Jon Holtzman

RPLG Founding Partner Jon Holtzman.

The Berkeley Law Center for Law and Work will host a five-hour webinar about police reform on Friday, Jan. 29, convening sixteen lawyers, judges, policy experts and professors to discuss possible changes to police-related labor laws. RPLG Founding Partner Jon Holtzman will speak on a panel about transparency in the negotiations and administration of police labor agreements.

The free event, titled “Reforming Policing Through Changing Labor Relations,” will run from 10:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Three panels and a keynote speaker will explore the impact of current labor relations structures on policing and how changes to labor relations law could help transform policing.

Following an introduction by Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and retired California Supreme Court Associate Justice Joseph Grodin, the first panel will discuss the labor relations elements of current calls for public safety reform. This panel, moderated by Berkeley Law’s Catherine Fisk, features Christy Lopez, a professor at Georgetown Law; Nancy Skinner, the California State Senator for District 9; and Ronald Davis, the former Director of the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

The Hon. Thelton Henderson, a former U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California, will start the afternoon’s sessions with a keynote address discussing the role of labor relations in promoting or undermining constitutional policing. The Hon. John True, retired judge of the Alameda County Superior Court, will then introduce specific proposals for reform.

The second panel, on which Jon will participate, considers increasing transparency in negotiation and discipline. Jon will join moderator Ronald Yank, the former Director of the California Department of Personnel Administration; Will Atchison, counsel for law enforcement officers’ unions in Portland, Oregon; and Anand Subramanian, managing director at PolicyLink.

“Labor relations and other laws need to be updated to address the problems we are seeing in policing. Berkeley Law has lined up some of the best minds to take on this daunting task.” said Jon. “I look forward to sharing my thoughts from years of working in this area and learning from my fellow panelists.  This is a groundbreaking event that, I hope, will help state policymakers rethink some of the ways we can improve public trust in policing through changes in labor and employment laws.”

The third and final panel will discuss accountability, focusing on proposals to ensure union contracts do not prevent changes in policy that seek to respect constitutional and civil rights. Moderator Barry Winograd, a Berkeley Law lecturer and past president of the National Academy of Arbitrators, will facilitate discussion among panelists Paul Henderson, Director of the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability; Harry Stern, Principal at Rains, Lucia, Stern, St. Phalle & Silver; and Jeanne Charles, an arbitrator.

Visit the Center for Law and Work’s website for a detailed agenda and the speaker biography sheet.The event will take place over YouTube Live and is linked on the Center for Law and Work’s event page. Registration is not required. Please visit the Center for Law and Work’s website or contact Pamela Erickson for more information.

RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies, nonprofit entities, individuals and private entities in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions.