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October 2014 Archives

Tim Zerillo Gets Charge Reduced After Second Offense OUI Refusal Case With Car Accident

In Portland's Unified District Court on Monday, Zerillo Law, LLC Founder Tim Zerillo got his client a reduced charge after a Second Offense Operating Under the Influence Refusal Trial. Attorney Zerillo tried the case for a little over a day before a Cumberland County Jury. The case involved a serious car accident in Bridgton, Maine.
The Jury was out for nearly a day, when the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office offered the reduced charge, with a 30 day license suspense (a charge of Driving to Endanger). This was the charge the Client wanted before trial.
The charge of Operating Under the Influence, Second Offense, along with refusing a breath test, would have had a mandatory minimum 12 days of incarceration and 3 year loss of license, if our Client had been convicted. Congratulations to our Client.

Woman hit, killed in Walmart parking lot

By David Charns
AUBURN, Maine -Investigators said a woman was hit and killed by a tractor-trailer early Thursday morning at the Walmart on Mount Auburn Avenue.Police said Kassandra Lavoie, 33, of Mechanic Falls, was killed instantly when a truck hit her around 1 a.m. near the gas station in the parking lot.

Craig v. Caron

Justia Opinion SummarySarah Craig, individually and on behalf of her two children, filed a complaint for protection from abuse alleging that Krystal Gayle Caron, the ex-wife of Craig's boyfriend, came into her home and hit her. The trial court found that Caron had stalked Craig and entered an order of protection from abuse. Caron appealed, arguing that the district court erred in entering the judgment because Craig and her children were not family or household members or dating partners of Caron and because her conduct did not constitute stalking. The Supreme Court agreed with Caron and vacated the judgment, holding that because the parties were not family or household members or dating partners, and because Caron's conduct did not fall within the definition of stalking pursuant to the protection from abuse statute, the statute did not authorize the entry of a protection from abuse judgment for Craig and her children.

Christensen v. Alaska Sales & Service, Inc.

Justia Opinion SummaryIn 2008, four years after appellants Ramona Christensen and Jack Scott purchased a new car, it collided with two moose on the Parks Highway. After the collision Christensen called the police to report the accident and called Scott to come pick her up at the scene. When Scott arrived Christensen said she felt nauseated, and Scott noticed a red mark on her forehead. Christensen could not remember many details of the collision, including whether she hit her head on something inside the car. During the days following the accident, Christensen reported feeling light-headed and dizzy. Christensen's speech became disfluent and broken, and her gait became unsteady, causing her to fall repeatedly. About one week after the accident, Christensen sought medical attention to address her worsening symptoms. A neurologist examined Christensen and ordered an MRI spectroscopy. The spectroscopy showed evidence of bilateral frontal lobe brain damage. Since 2008 numerous other physicians and psychiatrists have examined and treated Christensen for her continuing speech, short-term memory, and mobility problems. The couple sued the car dealership for product liability, alleging that the car's seat belt failed to restrain the driver in the accident. The superior court granted summary judgment to the dealership, concluding that "no reasonable jury could find that the Plaintiffs have proven that the seat belt . . . was defective." The couple appealed, arguing that the superior court applied an incorrect summary judgment standard and that genuine issues of material fact made summary judgment inappropriate. Because the Supreme Court concluded that the couple raised genuine issues of material fact regarding a seat belt defect and causation of the driver's injury, it reversed the superior court's grant of summary judgment.

Commonwealth v. LeClair

Justia Opinion SummaryMark Sheehan, a nonimmunized witness in a criminal trial, refused to answer questions posed by the prosecutor concerning his use of illegal drugs by invoking his privilege against self-incrimination. The judge ruled that the invocation of the privilege was not valid because Sheehan had not shown that the Commonwealth had the intention of pursuing such a prosecution. The judge then found Sheehan in summary criminal contempt and imposed a sentence of ninety days' incarceration. Sheehan intervened in the criminal proceeding and appealed the judgment of contempt. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of contempt, holding that, under the circumstances of this case, Sheehan validly invoked his privilege against self-incrimination, and Sheehan's compelled responses to such questioning did not constitute a waiver of the privilege.

Asset seizures fuel police spending

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles. The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department's Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Client Saved from Potential Deportation by Attorney Timothy Zerillo

Attorney Timothy Zerillo, founder of Zerillo Law, LLC, received a domestic assault filing today for our client who was a medical doctor and an immigrant with a green card.  The consequences of a conviction to a client in such a situation is tremendous.  Obviously, domestic assault cases are fundamentally dangerous for anyone. Here, our client could have been deported and lost his medical license.

Attorney Brett Gabor Prevents Client from Facing a Shoplifting Charge

Congratulations are in order for Zerillo Law, LLC Attorney Brett Gabor.  Yesterday, Brett was hired for a pre-charge shoplifting case.  Our Client worked in a sensitive and demanding job.  With quick thinking, Attorney Gabor aptly negotiated with store management, and got an agreement that they would not contact the police. Our Client did not have to do anything, Attorney Gabor was able to manage this on his own.  Early intervention in a criminal case with a good defense lawyer can make all the difference.

$27M Awarded in Philip Morris Personal Injury Lawsuit

Los Angeles, CA: A $27 million personal injury verdict has been awarded in favor of plaintiff Judith Berger, who started smoking in 1958 and against the defendant, Philip Morris USA Inc. The $27 million verdict includes a punitive damages award of $20,760,000 and 14 cents.Berger began smoking at the age of 14, and during the trial evidence was presented which showed that 90 percent of people who smoke daily begin as teenagers, and this demographic is deliberately targeted by the tobacco industry in full knowledge of the addictive properties of tobacco. To that end, the jury heard evidence that the earlier a person begins smoking, the more likely they are to become addicted and the stronger that addiction.Berger smoked filter cigarettes that were marketed as safer, and later smoked light cigarettes, which was, according to evidence presented, in line with the Philip Morris' marketing strategy. A lawyer for Berger said that light cigarettes were no safer, and the evidence showed Philip Morris officials knew that.The case is entitled Judith Berger v. R.J. Reynolds, et. al, Case No. 3:09-CV-14157.

United States v. St. Hill

Justia.com Opinion Summary: Appellant pled guilty to one count of distributing oxycodone. In sentencing Appellant, the district court found that other uncharged drug sales were relevant to determining Appellant's guideline sentencing range. On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court applied both the wrong legal standard and the incorrect method of comparison in determining what uncharged drug sales were relevant to his sentence. The First Circuit affirmed on plain error review, holding that the district court did not commit plain error in its method of finding that the uncharged conduct was part of the same course of conduct as the offense of conviction.