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Nathan Oyster’s practice at Burke focuses on two main areas: He defends law enforcement officers and local governments in civil rights litigation, and he provides guidance to law enforcement agencies on the implementation of policies that reduce the likelihood of litigation.
Nathan’s litigation experience is extensive, and he currently serves as the lead police litigator for the cities of Alhambra and Hemet, in addition to his work as outside counsel for agencies throughout the state He has tried cases in both state and federal court, with his first jury trial coming at age 24. He has also argued before both the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeal. Nathan has defended nearly every type of police litigation that an agency could face, including officer-involved shootings, deaths due to excited delirium, class action litigation, malicious prosecution claims, allegations of excessive force, and allegations of unconstitutional jail conditions. He is adept at defending litigation brought under Section 1983, the Unruh Act, the Ralph Act, and the Bane Act.
Since joining Burke, Nathan has added advisory work to his litigation practice. Nathan advises law enforcement agencies throughout the state on a variety of policy issues. Nathan is particularly focused on issues pertaining to police body-worn cameras, and he has lectured on that topic in multiple venues. Representative clients include the cities of Alhambra, Cathedral City, Culver City, Delano, Hemet, Rohnert Park, South Lake Tahoe, and St. Helena.
- Obtained a defense verdict in a fatal officer-involved shooting case in which the decedent was armed with a screwdriver.
- Obtained summary judgment in a fatal officer-involved shooting case, resulting in a published opinion. MacEachern v. City of Manhattan Beach, 623 F.Supp.2d 1092 (C.D.Cal. 2009).
- Defended a proposed class-action lawsuit in which jail inmates alleged that their rights under the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution were violated
- Successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal for the affirmance of the dismissal of a former police officer’s claim that a prosecutorial agency violated POBRA by placing him on the agency’s Brady list.
- J.D., Boston University School of Law, 2002
- M.A., Political Science, Case Western Reserve University, 1999
- B.A., Political Science and Economics, Case Western Reserve University, 1999
- State Bar of California
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Central District of California
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California
- United States District Court for the Southern District of California