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Shorter Sentence with proven Brain Injury

Judges giving shorter sentence with proven brain injury

There was an interesting article in the New York Times by Benedict Carey.  The article outlined a study that was conducted to figure out whether judges adjusted sentences that would normally be given to those defendants who were proven to have brain injuries.  Brain injuries have become more clear in recent years due to advances in medical technology.  Such clarity seems to be swaying judges from “dropping the hammer” so to speak, on these defendants.

Opposition to such a trend are not convinced that these injuries are clear and definite enough to alter legal decisions; especially those decisions made by judges.  Such a study may be used as an important tool on how to proceed with all types of litigation and settlement negotiations.  It is always interesting to see how real world issues work their way into court rooms.  The link for the article is listed below.  If you are trying to determine whether or not to bring a case that involves a party with a brain injury, call 516-858-2620 to speak with an attorney.

NY Times – August 16, 2012

Criminal Attorney in Mineola

If you have questions regarding the impact that brain injuries can have on sentencing, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620.

Court Appearance Default

On July 26, 2012, in Litigation, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Court Appearance Default

Did you attend a court appearance and the other side wasn’t there?  Did you miss a court date and want to know what your options are?  Vaughn and Weber can help you decide what to do next.

People miss appointments.  It’s a fact of life.  Accidents, illnesses, family emergencies, or any number of other events beyond our control may prevent people from attending meetings, even very important ones.  Court appearances are just as likely to be interrupted by such events as anything else.  Courts understand this, and missing a court date is not necessarily fatal to a case.  When someone misses a court date, or “defaults,” every party involved – the appearing party, the absent or defaulting party, and the Court – has options.

Section 202.7 of the Uniform Court Rules, titled “Defaults,” provides:

At any scheduled call of a calendar or at any conference, if all parties do not appear and proceed or announce their readiness to proceed immediately or subject to the engagement of counsel, the judge may note the default on the record and enter an order as follows:

(a) If the plaintiff appears but the defendant does not, the judge may grant judgment by default or order an inquest.

(b) If the defendant appears but the plaintiff does not, the judge may dismiss the action and may order a severance of counterclaims or cross-claims.

(c) If no party appears, the judge may make such order as appears just.

This section gives Courts certain options, depending on the type of case, and whether the defaulting party is a defendant or plaintiff.  Most importantly, this rule gives the Court the power to enter a Default Judgment against the absent party.  When a Default Judgment is entered against the absent party, the present party wins the case.  This is good news for the present party, but it is not the end of the story.   Even if the Court enters a Default Judgment against the absent party, the present party – the “winner” – still has work to do.  Section 2220 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules requires that the winner provide the defaulting party with notice of the Judgment.  When the defaulting party receives notice of the Judgment, that party has a certain period of time to ask the Court for an opportunity to explain the absence.  If the Court is satisfied that the absent party has good cause for missing the court date, the Court may re-open the case. If not, then the default judgment ends the case.

If you have questions about defaulting on court appearances, Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to assist you.  Call 516-858-2620 to schedule a free consultation.  We are located in the heart of Long Island at 393 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 208, Mineola, NY 11501.

*Contributions to the research for this article have been made by Jason Mays, J.D.

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