Rick is originally from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. He received his B.A. degree in 1977 from The Ohio State University and his law degree in 1980 from Western State University College of Law in San Diego, California. Rick moved to Las Vegas in 1980, at which time he joined one of Nevada’s largest and most distinguished law firms. For more than 25 years, he worked with firms emphasizing insurance, self-insured, personal injury, medical malpractice, contracts and business litigation.
In 2001, Rick's work started focusing more on police and fire personnel involving disciplinary, wrongful termination, labor/management and civil rights issues. Although not licensed in Nevada, Rick has become highly experienced in representing peace officers during all phases of interrogation and administrative hearings pursuant to Nevada’s Peace Officer Bill of Rights, including representation at Internal Affairs interviews; pre-disciplinary and pre-termination hearings; arbitration hearings; actions filed on behalf of peace officers before Nevada’s Employee-Management Relations Board (EMRB); lawsuits filed for peace officers before state and federal courts; and he provides on-scene representation for Officer Involved Shootings, in-custody deaths and other critical incidents. He also represents public safety Unions in contract negotiations and he acts as a lobbyist before the Nevada Legislature and the United States Congress.
It was as a result of his experience and success in representing law enforcement personnel that the California Organization of Police & Sheriffs (COPS) asked Rick to become its full time representative when it opened its Nevada office in 2008. In 2009, Rick was insrumental in launching the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers (NAPSO) where Rick is currently the Executive Director, chief labor representative and legislative lobbyist for NAPSO. In his legislative capacity, Rick and NAPSO became leaders in forming a statewide law enforcement coalition that represents more than 9,000 members in Nevada and acts as a single voice for law enforcement's legislative and political action needs. Rick has become the point of contact and spokesperson for the local and national media regarding issues in which NAPSO has become involved -- including gun rights, statewide ballot initiatives, officer involved tragedies, and questions about political candidates.
Rick’s experience includes participation in thousands of internal affairs interviews and disciplinary hearings involving public safety personnel, jury and bench trials, arbitrations, mediations and other hearings in the state and federal court systems and before administrative agencies throughout Nevada. He has written and lectured on issues involving peace officer rights, pre-trial discovery, trial preparation, and general civil litigation strategies.
Of course, backing up Rick around the State is a team of experienced law firms and legal staff who handle many Internal Affairs interviews, arbitrations, court appearances, criminal matters, appeals to the Nevada Supreme Court, etc. Rick's work with those firms assists in protecting the confidentiality of his communications with his members. Click the drop down at the top of the NAPSO website under "NAPSO Plan Counsel" for more information on our retained legal staff.
Don is from Glendora, California (Los Angeles County). He attended the Rio Hondo Police Academy in the summer of 1984 and graduated with his Class #70 at the age of 21. He was hired by the Montebello Police Department and worked the Patrol Division. During his tenure he served on the Montebello Police Officers Association board and was a strong advocate of the MPOA movement.
During this time, Don worked tirelessly on the Montebello Police Activities League, donating approximately 1500 hours per year to the youth of the community. Don also was honored with multiple Medals of Life Saving. Unfortunately after 15 years of service, his career was called short, with a forced medical retirement, due to a foot pursuit gone awry.
Since that time Don worked tirelessly defending the rights of law enforcement officers in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. He has walked the halls of the United States Senate advocating the rights of all law enforcement officers throughout our great country and he will continue to defend the rights all who choose to serve as law enforcement officers.
Don currently serves as a Staff Representative in District 9 of the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, and their law enforcement division, the National Coalition of Public Safety Officers. He has negotiated millions of dollars in salary and benefits increases for law enforcement associations and he remains in high demand during contract negotiation sessions. He is also in high demand as a strategy consultant during times of conflict or political unrest for police associations.
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