In The News

In The News

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Results - of the Extraordinary Version - Require Extraordinary Effort

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols

Those lonely, cold hours on a Sunday in the office; the moments spent thinking about a case and those little details; anticipating the arguments from the other side or the judge - the things that are just examples of what it takes to take a "hope and a prayer" and turn it into a result that no one - even the client thought was possible.

It occurred to me as I drove straight to the office from church for what I expected would be at least a couple hours of work on the book update on Sunday, February 21st - that there was really no NEED for me to go to the office. I was pretty well caught up on cases; everything was managed pretty well. I did not need to be there other than I want to get the update for the 2021 edition of the Thomson Reuters West OWI Manual for lawyers off my plate because who knows when the next major case is going to heat up and need my attention ... immediately.

I spent 2 hours digging through the texts and emails among the major players at the Michigan State Police (MSP) breath alcohol program from 2019 and 2020. These materials were pricey but it was a labor of love. I realized as I went through it exactly what the MSP brass seem to be all about and concerned with the most: maintaining public confidence. They cared more about maintaining confidence among prosecutors, local law enforcement and the public it seemed.

The exercise and what I learned as I read my name throughout these emails and texts that the criminal justice system is almost a game - they tried to keep the struggles of the vendors to the MSP quiet and managed for an entire year-plus before the whole breath alcohol testing program went up (or maybe I should say went down) in flames. The only way that we can force the hand of many in government and "keep 'em honest" is to litigate cases like our lives depend on it when we have a client who wants nothing but the miracle result - or needs nothing but the miracle result.

At the end of a weekend, I hate what I may have missed out on if I ended up working all weekend. However, it makes me enjoy the time that I do carve out even more as a person who is a co-business owner and I have no need to get permission or keep track of my time away. Most importantly, I appreciate it when I walk into a courtroom, know that I am the most prepared person in the courtroom and no one is going to know what I might be up to or thinking until I am ready for them to know.

And that my friends - is the difference between a lawyer who talks a good game and one who has the ability to create a really good result.

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.