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Education

JD, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

BA, University of Richmond, Virginia

Did You Know

Paul hosted a hip-hop radio show in college.

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 (2015) – Prosecuted the termination appeals of multiple officers terminated in connection with an internationally renowned incident of excessive force resulting in the death of a citizen.

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. County of Los Angeles (2015) – 234 Cal.App.4th 459 – Published Court of Appeal decision holding that deputy sheriffs’ associations that were parties to five MOUs providing for individual arbitration of wage/hour disputes could not combine claims and proceed instead in court in an interest of “judicial efficiency.”  This opinion arose out of the same matter as Los Angeles County v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Commission.

Moreno et al v. City of Beverly Hills (2019) – LCW defended the City in a lawsuit brought by four employees of the City’s police department. The four plaintiffs alleged that they were subjected to a number of different adverse employment actions that they contented were motivated by illegal discrimination and/or relation. Some of the plaintiffs also alleged they were subjected to illegal harassment. After a trial that lasted more than four weeks, the plaintiffs asked the jury to award them more than $20 million.  While the jury found some liability, the plaintiffs received just a fraction of the damages they claimed to have suffered. Paul drafted an argued a successful Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding Verdict which overturned the jury’s verdict as to one of the four plaintiffs, resulting in a defense judgment as to that plaintiff.

Doe v. Private School (2018) – Obtained dismissal of entire action following sustained demurrers to Plaintiff’s complaint and four amended complaints alleging negligence, breach of contract, and denial of due process where student-athlete withdrew from school after being required to attend classes remotely and prohibited from participating in football games during investigation of sexual assault allegation against him.

Munroe v. County of Riverside (2016)  Obtained summary judgment on claims on behalf of the County of Riverside in a lawsuit brought by a former Deputy County Counsel for violation of the California Equal Pay Act, FEHA gender discrimination and retaliation, discrimination for use of medical leave under the California Family Rights Act, and whistleblower retaliation under Labor Code section 1102.5.  The plaintiff alleged that her male counterpart was paid significantly more even though she had more experience and was performing comparable work and that her termination was retaliatory.

Romero v. City of Barstow; City of Barstow v. Barstow Police Officers Association (2015) – Defeated a petition for writ of mandate and obtained an order confirming arbitration award where terminated police officer claimed that he was entitled to judicial review of binding arbitration award under the POBR and Constitutional due process.

Los Angeles County v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Commission (2013) – Obtained a writ of mandate overturning the order of the Employee Relations Commission combining into one multi-class action approximately 10,000 wage-hour claims that were required to be brought individually under the terms of five Memoranda of Understanding between the Association and the County.

For The Record
05/19/2022
Sheriff and Deputy

Partner Geoff Sheldon and attorney Paul Knothe authored an insightful article titled “For The Record” that addresses SB16 and the laws surrounding The Freedom of Information Act. Agencies in California are strongly advised to work closely with their legal advisors to ensure they are complying with...

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California Further Expands Public Access To Law Enforcement Officers’ Personnel Files
05/19/2022
Sheriff and Deputy

For decades, California’s peace officer personnel record confidentiality laws have provided the some of the most robust protections for officer personnel records in the nation.  In recent years, however, public opinion has shifted in favor of transparency and accountability – especially with...

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Legislature, POST, and Community Colleges Still Have Homework to Do on New Minimum Education Standards for Peace Officers
05/11/2022
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

AB 89, also known as the Peace Officers Education and Age Conditions for Employment, or “PEACE” Act, went into effect on January 1, 2022.
The most straightforward piece of that legislation was Government Code section 1031.4, which raises the minimum age for most peace officer employment from 18 to...

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Awaiting Guidance On Calif. Peace Officer Bias Screenings
04/07/2022
Law360

Partner Geoff Sheldon and Associate Paul Knothe authored the article “Awaiting Guidance On Calif. Peace Officer Bias Screenings” for Law360.  The article discusses AB846, which added a requirement to the preemployment process for peace officers, mandating that they be screened for bias...

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Public Safety Video Briefing: AB48 – June 2022
06/30/2022
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.

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Public Safety Video Briefing: Developing Peace Officer Education Standards Under AB 89 – April 2022
04/12/2022
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.

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Public Safety Video Briefing: What to Expect from POST’s Delayed Bias Screening Regulations – January 2022
01/14/2022
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

We are excited to announce a new video series designed especially to serve our public safety clients. 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.

This...

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SB 16: Expands Public Access to Police Officer Personnel Records
01/11/2022
Daily Journal

Partner Geoffrey S. Sheldon and Associate Paul D. Knothe weighed in SB 16,  new legislation that further expands SB 1421 and what types of peace officer personnel records can be publicly accessible in their Jan. 5 Daily Journal article, “SB 16: Expands Public Access to Police Officer...

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POST to Miss Deadline to Issue Bias Screening Regulations Pursuant to AB 846; Recommends Agencies Use Framework to Comply with Statutory Obligations in the Interim
12/29/2021
LCW Special Bulletin

On September 30, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 846 requiring, among other things, that the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) update the regulations regarding pre-employment screening for mental and emotional conditions to also identify explicit and implicit biases...

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Free Speech in the Age of Facebook
08/13/2021
Sheriff & Deputy Magazine

LCW Partners Mark Meyerhoff, Morin Jacob and Associate Paul Knothe penned “Free Speech in the Age of Facebook” for the July/August 2021 issue of Sheriff & Deputy Magazine. In the piece, the attorneys address the importance of developing and enacting updated agency social media policies that...

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Public Safety Video Briefing: Great Bodily Injury under SB1421 – June 2021
06/16/2021
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

We are excited to announce a new video series designed especially to serve our public safety clients. 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.

This...

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Public Safety Video Briefing: AB 1475 – Posting Booking Photos to Social Media – September 2021
11/08/2021
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

We are excited to announce a new video series designed especially to serve our public safety clients. 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.

This...

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Public Safety Video Briefing: Regulating Employee Speech: What Constitutes Workplace Disruption? – August 2021
08/30/2021
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

We are excited to announce a new video series designed especially to serve our public safety clients. 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.

This...

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Public Safety Video Briefing: First Amendment and Social Media – July 2021
07/22/2021
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

We are excited to announce a new video series designed especially to serve our public safety clients. 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.

This...

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Public Safety Video Briefing: Second Interrogations under POBR after the Oakland Decision – May 2021
05/13/2021
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

We are excited to announce a new video series designed especially to serve our public safety clients. 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.

This...

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Peace Officer Certification Standards Have Changed, and Decertification is Likely on the Horizon
02/16/2021
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

All California peace officers must meet initial standards set by the Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training (POST).  Those standards have recently been expanded, and more change may be coming.
AB 846, effective January 1, 2021, modified Government Code section 1031 to require that a...

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)
09/28/2020
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away from complications from pancreatic cancer on Friday, September 18, 2020.  Justice Ginsburg inspired millions and became a beloved icon in a way that is truly uncommon for a jurist.  She was the subject of a documentary, a biopic, and an opera. ...

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AB 2147 Clears Career Paths for Formerly Incarcerated Persons Trained as Firefighters
09/15/2020
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

While skies all over California were turned strange colors by fire and smoke on September 11, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 2147 into law. Passed by a 51-12 majority in the Assembly and a unanimous 30-0 vote in the Senate, this law creates new Penal Code section 1203.4b, designed to make it...

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COVID Briefing: COVID-19 Testing and Law Enforcement
04/29/2020
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...

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COVID Briefing: Legal Issues with Taking Employee Temperatures
04/24/2020
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...

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COVID 19: The Duty to Meet and Confer and Other Public Agency Obligations During A Public Health Emergency
03/23/2020
LCW Special Bulletin

With cities and counties scrambling to develop and deploy emergency plans in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, demands from employee organizations to meet and confer are increasing.  This fact sheet is offered to answer frequently asked questions regarding the duty to bargain and provide...

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After #MeToo
01/21/2020
Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine

In 2006, activist Tarana Burke wrote of her experience in which she felt that she failed a young girl who reported a sexual assault to her.  Burke did not feel prepared to assist the girl, and sent her to see another counselor.  Burke regretted not telling the girl, “me too.”
Eleven years later, in...

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Less Heralded Than AB 392, SB 230 May Have Greater Long Term Impact on Police Practices
10/24/2019
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...

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New Expanded Fair Pay Protections
01/14/2017
Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC)'s Municipal Magazine

California has statutorily prohibited unequal pay on the basis of sex since 1949.  As a previous blog post explained, that law was amended in 2016 to formally change the standard for equal pay claims based on sex.  Instead of requiring equal pay for “equal” work, the statute now requires equal pay...

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