My practice was originally a "general practice" that is common to small firms and solo practitioners. As my case load grew over the years, I added several associates and continued to expand the areas of practice. At one time, my firm had five additional attorneys working in various areas of practice. While the firm was growing, I realized that I hated lengthy civil cases. These cases dragged on for years with boatloads of tedious paperwork. I grew to understand that those cases never actually go to trial, and the parties simply spend lots of money posturing before settlement. I despised divorce and custody cases even more for obvious reasons, and probate and real estate matters put me to sleep.
But I love being a trial lawyer! During my initial years as a lawyer, DUI cases always stood a fair chance of going to trial, and I tried to develop more effective ways of winning these cases. I picked up a three volume set of books called, “Trying Cases to Win” by Herbert Jay Stern. Stern is a lawyer in New Jersey who formerly served as a federal judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and as United States Judge for Berlin. Stern’s teachings proved life-altering. Since reading those books, I have also added Pozner & Dodd’s “Cross Examination: Science and Techniques” and Terry MacCarthy’s “Look Good” Cross-Examination to my arsenal. Wonderful stuff!
In 2003, I completely stopped taking cases that did not involve drinking and driving. I joined the National College for DUI Defense and met attorneys who understood the complexity of breath and blood testing. The seminars proved invaluable, and the constant dissemination of information and ideas from these lawyers has proven priceless.
In addition to my membership in the National College for DUI Defense, I am one of the founding members of the Michigan DUI Lawyers Association. I am an active member in the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. I have participated in two advanced criminal defense trial practice colleges, the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia and the Trial Practice College in Lansing, Michigan. I am certified in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's standardized field sobriety tests, and I own two Datamaster breath testing machines as well as an Alcosensor III PBT. I participated in the 2006 National Symposium for Alcohol Drugs and Traffic Safety, an advanced course in blood toxicology and urine analysis. I also helped teach other Michigan lawyers the standardized field sobriety testing course at a seminar last year.
We recently moved our office from Romulus, Michigan, to Dearborn. Our new office offers a lot more space with eight offices, two conference rooms, and two waiting areas. I intend to add attorneys who compliment my practice. For instance, I have sought and found an attorney to write appeals. Although I already have developed effective legal arguments and I love to argue appeals, I needed someone to compile all that information for me. I am also seeking attorneys and other professionals who specialize in narrow areas that can help my clients such as license reinstatement and substance abuse treatment. Finally, I have been trying to lure a serious felony lawyer to come work in the office to help assist on guideline issues involving DUI injury and death cases.
Last but not least, I want to talk about the expert witnesses that I work with to win cases. I can’t tell you how often I am contacted by other lawyers asking about qualified experts. In no particular order, I work with Tony Corroto, a retired police officer who headed the DUI task force in Atlanta, Georgia for 14 years, training thousands of officers in standardized field sobriety tests and the drug recognition expert program; Mary McMurray, the State of Wisconsin's retired breath test administrator from Blue Mounds, Wisconsin; Dr. Michael Hlastala, a nationally acclaimed expert in the physiology of breath testing, infrared absorption testing of breath, and physiology of alcohol in the body; Dr. Fran Gengo, an Associate Professor of Pharmacy and Neurology and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the SUNYAB School of Medicine; Dr. Ron Henson, a retired police officer who went on to obtain a PhD in drug and alcohol testing in the criminal justice system and in the workplace; Rocky Mountain Instrumental Laboratories and AIT Laboratories, two toxicology labs that do excellent work; Walden & Platt, standardized field sobriety testing and DRE experts; and Dr. Clark Miller and Dr. Paul N. Greenberg of the Forensic Gait Analysis Group, two doctors who have done extensive work to determine the various types of human "gait," i.e. walking, and how this analysis applies to field sobriety tests.