Joseph D. Bernard
Joseph D. Bernard is engaged in private practice in Springfield, Massachusetts. Attorney Bernard focuses his practice on criminal defense and prides himself on taking limited cases to ensure quality legal representation to all of his clients. Attorney Bernard is a member of the Massachusetts State Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court.
A DUI charge can be fought and he has been able to help many individuals do just that. He has an in depth knowledge when it comes to drinking and driving charges, allowing him to provide assistance in a number of ways. One of the main things he brings to the table is a background dealing with similar cases. This has caused him to recognize the procedures to follow through with fighting a charge and he can guide his clients through a process that would likely be confusing to deal with on their own.
For many people, when they are charged and arrested for a DUI it can be their first run in with the law. He knows that his clients can be nervous and confused which is why he tries to educate them on what to expect so they have a realistic view. He also keeps them up to date throughout the process, answering any questions they may have.
Attorney Joe Bernard was lead counsel and at the forefront of the incredibly complicated, technical, and ultimately successful Draeger Breathalyzer litigation. The case of Commonwealth v. Ananias challenged the scientific reliability of breath testing throughout Massachusetts. This case not only examined the scientific reliability of breath testing but it also challenged the methodology and protocols of the Office of Alcohol Testing (OAT). After much hard work, the Court found OAT to be dysfunctional and unreliable. Consequently, breath tests in Massachusetts were deemed unreliable from 2011 and into the undetermined future.
Attorney Bernard is the only lawyer in Massachusetts and one of the few lawyers nationwide who has completed the two scientific Borkenstein courses. These courses are internationally known as the premier alcohol and toxicological training. Attorney Bernard has also completed multiple courses in drug recognition, the same courses the Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) participate in. Attorney Bernard has also obtained a great deal of training from different laboratories regarding gas chromatography. Understanding the science behind the measurement of alcohol and drugs in the body is at the forefront of his practice. In addition to attending seminars, Attorney Bernard has lectured across the Commonwealth for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA), the National Judicial College, and other various Bar associations throughout Massachusetts. Attorney Bernard has offered multiple chapters in different MCLE series regarding drunk driving, trial preparation, breath testing, and blood measurement.
Today, Mr. Bernard's practice focuses almost exclusively representing individuals charged with operating under the influence and other driving related offenses. He is one of very few lawyers who attended and successfully completed the certification process from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding the administration of the Standardized Field Sobriety tests. This training provides an extremely unique perspective when cross-examining any police officer or examining a police report when it pertains to field sobriety tests. Attorney Bernard is also the only lawyer in Massachusetts who has attended the Borkenstein Courses, founded by Robert F. Borkeinstein, the inventor of the Breathalyzer. This course offers training for alcohol and drug related testing and testimony.
Over the years he has played extremely active role with many different appellate issues with the Massachusetts appeals court and the Supreme Judicial Court regarding driving under the influence. Recently, Mr. Bernard successfully argued to the Supreme Judicial Court for an order to obtain training on the current breath test machine used in Massachusetts. He was the first lawyer in Massachusetts to receive the Operators Training on the Alco test 9510.
He regularly lectures and is actively involved with the Massachusetts Bar Association, MCLE and other continuing legal education agency's speaking with other lawyers and professionals in the area of driving under the influence. He continues his legal education by attending seminars around the country dealing with cutting-edge defenses pertaining to the science of breath test machines and the appropriate analysis of blood.
He is a graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, he earned his J.D. from Western New England College.
- Attorney Bernard was an Assistant District Attorney in Hampden County from 1990-1994.
- He is a member of the National Criminal Defense Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association.
- Mr. Bernard has lectured at various legal seminars and was a former instructor at the Criminal Justice Training Center in Western Massachusetts.
- Mr. Bernard has tried over 400 cases to a jury.
- He has tried cases in the Massachusetts District Courts, Superior Courts, and the United States Federal Court.
- Attorney Bernard devotes substantial time and effort to all of his cases.
- He was named Massachusetts Lawyer of the Year in 2017 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.