A teenager driving a Ford Expedition came upon slow-moving traffic on a Leesburg road and swerved over the double yellow line into the opposite lane of traffic. The head-on collision was violent enough to kill the driver, leaving the passenger, his wife, our client, widowed. The surviving wife hired me to represent her in a wrongful death suit, which successfully concluded with a substantial settlement with the insurance carrier. One of the issues causing a greater settlement award was our research to determine that the teenage driver was driving on a restricted license at the time of the accident due to past drug convictions. Our wrongful death complaint raised the issue of negligent entrustment to bring the parents into the litigation, adding their umbrella policy into the negotiations, increasing the settlement award to $1.5 million dollars.
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I helped defend a woman who slipped on spilled water from the flower store in a local grocery store, causing her to fall and break her knee. The client recovered all of her medical expenses, her pain and suffering, and her aggravation expenses associated with her fall. The key to this case was the pre-trial deposition of a grocery employee, who indicated that she had observed teenagers carrying flowers out of the store, while dripping water as they went. The knowledge of this employee was attributed to the employer's failure to warn its shoppers of the potential hazard, under the doctrine of respondiat superior.
As a criminal defense lawyer, I obtained an acquittal in a jury rape case involving a man falsely accused by his girlfriend. The trial lasted 5 days, resulting in an acquittal for the client, helping him avoid a potential life sentence.
In another rape case, I was able to have the prosecutor dismiss the charge against my client after a preliminary hearing, in which I was able to cross-examine the complaining wife regarding her false allegations against her husband. Had the case gone to trial, my client was facing 5 years to life in prison.
In a dog bite and a dog running-at-large cases, tried in the same week, I received back-to-back acquittals calling several key witnesses to substantiate to the Court that the dogs in question were not dangerous nor running at large. If found guilty, the clients were facing 1 year in jail and the dogs would have needed to be muzzled for their remaining lives.
In a dog torture case, I represented a client at the preliminary hearing of this felony case, where the Court determined that my client had presented more persuasive evidence in his favor than not. This resulted in the case being dismissed. In addition, I negotiated successfully with the Commonwealth Attorney not to direct indict my client to the higher Court after the preliminary hearing. Had my client been found guilty in the higher Court, he would have potentially received a jail sentence of up to 5 years.
A past case involving a possession of marijuana charge was also dismissed on a motion to suppress. An improper stop was made by a police officer, who alleged in court that he had smelled marijuana coming from my client’s vehicle while he was sitting at a cross street. He alleged that he could smell this drug coming from my client’s moving vehicle, which was traveling under the speed limit on a rainy day. The Court dismissed the case, not believing the police officer’s testimony that he could smell marijuana from a moving vehicle, in the rain, whose windows were up at the time. Had the suppression motion not been granted, my client faced a year in jail, a drug rehabilitation program, the suspension of his driving privileges for six months, and fines.
In a first degree robbery case of a local bank, our office was able to successfully negotiate a significant reduction for a client in this criminal case. His sentence was reduced to eight years from a potential life sentence, based upon work by our office, done with the help of the family, to negotiate with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in locating other co-conspirators who were involved in this and other past robberies.
Two recent cases have been dismissed on motions to suppress filed by this office to prevent incriminating evidence being admitted in Court after a traffic stop. The suppression motions were made on the basis that the respective traffic stops were made by the police officers without probable cause to suspect that a traffic or criminal violation had occurred in derogation of the clients’ Fourth Amendment Constitutional Rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. In one case, the video dash cam from the police officer’s vehicle was used by us to show that the Defendant’s vehicle was in front of another car and could not be observed directly by the police officer. In the other case, a video dash cam showed that the Defendant’s vehicle, while drifting, never crossed the designated traffic line.