- Direct appeals from District Court to circuit court;
- Direct criminal appeals to the Michigan Court of Appeals or the Michigan Supreme Court;
- Direct criminal appeals to the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court of the United States;
- Michigan 6.500 motions (motions for relief from judgment);
- Federal habeas corpus proceedings (§2254 and §2255 petitions);
- Petitions to expunge criminal convictions;
- Defense of Prosecution Parole Appeals;
- Motions to reduce jail and prison sentences;
- Canada Waivers;
- Red Notice Challenges;
- Assistance with Michigan Department of Corrections matters
For more information on my immigration and Red Notice services, please see my other site.
Direct State Appeals
We offer direct representation of clients from all Michigan Circuit Courts to the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court. We also full post-conviction services including motions for relief from judgment under MCR 6.500, appeals from these rulings, and habeas corpus litigation litigation. We are exceptionally experienced in post-conviction litigation. Stuart Friedman is the author of the leading law review on Michigan Post-Conviction Remedies (Friedman, Hurdling the 6.500 Barrier: A Guide to Michigan Post-Conviction Remedies, Thomas Cooley Law Review, 1997) and is a frequent speaker and lecturer on Michigan Post-Conviction Remedies.
Federal Habeas Corpus Petitions.
We offer representation on federal habeas corpus petitions in both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Western District of Michigan (together with appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit).
We are intimately familiar with the rules concerning the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and have have the latest briefs from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office dealing with Cullen v Pinholster, 131 S Ct 1388; 179 L Ed 2d 557, reh den 131 S Ct 2951 (2011). We have been tracking the U.S. Supreme Court’s treatment of Sixth Circuit habeas grants unto the decisions at the end of the 2011-2012 term including Parker v Matthews, 132 S Ct 2148; 183 L Ed 2d 32 (2012). Habeas corpus law is especially tricky and it is important to make sure that the attorney you hire is intimately familiar with this area of law.
We also provide federal appeals to the United States Court of Appeals to the Sixth Circuit involving both direct and collateral appeals (2255). We will also happily represent individuals beyond this to the United States Supreme Court should such representation be necessary. Our office is fully e-filing compatible with high speed scanners and the full complement of PDF related software. In fact, this office was the first criminal appellate firm in the United States to file a CD-ROM brief in 1999 in the casino corruption case of United States v. Dakota, et al.
Defense of Prosecution Parole Appeals.
Attorney Friedman has significant experience defending against prosecution parole appeals. He has been defending such suits since the early 1990s, authored several bar journal articles on the subject, has taught seminars, and has represented the prisoner (or organizations supporting prisoners) as both a party attorney and a friend of the court (amicus curiae) attorney. Attorney Friedman is versed in the challenges being used by the Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Lapeer County Prosecutor’s office.
In conjunction with Canadian co-counsel, we offer TRP and Applications for Rehabilitations to restore the right of individuals to go travel to Canada. Unlike the Canadian pardon services, we are experts at showing the required rehabilitation. Through our collaborative process with Canadian counsel, we are expert at arguing for the best conversion of criminal offenses. Where we can convince the Canadian Border Services Agency ( CBSA) and/or Citizen and Immigration Canada that the offense equates to ordinary criminality.
We are also expert at rehabilitating criminal convictions on the US side so that they will no longer be deemed criminality under the IRPA. As Canadian immigration policies have grown stricter, it is risky to invest in a cheap “pardon service” that misses many of the issues. With a cross-border team, we are capable of seeing issues that others miss. Additionally, as Michigan Department of Corrections and police agencies have tightened their policies on access to information, we are able to assemble documents quickly. Also, the meetings are conducted in Michigan and we work to create a seamless handoff to Canadian counsel.
I-192 Waivers (“US Waivers”)
Mr. Friedman is a licensed to practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, before the USCIS, and the US CBP. He is also a member in good standing of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and keeps abreast of the law and developments in the area of criminal admissibility. Unlike many of the so-called pardon services, Mr. Friedman works closely with licensed psychologists and counselors to develop compelling rehabilitation packages. Mr. Friedman is also highly alert to other issues missed by the various paralegal and pardon services operating throughout Canada such as when diversion programs constitute criminal convictions and when they don’t. For example Canadian conditional diversions are widely thought not to constitute a criminal conviction, but the United States treats them as a conviction. Mr. Friedman tries where possible to get a September letter allowing the individual to have the block on US entry removed for a lifetime rather than waived for several years.
Canadian pardons (the old practice) and record suspensions (the new practice) constitute criminal convictions under the INA, but not for purposes of obtaining a NEXUS card.
Mr. Friedman is also skilled at challenging Interpol Red Notices. Red Notices are often referred to as “international arrest” warrants but are more appropriately thought of as international arrest requests. They are issued by the National Central Bureau of a given country which is a member state’s official liaison office with Interpol. Red Notices are then shared with all member states. These notices can negatively impact a person’s ability to travel. While a country is not obligated to arrest an individual with a Red notice, most countries do. A Red Notice can also interfere with a person’s ability to get refugee status. Under the 1951 Convention on the Rights of the Refugee, a country is not obligated to grant asylum status to an individual (even one fleeing persecution back home) who is wanted for or convicted of criminal offenses. Ironically, once refugee status is granted, Interpol will generally remove Red Notice. Some Red Notices are public, but not all notices are public. A person has a right to obtain their Red Notice under the Interpol Rules, but the member state owns the content of the Notice. A large exception to this principal of ownership takes places once the individual receives knowledge of the content of the Notice through official channels. Then the content should become declassified. Mr. Friedman can help in getting the application and in helping to remove the same.
Similar to the Notice is another request for cooperation or alert mechanism known as a 'diffusion'. This is less formal than a notice but is also used to request the arrest or location of an individual or additional information in relation to a police investigation. A diffusion is circulated directly by an National Central Bureau (Interpol Liaison Office) to the member countries of their choice, or to the entire INTERPOL membership and is simultaneously recorded in INTERPOL’s Information System,
We also provide legal representation in matters involving the Michigan Department of Corrections at both the agency level and in litigation to state and federal court. Stuart Friedman was originally a staff attorney with Prison Legal Services, is past editor of the Prison & Corrections Sections Newslette, is past Chair of the Prison & Corrections Section of the State Bar of Michigan and has appeared before the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court representing the prisoner or Friend of the Court in many of the major parole cases decided over the last fifteen years.