Tag Archives: martin

Martin Hubbell named a 2012 Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star!

 

Congrats, Marty! Named one of Ohio’s top lawyers.

 

Lawyers are asked to nominate the best attorneys who are 40 or under.  They are instructed to nominate lawyers they have personally observed in action – whether as opposing counsel or co-counsel, or through other firsthand courtroom observation.

In addition to the general survey, the attorney-led research team reviews the credentials of potential candidates and assigns points based on a set of defined evaluation criteria. The research staff also confirms that nominees are properly licensed, in good standing with the state licensing agency, and, when possible, that they have no history of disciplinary action that would warrant removal from the list.

The point totals from the general survey and research process are then added to arrive at a final tally. The lawyers are ranked by point totals and those with the highest point totals are named to the Rising Stars list. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are named to the list. To ensure a diverse and well-balanced list, the research staff considers factors such as firm size, practice area and geographic location.

We at Diehl & Hubbell, LLC are proud of Mr. Hubbell and would like to thank him for his years of dedicated service to the Southwest Ohio community!

You can find Mr. Hubbell at 304 East Warren Street, Lebanon, Ohio, 45036  #513.932.2121

http://www.diehlhubbell.com

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Are you a Bulldog Lawyer?

By Marty Hubbell

I get asked that at least once a month. All attorneys have heard from potential clients who want to hire a Bulldog to represent them.  Why?  Because they erroneously believe that such lawyers are effective advocates for their clients.

Some people are generally unreasonable and unpleasant; some of these people happen to be lawyers.  It is not hard to find them, as they are usually preceded by reputation.

These Bulldog lawyers have an inability to arrive at appropriate results in a timely fashion.  They don’t return phone calls, are unprepared for hearings, and are unable to competently identify key issues in a case.  But they are wonderful at turning legal cases into personal vendettas, when doing so has no practical purpose.  Legal fees tend to get expensive, quickly, when fighting about anything and everything.

A Bulldog lawyer does not intimidate a competent attorney.  I tell my clients in advance about the other attorney’s reputation, in order to prepare them.  No party to litigation truly enjoys the experience, and you have to wonder about the unnecessary emotional cost their clients pay.

Judges and juries do not appreciate Bulldog lawyers.  Court time is valuable and dockets are crowded.  Recent studies suggest that jurors are particularly sensitive to choosing sides in a trial based upon a Judge’s rulings and demeanor toward individual attorneys.  If an attorney argues ten points of law, when only two are viable, the stain of the poor arguments can filter down to the good ones.

There is so much more to being an effective advocate than just being adversarial.  Be cautious when a lawyer brags about being tough and aggressive.  A competitive spirit should not be confused with a combative personality.  The qualities you should demand in a lawyer are no different than those you would want from other people in your life:  diligence, competence, honesty, and reasonableness.

_____________________

Marty Hubbell is a partner in the law firm of Diehl & Hubbell, LLC  (www.DiehlHubbell.com), and has been practicing criminal defense law in Warren County, Ohio for ten years.  He has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer, and is a part-time Magistrate for the City of Lebanon, Ohio.  He can be reached at (513) 932-2121 or MHubbell@DiehlHubbell.com

JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY: TIPS FOR AVOIDING PITFALLS

By:  Tom Diehl (In 2008)

   In the last edition of the Co-Counsel Reporter, we discussed the 
pitfalls occasioned by the  recent modifications and abrogation of 
joint and several liability as set forth in SB 120.  Specifically, 
if a defendant can convince the trier of fact that a different 
defendant has some liability for the injuries sustained, the 
defendants will be liable for the overall damages only according to 
their percentage of liability.  This can have disastrous consequences 
if the “other defendant” is not a party to the suit or is judgment proof.



   To help minimize the potential for disastrous consequences, 
plaintiff's counsel should consider these strategies:

    *    File discovery early requesting the defendant to identify and 
         specify any other defendants allegedly having liability for 
         injuries caused. Consider, submitting requests for admissions 
         demanding defendant to deny the existence of other liable 
         defendants;

    *    In the initial complaint, bring claims against all potential 
         liable
         party defendants;
 
    *    When partially settling with the joint tortfeasor, release 
         only that tortfeasor;
 
    *    Consider filing a challenge to the constitutionality of 
         SB120 -- send a copy of the challenge to the Ohio Attorney 
         General. Grounds for potential constitutional challenge 
         include an argument that SB 120 violates Article II 
         Section 15 (One Subject Rule) or Article IV Section 5  
         (Separation of Powers).


   At Thomas J. Diehl & Co., LLC, we have been handling personal 
injury claims in Southwest Ohio since 1988. We regularly work with 
counsel in ethical fee sharing arrangements.  Thomas J. Diehl is a 
Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and a member of the
Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

http://www.ThomasJDiehl.com

 

Ryan Widmer Trial Update- The Jury Deliberates

By Marty Hubbell

Closing arguments ended today in Ryan Widmer’s third trial for the murder of his wife.  This was the attorneys’ opportunity to tell the jury what they believed the evidence showed throughout the case.  The jury will be instructed that the arguments of counsel are not to be considered as evidence.

After closing arguments the judge read the jury instructions and the jurors entered the jury room for deliberations.  All of the exhibits will accompany them, together with the verdict forms. 

Some thoughts on the Widmer case:

1.         Truth really is stranger than fiction.  This case has a lead detective who lied on his police application, a surprise witness that used to work in an Iowa strip joint, a third murder trial, and a married female witness who flew in from Seattle to support the defendant.  And, of course, an expert who worked on the Kennedy assassination and testified at the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

2.         The State’s surprise witness, Jennifer Crew, testified that Ryan Widmer confessed the murder to her.  This witness walked into court with quite a bit of baggage.  But the State had to call her as a witness, as a confession will certainly make jurors’ ears perk up.

That being said, her credibility is in question based upon her prior criminal record and past life choices.  I spoke to multiple people in the courtroom during her testimony, and they gave her testimony a grade from lukewarm to good.

3.         I think the defense team doesn’t expect a NOT GUILTY verdict.  They would like one, but such a finding will be even more difficult after the confession testimony from Jennifer Crew.  Keep in mind, in the two previous trials, depending on which version you believe, either 22/24 or 20/24 jurors have voted GUILTY at the end of the day.

My guess is the defense would be tickled pink to have another hung jury.

4.         People ask me whether Ryan Widmer should testify.  The answer:  hell no.  Rest assured that throughout the three trials Ryan has been prepped and coached to testify, just in case.  My guess is that he has done very poorly in these practice examinations.

5.         One of the confusing parts of the Law is reconciling guilt with proof.  It is entirely possible that a person can be guilty of an offense, but the State lacks the ability to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

When would this happen?  All the time.  This morning I drove to the airport with almost no traffic on the road.  A portion of I-71 near downtown Cincinnati has a 55 m.p.h. speed limit.  I sped.  Although I am technically guilty of this offense, without additional evidence the State would never be able to prove my guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (even with my admission!). 

A defendant is presumed innocent of a crime.  The State carries the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If that burden is not met, it is a juror’s duty to sign the NOT GUILTY verdict form.  Suspicion or ‘probably did it’ does not suffice.

6.         freeryanwidmer.com was a website created to assist Ryan Widmer in the defense of his case.  This is also the website used by the State’s surprise witness, Jennifer Crew, to get in touch with Ryan.  The only real new evidence in this third trial is her testimony.  If convicted, how ironic would it be that the group formed to raise money for Ryan Widmer assisted in his ultimate conviction?

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