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The Crisis of Police Liability Lawsuits: Prevention and Management explains and illustrates how and why attorneys are winning an increasing number of unwarranted lawsuits against the police. This concise and practical guide discusses how these lawsuits have negatively impacted police morale and effectiveness, and how police departments both small and large can work to reverse this dangerous trend. Using examples culled from actual deposition and trial testimony, the book demonstrates the tactics used by lawyers to win exorbitant verdicts even when the police had acted in good faith to carry out their responsibilities. Several egregious cases that resulted in settlements or unjust verdicts are examined.
Chapters cover the differences between criminal law, state tort law, and federal civil rights litigation; the history and recent expansion of police liability; common mistakes officers make; and how they can stay focused in the face of questioning by aggressive attorneys. Information and training is provided regarding arrest procedures, documentation of probable cause, and appropriate strategies for police defendants and witnesses.
Based on his long experience as a police officer, an attorney, and a legal consultant for both plaintiffs and defendants in police-liability cases, Signorelli provides step-by-step, easy-to-follow strategies that will help police officers successfully defend themselves and their agencies.