I am somewhat unique as a Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer, because I guarantee that if I take your case, I will win it. There are really no hidden exclusions beyond the understandable caveats that if a person withholds vital information or lies, I’m off the hook. Fortunately, I seldom lose any cases, rarely have to do any kind of warranty work, and, to date, have never had a situation where I have refused to honor my guarantee. I was recently speaking with someone about my driver’s license restoration practice and how and why I require that a person must have truly quit drinking before I’ll take his or her case. I pointed out that I have to resist a very real monetary temptation when I turn people away who call the office and are willing to pay my fee, but that having my guarantee means I am tied to the case until the person wins, and therefore prevents me from just taking someone’s money and “giving it a shot.” In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.
In most areas of the law, a lawyer cannot guarantee a particular outcome. In a DUI, for example, a lawyer could make everything sound really favorable, get paid handsomely, and then stand there watching as the client gets hammered by the Judge. License appeals filed with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearing Office (AHS) are different. Because I know I’m stuck with a case until I get the person back on the road, there is no way that I’m going to obligate myself to a case that isn’t winnable. In fact, just the other day I received a call from another lawyer about someone whose appeal I had previously declined to pursue. This lawyer, who knows me and knows my practice, obviously got a different side of things from the caller, and when he found out that I had already turned the case down, suspected that there was more to it than he was being told. After a few minutes on the phone, he thanked me for my time. Several days later, I ran into him in court, and he again thanked me and breathed a sigh of relief that he didn’t get sucked into that losing situation. In his case, and to his moral credit, he didn’t want to take the guy’s money and not be able to do anything for him, which is kind of where I come from, except that my sense of morality also has a guarantee attached to it. In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.
Everyone needs a license. I get tons of emails from people, many of them describing the hardship that goes along with not being able to drive, or the opportunities they have missed or will miss because they can’t. The stories are compelling, but as I noted in a somewhat recent article about everyone “needing” a license, that couldn’t matter less. A person becomes legally eligible to file a license appeal only after his or her revocation period ends. An urgent need to drive, or a complete lack thereof, doesn’t affect this. The problem is that sometimes, people contact me after having communicated with some lawyer, and either the person completely misunderstood what they were told, or the lawyer has no clue about license restoration. Either way, most of these ideas involve trying some appeal to court, which is entirely impossible to begin with. There is an understandable desperation these people feel, and they’d be willing to shell out just about any sum of money to get back on the road, or even to just “take a shot at it.” I know better, and therefore won’t take the bait (or the person’s money), but in addition, I know that if I do take a case, I’m stuck with it until the person wins back his or her license. In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.
I can’t tell you how many people who contact my office somehow think that I am anything less than dead serious about the whole sobriety requirement thing. I have heard, “I can say whatever you need me to say” too many times to count. It seems that no matter how, or how many times I say it, some people think that I will take any case as long as I’m paid. I do not and I will not. My integrity is not for sale. In addition, because I attach myself to a license clearance or restoration appeal until it is won, and because the real meat and potatoes of a license appeal is proving that you really did quit drinking and have the commitment and the tools to remain sober for good, and all ethical and moral issues aside, it would be a colossally stupid idea for me to accept a case where there isn’t genuine sobriety. In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.
By the same token, I also have to do my job especially well. I must prepare a case carefully and thoroughly, because my guarantee really amounts to a promise to do just that, and win, or else I get stuck doing it all over again. Not that I ever put anything less than my heart and soul into my license cases (after all, I am seen by the same hearing officers again and again and again), but being obligated to a client and his or her case until we win is a bit of extra insurance for both of us. In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.
A reputation takes a lifetime to build and maintain. As an old boss of mine once said, you can spend your whole career building a great reputation, but it only takes one stupid move to destroy it. I don’t ever want any hearing officer to think I’d bring someone before them who is not genuinely sober. I have spent an enormous amount of time and money building my license restoration practice on the foundation of only taking cases for people who have really quit drinking. All it would take is one scammer to ruin my good name, and then lose a case that he or she should not win anyway. In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.
Make no mistake, chances are that any other lawyer with whom you communicate has visited this blog and/or my site for information, and probably a lot. I have seen some of my own ideas regurgitated on other sites, but rather than get all mad about it, I remind myself that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For my part, I’ve never had any interest in or reason to copy any other lawyer’s materials or methods. Yet for as much as I can brag about that, I warranty my work in every case I take. In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.
When it comes to spending money for a license appeal, I cannot imagine anyone just forking it over without a guarantee. Whatever the story, and whatever the price, at the end of the day, knowing that your lawyer is as invested in winning as you are, and knowing that he or she is tied to your case until you do win, takes the risk out of the hiring decision. Beyond that, knowing that I will not take a case unless I’m sure I can win it gives an unsurpassed level of reassurance. In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.
As you navigate your way through the process of finding a lawyer, be a good consumer. Skip the “Call Now!” operations, and take your time. Read what lawyers have written. Read between the lines, as well. This article is kind of “cutesy,” but I wouldn’t have put anything like this up 5 years ago; today, I have a body of over 300-plus license restoration articles examining every single facet of the license appeal process. I’ve written more articles to date than anyone. Most lawyers won’t get the chance to even handle anywhere near 100 license appeals in their whole career; I handle way over that every year, and each one is a guaranteed winner. When you’re done reading, pick up the phone and call around. For my part, I have the nicest staff anywhere, and your questions will be answered right when you call my office. We’re here to help, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. We’ll never just tell you what you want to hear, even if that means telling you we can’t help you right now (because, for example, you’re not legally eligible or haven’t yet quit drinking). We’ll give you clear and truthful information. If I do take your case, however, you can count on winning your license back, because I’m stuck with it until we do, and I don’t make my money by taking cases that I have to do twice over. In other words, my guarantee keeps me honest.