Detroit DUI Lawyer Jeffrey J. RandaFounder
75 N Main St #105
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48043
Who am I? The usual approach to the “Attorney Bio” is to list all of one’s accomplishments, awards, education and such in an attempt to impress the potential client.
Instead of that, I want tell you who I am in my own words. I'm doing it this way because I believe that I am a lot more than just a bunch of academic and legal accomplishments. In fact, as a lawyer, I'd rather be known for my personality more than anything else:
I’m a nice guy.
I am a funny guy, too, and believe that humor is often the best medicine for just about anything. No matter how serious your situation, I will find a reason to make you smile.
In fact, I don’t believe things are right unless our client leaves a first meeting saying something like, “I’m glad we met; I feel a lot better now.”
I am also honest, and when you combine that with funny, it means I can joke about how being an honest lawyer costs me a lot of money. All humor aside, though, the fact is that I just don't have the heart to sell myself by merely telling people what they want to hear.
There’s money to be made doing that if you don’t have a strong conscience, but I do, so I’m stuck telling the truth, even if it isn’t very pretty.
I was born in Detroit in 1963, and raised in a wonderful working-class part of its east side. My mom was a secretary for the State of Michigan, and my dad was a mailman. I came later in my parents' lives, when they had pretty much given up on having kids. As an only child, I was given a lot of attention.
When I arrived, my parents thought I was something of a miracle, although I’m sure that by the time I was a teenager, they sometimes wondered what the hell they ever did to deserve such punishment.
My mom was an outspoken stickler for grammar, and filled my head with warnings like “there is no such word as ain’t." Me being me, I’d point out that the word "ain't" is in the dictionary, and she’d reply that it was still “improper grammar." She believed in dictionaries like some people believe in bibles.
Her insistence that I clearly and properly enunciate words and use proper grammar was a drag to me when I was a kid, but it equipped me with an ability to arrange words on paper and speak in a way that did, ultimately, set me apart from most everyone else, and helped me do rather well in school and as a lawyer (Thanks, mom!).
Perhaps the most important lesson I ever learned from my mom was to “treat others as you would want to be treated,” and I have lived by that rule all of my life.
My dad was known as "Joe the mailman” to everyone on his route, and he was a walking smile who was loved by all.
I didn’t see how his personality influenced mine at the time, but people liked my dad because he was never down in the dumps, or mad. He was always happy.
If something bad happened (when you grow up in the working class, another word for this is “expensive”) and we had to fix it, he wouldn’t become angry, but rather give a funny smirk, shrug his shoulders and say, “Whaddaya gonna do?”
And then he’d pay for it.
I do that all the time now, myself, and it drives my wife crazy, but it’s no doubt precisely because my dad didn’t let things bother him that he lived past 90.
I was sent to St. Brendan’s, a small, Catholic grade school. I was a smart-enough kid, but the kind who never really applied himself. I was almost always in trouble for talking. And looking out the window. And laughing.
Back then, the nuns would smack you in the head for not paying attention, so mine isn’t exactly as round as it should be now because of all that smacking for talking, laughing, and looking out the window.
I may have been spared a few whacks because I was also an altar boy, and a nice, if not strictly obedient kid, so the nuns and teachers did like me, but they had their hands full trying to keep me in line.
Whatever else, I received a solid education in grade school.
I moved on to Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods, on Kelly Road just south of 8 Mile.
There, my incessant talking became something of an asset. I competed in forensics (and won a lot of awards and ribbons), wrote for the school paper, and even did the morning announcements.
That ability to speak and write well tended to soften my various teachers’ inevitable observations that I had plenty of potential, but didn’t really apply myself, but rather often screwed around, instead, by talking, laughing and (big surprise here), looking out the window...
I took my first job as a busboy at age 15 at the Big Boy restaurant at Eastland Mall. I also started a business waxing cars around then, as well.
In the course of my life, I’ve done just about every task you can imagine, from cleaning toilets as a kid to writing drafts of judicial opinions as a law student. I’ve cleaned stuff, hauled stuff and sold stuff using my back, my legs, my hands, my head and my voice.
By age 15, I was playing guitar in garage bands and trying to figure out who I was while trying on a million different identities.
For all of that effort, I never did completely fit in with any single group, but rather floated between and got along well with different groups of people, some of whom would never even sit together, like the jocks, the book nerds (I’ve always been a big reader), the burnouts, the artists, and everyone else.
Back then, I merely thought I hadn’t found my niche, whereas now, I’m glad that my particular niche is really not having one.
I went to college at Wayne State University on a scholarship. I also received a stipend from the University for my involvement with student government. I worked various jobs all through college while also keeping up the car waxing business in the summers.
I did college radio as a DJ under the name, “Jay Stevens,” a choice so hokey I still cringe when I think about it!
Then, in 1984, I met a special girl.
There I was, this working class, Catholic kid from the east side of Detroit and I worked up the courage to ask this girl out because I thought she was so attractive. I feared she might blow me off, but I took the chance and she said yes to lunch. Turns out she was a nice Jewish girl from the west side of town.
Talk about different worlds! At least we both spoke English.
The love story is long, and, I must say, as interesting as any I’ve ever heard, but the nickel-version is that we fell in love, stayed together, got married and have never been apart since. We have 1 child, a wonderful daughter who is our miracle, but (stop me if you’ve heard this…) has also, at times, made me wonder what the hell I ever did to deserve such punishment.
Anyway, my wife (then girlfriend) and I graduated from WSU together (me, with a degree in Psychology) and by then, I was all set for law school.
The fact that I was going to be a lawyer was probably easy to figure out by the time I was in the 2nd grade precisely because I never stopped talking and, over time, had become rather good at.
However, I also did, while in undergrad, seriously consider pursuing a PhD in psychology, as well, because the subject fascinated me, a fact that became relevant again in my legal career.
I began law school within days after college graduation, and began piling up experience though my various clerkships in law firms, for a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge, and even the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
I won some awards in law school, competed nationally in the Moot Court, and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1990.
I passed the bar exam on my first attempt in 1990, and have been practicing law ever since.
It took about 2 years of working in law firms for me to figure out where I belonged, and in 1992, I struck out on my own.
It took another few years for me to realize that my heart and my talent were best focused on certain criminal cases, particularly those arising from the operation of a motor vehicle. By fate, or circumstance, or both, the whole subject of addiction became central to me and my caseload, which was soon dominated by DUI and driver’s license restoration cases.
Addiction issues became relevant in every context of my life, from the inside looking out, the outside looking in, and through study, as well.
My lifelong interest in psychology eventually culminated in me going back to the University classroom, where I completed a post-graduate program of addiction studies. The pathology of addiction, particularly alcohol and drug problems, utterly fascinates me, and by learning the clinical side of things, I have been able to see how the judicial system is not always properly equipped to deal with them, although it must, and so it tries.
I do my part to help by sharing whatever potentially useful information I have, or pick up as I continue to learn.
As the saying goes, the master of any subject is really just a master student, and so my study in this field is and always will be ongoing.
I think that what defines me most as a lawyer is the “counselor” part of my formal job description, “Attorney and Counselor at Law.” I’m the guy who appeals to the anxious client with all kinds of questions and concerns. My office staff is the same way, and we work well with those who seek real and honest answers.
I’m the guy on the iPone at 10:30 at night sending back a response to a client’s email.
For me, the legal stuff is easy, but it’s the "people stuff" and how you help someone that they’ll remember years later. My team and I always want to produce the best outcome possible for our clients, but we also want them to have felt comfortable with and be glad that they chose our firm for the job.
At the end of the day, we're here to help, and the greatest satisfaction I can get is when we really do just that.
My team and I will pour our hearts and souls into producing the very best outcome possible for our clients.
No lawyer can do more, and we will NEVER do less.
J.D., Detroit College of Law, 1990
Multiple year recipient of the Ralph, Rose and Samuel Helper award in Excellence in the Study of Law. National Competitor in Moot Court.
B.A., Psychology, Wayne State University, 1986
Merit Scholarship for entire college education.
Graduate Addiction Studies Program, University of Detroit Mercy, 2012 - Present
United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1990
Macomb County Bar Association
Member Since: 1993