Articles Posted in Driver’s License Restoration

Every one of my driver’s license restoration and clearance cases formally begins with a first meeting in my office.  This meeting is a big deal; not only does it last at least 3 hours, but it serves several very significant purposes, and really is the foundation for how and why I guarantee to win every driver’s license appeal I take.  This article will be the first in a loose (kind of every 2nd or 3rd article) series about the license restoration process, the required evidence and legal issues involved, and how I do things in my office.  To keep things simple, I will, for the most part, write to and for the reader him or herself, and use the more informal “you,” rather than the endlessly confusing “he or she” and “him or her.”  Our first meeting takes place by appointment, and that appointment is made after we’ve screened you to make sure you are both legally and practically eligible to file, and, more importantly, win, a license reinstatement case.

mains-2-248x300It’s probably easiest to explain the importance and various functions of our first meeting by examining it from beginning to end – from first handshake to last.  Although the meeting itself will proceed identically, all of my clients fall into either 1 of 2 categories: Michigan residents who will have their driver’s license restored, or out of state residents who will get a clearance of the Michigan Secretary of State’s “hold” on their driving record so they can get a license in another state.  Many of my clients come from out of state, and when they do, we schedule them to meet with me first, and then leave my office and go directly to the evaluator’s for their substance use evaluation (usually, but incorrectly, called a “substance abuse evaluation”) so that it can be a “one and done” trip back to Michigan.  Whichever your situation, once you arrive at my office, your journey to driving again gets underway.

When your make your appointment, you’ll be asked to bring some documents.  These include a current driving record (if you haven’t already sent it to me for review) and anything related to any prior license appeals you’ve tried.  Of course, it’s better to just bring everything you think might be relevant, like awards, certificates,  and diplomas (and, if you attended AA meetings, sign-in sheets, although AA is absolutely NOT required to win your license back).  Before I go any further, I should point out that, although AA is not necessary to win a license appeal, genuine sobriety is an absolute requirement to win your license case, and a non-negotiable pre-condition for me to undertake representation.  I am absolutely, 100-percent NOT interested in any case where a person hasn’t honestly quit drinking and thinks he or she can say what I want them to say, or need them to say.  I want each of my clients to be telling the truth about getting sober, in  no small part because the real meat and potatoes of a license restoration case is all about proving that sobriety.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my pre-hearing “prep-session” that I have before every driver’s license restoration or clearance hearing I handle.  I do these preps with all of my clients, and feel that it is not only key to my success, but also helps alleviate much of my client’s pre-hearing stress.  It’s normal, as the hearing date approaches, for a person to be apprehensive and nervous, so I want to help my client gain a sense of calm, and confidence.  When I’m done, beyond merely having made my client ready for the hearing, I will have also demystified the whole hearing process for him or her so that they understand there’s no real reason to be fearful.  It is important that when my client walks into the Michigan Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearing Section (AHS) hearing room, he or she knows exactly what to expect.  Equally important is that my client has the security of knowing he or she doesn’t have to remember any sketchy details of some kind of BS story, because we’re going in to tell the truth.

Prep1-300x217As much as preparing for the hearing is really about the client, and for all it involves, the process begins with me reviewing his or her file.  I chose those last few words carefully, because although it would almost sound the same had I written “…reviewing the file,” I never lose sight of the fact, and I have to  make sure the hearing officer also never fails to understand, that the decision he or she will be making is about a person, and not just a “file.”  It can be easy, in larger, institutional settings, to think of a person as being synonymous with his or her case, or file.  Dan the Driver may have license appeal case number 123456, but what’s inside that file is all about a 3-dimensional person (Dan), and equate to a lot more than just a 2-dimensional stack of papers.  When I open a client’s file for prep review, I read every last thing in it, and take the time to memorize it.  As someone’s lawyer, I not only need to have instant recall of every bit of evidence in the case, but also how that 2-dimensional evidence fits into the context of my client’s 3-dimensional life.  Before I pick up the phone to call my client, I will not only have memorized his or her case, but also how it reflects his or her individual and personal recovery story.

This matters beyond just sounding like some kind of good “We care about you!” sales pitch.  Thorough hearing prep requires a hell of a lot more than just some generic “heads up” about the kinds of questions that will be asked.  All of my hearings are held in the Livonia Hearings and Appeals Office, where 5 hearing officers preside.  Each one has his or her own particular concerns about sobriety and the license appeal process.  A key focus of my preparation will not only focus on the particular hearing officer, but the concerns and questions he or she will have about each specific case.  This means that if Sober Sandy’s evidence shows she attended AA while on probation, but no longer goes, the questions she will be asked by one hearing officer about why she no longer attends will be different than the questions put to her by a different hearing officer under those same facts.  And if this isn’t enough, those questions will be different if Sandy has never attended AA, and different still if she claims to currently go to meetings.  The point is that each case is one big set of fluid variables, and the hearing officer is another set of mixed variables, and preparing of a hearing requires me to know all of them first, and then connect those that are going to be relevant.  Anything less is, well, unprepared.

In part 1 of this article, we began our examination of that joyful moment when you win your license back by observing that, as a condition to getting there, a person has to stop drinking in the first place.  I pointed out that although my client’s gratitude is the ultimate reward for my work as a Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer, I fully expect to win every license restoration and clearance appeal case I take, and actually guarantee to do so.  We then moved on through why people decide to quit drinking, and how staying quit is really the key, and began examining the difference between mere abstinence and true sobriety.  We left off with our example of Snake the Biker, who hasn’t had a drink in 4 years, and is therefore abstinent, but hardly sober, because as much as he has stopped himself so far, Snake still wants to drink.  Here, in part 2, we’ll resume by looking at the difference between abstaining from alcohol when one hasn’t yet lost the urge to drink and real sobriety, where a person has moved past thoughts of drinking and no longer feels any strong urges to pick up again.  From there, we’ll work our way to that magic moment when a person actually find out they’ve won their license back!

tears-pf-joy-5-300x257Sobriety stands in stark contrast to mere abstinence kept in place by a person’s fear of the negative consequences that will follow if he or she picks up again.  A person who is genuinely sober first thinks of how much better life has become since he or she quit drinking, and how much better he or she feels now.  It’s not that the sober person has forgotten all the bad things that will happen if he or she starts drinking again, but it’s that all of them are really secondary to the better life he or she is enjoying because of his or her sobriety.  If Snake ever got really sober, he’d either quit the gang and/or join a club for sober bikers, and be happy to get away from his old lifestyle.  He’d say the last thing he wants to do is waste his weekends with a bunch of drunken yahoos.  If you’re really sober, and you’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to interact with someone who is drunk, it’s quite the opposite of any kind of temptation to drink again.  Instead, you cringe, and think, “that was me,” and realize what an utter waste of breath, life and time all that was.

Sober people ditch the drinking buddies, get better jobs, complete degrees, get married, have kids, save money and then look at what they’ve built up and realize none of it would have been possible had they not put the plug in the jug.  A commitment to sobriety really starts out as a commitment to abstinence, but then it sticks, and the person slogs through the early stages not only wanting a life without alcohol, but wants more than what they had in their life when they were drinking.  By the time anyone quits, drinking wasn’t fun anymore.  Getting and staying sober takes work and time.  It’s not always easy.  Plenty of times a person will have to dismiss the idea of a toast of champagne or a glass of wine when the “stinking thinking” creeps up and that inner voice says something like, “Sure, we know we can’t really “drink” anymore, but c’mon, it’s been a while and surely we can just pretend to be normal and have just one.”  Sobriety means knowing this voice will always be there, but learning to ignore it so that it blends into the background noise of life, to the extent that you really don’t hear it anymore.  Abstinent people never quite get that far, and always have to fight it.  Acceptance that one can and will never drink again is a big part of sobriety.

Some articles practically write themselves.  In my role as a Michigan driver’s license appeal lawyer, I have created this blog, and to date, have published over 375 license restoration articles.  Just about every one of them is a rather detailed look at some aspect of the license appeal process, and some require a lot of effort (not that I’m complaining) and/or turn out to be multi-part installments.  I’ve learned a lot through this process, both from having to research some of the finer points I make, as well as figuring out how to explain them.  This article will be an easy one, and, because it’s the Memorial Day holiday weekend, I’m going to treat myself to the luxury of a 2-part installment that will (hopefully) be both a pleasure to read and write.  Here, I want to zoom in on that moment when my client wins his or her appeal.  It is often a very emotional moment for him or her, and is a natural high to me, because it really is the ultimate reward for my work in every license reinstatement case I handle.

https://www.michigancriminaldefenselawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/286/2017/05/TearsOfJoy-2.0.jpgI expect to win every license appeal I take.  Indeed, I guarantee to do just that, so it’s not like winning comes as any kind of surprise to me.  It is, however, kind of like a cherry on top of my ice cream when I’m at a hearing and the decision is announced and my client suddenly realizes that all the work has finally paid off and his or here eyes start welling up.  Those are powerful moments, and being part of them is moving and rewarding.  It’s not just the “win,” however, that’s so great, it’s the fact that it is a recognition of what a person has done over the preceding years to deserve it that really makes this so special.

Before we can really appreciate the end result of a successful license restoration or clearance appeal, we need to remember that the real meat and potatoes of these case is sobriety.  The Michigan Secretary of State, through its Administrative Hearing Section (AHS), is required to deny a license to anyone unless that person proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that his or her alcohol problem is under control, and likely to remain under control.  This means a person has to prove when and why he or she got sober, and that he or she has both the commitment and tools to remain sober for life.  Nobody ever thinks of quitting drinking because it’s working out so well.  Instead, a person quits drinking when it’s just too much trouble  As anyone who has done this knows, sobriety is much more of a journey than a destination.  Sobriety is a way of life, and a state of mind that requires profound life changes in order to be sustained.  It’s all of this, and not just getting the license back, that overcomes a person when they learn they’ve won.

I was recently asked how many Michigan driver’s license restoration cases I handle every year, because the person making the inquiry was being a smart consumer and doing some “comparison shopping.”  Off the top of my head, I indicated that I wasn’t exactly sure, so I took out my date book at looked back over the preceding 2 months.  As it turns out, in March of this year (2017), I handled 25 driver’s license restoration and clearance cases, and in April, I handled 22 license appeal cases; that’s about average for me.  While that much experience is certainly a lot, and should give any potential client a sense of comfort about hiring me, I think it’s even more important, however, that I provide a first-time win guarantee in every license appeal case I take.  Seriously, if all that experience is worth anything, then I should have no reservations about putting my money where my mouth is, and I don’t.  For all the talking that could be done, the importance of my guarantee says far more than anything else ever could.  In this article, I want to take a candid look at what that experience really means, and why, more than anything else, getting good at license appeals means learning from one’s mistakes.

experience-276x300Let’s start with this blog.  Over the years, it has really grown, and this will be the 377th driver’s license restoration article I’ve published, bringing the total number of articles I’ve put up so far to almost 800.  Writing these articles has made me a much better lawyer, because I’ve not only had to research all kinds of things, including the most minute details of more legal issues than you could imagine, but also because I’ve also had to take the time to make sense of it all.  You can’t explain something very well unless you understand it first.  Heck, even if I wasn’t a lawyer, I’d be something of an expert at license restorations just through the effort of writing nearly 400 articles on the subject.  And in the spirit of candor, it hasn’t been lost on me that, since this blog began, a whole crop of new lawyers has swarmed in to claim some piece of the license restoration pie.  Now, I see website names with some variation of “license restoration” all over the place.  I’ve also seen some of my blog subjects “borrowed” on various websites (it’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), and I am well aware that plenty of lawyers read and use my articles to learn various aspects of the license appeal process.  I’ve had numerous calls and emails from lawyers with all kinds questions, and honestly, I’m glad to help.  Yet for as much as I know, the cold, hard truth is that I learned much of it the hard way, by having gotten it wrong at some point before.

I would, of course, caution anyone, but especially any lawyer, that although I have certainly put out more relevant information about license appeals than you can find any and everywhere else combined, my primary purpose it to educate and enlighten people about the license restoration process, not train anyone how to do it.  You can’t learn to ride a bike or perform surgery by reading; these are things you have to actually go out and do, and no matter how smart you may be, you learn the most from the things you get wrong.  The light bulb wasn’t invented on the first try.  Instead, it came about after countless failed attempts.  It was gotten right because it was gotten wrong so many times first.  Ditto for the airplane.  Perhaps what I bring to the table more than anyone else is that in my career, I’ve learned all the things NOT to do in, or not to leave out of, a license appeal case.  The sheer number of cases I’ve handled means that some lawyer knocking out 50 license cases a year is going to need 26 years to encounter all the situations I have in just the last 5.  In other words, I’ll see and handle more cases in less than a decade than he or she would in more than half a century, and I’ve been at it for over 26 years already…

In part 1 of this article, we began examining an appeal for a “full” Michigan license, and how a person gets off the interlock after having initially won his or her driver’s license restoration case.  We noted that simply not losing your restricted license in the intervening year(s) isn’t anywhere near good enough to win back your full license, and that there’s a lot more to this than just coming  back and asking for it.  Most people (I estimated more than 80%) will experience a “glitch” or two on the interlock device while using it, and those issues will have to be addressed at the hearing for a full license, even if none of them results in a formal ignition interlock violation.  We noted that, just as in a first-time license appeal, every hearing officer is different, and that some have more patience than others, the flip side being that some are more prone to “violation fatigue” and begin to shut down when a person shows up with an final ignition interlock report that has too many “glitches” for his or her liking.  We’ll pick up in this second part right there, at the point where a person shows up at his or her full hearing with an final report that has more “violations” than the assigned hearing officer is willing to excuse.

maxresdefault-300x211This is somewhat unfortunate, because some people are just plain luckier than others.  I’ve seen cases where people have had a real tough time with the interlock unit, but were also firmly committed to their sobriety.  Some people wind up getting a faulty unit and have nothing but trouble, while others never have any kind of difficulty with the machine.  There is, no matter what else, an element of luck to all of this.  In fact, it is rare for a person to make it a whole year without at least a glitch or two along the way.  One of the big problems is that not every glitch results in a formal violation, so when an incident occurs, and as long as the car starts again, or something like that, a person may have figured everything is fine – until they get to their full license hearing.

Let’s look at a common, real world example of this:  Lots of people will have a positive breath test result at some point, either at start-up or while driving (rolling retest).  The notice of interlock use in the back of a winning order and interlock companies’ instructions advise that, when this happens, a person rinse out his or her mouth and promptly try again.  When someone who is and has been stone-cold sober for a number of years blows into the machine and sees a positive result, what crosses his or her mind is usually something like, “WTF?”  The person knows he or she hasn’t been drinking, so when they rinse and/or try again a few minutes later and the test comes back negative, they figure all is well, and their innocence has been proven.  They forget the instruction in the notice of ignition interlock use to get a PBT or EtG test, and, because they were able to provide a clean sample, assume all is well.

In this 2-part article, I want to examine removing the ignition interlock unit and getting a full license after a successful driver’s license reinstatement appeal.  If you’re a Michigan resident whose license has been revoked for multiple DUI’s and you win your license back, you must start off with a restricted license and drive with an ignition interlock for at least 1 year.  You can drive forever on that restricted license with the interlock unit if you want, but you can’t seek a full, unrestricted license without an interlock until you’ve used it for at least the first year.  The process for moving from a restricted to a full license (the Michigan Secretary of State’s technical term for this is “change or removal of restriction”) is exactly the same as it is for an initial license restoration appeal, and requires a new substance use evaluation (everybody calls it a substance “abuse” evaluation, so we’ll just go with that), new letters of support, and, additionally, a final ignition interlock report from the interlock company for the past year. For my part, I charge my returning clients 2/3 of the initial fee in these cases, primarily because I already know the client, his or her history, and everything else relevant to the case.

fe4cd6a8f7d07156017b970b0e163329-300x291Perhaps the biggest misconception about going from a restricted to a full license is that all you have to do is NOT lose your license in the meantime and it’s practically a done deal.  It is certainly easy, but also wrong, to think of the restricted period with the interlock as a kind of “probation” wherein if you don’t get in trouble, then all conditions just go away.  Of course, if you violate your restricted license (ignition interlock violations are a whole world unto themselves) and get it taken away, then it’s game over.  Anyone who loses his or her restricted license has to start all over again from square one, and must complete a successful year on the interlock  device and with the applicable restrictions before he or she can even think about appealing for a full license.  But even someone who sails through the first year on the interlock and the restricted license without a hitch will still have to come back and prove the relevant legal issues all over again on top of demonstrating their compliance with the interlock requirement.  This may seem a bit confusing, and may not make a lot of sense at first, but it is what it is, so if you want to eventually drive without the interlock and without restriction, you’re going to have to follow the state’s rules.

When someone comes back to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearing Section (AHS) to have his or her restricted license made “full,” the hearing officer is going to look and see whether it was proper to grant that license in the first place.  In other words, and this is one of the main points of this article, it is not automatic that if you won the first time, you’ll win again.  For example, assume Dan the Driver has appealed for a full license, and hearing officer # 2 is deciding his new case.  In reviewing the documents, hearing officer # 2 concludes that he or she wouldn’t have even given Dan a restricted license in the first place, or would have imposed some condition(s) on Dan not imposed by hearing officer #1.  Does this mean that Dan will lose his license altogether?  Probably not, but it does mean – and this does happen in the real world – that Dan may not win his full license this time around, and instead be continued on a restricted with the interlock for another year, and may even some additional conditions imposed on his restricted license.  The goal, of course, is to avoid all of this…

A substantial portion of my driver’s license restoration practice involved obtaining the clearance of a Michigan hold on someone’s driving record that prevents him or her from getting a license in another state.  The very same evidence is submitted to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearing Section (AHS) for both a clearance and a driver’s license restoration appeal.  Although just about everyone (understandably) wonders about doing an administrative review, often called an “appeal by mail,” most learn that 3 out of every 4 such cases lose, and that a person will have to wait a whole year before he or she can file again.  Those with better luck read and understand this before they try, while the less fortunate have to find out the hard way.  The simple truth is that the best and surest way to win a clearance of the Michigan hold on your driving record is to do a full appeal and come back for a hearing.  For my part, I put my money where my mouth is, because when I take a license clearance and restoration appeal case, I guarantee to win it.

Mitt-276x300There are several reasons why I will only handle these cases for clients who come back to Michigan, despite endless offers to hire me for help with these ill-fated and ever-doomed administrative reviews.  The first is control.  When a client hires me, I control every part of the case, from the preparation to the evidence to the hearing itself.   My clients will go my evaluator to have his or her substance abuse evaluation (technically, it’s called a “substance use evaluation,” but everyone alive calls it a “substance abuse evaluation,” so we’ll just go along with that) completed.  The first meeting with a new client takes about 3 hours in my office, and takes place prior to the evaluation.  In fact, the main point of that meeting is to prepare the client for the evaluation.  If someone wants to have an evaluation completed by some unknown person in another state, I have absolutely no control over any part of that process.  Beyond my input, it takes a LOT of time and effort for a substance abuse counselor to learn to complete the evaluation in the way the hearing officers of the Michigan Secretary of State’s administrative hearing section expect.  Although just about any clinician can look at the form and figure he or she can complete it, there are literally countless little things that are not obvious and that are learned either by direct instruction or, as is usually the case, by getting it wrong the first time.

The reader needs to understand that a winning license appeal takes a lot of experienced effort.  There are no shortcuts to doing things right.  As a driver’s license restoration lawyer, this cannot be done by just sending someone out to “get” an evaluation and then looking things over (including the critically important letters of support) to make sure they’re good enough.  I have to spend the time with and learn about my clients recovery, meaning his or her transition from drinker to non-drinker, at our first meeting.  I also have to try and summarize that whole story within the paperwork I create.  As it goes, every client leaves my office with a packet of information to give to the evaluator, including a form of my own creation called a “Substance Abuse Evaluation Checklist,” a specially marked-up copy of his or her driving record, and any other documents that need to be reviewed by the evaluator before the evaluation is completed.  This is part of that control I have when the client comes to my office first, and then goes to see my evaluator.  It is NOT the evaluator’s job to read your driving record, figure out your conviction history and learn the most details of your recovery story that would be most relevant to the hearing officer.  Instead, it is MY job to make sure that this information is clearly presented to my evaluator, and I do exactly that because of the control I exercise and maintain over the case.

Every day, and probably due in large part to this blog, my office is contacted by lots of people who need to win back their driver’s license.  In this short article, I want to strip away all the complex rules and procedures involved in the license restoration and clearance process and look at the single, core issue that is central to every license appeal – drinking.  If I was asked to explain what driver’s license restoration and clearances were all about in one sentence, I’d say this: To make sure someone convicted of multiple DUI’s can prove that her or she has not had a drink for a few years and has the commitment and tools to never drink again.  That’s the real “meat and potatoes” of it all.

98449071-300x249Everything about losing your license and then getting it back has to do with drinking.  To those who have not truly quit and believe they can safely indulge in adult beverages, the Secretary of State’s requirement that a person prove he or she has been completely abstinent and will remain alcohol-free seems like an obsession.  On the flip side, however, it also seems like an obsession that a person who has lost his or her license for multiple drunk driving convictions is still worried about being able to drink.  Believe me, I’ve heard every argument there is and I’m numb to them all because – and this is the big thing – the deal is that you will never qualify to get your license back until you’ve given up alcohol for good.  I understand how people feel about this, although, truth be told, I side with the state on this one.  The folks who are the best risk to never drink and drive again are those who don’t drink at all.  Opening the door even a little to believe someone who swears that his or her drinking is now under control can never be made to sound like a good idea, not even for a minute.

A long time ago, before I had hundreds and hundreds of driver’s license restoration articles published on my blog (the number stands at over 370 as of this writing), I was probably a bit harder to find on the internet.  A consequence of my consistent writing on this subject is that, to the person searching just about anything related to a Michigan license restoration or clearance issues, I come up pretty highly ranked, and, if you click on any of my stuff, it doesn’t take long to figure out that I’ve written more than just about everyone else combined.  I’m actually proud of that, and believe that as much expertise as I have, the very act of researching and explaining everything logically has made me a better lawyer, as well.  The problem, though, is that many people will automatically find me and conclude that “he’s the guy,” call me, and think that just by offering to pay my fee, they can get back on the road.  It doesn’t work that way.  Sure, I guarantee to win every case I take, but, I ONLY TAKE CASES FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE HONESTLY STOPPED DRINKING.  That’s not a bunch of hot air on my part, either, it’s the whole point of a license appeal, and it is the reason I won’t get involved in a case for anyone who is not genuinely committed to remaining sober.

In my capacity as a Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer, I guarantee to win every case I take.  To make that happen, I will only take a case for someone who has honestly quit drinking.  It has never been my goal to compete with any other lawyer on price, or really at any level, beyond striving to be the very best in my field.  I don’t just “do” license clearance and restoration appeals – they are the very focus of my practice.  This goes hand in hand with my deep, 25-plus year interest in the addiction and alcohol issues, so much so that a number of years ago, I went back to the University classroom and completed a post-graduate program of addiction studies so that I might formally sharpen my clinical knowledge and expertise in things like how people recover from problems with alcohol and drugs.  Whatever else, I understand addiction and recovery from every angle – from the inside looking out, the outside looking in, and from the clinical side and the legal side, as well.  In the course of any given month, I appear and conduct (and win) more license appeal hearings before the Michigan Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearing Section (AHS) than most lawyers will ever handle in the course of their entire career.

1c0242dI don’t check other lawyer’s prices, but I have been told that my fees are higher than some others.  While I try to keep my fees reasonable, I believe that I am the poster-boy for the idea that you get what you pay for.  And to be clear, there are some lawyers who charge more than I do, although I can honestly say that many times, I’ve been called in to clean up after some of those guys have lost a case, thus proving the idea that while you never get what you don’t pay for, just paying a lot doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best; instead, it just means you paid too much.  When it comes to winning back your driver’s license, you must understand that there is an additional cost to losing beyond the money.  If you lose your appeal, you cannot file another for a full year.  Beyond that, you’ll have to fix all the mistakes that caused you to lose the first time.  At least with me, a client has the certainty of knowing that they’ll only pay me once and they will get back on the road.

The quality of service from my office is on a whole different level than what I suspect anyone else provides.  In general, I think a lot of the hype around “better service” is a bunch of BS.  When I order something online, I’m concerned about service only to the extent that the right product (meaning one that matches the description I relied upon in placing it) is sent to me quickly and correctly.  I don’t care if my order is processed by a robot, some guy in a tank top and shorts, or some guy in a tuxedo and white gloves.  License restoration cases, however, are different.   My first meeting with a new client takes about 3 hours (often, a bit more) in my office.  And let me be perfectly candid: I’m a really nice guy and consider my practice an opportunity to help people, but I’m still in business to make money, so I don’t keep these appointments long just so we can talk baseball, or anything like that.  In that same way, as far as my guarantee goes, I don’t make my money having to re-do a case a second time; I make my money winning them the first time, meaning I’m as invested in a successful outcome as my client.  I am thorough in a way that takes time.  There are no shortcuts to lasting success.