Practices

Practice Group Details

Law Enforcement Defense

Burke has a long history of representing law enforcement agencies throughout California. In some cases, we have done so as City Attorney, working directly with Chiefs of Police and City Managers, providing legal advice to law enforcement agencies on best policies to avoid litigation. In other cases, we have been retained as litigators to defend law enforcement agencies and their officers from a wide variety of claims brought against them.

As experienced litigators representing public sector clients, our law enforcement defense team members are intimately familiar with the many unique federal and California immunities and defenses available to public sector clients, such as the California Government Claims Act, Monell liability issues, and qualified immunity. In addition to providing law enforcement agencies with policy advice and training for their officers, we have significant experience defending civil rights litigation at the trial court and appellate levels in courts throughout the state. Among the claims we frequently handle are: Section 1983 litigation; state law claims under the Bane Act, Ralph Act, and Unruh Act; officer-involved shootings and in-custody wrongful death cases; use-of-force cases, including those involving the use of TASERs, K-9s, and less lethal weapons; First Amendment claims; and false arrest and malicious prosecution claims.