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Criminal Defense Lawyers Discuss Use of Force

ATG Membership Meeting. Our monthly Membership Meeting will be at Cabela’s this Friday, Oct. 20th, with the main program starting at 6:00 PM.  Cabela’s meeting room is back by the Deli.  The Deli has good food and will will stay open until 6:00 PM so plan to have dinner with us at Cabela’s.  The networking hour will start at 5:00 PM; the Deli closes at 6:00.  I just learned that Criminal Defense Lawyer David Stevens will be there at 5:00 PM and he has agreed to provide us with some observations related to the Gerlach manslaughter trial. The trial is the subject for three of our speakers.  Defense Lawyer Richard Lee, will talk to us about the trial and media related issues. David Stevens and Mr. Lee were co-counsel for Mr. Gerlach’s criminal defense in the Spokane self-defense shooting trial several years back. Read more

Criminal Defense Team Sends Message to Spokane County

Gerlach Acquittal and the Right to Carry

Gail Gerlach Acquitted of First Degree Manslaughter

Gerlach’s Acquittal Sends Strong Message on self-defense

Criminal defense lawyers in Spokane paid close attention when Gail Gerlach was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter charges. Defense lawyers, Richard Lee and David Stevens, sent a clear message to prosecutors when the Spokane-area resident was acquitted of First Degree Manslaughter for shooting 25 year old Brendon Kaluza-Graham on March 25, 2013. The shot killed Kaluza-Graham who was driving away in Gerlach’s vehicle. Gerlach left the vehicle running while getting ready to take his wife to work.  Read more

He Trains My Hands to Protect the Body of Christ

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3 dealing with church safety & liability issues from a book entitled He Trains My Hands for Battle.

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Ezekiel 3:17-18

Training Your Security Team. The number of professional training firms has grown. One of the most well recognized national ministries in the field of church security is Sheepdog Ministries. Your team needs to participate in regular Reality Based Training (RBT) to avoid exposure to the risk of church liability. Such events involve volunteer actors playing roles such as an active shooter, innocent bystander, plain clothes law enforcement officer who enters the room with weapon drawn, etc, These events normally require simulated ammunition or Simunition or might even be conducted with SIRT laser pistols which do not use simunition. The key is to create the stress of a chaotic life threatening event that causes team members to react to foreseeable situations.

Well recognized legal precedents provide that law enforcement agencies that fail to train for foreseeable situations will be held liable.

Firearms and use of Force Training: Training must be tailored to avoid specific church liabilities in a safe and caring atmosphere.  Potential church liability is a compelling factor when anticipating the allegation that armed school personnel are not in compliance with the guidelines for law enforcement officers spelled out by the U.S Supreme Court in Popow vs Margate, 476 F.Supp. 1237 (Dist. N.J. 1979) (Officer’s firearms training of going to a range twice a year; no training with respect to low light conditions, moving targets or firing in residential areas. Entirely foreseeable that an officer from the City of Margate, a largely residential area, would have to pursue a moving suspect at night under low-light conditions). See also Young v. City of Providence, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1847 (R.I. 2004).  Read more