Where to file a Philadelphia police misconduct suit.

Recently, a colleague queried a local criminal justice listserve for advice on filing a police unreasonable force case in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia. I responded with some advice and observations on the pros and cons of filing in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas (the First Judicial District or “FJD”), versus seven blocks east in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This blog post collects and expands upon our email exchange.


The incident at issue involved allegations that Philadelphia police officers beat a suspect.  When their further investigation cleared him of the initial criminal allegations, they left him on the street without arresting him or transporting him for medical treatment. There were officers on the scene who did not participate in the beating, but merely stood by without intervening. The proposed plaintiff suffered bruises, contusions, abrasions and broken teeth. He took himself to the hospital, where he was treated and released. He did not have medical insurance and did not receive follow-up treatment. His injuries have resolved, other than his teeth. Continue reading “Where to file a Philadelphia police misconduct suit.”

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Yatvin’s Pennsylvania Super Lawyer selection reaches a dozen

The 2015 list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers includes Alan L. Yatvin of the Philadelphia Law Firm Popper & Yatvin.  This is Yatvin’s 12th year of being honored, having been named a Super Lawyer every year since the program’s 2004 inception.

The Super Lawyer distinction is given to only a very small percentage of Pennsylvania‘s attorneys each year.  Attorneys are only considered for inclusion in the list of top rated attorneys if they have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement across 12 indicators. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto the list. The selection process, recognized as legitimate by bar associations and courts across the United States, is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Only attorneys who can be retained by the general public are considered. Honorees are selected annually for each state and practice area

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Mayor names Yatvin to Philadelphia Police Community Oversight Board

On April 17, 2015, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter named Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin to the newly created Police Community Oversight Board.

The Board was established by the Mayor by Executive Order No. 1-15, in response to the United States Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policy Services (DOJ-COPS) report entitled, “Collaborative Reform Initiative:  An Assessment of Deadly Force Policy and Practice in the Philadelphia Police Department” and the Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Continue reading “Mayor names Yatvin to Philadelphia Police Community Oversight Board”

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Yatvin named to Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association

Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin has been elected to a three year term as one of the 18 members of the National Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

ada-logoBased in Alexandria, Virginia, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The ADA funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, the ADA’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Continue reading “Yatvin named to Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association”

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Yatvin named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 11th year

Yatvin_SuperLawyer2014The 2014 list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers includes Alan L. Yatvin of the Philadelphia Law Firm Popper & Yatvin.  This is Yatvin’s 11th year of being honored, having been named a Super Lawyer every year since the program’s inception.

The Super Lawyer distinction is given to only a very small percentage of Pennsylvania‘s attorneys each year.  Attorneys are only considered for inclusion in the list of top rated attorneys if they have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement across 12 indicators. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto the list. The selection process, recognized as legitimate by bar associations and courts across the United States, is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Only attorneys who can be retained by the general public are considered. Honorees are selected annually for each state and practice area.

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Yatvin gives written testimony before Senate Committee

ada-logoOn April 29, 2014, Alan Yatvin gave written testimony on behalf of the American Diabetes Association before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights on “Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans: Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety.”

The text of the written testimony appears below: Continue reading “Yatvin gives written testimony before Senate Committee”

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Training the Trainers at the NYPD: Yatvin speaks to police about diabetes issues

On behalf of the American Diabetes Association, Popper & Yatvin partner Alan Yatvin, along with Daniel Lorber, MD, presented a training on diabetes at the New York City Police Academy on January 31, 2014. The program, which was attended by 250 training sergeants, was to prepare for Command Level Training which the training sergeants will be providing to New York City Police officers in February.

Continue reading “Training the Trainers at the NYPD: Yatvin speaks to police about diabetes issues”

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Popper & Yatvin Settles Suit Over Philadelphia Police Shooting of Emotionally Disturbed Man

On the afternoon of March 13, 2011, Carmelo Winans, an emotionally troubled young man, sat on the floor in an isolated corner of the kitchen of the house he shared with his father and grandparents.  Paranoid and confused, he held a small steak knife to his neck as he spoke about god.  He was not threatening anyone and he was not engaging in any aggressive actions.   His father, Carmelo Santiago, fearing his son might harm himself, phoned the police to come help his child.  Two Philadelphia Police officers came to the house and entered the kitchen.  The frightened father stood in the kitchen doorway, behind the police, watching first in relief, then in increasing horror, as the events unfolded. Continue reading “Popper & Yatvin Settles Suit Over Philadelphia Police Shooting of Emotionally Disturbed Man”

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