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Current Issues in Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement Officials

OnDemand Webinar (87 minutes)

A vital principle governing lawsuits against law enforcement officers is the qualified immunity defense. The Supreme Court and lower federal court have grappled with this defense for decades. It is essential that officers and lawyers, who either defend or file lawsuits against officers, be familiar with all aspects of qualified immunity and its applications in different scenarios. This on-demand webinar will help those on both sides of law enforcement litigation in that qualified immunity will cause a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit to either fail or succeed. Qualified immunity has been a dynamic factor in this type of litigation because officers are sued in federal court with regard to virtually every aspect of police work: investigations, arrests, use of force, handcuffing, shootings, tasering, pepper spray use, positional asphyxia, chokeholds, the use of police canines, and issues involving medical care for arrestees and prisoners. Proper knowledge of qualified immunity is vital to the defense or prosecution of civil rights lawsuits.


David W. Lee, Lee Law Center, P.C.


The History and Development of the Qualified Immunity Defense

• Early Supreme Court Jurisprudence and Good Faith Immunity

• The Landmark Cases of Harlow v. Fitzgerald and Anderson v. Creighton

• Saucier v. Katz

• Hope v. Pelzer

• Pearson v. Callahan and the Modification of the Two Step Procedure of Applying Qualified Immunity

The Interaction Between Qualified and Absolute Immunity

• Burns v. Reed

• Buckley v. Fitzsimmons

• Significant Courts of Appeal Cases

Qualified Immunity and Private Actors and Employers

• Wyatt v. Cole and Richardson v. Mcknight

• Filarsky v. Delia

Recent Federal Cases Applying Qualified Immunity and Upcoming Cases of Importance

Qualified Immunity and Excessive Force

• The Problem of Resolving Conflicting Testimony and Qualified Immunity

• The Degree of Force Used and Qualified Immunity

Qualified Immunity and Illegal Searches and Seizures

Interlocutory Appeals and Qualified Immunity

• Factual Issues and Interlocutory Appeals

• The Inextricably Intertwined Doctrine and Swint v. Chambers County Commission