Police Liability

We litigate matters on behalf of the police officers who protect us, and the municipalities and state entities that employ those officers. These matters often involve claims of excessive force, false arrest, illegal detention, and other constitutional claims. They also involve specific federal statutes and bodies of law, the knowledge and understanding of which is critical to implementing and executing a successful defense strategy. These are difficult cases to try, often involving high-dollar exposure, claims for punitive damages, and issues highly visible to, and scrutinized by, local and national media. But, we have tried these cases in tough, adverse forums, and we have won them there too. We have also successfully disposed of claims against officers and municipalities at the summary judgment stage, without the need for a trial, and when necessary handled interlocutory and other appeals before the federal circuit courts. Our experience and success in representing those who swore an oath to our protection has, at the recommendation of one client, led us to serve as general counsel for Miami Township FOP Lodge 117, a group comprised of officers from various local and federal police agencies throughout southwest Ohio.

Representative Experience

  • Morrison v. Green Twp. (2010), S.D. Ohio Case No. C-1-03-755. Defense verdict in police officer use of force case that went to trial in June 2010.  See DRI Article.  This verdict was not appealed.
  • Dearth v. Stanley (Feb. 8, 2008), 2nd App. No. 22180, 2008 WL 344124, 2008-Ohio-487. Summary judgment in a case against a police officer who took an intoxicated man home.  While polite with the police officer at the time, tragically, the man took the life of his girlfriend later that evening.  The claims against the office and the municipality were barred by the public duty doctrine and immunity.
  • Foubert v. Lyons (2004), 543 U.S. 1033, 125 S.Ct. 808, 160 L.Ed.2d 596. Supreme Court decision granting police officer qualified immunity in a police officer use of force case.

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