Los Angeles lawyer Stephen Yagman has a record of bringing successful police abuse cases against the Los Angeles Police Department that is legendary, says the Los Angeles Times. He pioneered the tactic of calling the city’s top elected officials to answer for the actions of rank-and-file police officers. “He’s pushed the envelope to get judgments against public officials who before were not held accountable,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. With, by his estimate, more than 500 lawsuits against the city under his belt – the city’s count is 60 since 1997 – Yagman has been accused of slapping politicians with subpoenas more often than is necessary.
In an ongoing case, Yagman is again targeting a police special investiations unit. He alleges that its officers violated the civil rights of a woman who says she was terrorized when officers stood by while suspects whom they were trailing robbed her and other patrons in a bar. Officers later shot three of the four suspects to death. The city attorney’s office said it has settled 17 cases with Yagman over the last decade, but has beaten him in all nine cases that went to trial.