By John R. Hall
Michael Oakes has made his name in legal circles around Michigan and most recently had fought for a client whose car was pulled over by Muskegon County sheriff’s deputies for suspicious reasons when they couldn’t read the license plate on the car because a trailer hitch was obstructing their view of the plate. The case – revolving around the right for police to pull over vehicles with obstructed license plates – made it all of the way to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Oakes fought hard for his client, just as he has done for all of his clients since graduating from the Michigan State School of Law in 2005. Today, as the senior attorney at the Oakes Law Group PLLC, Oakes primary responsibility is criminal defense; and he also assists in family law and personal injury cases.
“I first started with Sommers Swartz, which at the time was Michigan’s largest plaintiff litigation firm,” Oakes said. “I had an interest in writing during law school and was a member of Law Review.”
When at Sommers Swartz, Oakes had a very memorable case, which exemplifies how well he works for his clients. “I had a client whose husband was a pilot and he died in an accident,” he began. “The life insurance company was refusing to pay on the policy due to the fact that her husband had failed to make his late payment. I was able to search through her documents and develop an argument as to why the policy was still valid at the time of his death. We won the case. The insurance policy was for a significant amount of money and the client was very grateful that she would not have to worry about financially supporting herself and her children.”
Eventually, Oakes felt the urge to begin his own law practice – for several reasons. “I wanted a better balance between work and family life and although I was making great money, I was working from sun up to sun down and did not have a life,” he said.
With the desire to make a change, Oakes decided to “hang my own shingles” and open the Oakes Law Group. “I knew that by working for myself I would be able to control my balance between work and family, which was important to me considering I was newly married and planning to start my family,” he added.
“Prior to opening my firm I prayed to the Lord for guidance and vision. I knew I did not want to engage into any areas of practice where I would be stuck doing the same things daily. I wanted to pick areas that would be both challenging and interesting. I also knew I wanted to be able to assist individuals from my community; and I knew what areas they primary needed assistance.”
It’s not too hard to understand Oakes’ passion for his work. “From an early age I was intrigued by the legal profession,” he said. “I liked the idea of putting myself in a position to be of benefit to other people.
Being a youngster dreaming of the legal profession may not be the number one reason for hiring Oakes.
It is one of many. “A person should hire me because I actually care about assisting my clients with their legal needs,” Oakes added. “I offer my clients individualized attention and give great detail to each of their cases.”
The Oakes Law Group has two Michigan locations in Lansing and Saginaw. For more information call 888-886- 5711 or visit www.oakeslawgroup.com.
To see the full article: http://muskegontribune.com/muskegon-native-making-name-as-a-client-focus-attorney/