Anatomy of a False Arrest and Excessive Force Case under Section 1983

Wayne C. Beyer
Wayne C. Beyer |

Wayne C. Beyer is an experienced trial lawyer, author, presenter, and former federal official and administrative appeals judge. Mr. Beyer has been leading counsel in 300-350 police misconduct and corrections cases and dozens of jury trials as assistant corporation counsel (later called assistant attorney general) for the District of Columbia, and before that as outside counsel to New Hampshire’s Property and Liability Insurance Trust.

On-Demand: April 27, 2021

Anatomy of a False Arrest and Excessive Force Case under Section 1983
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Program Summary

This four-hour presentation covers all the steps in successfully litigating a high-frequency police liability case based on a hypothetical fact pattern, whether you are for the plaintiff or the defense. It has different content from another of our civil rights programs, “Police Liability under Section 1983: Critical Steps for the Trial Lawyer,” which deals with how to handle a high exposure death case. This practical program involves case selection, representation, and initial pleadings; discovery, evidence and motions practice; and pre-trial, the trial itself and post-trial from the plaintiff’s and defense perspective. All this, plus forms you can use in your practice.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • How to select a winning plaintiff’s case
  • Identify the legal claims and defenses
  • Draft representation agreements for the plaintiff and defense
  • Avoid conflicts of interest on the defense side
  • Preserve records and evidence
  • Interview police officer clients
  • Prepare your complaint or answer
  • What files law enforcement creates, where they are kept, which ones to ask for and how the defense can protect them
  • Checklist of discovery the defense should obtain from the plaintiff
  • Top fifteen evidentiary issues for trial
  • How to present or limit the opinions of police practices experts
  • Top ten motions for the plaintiff or defense to file, especially the defense motion for summary judgment
  • How to evaluate your case
  • Prepare for the final pre-trial conference and presentation of witnesses
  • Pick the best jury
  • Master examination and cross-examination of liability and damages witnesses
  • Give memorable openings and closings
  • Draft special jury instructions and verdict forms
  • Handle the qualified immunity question at trial
  • Protect the record for appeal
  • Prepare and defend attorney’s fee petitions

Date / Time: October 6, 2021

  • 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm Eastern
  • 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm Central
  • 11:00 am – 3:30 pm Mountain
  • 10:00 am – 2:30 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.
On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.
Closed-captioning available upon request

Speakers

Wayne C. Beyer_myLawCLEWayne C. Beyer

Wayne C. Beyer is an experienced trial lawyer, author, presenter, and former federal official and administrative appeals judge. Mr. Beyer has been leading counsel in 300-350 police misconduct and corrections cases and dozens of jury trials as assistant corporation counsel (later called assistant attorney general) for the District of Columbia, and before that as outside counsel to New Hampshire’s Property and Liability Insurance Trust. He is the author of law review and magazine articles and the leading 1540-page treatise and handbook Police Misconduct: A Practitioner’s Guide to Section 1983 (JURIS 2018), available at a discount to attendees of this program at http://www.jurispub.com/Bookstore/Civil/Police-Misconduct.html.

In addition, he has been a presenter on § 1983 at national programs for Georgetown University Law Center, the Defense Research Institute, the American Bar Association, the Federal Judicial Center (for District and Magistrate Judges), and dozens of national webinars. Mr. Beyer is a member of the N.H. and D.C. Bars and holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and Georgetown University Law Center. He can be reached at waynecbeyer@roadrunner.com; (603) 356-5106.

Agenda

I. How to select a winning plaintiff’s case | 1:00-1:10
II. Identify the legal claims and defenses | 1:10-1:20
III. Draft representation agreements for the plaintiff and defense | 1:20-1:30
IV. Avoid conflicts of interest on the defense side | 1:30-1:45
V. Preserve records and evidence | 1:45-2:00
VI. Interview police officer clients | 2:00-2:10
VII. Prepare your complaint or answer | 2:10-2:20
VIII. What files law enforcement creates, where they are kept, which ones to ask for and how the defense can protect them | 2:20-2:30
IX. Checklist of discovery the defense should obtain from the plaintiff | 2:30-2:40
X. Top fifteen evidentiary issues for trial | 2:40-2:50
XI. How to present or limit the opinions of police practices experts | 2:50-3:00
XII. Top ten motions for the plaintiff or defense to file, especially the defense motion for summary judgment | 3:00-3:20
XIII. How to evaluate your case | 3:20-3:30
XIV. Prepare for the final pre-trial conference and presentation of witnesses | 3:30-3:40
XV. Pick the best | 3:40-3:50
XVI. Master examination and cross-examination of liability and damages witnesses | 3:50-4:00
XVII. Give memorable openings and closings | 4:00-4:10
XVIII. Draft special jury instructions and verdict forms | 4:10-4:25
XIX. Handle the qualified immunity question at trial | 4:25-3:40
XX. Protect the record for appeal | 4:40-4:50
XXI. Prepare and defend attorney’s fee petitions | 4:50-5:00