Notable Cases

Jury Awards $520,000 Against Police Officer for Use of Excessive Force

The client had left a restaurant in downtown Hartford and started to walk back to his car, which was parked about two blocks away. Just outside the restaurant he saw a taxi cab double-parked. He recognized the driver and stopped to talk to him. At the same time, a plain clothes officer was driving past in an unmarked vehicle. From his unmarked car the plainclothes officer called out to the client. He did not identify himself as a police officer. He pulled past the taxi cab, parked, and moved quickly on foot. He did not identify himself as an officer. The plainclothes police officer kicked the client pushing him backwards. In the meantime another uniformed officer came up behind the client and struck him repeatedly in the head with his police baton. He struck the client in the knee with his baton and broke the patella. The jury awarded the client $520,000 following a five day trial. The net jury verdict was later reduced by stipulation to $454,197. Attorney Rigat represented the client along with Attorney Anthony P. DiCrosta.

Court Awards $ 537,787 Against Attorney for Legal Malpractice

The client had previously been represented by another attorney who had failed to timely inform her that her slip and fall case had been dismissed by the court. The client suffered severe injuries and was left with significant medical bills. The previous attorney was sued for legal malpractice. After a hearing on damages, the court awarded the client $537,787 in damages. Attorney Rigat represented the client together with Attorney Erskine McIntosh.

Conviction for Third Degree Murder Set Aside on Appeal for Insufficient Evidence and Convictions On Weapon Possession Charges Reversed and Remanded

The client was convicted of third degree Murder, and various weapons possession charges in Pennsylvania state court. Attorney Rigat represented the client on appeal. The appeals court set aside the murder conviction for insufficiency of the evidence, and reversed and remanded the weapons passion charges for new trial based on a successful Faretta claim.

Conviction of Attempted Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (Knife)

The client was convicted of attempted possession of a prohibited weapon weapon in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Attorney Rigat represented the client on appeal. The appeals court found the evidence insufficient to establish that the brandishing of a knife under the circumstances was not self-defense.

Contempt Punishment Set Aside and Remanded

The client had been sentenced for money laundering in federal district court. As he left the courtroom he was overheard by the judge to blurt out “son of a bitch, damn it.” The court ordered that he be returned to the courtroom and summarily sentenced him to an additional six months for contempt of court. Attorney Rigat represented the client on appeal before the First Circuit. The appeals court vacated the contempt finding and remanded the matter back to the district court for further proceedings.