Law Enforcement


Led by founding partner Leonard H. Kesten, BHPK has unmatched experience representing police officers in a wide variety of legal matters, including allegations of misconduct, civil rights violations, due process, illegal search and seizures, probable cause for arrests, and claims of excessive or deadly force. Over the past twenty-five years, BHPK has been at the forefront of every emerging area of police liability and our lawyers have an extensive knowledge of both the state and federal civil rights laws and qualified immunity. Our team of attorneys have represented well over half of the police departments in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and our trial lawyers have successfully obtained favorable verdicts for departments, chiefs, and their officers at all stages of litigation, including summary judgment dismissals and trial verdicts.

Lenny Kesten is widely considered to be one of the pre-eminent experts in the field of police litigation. He and BHPK’s team have conducted seminars and training sessions on many areas of potential police liability. Attorney Kesten regularly addresses and assists the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and has trained numerous police officials and departments in a variety of law enforcement-related issues. He is a nationally recognized expert on the use of force and powers of arrest, and he has a particular expertise in the use of K9 force. BHPK’s attorneys have also handled multiple precedent setting appellate cases, which are often cited in the area of police liability throughout the entire country. BHPK has been the go-to firm for law enforcement agencies for decades.


Being a police officer today is more challenging than ever. The expectations of what society demands from law enforcement have grown and become more complex. In recent years, police have been called upon to be our first-responders in an ever-widening range of situations. The mortal dangers faced by police have grown exponentially. 

For more than forty years, BHPK attorneys have advised police departments across the Commonwealth regarding their policies and procedures. We offer training programs for officers and supervisors in many areas, including use of force, discrimination, and other aspects of police work. A comprehensive training program improves police practices and assists in reducing the risk of costly litigation. Good training and sound policy also help avoid tragic outcomes, promote cooperation between the police and the people they serve, and promote trust and support within law enforcement ranks.