Discovery, Evidence, and Motion Practice Under Section 1983 Police Liability


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About This Course

This practical CLE will cover three main topic areas that are at the core of any successful police misconduct practice under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

First, discovery: what law enforcement files are kept, which ones the plaintiff should request and how the defense can protect them, including incident reports and investigations, officer personnel files, and Monell custom and policy related files; and a checklist of discovery the defense should obtain from the plaintiff.

Second, evidence: 15 evidentiary issues, including admissibility of the plaintiff’s previous contacts with police, prior citizen complaints and officer discipline, results of the investigation, and failure to follow better alternatives like de-escalation; plus, five evidentiary issues relating to testimony of police practices experts.

Third, the top 10 motions for the plaintiff or the defense to file, covering three involving discovery, motions to dismiss and summary judgment, pretrial motions in limine or to bifurcate individual and municipal liability claims, motions at trial and post-trial under Federal Rules 50 and 59, and petitions for fees for prevailing plaintiffs.

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