Criminal Law

The criminal law concerns serious violations of moral norms, things like hitting or killing another person; stealing from them; or dealing drugs.  You can bet that if the police charge you with a crime, the issue is not just going to go away.  Your freedom is at stake and the State has a long memory.

If you have been charged with a crime---whether you committed that crime or not---you need an attorney who knows the system.  Every statement that you make, or act that you take without the aid of an attorney, makes it easier for the State to prove that you are guilty.  The end result could be jail or serious fines.

Attorney Bench served as a law clerk on the Pennsylvania Superior Court (the appellate court that decides thousands of criminal appeals each year) as well as a trial-level criminal law clerk.  Andrew knows how judges think, what works, and what is just fluff.  If you are a criminal defendant, you need someone who knows how to tell your story effectively to either judge or jury.

We handle felony, misdemeanor, summary, and D.U.I. cases in both state and Federal court.

Civil Law

The civil law concerns the legal relationship between people.  This includes issues like personal injuries where one party harms another; contracts where two parties come together to decide how they want to govern affairs between one another; or civil rights where the government harms a citizen.

Sometimes one party harms another by failing to do something they were supposed to do---like forgetting to shovel ice from a sidewalk.  In other cases, one party to an agreement fails to live up to their end of the bargain.  In either case, when a dispute arises, and the parties cannot agree what to do, they may find themselves in a courtroom asking a judge to decide the matter.

The civil law is an extremely complex beast---particularly in Pennsylvania with its hundreds of labyrinthine rules of civil procedure.  It is far too easy to get lost without experienced help.  Attorney Bench has written dozens of important court opinions on civil procedure and civil law.  If you have been sued or need to sue someone, Andrew is the person that you need to guide your case quickly and cost-effectively through the Courts.

We handle all areas of civil law in both state and Federal court except probate, estates, tax law, or bankruptcy.  We do not handle family law matters other than uncontested divorces and prenuptual agreements.

Appellate law

Sometimes courts make mistakes.  When they do, our system of government provides for review of those mistaken decisions by way of an appeal.

Very few lawyers have any first-hand experience with taking an appeal and that can cause problems since the rules of appellate procedure are extremely complex and the failure to carefully follow each and every rule can easily result in dismissal of your case.  In addition, few lawyers have the type of in-depth academic training and careful writing skills needed to pull off an argument in front of an appellate court.

Attorney Bench is different.  His academic credentials include an LL.M. from Trinity College, Dublin where he was valedictorian of his class and doctoral work at the University of Cambridge.  In addition, Andrew served as a law clerk on the Pennsylvania Superior Court and wrote dozens of opinions in both criminal and civil law.  He knows how appellate courts operate, what appellate judges are looking for, and how to craft careful arguments in plain English.

We practice in front of the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

The best advice on how to win a court case is to never be sued in the first place.  That is where an attorney with experience in business matters is important.  With the right plans and agreements in place, you can help to forestall the possibility of future litigation.

Whether you need help incorporating a business, drafting bylaws, or creating an iron clad contract, you can turn to Attorney Bench.  Andrew's touchstone is clarity.  Many lawyers confuse bylaws and contracts with unnecessary and opaque language.  Andrew's agreements are clear, written in simple English, and accessible to all the parties.  The openness to everyday language means less confusion and fewer lawsuits down the road.

Buisness Law