This article will be a detour from my usual examination of some legal or technical aspect of the Michigan driver’s license restoration appeal process. In many of my articles, I examine some facet or other of the license appeals, or the process by which a person who now lives outside of Michigan can obtain a clearance of the Secretary of State’s “hold” on his or her driving record so that he or she can get or renew an out-of-state license. In other articles, I shift the focus to the person him or herself. I’ve written extensively about recovery and sobriety, and how those things are non-negotiable requirements to win a license restoration or clearance appeal.
In this article, I’m going to talk about things from my side of the desk. I believe that I am unique as a Michigan license restoration lawyer. I provide a guaranteed win. If I take your case, I’ll win it. Whatever else, you’ll only pay me once to get back on the road. I do, however, require that a person has really and truly quit drinking before I will undertake representation. I stand alone in that regard. This cuts my pool of potential clients down considerably, but I am not just some lawyer with my hand out, ready to take a fee and go to work. I need to make sure my work will succeed, and then, as a backup, I provide a warranty. I won’t take someone’s money if I can’t deliver.
I have these exceptional standards because I have exceptional qualifications. I am actively and formally involved in the post-graduate level study of addiction and alcohol issues at the University level. With nearly a quarter century of experience, and beyond all of the “book stuff,” I also understand recovery from a full, inside-out, 360-degree perspective. In short, I take driver’s license restoration to a whole different level.
To do license restorations the way I do them requires an enormous amount of work. My first meeting with a new client takes at least 3 hours. Almost all of this time is spent preparing my client to undergo his or her substance abuse evaluation. I shudder when I hear of some lawyer charging some kind of bargain flat-fee price. There is no endeavor in which one becomes proficient, and then remains at the top of his or her game. without a significant commitment of time and effort to refine and sustain those skills. A skilled musician practices regularly to become good, and remains good only through continued practice. Top-level athletes practice and train and work out endlessly to remain in top form.
I study, and read, and research, and practice my license restoration craft every day. I define myself as a Michigan driver’s license restoration and DUI lawyer. Those things are related are related in the same way that speed drills in running and strength training with weights go hand-in-hand with being a professional football player. In the course of any given month, I’ll spend more time working on driver’s license restoration cases than most lawyers ever will in an entire career. I eat, sleep and drink this stuff.
This commitment and dedication would not be possible, however, without a genuine love for what I do. Here, I can just outright brag: I have the best lawyer job in the world. My entire driver’s license appeal clientele is comprised of people on the upswing in their lives. I deal with people in recovery, people who have rebuilt their lives, and appreciate the gifts that sobriety brings. My clients aren’t people who suffer without drinking; my client are people who have suffered enough at the hands of drinking and who are celebrating and enjoying the incomparable benefits of life without alcohol. Most lawyers deal with people who are in some kind of crisis. I get to deal with people who have fixed their crisis.
Almost to a person, each of my clients can tick off a laundry list of ways their lives have gotten better since they quit drinking. This, in fact, is an important part of what I examine with my clients at our first 3-hour meeting. I have a dedication section on a form I’ve created, called a “substance abuse evaluation checklist” that I complete in the office with my client and send along to the substance abuse counselor who will complete the evaluation.
Of course, part of my “quality control” is to make the direct referral to a substance abuse evaluator. I have a very small circle of professionals that I use for this purpose. There is a huge difference between being able to “do” and evaluation, and being able to do it extremely well. Just about anyone can swing a baseball bat, but very few people can do it well enough to play in the major leagues.
In an upcoming article, I will take on the subject of the difficult client – the kind of “know it all” who tries to insert his or her will into the license appeal process. That doesn’t work, and I have no interest in trying to convince the amateur-expert that my way is the better way. I provide a guarantee that is the product of decades of study and experience in countless cases, all of which require a law degree to accumulate in the first place. The person who “knows somebody,” or who spends too much time on the internet and then thinks he or she is some kind of pseudo expert in the subject of license reinstatements is sadly mistaken, and makes for a royal pain in the rear as a client. I’ll pass on those.
Instead, I’ll take the person who identifies with hard work. Sometimes, the decision to quit drinking is hard; other times, it comes easy, like after a DUI arrest. The life changes to remain alcohol-free, however, aren’t so easy. Getting sober is a serious life-change. Old “friendships” go out the window. There is work to repair broken relationships, and new and better (as in healthier) relationships take root. AA people call the first year of sobriety the “pink cloud,” or the “honeymoon.” Anyone who’s made it 3 or 4 or more years knows all about that.
I have success because I work hard at what I do, and I work hard at what I do because I like it. If you’re genuinely sober, and you want to get back on the road, then we should talk. I think you’ll like what I can do for you…