BACKGROUND



Villanova Law School, Cornell University and Temple University. 
Villanova was the finest challenge   
Temple U was for graduate school with teaching junior high school math in West Philadelphia after Cornell U.  
Cornell taught me humility and cold weather survival skills between Eddy Street and the Upper Campus   
Law experience: Mooreshead and Niccolo in Devon, Chester County Public Defender Heavy case load. Great experience.  Private practice for more than 25 years.
 

    ReedLaw 
    610-647-6777
    mike@mjreedlaw.com

SAMPLE CASES   
  • Farvardin v. Cmnsr Pa State Police et al

    Practice Area:
    Civil rights
    Date:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Outcome:
    The Troopers paid to avoid trial. The Commisssioner would not admit institutional failures and lost at trial
    Description:
    We sued three Troopers and the Commissioner of the State Police for assault, arrest on fabricated charges for purposes of cover up, and unconstitutional practices and procedures needing comprehensive repair. Their own IAD reported no cause for concern after inserting its own exonerating narrative into the report. Neither the local prosecutor nor the AG nor the PSP internally made any effort to address the failures by sanction or re-education or even a note in the file. The bloodied face of the 64 year old doctor of engineering on a water resources project in Chester County at 11:00 am who was not suspected of any connection to a crime but was suspected of being a middle eastern person told the story of an innocent person singled out for abuse. This part of it was not within the IAD report which narrated falsely "small cut on nose." See the car cam at "Reed PSP beatdown"
  • King v Jacobs

    Practice Area:
    Personal injury
    Date:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Outcome:
    Settled without suit with limited release so that client could pursue private criminal complaint
    Description:
    MVA involving 24 year old with his parents' new M3. Reckless speeding around tight curve on country road to impress his female passenger. Crosses center line as slowly moving oncoming vehicle driven by recently retired couple watches in horror. M3 totals clients' car and sends wife to hospital for five days with impact trauma and broken ribs, all which healed. Driver is not prosecuted for crimes of recklessly endangering another and is issued $100 ticket. Client refuses all offers of settlement which do not include punitive damages.
  • Gregor v Old Maple Inn

    Practice Area:
    Personal injury
    Date:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Outcome:
    Settled before trial with non disclosure agreement
    Description:
    Almost 2 years after patron suffered fracture of C-1 and partial paralysis and had still not regained use of right leg and arm so he could return to work as heavy equipment operator , and desperate with fear for the future he sought legal help. Time was short but his needs were great. We did a full review of the medical record for error treatment, suspected contribution from too aggressive PT but recognized that mistakes are not always negligent. We did determine that the client was not wholly responsible for the collapse at the Bar after 6 hours of steady drinking. The bar took a lot of money from a drunk man. He stood up to leave and passed out. If he had not, he would have exited into his truck and drove away. He did not injure another that day. He injured himself. We sued for Negligence and Dram Shop liability in federal court. The case was made difficult because there was no evidence that the client misbehaved by drunken conduct. He just sat quietly and drank for almost seven hours straight. BAC was .196. We had only negligence because silence is not yet held to be"visible intoxication."
  • Edinger v. Gateway Apts

    Practice Area:
    Personal injury
    Outcome:
    Settled eight months after hire when video showed inspector tripped on his way to my client.s front door.
    Description:
    Concrete block repair at downspout did not include adequate drainage so that subsurface eroded and block tipped up enough to trip retired Pizza shop owner who landed on her dough spinning wrist. Sparse specials and no rehab and no loss of earnings. Pinky tendon stretched and grip impaired. Settled 7 months from the fall after we filed suit, waived answer and permitted the carrier to avoid lawyering up. Client and carrier engaged in mutual respect exercise to a nice end.
  • Commonwealth v Roos

    Practice Area:
    Criminal defense
    Date:
    Oct 04, 2012
    Outcome:
    Charges dismissed after evidence was supressed
    Description:
    Case nol prossed after arrest for DUI and possession when Court supressed illegally obtained evidence. We viewed a google map of police tracking route and time line and absence of any MVC provision requiring rear window of panel truck to be unobscured. Police ultimately said the reason for the vehicle stop was that the plethora of stickers on rear window interfered with visibility and created a dangerous condition. Photo of double rear door panel truck with no rear window was admitted into evidence.   Once again the DA refused to notice that the police lied under oath.
    Com v Wilson
    Practice Area: Criminal defense
    Outcome:
    Not guilty of attempted murder upon doubt of real intent.
    Description: Barely legal kid, seen by local cop who wants him arrested, jackrabbits car in a panic as his much older and controlling passenger yells, "get us outta here!" Cop jumps out of the way . Kid charged with attempted murder etc. 

    Com v Tingle
  • Practice Area:
    Criminal defense
    Outcome:
    Not guilty even after remorseful client begged jury to convict him of homicide by vehicle
    Description:
    Grieving, remorseful, guilt ridden client, who refused to post even nominal bail, in the middle of trial, screamed "I'm guilty! Just convict me and get this over with." (Homicide by vehicle crossing center line ) 
    Court denied defense motion for mistrial and court refused to accept the plea. Cross examination and evidence revealed that borrowed car had failed inspection and had faulty steering and braking parts. We had no expert testimony on causation. And neither did the prosecution. The jury that heard my client beg for punishment acquitted him.    Juries do listen when the Court advises them to "weigh the evidence."
  • Com v Young

    Practice Area:
    Criminal defense
    Outcome:
    Acquitted after successful appeal gave new trial.
    Description:
    We appealed conviction for murder alleging it was error to not instruct jury that first provoker rule for self defense did not apply where killing occurred in the open field car storage area outside the home when defendant was confronting a bold thief.      This case presaged "stand your ground" by 20 years. The Pa Supreme Court agreed with us that the homeowner's privilege to shoot first extended to areas outside the home also. New trial ordered. Corrected instruction given. At 2nd trial, the jury took 15 minutes to acquit.
  • Hopkins v Hopkins

    Practice Area:
    Constitutional
    Outcome:
    Settled after Supreme Court granted our appeal and reversed dismissal of our case and remanded for trial.
    Description:
    Wife sued husband for civil assault after Court failed to enforce PFA Orders. Divorce property allocation law would not help her. Her tort case was dismissed on preliminary objections due to law of interspousal immunity which paved our way to the Pa Supreme Court which had been awaiting a test case. 
    This intentional tort case was bundled with a guest passenger MVA case of wife against husband and the Court declared interspousal immunity a violation of the equal access to the courts rule and a violation of equal protection.
  • Orzeck v Orzeck

    Practice Area:
    Divorce and separation
    Outcome:
    Law of spousal support changed
    Description:

    Bahamas marriage one week end. Wife left 6 weeks later.  The Court ordered husband to pay wife alimony pendente lite until divorce decree issued which wife swore would take years.  Wife prolonged the matter, of course. Superior Court denied the appeal because length of marriage was not then a listed factor among the "special exception"  to be evaluated. The equities were horrible but the outcome was in accord with the law as then written. This bad outcome despite the merits of the argument caused the law to change to include length of marriage as a factor shortly after the decision.

      • Martel v AG MD

        Practice Area:
        Medical malpractice
        Outcome:
        Case settled pre trial. Physician owed duty of care to both the adult partient and his mother
        Description:
        The suit by Mom and her afflicted son alleged delayed diagnosis of his brain tumor by false attribution to smoking weed. Physician told mother that the dizziness, projectile vomiting and violent headaches would all go away if he cut his hair and ceased daily tokes. Classic post hoc error. Weed did not cause the nausea and pain; it relieved it. Mom almost had a nervous breakdown from witnessing son's awful suffering and marital estrangement from siding with her son against her husband and doctor together. The men were mired in the absolute certainty possessed most by those absolutely wrong that the kid was a doper and that Mom was an enabling hysteric. Another physician gave correct diagnosis and removed a massive benign brain tumor. Defendant admitted liability and denied massive damages due to salutary outcome for son. The case settled. Mom's suit for her own distress as an innocent afflicted by-stander presented challenging legal issues about whether the scope of a physician's duty to his patient extends also to others close to him as a matter of law. Court denied defense Motion for Summary Judgment on this issue and the case settled before trial.
      • In Re Cutaire

        Practice Area:
        Litigation
        Outcome:
        Home declared held in trust by decedent for daughter despite absence of a writing
        Description:
        Applied resulting trust exception to the Statute of Frauds and deed merger rule to retrieve residential real estate from fathers probate estate. Father died in title to daughter's home (not owner we argued, merely title holder) Siblings fought her claim on solid legal ground since her own testimony of oral contract with her father, as a benefited person in probate proceedings is barred by "The Dead Man's Rule" and evidence affecting title to re real estate must be in writing to be applied at all. We took the case because no one else would, the justice of daughters case was clear and the case was unwinnable on conventional law. Challenge is good for the soul. We proved the case without her testimony about her agreement with her father but with the docket of her divorce case and the need to protect the home from loss to husband and creditors and the absence of any payment from father to daughter when she deeded the real estate to him.
      • Pitassi v Bryn Mawr Hospital

        Practice Area:
        Medical malpractice
        Outcome:
        Jury verdict for plaintiff
        Description:
        When our client helped transfer her comatose and terminal mother from the hospital transport gurney to her own bed, the stench of the bed sore (decubitis ulcer) hit her first and the site of the massive wound deep to the exposed white bone felled her. Our suit was for harms to both the patient and the patient's daughter. The defense was that the comatose patient never felt pain and that the Hospital owed no duty to a non patient. The issue was the existence and scope of duty owned to close family members. We argued more than bystander liability; we argued that there was a direct duty owed to the only person the hospital ever communicated with and that it breached that duty to her by failing proper care for her mother. We argued there was an implied contract or duty of good care made between daughter and hospital which was not derivative from the duty owed to the mother. We were right.
      • Com v Winters

        Practice Area:
        Criminal defense
        Outcome:
        Jury - Not Guilty of murder
        Description:
        When our client drove away from the open street, full daylight knife fight, Henry was still standing. He was watching the tail lights of the departing car when he collapsed to the ground bleeding out internally from a puncture wound to heart. There were 11 eyewitnesses. Local police told our client later that day that Henry was dead and he said "O my God! I did not mean to do it!" He later gave two full statements about throwing one punch and leaving. He cried as he spoke. All the eyewitnesses said the same story. The police went from house to house in that part of town and demanded that the knife be produced. The people there complied and the police left with knives. About 16 knives in total. At trial, with seven eyewitnesses, upon cross examination, there were seven different observations about who, of several people stepped in to break up the fight and who of them had "history" with Henry and who had prior violent contact . All agreed there just one punch and no one saw a weapon in our client's hands. The only weapon any witness could put into our client's hands at any time was the broken screwdriver that he used to jimmy open his car door. The forensic pathologist looked at the broken screwdriver and stated on cross that it could not have caused the wound he saw at autopsy. He looked at the array of knives collected by the police which we, not they, presented and picked out a few that he said could have caused the wound. After most of the evidence was in. the prosecution offered 3rd degree open plea and our client accepted but the court refused to accept the plea. Our client did not testify because there was plenty of other testimony from all the on lookers. The jury refused to break for dinner and for sleep. They gave us a verdict at about 2:30 am. They stayed and said they were trying to figure out who really shoved the knife in. It was a great case.
      • Cutaire v Wolf Block

        Practice Area:
        Litigation
        Outcome:
        Settled favorably to shareholders at trial
        Description:
        Legal malpractice against law firm for failing to avoid brother sister control group and imputed ownership rules when structuring related entities. Holding company lost all its value and shareholders sued successfully.
      • Haase v Thompson Masonry Inc

        Practice Area:
        Personal injury
        Outcome:
        Verdict for Plaintiff
        Description:
        Site manager fell 20 feet through open stair well on construction job site after all other workers left . 5 months later he told us the story. Within two hours we were at the job site to take pictures and spotted the improperly cemented safety harness bolt hole for the safety rope that he leaned against. Blown up photos showed that the crew had slapped mud on the hole to make it look finished and did not thread the bolt in properly.  We sued for losses including bilateral hip displacement and fractures. Jury verdict was affirmed post trial

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