I’m going to tell you something about myself, but first I’m going to tell you a story. You’ll wonder for a paragraph or two where this is going, but stick with me. You will learn why this post is on my special education law blog.
What is a “Michigan Man”?
There are many articles and blog posts and other sources that try to explain this undefinable quality. In “What Does It Mean To Be a ‘Michigan Man’?”, author John U. Bacon (a frequent writer about things Michigan, including the football team), admitted that “ultimately, to define it, I have to resort to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s description of pornography: ‘I know it when I see it.’”
He’s right. And you have to be a Michigan Man to understand why he’s right. First, you need a deep association with the University of Michigan (no, not that silly green and white agriculture college in East Lansing, but the Maize and Blue Wolverines of Ann Arbor). [Note: I hate when after telling people where I graduated, they say “Oh, yeh, Michigan State.” Grrrrr.]
Second, you need a passion about doing good work. That passion requires hard work, sound ethics, and a focus unmatched by competitors. This quality could be no better demonstrated than in the Amazon Show “All or Nothing: The Michigan Wolverines”. [Outstanding television if you haven’t seen it yet.]
You strive to be a champion in everything you do, but you are not arrogant or presumptuous in that effort. Perhaps, most importantly, you must be RELENTLESS. Opponents always want to take you down and if you let your guard down for a moment, they will defeat you. [Much like Michigan’s loss to Division II Appalachian State in 2007.]
You must be relentless to be a Michigan Man.
What Has This Got To Do With My Law Practice?
I am a very proud 1984 graduate from the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science & the Arts. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major and a double minor. I guess even in my undergraduate studies I was eager.
I don’t pretend to satisfy all of the qualities of a Michigan Man, but I will admit that is my goal. That is where the practice of law, especially in the area of special education, comes into play.
I am relentless – in my search for justice; in representation of my clients; and in enforcing special education legal rights.
To my clients: Know that I will be relentless on behalf of you and your child with a disability. If a school district is not meeting the requirements of the law, I will fight to change that so they come into compliance.
To my adversaries: Know that I will be relentless against your tactics. I have been in litigation for nearly all of my 30 years of practice. I have witnessed every strategy and method by opponents to try to get clients to back down. [Some lawyers call this a “Scorched Earth” approach, because the lawyer will try anything – including burning everything – in order to get a favorable result.] It won’t work with me. I won’t give up.
Because I’m relentless. Because I strive to be a Michigan Man.