The vast majority of police officers in our country are ethical, hardworking individuals who defend and protect citizens across the nation from people who would otherwise do us harm. But like every other profession, there are some instances of poor policing by racial profiling, abusing their power or otherwise using excessive force. We hold the police accountable who violate the public’s trust by infringing on citizens’ Constitutional rights, and are adapt at overcoming the various immunities and protections that the law affords police officers.
We begin our investigation shortly after you retain our firm. We almost immediately begin requesting relevant documents, body camera footage, and police reports, typically through open records requests. We also work to identify and interview relevant witnesses.
After we do our initial investigation, we will generally prepare an Anti Litem Notice, which is required in most states, and a settlement demand. In this document, we provide a broad summary of our case and include a settlement offer.
In the event we are unable to reach an agreeable settlement in the pre-litigation stage, we will then file a lawsuit. Where the case is filed will depend mostly on where the relevant incident occurred. For instance, a civil rights claim arising from an incident in Atlanta, Georgia would be filed in The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The Defendant(s) are required, in federal court, to file an “Answer” to our lawsuit. The answer is, essentially, the response to our lawsuit. The Defendant(s) may also elect to assert counterclaims, but this is rare in civil rights lawsuits. In many civil rights claims, the Defendants will file a Motion to Dismiss – typically on immunity grounds – before they file their answer.
After we file the lawsuit, the parties will engage in discovery. This is the phase of litigation where the parties will request and produce additional information (i.e. documents, videos, statements), as well as potentially take depositions. The parties will also typically file motions during, or at the close of discovery, in an effort to resolve the case short of trial.
The parties may also elect to engage in alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, in an effort to get the case resolved.
After discovery ends, all motions are resolved, and the parties still do not have a resolution, the case will then move to trial.