At this month’s town elections, Peter Webb was elected to serve his 13th year as the moderator for the town and school district of Brookline, New Hampshire. In that capacity, he presides over town and school district meetings and elections.
Winer and Bennett, LLP is proud to announce that it will sponsor the Millyard Bike Paddle Run, a unique triathlon taking participants by bike, boat and foot from Nashua’s historic Millyard to Hollis and back. The triathlon is scheduled for May 22, 2016.
Clients of the firm are eligible to enter the triathlon at a discounted rate by entering “WinerBennett” in the discount code during registration. For more details on the event, see: http://www.millyardbpr.com/
Attorney Brenner Webb of Winer and Bennett, LLP has joined the Nashua Bar Association Board of Director’s Advisory Committee. He intends to carry on Winer and Bennett’s tradition of proactive involvement with Nashua legal community.
To learn more about the Nashua Bar Association, visit:http://www.datakwik.com/for-the-community/
Kent Barker and John Edwards will be co-teaching a Continuing Legal Education Seminar for NBI on “Advanced Trail Techniques” in Manchester, NH on May 26, 2016.
In his capacity as Co-Chair of the Legislative Action Committee, Winer and Bennett’s Gary Daddario will meet next week with several NH legislators relative to a bill that would provide NH associations with a foreclosure remedy for delinquent units.
Attorney Gary Daddario has been named an Officer of the Board of Directors of CAI New England for 2016.
Sometimes, an injured worker’s most valuable workers’ compensation benefit is vocational rehabilitation.
If an injury permanently prevents a worker from doing the work that he or she has always done, and the worker’s residual earning capacity in the jobs he or she can now do is less than the pre-injury wages, services are to be provided to help get the worker back to pre-injury earnings.
Like everything in life, there can be a difference between the theory and the reality. But the injured worker has a lifetime ahead of him or her. An honest effort to help the worker return to the pre-injury earnings is not just what should happen, it is what the law says is supposed to happen.
This is accomplished by the worker’s compensation insurance company hiring a vocational rehabilitation consultant. That is someone with training, experience and credentials in returning people to employment. It is the consultant’s job to work with the worker and to develop a plan to get the injured worker back to pre-injury wages.
If you are unlucky, you will get a vocational consultant who will go through the motions half-heartedly, or worse. If you are lucky, your vocational consultant will have the integrity to devise a real world plan to get you back on your financial feet. In some cases that will mean training or education sufficient to provide the tools required to be eligible for employment in a new field.
If some additional education is reasonably required in order to bridge the gap between an injured worker’s pre-injury and post-injury earning capacity, my position is that the worker’s compensation insurance company has to provide that education.
By: Peter G. Webb
Attorney Brenner Webb of Winer and Bennett, LLP taught a Business Law seminar on Wednesday, November 18th at the Center For Women and Enterprise in Nashua, New Hampshire. The seminar will be offered at the Center on a quarterly basis.
To learn more about the Center, see their website at:http://www.cweonline.org/…/CWE-NewHa…/tabid/287/Default.aspx
There was no mistaking what DUI, or driving under the influence, meant 20 years ago. Alcohol was the substance that prompted the arrest of impaired driving and the statutory scheme reflected that. There were technological improvements in the early 1980s that allowed breath alcohol to be tested through the breathalyzer machine. The Legislature established standards which set a prima facie or “on its face,” blood alcohol level reflecting impairment. Impairment by the use of alcohol became better defined among the law enforcement and defense bar communities.
That definition has gradually changed over the past ten years. The creation of synthetic drugs and the more widespread use of known but very powerful substances have lead the legislature and law enforcement community to react. Driving under the influence includes being influenced by any substance and not just alcohol. This phenomenon has intensified with the advent of pharmaceutical opioid creations such as Oxycontin. This drug has been prescribed and some would say over prescribed during the past five years. The pharmaceutical industry is attempting to get that situation under control right now.
The question of what the change in substance use and abuse means to the defense bar is an ongoing discussion. There are no “prima facie” standards for any substances other than alcohol. There is simply inadequate science to support such a finding. The day when there will be such data and interpretation sufficient to satisfy the legislature is quite far off if it can ever be achieved. How much THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) is sufficient to say that a driver is impaired? How does the level of THC in one driver compare to another driver in terms of their ability to operate a motor vehicle?
The answer to these questions in the current state of the law is that it depends upon the trier of fact. The police arrest a driver based upon their observations of his or her operation that appears to be outside of the normal unimpaired method of driving. They then perform specific sobriety tests to make observations of that person’s balance, ability to perform divided attention tasks, and general ability to follow directions. The officer then makes a decision about whether or not there is sufficient evidence to charge the individual with operating while impaired. These observations and conclusions are recorded in a police report which becomes the basis for the trial at a later date. The arresting officer presents his evidence in the form of testimony at trial. In cases where the impairment is due to alcohol, a test of the person’s breath alcohol is requested and, if they submit, that evidence can be used so long as it is scientifically reliable. There is no such test available for impairment by other drugs. The trier of fact, whether it is a judge or a jury, makes the final determination of whether there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was impaired. The verdict is subjective, depending upon the officer’s ability to relate his observations, and unique in every case.
Some members of the defense bar point out that police prosecution of drugged driving cases are becoming more frequent and better received by the Court. This is generally true but still presents more of a challenge to the police prosecutor than a DWI case involving alcohol. It is doubtful that the law enforcement community will come up with a scientific test for the level of other drugs causing impairment before the advent of driverless automobiles. In the meantime, the best way to avoid prosecution is to avoid operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of ANY substance.
By: Kent Barker
Winer and Bennett, LLP is proud to announce that Attorney Brad Westgate was recently selected as one of New Hampshire’s Best Lawyers by New Hampshire Business Review. This award is yet another testament to Attorney Westgate’s reputation as a consummate professional in his area of practice, Real Estate Law.
To learn more about Brad and his practice, visit: http://www.winerbennett.com/our-attorneys/brad-westgate/.