On March 2, 2020 five grown men (ages 62, 53, 47, 43, and 27) all of whom knew one another got into a brawl in Haverhill, MA. During the brawl the 27 year old pulled out a knife and stabbed the 53 year old. No one died, but the 53 year old had a serious injury to his leg that required a period of hospitalization followed by a period of rehabilitation. The 47 and the 43 year old were brothers and they were accused of holding down to the ground and kicking the 62 year old and the 27 year old. Charges were brought against all five men. All five men sought out and retained lawyers.
The 47 year old (SO) consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover, MA. SO was charged with Assault & Battery on a Person 60 years or Older (a felony) and with Assault & Battery. SO was a fireman in a local fire department and a felony conviction could cost him his job. In his very first appointment with Attorney Lewin, Attorney Lewin told SM that it was in the interest of all five men to have all the cases go away. Attorney Lewin explained that this would require all five of the men to refuse to testify against the others. This meant that those of the five men who were real victims would have to be willing to let go of the charges against the person(s) who had struck them. Attorney Lewin told SO that he would “quarterback” getting all the lawyers to get their clients to agree. SO very much wanted the charges against himself to be dropped and he was more than willing to drop the charges against the men who had assaulted him.
Attorney Lewin spoke with the four other lawyers. Everyone was on board – except the 53 year old who had been stabbed. He wanted the 27 year old prosecuted and convicted. But, as usual, there was a wrinkle. The 53 year old was himself on probation for an assault and he had other pending cases; therefore, this new case which included a charge against the 53 year old presented a problem for the 53 year old.
Attorney Lewin (and the attorneys for the other men) approached the Assistant District Attorney and convinced the Assistant District Attorney that if all five men exercised their privilege against self-incrimination and refused to testify, the Commonwealth would be unable to go forward with any of the cases.
On October 27, 2020 all five men appeared in Haverhill District Court. The Attorneys and the Assistant District Attorney explained to the Judge the situation that all five men were exercising their privilege against self-incrimination. The Judge ordered all the charges against all five men dismissed. SO walked out of the Courthouse a happy man and said to Attorney Lewin “this is what you told me should happen the first day I walked into your office”. Attorney Lewin responded “after 49 years in criminal practice I should know what works!”.