Friedman Legal Solutions, PLLC

Criminal Appellate & Post-Conviction Services

Due to the COVID epidemic we are currently working remotely but are available for Zoom meetings. Call us at 888-384-7666 to schedule a conference call or a Zoom meeting.
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Friedman Legal Solutions, PLLC is a small law firm strategically located in Southfield Michigan and servicing the Metro Detroit area. Stuart Friedman and Suzanne Schuelke are a husband and wife team with a combined 70 years of experience in Michigan and Federal Criminal Appellate Law. Our focus is post-conviction. We do not do trials so we have the extra time needed to concentrate on writing quality appellate briefs.

FLS is better resourced than many other appellate firms. We have a top law library. Our digital law library is more extensive than most of our competitors and includes most court decisions in North America, most law reviews, many treatises, and an extensive brief bank. We also have an extensive personal brief bank going back over thirty years.

We offer a wide variety of appellate and post-conviction services including:

  • 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;
  • Appeals of Parole Revocations;
  • 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 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), a contributing author to the Michigan Appellate Handbook, 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.

Federal Compassionate Relief Motions

We are very familiar with federal compassionate release motions. We have filed a number of these either directly or with co-counsel and have already made connections with the appropriate experts for medical evaluation of prisoner files. We are prepared to move quickly on such motions.

Prisoner Transfers

We are also skilled with prisoner transfers to third countries. With respect to transfers to Canada in particular, our of counsel is the Ministry of Justice's former liaison to Corrections Canada and we can handle both sides fo the transfer simultaneously to reduce inefficiencies and expedite the process.

Federal Criminal Appeals

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. He was a member of the State Bar Committee which originally adopted the parole appellate court rules, is counsel on a number of cases involving parole appeals, and has an exceptionally high win rate in this particular area. Unlike the average attorney who has never handled such an appeal, we have handled hundreds.

Canada Waivers

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 it is often possible to restore Canadian admissibility bypassing the cumbersome rehabilitation process and/or having to get multiple temporary residence permits.

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 seamlessly with 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.

Red Notices

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. Mr. Friedman is familiar with the procedure to challenge Red Notice and recently beat the Government of China in a Red Notice challenge involving former justice of the Chinese Supreme Court charged with "corruption" by the Chinese government.

Prison Matters

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 Newsletter, 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. Suzanne Schuelke is a former chairperson of the Prison & Corrections Section and authored various articles on prison related issues.

Attorney to Attorney Services

We offer support services to other attorneys including research packets, ghostwriting, of counsel services, or assumption of the lead counsel role. We also expert opinion letters on US admissibility, adequacy of counsel, and other matters. We offer competitive rates, have an extensive in house brief bank, full national Westlaw, and access to various private investigative databases. Our work will be prepared (at your request) in Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, Pages (for Mac) or Open/Libre Office.