Personnel Board ruling upholding their terminations based upon a tie vote by the Board. The correctional officers argued that their terminations should be overturned on a tie vote. The Appellate Court rejected that position affirming the trial court’s ruling that the terminations were not to be overturned but the officers were to receive a new hearing.

Benach v. County of Los Angeles (2007) – The California Court of Appeal held that removing a deputy sheriff from his special assignment as a pilot “without a concomitant loss of rank or pay” is not a punitive action which entitles the deputy sheriff to an administrative appeal under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act.

Police Officers Association (2021) – Negotiated collective bargaining agreement that limited city’s pension liabilities and increased employee cost sharing in exchange for reasonable cost and living adjustments.

Miscellaneous Employees Association (2018) – Negotiated collective bargaining agreement that established 9/80 work schedule on a trial basis and afforded employer the ability to revert to 5/40 without further obligation to meet and confer.

Police Officers Association (2017) – Secured four-year collective bargaining agreement with police association that afforded city council flexibility to negotiate the fixed cost of living adjustments in last two years of an agreement without risk of fact-finding if increases were denied.

Police Officers Association (2017) – Negotiated memorandum of understanding that eliminated EPMC for classic members.

Miscellaneous Employees Association (2017) – Negotiated memorandum of understanding that eliminated EPMC for classic members.

Police Officer v. City (2022) – Defeated a police officer’s legal challenge to the City Manager’s decision to terminate the officer’s employment for illegal steroid possession, use and sales.  Convinced the superior court that the memorandum of understanding gave the City Manager the right to reject the hearing officer’s recommended decision to reinstate the officer.  The superior court found that the officer’s proven dishonest testimony and his willingness to buy and sell the illegal steroid made him unfit to be a police officer.

Police Officer v. City, City Manager and Police Chief (2022) – Defeated a police officer’s writ of mandate in the superior court.  Officer challenged his removal from a FTO assignment and assignment pay after he  and his trainee delayed responding to a 911 call about an young man ringing a neighbors’ doorbell at 4:30 am and screaming obscenities.  Once at the call, the FTO remained in the patrol call while the trainee searched the area alone.  Convinced the court the FTO must lead by example and had failed to meet those high standards.

California Court of Appeal Rejects Categorical Treatment of Police Drone Videos as Exempt Records of Police Investigations, Raising Questions about Treatment of Other Police Videos Under the California Public Records Act
LCW Special Bulletin

In Castañares v. Superior Court (December 27, 2023) 2023 Cal. App. LEXIS 994, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One, addressed the circumstances under which a law enforcement agency may withhold drone video footage from disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA).  The...

Recruiting, Retaining, and Supervising the Best
Police Magazine

Recently published in Police Magazine, LCW Managing Partner J. Scott Tiedemann and attorney Emanuela Tala provide insights on the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in recruiting, retaining, and supervising highly qualified personnel. They emphasize the need for strategies such as...

Public Safety Video Briefing: Thinking About Body Worn Cameras- February 2023
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

Our short Public Safety Video Briefings will tackle cutting-edge issues and core principles relevant to public safety employers. We hope you find these videos useful and thought-provoking.

California’s Check On Employment
Sheriff and Deputy

Recently published in Sheriff and Deputy, LCW Managing Partner J. Scott Tiedemann writes on the objectives of Senate Bill 2 and the corresponding diversification efforts seen in the public safety sector. In relation to recruitment efforts, Scott states, “the recruitment environment is...

California Agencies Struggle to Recruit Police Officers
KFBK News Radio

Firm Managing Partner J. Scott Tiedemann was interviewed by KFBK News Radio on April 28, 2022, discussing hiring issues that police departments across the state are encountering.  SB2 and “defund the police” initiatives throughout the country, and in particular, in California, have been...

The Great Awakening in the 21st Century Workplace
California Police Chief Magazine

The Great Awakening was an 18th Century religious revival in the American colonies in response to secularism that particularly encouraged people to develop a personal relationship with God.  Many historians believe it had a lasting impact on American culture.  Recent workforce developments suggest...

ACLU, Faith in the Valley Say Department of Justice, Bakersfield Police Reform Plan Not Enough
23ABC News Bakersfield

LCW Managing Partner Scott Tiedemann weighed in on Senate Bill 2 and what it means for policing practices in the Oct. 12, 2021 23ABC News Bakersfield article “ACLU, Faith in the Valley say Department of Justice, Bakersfield Police reform plan not enough.” Concerning the newly signed bill that...

Gov. Newsom Signs Bill to Decertify Peace Officers for Serious Misconduct
Daily Californian

LCW Managing Partner Scott Tiedemann commented on Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent signing of SB 2 into law, which will decertify peace officers who have committed serious misconduct. In the Oct. 4 Daily Californian article “Gov. Newsom signs bill to decertify peace officers for serious misconduct,”...

Pressure to Terminate
Sheriff & Deputy Magazine

Managing Partner Scott Tiedemann and Associate Allen Acosta recently penned the article “Pressure to Terminate” for the May/June 2021 issue of Sheriff & Deputy Magazine. The piece provides sheriffs critical tips on protecting the integrity of internal investigations—particularly during periods...

State Supreme Court needed to resolve conflict in police disciplinary procedure
San Francisco Chronicle

LCW Managing Partner and general counsel for the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association J. Scott Tiedemann was quoted in the April 28 San Francisco Chronicle article “State Supreme Court needed to resolve conflict in police disciplinary procedure.” The piece by Courts Reporter Bob Egelko...

California First District Court of Appeal Decision Disagrees With Santa Ana POA Case and Holds That Peace Officers Under Administrative Investigation Are NOT Automatically Entitled to Reports and Complaints Prior to Any Further Interrogation
LCW Special Bulletin

On April 26, 2021, the First District Court of Appeal published its decision in Oakland Police Officers Association v. City of Oakland (2021) — Cal.App.5th — (“Oakland POA”).  The case provides critical guidance regarding what information a law enforcement agency must provide to a peace...

KFI News Segment with Scott Tiedemann
KFI News

LCW Managing Partner Scott Tiedemann recently discussed details of the high-profile Kelly Thomas case with KFI News reporter Corbin Carson. As attorney for the City of Fullerton, Scott said it has taken nine years of lawsuits and appeals to uphold the lawsuit of the two police officers involved in...

Public Safety Annuitants
California Police Chief Magazine

The present is a uniquely challenging time for law enforcement agencies.  Public discourse, which can tend to be demoralizing, is consistently critical of police.  In turn, legislators have set their sights on reform.  By the end of the 2020 legislative session, the California Legislature had...

Issues Public Employers Face During Mass Protest – Q&A
California Special District's Magazine

Our nation has continued for months to react to the death of George Floyd, and this reaction includes the thousands who have participated in mass protests across the country in June 2020.  Many people feel compelled to speak openly and passionately about an issue of national importance.  Public...

High Court to Rule Whether Bullets Always Qualify as a Seizure
The Daily Journal

Managing Partner J. Scott Tiedemann and Associate Brian Hoffman explored whether the Fourth Amendment applies to a police shooting if the suspect escapes in the “High Court to Rule Whether Bullets Always Qualify as a Seizure”, which was published in the Nov. 6, 2020 issue of the Daily Journal. The...

Public Employee Rights Might Block Some Police Discipline Efforts
The Daily Journal

Managing Partner J. Scott Tiedemann and Partner Geoffrey S. Sheldon were quoted in the Daily Journal article, “Public Employee Rights Might Block Some Police Discipline Efforts,” discussing how labor laws guaranteeing due process rights to public employees might be preventing law...

Returning to “Normal”: Legal Issues Law Enforcement Agencies Face in Returning to Work Post-COVID-19
California Police Chief Magazine

The COVID-19 pandemic struck like lightning, moving law enforcement departments to make rapid changes to employment practices, from modifying work schedules to conducting medical screening to disallowing vacations.   Swift changing circumstances left little room for deliberation or labor...

COVID Briefing: COVID-19 Testing and Law Enforcement
LCW Special Bulletin

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, law enforcement professionals bravely continue to perform their duties and come in regular contact with the public, potentially exposing themselves to the virus.  Concerned for the safety of their officers and the communities they serve, law enforcement agencies...

COVID Briefing: Legal Issues with Taking Employee Temperatures
LCW Special Bulletin

A fever, which is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as 100.4°F/38°C or higher, is a symptom and key indicator of COVID-19.  Many employers, including law enforcement agencies, are already taking or are considering taking employees’ temperatures before allowing them to...

Emergency Response
The Daily Journal

J. Scott Tiedemann, Peter Brown, and Steve Berliner were interviewed in the Daily Journal to discuss advising clients in the time of COVID-19.  Topics discussed include public safety advice, labor relations issues, and retirement counsel during a pandemic.  To read the full article, please visit...

Less Heralded Than AB 392, SB 230 May Have Greater Long Term Impact on Police Practices
The Daily Journal

This article highlights two laws passed this year by California’s Legislature that have profound impact on police officers – Assembly Bill 392 and Senate Bill 230. These laws become effective January 1, 2020. AB 392 amends Penal Code Section 192 and 835a and updates the standards under which police...

#MeToo 2.0: A Guide to Help Navigate New Workplace Harassment Laws
Western City Magazine

This article highlights some of the major legislative changes affecting employees in the workplace and suggests best practices to protect your agency and create a harassment-free workplace. The #MeToo movement exposed the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace. As a result, society is...

The Thin Blue Line
The Daily Journal

J. Scott Tiedemann co-authored an article for the Daily Journal on Senate Bill 1421 which took effect Jan. 1, 2019. This bill dramatically increases the public’s access to certain peace officer personnel records relating to police misconduct and serious uses of force. While the law’s premise to...

August 14, 2024
Investigations and Discipline in Critical Incidents
October 09, 2024
Internal Affairs Seminar – Buena Park
April 11, 2024
Legal Update
Rancho Mirage | Tri-County Spring Conference
May 22, 2024
Personnel Management and Discipline After Police Reform Legislation
Palm Springs | California Police Chief Association (CPCA) Annual Conference
May 29, 2024
Legal Update
Tustin | Tustin Police Department

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