MICHIGAN JUSTICE and DIVORCE REFORM
Theodore A.P. Golden, M.D., Dermatologist
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MICHIGAN DIVORCE REFORM and LEGAL REFORM
Welcome to tagolden.com. Legal justice and divorce reform in the state of Michigan are the goals of this web site. The Supreme Court of Michigan, The Attorney Grievance Commission, Michigan Court Rules, and Michigan Court Administrative procedures will be discussed. Divorce reform will be presented in Divorce and Conflict. I did not know of the problems with the legal system that I will be presenting until I was exploited and abused by the Michigan legal system during my divorce in the years 2000-2001, and currently by our officials, such as Kelly and Markman, who are entrusted to police the legal system. It could happen to you. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Most of you will require some type of legal services. Modern society cannot function without a highly professional legal system. An ethical, competent, educated, and experienced attorney is an essential member of our society. The American legal system should be admired and respected. The Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) for attorneys is outstanding. My beef with the legal system is about attorneys who violated MRPC, and with public officials who will not maintain the integrity of the legal system.
What is the Problem?
We the people do not have direct control of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, and the process to discipline errant Michigan attorneys. The Michigan Supreme Court has complete control of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, and the Attorney Discipline Board. The Michigan Supreme Court is empowered to write all of the rules that govern the attorney disciplinary process. The Attorney Grievance Commission and Discipline Board are to protect the integrity of the Michigan legal system by disciplining attorneys who breach the ethical and professional standard. Unethical attorneys know that the professional code of conduct that was established in order to protect the public from unscrupulous attorneys will not be enforced for many types of errant behavior. The Michigan Supreme Court and the board of the Attorney Grievance Commission will not direct the attorneys working for the Commission to enforce the Code. Why? It is a case of the fox guarding the chicken house. The MRPC states that an attorney is to be loyal to his client. The public has hired the justices of the Michigan Supreme Court, and the attorneys of the Grievance Commission as our attorneys to protect the public. We are their clients, and they will not perform the job for which they were hired. Their loyalty is to the errant attorneys who are cheating the public. Michigan's current legal system is on a double standard. I want to put Michigan's legal system on a gold standard.
What is the Solution?
Voting Michigan Supreme Court Justices Marilyn Kelly and Stephen Markman out of office in the November, 2004, election is a short term fix. Hopefully, the other justices will get the message. Unfortunately, Kelly and Markman were re-elected on November 2, 2004. A long term and better solution would be to have the members of the boards of the Attorney Grievance Commission and Attorney Discipline Board elected by the public in a state wide general election like the State Board of Education. The Attorney Grievance Commission and Attorney Discipline Board should not be appointed and under the administrative control of the Michigan Supreme Court. They should be directly under the control of boards that are elected by the people, and responsible to the public. The Michigan legislature and the governor should be pressured to change the attorney disciplinary process to what I have just proposed.
Examples of why changes are needed
I will now give examples of why I am proposing changes to the present system. I did not know how the legal system worked until my family was exploited by attorneys working for us during the above cited divorce. I am not the first nor will I be the last victim of the legal system. I am taking action to change the legal system, so that we it's clients will get fair, honest, competent, and ethical legal services. Hopefully, you will join me. Attorneys must comply with Michigan Court Rules, and professional codes of conduct. Michigan Court Rules that do not treat us with respect should be changed. Michigan Court Rules that do not protect the public should be changed. Examples and proposed changes will be given.
The attorneys for both sides took positions that were inconsistent with the laws of divorce concerning the division of the marital assets. The law is quite clear on how marital assets should be divided. Not a difficult or a time consuming task. However, the attorneys wanted to maximize their billing time. The case was ordered to mediation when the attorneys would not work together. The attorneys' friend, Hanley M. Gurwin, Esq., was appointed mediator. Please, click on Hanley M. Gurwin, Esq. to see the complaints of attorney misconduct about him submitted to the Attorney Grievance Commission. After I filed my complaints my ex-wife told me that in a private mediation session Mr. Gurwin discussed oral sex with her attorney, Mrs. Randi Glanz, and herself. Mr. Gurwin did not refute the complaints against him, but Stephen Vella, Esq., staff attorney of the Attorney GrievanceCommission, closed the file. See Appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. I then wrote an appeal to Cynthia C. Bullington, Esq. of the Attorney Grievance Commission. Ms. Bullington in her response declined to investigate Mr. Gurwin. I then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Michigan for a Writ of Mandamus to order the Grievance Commission to pursue the case against Mr. Gurwin. The denial from the Supreme Court was unanimous.
A complaint was then filed against Randi Glanz, Esq., my ex-wife's attorney. Stephen Vella, Esq. closed the file without even getting a response from Mrs. Glanz. My letter to Michigan Supreme Court Justices Kelly and Markman complaining about Stephen Villa's misrepresentations about me in the letter he sent to me. I requested a Writ of Mandamus to order the Attorney Grievance Commission to investigate Randi Glanz, Esq. The response of Justice Marilyn Kelly. Note that in her response she states that she will follow the rules concerning the time allowed to file a motion for reconsideration. Yet, she will allow Mrs. Randi Glanz to violate court rules and abuse the legal system. Why the double standard?
I wrote to Dennis Archer, Mr. Gurwin's boss at the prestigious law firm of Dickinson Wright. He did not respond. Perhaps, the media can ask Mr. Archer for a response.
I have been informed unofficially by an employee of the Michigan Supreme Court that the Court has not issued a Writ of Mandamus (ie. an order) to the Attorney Grievance Commission in thirty years to change a decision by the Attorney Grievance Commission that was adverse to a complainant.
The Attorney Grievance Commission and the Attorney Discipline Board should not be appointed and controlled by the Michigan Supreme Court. The prosecutor (ie. the Attorney Grievance Commission) should not be controlled by the court. Your district attorney is not appointed by the county circuit court. Currently the complainant has no recourse if his complaint is closed and filed away by a staff attorney working for the Attorney Grievance Commission. At this time the only recourse is to file an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court. The filing fee is $375. A difficult and expensive undertaking that historically has no chance of winning. A less expensive and easier appeals process to a less biased body must be available. Attorneys should not be judged by their peers. The panels that judge attorneys should be drawn from the general public. Juries are drawn from the general public.
My paper proposing changes concerning Michigan Court Rule 3.216 Domestic Relations Mediation.
My letter to chief judge of the Oakland County Circuit Court, the Honorable Wendy Potts, proposing appointment scheduling for Wednesday Motion Sessions instead of first come first serve at 8:30 A.M.. The response from the court administrator, Richard Lynch, concerning appointment scheduling. He felt that making subjects of the court wait was beneficial to the legal system. Mr. Lynch callously replied that "In the end, the court process appears to have performed admirably', because my motion was heard at 12:15 P.M.. What about my three hour wait and the $750 legal charge from my attorney for the wait.?
WE MUST ACT TO CHANGE THE LEGAL SYSTEM
The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission's web site states that it gets over 4,000 complaints a year, and disciplines somewhat over one hundred attorneys a year. About 3% of complaints result in disciplinary action, which is a rather low percentage. The other complaints are confidentially filed away and forgotten. How many of the 97% of the complains that are hidden from the public are legitimate? Has the Attorney Grievance Commission had unbiased performance studies of the work it does by reviewing the hidden files? In my case, which you can read by clicking on the above link "Appeal with the Supreme Court of Michigan" the Attorney Grievance Commission should have investigated the attorney. I was told by the Commission's attorney, Stephen Vella, that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be futile. He was right. A Michigan Supreme Court employee told me prior to my appeal that the Supreme Court had not acted favorably on an appeal concerning the Attorney Grievance Commission in thirty years. I was told the filing fee for an appeal would be $375. I wrote the appeal, and paid the filing fee. The process is difficult and expensive. The ultimate run around that has been going on for thirty years. Separate the attorney discipline process from the Supreme Court of Michigan. The process must be controlled by a board directly elected by the people. The people must have easy access to the board. There must be a reasonable appeals process.
I am sure that many of you have complaints about the Michigan legal system. Get them out to the public like I have done on this web site. We must know the extent of the problem. Those of you who have not yet required legal services should be the most concerned. What I experienced with the legal system could happen to you. Legal services are an important function in our society. They make us civilized. It is important to abide by the rule of law. Our attorneys and judges who we have empowered to make the legal system work should be held to the highest standards. Attorney discipline is necessary to make the system work properly. We the people must control the attorney discipline process.
DIVORCE LAWS MUST BE CHANGED
Present laws concerning divorce places divorcees in harms way of the legal system. The current adversarial system encourages attorneys to heighten the level of conflict in order to generate more legal fees. Please, click on Divorce and Conflict for a presentation concerning my opinions and comments on some of the needed changes.
Theodore A. Golden, M.D.
Ted Golden for Michigan Justice, 181 Shagbark Dr. Rochester Hills, MI 48309