Articles Posted in Firm News

There is only one way to honestly and objectively develop the reputation as the best DUI lawyer in Michigan and that is to do it the hard way – earn it. It’s easy for a lawyer to post on a website  “best DUI lawyer in Michigan,” it’s quite another to spend decades doing the hard work to earn this distinction.

So how does one become the best? Considering the subject matter, earning the reputation requires dedication, focus and a commitment to excellence. Dedication is required due to the complexity of the subject matter. Most lawyers attend law school after first obtaining an undergraduate degree in a related field of study, such as political science, English or philosophy. Few lawyers have science degrees, and the old joke among lawyers is “I went to law school because I wasn’t good at math.”

A science education is helpful because DUI cases with drugs or alcohol almost always involve a chemical test of the driver’s breath blood or urine. The science behind this testing must be understood because without it a lawyer cannot adequately represent his slash her client in court. If you can’t beat the test, you can’t win the case.

Michigan drivers arrested under suspicion of intoxicated driving will have their bodily drug and alcohol levels tested by the police. When drugs including marijuana are suspected, and in some cases involving alcohol, the police will take and test a blood sample. The forensic method used for blood testing is considerably more complicated than breath testing, and many lawyers wrongly believe that DUI cases involving blood tests can’t be defended. The Michigan DUI lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm however believe that in some ways blood test cases are easier to defend. This belief is born out of a comprehensive knowledge about this complex scientific method.

To help other lawyers understand forensic blood testing in DUI cases, the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys (MIAOWIA) periodically presents seminars on this topic. Barone Defense Firm founding attorney Patrick Barone, and Partner Michael Boyle, were both closely involved in the creation of MIAOWIA, and Mr. Boyle currently serves as an officer to the group.

As an example of Mr. Boyle’s expertise as well as his commitment to helping other lawyers get better at defending Michigan DUI cases involving blood test evidence, in early October 2021, he served as a host, moderator, and presenter for the Michigan Association of OWI Seminar on Blood Alcohol.  Mr. Boyle is an original member of MIAOWIA, which is membership dedicated to the education and training of attorneys throughout the State of Michigan in the complex litigation and representation of individuals charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs.

The Barone Defense Firm is pleased to announce that the firm’s founding partner and CEO Patrick Barone was recently appointed to the NCDD mental health task force. The committee was formed in 2021 to provide a confidential resource for any NCDD member feeling overwhelmed with the rigors of running a law practice or the pressure and stress of being criminal defense trial attorney.

Whether it be learning how to better accommodate clients who are going through what may be the most stressful event of their lives, or dealing with difficult and demanding prosecutors or courts, practicing as a criminal defense trial lawyer is an exceptionally difficult and stressful endeavor. It’s easy for the practitioner to become overwhelmed too. This is especially when practicing as a DUI defense lawyer. The defense of intoxicated drivers has its own unique demands and stresses, and the NCDD mental health task force was formed to help members deal with these stresses. Additionally, the task force will be available to offer consultation on how best to help anxious and stressed clients, including those who may be in need of treatment.

Mr. Barone brings a unique skill set to the NCDD mental health task force as he has recently completed the requirements necessary to become a Board-Certified Trainer, Educator and Practitioner (TEP) of psychodrama. Nationally, there are only a small handful of trial lawyers who possess this highest level of psychodrama certification thereby earning this distinction.

The Barone Defense Firm is pleased to announce that Orosia Adams has joined the Barone Defense Firm team!  Orosia is an accomplished and skilled lawyer with comprehensive experience in providing legal guidance to businesses and the individuals who own and run them.  Ms. Adams will be assisting the Firm in expanding their cannabis law practice, as well as developing related practice areas: cybersecurity and tax compliance.

Patrick Barone, the Firm’s founding partner and CEO, is enthusiastic about Ms. Adams’ role with the Barone Defense Firm, and said:

“Since its founding, the Barone Defense Firm has primarily focused on criminal defense litigation in Michigan’s state and federal Courts. Ms. Adams allows us to better serve our clients in other areas of law, including regulatory compliance and enforcement. She possesses broad industry knowledge and a unique set of skills and experiences and having her of counsel to the Firm will allow us to better serve future and existing clients.

For many people, finding a top Michigan DUI lawyer can be a confusing and difficult task. A task made no easier by the multitude of available choices. For example, a Google search for “top Michigan DUI Lawyer” returns over ten million hits. When including lawyer directories such as Justia and AVVO, there are many dozens of so-called top Michigan DUI lawyers on the first page alone. How is it possible to pick the right lawyer?

To begin with, there is no substitute for a professional referral. If you have used a lawyer in the past for something like drafting a will or the sale or purchase or your home, then you might think about contacting them for a referral. Even though you might be embarrassed, remember that everything you discuss with your lawyer will be held in strict confidence. Once your referral source has provided you with one or more names, you can then cross-check them by looking on Google. The DUI lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm obtain most of their clients from referrals.

If you’re not able to obtain a professional referral, then after doing your initial Google search, and narrowing it down to a few names, be sure to cross-check the lawyer’s names on the various lawyer review sites. The most reliable lawyer review site is AVVO, and this is partly because they carefully inspect all reviews before they are posted to confirm they are legitimate.  Also, AVVO allows anonymous lawyer reviews, which increases the likelihood that a DUI client will post a review for their lawyer. However, AVVO reviews are only anonymous on one side. A person must provide identifying information to AVVO before they are allowed to post a review.  This way AVVO can vet the review and determine if the person was a “real” client before they will allow the post.

Top Former RICO Prosecutor Keith Corbett Says GM’s Case Against Chrysler Tough to Prove

Barone Defense Firm associate trial attorney Keith Corbett knows a thing or two about RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).  As a former Federal Prosecutor, he lived and breathed RICO for several decades, and even used this powerful and far reaching law to to bring down some of the most notorious crime families in Detroit.  Now, he’s applying that experience to help the news media make sense of the civil RICO lawsuit recently filed by General Motors (GM) against Fiat Chrysler (FCA).

In a recent interview with Channel Four News, Rod Meloni, Mr. Corbett opined that on the one hand GM’s legal task is an easy one because in a civil case the RICO allegations need only be proved by a “preponderance of evidence” roughly meaning that 50.1% of the evidence is in GM’s favor.  This is a far lower burden of proof then Corbett became accustomed to as a Federal prosecutor.  When he took down such notorious crime families as the Zirrilli’s, the Toco’s and the Giacalone’s, Corbett was bound by the Constitution’s much higher burden of proof in criminal cases, beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest burden of proof in our entire legal system. By comparison, GM’s task seems easy.

On the other hand, according to Corbett, GM’s case will rely on whether they can prove that the Fiat Chrysler CEO Marchionne was directly involved.  Showing that a few miscreants working independently of the Fiat Chrysler CEO will not be enough. Partly because of this difficulty, the civil RICO litigation will take years to conclude.  However, since both parties have “deep pockets” there will be no shortage of funds to pay high-powered and influential lawyers like Corbett to get to the bottom of what happened. Unfortunately, according to Corbett, the United Auto Workers (UAW) could bear the brunt of the spoils of this auto war because if Fiat Chrysler goes down, 1000s of auto workers could find themselves without a job.

Keith Corbett to Focus on Defense of Federal Financial Fraud Crimes

Effectively immediately, Keith Corbett, Senior Trial Lawyer at the Barone Defense Firm, will be focusing his practice on the Federal defense of complex financial crimes, including, prescription fraud, billing fraud and Medicare fraud. He will also continue to handle other matters at the Firm, such as the defense of intoxicated driving cases and other state crimes.

Prior to joining the Barone Defense Firm in 2013, Keith had a long career as a prosecutor which began at the State Court level with the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney‘s office in 1974. However, much of Keith’s wide breadth of knowledge and experience was gained in the Federal Courts while prosecuting the major organized crime families in Detroit. These prosecutions were most often based on various proven violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1980, also known simply as the RICO Act.  This Act defines and sets forth various kinds of prohibited activity and is most often applicable when such activity is performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The act also provides for criminal penalties. Among other things, RICO allows for the prosecution of leaders for crimes they ordered others to do, such as murder or other unlawful activities related to the criminal syndicate, such as various financial crimes.

During his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Organized Crime Unit, Keith was involved in the prosecutions of 17 members and associates of the Detroit La Cosa Nostra (LCN), and some of the most well-known figures involved in Detroit’s organized crime, including the Zerilli, Tocco, and Beckham families.

Barone Defense Firm Obtains Not Guilty on Troy Michigan Drunk Driving Jury Trial

The Barone Defense Firm is proud to announce a recent not guilty verdict on a Troy Michigan drunk driving case.  The Barone Defense Firm Trial Attorney who handled the case was rising super-star Ryan Ramsayer.  Here is  Mr. Ramsayer’s synopsis of the case, including a summary of the not guilty trial:

Our client’s case arose out of Clawson, Michigan.  The Troy District Court, a/k/a, the 52-4 Judicial District Court, is the court having jurisdiction over Clawson Michigan.  There are two judges in Troy, the honorable Kirsten Nielsen Hartig and the honorable Maureen M. McGinnis, and Judge McGinnis presided over this jury trial.

As with all cases and clients at the Barone Defense Firm, while simultaneously preparing the case for trial, we attempted to avoid trial by engaging in plea negotiations with the prosecuting attorney.  Despite Mr. Ramsayer’s best efforts to avoid trial, the arresting officer and prosecution would not offer less than an impaired.  Our Client (hereafter BH, client’s initials used only so as to protect client confidentiality), had to then make the decision of whether to plead guilty take his case to trial.  BH looked at the difference in penalties and decided that the trial was his best option.  BH works in the auto industry setting up factories for production.  For the last year he had been away most of the month in Spring Hill, TN or Buffalo, NY.  His biggest fear, outside of driving, was that he had to go through Canada to get to Buffalo.  Also, they have a factory in Canada that he could eventually be required to work at.  To add extra intrigue, BH just found out that his wife is pregnant while this case was going.  This complicated his decision because he knew that an OWI conviction would make it difficult to impossible to get into Canada, and so he knew if he was convicted he would probably lose his job.  This meant there was a lot riding on the outcome of this trial.

The Barone Defense Firm is pleased to announce that Patrick Barone has authored a chapter in the soon to be published 2016-2017 edition of “Legality of Search and Seizure in DUI Cases.”  The title of Mr. Barone’s chapter is “Developing Essential Trial Skills for Defending DUI Cases.’ This new book from Aspatore’s “Inside the Minds” series will be available for purchase within the next few weeks.

Aspatore books is a division of Thomson Reuters publishing, one of the Nation’s largest publishers of law books.  According to the publisher, the “Inside the Minds” series brings together leading executives and lawyers from around the world. Relative to law, the Inside the Minds series has published chapters written by the Chairs and/or Managing Partners from over 75% of the Nation’s top 200 law firms.

Mr. Barone’ Chapter includes the following sections:

Prosecutors are loath to dismiss or reduce drunk driving cases in Michigan. This is because so many people watch DUI cases so closely, everyone from MADD to the Michigan State Police watch and track what happens to each and every person arrested for intoxicated driving in Michigan. If a prosecutor gives a non-alcohol reduction or even dismisses a case, they usually will have a pretty darn good reason for doing it.

That’s where good lawyering comes into play. A case we handled recently at the Barone Defense Firm had a significant delay in prosecution, and this eventually lead to us being able to make a deal whereby the accused drunk driver plead guilty to a careless driving as well as a disorderly person, which was taken under advisement and will be removed from this client’s record after probation. The original charge of OWI was dismissed.

The facts of this case were not good. The accused was involved in a two car accident. The dispatch indicated that she was trying to leave the area. When police arrived they noted (in the written report) a “strong odor of intoxicatingly liquor emanating from her person.”

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