Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Category: Criminal Defense

You Pay Peanuts You Get a Monkey

That is a phrase my former partner used years ago when he set a fee and the potential client said he or she knew a cheaper lawyer.  I started writing this a couple months ago but thought I would finish it today.  The particular case that generates this was an Ex Parte involving an allegation of Child Abuse.  The mother filed it in Somerset County as that is where it allegedly occurred.  The mother lives in Howard County.  The judge found no abuse and dismissed the Petition.  The statute allows ONLY for an appeal to be filed in the County where the original Petition was heard.  You cannot  file a valid new Petition elsewhere, only Somerset County has jurisdiction- it is in black and white in the statute.  The mother files a NEW Petition in the Circuit Court for Somerset County and it is heard and Dismissed by the trail judge as only an Appeal is allowed.  The mother then files an Appeal.  The Appeal will the be heard in Circuit Court, unless you have paid peanuts.

The mother now files a new Petition in Howard County. The mother also hires a lawyer in Howard County.   Instead of dismissing the improperly filed Howard County Petition (that is virtually verbatim of the Somerset County Petition) and taking his lazy ass to Somerset County to try the Appeal which is de novo ( meaning a new trial), he dismisses the Somerset County Appeal.   I emailed the lawyer the night before and explained the law to him and he emails back stating he did not need me to educate him.  Apparently he did.  I wanted to save my people from driving all the way from Somerset to Ellicott City. We show up and the judge dismisses the Howard County petition because she has no jurisdiction to hear it- jurisdiction is in Somerset County for the Appeal only that he dismissed! 

It gets worse, we walk out of courtroom and try to make arrangements for the return of the child, and the lawyer says he is filing a NEW PETITION based on newly discovered evidence.  Well we come back a week later and not only is there no newly discovered evidence, the evidence he claims he had was bizarre and unbelievable.  Before I could move for dismissal, he does.  All he had to do was go to Somerset County and he could have retried the Appeal with the original evidence and anything else he thought he might have.  My guess is he did not want to drive there.  He is one of the low fee advertising lawyers.  I took him to task years ago for not doing his own work and relying on the list serve to save his clients.  He even called me at home incredulous that I had given him a public spanking.  He deserved it then and deserves it now, but I will not use his name.  Just remember my former partner's admonition.   

 

The Best Lawyers in America 2018

I have once agin been fortunate to make the list for the 11th straight year.  As I wrote in the past, it does not mean anything unless you do the work for each client.

Baltimore County Body Cam Not Guilty

I just returned from court after a Not Guilty verdict in a DUI.  There were 14 Body Cams but only one that was diapositive.  That Body Cam showed my client at his car and the subsequent field sobriety testing.  The officer's report was 100% accurate, but there is a difference in how you visualize the written word as compared to what you actually see.  Small "failures" are not really failures.  

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Harford County- 3rd Recent DUI Dismissal and $185.00 Court Costs Instead of 9 Months

In the past few months I have had 3 DUI cases dropped by the State.  All were flawed as a result of the poor policing in the cases.  The most recent had a video showing the officer did not do what was in the police report.  Prior to his having a video camera, I had used his KGA Broadcast to get another of his DUI arrests dismissed.  The one two weeks ago had no basis for the stop, and but for my client's notoriety, he would not have been arrested, must less charged with resisting arrest.

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Body Cam Reveals Drugs Not In Plain View

A drug charge was dismissed today because the search of the car that found the drugs was not conducted properly.  There was one Body Cams.  The first officer picked up the box with the drugs and placed it back in the car.  The second officer did not have a Body Cam and claimed he found the drugs in "plain view."  He was unaware of the Body Cam.

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Contact Information

  • Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.
  • 29 W. Susquehanna Avenue, Suite 700
  • Towson, Maryland 21204
  • Toll Free: 866-435-2795
  • Locally: 410-415-9219
  • Fax: 410-823-0610

Office Location