Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lawyer deals in court, at blackjack table

Writing an article recently about Macomb County lawyer Lou Zaidan also working as a farmer reminded me that  lawyer Dominic Greco moonlights as a card dealer at Motor City Casino in Detroit.
“I do it for the extra income and the benefits,” said Greco, who is in private practice in Clinton Township.
Greco said he deals blackjack and runs craps and roullette tables, and has worked in the gaming industry for 18 years. He said he works full time, the midnight shift weekends and Mondays. The Monday shift can make that day long sometimes, he said, but he manages it.
The common skill of the two professions is communication, he said.
“You gotta be a people person,” he said. “You have to be able to communicate. You have to know when to talk and when to be quiet.”
Learning about Zaidan and Greco made me think that maybe there’s other lawyers out there with interesting side-jobs or intensive hobbies. Let me know. Leave a comment here, email me at, or call me at (586) 783-0314.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A whiff to be proud of

Assistant Macomb County prosecutor Gordon Hosbein can identify with the great Detroit Tigers starting pitchers this week as the hurl against the vaunted New York Yankees in this American League Championship Series.
While pitching for the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies from 1999 to 2003, Hosbein struck out Yankees slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira in 2001 when he played for the Georgia Tech Bulldogs.
That’s quite an accomplishment to whiff the national college player of the year and future all-star major leaguer.
But Hosbein also humbly pointed out. “He went three for four.”
Oh well. Striking him out once is still something to boast about. After all, Phil Coke couldn’t do it Tuesday night.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Schuette eyeing gubernatorial run?

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is fond of issuing press releases, offering at least one per week, often more. While he certainly is touting his and his staffers' efforts in laying down the law of the "hand," he's also reminding state residents -- voters -- who is he.
Word among some political insiders is that he will probably run for governor, either in a couple of years if fellow Republican Gov. Rick Snyder decides to not seek re-election (Would he dare try to defeat Snyder for the nomination?), or in six years.
And why not? Schuette has a public-service resume that probably no one in Michigan can match. He's served in all three branches of state government. He was the youngest member of Congress when he was elected in 1984 at 31. He’s been a senator, director of the Department of Agriculture and a Court of Appeals judge.
He was a rising star in the GOP in the 1980s and early '90s, despite his unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 1990. A would-be governor someday, or maybe even a presidential candidate.
He finally may be able to try to meet some of those lofty expectations.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Boycott MLB Network

As a baseball and Tigers fan, I'm suggesting that no one sign up for the MLB Network in response to the league failing to show Sunday's A's-Tigers game on free TV. It is being shown on the MLB Network, which isn't available on Widen Open West, the cheaper of the two main cable channels in many Macomb towns.
MLB obviously wants to force people to sign up for its network. I hope it backfires on them.
To those who say, "It's a business. They can do what they want."  It's not a business. MLB is almost like a public utility since it has a legal monopoly via an anti-trust exemption from Congress.
I suggest keeping tabs the old fashioned way, on radio. Dickerson and Price do a pretty good job.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court debuts web site

Here's a copy of the state Supreme Court's press release regarding its new web site.
New site organizes content by audience, features better access and search tools

LANSING, MI, October 4, 2012 – A new and better-organized “One Court of Justice” web site – offering everything from forms needed for court proceedings to the latest Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Court of Appeals decisions – debuted today, Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr., announced.

“I used to joke that our old web site was where information went to die,” said Young. “We have a wealth of content, but it hasn’t always been easy to find. This new site is much easier to navigate, making the content more accessible to everyone – the public as well as the legal community.”

Content on the new web site is organized by audience, Young explained. Using tabs on the home page, users tell the site who they are or what they are interested in – “general public,” “legal community,” or “judges and court staff,” for example. The web site in turn displays content of interest to that audience.

Content from the former “One Court of Justice” site is still available on the new site. A search box is in the top right-hand corner of every page.

The site,, offers a wide variety of information, including court forms, court rules, statistics, and information on judicial branch agencies, such as the Friend of the Court. A directory of trial courts on the site includes such information as whether the court offers online access to court records or allows online payment of traffic tickets. The site also offers links to self-help resources for those who represent themselves in court without an attorney.

Young emphasized that the “One Court of Justice” web site “is an ongoing project. We intend to make it even more accessible and serviceable, based on the feedback we receive from users,” the chief justice said. Users can submit comments and questions via the “Site Feedback” link in the footer under “Assistance” or by e-mailing

Judicial Information Systems, the technology division of the State Court Administrative Office, led the web site redesign with input from every division of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and SCAO. Technical support was provided by C\D\H, a Michigan-based technology consulting firm.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lawyers should push on presentence reports

Criminal defense attorney Tim Barkovic made a credible point last month when he won a delay of a client’s sentencing because he did not receive the presentence investigation report by the required two days prior to punishment.
Macomb Circuit Judge David Viviano agreed with Barkovic that although attorneys rarely receive the reports two days ahead of sentencing, the objection was technically legitimate. Attorneys typically get the reports late, usually on the day of sentencing although I'm told sometimes they're available earlier as long as the defense attorney can pick it up at an office.
The reports are completed by probation officers, who work under the Michigan Department of Corrections, and are important in determining sentencing guidelines and giving the judge a portrayal of the defendant’s attitude. Each “psi” recommends a sentence.
Defense attorney Stephen Rabaut said he would like to see psi’s completed earlier due to their importance in wrangling over sentencing guidelines and would produce “better lawyering.” In federal court, the reports are due 45 days before a sentencing.
Maybe more defense attorney objections would force compliance.