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  • Attorney John Finbury takes novel issue in a negligence claim against the City of Haverhill to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and wins.

    Click here to view opinion

    Click here to watch oral argument
  • $500,000 worker's compensation settlement
    for Massachusetts Home Depot employee who suffered severe spinal injury when he hyperextended his body in order to avoid being struck by employee pushing carriages towards him in an aisle.
  • $400,000 worker's compensation settlement
    for Massachusetts truck driver who injured lower back as a result of a fall in gas station while delivering gasoline.
  • $230,000 worker's compensation settlement
    for employee who developed RSD/CRPS following finger joint surgery for work-related repetitive stress injury.
  • $1.5 Million Verdict
    in Essex County for serious personal injuries caused by a drunk driver in a motor vehicle accident.
  • $1.4 Million Verdict
    in Essex County for a young man who was injured when a stool collapsed at a restaurant in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It was necessary to use experts in the field of medicine, economics, and vocational rehabilitation to prove the damages suffered by this client.
  • $1.3 Million Settlement
    In Essex County for an electrician injured in an arc blast while working in North Andover. He suffered burns and a fractured elbow. Medical, electrical and code experts were used to prove liability and damages. The firm is experienced in filing suit and litigating these types of cases in order to obtain the maximum benefit to which our clients are entitled.
  • $1.275 Million Settlement
    in Essex County where a motor vehicle chased by the police crashed and overturned resulting in injuries to a passenger. The injuries included fractured vertebrae which required surgery and which resulted in a permanent injury, as well as internal complications and lower leg ailments.
  • $1 Million Verdict
    in Essex County Superior Court (Lawrence, MA) for a wife who was beaten and stabbed by her husband, leaving her with significant permanent injuries.
  • $835,000 Settlement
    in New Hampshire for a medical malpractice claim and related workers' compensation claim involving a failed sympathetic block for complex regional pain syndrome.
  • $767,000 Settlement
    for a man who was partially paralyzed as the result of a motor vehicle collision. The plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle in which the operator was over-served at a club in Haverhill. Expert testimony was used to prove that improper training and serving procedures led to the over-serving of alcohol.
  • $750,000 Verdict
    in Newburyport Superior Court for a woman injured in an auto collision. The insurance company offered $75,000 to settle, one-tenth of the ultimate verdict. That offer was refused and we went to trial. With interest the verdict exceeded $1,000,000.
  • $650,000 Settlement
    for a liquor liability case in New Hampshire
  • $450,000 Workers' Compensation Settlement
    where a New Hampshire employee was contaminated by chemicals in the air at his place of employment in Massachusetts.
  • $450,000 Settlement
    in Hillsborough County New Hampshire where a young teacher slipped and fell while exiting a convenience store resulting in orthopedic injuries and a closed head injury.
  • $400,000 Verdict
    in Middlesex County Superior Court (Cambridge, MA) for a young man injured at the Haverhill train station when the train began pulling away as he was boarding. A final offer of $25,000.00 was rejected. With interest, the final judgment was over $500.00.00.
  • $379,000 Arbitration Award
    For tenant in commercial lease dispute
  • $250,000 Verdict
    in Essex Superior Court (Lawrence, MA) for a mailman attacked by two dogs in the course of his employment, resulting in injuries to his back and neck as he was fleeing from the animals. With interest the judgment exceeded $316,000.00.
  • $250,000 Settlement
    in Rockingham county for a Newton, New Hampshire woman who was severely injured in a head-on collision resulting in multiple fractures.
  • $225,000 Settlement
    in Essex County where an employee slipped and fell on her way into work as a result of weather conditions. She settled with the workers' compensation carrier as well as the owner and property maintenance company.
  • $150,000 Verdict
    in Suffolk County for a patron of a bar whose leg was fractured by the negligent conduct of a security guard.
  • $150,000 Settlement
    in Rockingham county for a woman who was severely injured when she slipped and fell on water at a major department store. A lawsuit was necessary to obtain discovery which ultimately showed that the store allowed a freezer to leak for several days without adequate clean up..
  • $140,000 Settlement
    in Essex county for a Methuen woman who suffer a fractured hip on a dark outside stairway due to the landlord's failure to properly maintain the lighting.
  • $45,000 Settlement
    in Essex County for a boy under 2 years old who fell from a landing in a rented apartment due to improper construction of a railing.
  • $25,000 Settlement
    in Rockingham County for a man injured when he slipped on icy stairs at a mall in Southern New Hampshire as a result of negligent maintenance of the property.

FAQ: Criminal Defense

Now that I am arrested, should I talk to the police?

ANSWER: Normally you should give the police all identifying information that they request. Also, be aware that your demeanor after arrest can also be testified to in court if it is relevant to the crime, e.g. DWI. Other than identifying information, you should respectfully decline to speak about the incident until you have had an opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

They didn’t read my rights, can they still prosecute me?

ANSWER: Yes. There are situations where the failure to be advised of your constitutional rights will have an impact on your case. Most often, that issue comes in to play when the police question you about the incident after you have been arrested and before you have been given your constitutional rights. Once you have been arrested you do have a right to remain silent. However, the fact that you were not properly advised of your rights does not mean that the case will be dismissed. You should certainly mention it to your lawyer and discuss what effect it may have on your case.

I’ve been charged with a crime in a Massachusetts District Court. What happens now?

ANSWER: Usually your case in District Court will have three parts. The first is Arraignment. The purpose of an arraignment is to formally make you aware of the charge(s), determine if you will have representation and determine whether any bail should be set in order to ensure your appearance at the next court date.

The next phase of your case would be a Pre-Trial Hearing. The purpose of a pre-trial hearing is to determine whether either side needs discovery from the other case, whether the case is going to trial or will settle and whether or not any motions will be filed such motions to suppress statements or evidence. If that cannot be taken care of at the initial pre-trial hearing, it may be continued for a compliance date to ensure that all the preliminary matters are handled properly.

The third stage of your case is normally a Trial if it gets that far. At the pre-trial hearing, or at date selected after that, you will elect to have a trial either by a judge or a jury. If you elect to have a trial simply before a judge, then the judge will be the one who decides the facts. If he finds you guilty he will also sentence you. If you elect to have a trial before a jury, then the jury decides the facts and if you were found guilty the judge would sentence you. You will need to discuss this issue with your lawyer to determine whether to waive a jury trial.

Should I make a deal to get the case over with?

ANSWER: Many times the prosecution will offer to resolve the case with a guilty plea or sometimes with a different disposition which does not include a guilty plea. You should discuss the ramifications of any such deal carefully with your lawyer. Guilty findings in any case can have unexpected repercussions. Conviction of certain offenses may also require suspension of a driver’s license. Even when you do not agree to a guilty finding but the matter is continued without a finding, there may be probation fees and other costs or requirements for you to fulfill.

The only witnesses I have are my family and friends. Will they let them testify?

ANSWER: Yes, if your friends or family were witnesses to any facts, they would be competent to testify. In fact in many instances, if your relative or friend presents a credible appearance, it can greatly affect the case. Do not do that just because you know a witness or are related to a witness that you cannot use that witness to win your case.

What does the prosecution have to show in order to convict me?

ANSWER: In order to convict any defendant, the prosecution must show “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed the crime. In contrast, in a civil court, you can sue someone for millions of dollars and you would only have to prove that it is “more likely than not” that certain facts occurred. Any reasonable doubts about the facts should be resolved in your favor in a criminal case. For this reason, the burden of proof is very important in a criminal case and it is often argued to the jury that the prosecution hasn’t done its job in proving “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty.

How drunk does a person have to be in order to be convicted?

ANSWER: It is a fallacy to say “I wasn’t drunk so I shouldn’t be convicted.” In Massachusetts, the test is whether a person is “impaired” by the effect of alcohol or drugs. The prosecution does not have to prove that anyone was drunk. The prosecution simply has to prove that a person operated a motor vehicle while “under the influence of intoxicating liquor.” A driver is “under the influence” if that driver’s alertness, judgment and ability to respond promptly have been lessened by alcohol. While it may include someone who is drunk, it also would include anyone who has consumed enough alcohol to reduce his or her mental clarity, self-control and reflexes, leaving him or her with a reduced ability to drive safely.

Many states including Massachusetts have adopted the per se offense where a person can be convicted if that person was operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or greater. The only way for the prosecutor to get that information is if the driver took a Breathalyzer test or gave blood to be tested.