Did you know that attorneys are also pet lovers? Some of us even have our dog join us at our office. Here’s a list of attorneys and their beloved pets, friends and coworkers:

 Pluto from Tina Willis of Tina Willis Law2012-04-019








photo (2)2012-05-26_10-18-33_124 (2)






Destiny from James Novak of The Law Office of James Novak, PLLC

James says “Here’s my 5 year old Siberian Husky “Destiny”.  She thinks she’s still a puppy.  In the first picture I threw the ball up in the air and snapped the photo.  In the second photo, she’s sporting her “doggls”.  She is light sensitive, so when we go for rides, she likes to wear her doggles. She loves and running, and always has to be in the lead, and playing catch with small tennis balls that squeak. She always wants to be the center of attention. ”

MarleyMarleyandWendell  Wendell

Marley (far left) and Wendell (far right) from Steven Sweat of Glotzer & Sweat LLP

Steven says “Wendell is a 6 year old German Shepherd Mutt and Marley is a 2 month old Australian Shepherd Mutt.”

1456606_10152322931976124_453664291_nChloe from Albert Krawczyk of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission

Albert says “Chloe will be 12 in 4 weeks.”







1902986_724691324237670_489202572_nRio, Belle & Sheba from Tim Stanley of Justia, Inc.





20140317_151203_AndroidClyde D. Puggles from Luke Ciciliano of SEO for Lawyers

You can follow Mr. Puggles on Facebook here.





10013851_822440357770090_1137274303_nBonnie from Wm Burt Burleson of The Law Office of Wm Burt Burleson








331158_10150495469838237_703000926_oMogwai and Rufus from Syeda Davidson of Burgess & Sharp, PLLC













Little Momma Chloe











Emmie (top left), Eddie (top right), Little Momma (middle left), Chloe (middle right) and Benny (far left) from William Hackett of Grabel & Associates







Chatterly 1 Chatterly 2 Chatterly from Catherine Battista of Argento & Battista, LLC

382795_2540327141616_203372528_n (2)Ben from Nicholas Leydorf of The Leydorf Law Firm and Grabel & Associates

Nick says “Ben is our Border Collie. He’s pretty smart and also does our income tax preparation!”







photoJoey from Renee Wagenaar of WN Law, PLLC









14 - 1AnnaBelle from Beverly Michaelis of Oregon Law Practice Management








photo-4 (2)photo-5 (2)Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without including my friend and co-worker Waldo J. Pepper and my (yet unnamed) fish.






Honorable Mentions:

IMG_0763 (2)When I asked my associate, Robert Hackett, for a picture of his pet, he sent me this which he described as “Mr. Wiggles.” I can neither confirm or deny the authenticity of this pet gorilla, but in all fairness I did ask him for a picture on April Fools Day.




Five people were recently arrested in what Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard called “the largest retail theft ring” he had even seen.  The theft ring, which investigators initially thought involved drugs, turned out to be related to the theft of almost $3 million in stolen goods including Victoria’s Secret lingerie, according to a news article at Mlive.com.theft

Investigators received a tip regarding what was believed to be a theft ring involving methamphetamine.  What investigators found upon investigating the tip included 10 trailers filled with stolen merchandise at a warehouse in Hazel Park.

Bouchard said that the well-organized crime syndicate appeared to be doing very well, and had been operating for years.  According to Bouchard, the theft ring had used about $200,000 in illegal proceeds to invest in the purchase of the warehouse, a transaction that took place about nine months ago. Continue reading →

A Sugar Land, Texas man is in federal custody while he awaits trial on charges of child pornography.  Glenn Casey Portwood, 52, is believed to be a danger to the community, and was ordered to remain in custody by U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy.  Portwood has been charged with possession of child pornography and attempting to distribute child pornograpchild-abusehy, according to news reports.

Portwood’s home was searched in September of 2012 after officers obtained a search warrant.  An FBI press release indicated that Portwood’s computer was sharing pornographic files.  Authorities obtained the search warrant to search the suspect’s home and subsequently found photos and videos of child pornography on several CDs and an external hard drive, all of which were in his vehicle.  The materials were confiscated.

Federal agents testified that in the videos and images, children were engaging in sex and being raped; some of the children depicted in the graphic images were toddlers and babies, according to the FBI.  Court documents indicate that the defendant has a long history of criminal charges related to sex offenses, dating back to 2001.  He also lives in an environment giving him access to young children.  For these reasons, Judge Stacy ordered that Portwood be held in federal custody until his May 19th trial. Continue reading →

Recently, 21-year-old Brett Austin Tate was arrested for driving on a suspended license; he was also arrested on charges of reckless driving twice within a four-hour time frame, according to a news article at the Times News.  Tate, a resident of Bristol, Tennessee, was allegedly street racing in downtown Kingsport when he was arrested the first time.  Just a few hours later, he was once again arrested for allegedly “burning out” in a daycare center’s parking lot which was said to be crowded at the time.reckless-driving

On a Friday afternoon, Tate and two other vehicles were speeding as they took off from a traffic signal, traveling at about 60 MPH in a 30 MPH zone, according to the Kingsport Police Department arrest report.  Upon pulling Tate and one of the other drivers over, the officer found that Tate’s driver’s license had been suspended.  He was arrested.

Later the same evening, Tate ran afoul of the law again after posting bond.  This time in Sullivan County, Tate was arrested after allegedly performing burnouts in the parking lot of a daycare where several parents and their children were present.  Reports claim that parents began taking their children, who were “infants and toddlers,” to their cars.  After leaving the daycare parking lot at a high rate of speed, Tate was pulled over and arrested for reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.  Because of his dangerous actions at the daycare and the presence of children and adults, Tate was also charged with reckless endangerment. Continue reading →

On Monday April 7, 53-year-old Cheryl Bynum of Clarkston was arrested following a series of events that led to an accident and resulted in nearly 2,300 residents being left without power.  Bynum was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving, and felony hit-and-run, according to a news article at The Daily Evergreen.

Another motorist was driving toward downtown Pullman dui-womenon Grand Avenue when he witnessed another car speeding in a northbound direction.  After being side-swiped and applying his brakes, his truck rolled over and crashed into a power pole after he lost control of his vehicle.  Upon striking the pole, lines sparked; he was trapped inside for approximately 45 minutes before being freed from the wreckage of twisted metal and power lines by workers.  Bynum, who allegedly caused the accident, continued on recklessly down the road.  She was taken into custody after losing control of her vehicle just north of Pullman near mile marker 5 on Highway 27.

An off-duty WSU police officer along with other witnesses said that Bynum was driving at speeds between 70 and 90 miles per hour, and that her reckless driving forced other vehicles on the roadway to take evasive action.  Bynum was found to be under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol after being taken to an area hospital for minor injuries. Continue reading →

In 1990, Debra Milke was convicted of having her son murdered in 1989 in a desert outside of Phoenix.  Milke allegedly had two men shoot her son, who was 4 years old at the time.  After spending more than 20 years in prison on death row, Milke’s conviction was overturned by the Arizona Court of Appeals.  Milke is schedule to be retried on the murder charge in 2015, and is now free on bond.

gavelMilke has maintained the entire time that she is innocent, however at the original trial a police detective, Armando Saldate who is now retired, testified that Milke had confessed the murder to him.  Saldate failed to record the confession, so jurors found Milke guilty of the murder based on Saldate’s allegations.  According to news articles, there was no evidence against Milke other than the detective’s testimony that she confessed to the crime, which she adamantly denies.

Now, prosecutors in the case are asking the state Court of Appeals to reverse a ruling made by Judge Rosa Mroz, who granted the police detective’s request not to testify at Milke’s retrial based on his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.  Prosecutors want the appeals judges to force Saldate to take the stand at Milke’s 2015 retrial.  Saldate fears that he will face charges in the future, as he claims the prosecution has offered no guarantee that charges would not be brought against him if he were to testify at Milke’s retrial. Continue reading →

In Binghamton, New York, it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk.  That is what 37-year-old Rashiem Tompkins was doing on March 27 when police attempted to stop him for violating the city ordinance, according to news articles at Fox 40.  According to a civilian who witnessed the incident, Tompkins was observed tossing an object onto the roof of a Family Dollar Store.  It turned out to be 101 bags of heroin, which authorities determined to have a street value of $1,750.

heroin-needleAfter the witness saw Tompkins throw something onto the roof of the store, police decided to check it out; that’s when they found the 101 packets of what they believed to be heroin.  Police confiscated the drugs in addition to more than $400 in cash the suspect had in his possession.  A follow-up investigation of the arrest led to another arrest of a woman with connections to the defendant, 23-year-old Yvonne Scott.  According to police, Scott had more than 70 bags of crack cocaine valued at more than $1,200.

Tompkins was charged with resisting arrest, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, tampering with physical evidence, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Scott was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. Continue reading →

Anthony Carta, a 53-year-old Detroit resident who formed a religious-based nonprofit and is the founder of Freedom by Faith Ministries, was arrested on Wednesday April 3. Carta allegedly bilked Detroit residents out of $300,000 in a mortgage scam by using faith to entice innocent victims, according to a news article at Mlive.com. sale-2-457896-m

More than 100 people were duped in the scam according to reports, which indicate that Carta used religion to gain the trust of individuals with mortgage issues. Carta allegedly took the $300,000 from those who had confidence that he would help them, and pocketed the money for his own use according to Attorney General Bill Schuette, who called Carta’ scheme “deplorable.” Carta is charged with five counts of false pretenses $1,000 to $20,000, one count of false pretenses $20,000 to $50,000, and one count of conducting a criminal enterprise. All are felony charges; false pretenses $20,000 to $50,000 is a 15 year felony, the remaining five counts are five-year felonies. Conducting a criminal enterprise is a 20 year felony.

Carta has a website on which he sells faith-based books for $11 each. The Attorney General’s Office said that in addition to not assisting those who gave him money with their mortgage issues, Carta hosted the website, which advertised both his books and his mortgage assistance program, but did not hold regular faith-based gatherings.

In 2011, Schuette says that Carta hired a salesman to sell his mortgage modification service. The salesman later began to suspect that Carta was not providing clients with the service he advertised, and contacted the AG’s office. Bill Schuette’s office said that the woman salesman had hired Carta with assistance in modifying her own mortgage, but that she lost her home and the faith leader never contacted her bank.

Schuette also called Carta a “scam artist,” saying that “Using the guise of faith to trick innocent people into entrusting their money to a sham organization is deplorable.”

At the time of news reports, it was not known if Carta had a defense lawyer. His arraignment was scheduled for Thursday in Southfield 46th District Court.

Continue reading →

On Friday March 28, Jeffery Layne, a 53-year-old school bus driver for Rutherford County Schools in Tennessee was arrested for driving under the influence while on the job, according to Newschannel5.com. Layne was suspended indefinitely; he has been a driver since February of last year. bus-604402-m

News reports claim that Layne was involved in an accident at approximately 2 p.m. on Friday which occurred near a Chick-fil-A on Old Fort Parkway. Sheriff Robert Arnold of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department revealed that authorities first became aware of the situation after a woman obtained a license plate number and called Murfreesboro police. Layne was allegedly involved in a hit and run accident in his personal vehicle, a GMC Sierra pick-up truck. Layne allegedly struck the woman’s car while in the drive-thru of the Chick-fil-A restaurant. The woman said that before leaving the scene of the accident, Layne told her he was a school bus driver and offered her money, requesting that she meet him outside of the line of traffic on the other side of the building. This is when Layne fled the scene, according to Officer Zachary Ferrell..

After tracking Layne down, officers ordered him to go to the school; a deputy met him there, and noticed an odor of alcohol after he began talking to Layne. Layne was arrested after being asked to perform a series of sobriety tests, which he failed.

Prior to being hired by the school district, Layne passed a background check. He has no prior criminal record with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office according to reports.

DUI charges are serious not only in Tennessee, but across the nation including in Michigan. The situation is particularly serious when an individual who is entrusted to keep children safe while on their way to and from school is accused of driving under the influence. Not only has the defendant in this case likely lost his job, he will no doubt face harsh criminal penalties if found guilty.

Continue reading →

On Monday March 31 it was discovered that Battle Creek Public Schools bus driver Kevin Frederick was operating a school bus on a suspended license, according to Fox17online.com. Frederick was involved in a minor accident which led police to discover Frederick’s driving status, along with other outstanding warrants involving retail fraud. The bus driver was arraigned on the suspended license charge on Tuesday afternoon. field-trip-205687-m

The accident occurred in a Burger King parking lot in Battle Creek just before 9 a.m. when Frederick struck another vehicle because he was blinded by the sun. There were no injuries reported, and no school children were aboard the bus at the time.

Battle Creek Police Department Sgt. Troy Gilleylen said that Frederick also had warrants related to a 2013 criminal case involving bad checks in addition to a suspended license. Linda Hicks, Superintendent of Battle Creek Public Schools, issued a statement claiming that the board believed Frederick had a valid driver’s license at the time the accident took place.

According to their contracts, bus drivers are obligated to inform the school district when they lose their license. District leadership coach Karen Hart told reporters that it was possible that someone “forgot to tell them.” Authorities allege that Frederick avoided them in not informing the district that he had been charged with a crime and regarding his driver’s license suspension. Potential school employees are required to be fingerprinted under state law as part of a criminal background check.

Frederick was lodged at the Calhoun County Jail and is scheduled back in court on April 16 on the suspended license charge.

Although news reports do not indicate why the bus driver’s license had been suspended, all individuals who drive a school bus to transport children in Michigan must have a CDL (commercial driver’s license) with a school bus (S) endorsement and passenger (P) endorsement.

Continue reading →