Paul concentrates a significant amount of his practice to the area of civil rights litigation. He defends police officers, public officials, corrections officers and administrators, teachers and school district administrators, children and youth case workers, as well as their respective municipal entities, in state and federal court in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. These areas of practice include representing clients before inquest and grand jury proceedings and before administrative proceedings.
Paul has been utilized to perform police department audits and internal investigations and has provided consultation to numerous municipalities regarding the operational aspects of police departments. Paul's many years of experience in law enforcement provide him with a unique perspective, particularly in the numerous matters he has litigated involving the use of Tasers. Paul has successfully completed training provided by the Department of Homeland Security in both the Basic and Command courses in Managing Civil Actions and Threat Incidents (MCATI).
Paul has also litigated a wide array of professional liability and product liability cases in West Virginia, including the defense of real estate agents, insurance brokers, logging cases, correctional facilities and civil rights matters. Among his West Virginia cases was the defense of Weirton Steel Corporation and Wheeling Downs and the City of Huntington. Paul has also represented a number of private and public employers in employment matters.
In 1979 Paul earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from the Pennsylvania State University. For some 12 years before attending the Duquesne University School of Law, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Paul was a police officer. He served in Elizabeth Township, Pennsylvania, and then in the cities of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach, Florida. Paul has served as a uniform police officer and field training officer, as well as becoming certified as a crime scene analyst and was part of the Major Crimes Unit. Paul was recognized as an expert in crime scene reconstruction and the science of fingerprints in both state and federal courts in Florida.
Significant Representative Matters
•Selected as lead defense counsel for all litigation arising out of the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Conference (G20) which occurred in Pittsburgh on September 24 and 25, 2009. In this capacity, Paul represented literally hundreds of police officers from police departments in Pittsburgh and numerous other cities throughout the United States in this litigation. Cases filed include numerous First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims.
•Successfully defended a case in which two police officers Tasered a suicidal man a total of seven times before he could be disarmed. Summary judgment was granted as to the entire case.
•Successfully defended two separate death cases brought under the State Created Danger Theory. In one case, brought in state court, the decedent left the scene of a minor traffic accident and, upon arriving home, committed suicide. In the other, filed in federal court, a police officer stopped a suspect leaving the scene of a domestic incident. Twenty minutes after leaving the scene of the traffic stop, the suspect died in a one-car accident. His blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Both suits were dismissed by way of summary judgment.
•A jury returned a defense verdict in a case in which a corrections officer was accused of using excessive force to break up a fight between inmates.
•A jury returned a defense verdict in a case in which a logger was accused of unlawful timbering practices.
•Successful defense of a mandamus action against a sewer authority in which the authority was accused of imposing arbitrary standards for sewer hook-up in a case that had the potential of effecting 28,000 customers.
•A jury returned a defense verdict in a case in which a dog track was accused of negligence in the deaths of racing dogs and in which the dog owners were permitted to present damages in the amount of $3.6 million.
•A jury returned a defense verdict in a case in which a police officer was involved in a police pursuit which ended with the death of the individual being pursued and where the plaintiff, an innocent third party, suffered the loss of a leg and catastrophic brain injuries. This was the second defense verdict in this case, the first verdict rendered at the close of a summary jury trial.
•A district court judge granted defendants' motion to dismiss at the close of plaintiff's case in a matter in which a police officer accidentally shot and killed plaintiff's decedent. The appeal of the dismissal was upheld by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in which the court focused on whether a prima facie case existed as against the municipality for failing to require its officers to carry less than lethal weapons.
•Implications of Scott v. Harris on Police Pursuits and Beyond, Lorman Education Services
•Palsfraf Revisited - Brisbine v. Outside Inn School of Experiential Education, Lawyer's Journal, Vol. 5 No. 3, February 7, 2003
•Employment Liability in the Cyber Age, Marshall Dennehey / AIG Employment Seminar, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2, 2013
•Development of a Critical Incident Protocol - City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, City of Pittsburgh Law Department, various Chiefs of Police Organizations
•Effective Law Enforcement Through Police Accountability - City of Pittsburgh and various municipal law enforcement agencies
•Police Rights and Liabilities - Various Chiefs of Police Organizations
•Police Accountability - Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and various police departments
•Effective Witness Preparation - Continuing Legal Education for in-house lawyer training
•Section 1983 Civil Rights - Continuing Legal Education, Pennsylvania Bar Association
•Terrorism and An Analysis of the Events of 9/11 - American Inns of Court and University of Pittsburgh
•Workplace Violence - Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh
•Disability of Deriliction? - Claims Management Advisory Board Seminar for a major municipal insurance carrier
•Litigating an Uninsured Auto Case in West Virginia - Maryland Auto Insurance Fund
•Civil / Criminal Forfeiture and RICO - University of Pittsburgh
•Police and Drug Enforcement - University of Pittsburgh
•Immigration and Law Enforcement - University of Pittsburgh
•Crime Scene Investigation - University of Pittsburgh and various law enforcement agencies
•Property Crimes - University of Pittsburgh
•Organized Crime; Asian and African American - University of Pittsburgh
•Organized Crime; Russia - University of Pittsburgh
•Community Consideration of Policing Immigrant Populations - University of Pittsburgh
•Probation and Parole - St. Vincent College
•Crime Prevention and Property Crimes - St. Vincent College
•Introduction to Criminology - Beaver County Community College
•Assisted the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission, Pennsylvania State Police - preparation and training to training officers (2006, 2008)
Past Employment Positions
•Certified I.A.I. Crime Scene Analyst
•Florida State Certified Police Field Training Officer
Year Joined Organization: 1994