In a somewhat recent 2-part article about the proliferation of what I call “McLicense” lawyers, I noted that our firm – a genuine DUI and driver’s license restoration law firm – charges more than most others. I also pointed out that we have zero interest in “competing” with anyone on price, because, as I put it, nobody can compete with us in terms of service and results. We guarantee to win every driver’s license restoration and clearance case we take because we control every single part of the appeal process, including completion of the required substance use evaluation that must be filed with every case.
We recently were hired by someone who indicated that they had found some other lawyer who was charging less than us (not a surprise), and who also had some kind of guarantee. What made the client go with us, however, is that the other attorney did NOT recommend a specific substance use evaluator for her to see. Neither did that lawyer require require a meeting with the client before the evaluation to prepare her for it, something we do in every case. We also give specific documents to our clients to provide to the evaluator (although now, given the virtual nature of how things are being done, we email them directly to her).
These documents includes a marked-up, color-coded copy of the driving record highlighting all the relevant information that needs to be included within the evaluation, along with a special form of our own creation, called a “Substance Use Evaluation Checklist.” Although it is critically important to review every document, including the substance use evaluation, before it’s ever filed with the Michigan Secretary of State, it’s far better to take the time to make sure it’s done right in the first place, and we do. Precisely because we control all the information that goes into the evaluation, though, it’s far less likely to need “fixing” when we get it back for review.
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That’s why just about every “big time” service or product released into the world is almost always followed by cheaper knock-offs. Right now, I’m hearing ads for some competitor’s imitation of the Peloton stationary bike. There is a line in that ad that says “now, you don’t have to pay a ton to get a Peloton.” While it may be true that there is a copycat bike for less, rest assured, that bike is not as good as the Peloton.
Years ago, I snatched up a good deal for a real Peloton, and in the intervening years, the company has been streaming and archiving thousands of classes, and adding to its HUGE database.
This new, cheaper “McBike” will never be anything less than a budget alternative to the real deal, in every possible way. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but there can only be one King of the Hill.
In that way, no other lawyer or law firm can compete with ours when it comes to how we do license appeals.
Because of our focus on recovery, and my clinical, post-graduate training in addiction studies, I can safely say that there is no lawyer anywhere who can come even remotely close to me in terms of understanding the development, diagnosis and treatment of and recovery from alcohol problems and other addictive behaviors.
That would just be a bunch of useless verbiage if I didn’t directly use that specialized knowledge to win (and guarantee to win) driver’s license restoration and clearance cases.
No person goes to a lawyer and explains how they got sober using something like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), REBT (rational emotive behavioral therapy), or bibliotherapy. Everyone knows about AA, and most sober also people know that, whatever else, their sobriety is not dependent upon it.
When it comes to winning a license appeal case before the Michigan Secretary of State, it’s the lawyer’s job to make sure that the client’s transition from drinker to non-drinker is fully and properly explained, even if the person’s sobriety is the result of some other process beyond those mentioned above.
My point in tossing out all those terms is that while any lawyer can read the law and rules regarding license appeals, my team and I truly understand the clinical underpinnings of recovery. That allows us, through dialogue with each client, to draw out the details of his or her recovery story and be able to present it to the state in a way that actually wins cases.
A guarantee is like insurance; it’s good to have it, but better to never have to use it.
I talk a lot about our guarantee, but the truth is, having a “guarantee” is easy. In a very real way, a guaranty is like a warranty, and for all the nice stuff I’m saying here, make no mistake, there’s a deeper business principle at play: we make our money winning the driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal cases we take the first time around, NOT by having to come back and do warranty work to fix a loss.
One of the key differences between our practice and others is that we control every part of the license appeal process, meaning everything that goes into the evidence that makes up the case itself.
We begin by screening a potential client to make sure that he or she is, in fact, genuinely sober, and is otherwise qualified for us to make his or her case a winner.
Our first meeting with a client (this can be done virtually) is comprehensive: we go over the license appeal process in general, and, in particular, prepare the client to undergo the substance use evaluation (SUE) with our evaluator.
I can’t imagine sending someone off for an evaluation without extensively preparing him or her for it beforehand, but that’s how most places do it.
Moreover, I am astounded that any lawyer doesn’t have a specific evaluator they use, and instead simply tell the clients to go get an evaluation.
That’s like going to a doctor because something is wrong, and after diagnosis the problem, he or she tells the client to go out and get cured….
Given that the evaluation is the very foundation of a license appeal, this makes no sense. An evaluation has to be done precisely, and unless the evaluator has extensive experience doing them for the Secretary of State, anything he or she gets right is a matter of luck, more than anything else. This is why it’s so important that my team and I work very closely with our evaluator.
No matter how good a substance abuse counselor a person may be, doing an evaluation is a matter of fitting clinical findings into a specialized legal document. There are essentially 2 languages at play here: clinical, and legal.
Fortunately, I speak both of them.
The evaluator, for his or her part, has to include some legal stuff in the evaluation, and we make sure that ours knows exactly what that is. Accordingly, we send our clients with a packet of documents, specific to his or her case, go give the evaluator. These include the aforementioned color-coded copy of the client’s driving record and our own special form, called a “Substance Use Evaluation Checklist,” among other things.
We do this so that the evaluator – OUR EVALUATOR – has all the relevant information that needs to be included on the SUI form issued and required by the Michigan Secretary of State.
As I hinted above, we send every one of our clients to OUR EVALUATOR. We use 1 primary evaluator, and only a small circle of others, because we work extensively with them.
In fact, we have taken our primary evaluator to license appeal hearings, not as a witness, but rather just to observe how the substance use evaluation is interpreted and used by the hearing officers who decide these cases.
On top of that, we speak with our main evaluator almost every single day, and often, multiple times per day.
And for all of that, every evaluation that comes into our office is nevertheless checked, and then re-checked to make sure it is accurate, complete, and that it’s good enough to win. Inaccurate, incomplete and/or insufficient evaluations are a major cause of lost license appeals.
We make sure that doesn’t happen.
That’s what you pay for.
We pour over every detail of every case, precisely because we DON’T want to have to honor our guarantee.
Sony makes great TV sets, but they make their money making sure they work right out of the box, not by having any significant number of them come back for warranty repairs.
And even though the ad says, “you don’t have to pay a ton for a Peloton,” you can be sure that for the money saved, you’re NOT GETTING a Peloton, either.
It’s the same with us. A person may save money going with some knockoff lawyer, but they’ll NEVER get the level of service we provide. And to be clear, by “level of service,” I don’t mean over-priced, unnecessary work marketed with a bunch of useless fluff – I mean a guaranteed win.
As I said, we earn our money winning these cases the first time.
Our practice has long been the “big dog” in the license restoration field, and I have no intention of ever being second, or second best.
That’s what you pay for.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to win back your Michigan driver’s license, or obtain a clearance of the a Michigan hold on your driving record, be a good consumer. Don’t take my word for how and why we’re so good; do your homework. Read around and see how lawyers explain the license appeal process and how they explain their approach to it.
When you’ve done enough of that, start checking around. You can learn a lot by actually talking to a living person. All of our consultations are free, confidential, and done over the phone, right when you call. My team and I are very friendly people who will be glad to answer your questions, explain things, and even compare notes with anything you’ve heard from another lawyer or law firm.
We can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST), at 248-986-9700 or 586-465-1980.