Dale Galipo

Dale Galipo Law

Dale K. Galipo obtained his J.D.from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 1984. Mr. Galipo has since earned a reputation as one of the top civil rights attorneys in the nation. With the formation of The Law Offices of Dale K. Galipo in 1991, Mr. Galipo began specializing in personal injury cases and soon thereafter, he started obtaining multi-million dollar jury verdicts on personal injury cases. During the 1990’s, Mr. Galipo also handled numerous criminal cases and was dubbed “The Strikes Man” by the Daily Journal for multiple jury acquittals in “three strikes” cases. From 1995 thru 1996, Mr. Galipo obtained six consecutive jury acquittals on major felony cases.

In 2002, Dale Galipo started to specialize in civil rights cases involving police misconduct and excessive force and shortly thereafter, Mr. Galipo began obtaining multi-million dollar jury verdicts for victims of police misconduct and police abuse. In 2012, Mr. Galipo was awarded the Defender of the Constitution Award by the Inland Empire Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and was more recently the Honoree for the MLK award presented in his name at the UC Davis School of Law. In the last eleven years, he has prevailed in over 50 Jury trials and has obtained over 100 seven-figure verdicts and settlements.

With approximately twenty published opinions in civil rights cases, Dale Galipo has also been selected to the Southern California’s SuperLawyers list every year. Having been awarded the CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year 2020 and also the CAOC 2020 Consumer Attorney of the Year, he is often asked to speak about his civil rights practice, most often on how to successfully try a civil-rights case. As an active member of The Inner Circle of Advocates and as a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers, Mr. Galipo has gone to trial and won more cases against the police than any other attorney in the country.

Dale Gaplipo
Dale Gaplipo

How To Win a Civil Rights Case At Trial

A.Overcoming Negative Evidence (Exclude-Limit-Deal With).

1. Dealing With Negative Evidence

a. Drugs

b. Alcohol

c. Criminal History

d. Previous Arrests

e. Weapons

f. Mental Illness

g. Fighting

h. Use Of Force Against Officers

i. Injury To Officers

j. Not Complying With Commands

2. Motions In Limine

a. Exclude Negative Evidence

b. Limit Negative Evidence

3. Trial

a. Voir Dire

b. Opening Statement

c. Cross Examination

d. Direct Examination

e. Experts

f. Jury Instructions

g. Verdict Form

h. Closing Argument

i. Rebuttal Argument

4. Asking For Limited Instructions Re Negative Evidence

5. Bifurcation Of Trial Into Different Phases To Limit Negative Evidence

B.Motions In Limine

  1. Exclude Negative Evidence
  2. Limit Negative Evidence
  3. Criminal History
  4. Drugs
  5. Alcohol
  6. Gangs
  7. Tattoos
  8. Weapon / Loaded Weapon
  9. Injury To Officer/Others
  10. Comparative Negligence
  11. Bifurcation
  12. Special Instructions
  13. Experts – 702 (Daubert Analysis)

C.Jury Instructions

  1. Importance Of Instructions
  2. Model Instructions
  3. Special Instructions
  4. Introductory Instructions
  5. Liability Instructions
  6. Causation Instructions
  7. Damage Instructions
  8. Closing Instructions

D.Verdict Form

  1. Liability Questions (State And Federal Claims)
  2. Damages Questions (Specifying Different Elements of Damages)
  3. Importance Of Keeping It Simple
  4. Simple Questions Are Better For The Plaintiff(s)
  5. Ordering Of Questions
  6. Causation Questions
  7. By A Preponderance Of The Evidence
  8. Punitive Damages Questions

E.Jury Selection

  1. Preparing Proposed Voir Dire Questions For The Court
  2. Asking Group Questions To Jury Panel
  3. Asking Individual Questions To Individual Jurors
  4. Exercising Peremptory Challenges
  5. Exercising For Cause Challenges
  6. Challenges For Improper Challenges By Opposing Counsel
    1. Importance Of Being Likable
    2. Importance Of Being Professional
    3. Style Of Questions
    4. Framing The Case
    5. Dealing With Negative Evidence
    6. Who To Use Our Last Challenge On

F.Giving An Effective Opening Statement

  1. Mini-Openings
  2. Getting The Jury To Like You And Your Case
  3. Framing The Case
  4. Setting The Standards/Rules
  5. Acknowledging Negative Evidence
  6. Showing How The Standards/Rules Have Been
  7. Don’t Oversell The Case

G.Direct Examination/Ordering The Witnesses

  1. What Order To Call Your Witnesses In Your Case
    1. When To Call The Individual Officers
    2. When To Call The Experts
    3. When To Call Your Client
  2. How To Ask The Best Questions On “Direct Examination” To Make It Easy For Your Witness
  3. How To Rehabilitate Your Witness When Necessary

H.Effective Cross-Examination At Trial

  1. Preparing For Cross-Examination
  2. How To Form Your Questions
  3. The Ordering Of Your Questions
  4. Using Reports In Cross
  5. Using Statements In Cross
  6. Handling Difficult Witnesses
  7. Refreshing Recollection
  8. Using Exhibits With The Witnesses
  9. Hypothetical Questions

I.Handling The Experts At Trial

  1. Preparing Plaintiff’s Experts
  2. How To Handle Direct Examination Of Plaintiff’s Experts
  3. Rehabilitating Plaintiff’s Expert
  4. Cross Examination Of Defendant’s Police Practices Expert
    1. Developing Bias
    2. Taking Away Their Power
    3. Using Their Background And Experience To Your Benefit
    4. Confirming The Rules And Standards
    5. Reviewing Favorable Facts
    6. Framing The Case
    7. Using Effective Hypothetical Questions
  5. Cross Examination Of Defendant’s Medical Experts
    1. Establishing Bias
    2. Keeping It Simple/Getting Concessions
    3. Using The Defendant’s Expert To Help Your Case
    4. Points Of Agreement With Your Medical Experts
    5. Points Of Disagreement With Other Defense Experts

J.Giving A Persuasive Closing Argument

  • Pulling It All Together
    • Discussing Jury Selection
    • Discussing Opening Statement
    • Discussing Jury Instructions
    • Discussing The Verdict Form
    • Using Demonstrative Evidence
    • Selecting The Best Exhibits
  • Introductory Comments
  • Framing The Case
  • Reviewing The Standards/Rules
  • Dealing With The Negative Evidence
  • Reviewing The Evidence
  • Implementing The Jury Instructions
  • Implementing The Verdict Form
  • Pre-Empting Defense Arguments

K.Presenting A Strong Rebuttal Argument

  • Dealing With Burden Of Proof Argument
  • Dealing With “20/20 Vision Of Hindsight” Argument
  • Dealing With “Split Second Decision” Argument
  • Dealing With “Difficult Job” Argument
  • It’s All Plaintiff’s Fault – Bad Choices
  • Dealing With Credibility Arguments
  • Dealing With Negative Evidence
  • Re-Framing The Case
  • Reconnecting With The Jurors
  • Saving Some Good Rebuttal Points
  • Bringing The Passion In Your Rebuttal Argument

L.Post-Trial Issues

  • Preparing The Proposed Judgment
  • Preparing Memorandum Of Costs
  • Motions For Statutory Attorney Fees
  • JMOL Motions
  • New Trial Motions
  • Other Considerations
Dale Gaplipo
Dale Gaplipo

Working Up A Civil Rights Case Before Trial

A.Considerations In Deciding Whether To Take A Civil Rights Case

  • The Basic Facts
  • Injuries/Damages
  • Who Are The Plaintiff(s)
  • Who Is The Decedent
  • Who Are The Defendants
  • Is There A Related Criminal Case
  • Are There Witnesses
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Audio
  • Video
  • District Attorney Review
  • Assessing The Negative Evidence
  • Surviving MSJ
  • Getting Around Qualified Immunity
  • Assessing The Clients’ Expectations

B.Dealing With The Related Criminal Case

  1. Charges
  2. Copy Of File
  3. Discovery – Using The Criminal Case To Get Early Discovery
  4. The Plea – Possible Negative Implications
  5. Heck v Humphrey – Is The Case Barred by The Criminal Conviction
  6. Claim Requirement
  7. Statute Of Limitations
  8. Tolling Of Statute
  9. Timing Of The Filing
  10. Staying The Case
  11. Pleading The Fifth
  12. Don’t Let The Criminal Conviction Preclude The Civil Action

C.What To Do Before Filing The Lawsuit

  1. Getting Documents
    1. Medical Records
    2. Photographs
    3. Autopsy Report
  2. Securing Witnesses
  3. Family Documents
  4. Researching The Case
  5. Getting All The Plaintiffs
  6. Conflict Of Interest Waivers
  7. Establishing Liability
  8. Researching The Law
  9. Building Damages

D.Filing The Complaint

  1. State Court vs Federal Court
  2. Claims For Relief – What Claims Can Be Brought Under Federal And State Law
  3. Identifying The Plaintiffs
  4. Identifying The Defendants
  5. Requesting The Appropriate Damages
  6. Sufficient Factual Allegations
  7. Request For Jury Trial
  8. Dealing With Demurrers And Motions To Dismiss
  9. Filing Amended Complaints

E.Getting The Documents

  1. Public Records Request
  2. District Attorney Review
  3. Newspaper Articles
  4. Agency Review
  5. Related Criminal Case
  6. Disclosures
  7. Requests For Production Of Documents
  8. Audio
  9. Video
  10. Officer Statements
  11. Internal Affairs Review
  12. Protective Orders
  13. Forensic Evidence

F.Taking Effective Depositions

  1. Style Of Questioning
  2. Police Officers
  3. Witnesses
  4. Paramedics
  5. Treating Physicians
  6. Medical Examiner
  7. Detectives
  8. 30(B)(6) Depositions
  9. Persons Most Knowledgeable/ Persons Most Qualified Depositions
  10. Monell Depositions
  11. Defendant Depositions
  12. Expert Depositions
  13. Plaintiffs’ Depositions

G.Framing The Case

  1. Focusing The Jury On Important Issues
  2. Focusing The Jury On Facts You Can Prevail On
  3. The Issue Is
  4. The Issue Is Not
  5. Using Voir Dire – To Set The Standards
  6. Using Opening Statement – To Set The Standards
  7. Using Cross-Examination – To Set The Standards
  8. Using Experts To Frame The Case/Set The Standard
  9. Jury Instruction
  10. Verdict Form
  11. POST Standards
  12. Training
  13. Policies
  14. Deposition Testimony

H.Setting The Standard(s)

  • What Is Excessive Force
  • Standards Re Deadly Force
  • Standards Re Less Lethal Force
  • Using POST Standards
  • Using Policy Language
  • Using Training Materials
  • Using Officer Testimony
  • Using Expert Testimony
  • Using Jury Instructions
  • Standards of Different Types of Force
    • Carotid Restraint
    • Taser
    • Pepper Spray
    • Police Batons
    • Bean Bag Shot Gun
    • K-9
    • 40 Mm Rounds
    • Restraint / Positional Asphyxia
    • Standards Re Arrest
    • Standards Re Detention
    • Standards Re Medical Care
    • Prone Restraint

I.Using Experts

  • Police Practice Experts
  • Trajectory Experts
  • Forensic Experts
  • Medical Experts
  • Damages Experts
  • 30(b)(6) Experts

J.Opposing Summary Judgment

  1. Citing Cases Similar To Yours
  2. Distinguishing Unfavorable Cases
  3. Developing Disputed Issues Of Material Fact
  4. Using Deposition Testimony
  5. Using Statements Of Defendants
  6. Using Declarations (Witnesses – Experts)
  7. Using Photographs
  8. Framing The Case – In The MSJ Opposition
  9. Setting The Standard – In The MSJ Opposition

K.Dealing With Qualified Immunity

  1. Creating Material Factual Disputes
  2. Showing Law Clearly Established
  3. Citing Similar Cases
  4. Distinguishing Unfavorable Cases
  5. Falls Within The Obvious Argument
  6. Assume All Plaintiffs’ Facts – Take All Reasonable Inferences
  7. Not Applicable To State Claims
  8. Using Officer Training
  9. Expert Declarations
  10. Policies – Using The Policies Of The Defendants
  11. POST Training (Peace Officer Standards And Training)
  12. Not Applicable To Monell
  13. Using Deposition Testimony To Show Law Clearly Established
  14. Using Deposition Testimony Re Training – Hypothetical Questions

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