OWI and CDLTodd Miler who shares office space with us and to whom we refer clients successfully defended our client, an over-the-road truck driver, who in his personal life was stopped and charged with operating his personal car while under the influence of alcohol. This was a client we referred to Todd because we know Todd takes pride in his work and proud lawyers do good work. 

I have two problems with this law, first why are truck drivers losing their right to earn a living as a commercial truck driver when in their personal lives they are charged with OWI or drunk-driving? It makes no sense to me and it’s the government using a heavy hand, much too heavy in the area of law enforcement. The government is doing this by taking away the CDL. And the police are charging drivers with OWI for as little as 0.007. Are you kidding me? If it’s in their personal life that’s their problem, it shouldn’t stop them from driving a truck. And if it's this little why are you even arresting the person? Is this not America?

The second problem the heavy-handedness gets even more pronounced. In this instance the blood alcohol level was 0.007 well below the legal limit but the trucker was still charged. [If you have this problem call me and I’ll refer you and make the introduction. 515-222-1110 or write [email protected]]

Lombardi Law Firm – Criminal Law: OWI-CDL Truck Drivers

Who comes up with this stuff? This law and enforcement is as bad as the law that requires the Court to enter a $150,000 judgment against anyone who while driving under the influence is in an accident in which someone dies. You drive, they die, you were drunk and you automatically owe $150,000 to the estate; irrespective of the value of the estate or the nature of the person’s life. That’s un-American, that’s the state stealing money and handing it to creditors and relatives who may have had no positive impact on the dead person’s life. It’s completely arbitrary and should be struck as unconstitutional. Think I’m wrong about how arbitrary it can get? Well consider if a few elderly farm wives had a little Irish whiskey with their noon tea only to run a stop sign and kill two escaping convicts from Ft. Madison Correctional facility? What if the convicts were Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer? Then what?  This law is preposterous; it’s a fiction of someone’s political imagination fishing for votes.

Think I’m wrong? Well, Dahmer and Manson will get $150,000 but an eleven year old child can be worth nothing to the parents. Are these traditional Iowa values? Think that’s not arbitrary?

Iowa juries have gone mad! What about if the loss wasn’t the eleven year old girl but instead is a $100,000 lathe? The owner of the lathe gets $100,000 and the child’s parents for their $100,000 investment get zero. Go figure, this isn’t Iowa this is the state of irrationality, where those in power get to do whatever they want while those who are powerless get taken to the cleaners. They hold the loss of your jobs over your heads as if it were a French guillotine. This isn’t much different than what caused the French Revolution.

The guillotine (/ˈɡɪlətn/ or /ˈɡ.ətn/; French: [ɡijɔtin]) is a device designed for carrying out executions by decapitation. It consists of a tall upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top and suspended. The condemned person is secured at the bottom of the frame, with his or her neck held directly below the blade. The blade is then released, to fall swiftly and sever the head from the body. The device is best known for its use in France, in particular during the French Revolution, when it "became a part of popular culture, celebrated as the people's avenger by supporters of the Revolution and vilified as the pre-eminent symbol of the Reign of Terror by opponents." However, it continued to be used long after the Revolution and remained France's standard method of judicial execution until the abolition of capital punishment by President François Mitterrand in 1981. The last person guillotined in France was Hamida Djandoubi, on 10 September 1977.

After 30 years here I am a lawyer, who is lost in time, space and words. Read about Jerrica and how an Iowa jury gave her parents nothing for loss of consortium and how under Iowa law that was found to be legal.

Okay, while we are ragging on the system today let’s answer another question about legal fees.

Question: Can an attorney keep a retainers fee for no job performed?

Question Detail: My son was accused of fondling a 16-year old girl at his work place. The girl and mother complained to the employer and wanted him fired. His employer believed him due to his character and video from the store. Girl and mom never brought it up again nor made any charges with police, etc. The girl no longer works there. I went with my son to get some legal advice. The lawyer advised us on what may happen and told us if we wanted to hire him in the event something happened, we had to pay a retainers fee. We paid it in cash. He gave me a receipt, never said it wasn't refundable and the receipt does not indicate it's not refundable. My husband called today so we can get our money back and he said it's not refundable. He has not had to do anything for us. The girl never proceeded with any other accusations. Are we entitled to our money back?

Answer: Lawyers being hired to do hourly work are required by rules of ethics to charge reasonable fees. Based on what you say the fee is questionable, but perhaps you were paying him for that initial consultation. How much was the retainer and how long was the initial consultation? After all you did sit with the lawyer to obtain his advice on what charges could be filed and what to do to avoid legal problems. There is no free lunch.

You can file a complaint with the Iowa Bar Association although I would first think about the advice you received and if still not satisfied, then advise the lawyer of your intention and he may further explain why all the moeny is owed or just return some of the money. If he didn't earn the fee he'll know it and he won't want a complaint filed against him. But don't threaten him with a complaint just tell him that is your intention. Remember, you got advice and it's worth something, so don't just seek to use his advice and not pay for it.

Okay, time for me to get back to work. 

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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