Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Catonsville Criminal’

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.   

 

Maryland Super Lawyers

I have once again been fortunate to make the lists.  As I wrote in the past, it does not mean anything unless you do the work for each client.

Howard County Possession with Intent Case First for Judge

I was recently retained by a client to represent him in a Modification of Sentence for Possession with Intent.  I did not represent him in his original case, and he was dissatisfied with his then attorney.  The Motion to strike the guilty finding and enter a Probation before Judgment had been in the Court file for almost three years, and probation is about to expire.  The facts of the case were not great because there were aggravating circumstances that were pretty unique.  However the judge had allowed the Motion to sit when he could have denied it 3 years ago.

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DUI and Criminal Defense Practice in 2017

As technology use becomes prevalent in law enforcement, we are seeing more and more video interaction between police and clients.  The more recent Blogs cover some of these cases.  Body Cam footage has been extremely valuable in the defense of cases.  Car video has always been helpful.  It is simply amazing how unprepared police witnesses are in the courtroom when there is a video.  Often the prosecution does not have time to review the videos in many of the cases. Of course, if you are inexperienced or not very interested in the nuances of Field Sobriety Testing or Search and Seizure, these videos serve no purpose and the client is short changed.  Words matter, and what the police say during an encounter is critical to the defense of any case.  There are no shortcuts to defending people accused of an offense.  You cannot hide a conviction or a Probation Before Judgment from employers.  I get calls every week from people who cannot get a job because of a conviction and/or a probation and want to know if I can undo what their original lawyer did.  The answer is usually "no" because there is not sufficient evidence that the original trial counsel meets  

the test for providing inefficient assistance of counsel.  You have one chance to get it right. I do not win every case or try every case, but I prepare to do so, and make sure the client gets every protection allowed by our Constitution and laws.  In the coming months lawyers in MD will be able to brand themselves as "Specialists" without a standardized criteria.  I expect that a lawyer who has represented 1 client in a DUI and done nothing else may think himself a specialist because he has only practiced that kind of law- 1 case.  Your case that brought you to this site is the biggest thing in the world for you at this time.  It is why you are on the internet researching lawyers and calling every name you find.  You will get letters from dozens of lawyers who solicit business by buying the list of people charged with any type of criminal offense- DUI is a criminal offense.  You have to select someone who is going to care about your case and your future.  I have a reputation for straight talk and being aggressive in preparing you for the case.  I insist on treatment as every judge in Maryland EXPECTS the client to be evaluated and in treatment.

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Health-care bill would drop addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans

This issue has nothing to do with whether you voted for President Trump or Ms. Clinton.  Obama care may be a disaster, my premiums skyrocketed like yours.  There were 4 needed features- coverage of pre-existing illnesses, children remaining on a parent's policy until age 26, mental health coverage, and drug abuse coverage.  Over the years it has been incredibly difficult to get mental health and drug abuse treatment for clients even when insured.  Health care policies limited coverage and paid a low percentage.  Only the wealthy could afford residential treatment for their child.  That changed under our present health care system.

The title above is a newspaper headline of an article that explains how poor people on Medicaid will lose their mental health and drug coverage.  It will no longer be mandated.  I am not debating the merits of the Republican proposal versus the mess we now have, but the loss of this coverage is going to decimate a population that is growing everyday. West Virginia counties sued opioid distributors today "for shipping inordinate quantities of opioids into the state in violation of a West Virginia law."  They have filed suit against drug distributors as well as Walgreens and CVS.  The merits of the law suit are not the purpose of this Blog either.  We unfortunately have a massive substance abuse and mental health crisis in this country and it is not subsiding.  People need help. This is a sad situation and I thought I would put it out there for people to think about.  These are not people born to do evil or born to hurt others.  Mental health issues represent genetics as does substance abuse for many who find themselves in that abyss.  Whatever the reason they need the help President Trump promised to continue for these problems, and hopefully the next headline will read "does not" instead of "would."

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  • 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

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