A team of lawyers from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has started as the independent monitor for the New Orleans Police Department, tasked with ensuring that the city is complying with a 2012 consent decree entered with the U.S. Department of Justice.
In a letter dated August 10 to Judge Susie Morgan, Sheppard Mullin managing partner Robert Beall accepted the job on behalf of the firm, cementing the contract with the city of New Orleans. Judge Morgan awarded the contract to Sheppard Mullin on July 5.
Washington office co-managing partner Jonathan Aronie will serve as the primary monitor, with partner David Douglass serving as the deputy monitor. They will be supported by partners Peter Morris and Tracey Kennedy and a team that includes a former police chief.
The team will ensure the city is complying with a 2012 consent decree entered with the U.S. Department of Justice. Among the violations cited in the consent decree are the use of excessive force, unlawful searches and arrests and discrimination.
"On behalf of Jonathan Aronie, David Douglass and our many partners, let me also express our appreciation for the confidence that the parties and the court have placed in us for this important undertaking," Beall wrote in his letter. "We are honored and look forward to serving this court and the people of New Orleans."
The four-year contract caps expenditures at $8.5 million. (Sheppard Mullin submitted a bid of $7.9 million.) The contract also details the hourly billing rate of Aronie and his fellow partners. The billing rate for partners starts at $425 for the first year and eventually climbs to $491.99 by the fourth year.
Aronie was not immediately available for comment.