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STS&G News Goodove in the News Archive 2015

GOODOVE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT 2015 MID-ATLANTIC DUI CONFERENCE

Michael Goodove was the Keynote Speaker at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic DUI Conference, which took place on May 27 – 29 in Virginia Beach.  The Mid-Atlantic DUI Conference is hosted by the Virginia Beach Police Department and is attended by public safety professionals around the country to hone their skills in DUI prevention, detection, and enforcement.  Michael Goodove is the President of the Southside Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and is lawyer who specializes in victim’s rights and is community activist in the prevention of DUI’s as well as the enforcement of DUI laws.

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Goodove in the News Archive 2014

GOODOVE SELECTED AS TOP 100 TRIAL LAWYERS

Michael L. Goodove, a partner with the Norfolk law firm of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, P.C. was selected by The National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and has been admitted as a Member to the Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers.  The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from across the country who exemplify superior qualifications as civil plaintiff or criminal defense trial lawyers.  Mr. Goodove specializes in the areas of personal injury and criminal law.

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Recent Posts STS&G News Goodove in the News Archive 2014

GOODOVE SELECTED AS 2014 LEADERS IN THE LAW

Michael L. Goodove, a personal injury attorney, with the law firm of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, was selected as a member of the 2014 class of the Leaders in the Law.  Virginia Lawyers Weekly chose only 30 attorneys in Virginia for this high honor.  Goodove was recognized as setting the standard for other lawyers and as a highly accomplished attorney.  “Goodove has built a career as a champion of victims of drunk driving, through his trial practice and his longtime leadership in Mothers Against Drunk Driving; as a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer, he finds creative and meaningful remedies for his clients.”  Virginia Lawyers Weekly

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Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot Archive 2014

Goodove and Swartz named as Superlawyers 2014

For another year, Michael Goodove and Franklin Swartz have been selected as 2014 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.  Franklin Swartz also received the distinction of Virginia:  The Top 100 Superlawyers 2014.   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 2014 Super Lawyers Magazine as well as in the 2014 November/December issue of Hampton Roads magazine.

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Archive 2005 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

Some question lawyer’s melding of cause, career

THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

BY JON FRANK

NORFOLK – Almost 15 years ago, Michael L. Goodove was a law school student when his legal career and life were altered forever.

On a February morning in 1990, Goodove’s younger brother, Jeffrey, was riding in a car that was hit by another vehicle on a narrow, hilly road in Charlottesville.

Jeffrey, a University of Virginia student, was killed instantly.

The driver of the other car was drunk.

Goodove received the tragic news at George Mason University from his mother via telephone.

“I got the call nobody wants to get,” Goodove recalled in a recent interview. “I had never experienced death until my brother was killed. It was the first funeral I ever went to.”

That combination – drunken driving and tragedy – profoundly changed Goodove’s personal life. His family, especially his parents, were never the same.

“It is extremely unnatural to bury a child,” said Goodove, who is now married with three children . “That is something no one should ever have to go through.”

The experience of loss also came to define much of Goodove’s professional life, providing both controversy and a cause – as well as a source of commerce – to his vocation as a lawyer .

In the years since his brother’s death, Goodove has become a lawyer who represents people injured by drunken drivers and a prominent spokesman for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He has been the group’s leader for the past 12 years.

In that capacity, Goodove has helped many families navigate the legal system after loved ones were injured or killed by DUI offenders.

“I consider what he does to be a real public service,” said Kaye Walsh, whose daughter, Robin Gustafson, was killed by a drunken driver in Virginia Beach in 1997. “He pulled us through the whole process.”

Goodove also has lobbied the General Assembly tirelessly to stiffen penalties for people convicted of DUI. Virginia now has some of the toughest drunken-driving laws in the country.

Through the years, Goodove became the face of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in South Hampton Roads, an implausible development because Goodove clearly is not a mother.

But his regular appearances in court and on television have made Goodove’s good looks and quiet confidence well-known among those interested in or personally touched by drunken driving.

A recent television advertisement by his Norfolk law firm – Rabinowitz, Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove – focuses on Goodove’s personal story of tragedy.

The blending of commerce with crusade makes some in the legal community uncomfortable. They say Goodove uses his advocacy role, in part, to get business for his law firm.

But some lawyers support Goodove’s ability to turn a passionate personal interest into something that helps him in his professional life.

“I don’t see any conflict,” said Michael I. Ashe, a Virginia Beach lawyer and avid cyclist with a long history of representing fellow cyclists in personal-injury cases.

The advertisement, Ashe said, is only “stating that you are a lawyer who happens to know this particular field backward and forward.”

Other lawyers say Goodove’s level of commitment to the organization makes conflict allegations ridiculous.

“If he had to pay money to be involved with MADD, he would do it,” said Norfolk lawyer Larry Cardon. “He has a passion for this.”

To Goodove, the criticism is unfounded.

For one thing, he said, he always provides drunken-driving victims a list of other lawyers who could represent them in any legal proceeding. Those who choose him are a very small part of his legal practice, he said.

“Never once did I have any financial motivation for getting involved in it,” Goodove said. “I felt that I had a tool that would really help these victims that no one else had.”

It wasn’t always that way.

Early on, Goodove was as carefree and selfish as most recent college graduates. He wanted a glitzy career on Wall Street, not a job where grieving was an integral part of every working day.

He attended law school at the urging of his parents. Law would provide a profession he could always fall back on, they said.

His legal training had hardly begun when his brother was killed. It was a tremendous shock. “He was not just my brother; he was my best friend,” Goodove said.

The family gathered at home in South Hampton Roads to bury Jeffrey, hoping to bring the person who had killed him to justice. Soon, however, the reality of Virginia’s lax drunken-driving laws became depressingly apparent.

They found the police had botched the evidence collection. The drunken driver had been allowed to dispose of the beer in his car before he was questioned by authorities. That led prosecutors in Charlottesville not to pursue criminal charges.

The Goodove family persevered. Eventually, they had to be satisfied with a wrongful-death lawsuit. Criminal charges were never filed.

At that point, Goodove recalled, he began to “detach” from the situation to escape the tragic memories haunting the rest of his family. Returning to George Mason University, he plunged back into his law studies.

But he was troubled by the way he and his family had been treated by authorities. He thought the system was out of whack. He thought it cared little for bringing DUI offenders to justice and nothing for victims.

Soul searching followed, along with an internship in the Fairfax County prosecutor’s office.

“I discovered that I was good in court and liked wearing the white hat and being the good guy,” Goodove said.

When he returned to his hometown of Virginia Beach, he decided to devote his career to helping victims. He went to work for a personal injury law firm and contacted the state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving .

After starting a local chapter , attending conferences and talking to others, he concluded that drunken driving was a societal problem, deeply imbedded in the culture, cutting across economic strata.

The key problem was that most drunken drivers were walking away from even fatal accidents with rarely more than a slap on the wrist .

“The problem we faced was not so much the convictions but the punishment,” Goodove said.

Goodove’s goal was to build an organization with staying power that would help reshape attitudes over the long term.

That presence has allowed Mothers Against Drunk Driving to keep the image of victims before the media and public. Eventually, it has swung public opinion toward stiffer penalties, especially for repeat offenders.

Another victory was the acceptance of victim-impact statements after convictions. Under the old system, DUI offenders would walk away with probation, without the victims’ families being able to say how the injury or death had affected them.

Once victim-impact statements became part of the law, penalties became harsher. “They can be very powerful,” Goodove said.

Goodove strived to become a bridge between victims and prosecutors, leading the uninitiated through the maze like legal process that had so frustrated his own family.

Initially, Goodove faced opposition. Some judges thought Mothers Against Drunk Driving wanted to abolish alcohol use and that Goodove was a teetotaler who did not want to be around drinkers.

Neither was true.

Goodove drinks occasionally but makes certain he always has alternative transportation. And Mothers Against Drunk Driving has no intention of trying to stop people from drinking, only drinking and driving.

Today, when contacted by a DUI victim, Goodove meets the family and counsels them about what to expect. He provides them with support and advice and helps them prepare victim-impact statements at the appropriate time.

As the number of DUI accidents increases, so do the organization’s membership and donor rolls.

“Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a tragic event to make it close to your heart,” Goodove said.

Victims who survive have a simple choice, Goodove said: “You can vent angrily and let that dominate you, or you can use the pain in a cathartic manner to do some good.”

* Reach Jon Frank at 222-5122 or jon.frank@pilotonline.com.

{CAPTION} Michael L. Goodove’s brother was killed by a drunken driver 15 years ago. Goodove, right, a lawyer who also heads the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, has championed his cause and worked for tougher laws in Virginia.

Mort Fryman The Virginian-Pilot

Copyright (c) 2005 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 7828775

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Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

JUDGE GIVES MAN 10 YEARS IN DRUNKEN-DRIVING DEATH

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

A 50-year-old man who was driving drunk in November when he killed the father of two children was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.

Steven V. Arcese has been in custody since the Nov. 3 accident that killed 26-year-old David C. Fisher.

The accident occurred near London Bridge and Dam Neck roads, where Arcese’s Audi station wagon crashed head-on with Fisher’s Chevrolet Cavalier. Fisher’s two children were passengers in the car but were not seriously injured.

In April, Arcese pleaded guilty to second-offense driving under the influence and aggravated involuntary manslaughter. He faced up to 21 years in prison.

In court Tuesday, Arcese told Fisher’s family: “In no way, on that horrible night in November, did I intend to cause that accident. I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry.”

Circuit Judge Thomas S. Shadrick began to cry as he expressed sympathy to Fisher’s family shortly before issuing the sentence.

Shadrick gave Arcese the maximum 21 years but suspended all but 10.

Arcese will be on supervised probation after his release, with another 11 years in prison possible if he misbehaves during that time, Shadrick said.

Shadrick said harsher sentences likely are ahead for repeat offenders who drink and drive and hurt others. But, Shadrick said, until the law changes, he is obligated to stay close to state-mandated guidelines.

The maximum sentence recommended for Arcese by state guidelines was about 9.5 years in prison, Shadrick said.

The judge said he exceeded the guidelines a little to “make a statement, because the guidelines are a little low.”

Jim Fisher, the victim’s father, who has become an advocate for stiffer drunken-driving sentences, said he was satisfied with the time Arcese will serve in prison.

“This is a start,” Fisher said. “It is higher than the guidelines and that is all we were hoping for.”

Fisher said he hopes the decision to keep Arcese locked up without bond until sentencing will set the standard for others charged with second-offense DUI and higher.

The public outcry against drunken drivers has intensified in recent months after a rash of fatal DUI accidents.

In Norfolk recently, police say a repeat DUI offender killed a Lake Taylor High School student after a magistrate allowed him out of jail on a $1,000 bond on a previous DUI charge.

After the sentencing, Moody E. “Sonny” Stallings, one of two attorneys who represented Arcese, said he was “prepared for a little worse” because attitudes against drunken drivers are changing rapidly.

Much of the change stems from public reaction to the Arcese case and other recent fatal DUI crashes.

“The community is talking about this case,” Stallings said, especially at the Oceanfront, where Arcese is a well-known resident.

People are starting to realize when they are out drinking, they should “get a cab, call a friend or walk, because this kind of tragedy will be repeated again,” Stallings said.

Michael L. Goodove, a Norfolk lawyer and president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said he would have preferred a longer sentence for Arcese.

“I think more time would have sent a stronger message to the community,” Goodove said. “and kept an habitual offender off the roads.”

Reach Jon Frank at 222-5122 or jon.frank(AT)pilotonline.com

Caption:
Color Photo
Steven V. Arcese, 50, faced 21 years, but the judge suspended all
but 10.
Photo
David C. Fisher, 26, was killed in a drunken-driving accident Nov.
3. in Virginia Beach.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0307020146

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Archive 1993 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

HOT LINE WILL LET DRIVERS REPORT DUI SUSPECTS \ THE STATE POLICE SERVICE IS AVAILABLE TO SPRINT CUSTOMERS

When the Norfolk man saw a car swerve along Interstate 264, hit another car on Waterside Drive and then drive on, he grabbed his cellular phone and called police.

A dispatcher told him to wait for an officer. But when the drunk drove on, so did the man – through Norfolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake, until three patrol cars ended the chase and he was finally able to hang up.

“I kept seeing my wife in that damaged car,” said the man, who asked not to be named. “I previously worked in an emergency room. I used to see what drunk driving can do.”

State police on Thursday urged other car-phone owners to report drunken drivers.

Along with Sprint Cellular and Hampton Roads Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the troopers announced the creation of a DUI hot line that will allow Sprint customers in southeastern Virginia to report suspected drunken drivers toll-free by dialing *DUI (*384).

It is the first time such a service has been available in Virginia, where there were 40,107 drunken-driving arrests last year, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Forty-five percent of the state’s 839 auto fatalities in 1992 were alcohol-related.

Sprint officials said the hot line has been successfully tested in Las Vegas and New Mexico. In Las Vegas, such calls have resulted in an average of five drunken-driving arrests a month.

But the extent of the local program is unknown because Sprint officials would say only that they had “many thousands of customers” and would not release an exact number.

There may be some minor problems with the new system.

The calls go into one of only three 911 phone lines at state police headquarters in Chesapeake. Police are asking callers to stay on the line if there is no answer.

Robert Sage, Sprint’s general manager for Hampton Roads, also said the new system is meant to encourage callers to report drunken drivers, not police them.

“This is going to put people on notice,” said Michael Goodove, a local MADD official. “Now, everyone with a cellular phone is going to have the power to turn suspected drunk drivers in.”

Copyright (c) 1993 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 9305140630