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10-15-07, 04:59 PM #1
EOW - Farewell to Lawyer Who Fought for Officer's Rights
Everett Bobbitt, 61; lawyer fought for police rights
By David E. Graham
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
October 15, 2007
After two tours of combat in Vietnam as a Marine, Everett L. Bobbitt became an El Cajon police officer, then changed careers and became an attorney representing law enforcement officers whose cases often set legal precedents.
Mr. Bobbitt won a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., in 2004 against the U.S. government on behalf of more than 1,000 Border Patrol supervisors who said they were denied proper overtime pay. Last year, he won against The Copley Press, publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune, when the state Supreme Court ruled that police officers can keep job-performance records private when appealing disciplinary action in civil service hearings.
During a 24-year legal career, Mr. Bobbitt represented thousands of law enforcement officers in state and federal courts.
Mr. Bobbitt, a resident of downtown San Diego, died Wednesday at home from complications of pancreatic cancer. He was 61.
“In short, Everett was a staunch advocate for the rights of law enforcement officers,” said his law partner, Richard L. Pinckard of the firm Bobbitt Pinckard & Fields in Kearny Mesa. “As a vigorous advocate for the rights of law enforcement officers, Everett has been one of the principal architects of the legal landscape in this specialized area of the law.”
Mr. Bobbitt represented the local Deputy Sheriffs' Association in last year's state Supreme Court case about access to job-performance records.
“Everett Bobbitt was the premier law officers attorney,” said Jim Duffy, immediate past president of the association.
Duffy said Mr. Bobbitt was tenacious, and that he particularly benefited in understanding officers' interests from having been one.
Mr. Bobbitt was born Aug. 25, 1946, in Decatur, Ill., one of nine children.
He joined the Marine Corps in 1964 after having run-ins with the law over rowdy behavior as a teenager. Pinckard said a judge offered Mr. Bobbitt a choice: Enter the service or the justice system.
He was wounded in Vietnam and carried shrapnel in his back, but still completed two tours of combat duty.
He returned to San Diego in 1970 as a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. He received an honorable discharge as a staff sergeant in 1972 and joined the El Cajon Police Department as a patrolman.
Mr. Bobbitt held several posts in the department, including watch commander, detective sergeant, and child-abuse and sex-crimes investigator. Through his work he met his future wife, Maude, then a county sheriff's child-abuse detective. They married in 1979.
During his time with El Cajon police, Mr. Bobbitt also was working toward an undergraduate degree at San Diego State University in public administration and a law degree at Western State University College of Law, now Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Mr. Bobbitt left the department in 1984 as a lieutenant.
He began representing police officers throughout the state as an attorney for the Peace Officers Research Association of California.
After a year, he started a practice in San Diego representing law enforcement officers in administrative, labor, civil and criminal matters. He formed the firm now known as Bobbitt, Pinckard & Fields, which specializes in the representation of law enforcement officers.
Mr. Bobbitt won numerous decisions against the city and county of San Diego on a variety of due-process cases, in which deputies and officers said employers had violated their rights. Issues included confidentiality of records, rights during internal investigations and labor contracts.
He was deft at appeals, submitting cases before the California and U.S. Supreme Courts that often set precedents.
“He always believed that cops performed a vital but very difficult job, and that they were entitled to the most vigorous representation in their times of need,” Pinckard said.
Mr. Bobbitt prepared rigorously for court and required the government to prove every aspect of its case, sometimes with an aggressive style, Pinckard said. Mr. Bobbitt was skilled at cross-examination, winning some cases by revealing gaps in evidence with rapid-fire questioning that was “literally unrelenting,” Pinckard said.
Some opposing counsel and police chiefs referred to Mr. Bobbitt's style as “scorched earth,” his law partner said.
“Everett always accepted that observation as a compliment, and his clients expected nothing less,” Pinckard said.
Mr. Bobbitt retired in December 2006 from the firm that will continue to bear his name.
He also served for at least six years on the board of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation.
Survivors, in addition to his wife, include his son, Russell Bobbitt of New York; and brother, Leonard G. Bobbitt of Peoria, Ill.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Bali Hai restaurant on Shelter Island.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, 9440 Ruffin Court, Suite 2, San Diego, CA 92123.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
10-15-07, 05:08 PM #2
Rest in peace.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
10-15-07, 05:09 PM #3
Rest in peace.
10-15-07, 06:03 PM #4
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10-15-07, 06:51 PM #5
Thank you, my brother, for all of your dedication and service to the profession and community. RIP. Far too young to lose the greatest case you ever fought.Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
[George Washington (1732 - 1799)]
10-15-07, 07:17 PM #6
Rest in Peace, thank you for all you did for all of us
My dad, I miss him every day.
Originally Posted by Wolven
Life is too short to wear unsexy underwear.
I am a female!!!!! LMAO
Be who you are and say what you feel.....
Because those that matter...don't mind...
And those that mind...don't matter
10-15-07, 07:19 PM #7
10-15-07, 07:58 PM #8
Thank you for all you have done, May you rest in peace
Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy
10-15-07, 08:00 PM #9
Godspeed....thank you for all you have done.Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr
10-15-07, 09:03 PM #10
Semper Fi, brother officer and Marine...
Searching for Evil and the Perfect donut (Love that book)
"It's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you"
There are gains for all our losses
There are balms for all our pain
But, when youth, the dream, departs
It takes something from our hearts
And it never comes again
"Captain, it is I Ensign Pulver. I just threw your damn palm tree overboard. Now, what's all this crap about no movie tonight?" -Ens Pulver in Mister Roberts
The man who will go where his colors go, without asking who will fight a phantom foe in the jungle and mountain range, without counting, and who will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America. He is the stuff of which legions are made. ...His pride is in his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what he must face...and his obedience is to his orders. He has been called United State Marine.
T.R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War
10-15-07, 09:29 PM #11
RIP thank you for what you have done.
10-15-07, 11:49 PM #12
RIP"When I'm driving along and I see a sign that says, CAUTION: SMALL CHILDREN AHEAD,
I slow down, and then it occurs to me, I'm not afraid of small children"!
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