Here in Seattle we also have no-settlement policy. In addition, the City’s private defense law firm has a monopoly on the police misconduct work. They have a scorched-earth type of defense litigation policy, relying upon the City treasury to fund their actions. The police union has a clause in their contract that requires this particular law firm defend the police officers.
For an example of how it works, I represented a man injured by the police. A lawsuit was filed for $11,000.00. The City deferred to its defense counsel who continued to litigate. At the end of the case, I did a public disclosure request for the defense firm’s billing records. They billed the city just over $87,000.00 on a case that could have gone away for $11,000.00.
Since 2002, this law firm has billed the City around $2,600,000.00 in fees for police misconduct cases.