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Erica M. Bruno

  • Profile
  • Credentials
  • Community Involvement

I am a natural problem solver and caretaker. For me, being a lawyer lets me fulfill these core drives every single day. Every case is a puzzle waiting to be solved. This is why I am so passionate about OUI defense — OUI law is expansive and complex, with nuances found in every set of circumstances. Whether you are facing criminal charges for the very first time, or whether the charges are more serious, I am here to not only provide you the very best defense but to guide you through this process with empathy and understanding.

I have had the wonderful privilege of working for The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard for the past four years. I represent OUI cases of the firm and manage client casework. In addition to representation in criminal matters, I also assist clients in obtaining their license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Board of Appeal.

Fighting for Change

I am often asked why I have chosen a career in criminal defense, and the answer is that every single defendant not only deserves but has a constitutional right to a fair process. A fair process means that we hold the prosecution to its burden, especially when a prosecutor attempts to use evidence that was not obtained properly under the law or is not scientifically reliable.

I have successfully fought for a fair process not only in our trial courts, at the Massachusetts Appeals Court. In Commonwealth v. Dennis, I convinced the Court that the blood test obtained by the government should have been excluded from evidence due to the lack of valid consent to the test from my client. This was a landmark decision in which the Court set out new higher standards of consent that must be met in order for evidence of a blood test to be admissible at trial in an OUI case.

I have also played a major supportive role in the consolidated litigation challenging the scientific reliability of breath testing in Commonwealth v. Ananias, which ultimately led to an eight-year exclusion of breath test evidence in Massachusetts. With Joe Bernard as the lead defense counsel, the defense uncovered the intentional misconduct of the Office of Alcohol Testing which caused the Commonwealth to reassess its entire infrastructure surrounding breathalyzers and their use in Massachusetts. Our work in this case has highlighted the importance of reliable forensic evidence in the courtroom, and it has impacted tens of thousands of defendants across the state for the better.

Life Before OUI Defense

Prior to joining our firm, I worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer attorney at Central West Justice Center, a subsidiary of Community Legal Aid, where I represented low-income clients in unemployment and employment matters, helping them fight for the rights and benefits they deserved. While in law school, I worked as an intern at the United States District Court for Massachusetts in Springfield in the Hon. Mark Mastroianni's chambers, as well as with the Office of the Attorney General, the City of Westfield Law Department, and the University of Massachusetts Student Legal Services Office.

I earned my B.S. and graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst before I obtained my J.D. from Western New England University School of Law. I am currently admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Community Involvement

There is no doubt that I am a lifetime learner in all aspects of life. I frequently attend seminars and continuing legal education events. Whether they are related to the science of blood alcohol testing, field sobriety testing, trial skills, leadership, and self-development, you will find me with a notepad constantly jotting down my thoughts about how to improve our legal defenses and myself as a lawyer.

Outside the courtroom, I am also regularly engaged with our local and national legal community and work towards making further contributions to our profession. In addition to my membership in the National College for DUI Defense, I am a member of multiple local bar associations, including the Hampshire County, Hampden County, and Massachusetts bar associations. I also nominated to represent Hampshire County in the Massachusetts Bar Association Leadership Academy Class of 2019-2020. I am also co-author of a chapter on successfully defending DUI offenses in the Massachusetts Basic Practice Manual for MCLE.

I was born and raised in western Massachusetts, and I am proud to continue to build our practice here and across the state. Off the clock, I love to go hiking, take a spin class, and spend time with family and friends. I am newly married after tying the knot in San Diego, and my husband and I enjoy watching The Office and making homemade pizzas.

Awarded in the Industry

  • Massachusetts Lawyer of the Year
  • National Lawyer of the Year for Drunk Driving Defense
  • Only Lawyer in Massachusetts to Have Completed the Breath Test Training Conducted by the State Police
  • Only Lawyer in Massachusetts to be Certified by the International Acclaimed Borkenstein Drug and Alcohol Courses
  • Hampden County Kent Smith Award
  • Certified Training for Field Sobriety Tests
  • MBA
  • The National Judicial College
  • Borkenstein
  • Forensic Science Research Education
  • DUI Defense
  • IACP
  • American Institute 10 Best
  • MCLE
  • NCDD
Serving Clients From the Berkshires to Boston

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