In a personal injury case stemming from a motor vehicle collision, a recent mediation with a retired Judge resulted in a top offer of $10,000 from State Farm Insurance Company. The case was tried in Virginia Beach Circuit Court for 2 days resulting in a jury verdict in the amount of $150,000. State Farm made a final offer of $20,000 during the first day of trial, but it was rejected and the case was tried to verdict. In addition to paying the full amount of the verdict, Michael Goodove also held State Farm responsible for court costs. State Farm hired a local orthopaedic surgeon to testify that our client’s injuries were not accident related. Goodove established through cross examination that State Farm’s expert had received excessive compensation and uncovered the expert’s relationship with State Farm and other insurance companies. The trial team consisted of Michael Goodove and Elizabeth Ufkes.
By Kathy Adams
© May 10, 2012
For more than two months, police and bail bondsmen have searched for 23-year-old Cameron Paul Crockett, who didn’t show up for sentencing after a jury convicted him of manslaughter in the drunken-driving death of a friend.
Now, federal authorities say they’ve joined the hunt.
The U.S. Marshals Service, which works to find fugitives believed to have crossed state lines or fled the country, is investigating Crockett’s case, spokeswoman Carolyn Gwathmey said Wednesday in an email. The marshals’ Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and its International Investigations Branch are involved, she said.
Mike Rowland of Lucky Seven Bail Bonds, who posted Crockett’s $20,000 bail, on Wednesday in Circuit Court received another 150 days per state law to find the fugitive before possibly forfeiting the money.
“We’re steadily working on it,” Rowland said. He declined to comment on where he believed Crockett might be.
Meanwhile, Crockett’s friends and family have launched a campaign professing his innocence on YouTube and Facebook. A Facebook profile that appears to belong to Crockett has changed several times since his disappearance, including the profile photo changing once before being deleted.
Crockett has maintained he was not driving the night of Dec. 28, 2008, when 20-year-old John “Jack” Korte Jr. died in a crash on Wolfsnare Road.
In October, Crockett’s insurance company settled a wrongful-death suit with Korte’s family for $150,000. They initially had sought $10 million.
“I can assure you that the family was never motivated at all by any of the monetary aspects of it,” said Michael Goodove, the Kortes’ attorney. “This allowed them to force somebody to accept accountability and to give them some closure, which has been long overdue.”
Then, on March 1, a jury found Crockett guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Korte’s death. Although he did not show up for sentencing four days later, the jury recommended he serve five years in prison, half the maximum.
The conviction was Crockett’s third on charges connected to Korte’s death.
A judge threw out an earlier manslaughter conviction when the jury couldn’t agree on a sentencing recommendation.
Crockett still is awaiting trial on additional charges in the case, including drunken driving and intimidating a witness.
Now he’s also charged with misdemeanor and felony failures to appear. The misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail; the felony, five years in prison.
If Crockett fled the state, he also could face federal prosecution.
Prosecutors unsuccessfully tried several times to convince a judge to revoke Crockett’s bond, arguing he had violated his release conditions, said Macie Pridgen, a spokeswoman for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Although Crockett had to surrender his passport, he still could have hopped a flight to another state or country, said Steve Sterling, director of airport operations at Norfolk International Airport. He said airlines are required to check only that a passenger is not on the Transportation Security Administration’s no-fly list.
“I’m certain that people who have warrants against them fly all over the country all the time,” Sterling said. “There’s not a system in place to check a wanted status on someone when they fly.”
Crockett’s attorney, Andrew Sacks, said Crockett has not contacted him since he didn’t show up for court.
“We’re extremely disappointed that Mr. Crockett has still not presented himself,” Sacks said. “We strongly urge him to do the responsible thing, so that his case can be appropriately concluded.”
Kathy Adams, 757-222-5155, email@example.com
For another year in a row, Michael Goodove and Franklin Swartz have been selected as 2012 Super Lawyers. Michael Goodove was selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury. Franklin Swartz was selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of White Collar Criminal Defense. Only 5% of Virginia attorneys are chosen every year and Goodove and Swartz were selected based upon evaluation by other top lawyers and independant research of the candidates. Goodove and Swartz will be contained in the 2012 Super Lawyers Magazine as well as in hte 2012 November/December issue of Hampton Roads magazine.
On January 1, 2012, Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, P.C. relocated to its new law office building in historic downtown Norfolk. The firm continues its practice in the areas of personal injury, criminal and trial law. The new address is 220 West Freemason Street, Norfolk, VA 23510. We are located on the corner of Freemason and Duke Street in historic downtown Norfolk and handle cases all throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are located within blocks of both the Norfolk Federal Courthouse and the Norfolk Circuit, General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts.
by David Ham
RICHMOND — People with their first DUI conviction could have to pass a breath test before starting the engine, if laws pass the Va. General Assembly and are signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Senate Bill 378 and House Bill 279 require a person with one DUI to blow into an breathalyzer before the car can start. Right now, that’s only required for repeat offenders or when a person’s blood alcohol level is above .15 percent.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Virginia says the bills were drafted twice to increase the chances of getting at least one passed.
Governor McDonnell supports the bill as a “common-sense measure to make roadways safer and reduce DUI-related injuries and deaths,” a spokesperson said.
“It eliminates judicial discretion when it comes to the cases of low BAC (blood alcohol content) first-time offenders,” argues Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, a restaurant trade organization that represents more than 250 restaurants in Virginia.
Longwell worries the legislation could eventually lead to breathalyzers in all vehicles.
“There is technology that has already been developed that is already in the implementation phase that is much more sophisticated that detects alcohol through air in the cabin of the car through low light lasers,” she notes.
Attorney and MADD member Mike Goodove states the bills won’t infringe on the rights of drivers with no DUIs.
“We’re talking about the people who have been convicted of a DUI and they want a restricted license,” he explains.
If the General Assembly passes legislation and the governor signs it, the law would take effect July 1.
For Immediate Release
For another year in a row, Michael Goodove and Franklin Swartz have been selected as 2011 Super Lawyers. Michael Goodove was selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury. Franklin Swartz was selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of White Collar Criminal Defense. Only 5% of Virginia attorneys are chosen every year and Goodove and Swartz were selected based upon evaluation by other lawyers and independant research of the candidates.
For Immediate Release:
Michael L. Goodove, Esq. has been nominated and selected to “The Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the American Association of Trial Lawyers. Membership is obtained through special invitation and is extended only to those attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications. Michael Goodove specializes in personal injury law and has assisted thousands of clients in almost every area of personal injury law including but not limited to automobile cases, products liability, medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, legal malpractice and actively practices on both State and Federal Courts.
Michael Goodove interviewed Radio Program about Impaired Driving
Updated: Tuesday, 27 Jul 2010, 6:17 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 26 Jul 2010, 9:16 PM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – If you own a GPS or a smartphone, the latest technology to help you avoid getting expensive traffic tickets is literally a download away.
GPS tracking is designed to make driving more safe, but it also has the power to alert you to areas that could cost you if you break a traffic law. There are a few similar systems, but the one WAVY.com tested is called Phantom Alert.com.
Retired firefighter and Newport News resident Dennis Ricketts offered to take the system through its paces. Like thousands of other drivers, Ricketts doesn’t drive anywhere without his GPS. But Dennis said that’s not because he is afraid of getting lost.
Dennis’ GPS is armed with something others are not. The GPS tracking system, called Phantom Alert, that he downloaded more than a year ago, started working immediately.
“Alert, red light camera ahead,” the GPS said.
Getting caught by a red light camera can mean a traffic citation along with a fine of $50 that shows up in your mailbox.
“I know where they are, a lot of other people may not. It’s like a tool in a toolbox for your car. If you choose to use it, you’ll be a better driver,” said Ricketts.
Thirty seconds down the road, the Phantom Alert system spoke out again.
“Alert, school zone ahead. Reduce speed,” said the computerized GPS voice.
It’s not just school zones or red light cameras though, the system also alerts drivers to railroad crossings, speed traps and D.U.I. checkpoints, to name a few. With a paid subscription and a quick download, the system is ready to use.
The hope for many users is that the system will prevent traffic tickets, but the reality is that the system is only as reliable as its users. That’s because drivers who use the system, fuel the system by calling in or e-mailing hot spots, other users are then alerted through instant downloads.
WAVY.com wanted to find out how police feel about the technology, especially since those red light cameras can mean big revenue for the city. Virginia Beach Police Officer Jimmy Barnes said Phantom Alert and other similar systems actually enhance what they are trying to do.
“We think it’s great,” he said. “Technology works on both sides. We’re using technology to enforce the laws, technology also can tell you where we’re enforcing the law.”
But the alerts for DUI checkpoints could help drivers potentially avoid a checkpoint, after being notified of when and where it’s happening.
“Am I going to go through a DUI checkpoint? If it changes driver behavior, maybe I shouldn’t drive tonight or maybe I should get a designated driver, we’re all for that,” said Barnes.
Not everyone feels that way.
Mike Goodove, a Norfolk attorney and president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, lost his brother to a drunk driver. Goodove agreed Phantom Alert does some good things, but he says DUI checkpoint alerts aren’t one of them.
“It’s personal responsibility. I don’t think we can support a tool that encourages people to drink, drive and avoid detection,” Goodove said.
Even though many local cities publicize information about DUI checkpoints, Goodove says the problem is that users can get instant notification.
“When you’re behind the wheel and you get information that can help you avoid detection, which translates to you’re a danger to the public, that can’t be a good thing,” said Goodove.
Michael Goodove comments on the proposal to privatize liquor sales.
by Sula Kim
13NEWS / WVEC.com
Posted on July 22, 2010 at 1:21 AM
PORTSMOUTH–A proposal to privatize liquor sales in the state of Virginia is raising some eyebrows. The Governor’s office estimates it will generate about 300-500 million dollars from license fees and they plan to use the money for transportation.
Randy Withers from Angry Adams in Portsmouth supports the idea.
“I think it will encourage more people to open liquor stores,” he said.
But that’s exactly why Delegate Algie Howell is against it. He’s afraid liquor stores will start popping up in impoverished neighborhoods.
“As you know in most cities there liquor stores are in predominantly black areas and I’m afraid it will cause a problem for the state of Virginia.”
Virginia is one of only 18 states which owns its liquor stores. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a bit concerned about the proposal too. But whatever happens people hope the plan comes with strict regulations. They want the state to make money but not while jeopardizing public safety.
A report will be presented to the commission the end of August.