The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
If I were found in the street, alone and severely injured, I’d want the police to make investigating the cause a priority. But if the police were not actively investigating the incident, then I’d count on the support, curiosity and experience of my co-workers at the law firm where I work, as happened in the case of Philadelphia paralegal Andre Steed.
The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that Steed, a paralegal employed for more than a decade at Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, a law firm specializing in intellectual property law and litigation, was found unconscious last week on a busy Center City street, not far from his office. The police were unable to locate any witnesses to the incident, and Steed has been in a medically-induced coma since being found.
Luckily for Steed, he is an employee of a law firm whose members personally undertook the investigation.
His coworkers went to 16th and Locust Streets, where Steed was hurt, and started asking around. They printed fliers with Steed’s photograph.
Within days, they had two eyewitnesses ready to tell the police that they heard a loud crash, then saw two men on the ground, one of whom had been riding a bicycle. The bicyclist, according to those witnesses, indicated that he had hit Steed, then vanished from the scene.
With those accounts, Steed’s colleagues went to the police this week and requested an investigation. The case is now being probed by the department’s accident-investigation division, police said yesterday.
“All of us are devastated by this,” said Sal Guerriero, a lawyer at the firm. “We have a family mentality here, and Andre is a big part of this place.”
I’m sending best wishes Steed’s way for a full recovery, and hoping that the police use the information obtained by his co-workers to locate the cyclist allegedly involved in this hit-and-run incident.
ADDENDUM: Although I have not been able to confirm it yet, according to comments left at the Inquirer article and here, Andre Steed did not survive his severe injuries. My heart goes out to his family, friends and co-workers during this extremely tragic and difficult time.
As for the cyclist allegedly involved in the incident, if he or she hasn’t already come forward, voluntarily meeting with the police is the right thing – the only thing – to do. This individual needs to help Andre’s family and friends determine what happened to him shortly after he left work and never made it safely home.