How did you arrive at this position? What path brought you here?
I started my career at the largest Probate firm in the state of Michigan starting off as a law clerk and then became an Associate. I never saw myself doing Probate work when I was in law school. The opportunity presented itself and I took full advantage. My early career allowed me to handle several complex issues at my own discretion and with little oversight. Though a bit overwhelming initially, it raised my confidence and abilities rather quickly. When I came to Hewson and Van Hellemont, I knew it would be a great fit.
What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
I have a knack for “explanation.” I pride myself on being able explain complex issues and processes to people in a simplistic and efficient way. I also serve as a Guardian ad Litem in Wayne County. Handling matters in that court, I often find myself explaining the complexities of Probate court to people who have little or no idea of probate operates.
What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients? What do your ideal clients say about you?
Getting clients from point a to point b. On most occasions, my clients come to me with no idea where to start with an estate or any other probate matter. I condense the problems and outline a plan to get them from the starting line all the way to the finish line. Having this game plan takes a huge burden off the client. My ideal client says “Wow, you made that easy.”
What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work and the contribution you can make?
Oftentimes as an attorney, I deal with people fighting over their deceased loved ones’ assets. Every now and then, I get the opportunity to make a huge difference in someone’s life. Our firm handled a file just recently where I was able to get our client’s fifteen year old child back who had been stolen from her, via a fraudulent guardianship petition filed by the child’s aunt. It was a file that took two years and six hearing to get resolved. It finally resulted in our client getting her daughter back. It is these types of results that will stick with me professionally and make me proud to be an attorney.
What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?
I am an avid gun enthusiast. My other interests include youth football and traveling. Some would say that these interests are weird combinations. I am super passionate about guns and shooting sports. I typically shoot two to three times a month and am constantly discussing the newest firearms or ammunition. My other love is youth football. I currently coach a youth team of 9-10 year old kids. It is a huge time commitment, but incredibly rewarding to watch these young children’s skills develop and your team come together as one. Lastly, traveling has become my obsession. World traveling really allows you to experience other cultures and really appreciate how great the country we live in is.
Where can we find you when you are not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
Gun range. No doubt the gun range.
How long have you been an attorney?
What memories do you have from your hometown?
I am originally from Columbus Ohio. So the majority of my memories involve the Buckeyes. It is an interesting team to like when you are working in a firm full of Spartans and Wolverines!
What volunteer activities do you engage in?
My youth football team is coached on a volunteer basis. Our team consists of six coaches, all whom are volunteers. We all just love the game and enjoy coaching the kids.
Any nonprofits you love and if so, why?
Detroit’s Police Athletic League or (PAL). It is the youth league under which I coach. It included several sports for both boys and girls. It is led by many of the biggest names in Detroit sports, and it gave children an opportunity to learn through athletics and develop the confidence and motivation to go far in life.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
Fantasy football. I am such a fantasy football addict.
How do you want to be remembered professionally and personally?
Just as a regular guy who happens to be an attorney. Not the other way around.
Anything else that you would like to tell about yourself?
I am a former college football player who loves college athletics. My wife is a former college athlete and college volleyball coach at the University of Toledo.