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  • Gay Marriage: Legalization Implications in the Aftermath

    || 27-Jul-2015

    The recent United States Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage resolved one question, that is, whether it is legal for states to deny same sex couples the right to get married. And now opportunities will be presented to start answering all of the hypothetical questions which were posed before the national legalization of gay marriage. Issues such as whether gay marriage will lead to ...
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  • Federal Investigations

    || 23-Jul-2015

    Often we receive calls from individuals who have been interviewed by the FBI, DHS, IRS, or another three-letter agency. The person calling us is concerned that he or she may be the target or subject of a federal investigation and feels that he or she may need representation before things get out of hand. Federal Investigators Cast a Wide Net The reality is that the target of an investigation is ...
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  • Anatomy of a DUI Stop

    || 22-Jul-2015

    The penalties for a conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol in the state of Nebraska are severe. Many times, good people who have only had a few drinks are stopped and arrested for driving under the influence. The consequences can have a long time impact on things such as employment and insurance costs. In the State of Nebraska, a traffic violation, however minor, “...creates ...
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  • When Business Relationships Sour

    || 23-Jun-2015

    Many consider their business partners members of their family – and, believe me, nobody drives me crazy like my family. Similar to the rate of divorce, about half of the business relationships I witnessed deteriorated to the point where someone wanted out – or wanted someone else out – even among friends. You have heard me preach it before: just like good fences make good ...
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  • Lawyers, Guns, and Money

    || 17-Jun-2015

    “I was gambling in Havana. I took a little risk. Send lawyers, guns and money. Dad, get me out of this.” Those are lines from “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”, by the late Warren Zevon. The lyrics may make one think of a person willing to do whatever it takes, legal proceedings, violence, or bribery to get himself out of a sticky situation. Although violence and bribery do not ...
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  • Encounters With Cops

    || 16-Jun-2015

    Many of us have had contact with law enforcement. For some people, interactions with cops have led to arrests, and for some people, no arrest. Sometimes when stopped for a minor traffic infraction, police may place a person in their cruiser; other times, a person may stay in the driver’s seat of their own car. The Fourth Amendment provides that the “right of the people to be secure in ...
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  • Sexual Assault Allegations on College Campuses

    || 15-Jun-2015

    Within the past year, Berry Law Firm has represented faculty and students at universities who were accused of rape. In both instances, a Federal Title IX hearing was held and the University officials found by a preponderance of the evidence that the accused engaged in sexual misconduct. In both cases, criminal charges were never filed. While the Title IX policy makes sense, the execution of the ...
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  • Berry Law Firm Wins Terroristic Threats Trial

    || 11-Jun-2015

    On June 9th, 2015, Berry Law Firm attorney Justin Kalemkiarian secured a not guilty verdict for a client charged with one count of making a terroristic threat. The case stemmed from a situation in which the acquitted defendant was accused of threatening another person with a crime of violence. The crime of making terroristic threats is charged under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-311.01 and is a ...
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  • Interstate 80 Drug Stops

    || 8-Jun-2015

    Throughout Interstate 80, individuals driving cars with out of state plates are stopped, taken to the police car to be questioned, and eventually their cars are searched. Sometimes the search occurs with consent. Sometimes the search occurs without consent. Often individuals who have been stopped by law enforcement and his vehicle searched without consent complain that there was never a warrant to ...
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  • Interstate Cash Seizures

    || 5-Jun-2015

    Often in Lancaster, Seward, and York Counties, the state patrol or deputy sheriff will stop vehicles traveling west hoping to uncover and find large amounts of cash. Law enforcement will then claim that this cash is currency used or to be used in a drug transaction. Not only is the cash seized, but the defendant is charged with a Class IV felony carrying a term of up to five years in prison. Often ...
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  • How Much Will This Divorce Cost Me?

    || 27-May-2015

    The short answer is: Get out the check book. Certainly not every divorce is going to be costly for the parties involved. In the case of a couple that has been married only a short time, and have no children, it is unlikely that a divorce will financially cost either of the parties much money, other than relatively low attorney fees, and/or the additional cost one pays to no longer share expenses ...
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  • Recent Discovery Trends for DUI Cases

    || 8-May-2015

    For many years, prosecutors have possessed an unfair advantage in the area of investigative resources. Having an unlimited budget has allowed prosecutors to use inexhaustible resources in finding every possible shred of evidence that might be remotely related to a criminal investigation. That unfair advantage is gradually shifting and balancing to give defendants more tools. Years ago, the use of ...
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  • Unreasonable Detention and Drug Dogs: The Rodriguez Decision

    || 27-Apr-2015

    On April 21st, in Rodriguez v. The United States, the United States Supreme Court held that without reasonable suspicion, a traffic stop that is extended in order to conduct a drug dog sniff is an unreasonable seizure. This means that unless an officer has more than just a hunch that criminal activity is afoot, the officer cannot continue to detain the person in order to run a drug dog around the ...
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  • Can I Talk Myself Out of an Arrest?

    || 14-Apr-2015

    Every defense attorney should know that one of the best possible defenses to a criminal charge or conviction is controlling the message, primarily the message told by the person being investigated for a crime. One of the most common reasons that people are convicted is simply because they do not shut up. We have all heard stories where a person might have gotten away with committing a crime had ...
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  • The Technological Revival of the 4th Amendment

    || 3-Apr-2015

    After the passing of the Patriot Act, constitutional scholars bemoaned the demise of the 4th Amendment. See, e.g., Susan N. Herman, The USA Patriot Act and the Submajoritarian Fourth Amendment, 41 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 67, 106 (2006). The right to privacy gave way to protection against terrorism. Several three letter agencies probed us and scrutinized our actions. The TSA patted us down then put ...
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  • Choose Your Friends Wisely

    || 25-Mar-2015

    Supposedly there is an old Chinese proverb which says something to the effect of: It is easy to dodge the arrow of an enemy, but difficult to avoid the spear of a friend. I suppose that can be taken to mean that when your friends are pointing out your flaws, which may hurt your feelings, it can be hard to avoid the truth behind what they say. On the other hand, even the spears they inadvertently ...
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  • Civil Forfeiture or Criminal Prosecution

    || 20-Mar-2015

    Generally speaking, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the one specific government entity from punishing you twice for the same crime. The prohibition prevents the government from imposing a criminal sentence and taking your property. As an example, if somebody is caught with money while traveling through the state of Nebraska, and the government suspects that money is ...
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  • Criminal Defense Attorney John Berry spoke to University’s Students Innocence Project in March about the latest concerns defense lawyers are facing statewide. Berry, President of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association (NCDAA), talked about the importance of continuing education and training as well as legislative issues from a criminal defense lawyer’s courtroom ...
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  • But Officer, I Can Explain...

    || 26-Feb-2015

    You would be amazed at how many people are in jail or prison right now, because they tried explaining their way out of something with a police officer, or someone else accusing them of something nefarious. In cases with no physical evidence of a crime, it can be difficult to obtain a conviction simply based on the claims of the alleged victim. But when the suspect tries to explain their behavior, ...
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  • Real Advice for Real Life Problems

    || 16-Feb-2015

    There are plenty of stories throughout the news - nationally and locally - about attorneys who give their clients bad advice. I’ve literally talked to 100s of clients who are in legal trouble because a person with one black suit who markets himself online as a “top criminal defense attorney” gave that client poor advice. Here is an example: I had a client a few years back who had ...
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  • How Do I Know When I Need a Lawyer?

    || 11-Feb-2015

    Yesterday, AMC launched a spin-off of the show “Breaking Bad” which is about a criminal defense attorney and it is entitled “Better Call Saul.” Like most television shows, the program is designed to be entertaining, but not necessarily insightful. However, yesterday’s episode raised a great question: when do I need to hire a lawyer? Sometimes the answer to this ...
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  • Over the past 5 years, federal forfeiture cases in Nebraska resulted in over $4.6 million in seized assets. Forfeiture is the loss of property as a penalty for wrongdoing. In drug cases, money and property that are connected to the drug trade can be taken by police in connection with an arrest, even if the person is not charged with a crime. Now, Local law enforcement is unsure of how to proceed ...
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  • Woman Accepts Plea Bargain in Interstate 80 Case

    || 3-Feb-2015

    In connection with an October 2013 drug trafficking case, a 24-year-old woman will not be facing federal indictment due to the acceptance of a plea bargain. Her co-defendant was not offered a plea deal and will be facing federal charges for the incident. The duo were arrested after being stopped by Nebraska State Patrol on Interstate 80. Deal Cut in Interstate 80 Trafficking Case According to the ...
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  • Nebraska Criminal Law Case Summaries

    || 28-Jan-2015

    State v. Piper, 289 Neb. 364, Oct. 31, 2014 Issues on Appeal: The issues on appeal were whether the trial court erred in (1) holding that the rules of evidence do not apply at suppression hearings and (2) denying Piper's motion to suppress based upon the legality of a DUI checkpoint. Facts: In 2012, Piper was stopped at a vehicle checkpoint near Scottsbluff. Trooper Peterson alleged that Piper ...
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  • The Legal Enterprise of Conspiracy and Theft

    || 27-Jan-2015

    One specialty of the Berry Law Firm, is the defense of persons charged with drug trafficking along the Intestate in Nebraska. It is very common for an eastbound vehicle in Nebraska to be pulled over, and the driver arrested and cited for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver the same. Depending on the substance involved, the crime carries a possible penalty of up to 50 ...
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