Spousal Support Win

A mother of two children who was only married for three years had success in getting some spousal support.

She was trying to get on her feet by going back to school and working part-time. She knew she did not need it forever or for any significant time, and we obtained this spousal support in addition to the child support her ex-husband would have to pay.

DUI Reduction Case

Our client who had been accused of a DUI recently received a reduction.

At our request, once the prosecutor looked at the video of the client performing the field sobriety tests, they agreed with us that the client did well enough on the video.

What really helped here was our clear understanding of how field sobriety tests are to be administered and how one must perform on them. This is a very happy client, as he could have lost his job with a DUI conviction. 

Victory for Client

We recently received a not guilty verdict for a client accused of the crime of failing to verify his address with the County Sheriff.

We were successful based upon a legal technicality known as identification. None of the witnesses called by the State of Ohio could say whether or not the man sitting at the table with me was the man who failed to verify his address.

None of these witnesses had in fact ever seen my client before, and they failed to bring any identification information with them.

The client was a now homeless man who had been residing at a homeless shelter for about a year and had been in the hospital for a number of months when the authorities claimed he should be verifying his address.  

DUI protections for our clients

DUI cases are complicated.  

The economic impact on a client can be huge (i.e. fines, attorney fees, loss of employment and insurance costs, etc).  Further, some clients have huge issues with their employment if they are even accused of a DUI offense.

Recently, we had to assist two clients with a number of these important legal and economic issues.  The first was a husband and father who had never been in trouble in his life.  One night, in a moment of very bad judgment, he decided to drive home from a party where he had been drinking very heavily.  On his way home, he lost control of his car, and went into a ditch. 

Before his car left the road, he hit a mailbox - which flew through the air and hit an elderly man in the leg (taking out his garbage), breaking the leg of the elderly man.  Because of how the law worked, this husband/father (and owner of a small family business which supported the family and others) was facing a minimum of one year in prison. 

However, because of some issues we were able to locate in the arrest procedure, we were able to negotiate a much lower sentence, and the client did not have to report for that sentence until after the holidays. This way, he can ready his family and his family's business for the time he will have to spend in jail. This was huge to the client and his family.

The second was a woman who is in the last months of her nursing degree.  She is currently employed as a RN-in-training (big hospital), and the OVI arrest has frightened her about her RN employment possibilities.   Due to some issues we were able to locate in connection with the arrest, she was offered a plea to a reckless operation - a huge reduction for her. 

This will look much better on her driving record - and should provide her with a significantly strong explanation to any current or prospective employer about what happened on one, out-of-the-ordinary, night.

As we stated above, it is important to look at all of the personal and economic impacts a DUI arrest has on a client.   Its not always just about the law and the police report.

Wrongful Death Case Against a City - Large Settlement

In the last two weeks we finally negotiated a large settlement in a wrongful death case against a large local city.  

A police officer stuck and killed the husband and father of a local family while the father was pushing a stalled car off the highway. 

We proved to the trial court (through approximately 7 depositions of police officers and others - and the use of 3 experts) that the police officer was very untruthful about his explanation of the accident.  

The city and the officer had claimed immunity (governmental entities get this sometimes for auto accidents with police cars) - but that would only apply if the police officer's version of what happened was in fact true.  

This particular case took 4 years from start to finish, two trial court judges and one trip up and back from the Court of Appeals (where we won as well). It was a great feeling to tell the widow of the resolution.  These are the days that make you glad to be a lawyer.

Successful Appeal

Today we received word that an appeal we were doing for one of our criminal clients was successful (the client fell way behind on his child support and was charged with criminal non-support). 

The Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County reversed a trial court and ordered the case remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings.  

Once the case is back at the trial court, we hope that things will continue to go well for our client. Stay tuned.

Voluntary "unemployment" and "under-employment"

When a divorce or juvenile court is considering setting a support amount, the court must try to determine the actual income of each parent. 

In some cases, one of the parents is either unemployed or has a job where they are really making much less money than there experience or skills would otherwise dictate (otherwise referred to as "under-employment").   

In these situations, the court can take evidence as to whether that parent is "voluntarily" unemployed or under-employed.  The Court can hear evidence about that parent's past employment, why that past employment was terminated (or modified as to salary or wages), and can also have "vocational" experts testify as to the real employment possibilities of that parent.

Every so often one party in a support proceeding will actually quit their current job or deliberately pursue a lower paying opportunity - just so they can argue a lower ability to pay support.   However, with the right evidence, this tactic can be rebutted.

Most divorce and juvenile courts are very experienced with this issue, so a party to one of these support actions should be aware that unemployment and under-employment tactics are sometimes very easy to spot.

Still another DUI reduction for us last week

We had another change to identify some leverage for a client last week, this time resulting in a plea bargain which permitted our client to get a reduction on his DUI charge. 

Finding the right objective basis for getting a reduction in a DUI case is getting harder these days, and we were encouraged that we were able to get it done - and that we got it done with the agreement of the prosecution.  

Given what the DUI conviction would have done to the occupation of the defendant, this one time mistake  (and we mean "one time") by the client was extremely important to him.

I am sure the client would be the first to tell anyone not to get into the same trouble he temporarily found himself in. He had really learned a valuable lesson from the whole experience.

Another DUI Reduction for Us Last Week

Last week we obtained another reduction in a DUI case - this time involving a person under the age of 21 (it gets more complicated when the defendant is under 21 years of age). 

This person is still in college, and the reduction was very important to this person who will soon have to go out and try to get employed post-graduation. 

Like many people that age, this person was on the way from a concert when pulled over by the police - who were just doing their job.  

All involved here (including the police and the prosecutors) were very professional. What a relief to this young adult and and the parents.

Happy New Year to that family and to yours.

Remember, the police will be out in full force this time of year.  Don't take any chances.