Police violence in Washington, D.C., has led to multimillion-dollar paydays for many lawyers, says the Washington Examiner. “You'll never be out of work dealing with the (D.C.) police department,” said Gregory Lattimer, who files about 50 civil rights suits each year. Lawyers typically take between one-third and two-fifths of their clients' settlements. Given that D.C. has spent almost $14 million to settle suits since 1998, lawyers have taken anywhere between $4.5 million and $5.5 million on settlements alone. The city has a reputation for juries that are hostile to the police and generous to plaintiffs, which makes civil rights suits “a market that many lawyers want to tap,” Lattimer said.
Kristopher Baumann is the chair of the police union and a former lawyer. He said the city is too quick to surrender in many lawsuits. “There's a lot of bottom-feeder lawyers out there,” he said. “And once an attorney figures out how the system works, you just have to jump through some hoops and the city will open up the checkbook.” D.C. has set up a $20 million expressly for litigation. For some sharkish lawyers, the fund is the equivalent of chum in the water, Lattimer said.