Monthly Archives: April 2011

“…you can always tell if somebody is a great criminal lawyer by how they perform sentences.”

A fellow attorney had this to say of Neil Rockind yesterday:

“I was in court two days ago and saw Neil Rockind perform a lengthy sentence in a case discussed at great length on this forum [SADO Forum] in front of the worst possible circuit judge. [Neil] advocated with a tremendous amount of passion and it was very obvious he cared about what would happen to this client. The judge gave Neil what he wanted and didn’t throw the client in jail as the prosecutor had requested.

“After, when my client and I were walking out, we were talking about that sentence. I told him you can always tell if somebody is a great criminal lawyer by how they perform sentences. I told him that if the lawyer gets up there and actually gives a shit about what happens and let’s the court know it, the client has a much greater chance of getting a better sentence.”

Thank you JA for the kind words.

– Neil Rockind, P.C.


Email from a Client

“Neil, RJ got his letter for full restoration from the Driver’s License Appellate Division today. You played a key role in his journey back to sanity. Pat yourself on the back counselor.”

We always love to hear from our clients.

“…as good a lawyer as you can get.”

Today, I appeared in front of one of the most respected judges in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  I appeared in front of the Hon. John Corbett O’Meara in the United States District Court in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

During a hearing today, he made a comment about me that I am still floored by . . . Judge O’Meara said this of me, Neil Rockind:

. . . as good a lawyer as you can get.

I am truly honored.  Thank you, Judge O’Meara for those humbling and wonderful words.

– Neil Rockind

Royal Oak Cuts 5 Police Officers, but Spends Money Regulating Medical Marijuana

Royal Oak citizens need to re-examine some of their elected officials and whether they should be in office.   I just read an article in which the City of Royal Oak is cutting five (5) police officers from its force.  (link to the article here) I was shocked to read this.  Five officers is a lot.   What I found particularly troubling about this news was that the Royal Oak city leaders felt no qualms in spending the money to research the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, whether to pass local ordinances regulating patients and caregiver’s rights in Royal Oak, paying a law firm to assist in drafting the ordinance and then paying a private law firm, Secret Wardle, P.C., a large, expensive private law firm those ordinances in a civil lawsuit.  The cost of Royal Oak’s endeavor into the Medical Marijuana Wars will no doubt be in the tens of thousands of dollars . . . in other words, enough money to actually pay for other essential services, like police officers, etc.   I am not sure why Royal Oak chose to enter the Medical Marijuana Wars.  Was it Charles Semchena’s doing?  Semchena used to be a narcotics prosecutor in the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office and took up negotiating for the Board of Trustees for the Oakland Community College against the teachers and professors.  Was there another nefarious force behind the decision?  Sadly, they were warned that passage of an ordinance that limited the ability of caregiver’s to grow marijuana in the City would lead to a lawsuit.  They had advance warning . . . (I know because I warned them).

Where you receive notice that something bad will happen if you do something and you do it anyways, can you claim ignorance?  Royal Oak’s citizens and residents deserve better.  They deserve responsible decision-making and they didn’t get it.  Instead of having more money for police officers, they got a fancy Medical Marijuana ordinance, a lawsuit and a private law firm to defend it.  When some citizen calls 911 and there is a slow response time because there are too few officers, maybe the law firm getting the City’s money will respond instead?  I doubt it.  Royal Oak residents should doubt their leadership.

Neil Rockind is one of the lead counsel in Frizzo v Royal Oak, a fight over the city’s intrusion and interference with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and patients rights under the Act.

Those Who Judge Will Be Judged

I have often remarked about the way that some court employees, police officers and probation officers treat the people that they encounter at work.   Before anyone gets the wrong impression, some are quite pleasant.  Some clerks and court employees are wonderful to work with.  When they talk to members of the public or others, they appear sincere, interested, courteous.  The same goes for some police officers and some probation officers.  However, I can tell you that some are downright unpleasant, mean, disrespectful and dismissive.  They reveal a hatred and loathing for their job and their lot in life.  I can recall one clerk who actually called me on the phone, presumably inquiring about when I’d get to the courthouse (I had three to go to that morning) and her initial words to me were:  ”where are you?”.  I shut her down right there . . . (excuse me, an undergrad degree, law degree, law practice, three children, wife, home, business entitle me to some degree of courtesy, I said — and then I hung up and arrived at the courthouse without so much as another hint of a problem).  I encountered one probation officer once who was so rude that I pulled her aside and reminded her that she wouldn’t be a probation officer forever and that karma doesn’t passover our homes live the angel of death in the Passover – Exodus Story.

An article appears in today’s The Oakland Press about a probation officer from Roseville who is accused of stalking and abusing his access to criminal histories, etc.  I’m not surprised.  Nothing makes a probation officer any more inherently law-abiding and resistant to emotional impulse than the rest of us.  However, I am sure that this probation officer sent his fair share of people to jail.  Likely he judged a few people in his day.  When judging others be careful about being judged yourself.    Here’s the article, quoted below:

The chief probation officer for the city of Roseville has been fired for improper use of the LEIN machine and stalking a female employee and will face criminal charges, court officials said.

Rory Wagner remains hospitalized suffering from a mental condition. He is expected to be arraigned next week by 40th District Judge Mark A. Fratarcangeli in neighboring St. Clair Shores.

An interim bond was set today for Wagner at $10,000.

Judge Joseph F. Boedeker, chief judge of the 39th District Court, said he fired Wagner when he became aware that Wagner was using the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) machine to check the name of people from their vehicle license plate number.

Boedeker also said he didn’t know that Wagner was stalking the female employee.

“I didn’t know this was going on and that criminal acts had been occurring,” Boedeker said earlier this week. “Police obtained a warrant last week and charged Mr. Wagner with the misdemeanor offenses (today).”

Stalking is punishable with up to one year in jail while improper use of the LEIN machine is a 93-day misdemeanor.

Roseville Detective Sgt. Keith Waller is in charge of the investigation. Boedeker said Waller signed the complaint.

Boedeker said that since the incidents involved a court employee, the judges in 39th District Court recused themselves and sent the case to 40th District Court.

Police said Wagner, who had been employed as probation officer in Roseville-Fraser for the past five years, was arrested at a monastery in Addison Township last Friday.

One source told The Macomb Daily that Wagner tried to commit suicide before he was subdued by Roseville officers and deputies from Oakland County.

A local attorney who asked to remain anonymous said Wagner was an excellent person to work with. He said Wagner always treated attorneys and their clients fairly.

“He was always very fair with me,” the attorney said. “Wow. I cannot believe this. This really makes me sick.”

Sources close to the investigation said Wagner dated the court employee. They said she ended the relationship and started dating a Roseville police officer.

Wagner then used the LEIN machine to find out the identity of the man the court employee was dating, court records indicate. He then allegedly stalked the woman and officer.

Lesson:  when judging others, be pleasant, kind and respectful.

Neil Rockind is a criminal defense and medical marijuana defense lawyer with the firm of Neil Rockind, P.C.  He is a highly claimed and decorated trial lawyer having received honors as a Super Lawyer, dbusiness Top Lawyer and a Top 100 Trial Lawyer.  Visit the firm’s websites to learn more about the work of Neil Rockind and Neil Rockind, P.C. Neil Rockind and Firm Medical Marijuana Practice and Neil Rockind.

– Neil Rockind

Press Release – Neil Rockind Selected as a Super Lawyer for 2011

Law & Politics Magazine has selected Neil Rockind as a a Michigan Super Lawyer, 2011.  This honor is extremely rare.  Only 5% of lawyers practicing in a particular state are given the title of Super Lawyer.  The Neil Rockind, P.C. official release is attached here . . .

2011 Super Lawyers Press Release