Right! Who's to say otherwise?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Right! Who's to say otherwise?

It's a terrible story:

15-year-old boy hit by alleged drunk driver succumbs to injuries

Just awful!

But you know who's making it worse?

The attorney for driver Caroline Goss, in Fri­day's Newsday:

"Goss, 34, of Mattituck, was driving with her 6-year-old child Wednesday evening north on Ponquogue Avenue as she approached Joseph Marino from behind, said attorney Colin Astarita and Southampton police. Marino, 15, was weaving back and forth with his bike as he spoke with two friends who were walking, Astarita said.

'As he sways into the road, Mrs. Goss' telephone rings, she reaches to pick it up, she never saw him,' Astarita said. 'It appeared that he swerved into the road at least partially.'"

This according to Colin Astarita, a former Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney now in private practice in Southampton.

So, then the decedent, according to Counselor Astarita, would be at least partially responsible for his own demise?

That's if he was actually "weaving back and forth," but we know this how if Mrs. Goss "never saw him?"

(And while it's likely a factor to some degree, we'll not comment on the "hands-free 'phone" issue.)

I dunno... the way I learned it, young Marino could have flung himself beneath the wheels of Mrs. Goss' SUV, and if her blood alcohol content tests 0.13%, more than half-again above the legal limit, she's done!

It's still a terrible story... no parent should ever have to bury a child, so condolences to the Marino family.

In one group... three members of which are attorneys... to which I belong, we've had fierce debates over the past dozen years as to what one should say if detained by a police officer.

The consensus always comes down to, after "Me want lawyer!," is to simply STFU!, the more polite translation of which reads "Shut the front door!"

I think that should apply to lawyers as well.

Just shut up! Few if any have any credibility anyhow, and if you absolutely, positively, feel the need to say something to the media, how 'bout something like:

"It would be pre-mature to make any sort of statement at this time."

Or:

"My client prefers a day in court rather than on the front page."

There is one small irony in this tragedy.

After handling Mrs. Goss' arraignment, Attorney Astarita learned that he had once represented the late Mr. Marino on a juvenile matter, and withdrew from the case.

Yeah! It is a small world.

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