Please be aware that these Case Results are NOT an indication of any future results. Ever case is different and with unique circumstances and expectations.
Felony – Client was charged with a 3rd Degree Felony for Driving While License Cancelled, Suspended or Revoked After Prior Conviction. The State reduced the charge to Misdemeanor First Degree. However, that was not justice. Client was pulled over for driving on a suspended license after law enforcement had scanned his license plate, and matched the driver to the vehicle. Client provided a valid Florida Driver’s License, valid DMV vehicle registration, and valid auto insurance information to officer. Client was arrested. It took some time to convince the State that my Client had not done anything wrong, and that the error began when his prior insurance company notified DMV of cancellation at a time when he had valid coverage with another insurance company. I ran a DMV report two days after my Client’s arrest and the report showed no suspension of his driver’s license. The State argued his license had been suspended three years earlier and that he had been driving on a suspended license for three years. We showed he had purchased several cars during that time period, and two after the insurance company reported the cancellation, but the State maintained that a valid driver’s license was not required to purchase and register an auto. Five months later, and several days before trial, DMV updated its records that finally showed when Client’s license was suspended, which didn’t jive with anything, and the day of trial the State filed a nolle prosequi.
Felony – Client was charged with a 3rd Degree Felony of Possession of a Controlled Substance. After a traffic stop where no citation was issued, Client was told he was free to leave, and then was called back and searched. Client argued the search was not consensual even though the Probable Cause Report filed said he had given consent. Client argued if he did not consent to the search, but he didn’t say no because he was afraid he’d be arrested. A motion to suppress discussed with the State and before the motion was filed the State filed a nolle prosequi.
Traffic Citation – Client was about 200 hundred feet pass an intersection on a two-lane road attempting to make a left turn when he was rear ended and pushed into oncoming traffic resulting in a three car collision accident. The Judge asked that the citing officer and I read the statute and make a determination if my Client was in fact in the intersection based on the statute. The ticket was dismissed after the officer and I reported to the Judge that my Client was outside of the intersection at the time of the left turn. [Interesting aside: if your auto is covered by another’s insurance policy (say your significant other, etc.) that person needs to be present if you happen to replace your vehicle, because if they are not present then your auto insurance coverage under that person’s policy will not transfer to the new vehicle, and you will be driving without insurance coverage (they auto sales dealer may not be aware of this when you present a valid insurance card during the purchase of the new vehicle).
DUI – First time DUI. Client admitted to arresting officer of recently drinking. Law enforcement’s probable cause affidavit was sound, did everything by the book, and nothing questionable. Advised Client to accept State’s plea offer.
Small Claims – Plaintiff sued my Client for vehicle property damage. Plaintiff claimed had tried many times but got fed up with trying to make a claim against my Client’s friend’s insurance company (the vehicle my Client was driving nor the insurance policy was my Client’s). After the failed mediation, in the courtroom setting a date for the final hearing, I offered an additional amount (80% of what they were asking in the complaint, but an amount that was also more than the average of their three estimates for repairs) to settle the case, which the Plaintiff refused asking for more money than was demanded in the complaint. At this point the deputy stepped in because it looked and sounded like the Plaintiff was going to attack me. Before, during, and after the courtroom altercation, I continued to offer help to the Plaintiff: I offered to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, but the Plaintiff wouldn’t share any details (namely the name of the insurance company and the policy number). After much research and cold contacting South Florida insurance companies, I was contacted by an insurance company that believed it was their incident policy claim. After some verification, the insurance company contacted the Plaintiff and offered a settlement. My Client and I showed up to court the day of the final hearing. Just outside the courtroom while waiting to enter the Plaintiff would come over stating that it’s not over until it’s over, and professing that attorneys like me put small business owners out of business with our $1,000 per hour rates, back room deals, and general dishonesty; and, the Plaintiff made it clear the Judge was going to know the truth. Once in the courtroom and before the appearance of the Judge, my Client and I learned that the Plaintiff desired to have the check in-hand before agreeing to drop the case. The night before the final hearing I determined from the information the insurance company gave me that the Plaintiff did not own their car, which meant they did not have standing to sue my client. I tried to explain this to the Plaintiff to no avail. When the Judge entered the courtroom, the Plaintiff confirmed collection of the check. The Judge asked for some details of the case, and the Plaintiff said the spouse was driving the car they owned when Client rear-ended the car, and then to everyone’s surprise proudly expressed how they didn’t actually own the car because they had transferred title to their adult child a year or so before the accident for asset protection purposes, but it was still their property. I objected stating the Plaintiff had no standing to bring the action (proper plaintiff would have been adult child), and their complaint was malicious prosecution, and my client should be entitled to costs and attorney fees. The Judge took notice of my objection, and dismissed. My client had no desire to continue with actions against the Plaintiff after the case was dismissed. The insurance company refused to reimburse for attorney fees stating that would have used their own attorney (even though I asked them about they before the case settled). Small claims court can be dangerous especially when civil procedure discovery rules may apply and may not apply depending on the circumstances. My Client was of little means, and I did not charge for my services (two court appearances, mediation, research, and negotiations came in at 18 billable hours, plus Client consultation which I generally do not bill). You may be wondering why I would offer 80% to settle when my Client was of little means. My Client was prepared to accept a loan from Client’s employer. When the Plaintiff refused 80% I was authorized to go to 100%, but when Plaintiff demanded more than the complaint, which was more than the highest estimate, I knew to stop and set it for trial.
Potential Business Intellectual Property Purchase – after reviewing our research report the client walked away from the deal.
Breach of Irrevocable Reciprocal Will Contract – client’s father died leaving his estate to his wife per their reciprocal wills. Wife’s executed a new will and transferred the primary asset of any value to a trust making her natural born children the sole beneficiaries, excluding my client the natural born of husband. Client filed suit and the matter settled before trial per the terms of the original reciprocal will.
HTO – client was facing a five year license suspension. We were successful in removing a prior traffic conviction and clarifying the record, and after submitting documentation to Florida DMV, my Client’s driving privileges were restored.
Landlord Tenant Eviction – Landlord offered client two months rent free to not renew lease and vacate the property. The landlord breached the verbal agreement with one month remaining and attempted to evict client. Through negotiations my client stayed the duration of the lease period plus an additional 15 days without any additional payments.
Auto Dealership License Application — Client’s criminal background check by the State was threatening disapproval of the application. We researched client’s background, found an error, and presented our findings to the state agency. The application was approved.