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Representative Civil Litigation Matters

Cases Handled By The Lawyers Richard C. Bardi & Associates LLC

Fourth Offense OUI Reduced to Third Offense OUI – Brockton District Court

Represented Defendant in a 4th offense OUI charge.

The Client had four previous convictions, not just three, however, the Commonwealth only pursued the current offense as a fourth charge. Since the passage of Melanie’s Law in 2005, the penalties for subsequent OUI convictions have severely increased, making subsequent convictions for OUI all the more serious.

Trials for subsequent OUI charges are bifurcated, meaning the Defendant must first be convicted of the current underlying offense, and then in a second, separate trial, the Commonwealth must prove the previous convictions alleged were the same individual.

In this case, the Commonwealth produced no evidence demonstrating that the Defendant resided at the address listed on the docket sheet for one of the previous convictions, casting into doubt whether the two Defendants were, in fact, the same person. Further, the Judge indicated, from the bench, that she had no doubt that this was the Defendant’s fifth offense based on the records before her, but that the Commonwealth did not produce sufficient evidence for her to make such a ruling.

Furthermore, in Massachusetts, it is required that a defendant have been given the opportunity to have counsel during the proceedings for a previous conviction, in order for the Commonwealth to subsequently be permitted to introduce that conviction. There is a presumption, rebuttable by the defendant, that the defendant received all rights to which s/he was entitled, including the right to counsel.

The docket sheet for the Client’s oldest conviction contained no information regarding whether he had waived, been assigned, or obtained counsel. Based on this information, the Judge determined that one of the Client’s previous three convictions was inadmissible.

The Client’s charge was reduced from what should have been a fifth offense OUI to a third offense OUI, shaving years off of the Client’s sentence. Thus, Richard C. Bardi & Associates snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Civil Litigation — Premises Liability Defense

Attorney Bardi successfully defended commercial property owners who operated a restaurant on the premises of their property against an allegation by a restaurant employee that she fell through an access door leading to the basement and sustained serious personal injuries. The employee alleged that the access door was not maintained in a safe condition. An engineering expert on behalf of the property owners testified that the access door was maintained in a safe condition, and multiple witnesses testified that the employee was highly intoxicated at the time of the fall, which caused or contributed to the accident. A jury, after deliberating for less than two hours, found in favor of the commercial property owners.

State Police Captain/Bomb Detection

Attorney Richard Bardi represented a state police captain who also bred bomb-sniffing canines. An issue arose over the sale of a prize breeding canine to an out-of-state corporation that used the canine for bomb detection. Before the sale was complete, the captain sought the return of the canine so that the canine could breed. However, the captain was informed that the dog was neutered and that it would not be returned unless a release from liability was signed by the captain. The captain filed a civil action against the corporation and sought as damages the profits that the corporation earned from the canine’s services as a bomb detector. After trial, a jury awarded the captain $284,511.51, including interest and costs for bringing the action.

Police Misconduct

Successfully defended several police officers accused of being involved in a cover-up in relation to an alleged assault by a police officer upon a person in custody. Despite threats of civil rights violations, the police officers maintained their jobs without suspension.

Represented a police officer charged with sexual harassment of a female officer. Internal affairs proceedings were resolved by way of the client being placed on a different shift and attending counseling. Otherwise the officer maintained his seniority and his employment.

Federal District Court, Boston – 1983 action brought by an individual who was charged and convicted of a second-offense operating under the influence who claimed that the arresting officer had beaten him with a flashlight, causing him to sustain substantial head and facial injuries. Jury returned a verdict on behalf of the police officer awarding no damages to the plaintiff.

Quincy District Court – Defended a police officer accused of assault and battery in regard to the arrest of an individual. Clerk magistrate declined to file charges.

Represented a police officer who was sued by a person he arrested for domestic violence charges. The plaintiff sued the police officer for false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, and claimed the officer arrested him without probable cause. In the midst of litigation, and on the eve of the deposition, the plaintiff and his counsel agreed to dismiss the lawsuit against the officer with prejudice without payment of settlement funds.

Land Disputes

Attorney Bardi defended a family on Long Beach in the town of Rockport whose neighbors brought claims in the Superior Court seeking damages for the defendants’ home having been on the plaintiffs’ leased property for decades. The plaintiffs also claimed that they should be allowed to park in a certain disputed parking area. Attorney Bardi prevailed on summary judgment on both issues, and the court entered a declaration that the plaintiffs had no right to park on the disputed parking area.

Former Spouse Forced To Abide By Noncompete Agreement

Mr. Bardi represented a funeral homeowner in a dispute with a former spouse, who was involved in the business. The former spouse, upon leaving the funeral home, entered into a noncompete agreement that barred her from working at other funeral homes in the area. The former spouse breached the noncompete agreement by obtaining employment and an ownership interest in a local funeral home. After litigating the case in court, including obtaining a summary judgment on the issue of liability, attorney Bardi reached an advantageous settlement for the client that included payment for damages and elimination of support payments.

Personal Injury

Food Allergy Wrongful Death

Attorney Bardi represented a woman who suffered from a nut allergy. While at a well-known chain restaurant, the woman ordered a dinner and was assured by the staff that the meal did not contain any trace of nuts. However, the meal did contain walnuts, triggering a fatal allergic reaction. This case was reported nationally and resulted in bringing food allergy awareness to many restaurants that subsequently revised their training procedures.

Dog Bite

Attorney Bardi represented a woman who was viciously attacked by a dog. The woman was told by the dog’s owner that the dog was not violent. However, once approached by the woman, the dog jumped and bit the woman in the face, causing injuries. The dog owner’s home insurance carrier agreed to settle the case.

Auto Accidents

Pedestrian/Workers’ Compensation

Attorney Bardi represented a pedestrian struck by a moving vehicle while in a parking lot while walking to her car. The client sustained serious injuries to her leg, requiring multiple skin grafts. Since the pedestrian was in the course of her employment while she was struck in the parking lot, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier agreed to waive its lien when the auto insurance carrier offered a settlement for the full policy limits of her company. Attorney Bardi reached a settlement totaling $300,000 in cash and a waiver of the workers’ compensation lien in excess of $200,000 for a recovery of over $500,000.

Rear-End Accident Of Massachusetts Resident In New York

Attorney Bardi, who is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and New York, represented a Massachusetts resident who was a passenger in a taxi in New York. The taxi was rear-ended, causing the passenger’s face to strike the center divider, and thus fracturing her nose. Attorney Bardi reached an advantageous settlement for the client.