About Police Law Institute

Profiles of Expert Reviewers

Laura L. Scarry

Laura L. Scarry is a partner with the law firm of DeAno & Scarry with offices located in downtown Chicago and Wheaton, Illinois. Laura has extensive experience in all aspects of the defense of municipal liability in federal and state courts. Laura has considerable practice before the federal courts in Illinois and Indiana particularly with respect to civil rights litigation.


Since becoming an attorney, the majority of Laura’s work has been in the representation of police officers, supervisors, administrators and the police agencies they work for against claims covering a wide array of law enforcement issues. She has represented the law enforcement community in the areas of excessive force, deadly force, search and seizure, malicious prosecution, failure to train, duty to protect, police pursuit, employment discrimination, in-custody deaths and racial profiling. What makes Laura’s experience unique is that she sees cases from a practical standpoint, having been a police officer for the City of Lake Forest from 1986-1992.


Laura is most proud of her work in being trusted and called on by police officers and the municipalities they work for to provide legal advice to officers within hours of their being involved in critical incidents such as officer-involved-shootings and in-custody deaths.


Recognizing that what officers write and say in the immediate aftermath of these events can effect future civil litigation, Laura has developed a legal defense fund for law enforcement officers involved in critical incidents: a nominal yearly retainer ensures she and/or other police civil rights attorneys in the DeAno & Scarry firm are available to each contributing member for that year—24/7—to provide sound legal advice and representation throughout the hours and days following the event for a fraction of the cost if the officer were to pay an hourly fee.


Laura is a columnist for Law Officer magazine writing about legal issues affecting the law enforcement community in a column called the "Legal Eagle." Additionally, she serves as a legal consultant to the Police Law Institute, a training organization that provides computerized legal training to law enforcement officers throughout the State of Illinois.


Laura also has lectured extensively by invitation to police organizations and municipal organizations such as the Public Safety Institute, International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, North East Multi-Regional Training, Illinois Police Instructor Trainers Association, Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers Association, Law Enforcement Training Managers Association, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, Performance Institute, American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy.


She also conducts in-service training to local police departments and other municipal entities regarding all areas of civil liability and employment discrimination. Laura is receptive to telephone calls and e-mails and welcomes all opportunities to discuss current events as they apply to the law enforcement community and other government employees.


Laura graduated summa cum laude from Carthage College, Kenosha, WI with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Criminal Justice and has a Juris Doctor degree from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is admitted to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court and the Federal District Courts in the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois, as well as the Northern District Court of Indiana.

Jeffery Poth

Jeffery Poth began his career as a criminal prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida (Dade County). During his career as an Assistant State Attorney, Mr. Poth handled a wide range of felony and misdemeanor cases from the intake process through sentencing. In particular, he enjoyed trying cases and working closely with the local police departments in Dade County.


Mr. Poth’s next position was with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General where he gained experience in defending state law enforcement officers in civil rights lawsuits in state and federal courts and also prosecuted healthcare fraud cases throughout the state of Ohio.


Jeffery entered private practice in 1999 and has been serving as a reviewer for the Police Law Institute since 2005. Mr. Poth graduated from Miami University in 1990 and The Ohio State University College of Law in 1993. He is admitted to the bar in the states of Florida and Ohio in addition to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Brett D. Papendick

Brett D. Papendick is an associate with the law firm of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C. with offices located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Brett has considerable experience in litigation issues and intellectual property rights. Prior to moving to Iowa in 2005, he practiced in the states of Missouri and Arkansas. Brett is licensed to practice in Missouri, Arkansas and Iowa, as well as in front of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


Brett's interest in assisting law enforcement comes from his association with family members possessing a tie to law enforcement. Additionally, Brett has had the honor to work with law enforcement on several community based activities and organizations. In this work, he has witnessed first hand the dedication and incredible work ethic of those in law enforcement.


Brett graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia.