Civil Commitment: A Way to Address America’s Opioid Crisis?

Civil Commitment: A Way to Address America’s Opioid Crisis?
Right now more people in America are dying of drug overdoses than car accident and gun related deaths combined. In the last 15 years more than half a million people across the country have died from drug overdoses. More than two-thirds of those are opioid related deaths. Across the country many states are utilizing, creating, or expanding statutes, to permit courts to involuntarily commit someone with a drug or alcohol addiction.

At Cohen Cleary, we are proud to announce that Attorney Kellie Sanders will be serving as a panelist and moderator for a Webinar through the American Bar Association, where she will be discussing the current opioid crisis, the status of involuntary commitment laws across the country, along with other treatment models that are being used to address the growing drug related crisis in America.

Attorney Sanders has extensive experience representing individuals who are the subject of involuntary commitment petitions in Massachusetts. She has represented nearly 100 people in these commitment hearings. In addition to her expertise representing clients in these hearings, she is also a published Author on this subject, “Nature and Utilization of Civil Commitment for Substance Abuse in the United States.”

For more information, or if you’d like to attend “Civil Commitment: A Way to Address America’s Opioid Crisis?” on 10/5/2017 please visit to register.


October 5, 2017

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET


1.50 General CLE Credit Hours


Kellie Sanders

Mary Catherine Roper

Zarah Levin-Fragasso


Center for Professional Development

Center on Children and the Law

Commission On Disability Rights

Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs

Criminal Justice Section

Division for Public Services

Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division

Health Law Section

Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants

Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Section of State and Local Government Law

Senior Lawyers Division

Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

Youth at […]

By |September 19th, 2017|Top News|0 Comments|
  • How long do you have to file a personal injury claim
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    How long does it take to settle my car accident or personal injury case?

How long does it take to settle my car accident or personal injury case?

How long does it take to settle my car accident or personal injury case?
If a person is injured in a car accident in Massachusetts claims may be filed to pursue damages for those injuries. Those claims can be filed seeking damages from the insurance company that insures the vehicle you were in, from the “at fault” driver’s insurance company, or from any third parties who might be responsible.

In order to receive the compensation that you deserve it is first necessary to understand your injuries. In order to fully understand your injuries you should pursue immediate treatment, receive proper diagnostic evaluations, and pursuing ongoing medical treatment as necessary. Continued medical treatment is often necessary for injuries due to the nature of the injuries themselves. Continued treatment is also necessary to determine the severity and long term effects of your injuries. Without diagnostic evaluations, medical treatment, and the passage of time, it can be difficult or impossible to know if impairments or injuries from your accident could be permanent.

This often means that you should go through the process of receiving treatment, completing treatment, and identifying any permanent injuries before working to resolve your personal injury case. If you tried to settle your personal injury case before that process is complete you would not be able to receive the full compensation that you deserve. In order to receive the full compensation that you deserve it is necessary for you to complete treatment and determine the full scope, nature, and duration of your injuries. In other words, some lawyers might tell you they can settle your case “fast” but that is only possible if you are willing to accept less compensation than you deserve. For this reason, we […]

  • How long do you have to file a personal injury claim
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    What’s the statute of limitations for a car accident or personal injury case in Massachusetts?

What’s the statute of limitations for a car accident or personal injury case in Massachusetts?

What’s the statute of limitations for a car accident or personal injury case in Massachusetts?
If you are filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, what is the statute of limitation, or deadline, to file a lawsuit for a car accident?

If a person is injured in a car accident in Massachusetts claims may be filed to pursue damages for those injuries. Those claims can be filed against the insurance company that insures the vehicle that you were riding in at the time of the accident, against the insurance company that insurer’s the “at fault” driver, or against any third parties who might be responsible.

The Massachusetts Public Safety Board shows over 120,000 motor vehicle accidents in Massachusetts each year.  Out of those accidents, over 4,000 accidents result in serious injuries. Often a person who was injured in a car accident or other accident may not fully realize the extent of their injuries. In order to realize the full extent of the injuries the injured individual must receive proper diagnostic evaluations and medical treatment, which takes time. As time passes while treatment is being obtained it is nevertheless important to be mindful of the applicable “statute of limitations.”

The claims process can be confusing and can take months or years to complete. Similarly, the process of receiving the necessary treatment for your injuries can also take months or years. For this reason, it is helpful to have an understanding of how the “statute of limitations” could impact your claim. The statute of limitations is the deadline to file a law suit. The statute of limitations in Massachusetts to file a lawsuit for damages in most situations is 3 years. This means that if your claim is not […]

6 Things To Do After A Car Accident

6 Things To Do After A Car Accident
Have you ever wondered what to do after a car accident? After a car accident you may experience confusion on what to do. This may be due to shock, a rush of adrenaline, or due to the injuries you suffered. You also may be worried about legal issues such as when and how to report the accident, who you should speak with about the accident, and how to file a claim. This blog is intended to provide some basic information to answer those questions. This will not only help you to avoid feeling confused but will also help to ensure that your rights are protected and will allow us to pursue the maximum amount of money possible to compensate you for your injuries.

Here is a compiled list of things to start doing immediately after an auto accident:

Call 911 and notify the police and emergency medical treatment providers;
Exchange insurance information with the at-fault driver but do not speak to the at-fault driver regarding why or how the accident happened;
Seek immediate medical treatment if necessary and follow the recommendations of your treatment providers;
Take photographs to document the location of the accident, the property damage, and any visible injuries;
Assemble all relevant documents (insurance declaration page, medical bills, police reports, crash operator reports, etc);
Contact Cohen Cleary before speaking with any insurance companies or signing any documents;

At Cohen Cleary, P.C. we have extensive experience in handling car accidents and other personal injury cases. Call us today to ensure that one of our skilled attorneys can fight to get you the money you deserve. Call us now at (508) 880-6677 for your free personal injury case consultation.

How much is my personal injury case worth?

How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
After an auto accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident that results in an injury, you may have thought about contacting an attorney. You may also have wondered “how much is my personal injury case worth?” The answer to this question involves careful consideration of the issue of liability (was the other party at fault) as well as a careful consideration of your “damages” or how you have been injured.

Damages resulting from your accident include compensation for bodily injury, pain and suffering, property damage, and payment for expenses. Calculating your entitlement to compensation must be done on a “case by case” basis as the damages are specific to your injuries and circumstances.
Compensation for Damages
 When you have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence you have a legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries. If you have been injured as the result of someone’s negligence, the questions then becomes what are your “damages?”

When it comes to compensation for personal injury damages, an award for compensatory damages is meant to make the injured party “whole” again through the payment of funds to the injured individual by the at fault party. Therefore, carefully considering all possible damages is very important. Similarly, documenting all of your injuries resulting from an accident is also very important. Working with an experienced attorney as part of this process helps to ensure that you receive the highest possible payment for all of your damages.
Damages for Personal Injury Claims May Include:

Bodily injuries including exacerbation of pre-existing conditions;
Scarring and disfigurement;
Conscious pain and suffering;
Psychiatric injuries (such as PTSD, Traumatic brain injury, loss of memory or cognitive functioning);
Loss of Enjoyment;
Loss of consortium; and
Wrongful […]

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits Explained

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits in Motor Vehicle Accidents

What is PIP?
If you have been injured in an auto accident as a driver, passenger, or as a pedestrian, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits are available through your insurance company, or if you were a pedestrian the drivers insurance company would provide PIP benefits. If you were working at the time of the accident then you would seek workers compensation instead of PIP benefits.

For Massachusetts insured drivers, PIP is offered by the insurance company regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This coverage helps with initial medical expenses, lost wages, household services, and if needed, funeral costs.
What Types of Expenses Do PIP Benefits Cover?
After suffering from a personal injury due to an auto accident, related and necessary medical expenses are covered within the two years following the accident. Emergency room, doctor visits, chiropractic care, and physical therapy are some of the treatments that you may need after an injury.

PIP will cover lost wages caused by the accident if you are disabled from performing your duties. You must provide a doctors note stating the time period of your disability and whether you are partially or totally disabled from work. PIP will pay three quarters of your average weekly rate from the previous year leading up to your accident. This benefit is tax free for you but will not be paid if your employer continues to pay you after the accident.

PIP will also pay for any ordinary and necessary household services that you would normally perform for yourself but are not able to perform due to your injury.

Funeral expenses are covered by PIP in the event that there is a death due to the accident.
What Amount […]

Should I talk to the insurance company before a personal injury attorney?

Should I talk to the insurance company before I get a personal injury attorney?
Contacting The Insurance Company
After being injured in an auto accident your insurance company is supposed to be informed. There is a difference between reporting the accident to your insurance company and working to settle a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. In many instances the statement that you make to your insurance company as well as statements made to other insurance companies are recorded. For this reason, it is often beneficial to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to immediately begin guiding you through the process of seeking payment for your injuries. Having an attorney can help to ensure that your interests are protected and that you don’t make statements that could be misconstrued and later used against you to reduce or eliminate payment of the money you are owed for the damages and injuries that you sustained in the car accident.
Who’s on your side?
You may have the impression that since you pay the insurance company they should return the favor by looking out for your best interest, however, in reality their number one goal of Insurance companies is to make a profit while paying out as little benefits as legally possible. From day one the insurance company is going to be looking for information that may harmful to your claim or for a possible reason to deny or decrease the pay-out on your claim.

The expenses of being injured in a car accident can really add up. Medical care from an emergency room, urgent care, specialists, or physical therapy clinic, while potentially losing time with your family or your job can really take a toll on you mentally and […]

Things to know before a divorce

Things to know before a divorce
Planning for a Divorce
It’s that time of year again, the time in between summer and the holidays when commonly more people decide to start divorce proceedings. You may have been considering going forward with a divorce for a while but you have been waiting for the “right time”.  No matter when or why you decide to get a divorce it can be a difficult period to go through. The more prepared you are for this the better. A divorce is not something you want to approach blindly but instead you should do your homework on the subject. We’ve comprised some advice that may help you once you have decided you want a divorce.
Your Assets
Your first inclination may be to immediately hoard any financial assets in preparation of dropping the big news to your spouse. Being smart with your money is different than hiding your assets. Do not hide money since it will be found during the divorce and it will cause you to appear dishonest. If you feel as though there is a real concern for losing financial assets, than you should speak to a divorce attorney who will guide you on the preservation of assets before proceeding with the divorce.

The Wall Street Journal advises that you should keep track of all assets, income, debt, and living expenses. Make hard copies of any investments, bank accounts, pay stubs, art or jewelry appraisals, or any debts you as a couple may owe. Switch any of your bank, credit card, or any other accounts over to electronic statements to stop your spouse from being to keep track of your personal finances.
Keep track of credit.
Keeping track of your credit score will not […]

By |September 13th, 2016|Divorce|0 Comments|
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    Why you should hire an Attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement

Why you should hire an Attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement

Why you should hire an Attorney to Draft a Prenuptial Agreement
Contrary to popular culture a prenuptial agreement is not just for the wealthy wanting to protect their assets. A prenup agreement, or premarital agreement, is particularly helpful for a couple planning to marry where one or both partners has substantial income or assets to protect property from being divided as a marital asset in the unfortunate event of a divorce. This, however, is not the only circumstance in which a prenuptial agreement can be helpful.

In recent years there has been an increase in situations where one or both partners entering into a marriage have substantial debt from either student loans or credit cards. In the event of a divorce the courts do not just consider diving assets but also divide debt and assign responsibility for payment of debt. To help protect yourself from being responsible from your partners debt load consider having an attorney draft a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement can also be useful for estate planning purposes. If you have inherited family heirlooms or gifts that you would like to see given to certain loved ones or friends a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that your estate planning is carried out in the way that you would envision instead of divided as assets in a divorce.

Lastly, a prenup agreement is not the only way to protect yourself and your assets. If you are already married an Attorney can draft a postnuptial agreement, or if you are unsatisfied or want to amend your current premarital agreement, we can review your agreement and work to draft an amendment to the agreement.

At Cohen Cleary, P.C. we have extensive experience representing clients in Massachusetts who want a […]

  • Driving under the influence of drugs
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    Should I hire an Attorney if I am charged with OUI for Drugs or Alcohol?

Should I hire an Attorney if I am charged with OUI for Drugs or Alcohol?

Should I hire an Attorney if I am charged with an Operating Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol?
If you have been arrested or charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI) or what many states commonly refer to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) then you are already discovering the complicated procedures of the criminal court and the effect that this charge can have on your life. You could have been charged with an OUI/DUI for alcohol or drugs. Operating under the influence of drugs is a growing concern for the public safety given the opiate epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the near daily news coverage of resulting tragedies.  Given the increase in public concern the police have responded by charging individuals with OUI Drugs. This can lead to even more consequences than an OUI for alcohol because the police have the ability to contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles to suspend your license indefinitely as an immediate threat to public safety and if this happens the process for getting your license back is long and complicated.

If you are going to proceed in your case by having a trial, it is always in your best interest to be represented by an attorney that knows the rules of evidence, the trial procedures, and the best way to defend against these specific charges. An experienced attorney will also be able to look at the evidence against you and determine what motions need to be filed on your behalf. For example, to admit the results of a breath test against you at trial certain procedures needed to have been adhered to, and an attorney can look at the evidence and see if the proper procedures […]