Perhaps one of the most important consequences of my guarantee to win every driver’s license restoration and clearance case is that it ensures we carefully screen every potential client to make sure he or she has what it takes for a successful appeal. For all the niceties I could mention about how you’ll only pay me once to get back on the road and such, the flip side is that I earn my living winning these cases the first time around, and that gives me a very strong incentive to screen out anyone who is not yet ready to move forward, or else I essentially double my workload while slicing my income in half. In that way, my own self-interest really stands as a huge benefit for the client, as well.
If that was all there is to this, then we could have stopped at that first paragraph, but, like everything else in life, it gets a bit more complicated. For every caller whose case is a clear “yes” or “no” in terms of being able to move forward right away, there are also plenty of “maybes.” It’s knowing what to do, and when to do it in those cases, that really calls upon our experience and knowledge. Nobody wants to wait longer than they should to get their license back, yet the cost of moving forward too soon is that you’re case will be denied and you’ll be stuck without a license for a whole additional year.
This is easy to understand in terms of a person being legally eligible or not to file, but it gets bogged down in the details when we throw in things like additional revocations because a person got caught driving on a suspended/revoked license, or having a medical marijuana card, being on a certain medication, or any of about a million other things that we evaluate as part of our screening process. And for all the legal situations that can exist, sometimes a person needs some help to understand how to explain his or her recovery process in a way that will be successful.
I am always a bit amazed when I meet with a new client who tells me that my guarantee was a big part of the reason they decided to hire me. Honestly, I think a guarantee to win should be standard from every lawyer in every license appeal case. It certainly is for me. Providing a guarantee to win a license appeal should be no more a big deal for a lawyer that it would be for a company that manufactures boats to guarantee they will float! That said, it’s good for my business that virtually no one else provides a guarantee, so I’m not complaining.
The truth is that I do hold my practice to a high standard – high enough, in fact, to guarantee that if you hire me, you’ll only pay me once to get back on the road. This comes at a rather significant cost to me, however, at least in the short term. No matter how much I write about sobriety and how a person must have honestly quit drinking in order to win a Michigan driver’s license restoration or clearance case, we still get all kinds of calls from people who are still drinking. That’s fine, because it’s always my hope that maybe we can give them the inspiration to quit, but what they’re quick to discover is that I won’t take a case unless and until a person is genuinely and truly sober.
Unfortunately, the reality is that sober people are in the minority. As a result, we wind up taking less than half the cases from people who call and want to hire me. If I didn’t have my guarantee, I could just line them all up, get paid, and not worry about the results. However, since I’m tied to a case until my client wins, I won’t do that. Instead, we screen everyone carefully to make sure that every case I take has the real potential to be made into a winner.
One thing we hear from everyone who calls my office is that they “need” a license. One of the hearing officers from Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearing Section (AHS), the panel that decides license appeal cases, points out that “everybody needs a license.” As compelling as that may be to the person who needs it, just needing a license doesn’t have anything to do with actually being able to win it back. Often, people will want to explain the particulars of their situation, but in the process, confuse how badly they need a license, how long they’ve been without one, and/or how long it’s been since they last got in trouble, with the reality that they have to meet very specific criteria, set by the Secretary of State, in order to win.
My guarantee prevents me from getting sucked in by all that. It’s in my nature to want to help, but knowing that if I jump too soon, I’m going to have to do the same case all over again, for free, no less, keeps my heart from getting in the way of my head. And it protects any potential client of mine, as well, because I won’t take a case unless I honestly believe I can win it, and that I can guarantee a successful result.
Sometimes, a person will ask me something like “what do you think my chances are?” I usually blink at this, because I won’t take a case if I don’t think there is any real chance of losing. If I take your case, we don’t measure the likelihood of success using terms like “chances.” Instead, I say the only way I won’t get your license back for you is if you die first. If I die first, my office will still get your license back because my associate attorneys will complete your case.
I have, in a few cases over the years, had to go back a second time to honor my guarantee, but I have NEVER had to go back a 3rd time to win someone’s license back, at least as of this writing. It is my plan to never have to do that, either.
Instead, I put my guarantee out there to be clear that not only do I stand behind my clients and my work, but also that it is in the best financial interest of my office to make sure we properly evaluate every caller to be sure his or her case is or can be made good enough to win. Obviously, when I have my first, 3-hour meeting with a new client, we’ll carefully examine all the details, but in no case will we take someone’s money and plow forward unless I am convinced enough to guarantee that he or she will win.
If you’re looking to hire a lawyer to win back your Michigan driver’s license or to clear a Michigan hold on your driving record, you can’t do better than that. It’s always wise to be a good consumer and read around as you investigate your options. Do your homework and then pick up the phone and ask questions. We are here to help, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST), at 248-986-9700 or 586-465-1980. All of my consultations are done over the phone, right when you call my office. We’re really friendly people who will be glad to answer your questions and explain things.