Monthly Archives: September 2010

Questions about Medical Marijuana?

They can probably be answered in this article titled:

Keys to Understanding the New Michigan Medical Marijuana Law

Anything that this website does not or cannot answer can be answered by NEIL ROCKIND, P.C.

Neil Rockind, P.C. is leading the way in Michigan Medical Marijuana Defense. If you or a loved one is faced with a violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, or an investigation by any policing agency regarding such a violation, please contact Neil Rockind, P.C. at jmellas@rockindpc.com or call our office directly at 248-208-3800 to schedule a free consultation!

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Neil Rockind gets a NOT GUILTY at a domestic violence trial in the 46th District Court!

A mere 5 days after Neil Rockind pulled off a stunning victory in the 48th District Court (check out the story here People v. Fawkes), Neil Rockind achieved yet another NOT GUILTY verdict at a domestic violence trial in the 46th District Court in Southfield, Michigan.

Andre Ellison came to our firm roughly 2 months ago and told us that he had been wrongly accused of domestic violence by an ex-girlfriend. The prosecutor had offered to reduce the charge to disturbing the peace, but Ellison knew that he had done nothing wrong – and turned down the offer. We set it for trial and forged ahead with preparations.

Monday, September 27th, the prosecutor called our office and, after a lengthy discussion, again offered to reduce the charge to disturbing the peace. We told her no deal and that we were ready to go.

On Tuesday the 28th Neil appeared at the courthouse at 8:30 am and soon after began jury selection. Following a masterful jury selection process, the trial began at roughly 2pm. The prosecutor called 4 witnesses, including a police officer that was called to the scene, a young man that allegedly witnessed the assault, the complainant herself, and the police officer that took pictures of her alleged “injuries.”

Following the prosecution’s proofs, it was extremely apparent that there were several holes in both the prosecution’s case and the story put forth by the complainant. First, the 911 call operator wasn’t called to testify – why? Second, the 911 call wasn’t played to the jury – why? Third, the police officer who took the complainant’s statement was not called to testify – why? Fourth, the video system that  existed and was working in the place that the assault took place was mysteriously “not-accessible” and the video of the incident mysteriously disappeared.

Finally, and most importantly, the complainants story was simply implausible. Neil Rockind cross-examined her for nearly an hour and at the conclusion of her testimony I don’t believe that there was a single person in that courtroom that believed anything that she was saying.

Her lies exposed, Ellison took the stand to testify and emphatically stood his ground that he had not laid a hand on her. 2 hours later the jury returned with a verdict of NOT GUILTY.

A second NOT GUILTY in 5 days! That’s how we handle our business at NEIL ROCKIND, P.C.

Neil Rockind, P.C. is extremely experienced in handling all types of domestic violence/assault and battery cases. If you or a loved one is faced with any type of domestic violence charge, or an investigation by any policing agency regarding such a charge, please contact Neil Rockind, P.C. at jmellas@rockindpc.com or call our office directly at 248-208-3800 to schedule a free consultation!

Neil Rockind gets a NOT GUILTY at a drunk driving trial in the 48th District Court!

3 years ago Neil Rockind began representing Randolph Fawkes, who was charged with Operating while Intoxicated in the 48th District Court. For those that don’t know about the stigma surrounding the 48th District Court, it is known as one of the toughest drunk driving courts in Michigan; the judges routinely send 1st offenders to jail.

3 years ago, Neil Rockind, P.C. filed a motion challenging the stop of Fawkes’ vehicle. Judge Diane D’Agostini ultimately ruled that the stop and arrest of Fawkes was legal. Neil Rockind, P.C., believed that Judge D’Agostini was wrong and filed an appeal with the Oakland Circuit Court. Eventually Judge Nancy Grant in the Oakland Circuit Court determined that the stop and arrest of Fawkes was indeed illegal and ordered the suppression of all illegally obtained evidence, including Fawkes’ blood draw result, which was a .09 BAC. The prosecutor, not content with Judge Grant’s decision, appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Following oral arguments, the Court of Appeals reversed Judge Grant’s decision and allowed the evidence back in, including the .09 BAC blood result.

The case was then set for trial – 3 years after the initiation of charges. The prosecutor, in an attempt to avoid trial, offered the charge of Operating While Visibly Impaired, which is a lesser drunk driving offense. However, we were fully aware that such an offer was standard and told him that Fawkes was not interested.

On September 21st, 2010, People v. Fawkes went to trial. Jury selection took place on the 21st and the trial lasted two days: the 22nd and 23rd of September. Over the course of the 3 day trial, the prosecution called 4 witnesses: the police officer that effectuated the stop of Fawkes’ vehicle, the doctor that withdrew Fawkes’ blood, the evidence technician at the Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory (who testified as an expert), and Felix Adatsi – the head of Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory (who also testified as an expert).

At the end of the prosecution’s proofs, several things were extremely apparent:

  1. The police officer had stopped Fawkes for no reason;
  2. The police officer had intentionally mis-stated information in the affidavit for the search warrant to withdraw Fawkes’ blood (i.e. he stated in the affidavit that Fawkes’ eyes were bloodshot, however he testified that they were not bloodshot);
  3. The doctor that withdrew Fawkes’ blood had not followed protocol re: the preservation of the blood samples – resulting in tainted samples;
  4. The evidence technician that actually tested the blood samples had done nothing to ensure that the samples were taint-free; instead she simple assumed that they were preserved correctly; and
  5. Felix Adatsi admitted that it was possible that at the time that Fawkes had been pulled over he may have only had a BAC of .04 or .05.

Taking all of this into consideration, the 6 person jury returned with a verdict and uttered the two most beautiful words in the English language: NOT GUILTY!

Despite 4 witnesses, including 2 expert witnesses, 2 days of trial and and blood alcohol level of .09, which is above the legal limit, Fawkes was found Not Guilty of drunk driving in one of the toughest drunk driving courts in Michigan. And he could not have done it without Neil Rockind and his many years of drunk driving expertise.

Neil Rockind, P.C. is extremely experienced in handling all types of driving offenses, including drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs. If you or a loved one is faced with any type of driving offense, or an investigation by any policing agency regarding such a violation, please contact Neil Rockind, P.C. at jmellas@rockindpc.com or call our office directly at 248-208-3800 to schedule a free consultation!

Medical Marijuana Win!

A couple of days ago Judge Mark Luoma in the 93rd District Court ruled that a plastic-enclosed greenhouse in a backyard constituted an enclosed locked facility for purposes of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act!

Read the intelligent and insightful opinion here ——–> People v. Henry

Colin A. Daniels

NEIL ROCKIND, P.C.: 2 – Secretary of State: 0

If you have lost your drivers license and are attempting to get it back from the Secretary of State, just know that your road will be long and arduous. You will be met with roadblocks, detours and dead-ends. That’s where we come in.

When it comes to your driving privileges, the Michigan Secretary of State is equivalent to a monarchy. The hearing officers who make the decisions are not judges, yet they will hear all of the testimony and have the ultimate authority to either grant you your request and return your drivers license or deny your request and keep it from you. The vast majority of individuals who apply for  return of their licence are denied. We believe that this is due to 2 separate, yet equal factors: lack of preparation for the hearing and obtuse and irrational hearing officers. Neil Rockind, P.C., due to our preparatory skills and tried and true method of preparation, do not often lose at the initial hearing.

But what we cannot account for (let alone stand) are ridiculous and irrational hearing officers who decide to deny you your license for arbitrary and capricious reasons – even when you have done everything right!

Twice in the past 6 months we have represented individuals who had done everything right, had met every requirement placed upon them by the Secretary of State, and yet had been denied the return of their license. Twice we have appealed that decision to the Circuit Court. Twice we have submitted briefs and made oral arguments on behalf of our clients at the Circuit Court level as to why the hearing officers were wrong in their denial.

As of last week, twice we have prevailed.

Both times, the Judge at the Circuit Court level decided that the hearing officer at the Secretary of State had ABUSED his or her discretion and made the wrong decision. Both times we fought tooth and nail and both times it has paid off.

Neil Rockind, P.C. is extremely versed in handling all types of Driver’s License cases. If you or a loved one is faced with a possible loss of your driver’s license or are interested in attempting to regain your driver’s license, please contact Neil Rockind, P.C. at jmellas@rockindpc.com or call our office directly at 248-208-3800 to schedule a free consultation!

People v. Redden

Two days ago the Michigan Court of Appeals released their opinion in People v. Redden, a medical marijuana case. In the opinion, the Judges concluded that Section 8 of the MMA protects those individuals who don’t even possess a medical marijuana card. However, the judges also concluded that all other issues raised were issues of fact that should be decided by the trier of fact (i.e. a jury). Unfortunately, this includes whether or not Redden had a bona-fide relationship with his doctor and whether or not his medical condition required the use of marijuana. This is a huge set-back for medical marijuana and those that needs its benefits. It should not be up to a jury to decide whether or not a patient actually needs marijuana for their pain, etc. It should be up to the doctor. The Court of Appeals has effectively taken away doctor’s discretion in cases of medical marijuana.

Click here to read the opinion ———> People v. Redden

Colin A. Daniels