Category Archives: Litigation

Blog posts about litigation in Rhode Island.

Attorney Robert Craven argues before RI Supreme Court

On April 2, 2015, Rhode Island attorney Robert Craven argued before the RI Supreme Court.  The case dealt with the City of East Providence’s decision to deny a concealable weapons permit to an applicant.  Attorney Craven’s argument addressed the extent of Second Amendment Rights and the legal process by ri, trial attorney, lawyer ri, which an applicant is (or isn’t) entitled to a weapons permit in Rhode Island.  Specifically at issue was whether RI law requires cities and towns to issue a weapons permit to applicants and if there is any room for the exercise of discretion in licensing certain individuals.

The hearing was held at Rhode Island College as the Supreme Court was on it’s annual “Ride the Circuit,” which dates to colonial times when the courts traveled from town to town, taking the people’s business directly to the people.  The justices peppered Craven with questions as to why the court should side with his argument.

The Supreme Court will issue a written decision on the argument in upcoming weeks. It is anticipated that this decision will greatly impact the landscape of Second Amendment Rights and private gun ownership in Rhode Island.

Overview: RI Personal Injury Lawsuits | Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer

Rhode Island’s personal injury law is constantly evolving.  Our attorneys pride themselves on remaining cognizant of new law so that we can best advocate for our clients.  Below is a basic overview of RI’s personal injury law.

Statute of Limitations

Rhode Island has a three (3) year “statute of limitations” (a deadline) for filing suit in a personal injury case.  RIGL § 9-1-14.  If suit is not filed before the three year deadline, you likely will not be able to recover damages for your injuries.  

“Fault” in Personal Injury Cases

Many clients ask us if they can still “win” a personal injury suit if they’re partially at fault.  The RI Personal Injury Lawsuit | Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyeranswer is “yes”!  Rhode Island is a comparative fault state.  That means, a plaintiff’s percentage of fault is deducted from his/her total recovery.  For instance, in a personal injury suit with $1,000,000 in damages, if the plaintiff is 30% at fault he/she can still recover $700,000.  In fact, a plaintiff can still recover under Rhode Island law if he/she is 99% at fault!

Dog Bite Cases in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s law on dog bites is very favorable to plaintiffs.  While many states adhere to the “one bite” rule, which protects owners from liability for the first time their dog bites someone, Rhode Island uses a different law.  If a dog bites someone outside of its enclosure in Rhode Island, the dog owner is “strictly liable” – liable even if he/she or the dog isn’t at fault for the accident.  Due to this favorable statute, Rhode Island plaintiffs are often very successful in dog bite litigation.

The Attorneys of Robert E. Craven & Associates 

If you have any questions about personal injury law in Rhode Island or would like to speak with a RI personal injury lawyer, call us today for a free consultation.

Protective Orders in Rhode Island | North Kingstown RI Attorney

There are two types of protective orders in Rhode Island: (1) No Contact Orders and (2) Restraining Orders.

No contact orders are related to criminal charges.  Typically, an “NCO” is ordered by the judge at the defendant’s arraignment (that’s when the state’s charge is formally brought againsRestraining Order Lawyer RIt the defendant).  A no contact order remains in effect throughout the criminal case and its sentence.  If the criminal case is dismissed, the NCO is dropped automatically.  The NCO can be dropped if the victim appears in court requests a judge to drop the NCO.  If you’d like an NCO to remain in effect or if you’d like to have an NCO dropped, you should consider legal representation to properly advise you of your rights.

A restraining order is a court order that you submit an application for in court.  How to apply for a restraining order depends on your relationship with the person you are seeking protection against.  If you want a restraining order against a spouse, former spouse, child in common, adult related by blood/marriage, then you should go to RI Family Court to obtain a restraining order.  If you an adult and seeking a restraining order against an adult who you currently live with or have lived with within the past three years, or against an adult with whom you’ve had a dating relationship within the past year, then you should go to RI District Court to obtain a restraining order.  Lastly, if you do not fit into the above categories (ie: the defendant is a prior friend, neighbor, or landlord) you must go to RI Superior Court to obtain a restraining order.

There are two types of Family Court restraining orders in RI: (1) a Complaint Protection from Abuse and (2) a civil restraining order.  For a Complaint Protection from Abuse, the RI Family Court has the authority to issue a restraining order for up to 3 years.  Violation of a Complaint Protection from Abuse is a criminal offense. A Complaint Protection from Abuse can require the defendant to leave the household, enter counseling, and/or submit to drug or alcohol testing. Conversely, violating a civil restraining order is not a crime and only a civil offense, punishable by contempt of court.

To actually obtain a restraining order, you must file an affidavit explaining the ways the defendant abused you, threatened you, or stalked/harassed you.

A Temporary Restraining Order is actually issued immediately when you apply for it.  A TRO is valid for 21 days.  After that, you’ll need to go to a hearing to get the TRO extended.  At that hearing, a TRO can be extended for up to three years under Rhode Island law.

If you have any questions regarding protective orders in Rhode Island, call our attorneys today for a free consultation.  Our attorneys are both prosecutors and private defense attorneys.  We see protective orders on a daily basis, from both sides of the law.  Allow us to advise you today.

Criminal Defense Attorney RI

Aaron Hernandez Suppressed Evidence | RI Criminal Defense Lawyer

The concept of suppressing evidence is rampant in television portrayals of the legal system. But does evidence actually get suppressed? The answer is “yes,” but not without the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.  There are many reasons why evidence should be suppressed but evidence does not get suppressed on its own.  It takes a seasoned defense lawyer to identify evidence that could potentially be suppressed and (even more importantly) convince a judge to actually suppress the evidence.

Recently, this issue arose in the pretrial stages of the Aaron Hernandez murder case. Judge E. Susan Garsh decided to suppress two cellphones and three iPads.  That ruling means that the RI Criminal Defense Lawyerprosecution will not be able to present the items – and whatever electronic data they store – into evidence. The reason for granting the defense’s motion to suppress was a defect in the search warrant that led to the discovery of these devices.  Specifically, the warrant failed to specify that the police could seize handheld electronic devices.  As such, when the police discovered and analyzed this evidence (we don’t know exactly what they found, but considering the defense’s insistence on barring the electronics from evidence we can assume it was harmful to Hernandez’s defense) they violated the ex-Patriot’s constitutional rights.  Basically, the US Constitution allows us to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, requiring warrants to be based on probable cause, describing with particularity the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.  Here, it looks like the police failed to obtain authorization to seize Hernandez’s electronic devices prior to searching Hernandez’s property.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Rhode Island, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Call the attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates today for a free consultation.

Voter ID Law RI | Rhode Island Attorney and Political Candidate

Election Day in Rhode Island is only two months away.  Are you aware of the law regarding voter identification in Rhode Island?

The State of Rhode Island requires all voters to register to vote by October 5, 2014.  To register to vote, you must be (1) a US citizen, (2) a resident of the RI city/town wheRI Voter ID Lawre you wish to vote, and (3) at least 16 years of age (18 to actually vote).

Once registered to vote in Rhode Island, mark your calendar for the first Tuesday in November. This year, Election Day is on November 4th, 2014. If, for some reason, you know that you cannot make it to the polls on election day, you may apply for an absentee ballot, also known as a mail ballot.  You have until October 14th to apply for an absentee ballot.  This is often utilized by out-of-state voters and elderly voters.  However, almost anyone can obtain an absentee ballot since Rhode Island permits anyone who “may not be able to vote at [his/her] polling place…on the day of the election” to do so.

When you go to the polls, it is recommended that you bring a photo ID with you.  However, you cannot legally be turned away if you do not have a photo ID.  You must be given a provisional ballot and be allowed to vote.

If you have any questions regarding Election Day, the attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates will be happy to help you.