By  Posted January 28, 2016 In Blog

adam spicer.jpg

So. Lake Tahoe lawyer Adam Spicer

It is no secret that the cops think they are above the law.  However, when the Chief of Police is blatantly wrong about the law and completely rude and disrespectful to the community he is supposed to serve, something must be done.  Last week, I had the chance stand up and do something and I did.  Here is what happened…. 

First, a little background on the situation.  A defendant in a criminal case has the right to call witnesses in their own defense. 

The Bill of Rights is actually quite clear on that.  Further, the defendant can use the subpoena power of the court to compel witnesses to attend court.  Of course, if a defendant had to pay witnesses to come to court, then it wouldn’t really be a clear right to call witnesses.  That would not be an issue in civil cases where the Bill of Rights is not at stake, but the right is clear in criminal cases.

Some time ago, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department (SLTPD) decided they wanted to test this right.  It would be quite easy to incarcerate more people if the police couldn’t be forced to testify when called by a defendant.  Some time last year, I served a subpoena on the police department.  I was told the subpoena wouldn’t be accepted without payment for testimony.  Kindly, I said “no thank you” to the request for payment and informed the SLTPD that they had been served.  The case ended up resolving with a plea bargain so the issue was never tested.

Fast forward to January 2016 when I served subpoenas for two officers at SLTPD on behalf of a client.  Once again, I was asked to pay the fee for testimony.  I informed the front desk staff that I was serving subpoenas in a criminal case and no fee was required.  I was once again asked to pay and once again I kindly replied “no thank you.”  I was told that the subpoenas would not be accepted and I refused to take them back.

As I was packing my belongings and walking out, the front desk staff began yelling at me and telling me that “you had better not report to the Court that I have been served.”  While being yelled at, I calmly informed the staff that they are represented by the city attorney and could raise a motion to quash the subpoenas.

Brian Uhler

Local’s are calling for the ouster of disgraced SLTPD Chief Brian Uhler

After leaving the police department, I contacted the city attorney as a courtesy to warn them about the problem brewing on their hands.

informed the city attorney that they may want to file a motion to quash my validly served subpoenas and that I would be happy to get this issue before the court so the Judge could give us a ruling on this matter.  I was told the city attorney would look into the matter and get back to me.

After a few days go by without hearing anything, I received a letter from the Chief of Police Brian Uhler.  This is by far my favorite part of the story.

Not only does the letter incorrectly cite the law to support the Chief’s incorrect legal position, he goes on to insult me.  The Chief accuses me of wildly flinging papers at his front desk staff and yelling at them.  He called my behavior “rude and unprofessional.”  I am sure those who are familiar with my reputation and the reputation of SLTPD and specifically Chief Uhler are rolling on the floor laughing right now.

Once you are done laughing at the Chief’s outrageous claims, there is more to the story.  Chief Uhler writes in his letter that he is holding the subpoenas and will not deliver them to the subpoenaed officers without the payment his department is demanding.  I took this as a gift.  He actually gave me proof, in writing with his signature, that he is actively interfering with a lawful subpoena (court order).  We have a legal term for the Chief’s actions and that is ‘contempt’.

I replied to Chief’s Uhler’s accusatory and factually incorrect letter to let him know that he is misinformed about the law and his staff is lying to him about the facts of our interchange.  I even cited the law for the Chief to read himself and I let him know that he has an attorney who can file a motion to quash the subpoena on his behalf.  I also informed him that if the Officers are not present in court, I will ask the Judge to enforce the validly served subpoenas and I will ask for contempt sanctions against him personally.  I felt the fair sanction would be for Chief Uhler to pay my hourly rate for all the time I spent on this issue.  And, once again, as a courtesy I sent copies of the Chief’s letter and my reply to the city attorney.

Within hours, I received word form the city attorney that I was 100% correct on the legal issue and the city would not be challenging the subpoenas.  I was further told that the subpoenaed officers would be present in court and the city attorney will hold a training for SLTPD staff to teach them how to read and deal with subpoenas.  I am so happy that the police may actually learn something.  I am very glad to be responsible for the SLTPD staff to have to attend a training.  Although you would think being able to read “civil” vs. “criminal” would be a prerequisite to obtaining a job at SLTPD, that doesn’t seem to be the case and hopefully the training will cover these simple points.

As a champion for due process rights in South Lake Tahoe, any victory no matter how large or small is great for the citizens here and great for the Constitution in general.  Even though this issue was only in one case for one client, the outcome of this issue affects everyone in South Lake Tahoe.  I am happy that I could go to the mat for the people of South Lake Tahoe and the Constitution.  I would do it again in a minute for any of my clients.  My commitment to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights requires no less.

If you have questions regarding your Constitutional rights or you are facing criminal charges in California or Nevada, contact The Law Office of Adam T. Spicer today for a FREE CONSULTATION (530) 539-4130.



  1. Pingback: El Dorado County Political Update – Recall of Vern Pierson and Joe Harn Continues | South Lake Tahoe Police watch

  2. Funny Adam Spicer was one of the nine attorneys that claimed to have a conflict of interest in my son’s case, My son was the only one out of seven people involved to go to prison for protecting himself from armed men who had threatened to kill him in his own front yard, we had to settle for a Sacramento attorney, who told us we could not go to trial because the SLT Courts were so corrupt he didn’t want to chance it with my son’s life at stake, my son sits in a prison cell while the armed men continue to assault in SLT citizens. Robin Anthony Sears is completely corrupt he falsified evidence, withheld evidence and created his own witness that was friends with the so called “Victim” The Judge Suzanne Kingsbury did nothing to correct this case my son had no priors, had just turned 18, and got a 6 year consecutive sentence for beating up 2 men with guns outside of his own house! The corruption not only is in the DA’s office the Public Defenders Office but it also lies within the small number of criminal attorneys in SLT they all are corrupt and in cahoots with each other! Screw You Adam Spicer and all of your little corrupted friends and colleagues how the hell do you people sleep at night knowing you have destroyed thousands of innocent peoples lives I will forever hate you, the DA’s office, The Public Defenders office, Tony Sears, Lori London and Suzanne Kingsbury for destroying my life my sons life and our entire family may you all burn in hell forever! DONT CALL THIS TRADER BASTARD ADAM SPICER TO HELP YOU!

  3. I know as a tahoe local citizen…. We are not allowed to make complaints at the cop office. I was told I was lying. Refused the paperwork to make complaint. I cussed the front desk lady out and risked arrest to help the people. I’m sorry but they completely refuse any complaints. I’m convicted of a crime I didn’t commit, carjacking, due to officers wanting glory of catching the real perp. officer Auxier was willing to lie on stand to make my crime stick to fulfill his ego. That’s fucked up. I did three years eight months for a violent crime I didn’t commit

    • I know they do it everyday to hundreds of people in the extremely corrupt El Dorado County courtrooom circus show. I’m so sorry you did 3 years I believe your story as I know for a FACT how many lives they have destroyed for sport and profit they are evil and will have to answer to their maker one day soon. My son got 6 years without the possibility of parole for protecting himself from armed criminals that threatened to kill him then the criminals turn out to be buddies with Anthony Sears who withheld and falsified evidence and should have recused himself from the case! Evil evil evil

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