Posted by a Criminal Defense client
I had previously written the only review on the Avvo website for Ben Gallagher. I would like to replace my previous review with an updated version (below) as there have been further developments in the case that have resulted in its successful resolution. If my updated review is approved, please delete this paragraph and the previous review. Thank you.
When I hired Ben, he said he worked with an investigator who would get statements from the police officers involved and obtain witness accounts of the arrest. Three and one-half months later, Ben had the trial postponed because he was not ready. He said his investigator had not yet spoken to the police officers. A month and a half after that, I asked Ben whether the investigator had spoken to the police officers. Ben then informed me that police officers do not have to agree to speak to investigators and he belittled my asking by telling me this was not the television series "Law and Order".
Nearly five month after I had hired Ben, the investigator still had not talked to the main eyewitness. After repeated emails to Ben, the investigator obtained a statement from the eyewitness. The delay could not have helped the eyewitness’ recollection. When I finally was provided with the eyewitness’ statement, two weeks after Ben had received it, I realized that the investigator had failed to ask the one question that I told Ben to have him ask - how many cops were on the scene when I was arrested? Three weeks after that, Ben tried to tell me that the reason he didn’t want the investigator to ask that question was that he did not want my neighbor to appear less credible than a State trooper who had said there was only one officer at the scene at the time of the arrest. However, Ben did not talk to the State trooper until more than a month after the investigator had interviewed the eyewitness. So how was it possible that Ben had made this strategic decision (without consulting me) to not ask the eyewitness this important question, when he it was more than a month later that Ben heard the State trooper’s version of what had happened that day?
Nearly six months after hiring Ben, with the new trial date less than a month away and without the research I had asked for, I was frustrated and accurately called Ben slow and not very responsive. Ben responded by petitioning the court to have himself removed as my attorney. When I asked Ben for his notes from an interview with another eyewitness, Ben did not provide them to me. Then Ben told me that the State trooper’s version of what had happened that day was likely credible and added that I was free to have “whatever memory of the events I choose” (inferring that my recollection of the events was not accurate). In his final email to me, Ben threatened that any defamatory comments by me would be met with “swift and aggressive legal action”.
The attorney that replaced Ben had the knowledge to subpoena the police dispatch records and audio recordings from the date of the arrest. Those dispatch records and audio recordings proved that there were three officers at the scene at the time of the arrest and that the State trooper had lied. Unfortunately, Ben chose to believe the State trooper’s version of what happened that day over what his client had told him without thoroughly researching the facts.