Rick Pinckard has been a practicing attorney in California since December 1987. His practice areas have included employment and labor law, criminal law and administrative law. Rick currently specializes exclusively in the representation of public safety officers. Rick’s connection to public safety dates back to 1979, when he worked as an administrative intern for the United States Bureau of Prisons while completing his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After graduating in 1980, Rick further pursued his interests in public safety and law enforcement by joining the San Diego Police Department. As a Police Officer, Rick worked in Patrol, Traffic, In-Service Training, and the centralized FTO Administration. During his last three years on the Police Department, Rick worked full-time while attending law school. While in law school, Rick was selected to write for the Law Review. His submission on Pitchess motions was published and he returned the following year to the editorial board of the Law Review.
Upon graduation from Western State University College of Law in 1987, Rick was appointed as a Deputy City Attorney for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. During Rick’s tenure in the City Attorney’s office he was initially assigned as a criminal prosecutor. Soon thereafter he was selected to head a committee of prosecutors specializing in the prosecution of cases where law enforcement officers were victims; he was also responsible for training new prosecutors. From prosecution, Rick moved into an advisory position where he was assigned as a legal advisor to the Chief of Police. In this role, Rick was responsible for a broad range of municipal law issues, including labor and employment, public records requests, Pitchess motions, operational issues, interactions between the Police Department and the City Council, drafting local ordinances, and prosecuting discipline matters.
In 1991, Rick left the City Attorney’s Office when he was appointed by the Sheriff of San Diego County to be the Chief Legal Advisor for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. At various times in that role, Rick’s clients included the Sheriff, his executive staff and the Department’s 3,000 employees. As the Sheriff’s independent counsel, part of Rick’s role was reviewing all serious discipline investigations and administratively prosecuting all disciplinary actions. Rick was also responsible for representing the Sheriff’s position during collective bargaining. After Rick’s initial 4-year appointment, the Sheriff who appointed him was defeated by a successor. The successor Sheriff reappointed Rick as his Chief Legal Advisor.
After 18 years in government employment, principally relating to law enforcement and management side public safety issues, Rick entered the private sector as an Associate Attorney in the Law Offices of Everett L. Bobbitt. Since 1997, with the exception of workers’ compensation and disability issues, Rick has focused exclusively in all aspects of the representation of law enforcement officers, including criminal defense in both State and Federal courts, Cumis counsel, Internal Affairs investigations, Officer-Involved Shooting Incidents, collective bargaining, and defense of disciplinary actions. Rick has represented hundreds of local, state and federal officers in investigations and administrative proceedings before local civil service commissions, the California State Personnel Board and the United States Merit Systems Protection Board. Additionally, Rick has fought to protect peace officers’ rights by initiating and pursuing legal actions on behalf of officers in all levels of the State courts and in the Federal courts. Rick’s efforts have contributed to or directly resulted in numerous appellate court decisions.
In addition to being licensed in California, Rick is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court (Central and Southern Districts of California), the United States Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of Claims and the United States Supreme Court. Rick has also been a member of the adjunct faculty for the San Diego Community College District since 1986, where he continues to teach courses in Criminal Justice and Constitutional Law. Rick has been an active instructor and presenter for POST, PORAC and NAPO and he has been specially invited by several law enforcement agencies to provide training to sworn supervisors and employees in officer rights and liability issues.
In 2001 Everett elevated Rick to Partner and renamed the firm Bobbitt & Pinckard. In 2005, Rick was named the Managing Partner of the firm, and in 2007 Rick became the Senior Partner and owner with Everett’s retirement and subsequent passing. The firm will continue to be known as Bobbitt Pinckard & Fields, APC. Along with Rick and his Partner, Brad Fields, the firm presently serves its clients’ needs with five attorneys, a full-time investigator, a legal programs administrator and a paralegal.