December 2017 Warning Bells article

 

December 2017 – Our unsung heroes

They get up in the middle of the night for League members; rise early to make morning watch personnel complaint interviews, and spend their weekends preparing for Boards of Rights and writing Skelly responses to avoid Boards of Rights. They are the League’s panel attorneys and they are among the few attorneys that understand the unique LAPD discipline system and are capable of guiding you through it while representing your interests. The League’s Legal Plan currently comprises 92 percent of the membership and with the thousands of personnel complaints that are filed against officers each year, these folks are kept hopping. It’s time you know who they are.

Space prevents me from going into detail, but it is our plan to provide more information on each one of them in the member’s section of the League’s website at lapd.com. So, in alphabetical order, here are the core of panel attorneys who collectively have represented thousands of officers in interviews, Skelly responses, and Boards of Rights and helped them protect their jobs.

 Muna Busailah: Muna passed the bar in 1993. She is a law partner with Mike Stone and has assisted him in the Rodney King criminal trials and other major cases. She functions as a roll out attorney for Riverside Sheriffs, as well as for the League. In addition to her many experiences with LAPD personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights, if you get in trouble in England.

Gary Fullerton: Gary retired from the LAPD after 26 years of service. During that time, he had the valuable experience of serving as a Director of the LAPPL from 1994 to 2000. He passed the bar in 1984. In 2000, Gary and his law partner, Larry Hanna, contracted with the League to be roll out attorneys for categorical uses of force and since then has done hundreds of roll outs to the present time in addition to numerous personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights.

Jodi Gonda: Jodi passed the bar in 1992, and is no stranger to the LAPD since her father was LAPD retired. Jodi has done thousands of interviews and hundreds of Boards of Rights since becoming a League Panel Attorney. Her practice since she passed the bar has been almost completely LAPD officer administrative defense and she is highly respected in that role, even by Department management. She teaches a class on Skelly responses in the League’s Basic and Advance Rep School.

Larry Hanna: Larry was familiar with LAPD because his father retired from the Department as a detective. Larry passed the bar in 1985 and began representing officers almost immediately.  Larry has valuable experience in ADA issues along with the experience of handling numerous personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights. He has also responded to hundreds of roll outs to Categorical Uses of Force as one of the main attorneys in the League’s roll-out program.

Randy Quan: Randy passed the bar in 1989. He is a retired LAPD officer who rose to the rank of captain before retirement after 27 years of service. He functioned as an employee representative defending officers when he was on the Department among his many other assignments and he served as a Board of Rights member as a captain seeing all sides of the LAPD discipline system.

Ira Salzman: Ira passed the bar in 1978. Ira spent his early years as a Deputy Los Angeles District Attorney where he became very familiar with the LAPD. He went into private practice and became a League panel attorney in time to represent one of the Rodney King officers and obtained a not guilty verdict in that trial. He went on to represent the officer in the federal prosecution of the officers and then represented the officer in the civil trial. Ira has handled numerous personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights in the meantime.

Bill Seki: Bill passed the bar in 1988 and is another attorney that first learned about LAPD as a Deputy Los Angeles District Attorney. He retired and began handling LAPD discipline cases in the law firm of Darryl Mounger. Bill also has handled many criminal trials where LAPD officers have been criminally charged along with many discipline interviews, Skelly responses, and Boards of Rights.

Mike Stone: Mike passed the bar in 1979 after being an officer in three different municipal police departments. His firm specializes in police defense and he was a past General Counsel for the League. Mike now is General Counsel for the LAPD Command Officers Association and The Riverside Sheriffs’ Association Legal Defense Trust. He has represented many officers charged with criminal misconduct, including obtaining a not guilty verdict for an officer in the Rodney King prosecutions, as well as handling numerous personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights. He is a national trainer/lecturer on uses of force and a POST instructor and is an LAPD specialist reserve officer.

Leslie Wilcox: Leslie passed the bar in 2000. She was a former Deputy District Attorney in Orange County. After that, she worked as a discipline defense attorney for the firm that represented Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs before starting her own firm. She did officer-involved shooting roll outs for LASD and now does them for us. She is also active in personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights.

Mike Williamson: Mike passed the bar in 2005. Mike was a 25-year-LAPD-officer who, while he was on the job, belonged to the Officer Representation Section in the days when they handled Boards of Rights. He continued representing officers in personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights after he retired and joined Mike Stone’s law firm. In addition to having experience in rolling out to LAPD officer-involved shootings, he now also handles roll outs for Riverside Sheriffs. He is also an instructor in college law and discipline classes.

David Winslow: Dave passed the bar in 2000. Dave also is a retired LAPD officer who was assigned to the Officer Representation Section and did roll outs, personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses, and Boards of Rights starting in 1990. He is still doing roll outs for the League, in addition to the interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights that he continues to handle. Dave’s son is now on the job and was issued Dave’s old badge.

Greg Yacoubian: Greg passed the bar in 2004. Greg is also a retired LAPD officer who served 26 years and whose final assignment to Use of Force Division gives him valuable insight into the LAPD process. In addition to handling personnel complaint interviews, Skelly responses and Boards of Rights, he functions as one of our roll out attorneys. Greg also teaches officer-involved shooting investigations for POST and remains a Specialist Reserve with LAPD.

I would like to express my appreciation to the above attorneys who are always willing to go the extra mile to help our members. They are the reason that joining the League’s Legal Plan is so important. The LAPD discipline system is like no other in the United States. It takes someone who has been associated with it for years to have the understanding to properly advise officers on discipline issues. That is why we favor associating with attorneys who have a history with LAPD and understand our own unique issues. Not part of this plan? Better call 866-LAPPL4U and get on board.

Be legally careful out there.

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