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Peace Officer Defense/Civil Rights

Meyers Nave’s Peace Officer Defense/Civil Rights group is a powerful advocate for law enforcement agencies and officers.  We routinely defend peace officers and municipalities in federal and state court against a wide variety of claims, including claims involving officer involved shootings, wrongful death, excessive force, false arrest, illegal entry, officer negligence and Monell liability.  We also frequently provide advice to law enforcement agencies regarding their policies and training.

Blake Loebs leads Meyers Nave’s Peace Officer Defense/Civil Rights Practice Group. He joined Meyers Nave after serving 22 years as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. As Chief of Civil Rights Litigation for nine years, he served as first chair in over 25 civil jury trials defending the City and County of San Francisco from civil suits involving officer-involved shootings, allegations of police misconduct, and catastrophic personal injuries. He also assisted in drafting General Orders for the San Francisco Police Department, shaping policies on matters including officer-involved shootings and vehicle chases.

Reflecting his special expertise defending police officers in deadly force incidents, the San Francisco Police Officers Association awarded Blake with the Medal of Honor and “Citizen of the Year 2013”, the two highest honors that can be bestowed on civilians. Blake has developed reports and testimony in numerous fields of expertise, including police practices, suicide-by-cop, blood spatter analysis, ballistics, wound ballistics, photogrammetry, trajectory analysis, crime scene reconstruction, computer animation, hostage negotiation, toxicology, psychology, fiber analysis, rap lyrics, accident reconstruction, fingerprint/DNA analysis, orthopedic medicine, vocational rehabilitation, and neurology.

Representative Experience

Fletcher v. City of Modesto – allegations that two officers shot and killed a man who was not a threat; plaintiffs dismissed for waiver of costs pre-discovery.

August v. City of Modesto – allegations that an officer shot and killed an unarmed man; plaintiff dismissed for waiver of costs pre-discovery.

Pickett v. City of Richmond – allegations of false arrest, illegal search of vehicle, and excessive force; plaintiff dismissed all claims for a waiver of costs two months before trial and apologized in person to the officers.

Miller v. Santa Clara County – allegations of prisoner abuse against County and 44 defendants involving 10 separate incidents; defense counsel maneuvered plaintiff into dismissing all claims with prejudice for a waiver of costs prior to extensive discovery or dispositive motions being heard.

Espinosa v. City and County of San Francisco – allegation that officers shot and killed an unarmed man in his home without provocation; defense verdict after a one-month jury trial.

Boyd v. City and County of San Francisco – allegations that an officer executed an unarmed disabled man; defense verdict after a six-week jury trial; affirmed on appeal; $120,000 in costs awarded to defendants.

Dunklin v. City and County of San Francisco – allegations that officers shot an unarmed man in a wheelchair; summary judgment for defense; affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Moll v. City and County of San Francisco – allegations that officers shot and killed an unarmed 19-year old; plaintiff dismissed for a waiver of costs one month before trial.

Sheehan v. City and County of San Francisco – allegations that officers unnecessarily shot an emotionally disturbed woman; defendants won on summary judgment; qualified immunity upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wu v. City and County of San Francisco – allegations that an officer unnecessarily shot an emotionally disturbed man armed with a pair of scissors; plaintiff dismissed for a waiver of costs one month before trial.

Tapueluelu v. City and County of San Francisco – allegations of excessive force causing death; defendants won on summary judgment; affirmed on appeal.