A jury in Los Angeles has ordered the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office to pay damages
to a man who was shot and paralyzed by police officers involved in the infamous Rampart police corruption scandal. The man was then framed by the officers, and convicted of shooting at them. I did not hear any of the evidence in the case, although I followed news coverage of the scandal when it was unfolding a few years ago. But, what this jury did is outrageous. I'm not saying it was wrong for the jury to find that the attorney or the office was negligent in his case. We are professionals and are subject to malpractice claims (except for prosecutors, who have absolute immunity, but that's another argument for another day). But, the jury also had to apportion responsibility for the man's damages, and concluded that of all the actors--including the police who actually shot the man, planted the gun, filed the false reports, and perjured themselves at his trial--the Public Defender's Office was 100% responsible. That is absolutely ridiculous.