Monthly Archives: August 2012

Neil Rockind Discussing Expert Witnesses at a CDAM Conference – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the CDAM Conference that was posted yesterday.

Neil Rockind Discussing Expert Witnesses at a CDAM Conference – PART 1

This is part one of a video of Neil Rockind discussing Expert Witnesses at a CDAM conference back in late 2011.

Please note that Neil begins at about 11 minutes into the video.

Ever splash someone with your jet ski? According to Fenton, you just committed a crime.

Earlier this week Neil appeared in court with a gentleman who was accused of disorderly person for accidentally splashing someone with his jet ski. Yes, yes, the case sounds ridiculous. That’s because the case is ridiculous.

Which is exactly what Neil told the prosecutor for the City of Fenton. Initially, the prosecutor wouldn’t agree to do anything other than let our client plead to the misdemeanor under advisement. Neil’s response? “Set it for trial.”

The result? A plea to a civil infraction (defective equipment – which is the equivalent to having a headlight out.) It doesn’t matter the court, the prosecutor, or the case, Neil knows how to get what he wants.

A Case from the Past

8 years ago, Neil Rockind worked on a murder case at the preliminary examination stage. Neil argued that there was insufficient evidence upon which to find the defendant guilty at a trial. The district court judge agreed and dismissed the case. The prosecution appealed that decision to the circuit court, which affirmed the lower court opinion. Despite two denials, the prosecution wouldn’t let it go – they appealed to the Court of Appeals, who reversed and remanded for trial. At a 2-day bench trial (that Neil was not a part of) the defendant was found guilty of murder, despite the lack of a body, the lack of any physical evidence, the lack of any witnesses and the lack of a confession. In other words, his conviction rested solely upon circumstantial evidence, which included some variances in the defendant’s story.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeals reversed the conviction and remanded for acquittal. In doing so, the Court of Appeals made the exact same legal arguments that Neil had made 8 years prior. Neil got it right. He almost always does.

More Kind Words

We have been getting a lot of awesome client feedback of late. Yesterday Neil received a text message from a very grateful client:

“I just wanna say thank u for today, I really liked how u handled my situation. I will recommend you to anybody and everybody who would need your assistance. Thanks again”

 

Victory!

Neil Rockind pulled off another fantastic result today.

Our client was charged with Resisting/Obstructing a Police Officer – a 2-year felony – after he ran from police while they were trying to arrest him.

Admittedly, these scant facts sound terrible. However, the real story is much more troubling. Here is what actually happened: Our client was at a nightclub and was competing in a contest. He managed to win that contest and was awarded $500.00 dollars. He and two of his friends were walking out of the nightclub later that night and were jumped by a group of 6-10 guys. The group that jumped him and his friends wanted the cash and when our client refused to turn it over, a brawl ensued. Our client and his two friends were beat repeatedly by this group until the police showed up in the middle of the brawl.

If you can image getting the crap beat out of you by a bunch of guys and fighting back as best you can, only to be interrupted by someone who claims they are a police officer, then you can imagine how confusing the entire situation would be.

At some point, one of our client’s friends hit one of the officers and when the officer turned around he believed that it was our client that had just hit him. Needless to say, our client, as soon as he got the chance, fled from the brawl. The police chased him and ultimately tased him twice before arresting him. He was later charged with Resisting/Obstructing Police and his friend was charged with Assaulting a Police Office. Meanwhile, not a single one of the guys who had jumped them was arrested or charged.

During the course of the case, there were many obstacles. First, our client outright refused to plead to any felony – which was completely understandable. Then, his co-defendant friend pled guilty to Attempted Assault of a Police Office, which meant that the prosecutor’s office would be looking for our client to plead to something similar. Next, just as we suspected, the prosecutor’s office came to us and asked our client to plead to Attempted Resisting/Obstructing. We promptly turned that offer down.

Eventually we talked the prosecutor’s office into reducing the charge to a disorderly person. However, on the date of the preliminary examination, Neil Rockind went to court and informed the prosecutor that we were going to reject the Disorderly Person charge because our client did not want to lose his Concealed Pistol License. The prosecutor was not happy – but we persisted. Ultimately the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge to Disturbing the Peace – a 93 day misdemeanor.

However, there were still more obstacles. Not only did the client want to be able to keep his CPL, he also wanted the ability to sue the police department for wrongful arrest. Initially the police officers were adamant that any plea had to include a stipulation that he give up his right to file a lawsuit. Neil convinced the prosecutor to disregard the officer’s wishes and allow him to plea without such a stipulation.

Finally, our client did not want to be on probation. After a discussion with the Judge, Neil Rockind convinced the court to forgo any probation and instead to allow him to simply pay fines and costs.

In sum, our client went from looking at a 2 year-felony, to getting a 93-day misdemeanor (Disturbing the Peace), with no jail time, no probation, no loss of his Concealed Pistol License, and the ability to sue the police department if he so wishes. Talk about a fantastic result!