In this Issue — January 2011

  • This month’s drawing question.

Congratulations to Kenneth F. who won free lobster tails from Wholey’s Fish Market for answering last month’s question correctly.

This month’s question:

What is the first name of any of the Beatles?
Come on, you remember the Fab Four!!


The Police Respond To This Newsletter – Over the years I have represented many police officers who were hurt in personal injury cases, slip & falls, and worker’s compensation cases. I have also represented the children of several police officers who were involved with drunk driving charges. Many police officers read our Newsletter, just as you do. Heck, my brother Jim was a Sergeant in the County Sheriff’s office and he reads this Newsletter!!!

In our November, 2010 Newsletter I disagreed with a Court case that allowed the police to search a zippered bag at the Defendant’s feet even after he was handcuffed, because of fear for the officer’s safety. There were two police officers holding the suspect. The Fourth Amendment usually requires a search warrant before a bag can be opened.

Well, The Police Want Equal Time On This Issue!! The police officer who responded to the article, is a great guy. He did not want his name or police department mentioned. No problem with that. I represented this officer years ago in his serious personal injury auto accident case. Here is what the police officer recently emailed me.

“Bernie, as always, I enjoy getting and reading your Newsletters. I thank you for taking the time to write and send the letter out. There are so many things about the law that people just don’t understand and I believe your letters really help out a great deal in explaining things on a more personal level. As a police officer, it is always interesting to read about recent Court cases, both in the Civil and Criminal aspect. But I disagree with your opinion questioning the Court’s ruling in the criminal case.

Yes, the Defendant was handcuffed, but speaking from experience, cuffing someone is not a fail safe system. I have struggled with and even physically wrestled with people that were handcuffed. If you look at the bag as an unknown, think about this. What could be in that bag that could endanger the public, the officer and even the Defendant? Is there a firearm, knife, needles, hard or sharp objects or even something that is hazardous or explosive in it? You never know what a person plans on doing or will do until it happens. When taking someone into custody or detaining him and cuffing that person for officer safety, there is that issue that places the officer responsible for the public safety and, yes, even the contents of what is in the bag. If someone was taken into custody for a DUI, and we just leave their vehicle along the side of the road and that vehicle is struck or something is stolen from the vehicle, who is the first person everyone blames, the police officer for leaving it there. We can’t just leave things there! Would any person in today’s world just pick up a bag or place it in their vehicle, not knowing what could be in that bag? If we take a person into custody and transport that person, we have to do just such a thing. What if there is something dangerous in the bag, such as a firearm? Would it not be safer for everyone to make the firearm safe by unloading it?”

Hmmm… Well I admit those are valid points. And you have got to admire people who put their lives on the line to protect us.

Okay, let’s agree to disagree on this one! What is your opinion?

  • Truck Driver Accidents and Punitive Damages

I must say more and more I am seeing big tractor trailer trucks on the highway. Nothing unusual about that. But what is unusual and very scary is that often trucks drivers are using their cell phones while driving!!

Everyone knows using a cell phone while driving is extremely dangerous, especially if you are trying to dial a phone number or pressing a speed dial number while driving. When you add the weight and force associated with a truck to that equation, you have a recipe for a disaster. If you are the victim of a trucking accident and the truck driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident, you can make a claim for punitive (punishment) damages for your injuries. Please call me if you have any questions.


If you or someone you know has been hurt in any of the following situations, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation: Personal Injury cases, Injuries Involving Surgery of any kind, Children’s Injuries, Fractured Bones, Vehicle Accidents, Catastrophic Injuries, Medical Malpractice cases, Wrongful Death cases, Product Liability/Defective Product cases, Homeowners Liability cases, Workers Compensation cases and Criminal Defense.

Please check out “Bernie’s Blog” at telltully.net!! You are the reason we are successful!! Again, thank you loyal clients.

  • Thanks for each and everyone of you!! Go Steelers!!