On April 6, 2023, the Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of the homeowners in the case of Robert P. Grim v. Maxatawny Township Board of Supervisors, No. 1452 CD 2021. The decision blocks a warehousing development plan for 12.1 million square feet of farmlands near Route 222 and Long Lane Road in Maxatawny Township. The plan would have created two warehouses that operated 24-hours, seven days a week, for 1,800 tractor-trailers. The Commonwealth Court agreed with Attorney Joel Ready’s arguments that the developer failed to get a zoning variance and special exception from the Zoning Hearing Board.
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On Wednesday February 1, 2023, Attorney Joel Ready received a favorable verdict from a Berks County jury on behalf of one of our clients. The client was suing a homeowner who failed to pay a substantial bill for work done on their house. The case was a three day jury trial, heard in front of Judge Sprecher in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. The trial involved multiple witnesses, experts and engineers.
The jury was out for about an hour and a half before returning a verdict of well over a hundred thousand dollars on behalf of Cornerstone’s client.
“We are very pleased to obtain a favorable verdict on behalf of our client,” says Joel Ready, the attorney who handled the case. “Collecting bills is an extremely important part of a successful business’ operations and we were glad to defeat the workmanship claims made by the homeowners in this case.”
For Berks County businesses, Cornerstone Law Firm continues to be a resource in collecting past due bills, helping to defeat spurious claims of bad workmanship, and more. If you have a construction case, as either a homeowner or a contractor, and wish to discuss a problem, or if you are a business owner and wish to talk about debt collection, call Cornerstone Law Firm today for a consultation.
When you are trying to get ahold of a police report after a car accident, an assault, a neighbor dispute or for any other reason, you may find that the process is very confusing. Police departments do not always produce their reports upon request, and some will tell you that you have to file a subpoena.
Unfortunately, under Pennsylvania law, to subpoena a document you must have an active case that you are a part of. This means either that you are the criminal/defendant in the case or you are a party to a civil action where you are suing or being sued. Accordingly, if you are trying to serve a subpoena on a police department, you must be a party to one of those actions. Additionally, government entities have the power to serve subpoenas in certain types of investigations, but private parties do not have similar power.
If you are not a party to one of these actions, you can consider whether you should file one in order to subpoena the documents that you need. This might mean suing the neighbor or the individual that you are in a dispute with, or in extreme cases, suing the police department if you think that you have grounds to do so. In most cases and for most people, rather than subpoenaing a police report, you should consider one of two other options.
FILING A RIGHT TO KNOW REQUEST
A Right To Know is a request under Pennsylvania law to a government entity to produce records that are in their possession. This is the state law equivalent to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA). Some states call these Open Records laws. Simply put, the Right To Know request allows you to request documents that the police may be holding onto, including police reports.
However, police departments routinely refuse to produce police reports claiming that they are part of “an active criminal investigation.” This is sometimes true, even after they have said there will be no charges from an incident. Although this is not technically correct, it often practically results in a brick wall in trying to obtain these police reports.
PAY FOR A POLICE REPORT
If you have been a part of a car accident, you may have the right to obtain the police report by paying the police department for it. In addition, there are a number of websites that offer this service. At Cornerstone Law Firm, we routinely retrieve these as part of personal injury cases for clients. The difference and the reason that you can obtain it here is because investigating a personal injury is one exception that most police departments will properly recognize as a reason to obtain a police report.
If you are trying to obtain a police report as part of an investigation or as part of a personal injury case, call the experienced attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm to talk about how best to go about obtaining the police report and also to discuss whether there are any other ways to get the information that you are after. Our attorneys can help determine the best course of action and figure out your next steps.
Yesterday in Lebanon County Attorney Eric Winter won a jury trial on an assault case on behalf of one of our clients. The case had lingered for nearly a year before the jury trial occurred and involved claims of domestic violence between a girlfriend and boyfriend. This was a classic case of he said/she said. This case carried serious consequences for our client if found guilty: charges of this nature could be either misdemeanor or felony charges and could have changed our client’s life permanently.
After excellent cross examination and demonstration from text messages that the fight was started by the individual claiming to be the victim, Attorney Winter was able to demonstrate to the jury that there was not enough evidence for a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. This was a complete win for our client and a testament to Attorney Eric Winter’s twenty-three years of experience as a Berks County criminal defense attorney. It was also Attorney Winter’s fastest jury verdict to date. His client was acquitted in just 18 minutes.
As with all such cases the details of the case are vital to the outcome. From carefully interpreting and explaining the physical evidence to the jury to clarifying the implications of the digital evidence in the form of text messages, Eric Winter, of Cornerstone Law Firm, was able to reveal the truth of this matter to the ladies and gentleman of the jury. In addition to the details in this case, there were significant strategic decisions which shaped the scope of the evidence which the jury was allowed to see.
If you find yourself wrongly charged with a crime, you will want an attorney who has the experience, understands the details, and possesses the wisdom to make the crucial strategic decisions which will help you find justice. Please Call Cornerstone Law Firm if you’ve been charged with a crime, so that you can discuss your case and learn how best to defend yourself at a trial.
This month Cornerstone Law Firm has added two new lawyers to our team. Craig Browne joins our firm to assist in general litigation, contract drafting, document review and more. Attorney Browne’s background includes substantial writing, motions practice and other drafting. Attorney Browne will be handling a broad range of cases including criminal law, family law, personal injury and more.
Federica Caloia received her favorable bar results last week, and joins the firm after an excellent academic career which recently concluded at Ave Maria School of Law. Attorney Caloia is an excellent writer and has a deep interest for understanding the public policy underpinning statutes and the common law. She will be assisting with matters ranging from criminal law to civil motions practice and more.
Our attorneys have worked hard this month to settle several personal injury cases arising from motors vehicle accidents and slip and falls caused by the negligence of others. These personal injury cases involve looking through medical records, determining the value of injuries, negotiating with insurance adjusters and company representatives as well as representatives of city governments who may be responsible for broken sidewalks or other defects that cause injuries.
Attorney Rauch-Mannino has worked hard this month to settle custody disputes, litigate divorces and work out appropriate equitable distribution for spouses going through difficult times.
Attorney Ready has finished several trials recently and is working on defending appeals brought by the other side of several cases. In addition to doing writing work on these appeals, Attorney Ready has been handling preliminary objection arguments, which is the beginning of the pleadings process for civil cases.
Attorney Distasio has handled a number of landlord tenant cases at Magisterial District Courts across Pennsylvania, as well as an oral argument on a breach of contract case in Pittsburgh.
Finally, all of our attorneys have been providing advice to business owners and landlords, helping them to navigate everything from tax issues to debt collection and more. If you have questions about a legal issue, contact the lawyers at Cornerstone Law Firm today for a consultation.
At Cornerstone Law, our lawyers seek to provide justice to our clients in Reading, Allentown and beyond.