The inception of Bret Rawson’s representation of police officers was his involvement in the defense of Utah municipalities, especially involving 42 USC § 1983 civil rights cases before the Federal District Court for the District of Utah. In that capacity, Mr. Rawson successfully faced the challenge of defending officers accused of a broad range of Fourth and Eighth Amendment violations, including excessive force, cruel and unusual punishment, and unlawful search and seizure. It was during one such trial that Mr. Rawson recognized that the espirit de corps that exists among United States Marines, was evident among the men and women of law enforcement.
The son of a Marine Corps aviator and retired Colonel, Mr. Rawson grew up on USMC bases throughout the United States. His brother was a Captain in the Marine Corps, serving for almost five years as both an infantry and public affairs officer. Both of his grandfathers served in WWII, one in the US Navy and the other as a Warrant Officer in the Army where he earned a Bronze Star during the Battle of Guadalcanal. This tradition lead Mr. Rawson to join the Marine Corps in 1991, only to be injured and receive an “entry-level separation” from the Corps at the Quantico-based Officer’s Candidate School (OCS).
Turning his attention to his education, Mr. Rawson spent his college years studying management, public relations and finally law, before eventually graduating from the Nation’s oldest law school, the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Upon graduating, Mr. Rawson almost immediately began representing police officers, and due in large part to the early influence of his military relatives and his upbringing within the Marine Corps family, Mr. Rawson entered Utah Peace Officer’s Standards and Training (“POST”) satellite program at the age of thirty-seven while practicing fulltime as an attorney. It was here where he inquired during a training session at POST: “Who represents the interests of the ‘line-officer’ in Utah?” His peers and instructors pointed him to the Nation’s oldest and largest organization charged with the representation of police officers, the Fraternal Order of Police – an organization that was started by cops, for cops, in 1915, and which currently represents the interests of approximately 330,000 members nationwide.
The rest, as they say, is history – a bright history that is impacted with every new member that joins this honored and respected Fraternal Order.