I guarantee that I will win any Michigan Driver’s License Restoration or Clearance case that I take. As I describe it, “it’s that simple.” Despite the clarity of my guarantee, and the fact that, rather unlike the stereotype of a typical Lawyer, I do not have some long list of exceptions or a bunch of fine print limiting how it works, my office still gets call from people who essentially ask, “what’s the catch?”
There is none; it’s that simple. In fact, the only limitation I place upon my guarantee is if someone lies to me, or holds back essential information. And to be very clear on that point, I spend 3 hours with a new Client at our first face-to-face meeting, not only going over every line of the state’s Substance Abuse Evaluation form, but also completing my own Substance Abuse Evaluation Checklist form, as well. Essentially, this precludes anything from being “forgotten,” or “not clear.”
A few months ago, I had a case that, to be polite about it, involved a “fib”, and it served as the inspiration for the article immediately before this one. I represented a guy in a License Appeal who first told me, and then the Evaluator that completed his Substance Abuse Evaluation, that he had gone to AA for about 8 of the last 9 years 3 to 4 times a week, and then reduced his attendance to 1 or 2 times a week for the last year. He was adamant about that, and even brought a letter from his AA “sponsor.”
When we “prepped” for his Hearing, I was clear about how his AA attendance would play a role in his case. Then, when we got to the Hearing, the particular Hearing Officer that was deciding his case asked him about a few of the AA steps. Not only couldn’t the guy repeat one word of any of the steps the Hearing Officer asked about, but when the Hearing Officer asked if he could repeat any part of any of the steps, he choked. Later, he admitted that he had really overstated his involvement with AA (that was not a surprise). He was, however, really and truly sober, and while that’s far from enough to win, I’m certain the Hearing Officer knew that, whatever else, at least my Client was not still drinking. This would have been the classic case where I could have explained that my guarantee doesn’t really apply, but that’s not how I do things. I’m sticking with my Client, and will handle the next License Hearing without additional charge. I know my Client is really sober, but I’ll just have to make darn sure that he is far more accurate in describing his involvement with AA next time.
The larger point here is that, absent something really profound, when I take your case and put my name on your paperwork, it becomes personal. I accept my Fee with the explicit understanding that in exchange for you paying it, I’ll get you back on the road. This is not the kind of agreement that needs to be riddled with disclaimers and exceptions and all that bologna. That’s half the problem with our world, anyway. When someone looks you in the eye and tells you something, you should be able to count on that. If you buy a new car, it comes with a warranty. The modern idea is that if you plunk the money down to buy or lease a new car, you shouldn’t have to worry about it working or not; if there’s a problem, it’s covered. I work the same way. If I take your case, you’ll only pay me once, and you’re getting back on the road, period.
I often point out that while every big manufacturer offers a warranty on its products, it is understood that doing things right the first time is how they make a profit. In other words, Sony makes its money selling TV’s that work, not TV’s that need to be repaired or replaced. I’m the same way. I make my money winning License Appeals the first time around. Having to go back a second time doubles my workload and cuts my profit in half. Doing warranty work isn’t any kind of business model; rather, it’s a backup plan put in place because I know I’ll win every case I take.
If there is anything even resembling a “catch,” to my guarantee, it’s that I certainly don’t take every case that comes my way. In fact, I don’t even take most cases that come my way, because I will only accept License Restoration Clients who have really and truly quit drinking. This part is non-negotiable. The whole point of the License Restoration process is to make sure that anyone who is a risk to ever drink again is not put back behind the wheel. My integrity is not for sale. I make my living winning these cases fair and square. I show up at the DAAD with Clients that can look you in the eye and talk about how their lives have changed since they quit drinking. There is nothing that feels better than the power of telling the truth.
It’s my job to navigate the million little rules that govern a License Restoration, and I do that so well that I offer my guarantee. While it’s easy to talk about “successes” and “wins” and things like that, the bottom line is that I put my money where my mouth is. If I take your case, you’re getting a license. It’s that simple.