<![CDATA[COJOCAR LAW - BLOG]]>Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:04:53 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[All Hope is Not Lost in Consumer Defense Cases]]>Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:06:25 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/all-hope-is-not-lost-in-consumer-defense-casesOur firm has had longstanding relationships with several debt management companies over the last several years.  This has provided our firm with invaluable experience, as well as representing (literally) hundreds and hundreds of clients who have dealt with lawsuits from their credit card companies, student loans, holders of lines of credit, and even mortgage companies pursuing a deficiency judgment against the former homeowner after a foreclosure sale has been completed.
Due to this experience, we have been able to establish very sound, working relationships with many of the local firms who serve as debt collectors for these credit card companies, banks, or other lending institutions.  Indeed, depending upon one’s circumstances and overall financial picture, we are able to reach favorable settlements for clients even when the debts are not disputed, all while avoiding the potential stigma and repercussions of a bankruptcy filing.  
When we handle situations like these, we try to provide additional services that benefit the client beyond just settling the debt and avoiding further litigation and/or bankruptcy filing. Whether it be working out monthly installment payment arrangements or settling the debt for a reduced fee, we have been extremely successful in negotiating these types of claims for the benefit of our clients.  
Likewise, we have also utilized this experience to become very successful in pursuing collection remedies for our clients who are owed money as well. Whether it be a small to mid-size business, sole proprietorship, or even individual on personal loans, we have  taken these strategies and experiences to heart in providing the best possible relief we can for our clients.  Whether it be a creditor pursuing money owed to him or her, or an individual who was being met with a collection lawsuit, we have gained the experience and relationships necessary to be extremely successfully and beneficial to our clients in these areas of law.  If you find yourself in such a  situation, please call our firm and avoid certain issues or stigmas many people face who are not provided competent or diligent legal  representation.]]>
<![CDATA[Protections for Landlords and Tenants Alike]]>Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:59:54 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/september-14th-20131Having represented hundreds of tenants and landlords since the mid-90’s, I have gained invaluable experience in litigating virtually every type of issue imaginable between these conflicting parties.  Given the fact this firm has represented both landlords and tenants over the last many years, this provides us with a very unique insight on how either side can protect themselves from the other and maximize their relief when litigation is begun.

As an example, there are common disputes between landlords and tenants as to the condition of the premises at the onset of a tenancy, and most importantly, the condition of the premises once the tenant vacates the property and the landlord pursues a claim for monetary damages thereafter.  From both sides’ perspective, it is extremely important to document any issues that may exist during a tenancy, including requested repairs or other obligations that may fall within the purview of the parties’ written contract/lease.  

At the conclusion of the tenancy, there are many things that need to be done from both parties’ perspective including the exchange of a forwarding address for the tenant, an itemization of damages from a landlord’s perspective, an objection to this itemization from a tenant, etc. For either side, it is also an invaluable tool to photograph, videotape, and otherwise document the condition of the property at the time the tenant vacates or, alternatively, the time a landlord re-secures possession of the premises.  It is very true, from a court’s perspective, that a picture is indeed “worth a thousand words.”  I have litigated and even tried numerous cases like this where there were disputes between a landlord and tenant as to a claim for monetary damages, counterclaims for breaches of the lease by one side or the other, the necessity or reasonableness of requested repairs, etc. We currently represent several apartment  communities, homeowners associations, and tenants alike.  The handling of cases such as these, from both sides of the aisle,  provide us with certain litigation strategies and advantages that we tried to utilize to the benefit of our clients.  Whether it be landlords or tenants, residential homes or apartment complexes, shopping centers or franchise establishments, we do handle cases like this of all shapes and kinds.  If you find yourself in such a situation or anticipate a problem arising in the future, please feel free to call our firm at any time to receive sound legal advice and strategies you should be able to utilize to your benefit.]]>
<![CDATA[Common Mistakes People Make When Pursuing License Restoration Actions]]>Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:59:19 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/common-mistakes-people-make-when-pursuing-license-restoration-actionsIt is rather shocking to me how little advice and counsel many attorneys provide to their clients once their criminal cases are done, whether it be months or years before they are eligible to petition the Secretary of State’s Office for restricted or other driver’s license privileges.  Just because your criminal case is completed, and even in situations where you have successfully completed an extended period of probation, there is still a great deal of work and preparation that should be done in order to provide you the strongest opportunity possible to secure license privileges.

The Hearing Officers from the Drivers Appeal Assessment Division are experienced and well-trained experts in the field, who know exactly what facts to look for and exactly what stumbling questions to ask individuals who appear before then seeking a restoration of their driving privileges.  Notwithstanding these facts, many attorneys do not assist their clients in preparing the appropriate package and strongest case possible to maximize their odds at securing relief, and therefore a restoration of their license privileges.  Besides simply completing the necessary paperwork in the appropriate fashion, there are many nuances that must be complied with which, if are not properly done, will virtually guarantee that an individual will not be successful in their efforts and force them to wait yet another year to pursue a license once again.

These steps include such simple things as ensuring the fact the Petitioner’s Affidavit is consistent with the Substance Abuse Evaluation submitted by a professional, to continue to maintain and document AA or other 12-step meetings and appropriate therapy or counseling, having original and notarized signed letters of reference that focus on sobriety and not just good character, etc.  It is details and  strategies like these we excel at in providing our clients with the very best opportunities at securing relief from the Secretary of State’s Office and their very tough and seasoned Hearing Officers.  We can also take certain steps to maximize one’s opportunities for appeals at the Circuit Court level, if you were unsuccessful in pursuing relief in administratively through the Drivers Appeal Assessment Division.  It is details such as these, with the appropriate attention being taken to detail and accuracy that allows us to be extremely successful in the efforts we pursue for our clients in getting them their driving privileges restored.  If you find yourself in such a situation and are in the process of pursuing the restoration of your driving privileges, whether it be administratively through the Secretary of State or through an appeal before a judge, please feel free to contact this firm to receive the type of representation and advice one needs in order to be successful with these efforts.]]>
<![CDATA[Little Known Strategies in Custody/Parenting Time Cases]]>Sat, 14 Sep 2013 14:55:35 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/september-14th-2013It truly shocks me how unprepared and disadvantaged many litigants are in divorce, domestic, or even post-Judgment cases involving their minor children.  I am not just referring to situations where individuals are representing themselves, but also on many occasions where individuals were previously represented by legal counsel in in these types of cases.

Individuals who have gone through such situations know the Circuit Court maintains jurisdiction of their cases until their youngest child reaches the age of majority, or 19 ½ years of age under certain circumstances.  Notwithstanding this fact, I have never met a potential client, or even an opposing party in a case I am litigating against, who have been properly advised as to certain preparations and precautions to take in case some type of subsequent Motion is filed by the mother and/or father of their child/children.  There are certain pieces of advice and strategy we have provided our clients over the years that have truly become invaluable tools for our clients, and this firm as a whole, during the hundreds of custody cases we have litigated and/or eventually went to trial on.

Whether it be a request to change domicile, a modification of parenting time, a requested change of custody, or even the simple modification of a child’s school district, fact-sensitive preparation and detail is of utmost importance before every Circuit Court Judge and Referee I have appeared before.  If you are met with a situation such as these, please feel free to contact our firm for a free legal
consultation.  We can also discuss with you certain strategies and preparations all domestic litigants should take, even when their divorce or custody case is over and they do not anticipate any future hostilities from their former spouse or loved one.  As you can never truly know when a post-Judgment Motion will be filed against you seeking a modification of custody or parenting time, it is imperative you follow the legal advice we provide to our clients and establish a privileged and confidential paper trail that can be used by you and this firm if you are met with any such proceedings.]]>
<![CDATA[Exercising the Right to Remain Silent]]>Fri, 13 Sep 2013 18:18:45 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/exercising-the-right-to-remain-silentWhen confronted with contact from the police, many individuals feel very uncomfortable at exercising their Sixth Amendment right to remain completely silent.  Contrary to  popular belief and what many law enforcement officials either explicitly or  implicitly portray to individuals who are part of a criminal investigation (or  such random encounters as a traffic stop), one’s invocation of this right can  never be used against them for any purpose whatsoever.   As most individuals truly do not understand the state and federal laws concerning the extent law enforcement can deceive, trick, or even lie to potential suspects about a criminal situation, it is imperative anyone placed in this situation exercise that right to its fullest extent.

This is only exacerbated by new legislation in the State of Michigan that establishes a new crime when an individual provides false or misleading information to a police officer.  Even under circumstances where it could be deemed a legitimate or honest  mistake, a person can be charged with a serious crime if the interacting officer believes someone knowingly provided inaccurate information to a police officer or otherwise responded to inquiries with information that was eventually deemed to be inaccurate.  In essence, the statute may allow individuals to be charged with serious crimes for a simple mistake.            

I am currently involved in a serious capital offense that has led me to do a great deal of research on certain officers and the extent to which innocent individuals have not only been falsely accused of serious crimes, but also on occasion incarcerated for several years.  It is for reasons such as these that it is imperative you exercise your rights, or at least have a knowing understanding of them, which this firm can provide to you.  Dealing and interacting with law enforcement is a very complicated and potentially risky exercise that must be dealt with as intelligently and seriously as  possible. If you or a loved one is faced with such a situation, you should immediately call our law firm and we can provide you the legal advice, counsel, and/or representation related to what the United States Constitution provides you and everyone within its borders.]]>
<![CDATA[Legal Advice Protects Builder from Losses]]>Fri, 08 Feb 2013 19:44:13 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/legal-advice-protects-builder-from-losses
In a recent case that was submitted to binding arbitration after being litigated for over a year in Oakland County Circuit Court, we received an extremely favorable result for a local builder that we have represented since the late 1990’s. Not only did we receive a verdict for the entire amount that our client claimed was owed for unpaid services provided for a demolition and remodeling project, we were also able to obtain an imposition of attorney fees based on a contract that we re-drafted for our client that specifically included language to provide for an award of costs and fees.
What's Important to Understand About this Case
Awards for legal expenses and fees are not typical in most civil litigation cases tried in the State of Michigan. However, based upon the advice provided to our client when we redrafted the contract in question, we were able to provide the company with additional safeguards for the future by allowing it to obtain reimbursement for legal expenses related to the pursuit of monies owed by the homeowners. 

Interestingly, the homeowners filed a counter-suit seeking over $180,000 in damages based upon allegations of fraud, breach of contract, negligence, violation of the Builder’s Trust Fund Act, and other theories. The homeowners also attempted to pursue criminal claims against our client, which we were able to swiftly dispose of without any charges being brought whatsoever. 

After a significant investment in discovery and investigation (which included the utilization of expert witnesses, engineers, and various suppliers or subcontractors involved in this mass project), the homeowners received nothing relative to the counter-complaint they filed against our client.    
<![CDATA[Home Owners Defended Against Purchaser Fraud]]>Fri, 08 Feb 2013 19:29:23 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/home-owners-defended-against-purchaser-fraud
Our firm has been published in several local periodicals, including the Michigan Bar Journal that reaches virtually every attorney in the State of Michigan, for our legal and trial experience concerning the litigation of 'as is' clauses in sales of residential or commercial properties, as well as in litigating trespass / nuisance and fraud cases relative to real estate matters. Cases of this type are extremely fact sensitive, and hinge upon effective witnesses and client preparation, proper utilization of expert witnesses, great attention to detail, and of course, thorough investigation. 
We Litigate and Defend for BOTH Plaintiffs and Defendants
In a recent Lapeer County case that was greatly contested by the sellers, contractors, and insurance companies involved, we were able to reach a favorable resolution for our clients on the eve of trial. After being threatened with additional appeals after successfully defeating a dispositive motion filed by the defendants, we were able to secure a financial settlement for our clients that afforded them the opportunity to pay for the needed repairs that our expert witnesses opined were necessary for purposes of restoring their property to the proper condition. 

In two separate Macomb County matters, our firm was retained by the sellers of residential properties to defend them against fraud claims brought forth by the purchasers. After a thorough review of the facts, it was discovered that there was a lack of insurance coverage due to the fraud allegations. After a two-week trial of one matter and a binding arbitration in the other, the respective jury and arbitrator rendered verdicts in favor of our clients, finding no cause of action in favor of the plaintiffs. Despite two years of contested motions, neither plaintiff received a dime for their claims.    
<![CDATA[Watercraft Accident Yields Six-Figure Settlement]]>Fri, 08 Feb 2013 19:09:28 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/watercraft-accident-yields-six-figure-settlement
In a recent watercraft accident case that was vigorously defended in Livingston County, we successfully represented and secured a six figure settlement for our client. 

After defeating the defendants (the insurance companies) who filed motions to dismiss our claims under various theories, we employed our thorough knowledge and experience with Michigan Personal Injury law to convince the defense's counsel to properly compensate our client for the physical injuries she sustained to her leg and other portions of her body. 
What's Important to Understand About this Case
The was an interesting case in that it dealt with riparian (water) rights, as well as some rather innocuous language found in the plaintiff's watercraft insurance policy. The trial court agreed that the language of the policy was so unconscionable, one-sided, and contradictory, that it should be interpreted against the insurance company, due to the questionable language and verbiage it contained. 
<![CDATA[Father Acquitted of Sexual Misconduct Charges]]>Fri, 08 Feb 2013 18:58:08 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/father-acquitted-of-sexual-misconduct-charges
Father Acquitted of Sexual Misconduct Charges

A recent client was charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for allegedly molesting his daughter. As a felony capital offense with a maximum sentence of life and a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, these are incredibly serious charges with life altering consequences.  Following an arduous, heavily contested jury trial in Macomb County Circuit Court, our client was found NOT GUILTY on all charges.  
What's Important to Understand About This Case is...
While the criminal charges were being litigated, our firm was also managing a divorce case for this client against his soon-to-be ex-wife, in which we were also defending the client from a Child Protective Services (CPS) Petition that sought the termination of his parental rights.  

After a favorable jury verdict was rendered (with regard to the Criminal Sexual Misconduct charges), the CPS Petition was immediately dismissed in its entirety. At the same time, a swift resolution of the divorce case followed, with our client immediately receiving parenting time and custodial rights with the daughter he loved dearly.

When Everything is Said and Done...
This was an incredibly complex situation that was laced with false accusations and efforts to destroy our client's character and credibility as a father. Had this individual not had the right legal representation, it's very likely that he would be serving 25 years to life behind bars for a crime that he did not commit.
<![CDATA[Roe v. Wade for Men, and Related Matters]]>Fri, 01 Feb 2013 21:48:45 GMThttp://cojocarlaw.com/blog/roe-v-wade-for-men
The Precursor to Michigan's Revocation of Parentage Act 

The case that became known as Roe v. Wade For Men was handled by Jeffery A. Cojocar, who was selected to represent the plaintiff after a nationwide search for the right attorney to argue this case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  

The exposure and notoriety that this cause received from judges, members of the state bar, local and national media, etc. was astounding. Despite being dismissed in federal court, this case served as a springboard for subsequent legislation that has since been passed in the State of Michigan.    
What's Important to Understand About this Case
As a direct result of this case, our firm has received countless new requests to represent both mothers and fathers alike. Handling this litigation has provided us with a wealth of experience in paternity, custody, child support, and other related family law issues. 

This case also led to the Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, P.C. being retained to represent an out-of-state father who exhaustively litigated his claims for parental rights of his daughter, who was born while the natural mother was married to another man here in Michigan. We originally won all legal issues presented to the Wayne County trial court, but the presiding judge’s rulings were eventually reversed by the Court of Appeals. 

However, it is believed that the case that we litigated to the appellate level on behalf of this natural father led to the adoption and passing of what has now become known as Michigan’s Revocation of Parentage Act. This newly created statute drastically changed decades’ worth of case law, and now allows certain individuals (who were previously unable to pursue parental rights or determinations) to now be afforded those valuable opportunities. Our firm is currently handling cases of this nature under the new statute, pursuing parental rights or attacking improper pursuits by alleged fathers under this same statute, depending upon whether we are retained by mothers with children involved in this type of situation or putative fathers seeking legal rights.