Terminated Officer’s Lawsuit Against Union Lawyer Fails

The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit filed by a terminated officer against his union’s lawyer. The Court’s opinion turned on several fundamental principles of legal ethics. The officer, Russell Zander of the Village of Fox Lake, was terminated for various acts of on-the-job misconduct. Zander’s labor organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, assigned Roy Carlson, one of its staff attorneys, to represent Zander. Under Illinois law, a…

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Union Lawyer Not Liable To Member For Malpractice Claim

Russell Zander was a police officer with the Village of Fox Lake, Illinois. When the Village’s police chief filed formal charges recommending Zander’s termination, Zander’s labor organization, the FOP, assigned Roy Carlson to represent him. Carlson is a licensed attorney and FOP employee who represents members in grievance and termination proceedings. Zander did not pay Carlson, other than indirectly through his union dues, and the two did not sign…

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Missed Time Line Does Not Necessarily Mean Officer’s Lawyer Liable For Malpractice

Christopher Pannone was a police officer for the New York Police Department. The Department has a rule that officers using sick leave are required to remain at home, subject to certain exceptions. Pannone used sick leave on July 22, 1998, but left his home. During an investigation into his sick leave use, Pannone was untruthful to an investigator during what is known as a GO-15 interview. At a later…

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