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Archive for August, 2014

Antonio Romanucci Elected Chair of the Police Misconduct Group

Posted on: August 14th, 2014 by Chicago Police Misconduct Attorney

Antonio Romanucci Elected Chair of the Police Misconduct Litigation Group and Vice-Chair of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice

 

Chicago, IL:  Antonio Romanucci, principal of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, a leading personal injury and civil trial practice law firm in Chicago, was elected Chair of the Police Misconduct Litigation Group and Vice-Chair of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice (AAJ, ).  AAJ is the world’s largest trial bar, working to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others.  The appointment was announced at the organization’s annual convention in Baltimore in July.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by my peers and to take on this leadership role for this esteemed organization,” said Tony Romanucci.  “I look forward to working with other like-minded attorneys who are committed to serving justice for victims of police misconduct and traumatic brain injuries.”

Romanucci’s successful tenure was the result of a personal tragedy.  His high school best friend suffered a fatal brain injury in high school while playing football.  This devastating incident prompted Romanucci to pursue a career where he could help victims of traumatic injuries and injustice.  That decision led to a career as a personal injury attorney and ultimately, a name partner in Romanucci & Blandin, LLC.

Antonio concentrates his practice in wrongful death and personal injury, which includes police misconduct, aviation accidents and the representation of victims of sexual abuse.  Antonio has been involved in many noteworthy cases that have changed policies and procedures across the country, including the Maine West High School sexual abuse scandal; the Jenni Rivera plane crash outside of Monterrey, Mexico; the metal baselball bat litigation; and numersous police misconduct cases, including the wrongful death of Freddy Wilson and Joshua Salvato.

Antonio is recognized locally and nationally for his leadership, expertise and technique in his field. For his successes, Antonio has been named a ‘Top 100 Super Lawyer’ for 10 straight years in Illinois, a ‘Leading Lawyer’ since 2004, and was named a ‘Best Lawyer’ for 2013 by U.S. News and World Report.  Additionally, Antonio has a perfect Martindale Hubble AV rating and an AVVO rating of 10/10.

In his role as Chair of the newly formed Police Misconduct Litigation Group and Vice-Chair of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, Tony will be able to share his vast knowledge and experience of these unique cases.  The AAJ Litigation Groups are a critical tool for the organization’s members to level the playing field when forced to battle the overwhelming resources of corporate counsel.

 About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC

Romanucci & Blandin has been rated as a leading civil trial practice law firm in Chicago concentering in personal injury and police misconduct.  The attorneys at the Chicago law firm represent individuals and their families in catastrophic personal injury matters, wrongful death and workers’ compensation cases.  The cases that are referred to Romanucci & Blandin involve accidents or injuries which occurred due to negligence and carelessness on the part of individuals, governmental bodies and corporations of all sizes.  Since its inception more than 15 years ago, Romanucci & Blandin has secured more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of their clients. For more information about Romanucci & Blandin, please visit www.rblaw.net or call 312-253-8600.

 

 

How To Handle Yourself if You’re a Victim of Police Misconduct

Posted on: August 14th, 2014 by Chicago Police Misconduct Attorney

Article reprint from the Chicago Defender

By Andrea V. Watson, DEFENDER STAFF REPORTER

Police should never use “excessive” force said personal injury lawyer Antonio Romanucci of RB Law. When that does happen, that individual has become a victim of police misconduct. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a state appeals court ruled that Chicago police can’t hide misconduct records. Those files have to be open to the public.

Romanucci & Blandi, LLC is a top Illinois’ plaintiff’s personal injury and civil trial practice law firm. The Chicago-based law firm works with victims who experience personal injuries that are the direct effect of another person’s actions. The plaintiff-only litigation law firm helps those victims receive compensation. The firm practice areas include hazing cases, nursing home, social security, class action lawsuit and more. They provide free consultation .

There are a few steps that people should take if they believe they are a victim of police misconduct, as well as some do’s and don’ts

Chicago Defender: If a person believes they are a victim, how can they help themselves legally?

RomanucciIf anyone is a victim or believe they are, first thing, they need to gather any evidence they think they may have captured. In today’s video and social media world, we know any video or pictures would be tremendous evidence. Before contacting an attorney, find out if anyone in the area captured it. We like to preserve the evidence, not have it destroyed.

Chicago Defender: What else can you do if you don’t have photos or video?

Romanucci: You want to gather the names and addresses of any witnesses who might be available.

Chicago Defender: Is there a window of time that people need to keep in mind as they are gathering their evidence?

Romanucci: Typically, if any video evidence comes from a private camera or street camera, it can be destroyed from 24 hours to 30 days. You want to send letters to whoever you think is responsible within 30 days. In terms of filing a lawsuit against an municipal entity like the Chicago Police Department, that would be one year, after one year, you extinguish your rights.

Chicago Defender: Okay, it’s clear what steps the alleged victim should take, but what shouldn’t they do?

RomanucciYou shouldn’t go talking to other people about it. If they believe they are or were a victim then talk to an attorney first, instead of making statements [to the media]. The attorney can guide them, give them the right advice and tell them if it’s appropriate to give a statement. Don’t do anything against the agency they feel they were victim of.

Chicago Defender: Can you give an example?

RomanucciSometimes an agency will say we can resolve this case now, but by doing that the victim might be waiving all their rights. You always want to be careful about talking to someone like investigators because they might say we can talk now and get you some compensation.

To learn more about police misconduct cases, click HERE.

Take Action against False Arrests in Chicago

Posted on: August 12th, 2014 by Chicago Police Misconduct Attorney

If the police department has arrested you falsely and has deprived you of your freedom without having sufficient reason or authority to do so, the police officer responsible or the police department can potentially be sued.  Some people believe that they can only take action if they have been physically assaulted by a police officer in order to get compensation, but action can also be taken by hiring a personal injury attorney to help you with your false arrest case.

Just last week, Tanisha McGee, a mother in Chicago, filed a suit against the Chicago Police Department because she says that her 10-year old son was falsely arrested and the officers were unnecessarily rough with him when he was arrested in April.  The police officers said he was arrested because it was believed that he had a gun and that he also had information about a gang.

McGee and her son went out to pick up Chinese food on April 6th near Cottage Grove Avenue and 79th Street when they were approached by a few police officers.  The suit filed says there were “several” officers but did not specify exactly how many police officers there were.

After the officers approached McGee and her son, McGee says that the officers grabbed her son as they asked him if he had a gun and also said that they were unnecessarily rough with him.  The police did not find a gun after they searched the boy, yet they still put him in the backseat of a police car, the suit said.  McGee then called 911 for assistance and more officers arrived on the scene.

The boy was taken to the police station for questioning and according to the suit, the boy was called a “mother——.”  The suit says this was yelled at him as he was interrogated about his gang activity.  McGee was not allowed to see her son while he was being questioned, and she said that the police officers, “laughed about the situation and ridiculed” her.

McGee also claims that the police threatened to arrest her for child neglect if she continued asking to see her son.  Her son was issued a citation for public urination when he was finally released.  There has been no immediate response from the city when they were asked for a comment.

The eight-count suit includes claims of false arrest, excessive force and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  McGee is pursuing punitive damages against the officers and the city and she is also seeking compensation for her legal fees.

Anyone who has been falsely arrested needs to understand what their legal rights are.    If you are planning to sue a police officer or a police department, you must prove that there was no probable cause that you were engaged in any sort of criminal activity at the time you were arrested.  If you are able to prove that there was no probable cause, you can take action to sue for false arrest since your fourth amendment rights were violated.

Most likely, you will file a tort claim against the city.  You can proceed to a lawsuit if your claim is rejected or if the city does not respond to your claim in time.  As in the case with McGee, you may also seek punitive damages if there is evidence that the officers maliciously or purposefully violated your rights.

You will also need to collect evidence and have a factual record of the events.  You may want to obtain a copy of the police report and look for any eyewitnesses to the arrest.  Consulting with a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney is the best way to ensure that you are fully aware of your legal rights and that you receive the compensation you deserve for your false arrest.

 




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