IndyBar: CLE Series to Tackle Legal Issues Surrounding Use of Force

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A hot topic in the news can be more than just a headline—it can become an issue that hits close to home. Throughout the past months, the debate on police use of force has intensified. But how does this national issue relate to the practice of Indy lawyers?

An upcoming IndyBar CLE series will examine this topic through a local lens and will feature four programs that will expand the issue of police officers’ use of force, addressing current topics affecting police departments and the lawyers who advise them. Hosted by the bar’s Government Practice Section, the series will feature thought-provoking insight from leaders on both sides of the debate as well as practical information on substantive law issues.

The series will kick off on September 3 with a panel discussion on the current climate regarding police use of force, featuring five excellent and entertaining speakers: Beth Garrison, City of Kokomo; John Kautzman, Ruckelshaus Kautzman Bemis Blackwell & Hasbrook; Rich Waples, Waples & Hanger; Steve Creason, Indiana Attorney General’s Office; and Chief Darryl Pierce, former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department assistant chief. This panel discussion will provide a broad spectrum of ideas and viewpoints on police use of force and other interactions with the public.

The second CLE on Sept. 17 looks at civil implications and liability regarding officer use of force. At this second presentation, attendees will hear two seasoned practitioners, Libby Roberts of Church Church Hittle & Antrim and Patricia Orloff Erdmann of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, discuss police liability arising from officer use of force and their experiences in defending these claims.

At the third session on Oct. 1 speakers will delve into possible criminal or other repercussions arising from police misconduct—including when an officer’s use of force crosses the line and becomes excessive. This third presentation will answer questions about whether and/or in what circumstances police officers can be criminally charged for incidents arising in their line of work.

The series culminates Oct. 15 with a one-on-one debate concerning a number of issues with the current climate regarding police use of force. This debate CLE is the Government Practice Section’s third annual debate, each of which has showcased a hotly debated media topic. This debate also showcases the best of legal professionalism, displaying that two accomplished legal professionals can fundamentally disagree on a topic while remaining collegial and professional in their disagreement.

Each and every one of these CLEs is an excellent opportunity to learn about the changing landscape of police officer use of force and how it may affect clients, to hear experts discuss and debate police use of force in today’s climate, and to meet and network with experienced practitioners who work in the same or similar area of law.

If you want your practice to stay relevant in today’s changing culture, you don’t want to miss this engaging and enlightening series. Register for it today at•

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