Appealing After a Loss
As a Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer, a rather large part of my Clientele are people who have previously tried a License Restoration on their own, or with some Lawyer who claimed to “do” License Appeals, and lost. They call me when they become serious about getting back on the road.
Almost as soon as a person receives Notice that their Appeal has been Denied, they hop on the computer, and begin checking things out. Often, they get to this site, or to my blog, where I have more than 120 highly detailed, informational articles about every aspect of every step of the Michigan License Restoration process, and they start reading. They notice that I have a first time win Guarantee. They figure “I’ll contact this guy; maybe he can fix this…”
Given that I win well over 98% of my cases the first time, I have very little experience losing. When I accept a Michigan License Restoration Appeal, I count on winning, not having to appeal a loss. I make my living wining the first time. However, when someone does their own License Restoration case, there is essentially zero chance that the Hearing Officer’s Denial can be successfully appealed in Court. The same holds true in those situations where the person had a Lawyer other than me.
Mistakes were made and the case was lost. An appeal to Court is not an opportunity to fix those mistakes; instead, it can only challenge the legality of the Hearing Officer’s decision. Fixing the mistakes that caused the case to lose in the first place is a matter for next year’s Appeal.
A fairly common example of a mistake made by Lawyers who do not regularly do License Restoration Appeals, or at least not regularly enough to know better, involves the use of witnesses at a License Appeal Hearing.
In a blog article I wrote a few years ago, I pointed out that I NEVER call witnesses at a License Hearing. Not ever. And using that strategy, I always win, and I back that up with my Guarantee.
Witnesses bring NO value to a License Appeal. Anything they can contribute evidentiary value to a License Appeal can be put in a Letter of Support, if it is properly written and carefully edited. Letters cannot, however, make mistakes when testifying (because letters don’t testify); they can’t get crossed up, or nervous, or screw up in any other way. When I am in the Michigan Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) Hearing Office, and I see some Lawyer come to the lobby to call a witness into a Hearing, I know, right then and there, that he or she doesn’t have enough experience to properly handle a License Appeal. Calling witnesses is an amateur mistake. With time, and enough frustration and loss, the less experienced Lawyer will learn to avoid that.
Anytime someone comes to me after they’ve lost a License Appeal, I know that there are going to be errors they (or their Lawyer) committed that need fixing. License Appeals aren’t Denied because everything was done right; they are Denied because something was overlooked, or not done correctly. This means that in addition to “doing it right” next time, I have to correct the errors or omissions that caused the prior Appeal to lose. Yet for me, it’s all in a days work.
Thus, when anyone contacts me after having lost a License Appeal, it means that, if they really are Sober, I can get them back on the road, when their year is up. There will almost never be an appeal to Court for the Denial of a Restoration case handled by the person alone, or with some other Lawyer.
To be blunt about it, that would have been avoided if I had been hired to handle their first License Appeal. While I can't turn back the hands of time, at least I can fix things the second time around, and get the person back on the road.
If the reader is trying to figure out what to do after having received a Denial, whether it occurred today, last week, or years ago, bear in mind that there are no quick and easy shortcuts to properly doing (or winning) a License Restoration Appeal. They take time and work, and it isn’t cheap to do it right.
Sometimes, “doing it right” means waiting for the right time. With a little information, I can tell a person if and when they can proceed with a License Appeal.
In my world, being ready to proceed means being ready to win.
Yet the payoff for doing it right, whether it’s the first time, or the next, is priceless: the ability to get a License and drive legally. That sure beats the heck out of bumming rides forever.