David Kohlmeier, director of business operations for the Las Vegas Defense Group, understands how stressful being in trouble with the law can be. Recently retired from law enforcement, he served the community for 17 years and isn’t about to stop now.
It all began when someone with a warrant for their arrest called the firm looking for help. “I told him if he could come down to the law office and meet with one of the attorneys, we could go over the situation and fill out some paperwork to try and get him some help,” Kohlmeier explains. The lawyers would then attempt to have his warrant recalled and quashed.
After waiting awhile for him to arrive, Kohlmeier called the man’s family and learned the reason for his tardiness: he had been arrested as he was driving to the firm. “I felt bad. You ask people to come down because they need help but if they have a warrant and they get stopped by the police, it doesn’t help their situation,” he says. He believes it’s more of a personable experience when new clients come into the office, and wants to reassure them in person that he and his legal team can assist them.
Help Is On The Way
To ensure situations like this never happened again, Kohlmeier (who also has a background in marketing) came up with a plan. He would contact a car service to pick up potential clients from their homes and bring them to the office. This would reduce the chance of an arrest if the person is in warrant status.
“If the person was arrested for DUI and their car was totaled or their license was taken away, how can I ask them to drive to the law firm?” he says. Not only would that be illegal, they could also be suffering from PTSD and feel extremely uncomfortable.
Naturally, the first suggestion brought up by some of the attorneys was Uber. Kohlmeier nixed the idea from the start. “I didn’t feel it was a luxury service and I also knew that for liability purposes, I wanted to deal with a credible, reputable company,” he says. In addition to this, since Uber drivers are using their personal vehicles, they are more likely to get pulled over for a traffic infraction.
"As a police officer, I wouldn't pull over a Lincoln or limo as often since you know they are probably just working and are more likely to have their insurance and registration current," says Kohlmeier.
The Las Vegas Defense Group believes in providing legendary customer service, and that is why he thought a luxury vehicle picking up a client would fit best. After doing some research, he decided to go with Bell Limousine.
“We are one of the largest transportation companies in Nevada, if not the largest,” says Breck Opeka, general manager of Bell Limousine. With an impressive fleet consisting of a variety of makes and models including sedans, SUVs, limos, vans, buses, and limo buses, the company is proud to be a part of the program. “David’s taking the initiative and making sure clients get picked up and transported to where they need to go with a reliable company…it’s a great program.”
When a client needs a ride, The Las Vegas Defense Group will call Bell Limousine and order a vehicle any time of the day. Typically the client is picked up by a chauffeur in a black Lincoln sedan. Under the current contract, the firm pays $96 for a round trip.
Kohlmeier’s idea is one ripe with opportunity for ground transportation companies. “Not everyone with a warrant is a bad person, and many people don’t even know they have a warrant. It could be for a simple traffic ticket they forgot about. People make mistakes, but it doesn’t deserve a trip to the jail. If anything, a trip to a lawyer’s office would be much better,” he says. Having previously worked in the Community Relations Unit as a police officer in Henderson, Nevada, Kohlmeier sees this as another crime prevention program helping society.
“Some people may think the idea is funny, but we truly believe in going above and beyond to help another person in troubled times. The Las Vegas Defense Group wants to go the ‘extra mile’ to help their clients.” Not only would you be helping people get to where they need to be, you would be giving them peace of mind as well. It’s not unlikely they could come to you looking for a limousine to celebrate after the hard times are over.
Why would a law firm go this far to make sure their clients were treated so well?
Because Neil Shouse, founding partner at the Las Vegas Defense Group, cares about those who are having a rough time. "Being arrested can be one of the most traumatic events in a person's life, especially if they are away from home…Offering a luxury car service to bring someone facing criminal traffic charges to our offices so they can receive the help they need immediately is just one of the ways we strive to make our clients as comfortable as possible through a difficult journey."
The initial set up of the program began in August, and has since been used twice. “It takes people time to understand this is something a law firm can even do,” says Kohlmeier. As more people realize the good intent behind what the people at Las Vegas Defense Group are doing, hopefully more will take advantage of this gesture of goodwill.
The Las Vegas Defense Group is located just west of the Stratosphere hotel, ideal for any tourists who need help. Las Vegas visitors or residents who have been involved in a car accident or stopped for a DUI can contact the law firm at (702) 333-3673 (DEFENSE) to arrange for the free luxury car service. An attorney and case manager will meet with a prospective client for a free case evaluation.